Be pro-active during February. Christmas and the sales are gone and you have no more excuses. Valentines gifts need to be gifts from the heart and your purse need to stay firmly shut. I have a plan to save quite a bit this month.

I’m looking for a cheaper place to shop

My food bills simply make my jaw drop

I have said many times how great I find own branded food at budget supermarkets yet often I find myself at pricey local supermarkets because I am not organised enough. Well supermarket trips are going in the diary along with meal planning so no more excuses.

I’m looking for cheap car insurance too

Because I just received a text that mine was due

It’s the perfect time to shop around on comparison sites, and to make calls to these not listed to see how much better a deal you can bag. I bet you will make some savings don’t just lazily accept what you have done as the best option.

I think this month I will learn how to sew

Normally one hole and out they go

My son wears his clothes hard and they often end up holey and I get rid. But these are play clothes and a bit of neat sewing could patch them up just fine. I need to rope in my good friend who is a dab hand with a sewing machine and learn some basics, That hood ripped off can be sewn back on for sure and there’s definitely another season them left n his winter coat.

And lastly, one I got from TV

Old bananas make fab muffins for your tea


Photo Credit: Mdid

Much as I try and reduce food waste fruit does spoil particularly bananas. Here’s a little banana muffin recipe Even very little kids will love getting involved with all the squashing and squishing.

Ingrediants

200g (7 oz) plain flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Smidgen of teaspoon salt

4 bananas, mashed up

150g (5 oz) caster sugar

1 large egg

75g (2 1/2 oz) butter,

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Place 12 paper baking cases in a muffin tin. .
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt;.
  • Mix together mashed bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter in a big bowl.
  • Fold in flour mixture, and mix until smooth paste.
  • Spoon evenly into baking cases.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25 mins

 

Someone has also mentioned to me that spirulina tablets are a really getreat nutritional supplemnr that can make you feel great without having to spend a fortune n a spa and a personal trainer! Have you come across these?

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A guest post form SnafflesMummy

You have bought your Christmas gifts, shopped around for the good deals and tried to save money on your gifts but then it gets to wrapping them and you can end up spending a fortune on the wrapping paper. The luxury paper is expensive and the cheap paper is worse than a chocolate fire guard.

My solution is home made wrapping paper. Cheap, effective, different and it also keeps the children occupied for a few weekends or evenings after school.
I bought a roll of brown paper. My local budget shop had 2 rolls of 15 meters for £1.00. I love brown paper because it is usually thick and strong.There are various ways you could decorate the paper. Stick on coloured tissue paper, get the children to draw pictures or patterns on it or get the paint out.We used potatoes and cut star shapes into them (my attempt at a Christmas tree failed) and also did hand and foot prints.
 
My son loved helping make the wrapping paper. We have a traditional advent calendar where you fill the pockets yourself. I made various treat tokens instead of just using chocolates and used this activity as one of the treats.
I loved how fantastic the gifts looked wrapped in this paper. If you had money left in your budget you could add some pretty ribbon but even without I think it makes the gifts look great.
I love this idea Denise – Thank you so much!  
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My Family Club has officially launched today and it is a great new website. It has launched packed full of useful and interesting articles designed to meet parents primary needs of saving both time and money.

babybudgeting.co.uk

Personally I have written a number of articles for this site and it has been a pleasure to do so. Money and time are huge stress areas for parents and anything aimed at reducing this stress is really useful. The site has tons of great content already .

There is a savvy spending calculator in the money section There are some great articles on saving time   and I love the tip on cleaning  thebathroom whilst the kids are in the shower so you can chat to them! There are lots of voucher codes and discounts from a huge array of stores and there is a also a chance to purchase you own savings pack from my family club. This is an amazing oppotrtunity to get 4-10% off your bills at a choice of major stores like Asda or B&Q for under £10 for the year. It can save you up to £1000! Fab meal planning tips too in the kitchen section.

The whole site is jam packed with useful information and some great competitions.  Hear what the mum who set it up has to say.

 

This site is well worth a visit!

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Hi, what’s your name?
Laura

Any kids?
Yes, a little boy.

Do you work? FT/PT?
I work full time.

Why do you work?
I work full time because I need to pay my bills plus I like the extra money to use for savings and treats for the family.

 

What are your child care arrangements?
I’m very lucky in that my other half gets to work from home so we manage childcare this way which saves us a lot of money.

