Tag Archives: 5 frugal things

5 frugal things post 32

5 Frugal things post 32 – Half term, clothes shopping, food shopping.

5 Frugal things post 32

Half term weeks can be expensive for keeping the children amused, thankfully I had managed to arrange a few things which kept the costs down. It’s still been a busy work week with a personal styling job (I promise its work!) and a meeting up north in Stamford on Thursday with my mentor.

Here are my 5 frugal things:-

Football Fun Week

This is such a cost saving initiative during half terms and the holiday. The boys love it and I get to have work time. This time I risked it with Jack having a go. Dylan promised to look out for him and John who runs the sessions was to call me if Jack had any problems. Off he went, and was picked up at 3pm. He loved it! We definitely have a third footballer child. I really should put that that £10 bet on all three children playing for England football team!

H&M shopping

A full blog post and vlog to come on this one. On Wednesday I did a spot of shopping with my friend and fellow business woman Claire Wacey. I needed smart clothes that were on trend and affordable that were suitable for meetings in London and PR events. She chose capsule pieces that could all be mixed and matched. We managed to get 13 pieces for £180, these 13 pieces can be turned into around 20 different looks. This was after a 20% discount that I got for joining the H&M club.

5 frugal things post 32

Discounts on Hosting Packages with LCN

I have just set up my husband with his new website and hosting package with LCN. I have used this hosting company for 4 years for Mrs Mummypenny and have always found them so helpful. Amazing customer services and great value hosting. Read on for an exclusive 20% discount on their new WordPress hosting package that they have given to just Mrs Mummypenny.

Huge Aldi Shop

I have spent the past 4 week running down the frozen food we had resisting the big shop for as long as possible. This has saved us an incredible amount of money that we can then use to pay off a chunk of the outstanding credit card debt. On Tuesday I needed to finally go shopping. It was a big Aldi shop that included lots of meat, toiletries, toilet rolls, kitchen roll etc. I managed to get around three week’s worth of food for £150. This included lots of treat things like ice lollies, lovely BBQ meat, 2 roast chickens and burgers. Of course, we will need to buy top up bits like fruit and veg but this will last a long time.

5 frugal things post 32

Meeting with Mentor

On Thursday I drove up to Stamford, an hour drive up the A1 to one of the most beautiful towns I have ever been to England. I was meeting an ex-EE colleague who on my last day offered his advice and help whenever I needed it. We meet normally once a year to review what I have achieved and what I am planning. The car was parked and I was offered a free parking ticket by a lovely man, a good sign for the day. I had two hours with my mentor to talk Mrs Mummypenny, plans for the future, we talked investment, we talked focus. I have the beginning of the right plan for Mrs Mummypenny and I must stop focusing on the money.

5 frugal things post 32

It’s so important to get good advice in business, whether you are self-employed or employed. I have always had mentors for help with challenging situations and guidance on courses of action. A mentor is free!! You just find the right expert who you can talk to honestly and who will give you the negatives as well as the positives.

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



5 frugal things post 31

5 Frugal Things Post 31 – Ubers, Icelollies and Clever Cutters

5 Frugal Things Post 31

The highs and lows of life have been highlighted this week. The Manchester bombings affected me deeply. I was destroyed when I heard the mum of Olivia Campbell on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday morning pleading for information on her daughter who hadn’t returned home. We found out early the next morning that she had been killed.

My thoughts are with all of those affected by this atrocity. We must stand tall, support each other and not live in fear. The week consequentially has been a highly emotional week. I was in London all day on Tuesday where I attended a brilliant Female Empowerment discussion. I also spent time with White Stuff, JML Direct and a few PR agencies. Lots of exciting things are coming.

Wed/Thursday and Friday were all at home and I managed to take most of Friday off for things like free personal training, sitting in the garden with friends, spending time with the boys.

