Category Archives: Money Saving

5 frugal things post 22

5 Frugal Things Post 22 – To be truthful it has been an expensive week!




5 Frugal Things Post 22

This week has been one of those weeks where a few expensive events have happened. Unavoidable expenses but all in one week. I have spent just shy of £500 on car insurance, new front tyres, school dinners and swimming lessons…eeekkk. I have tried to save money on them where I could thus giving writing material for 5 frugal things post 22!

It has also the last full week of my 30’s this week..so I have been doing some party preparation combined with money saving.

Car Costs

I finally got around to renewing the car insurance this week, I was quoted £258 as a renewal quote by Debenhams car insurance. I spent 2 hours of my life, which I will never get back (!!) trying to beat it. I checked compare the market and Topcashback (if you sign up to Topcashback clicking on this link at the mo you get £5 for free !!) compare. I even called a company recommended to me on Facebook. No one could beat it, so I stayed with the same company. But I had to pay it one go, as monthly repayments worked out to £350 for the whole year. I also had to pay it by debit card as credit card would have incurred a £6 fee. I hate car insurance time.

We also had to replace 2 front tyres. The mileage we do means not just a service every 6 months it also means new tyres…bad times. Luckily, good times, our neighbour Adam works at a garage and got us a good deal on new tyres. Still £114 out of pocket though. If you ever need a great mechanic and you live near Welwyn Garden City go to John Charles Auto.

Party Planning

40th birthday party is on 1st April. I’m not actually allowed to do that much decoration, village hall rules. But I am having balloons, for 10 sets of helium balloons from balloon company it was £40. I have ordered a helium canister and 30 balloons from Amazon for £23, DIY job. I have ribbon and weights already that I ‘might’ have borrowed from a ball I went to a few week ago….



Great Value Exercise classes

I have been eating clean this week in an effort to drop some weight I had put on for my party. I have been super motivated as I have been listening to Heather Hall’s hypnotherapy weight loss recordings that have kick-started me into weight loss focus. And it’s worked, I am so impressed that a recording from nearly two years ago still works.  I have cut sugar, red meat, dairy, gluten and alcohol this week. I have also done some exercise classes with Flex online fitness classes, see my review here. The flex classes are a subscription model where you pay just £9.99 for a month of live classes. But the first month is free!! Check it out

Mortgage renewal time

Our mortgage deal comes to an end in June and we can lock in a rate now. We are currently on a fixed two-year deal with a rate of 2.69%, our repayments are £1050 per month. I’m going to swop over to a 5-year fixed deal after a chat with my fellow money bloggers and I got some great advice from my friend Damien of the website Money to the Masses who wrote this useful post. I have secured a rate of 1.94% which will save us £90 per month. Hurrah. Pleased that we make a saving.



Cake and Coffee for Charity

My friend Marianne is running the London marathon next month. Go girl!! And today to raise money she held a cake and coffee morning at her house. She organised an amazing raffle, see the picture, getting all the prizes for free. And get this, she raised a huge £415 today. She is raising money for the National Autistic Society, if you are feeling generous here is her just giving page where she tells her story. Her son Xander has autism and she is most fabulous mum ever.

Thanks for reading my 5 Frugal Things, come back again next week, I post it every week.

I am linking up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week linky.



How to Bake Chocolate Easter cake using Aldi ingredients




How to Bake Chocolate Easter Cake

Josh, my middle son and I love to bake. If we have a spare couple of hours on a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon we will often make a marble cake or knock up a chocolate cake. It’s such a lovely activity to do with your children and Josh really enjoys it. I love that it is something creative we can do together.

This weekend we attempted a twist on a cake we have made before. We turned it into a Chocolate Easter cake by adding chocolate eggs into the cake and mini egg for decoration!

All of the cake ingredients were from Aldi and its worked out at just 39p per slice. A bargain cake so I have included ingredients costings for you too.

Moist Chocolate cake with Easter Eggs

This is a tried and tested chocolate cake recipe that is simple to make and tastes lovely. It is moist and fudgy and keeps for 5 days in an air tight container. It is loosely based upon a recipe that I found in BBC Good Food that I have adjusted over time.

