Half Term is over and we are back to regular family life. Half term is often a struggle to not spend, especially this cold February half term. To be honest I didn’t do too well. We went bowling and went to the cinema, we had a cheeky McDonalds. The cinema is something that we love doing and we always manage to save a stack using our Kidspass discount card.
But bowling? I have never found a way to save on bowling and it feels like a really expensive way to spend money. But the boys love it. We had two games, just for the 3 boys, not even me (dodgy shoulder definitely means bowling isn’t possible) and it cost £36. And we were there for maybe 45 minutes. This feels expensive. So leave a comment if you know ways of saving at bowling!
Two days at the beach and spa
I managed to get away on Thursday and Friday to the beautiful north coast of Essex. I drove straight to the beach and walked for a few miles along the beach. Frinton-on-sea is a beautiful beach, lined with 600, yes 600 beach huts. With breakers every 30 metres or so to jump over. And there were so many shells. I love it. The beach is where I am at peace and happy. Never mind it was incredibly windy and cold, I loved it.
I was staying at the Lifehouse spa nearby. This was part of an Instagram project that I am in the middle of, a sponsored piece of work with Vodafone. I was demonstrating how I spent £228 to make a difference to my life. This £228 is the money you can save from switching your broadband. So indeed the spa stay was gifted. Whilst there I treated myself to an Indian head massage and a facial, and saved money by bringing some snacks for dinner rather than eating in the restaurant.
You can save a stack by booking a spa day or stay at the Lifehouse by buying a voucher from Buy-a-gift. A voucher for an overnight stay will save you around £30 compared to booking direct with the spa. And also watch out for voucher codes too, you can often save an extra 20% with codes that Buy-a-gift share at regular intervals during the year.
Unlimited bubbles and dim sum
I was still childfree on Saturday so met my friend in London for dim sum. On a Saturday lunchtime Ping Pong offer an unlimited food and drinks menu. For £30 you can have food plus cocktails or for £40 you can have bubbles or wine. There was so much food and it was all very lovely and there was plentiful drinks. It was great value for money and I highly recommend it.
We went to the South Bank pingpong which has the most beautiful décor, is covered in flowers. Sorry no pictures!! It was all the prosecco, it made me forget! But I did get lots of pictures afterwards including this beautiful graffiti.
I discovered a new discount with my railcard on Saturday. I thought there was a minimum charge for a ticket of £13, but at the weekends there is no lower limit so you can get 1/3rd off your ticket even if it costs less than £13. Normal price weekend return to London is £9.90 or £6.60 with railcard. What a bargain to get into London. I can now get pretty much anywhere in London with a return ticket. I can get the over ground Thameslink to Farringdon, St. Pauls, Blackfriars and London Bridge as well as Kings Cross. no need to buy Travel cards anymore!
The Network Railcard costs £30, lasts for one year and saves you 1/3 on travel in the South East after 10am during the week, any time at weekend.
What to do if you need emergency cash
I wrote a piece on Saturday giving you a few options if you need to get at a big chunk of emergency cash. I found myself in this situation in January so wanted to talk through all the possible places you can turn for money that wont cost you the earth in interest payments. Writing the piece has made me realise that my emergency fund that I always had in place, actually isn’t enough and I need a bigger safety fund.
I have returned to Mindful chef again this week and very much enjoyed spiced lamb in little gem lettuce and Mexican chicken. I love the healthy food and that I am inspired to cook something of restaurant quality at home. The food really is amazing and is helping me to save money (no more panic shops at the co-op) and to eat well.
Here are my dinner from this week, I get 2 meals for 2 people and it lasts for four days. Save yourself £20 from your first order of Mindful chef using my refer a friend code.
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