How do you manage for money?
I’m lucky in that I get paid an excellent wage for the work I do and that I can save money away for a rainy day as well as treat my family to holidays, days out and the odd little treat.

Do you worry about money?
I do worry about money in the sense that I may not have as much as I would like if my job was to be ever made redundant within the current economic climate. I have already suffered one redudancy and to have another would devastate me.

What do you waste money on?
I have to admit I waste a lot of money on my son. I see something cute and at such a good price I just can’t help but buy it for him. I know he doesn’t need anymore toys/ clothes etc so I should really stop buying them.

Have you made any big financial changes since having kids?
Yes major changes. Before I had my son I would often spend until I was into my over draft and would be struggling to budget and pay my bills. When I was pregnant it was the shake up I needed to get my money in order. I have no overdraft now which I am proud to say, I manage to save quite a lot each month, I find the best deals I can before commiting to household bills (gas/ electricity etc) and I keep a strict spreadsheet of my spending so I know my budget and when each bill should be paid each month. All of this allows me to monitor my accounts efficiently online so that if any unknown payment is taken I can always query it straight away with the bank.

How do you make extra cash?
I’m lucky in that I do not need to make extra cash however to try and save money I shop around religiously before committing to buying anything major for example food, household bills, car insurance, christmas and birthday presents, mortgage etc.

Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?

1. Shop around and haggle if you can before commiting to a purchase.

2. Shopping online can earn you extra money from cashback sites and points from different savings sites so money for nothing really.

3. Think before you buy – “Do I really need this?”

 

A little bit about my blog:
I’m Laura a full time working mummy to my cheeky son Logan. I write about my experiences with breastfeeding and being a young mum. You can also find fab product reviews on my blog along with giveaways and competitions. I blog over at  The Breastest News

Thank you Laura!

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Why I LOVE my gas bill!  by Tracey Jane Hughes (babybudgeting’s newest sponsor)

In December I was at a networking meeting when the lady next to me, said “Do you know why I love my Gas bill?”. Of course Ilooked at her strangely and said “No”. “It’s because I only paid £10 this month! Do you want to know how?”

I was hooked! I have a growing family, run my own business, and haven’t been happy with our utility bills for a while, but wasn’t sure where to go. This solved my problems.When I looked into it, joining the Utility Warehouse Discount Club meant that with the whole package, we now pay less for our gas & telephone combined than we used to for gas only!

Let me explain:

The Utility Warehouse Discount Club is a club that you pay a monthly membership fee from £1.50 a month. But our discounts far outweigh this charge! You can choose one of the services or all of them! There are no contracts, apart from with new mobile handsets, so if you find you’re not happy with the price or service you can move.

The Utility Warehouse offers Gas, Electric, Home Phone, Broadband, Mobile & a Cashback Card within its range of services. The more services you take, the more you save.

For example, if you take 4 services (Gas, electric, Home Phone & Broadband), you then get FREE Global calls 24/7 to
10 countries including the UK, USA and Australia. Utility Warehouse GUARANTEE to save you money, or you’ll get Double the Difference back after the first year, as long asyou’ve taken 4 services at the start. How can you lose.

And the Cashback card? Well, this is a pre-paid Mastercard that you load money onto by phone or online. When you use it instore and/or online, you get up to 7% cashback off your Utility Bill. We currently use it mainly for our supermarket shopping & petrol, but have also used it for our new fridge/freezer….our utility bill was very low thatmonth! The lady that introduced me to Utility Warehouse had just bought all her Christmas presents and booked a holiday, hence her very small utility bill!

Are you concerned that you haven’t heard of TheUtility Warehouse? And why doesn’t it show up on the price comparison sites?Well, that’s because it doesn’t advertise. It uses the money that other utility companies spend on advertising, finding the cheapest providers for itscustomers, and giving rewards to customers and its distribution network, of which I’m now a part (I loved it so much I joined it! Must be good!)

The Utility Warehouse Discount Club has come top of the Which? Reports for value & customer service for Energy, Mobile phones, Home phones and broadband over the last few years. Most of us trust Which? don’t we? And with the call centre in the UK, alwayshas been, always will be, you can be assured of excellent customer service from the time you become a member. One number for all of the services you take up,one bill to keep track of, one direct debit to manage. Easy to manage as well!