Cake Ingredients

  • 225g/8oz plain flour Aldi price 45p for 1.5kg = 7p
  • 350g/12½oz caster sugar 99p for 1kg = 35p
  • 85g/3oz cocoa powder 1.69 for 250g = 57p
  • 1½ tsp baking powder 69 for 160g = 3p
  • 1½ tsp bicarbinate of soda 69p for 200g = 3p
  • 2 free-range eggs 12 eggs for £1.75 = 29p
  • 250ml/9fl oz milk 6 pints £1.45 = 11p
  • 125ml/4½fl oz vegetable oil £1.09 for 1 ltr = 14p
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 75p for 38ml = 20p
  • 225ml/9fl oz boiling water
  • Mixed Mini Eggs 1 packet = £1.49




Cake Topping

  • Melted milk chocolate 200g = 85p
  • Mini Choc Eggs 1 Packet 65p

I have quoted prices for the items to buy from Aldi and then price per measurement for cake. All prices are correct as of 20th March 2017.

The total cost of the cake is £4.78. It’s a big cake, making 12 slices so I make it 39p per slice.

The cake in the picture and video is actually topped with dark chocolate and double cream but it wasn’t that nice, too bitter. So I would actually use melted milk chocolate instead.

If you want to use the dark chocolate frosting you melt 100g of dark chocolate in with 100ml of double cream and you leave it to cool for an hour so then spread on top of the cake.

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 or gas mark 4, and butter two 20cm cake tins. Or just the one if you only have one like me, bake one cake then bake the other using the same tin.
  • Add all the ingredients except the water into a big bowl and mix up.
  • Then add the hot water bit by bit and mix in.
  • Add half the mixture to the cake tin and plop in half the bag of mixed mini eggs.
  • Bake for 35 minutes.
  • Stick in a skewer to check it come out clean and your cake is ready
  • Leave the cakes to cool and place one on top of the other.
  • Once the cakes are cool add the melted chocolate on top and decorate with the mini chocolate eggs.

Josh and I filmed this video to show you how we made it.

 

Disclaimer – I received vouchers from Aldi in return for this post



5 Frugal Things post 21 – Shoes, Pastry and Pocket money




5 Frugal Things post 21

It really felt like Spring has begun this week. I wore my new patent flats one day this week, wore my sunglasses for 3 days and the boys have had fun playing out the front of our house on their bikes and scooters with the neighbours children.

Here are my 5 frugal things post 21.

Birthday planning 12 days and counting until the big 40

I’ve done a frugal thing and a non-frugal thing here. I am having a party and I checked the booking this week. The hire of the hall was costing £220 as I had booked a large hall and side room. I spoke to clerk and cancelled the side room, we don’t need another room to clear up at midnight! That saved me £50.

However I bought 2 dresses from an American website thinking they would be perfect party dresses. They were cheap and I should have know they wouldn’t be right for a 40th birthday party. They arrived and yes they are unsuitable and fitted badly and look cheap. £40 wasted!

Boots 3for2 Offers

I love a 3 for 2 offer and took full advantage this week on a gift for a friend who has just had a baby. I chose a gift for mummy rather than gift for baby. I was looking at the gift bags filled with Ted Baker goodies but the bottles were actually quite small. Instead I went for full sized Ted Baker bath foam, shower gel and body cream which cost £22 rather than £30 on the 3 for 2 offer. Popped them in a pretty bag (I always keep gift bags;-)) and gift was sorted.