London Meetings

Lotty, Emma and I had a packed agenda on Tuesday in London and we had to get from Farringdon to Soho to Farringdon and back to Great Portland between 10:30 and 3pm. Rather than faff with buses or tubes we ubered it. It cost us £30 for all the trips (despite one slight confusion with the wrong postcode). I suspect public transport would have cost not much less but much more time.

JML Direct Bubbles and Brunch

I got a JML Direct clever cutter from the JML Bubbles and Brunch Event. Such a clever device that we have been5 frugal things post 31 using for all our chopping since!! It’s a chopping board and knife in one device, time saving, less cleaning, I love it. And so does Josh the 7-year-old chef!! We were with JML to learn all about their new grill circle and copper stone pans. The grill circle was amazing, such a healthy, very clever way of cooking. Everything demonstrated by Phil Vickery. I can see why he’s been on This Morning for 18 years, he was so good at chatting, coooking at the same time, sharing tips! More coming soon on these exciting products when I get to try them out myself.

Hubby riding bike to work and taking packed lunches

Hubby has been out working this week doing house clearance work to tide us over before we sign contracts for his new business. It’s hard, physical work, long hours. He has been cycling to work on the days where I have needed the car (we only have one car) and has been taking in packed lunches and big bottles of water.

Reduced Food at the Co-op

Have taken full advantage of Co-op reduced price goodies this week. Yesterday I managed to bag sausages for 80p, mini pizzas 4 for £2.20 , garlic bread, mozzarella & tomato salad, humous all for more than half price. Dinner yesterday was lovely.

Walking Home from School

The walk home from school Thurs/Fri has been very hot this week. And the reward getting home has been an ice lolly. I bought a bumper lolly pack from Aldi earlier in the week. £2.99 for 20 lollies including dupe feast, rockets, mini milks. Yum. I have also been making boozy poptails for Aldi for the blog. Check out this post for how I got on with recipes. They are very yummy.

aldi cocktails

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

5 frugal things post 29

5 Frugal Things post 29 – Self care, coaching and clarity

5 Frugal Things post 29 – Self care, coaching and clarity

It’s been a real week of contrasts this week. I have been ridiculously busy to breaking point, but then I got clarity. I had a hypnotherapy coaching session where we worked on focus and balance. This helped me realise that I wasn’t looking after my body and mind through sleep, food and water. This has already taken a huge step forward. The night after my coaching I got 9 hours sleep and the day after my coaching I had the most focussed day ever. I actually did most of the things on my to do list! I have also continued with my May theme of money saving in many ways.

    • I finally called Barclays about my business bank account fees. A complaint was made and investigated in one day, I got all the fees refunded as I had been put on the wrong tariff and £50 for the inconvenience. I am going to shift my business banking over to either co-op or metro bank I think. I have heard that Metro bank are very good and co-op is free banking through my federation of small business membership.
    • I have set myself a beauty and skincare challenge. Check out this YouTube video. I have sooooo much makeup and skin care products. I’m not going to buy another product for the rest of 2017. The only problem is that I have no moisturiser, so I need to source some that is free. I am working on that one.

    • Yesterday I had a good look around Superdrug. It’s not a shop I normally go to so was pleasantly surprised by the fab offers and variety of stock. I did look at the make-up (I had to!) but didn’t buy anything. My grey hair is an issue and just 6 weeks after having my colour done my roots are showing through. I got root touch up for £7 for 2 packets. This saves me money at the hairdressers as I don’t need my hair done so often. I also got 2 dental floss packets for £1.50 when one packet was £1.48! And I also got some bootea detox tea for half price at £9.99. Instead of booking in for a colonic which costs £40. Really pleased with my purchases.