So, what’s stopping you from saving? As a family, it’s even more important to keep costs down. So rather than  fixing prices now, you can ensure you save money on your household bills every month by using your Cashback card regularly, using the unique Findmethecheapest seach engine, and knowing you’re getting the cheapest utilities Guaranteed! You can even introduce your friends & family and get money off you bill – forthe lifetime they stay with Utility Warehouse! Some customers even get theircashback into their bank accounts, they’ve introduced so many people! Free bills & being paid for shopping? Sounds bizarre, but it’s true!

You may not know me personally. I’m a Mum, run my own growing business, with a passion for supporting others. What better way to support others than helping you save money every month?

The website is in the process of being updated, so it’s not always easy to find all the ways to save money via the club at the moment. So, drop me an email, or give me a call, 07762000426, or contact me via twitter, & we can talk about how you can best use the Utility Warehouse Club to save your family money.

The Utility Warehouse also offers utility services to businesses. So if you have a business then you can also save moneyby joining the club! The Guarantees? Cheaper than British Gas, British Telecom, your local Electricity supplier & the UK’s cheapest MobileTariffs. They will always be within the top 6 cheapest energy suppliers over
the year, so you don’t have to check for yourself. The Club does it for you.

Is there anything stopping you from saving? Let me know & I’ll try and help you find a solution to saving on your household bills.And if you’d like to find out how you can helpothers save money & make yourself some money, get in touch. It’s a fab thing to do for your friends, family and neighbours isn’t it?

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This is a sponsored post

It’s time for our family to thinkabout savings. I really believe that money issues should be faced. They rarely sort themselves out, go away or become irrelevant. I like to tackle them full on and control them before they ambush me.

I got to thinking the other day about the future and what I, as a  full time mum, will do when my children are both in school. In an ideal world I would  love to be able to take and collect them and continue to do some freelance writing and blogging and bits and bobs to make ends meet.  Financially in  lots of ways we have just got by over recent years. We haven’t had holidays abroad, we haven’t built up savings, we haven’t been shoring up a fat pension scheme. We have been surviving and that’s been just fine for now.

 I suppose with school days looming it is one of those times you have to take a longer view. If my children want to go to university or travel the world I want to help them do that. If at 18 they want to settle and have a  family (gulp) I want to be able to help out with that too.  Money is an important part of being able to help. I want to know when we are old our mortgage will be paid off  that we will have savings put by to help the kids with their first house and first car.


                                               Attribution: pasukaru76 on Flickr;Think about savings

So I guess it’s time to think about savings, not just for the next trip to Skeggy or football boots but for the future.  For the children’s future and  our own. So I need a plan of action.

Here ‘s what I am going to do:

1)      Research savings options ..how much do I need to save monthly to create  a pension scheme and a college fund that will be adequate to help the kids?

2)      Work out  much do I need to be contributing to our family life for us to have a ‘good enough for us standard of living

3)      Then …when  I have figured out what I need  to contribute and save I can figure out what I need to earn.

4)      Then I need to find out how to earn it between 9.30 am and 2.45 pm term time.

Simple!

Well the plan is simple….




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sponsored post

Are you planning to have a baby? Taking folic acid? There’s something else I really think you need to do too… ( no not that, well yes that but…oh you know what I mean!!)

 It’s simple, but very effective. If you can,  you really could do with  saving up in advance for the time you want to have off with your baby (whether it be 6 months or 6 years.)

baby savings accounts

 Start as soon as you can…after your health it is the best investment you can make for your child. It is also a good way to learn to live on a reduced income before it becomes a necessity. Check the Internet and the high street for great saving schemes and the best interest rates you can find. Make sure you can release the money when you need to though. Ask for cash at birthdays and Christmas, as soon as you even start planning and stash it away. You will NEVER, EVER, EVER regret building up your mopney in a  savings account

 Squirreling away just a few pound a week can amount to a really handy store. Even putting away your change at the end of the day can really add up. Our penny jar bought us in £90 when we were just desperate for a nappy and baby food shop and it lasted us ages when we really needed it. We were so glad we had saved that change.

 These days I  have a jar that is sealed and has to be smashed before the money can come out. In my dreams I’m saving for Lapland (shhhhh!) but actually the kitchen floor has had it so I think Santa may have to wait and I need to get myself down to B&Q with my stash and a hammer.

 Happy saving baby-making days.

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