Bargain shoes

I appear to have turned into a creature of habit. I love the flat pumps from Next and buy a new pair every year, well this is the third year running. They look wicked with a pair of jeans and are super comfy once you’ve worn them in a bit. Last year I had a nice pair of bright orange ones, but they didn’t have those this year so I went for black patent. They cost £25 which I think is a bargain for nice shoes that you wear a lot and they don’t get smelly. Here is a picture from Instagram as handily there was a competition on Instagram, post a pic of your #nextshoefie to win shoes for a year! Thanks for the prompt Super Lucky Di Coke

New shoes. Patent leather summer flats to match Trev the kit/cat #nextshoefie

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Go Henry pocket money cards for the boys

I have been thinking about pocket money for the boys for a while and have been looking into the many ways that it can be done. I thought I would give Go Henry a try to see what it teaches them and how they react to having pocket money. Its feels awfully grown up for them to have a pre-paid Visa card that can be used in shops and at the cash machine. I have a parent account which I keep topped up, and I chose what to transfer into their accounts each week. I’ve gone for £5 at the moment. This is only for Dylan and Josh at the moment who are 9 and 7. If you are interested in finding out more take a look here.



Great use of leftovers

On Monday I made a pie!! I was so pleased with myself I made pastry from scratch and filled the pie with the left over veg from the Sunday roast and some left over chicken I had frozen for another time! It was super yummy, even the boys loved it. And I felt most proud of myself. I made a youtube video of the process!

I’m linking up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week linky.

Top tips to Achieve Your Financial Goals with a Side Hustle




Achieve Your Goals with a Side Hustle

Today its guest post time from Francesca Mason who write at From Pennies to Pounds.

Many of us have goals in life, whether that be short-term goals, or long term goals, and most of them tend to tie in with needing money to achieve them. When we are not managing our money to the best of our ability, or we are living month to month through no fault of our own, it can be easy to let our goals fall to the bottom of our ‘must do list’ and not achieve them.

 

My Goal

For example, my big goal for what feels like a very long time has been to pay off all my debt. Because I was on a low income, I felt that I would never have the additional money available to pay off more than the minimum balance each month. It’s easy to feel like this because there always seems to be extra expenses that pop up that must be paid immediately, so you are not left with much money to put towards your dreams.

I work two part time jobs (that fit around my daughter so that I don’t have to pay childcare), and I use the pay from these for two different things.

  • First job = bills
  • Second job = debt payment




I use the money from one job for my bills, and the money from the second job for my debt payment. I do not touch the money from my second job at all – and whilst this can be a little bit frustrating because it can feel like you are working for nothing, seeing the debt balance go down is all the motivation that I need!

My debt is due to be paid off at the end of April 2017, which means that I have been creating new goals to work on once my debt is paid off. I felt like I couldn’t do this until all my debt was gone, because that was the most important thing to do – so that I could start on a clean slate.

Create goals for yourself

As mentioned, I believe that goals are very important, and push us to being the best version of ourselves that we can be. They can be small, or big goals – whatever is important to you, is important enough to make a plan about. Examples could be:

  • Pay for driving lessons
  • Save up for buying a car
  • Save up for a house deposit
  • Book an amazing holiday
  • Save for retirement
  • Build a conservatory
  • Wedding fund

These are of course, examples, but they are common ones that I hear often from my friends. What do you really want to achieve?

Work out how much you will need to earn to achieve your goal

This one should be straightforward, depending on what your aim is. For example, if you are saving up for a car, it could be something like £3000 that you want to save up.
Do some research, look at what price you think it would be and be realistic – I would recommend always over-budgeting so that you are not short-changed.

Start a side hustle that will pay for your goal

A side hustle is a way of earning money on the side of your usual job. There are lots of great ideas for side hustles, and please don’t dismiss the idea, because they have been life changing for me, and many others who have started side hustling.
I am a big fan of allocating different income streams to different things that you need to pay for, because it makes things much easier and less stressful. Earning extra money has enabled me to pay off lots of debt without having to dip into the money that I need for bills. Here are some ideas of things that you could do:

  • Blogging!
    Blogging is one of my favourite ways to earn extra money, because it doesn’t feel like work. It’s a lot of fun, and a great creative outlet. The blogging community is very welcoming and can help push you to achieve great things. It is of course, hard work if you want to do well. Blogging has a low startup cost, and there are more and more people starting blogs.
  • Dog Boarding.