Check out the bargains I found today in Superdrug. I don’t normally shop there..but was rather pleasantly surprised by the offers. And oh my gosh the make up..but I’m not allowed make up of skincare until 2018..see my post from a couple of days ago😂😂 So I’ve heard lots about bootea teatox. So I’m giving it a try. Half price £9.99. 2 for £7 hairdye to touch up my roots. Meaning fewer trips to hairdressers sorry @stacey35xx 😚😚 Dental floss. 1 for £1.48 or 2 for £1.50 😂😂 And I got myself a health & beauty card for points. Lovely. . . . . . . . #superdrug #healthyliving #detox #moneysaving #frugal #moneysavingtips #healthandbeauty #hairdye #roottouchup #dentalfloss #bargains #offers #deals #beautydeals #teatox #cleanse #cleaneating #bootea #welwyngardencity #hertfordshire #lifestyleblogger

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  • I am in the process of opening a Santander 123 account. I can keep my First Direct account but move the direct debits over to the 123 account and get cashback. A great little way of making maybe £100 a year.
  • I have lost 3 stone in weight and my rings keep falling off, in fact my engagement ring pinged off in the park. I spent a traumatic 5 minutes with a random dad searching for the ring. He found it thankfully, #grateful. Goldsmiths were so helpful yesterday in Welwyn Garden City. My wedding and engagement rings need to go down by 2 ½ sizes. Previous quotes have been £200, but Goldsmiths will do it for £110. And I can use my Tesco clubcard vouchers to pay. Happy days.

I wrote my first debt confession update yesterday and revealed that I have paid off £550 to date. In 3 weeks that is really good! I have saved money and made money in all sorts of ways. I am feeling positive and focussed.

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

5 frugal things post 28

5 Frugal Things post 28 – May is here!!

5 Frugal Things post 28 – May time

This week started with Bank Holiday Monday and we had nothing planned. I knew that I had a busy week ahead so I spent some time working and trying to get ahead for the week. I wrote a blog planner of posts for the next 4 weeks, which of course I have already changed this week alone! New work comes in and takes the place of previous content thoughts! However this post stays consistent every week, I am rather good at posting my 5 frugal things.

London Work days

I had 2 days in London where I managed to spend nothing each day via travel expenses being covered by the clients 5 frugal things post 28and food also paid for. The first day was Grand Designs Live with my friend and brilliant money blogger (of the year) Lotty Earns. We went to an AEG cooking event with a brilliant and innovative chef Józef Youssef. We had press passes that got us into the VIP tea room so drinks, breakfast. We enjoyed afternoon tea and champagne with our new friend Howard from Ideal world TV.

The food cooked by chef was amazing, I am now ever so keen to go his restaurant! We learnt all about the new technology of the ovens, hob, washing machines and dryers. We were most impressed by the efficiency and cost savings you can make with an AEG washing machine. We had a good explore of Grand Designs live and managed to not spend any money there either. We did good.

I was also in London on Thursday for a series of meetings and press launches. It was a day again with Lotty and Emma Drew, another great blogger friend. After the meetings, we headed for Soho for a jewellery launch party and5 frugal things post 28 found some beautiful stacking jewellery by Annie Haak. It was very reasonably priced for Pandora type jewellery. We were really impressed by it. We then went to the launch party for E.L.F. cosmetics. A US brand coming over to the UK to Superdrug exclusively. The make-up was amazing with brilliant effects check out this picture with no filter, such great value prices. We are talking sub £10 for contouring sets, eyeshadow sets. This brand warrants a whole post which I will be doing soon.

Hubby did the shopping

One of the great things about hubby having a few weeks off work before starting his new business is that he doing many of the household chores which frees up my time, hurrah. He’s keeping the house clean, he is doing his share of school runs and he did the Aldi shop. He came home raving about the cost of the products. He managed to spend just £20 on top up shop products like bread, milk, a chicken, cereal, ham, cheese, eggs. He hadn’t quite grasped what a price difference Aldi is compared to Tesco.

Coffee and Cake

I spend Friday morning at my friend’s house for a coffee and cake morning. The array of cakes there was amazing. So much to choose from so I had to try a few different ones, I had Victoria sponge, carrot cake and mini brownies. Yum. There was a raffle and I won 2 personal training sessions. What a great prize to win when I am really into my fitness and health.

Charlotte, Barb and Donna are doing the Moonwalk, 26 mile walk around London through the night. They are raising money for breast cancer, if you would like to contribute to the charity fund here is a link.

Friday night Pancake?

I was really tempted to get a takeaway on a Friday night. Dylan and Josh were out at football with hubby and Jack decided that he would like pancakes for dinner. I always use the same recipe from BBC Good Food, American style fluffy pancakes. This recipe makes around 8. They are very yummy and so simple to make with ingredients that you would already have in your cupboard. And so cheap, maybe 20p per pancakes?

I had 2 for my dinner with a fruit smoothie and camomile tea for some goodness and health. And I saved myself £25 in the process.

Law of Attraction in Action

I believe that if you surround yourself with positivity the life will be good. And if you are grateful for all the amazing things you have in life the gratitude will bounce back to you. I have been expressing gratitude for a few weeks now and I am this week getting a lot back in work, money, opportunities, kind words. I love it, it’s going around in circles and I am getting more and more love, money, positivity.

Today Josh is clearing out the cupboard under the stairs for the 2nd time (sorry Emma, I know we filmed this YouTube vlog and I promised to declutter, better late than never), he has just found £50 in gift vouchers from 11 months ago, that I ‘lost’ from a paid Aldi job!! Free shopping next week.

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

5 frugal things post 27

5 Frugal Things Post 27 – Back into the swing of life

5 Frugal Things Post 27

Isn’t this year going so quickly? Already its the end of April and I am nearly 40 years and 1 month old! All my birthday cards are still hanging on a string, I can’t bare to take them down. I loved my birthday so much. I had such a wonderful time celebrating it and experienced so much love and generosity. I have still got one more thing to go which is a spa weekend booked with the uni best friends which is in 5 weeks time. We are off to the Lifehouse, Clacton-on-Sea for a spa weekend. Looking forward to 24 hours of relaxation and conversation with my friends of 22 years.

This week has been really very full on. I wrote a post that was shared so many times, bringing much traffic and interest to my website so I have been spending time focused on that post and sharing it as much as possible. Huffington post are interested:-) The post is Confessions of a Personal Finance blogger. I have a debt secret. Have a read and see what you think.

I also had a billboard campaign go live for Pensionbee. The campaign is live in Brighton at the moment so if you are there, look out for my face on posters! Cat of Penny Wise Life Rich took a wicked picture at Brighton train station and shared it on Instagram. Thanks Cat.

Here is my frugal week and I have been so good this week. I know people like Faith Archer from Much More with Less and Emma Drew from Emmadrew.info will be very proud of me, both of whom have helped me a lot with making money and saving money tips.

Federation of Small Business Fair

I spent Wednesday at a federation of small business (FSB) fair in Huntingdon. It was so incredibly useful. It was free entry and I got free legal advice, funding advice, grant advice, insurance advice, car leasing info. Picked up a ton of free stationery, sweets, toys for the boys, fortune cookies and important business contacts. I went with hubby who is starting up his own business. We are very excited and are now armed with essential start-up information plus a load of things that will save me money. If you need any information about the FSB drop me an email, I will be writing a post about it too and its benefits (including completely FREE business banking).

Edie & Rona Strategy Day

Thursday, I spent the day with Julie, my friend from EE days who has in the last few months set up her own business Edie & Rona. She sells the most beautiful stationery. You might have seen a competition that I am running for her. Its still open until 30th May so grab an entry quick! The prize is a beautiful stationery bundle. It was meant to be a 1 hour meeting that turned into 4 hours as we discussed how to grow each others businesses and hit our turnover goals. We have a lot of mutually beneficial projects coming up..which I can’t wait to share. And I left with the cutest star paper clips. I have reviewed my favourite products in this competition/blog post.