    This is another side hustle that I do, and love. There are no startup costs involved, and it is again, something that doesn’t feel like work.
I am with a website who bring the clients to you and they also provide the insurance which is why they take a 15% cut, but in my opinion, it is worth it. I had no clue where to start when I began this, but the whole process is very simple.
You could do this full time if you are a stay at home parent (you can check all dogs are good with children before booking) or you could do on weekends only – many people go away just for a weekend and need their dog looking after.
  • Re-selling.
    This is a side hustle which has started to explode this year; mainly because everyone is doing so well with it! The aim of re-selling is to purchase an item for a low price from somewhere like a car boot sale or charity shop, and then flip onto eBay or Amazon for a much higher price.
If you have a lot of money to invest in the beginning you will obviously see a profit quicker, but it is still possible to build up slowly even if you don’t have a lot of money to start out with.
  • Delivery service.
    Ask in your local takeaway if they need a delivery driver – most do! This is something that you could do during the week or perhaps just on weekends. Places like Gumtree are also great for finding delivery jobs.
  • Etsy Seller.
    This is another side hustle which has been booming in recent years, and I see many mum friends doing this. If you are crafty – or even if you’re not – check out Etsy. It is a great selling platform where people sell all manner of things such as jewellery, printable art, baby clothes and more.

There are tons of other side hustle ideas out there, but I do hope that you will give one of the above a try, because they are so much fun!

Do you have a goal and how much do you need to save for it? Could you dedicate an income stream to it?

Read more from Fran at her website and here are her social media links, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



5 Frugal Things Post 20 – Free train tickets, chocolate cake and a dress



5 Frugal Things post 20

I’ve had a lovely busy weekend which actually started on Friday where I took the day off and headed over to Essex to spend the afternoon with my uni best mate Gem. It was her 40th birthday celebration on Friday night. Saturday night was back in Knebworth for a charity school ball. I’m a tad late in posting my 5 frugal things post 20 but have lots of pics to share from 2 big nights out.

Free Train tickets

I booked my train ticket from Knebworth to Chelmsford on Wednesday to pick up from the machine at the station rather than buying on the day. Prior planning with tickets pays. The return ticket was £39.50 and I used £20 worth of clubcard vouchers to get £40 of spend at Red Spotted hanky so saved myself the £39.50 train fair.



Sensible Drinking on Friday night

I’m not sure if this counts as frugality, definitely not sensible but I am going with it! The entertainment on Friday night was dinner and a disco and dinner included drinks until 10:45. So we made sure we drank more than enough of our allocation, the butlers (in the buff!) were more tham happy to bring us one last bottle at 10:40. I didn’t actually buy another drink that night, so it really was a night that just cost the price of the ticket.

Best mates.

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Dress purchase for my 40th birthday

In 3 weeks time its my 40th birthday party and of course I have to get a new dress for it. On Wednesday my personal shopper (Jack) and I hit John Lewis and looked at every single dress in the shop. The theme for my party is Hollywood glamour so only certain dresses are going to work. Every dress I looked at was either not right or Ted Baker/Karen Millen and costing £250!! In the past I would have just bought the £250 dress, but not this time. After 6 months of saving and frugality I had to look for something cheaper.

The last brand I looked at was Phase 8 and found 4 dresses, hurrah, to try on. The perfect dress was found and it came in at £130. Its a really pretty pale pink knee length almost 50’s glamour dress that can be worn for plenty of other occasions. So I’m really happy and relieved to have found my birthday dress. Its frugal for me as in the past I would have spent double!

Colouring my hair myself

Unbelievably I only just started colouring my own hair around 6 months ago. I never trusted that I would be able to do it properly so never attempted it. And a colour and cut used to cost me £80. Last week I bought a £5 box of Garnier hair colour and got rid of my greys. It actually looks okay..am happy and it only cost me £5.




So I coloured my hair today..just the top bits that were really grey. I feel like I did when I was aged 15 dying my hair as it’s 1) very dark according to hubby 2) purple according to Dylan 3) not looking great according to me 😂😂 Appointment booked with hairdresser to fix 😣😣 #3positivethings for Thursday 1) I recorded a podcast today with @becleverwithyourcash. Was great fun and a really natural fun chat. I’ll pop a link in my bio. 2) Did a great 45 mins of pilates this morning on my joinflex.Tv subscription. Feeling healthy. 3) Had lots of really meaningful conversations today with other bloggers on messenger, email and in my ‘Blogging Your Way To Riches’ Facebook group. Search for it and join the community.

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Chocolate cake

Last weekend we did some experimentation with baking. I am working on a new idea for a cake creation using Aldi ingredients so Josh and I tried out a cake as a potential for the project last Sunday. We had all the ingredients already in the store cupboard and it satisfied our chocolate craving over the weekend. Recipe and post coming soon. I love it when you make something really special, particularly with chocolate involved when you have the ingredients already.

I’m linking up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week linky.



Easter Holiday Future Sports Camp – Do you live near Knebworth?

Easter Holiday Future Sports Camp – Do you live near Knebworth?

Everyone loves school holidays don’t they and Easter holidays are soon here. If you work, there is 2 weeks where you need to take some holiday or pay for some rather expensive childcare. And if you work from home like me on a freelance basis it becomes more of a challenge and work rate drastically reduces. If you are a stay at home mummy, then you’ll need those children entertained for some of the time!

Sports Camps

A great holiday activity that I always enrol my boys into is a multi-sports/football camp and Future Sports are excited to be back in Knebworth Primary school from 4th to 7th April.

John and Simon from Future Sports have made a few changes with their return to Knebworth school. This time they want to appeal more to girls and boys aged 4 to 12. There are lots of sports available to try as well as football! Your children can also get involved in athletics, tennis, dodgeball, kwik cricket, basketball and netball. But alas if your child is football crazy they can still do that all week!! This is a welcome change so all the family will be keen to get involved.

The times have changed as well, so the fun week will run from 9am to 3pm every day from Tues 4th to Friday 7th April. Much more convenient for working parents. I am also really happy to see a welcome addition of free fruit and squash supplied throughout the week.

Pricing is as follows

Book the whole week in advance for £45 or pay £15 per day.

There is also a sibling discount available where the whole 4 days will be £40 or £12.50 per day.

My Review

For the past 5 years Dylan and Josh have been attending these sports camps with Future Sports during half term, Easter holidays and Summer holidays. They are both football crazy so would much rather spend 4 days of the holidays in a sports camp than at home with me! They enjoy the week and love spending time with the coaches and their mates.

I really love the changes that have been made for this year at Knebworth school and know that the parents will appreciate the longer hours and addition of multi-sports.

There is always a lovely atmosphere of team work and encouragement. Every camp there is an award for team player, most improved and player of the week, here is Dylan aged 5 with a trophy still proudly displayed in hid bedroom. And every child leaves with a medal. Dylan and Josh have had so much fun and learnt a lot from these camps.

At £40 each, as it would be for me with the sibling discount. Or £45 for one child this is great value for money for in effect 24 hours’ worth of childcare.

To reserve your place, go to the Future Sports website here. If you have any further questions give John a call on 07747 136714 or Simon on 07789 778264.

There is also a camp running in Hatfield as well on the same dates at Green Lanes School.

There is a Facebook page where John and Simon often run competitions so hop on over and give them a like.

Other Activities Offered by Future Sports

Birthday Parties – Future Sports offer birthday parties for up to 20 children. The party can be any sports themed and can be booked at a venue suggested by Future Sports or a venue of your choice.

School Sport Clubs – Future Sports can come into your school and run organised sports clubs such as multi-sports or football.

121 Coaching – Specific one-2-one coaching is also available as you see fit for your child.

For any more information on Birthday parties, school sports clubs and one-2-one coaching please contact John on the above number.

This is a collaborative post.

How to simplify the ‘Painful’ task of small business accounts


Small Business Accounts

I am going to come clean now and admit something terrible, especially for a qualified accountant. I have got myself into a right old mess with my accounts. Mrs Mummypenny commenced trading 1st Sept 2015 and have failed to keep accurate expense reports. I could have made life so much easier by keeping regular records every week from this date, but no.

So now I have an end of March deadline. My first year of accounts from 1 Sept 2015 to 31 Aug 2016 need to be sent to my accountant by the end of this month March.