I love John Lewis Customer Service

I popped into John Lewis after seeing Julie to try to return my 40th birthday party dress. It was a beautiful Phase 8 dress but as I put it on before my party the zip kep splitting open. Luckily Jenny, my mother-in-law was there who somehow managed to stitch it and repair the zip so I was able to wear it as planned to the party. Anyways this was all a month ago but I had kept the tag and the receipt. See it pays to keep them, as John Lewis took it back no problems and gave me the full £130 back onto my credit card. How I needed that money boost this week:-) And I walked straight out of John Lewis not spending a penny, even on parking.

Money Saving & Budgeting Champions

We are on a big money saving mission at the moment, note the debt post above, and are paying close attention to the monthly bills. One thing I have been paying for is for Jack to go to pre-school an extra 3 hours each Friday. It costs me £52 per month. But with things being tighter we have decided that this is an easy £50 we can not spend. I spoke to the teacher at school who were fine and just said not to stop his Friday afternoon straight away so the £52 saving kicks in right now.

Mr Boypenny an entreprenurial son

Josh my middle son has decided to follow in my entrepreneur footsteps and go into business with me. Hi first question was how old do you need to be to run a business? I said you can start whenever you want. He replied what now Mummy at 7? Yes Josh 7 is fine. He sorted through the huge toy pile and worked out what we could sell. One huge brown box of toys now on the table. We are going to list them on Facebook and eBay and see what profit we make. He wants the business to be called Mr Boypenny. How cute? He asked for 50% of the profit. I said no. He asked for 25%, I said no. I offered 10%, which he accepted. Hes not quite got the art of negotiation yet!

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


5 Frugal Things post 26 – Returning home from Las Vegas

5 Frugal Things post 26 – Return from holiday

We returned from holiday on Wednesday, after 15 hours of flying, waiting in the airport and driving we were happy to get home. We had the most amazing holiday in Las Vegas. I have 5 posts planned telling you all about the holiday, one of which is the frugal things we discovered including $100 of free cab rides! I’ll be posting one each week so look out for them!

Life just goes back to normal when you return from holiday but I am so grateful for my business and not having to return to a commute to work, an office and a boss. Instead I have come back to admin for one day and then an exciting day in London. So here are my 5 frugal things post 26 that I have managed this week.

Airport Parking

Our frugality with airport parking and driving to Gatwick has paid off. It cost us £45 for the parking after clicking through to Holiday Extras via Topcashback. The petrol cost around £15. We split the cost with our friends who we went to Vegas with. We are super happy with £30 for parking and transport to the airport.

Exchanged My Dollars in America

I was left with $700 at the end of our holiday, after a lucky last day winning a few hundred on Blackjack and Roulette. My buddy Neilboy was staying on in America for a few more days so he bought the $ from me at a fab rate of 1.25, so much better than what I could have got had I brought it back and exchanged it here.

Tracksuits for the Boys

The 2 older boys wanted tracksuits from America, but the only place we could find them was Nike, and they were really expensive at $150 each!! So rather than waste the cash there I ordered 2 Adidas tracksuits from Amazon the day I got home. They both arrived today and cost £51 for both. Bargain.

Friday in London

I spent the morning in London on Friday. I had a meeting at the ITV studios on Southbank early so annoyingly had to buy a peak train ticket for £19 rather than £13 off peak. And then get the tube from Kings Cross to Waterloo. I made the most of the freebies at ITV and got a lovely latte which was operated using an IPad, how cool is that?

After the meeting, I had plenty of spare time before I had to get home so I decided to walk from Southbank to Moorgate where I can get the over ground train to home. It was a lovely walk (where I also spotted the lovely Eamonn and Ruth filming their intro This Morning link) over the Thames, I walked through Kings College, walked along the Strand, Fleet Street, Ludgate Hill, St Pauls, Cheapside and then Moorgate. I love a London walk and always like to look up at the top of the building to spot pretty statues. It was a nice 1.5 mile walk with a stop off at a coffee shop opposite Royal courts of justice to recharge the phone and do a bit of Mrs Mummypenny planning. This saved me the tube fare, although I did spend £4.50 in the coffee shop;-)

Paperchase Bargains

I needed some cards for birthdays so was chuffed to see Paperchase had a sale on when I walked past on Cheapside in the city. I got 5 cards for £1.25 each, a new notebook for £2.25, a pen for my god daughter for £1.50 and some flamingo stickers for 75p. Bargain. Paperchase is such a beautiful shop selling one of my favourite things stationery!!