Expense Disorganisation

To make things even worse my expenses are split all over the place in various accounts. I have many receipts of which I have kept everything and they are neatly organised into monthly envelopes. I also have expenses hitting my business bank account, my business Barclaycard, my PayPal account, my Tesco credit card and my personal bank account, argghhhh what a mess. Oh, and likely there is a lot of cross over between my receipts and my bank account expenses too. I can hear many of you out there nodding in sympathy and shared experience! This was my tick list of everything I need to go through by month to check for income and expenses.

Income is okay though!

I must point out that I have been good with my income. I have an accurate record of all invoices and of when income has been earned by my business by month. Income is checked every day (I am very much control freakish about income) and always know what has been paid, what I am owed. I can then chase for payment of invoices that are running late I am proud to say that this means I have never had an unpaid invoice, although have added on late payment fees to a few invoices that are late in payment.

Try Xero Accounting Software

Life would have been so much easier had I just set up an online accounting software tool such as Xero from the beginning, not now when I am running out of time to pull my account together. Xero is one of the most recognised accounting software tools in the world with over 800,000 people using it. There’s not a better time to join with 2 fab offers running at the moment. You can either get a 30 day free trial or get 25% off your monthly subscription for your first 3 months if you sign up before the end of March. Why not sign up to give a go and test out the features.

Here are some of the things it can do
• Fast reconciliation of bank accounts, credit cards and PayPal account imports all automated.
• Easy and automated invoicing, receive updates when opened.
• There is an on-the-go app available to allow you access and amend everything on the go
• You will have constant access to your all-important cash flow position
• Payroll can be run simply from the program
• VAT can be paid automatically through the software too
• Xero run a great partner program so you can easily find a recommended accountant.

I am very much supportive of tools in business that make life easier and accounts are a very necessary task that, let’s face it, just have to be done. So why not set yourself up with a great tool like Xero to save yourself time and worry.

This post contains affiliate links where I will earn a commission if you sign up to the service


Aldi Easter Range – Including Eggs, Cakes, Wine and Beautiful Meats




Aldi Easter Range

I love it when an invite come through to a) make cupcakes, b) taste Easter Eggs and c) taste wineJ. Last week I was invited along to the Aldi eggstravaganza, so I wanted to share with you some of the fabulous products to look forward to and some are already available in store. Prepare yourself for chocolate overload.

Easter Home Baking Range

First stop was the Easter home baking range being showcased by the lovely Miranda Gore Brown of bake off fame. Aldi has a beautiful new range available from 13th April. There are bowls, scales, utensils, tea towels and a very funky electric mixer. Everything you need in fresh Easter colours to make gorgeous cakes and bakes. The food mixer at £39.99 was the star of the show which can be used as a bowl mixer and a hand mixer, super convenient. I loved the non-slip glass mixing bowls, and the non-slip base could be removed for easy dishwasher cleaning.

Next was me getting to have a go at some cupcake decorating. I ‘piped’ not so expertly the topping and decorated with an egg and sugared flowers. See my effort.

New Wines for Easter

Next was wines where I got to catch up with my buddy Sam Caporn, the mistress of wine and the wine buying director. We tried 6 new wines and had a great chat about their wine buying and tasting life. They both have great jobs!! My favourite wines had to be the new red Zinfandel which tasted like strawberry juice. I absolutely will be buying that when it arrives in store. Also, a Crement de Loire, another one of Aldi’s amazing sparkling wines made in the same way as champagne. I really liked this one.

Easter Eggs and Chocolate

I have met the chocolate buyer before at the Christmas in July event. It was great to catch up again and get an introduction to the Easter range. Oh, there was a lot to taste, I know my job can be tough, but I do it all for you readers;-). The kiddies range was fabulous, lots of chocolate animals and mini eggs that tasted amazing. Personal favourite was the pink pig. There was a great range aimed at teenagers too.




The grown-up eggs were just stunning with great stories behind them, my favourite was the exquisite collection hazelnut praline truffle, made exclusively at a factory in St. Ives right near my home town of Penzance. The range of adult eggs was great, there really is something for everyone.

 

Hot Cross Buns

Aldi have something to shout about here with their brioche hot cross buns. Luckily there was fresh buttered buns to taste. And these are good. I was fortunate to have a pack in my goodie bag that I took home. I urge you to try them, they are so much better than the standard buns!!

Meat and Produce

I love what Aldi are doing with their fresh meat and produce range by really focussing on British and great value. The traditional Easter lamb they are to be selling will not be beaten on price and it tasted amazing. I actually tried it in a toasted hot cross bun. The rub of beef I knew would be hubby’s favourite and it was so tender and tasty. Both meats perfect with your Easter Roast dinner.




I bring you Flowers

Spring time is the best time for flowers, you can’t beat the colour of the bright yellow daffs or purple and pink tulips. This time of the year I always have a bunch of spring blooms on the dining table. Aldi are showcasing their huge bunch of 100 daffodils for £4.99 with 50p going to the teenage cancer trust.

So, there you have it a fabulous new range of amazing, high quality and tasty products. Don’t you think you should head down to your nearest Aldi and check it out. You won’t regret it and you will certainly save money. See my post from on my top ten favourite products. I have compared the prices of Aldi to Tesco and you will be amazed at the difference.

I was invited to the Aldi event and received a goodie bag free of charge.



5 Frugal Things post 19 on a really busy work week




5 Frugal things post 19

Being frugal this week has been a challenge as I’ve had a couple of work trips into London. Also many big costs have hit this month so a few of my 5 Frugal things post 19 things are how I have saved money on these big purchases. One thing I cant really be frugal on is a football tour to Germany for Dylan that we have just found out about. So I need to pay £225 this week for that one.

Topcashback

I have been waiting for months for my sky broadband cashback to become payable and it finally did today. A few other bits came through too so I have just transferred £85 to my bank account. This now means that I have earned a total of £1,645 in cashback since my account was opened four years ago.

I have written about how cash back works in this blog post, take a read if you are unfamiliar or if you have been thinking about it why not go for it and set up an account using this link. I love getting my cashback on all of my online purchases.



Shopping around for Home and Car Insurance

Its that time of year where both our home and car insurance are up for renewal, the whole process bores me to tears but I will not accept the automatic renewal that comes through! So far my home insurance renewal has come through at £240 and I have got the price down to £210. My car insurance renewal has come in at £260 so I would like to get that down nearer to £200. I use the Topcashback comparison tool so I can get a bit of cashback as well on top of the insurance purchase.

My top ten Aldi Products

I published a really popular post on Tuesday where I highlighted my top ten favourite Aldi products. From Jaffa cakes to Dishwasher tablets, from chicken in a bag to cat food. I compared the products to their branded/Tesco own brand alternatives and worked out how much of a saving you can make at Aldi. I was really surprised about the price difference when I compared it to Tesco.

World Book Day Costumes

We managed to get away with not spending anything here. Dylan was Jezza a footballer vlogger who has written a book;-). Dylan wore a tracksuit! Josh was Dracula, maybe not his favourite book, but it is a book. And Jack was a bearskin soldier. We have a book from Buckingham palace featuring the bearskins. All costumes we already had. Phew.



New Camera Purchase

I have been investigating a new camera for a while as Im really keen to take my pictures and vlogs up to the next level. I got a few recommendations from other bloggers. The recommendations were coming in quite high at around £500 for a camera so I spoke to my friend Adam who takes all my profile/family photoshoots and asked his advice. He recommended a camera that does the job wonderfully but costing £336 instead. I found it on Amazon as I had £100 vouchers there waiting to be spent in my account. So I actually for the camera for £236. It arrived yesterday. I am keen to experiment.

I’m linking up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week linky.

My Top Ten Aldi Products – As good as the brands they look like.




My Top Ten Aldi Products

I have spent most of my life buying branded products. I think I was brain washed into the advertising campaigns and deals in the supermarkets, for 20 years! But it’s time to change. It’s time to experiment with some Aldi versions of products, so close to the branded version even the packaging looks the same. I have tried and tested many products and this is my top ten aldi products that I swear no one in our family of 5 can tell the difference.