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

5 frugal things post 24

5 Frugal things post 24 – Easter Holidays are here

5 Frugal Things post 24

Its been a beautiful Easter holiday so far with the sun out most days. It inspires confidence and happiness when the sun is out. I didn’t quite properly plan for the Easter holidays although I did write a post that I published on Monday about Easter holiday money saving ideas which has given me lots of ideas for next week.

I am now 1 week into being 40. It doesn’t feel much different to being in my 30’s to be honest. Although with the clocks changing I have a new found motivation and drive to really work magic on my business and revolutionise it. I have had a goal to earn £5k per month for a while now..and I really want to smash it. In March I agreed work with clients worth £4k so it’s getting ever closer.

Football Fun Week

Dylan and Josh have been at football/multi sports camp this week, so actually this week has been relatively easy childcare wise. This a fantastic sports camps that has cost me £80 for 2 children for 4 days with 6 hours each day of activities and fun. This is amazing value for money and works out at £1.67 per hour for the boys. And the best things is that they get to play sport for 6 hours with their friends rather than me having to entertain them every day. All I need to do is equip them with a packed lunch and off they go. The camp is run by Future Sports so if you live locally to Knebworth check them out for next half term/summer holidays.

Spaghetti Bolognese

I love a spag bol. I always make a double portion to make sure we have enough meat for 2 meals worth. So, I use 2 packets of minced beef and 2 tins of chopped tomatoes to bulk it up. And I add a random mix of flavours from the larder cupboard to make it really tasty. Yesterday I used Oregano, Basil, Parsley, ground cumin, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and beef stock. I also added a large onion and garlic also. If there are any other items hanging around in the fridge I will add them too, maybe a carrot or a pepper. This makes a huge pot of food to feed my hungry boys and leave enough for a pot to be frozen for a spag bol or maybe an Italian cottage pie in a weeks’ time.5 frugal things post 24

Blogger drinks in London

On Tuesday I headed into London to meet a few lovely blogger friends for drinks and food. I met up with Emma and Lotty first in a bar in London that had happy hour going on so we saved £10 on a bottle of prosecco. We then moved onto a bar on Dean Street to meet up with about 10 of us London based UK money bloggers. It’s always amazing to meet up with fellow bloggers face to face and discuss ideas. I left full of ideas for a website refresh, business ideas for hubby and big plans for 2017 to blog my way to riches (see what I did there!! Buy the book here!!)

Hubby’s plan

I mentioned my hubby there, who has last week left his job. He has been wanting to leave for a while and the opportunity arose to leave with a takeover by a new company and a relocation. I got him to read The Secret, the best book all about the law of attraction. To give him confidence and self-belief that new opportunities will arise so much better than what he was doing before.

I am going to re-read the book myself as well but I wanted to mention law of attraction for its power of enabling you to get what you want. I practised it properly around 3 years ago, as we had fallen into some debt after our house extension. After a few weeks, a cheque arrived in the post for £25k. Yes £25k that I wasn’t expecting. It was a very delayed (20 years) inheritance. The debt was paid off and we continued life with much less stress. I am practising it again is going to bring in money now.

Decluttering Mission

As hubby is at home at the moment he has been put to work. He is going through everything in the house, literally everything. He is working through what we can 1) sell, 2) dump 3) charity donate 4) keep. I am expecting to have a really huge haul to sell on eBay and Facebook shortly. I will be using the advice that Emma Drew gave me when we filmed this YouTube video together.

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 have done this week linky.

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.

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.

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.


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.