I have tried to pick out staple products so common that we all buy them, some are healthy, some are essential, some are snack foods. The price difference of Aldi versus Tesco is astounding. I have shown prices as of 28th Jan 2017, to show you the difference.

Jaffa Cakes

Mmmmm who doesn’t love a Jaffa Cake? We all love them in this house, although I try not to eat a whole packet in one go! The Aldi version tastes identical. I mean it, so similar. Just to prove it they never last very long in this house.

The Aldi version costs 89p for 24 cakes vrs £1.00 (Tesco on special offer at the mo). Saving 11p



Roast-in-a-bag chicken

A new discovery this one as I have always been slightly cynical of Aldi meats versus the butcher. I have never been a big fan of the meat from Tesco, my previous supermarket of choice. You cook the whole chicken in the bag it comes in and it comes out so moist and tasty. You have to give them a go. And the best thing about a whole chicken is that there is a lot of meat that should keep you going for 2 or 3 meals.

Aldi Chicken in a bag is £3.79. Tesco version £5.00. Saving £1.21

Crunchy cheddar cheese

I love cheese, and will always choose a cheese board for dessert over a sweet sugary dessert. This cheese is part of the exquisite range and it a lovely tasty, mature cheddar. Perfect on crackers with a dollop of chutney.

Aldi Price 320g £2.29 Tesco Finest Cheddar 300g £3 Saving 81p

Dishwasher tablets

People are often reticent to move away from branded cleaning products but I have been giving them all a try. My favourite are the Aldi Magnum dishwasher tablets. I have to say I think they clean better than the Finish tablets I have always bought in the past.

Aldi Price 40 tablets £3.49 Finish Quantum 45 tablets £8!! Saving £4.51

Nespresso capsules

A new discovery this one. I have had a Nespresso machine for around 3 years and have always bought the official Nespresso capsules that cost anything from 31p up to 45p. Aldi now do Nespresso compatible pods that work out at 17.9p per pod and taste so similar to me that I can’t tell the difference.

Aldi Price £1.79 for 10. Nespresso £3.10 for 10. Saving £1.31



Cat food

I have 2 cats, Trev and Purdy who love their meat pouch food. In past I have bought Tesco own branded pouches which normally cost £8 for 40 pouches. The Aldi meat is still wolfed down as quick as the Tesco meat, or Whiskers or whatever I try so I am happy to spend less money.

Aldi price £7 for 48 pouches vrs Tesco price of £8 for 48 pouches Saving £1

Both in one Loaf

This bread is amazing and lasts for ages. I always buy 5 loafs to pop in the freezer to last for the whole 2 weeks between big shops. This is a healthy bread perfect for the children’s packed lunches and the best bit is the price

Aldi Both in one 45p. Hovis Best of Both £1. Saving 55p

Chocolate Spread

This is a tricky one this one as the boys have always loved Nutella, but how expensive is Nutella? My kids love it and it is a stable cupboard ingredient that is an essential for sandwiches and a treat on toast. The Aldi equivalent is called Nutoka and they can’t tell the difference. But my pocket can!

Aldi Nutoka 400g jar £1.29, compared to Nutella £2 on special offer. Saving 71p

Baby Wipes

I am not sure what we did before baby wipes! My youngest is now 4 and we still buy them in every shop. Useful for cleaning mess hands, wiping up spillage, wiping the kitchen side!! I don’t think we’ll ever stop buying them

Aldi Price 59p, Pampers sensitive 93p on special offer. Saving 34p



Toilet Roll

Another product that people can be funny about buying non-branded but I really like the Aldi loo roll. Its soft and what can I say, does its job.

Aldi soft toilet roll £1.99 for 9 rolls, Tesco Luxury £3.35. Saving £1.36

Every product at Aldi costs less than at Tesco, even with current special offers. If I was to add everything here together, the Aldi products come to £23.57 when the Tesco products come to £35.38, a huge saving of £11.81.

What products do you love from Aldi and swear are as good as the branded version?