Five activities that won’t break the bank 

Hey readers,

Today I want to talk about things to do when you’re skint because that’s my situation right now.  I thought this may be of use to parents who struggle to find cheap entertainment when you have lack of funds.

1. The first thing that I would suggest is the most obvious thing and that is just to take a ball, frisbee or anything that is suitable for the park It can be just the local Apr down the road  but it is still fun. Not to mention getting some fresh air and a break from the four walls of your home.

2. If you are bored, skint and at home then pick film. You can even find a ton of free films on YouTube. Such a easy activity  to kill a couple of hours especially when it is rainy or to stop the never ending.

3. If you are desperately needing to escape the Doom of mummy prison then I suggest get your wellies on and go out. Even if it is to just simply collect leaves, sticks and stones. All I can be fantastic material to paint with at home. It is free and a real winner in my home.

4. I love my library, it is such a fabulous service within the community. It is  free to loan books and children’s audio books. There is free activities such as rhythmtime and story time – in the latter they provide  free activities with all their materials such as paper and colouring in pens. It  is a great day out for everyone and you’re learning, what more could you want?!

5. A classic activity to do when you’re skint is to get the board games out or jigsaws. You will be amazed at how much it can kill an hour or two and it us great bonding time. plus, it helps teach children patience and to share!

Is there anything I have not mentioned that is a real winner in your home that doesn’t break the bank?
Hope you have found this helpful and whatever you do I hope you have lots of fun.

Cheers for reading X

Mummuddlingthrough


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Reasons to love the summer

Hey readers,

We have had a couple of days so naturally can’t help but getting excited for the arrival of summer, I am British it is a thing and the fact that it properly me majority wet. That won’t stop me from celebrating all things summer.

I believe each has its good and bad, I suppose a bit like life really – you can’t have a rainbow without the rain. Anyhow, I digress. Now I am not a massive fan of humid heat with the right temperature and wind that is one thing I do look forward to. To go out more outdoors and not spend a huge fortune on the dreaded soft play areas. Fresh air is open and free nothing beats walking on the grass with your bare feet or looking up to see what shapes you can make with the clouds. It is a change to walk more and get out in the water parks or with a Frisbee.

During the summer months it means colder food such as salad, I do love a good ice burg lettuce. Alternatively, consuming ice-cream and drinking drinks with ice cubes in.

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Summer is a time for less clothes, even though I am fat that doesn’t stop me from wearing shorts and showing my bear arms. Less need for leggings and more changes to wear dresses with the fresh breeze in the air.

As a lover of frugal I can’t not mention the fact there is little need to put the heating on and reduce your electricity bill. Likewise with the tumble dryer – instead opting for putting clothes on the line to dry all by themselves. I just love it when it is a hot day I can do two or three loads of washing and they are dry within a couple of hours, I know how exciting.

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When the kids break up for a whole six weeks even though it is a daughting prospect the idea of lazy days and less rigman with the routine is a nice break for us parents.

Typically for my family our summer holiday occurs during the big six week school holiday, this gives us time to explore and see something different. Trying new places or food is always a winner in my eyes.

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What kind of things do you enjoy about summer?

Cheers for reading X

3 Little Buttons
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Why I don’t participate in extreme couponing

Hey readers,

You properly have heard of the American show called Extreme Couponing and the craze is here in the UK. Sadly though there are less coupons available here in the UK.

I love saving money, so I researched online about what all this fuzz of extreme couponing is  about. Since 2008 couponing and finding ways to save money has been a big interest in a lot of peoples life. At the time recession hit hard and people wanted to save money as there was less disposable cash available, especially through loans etc from the bank.

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Now there are loads of different ways to save money. A common one is searching and printing coupons, from magazines such as the Tesco Magazine which comes out monthly. The other way is to  go on to the companies own website and if you sign up to a newsletter it gives you free coupons to print at home, such as Coca Cola or Covent Garden Soup.Next thing you have to do is go on mysupermarket.com which allows you to find the cheapest product at the time and in most cases you can get it for free.

An alternative way to save money is through top cash back sites and SwagBucks.

Then there is the good old yellow sticker hunting where if you go closer to the time the supermarket  closes you can be lucky to grab some fab bargains with up to 75% of the original price of the item.

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Now I do use some of these methods such as yellow stickers, SwagBucks, Receipt Hog which are fab and fairly straight forward to get. Though the only downside with these apps is they take time to build up the reward.

The thing that I can’t manage is extreme couponing, where you do the whole signing up to the company and also get a a lot of people such as  friends or relatives to sign up. Therefore instead of getting one bottle of Coca Cola you can get four.

Now I am a mum of two young children so don’t have a lot of time to faff about and get the permission of others to sign up, hunting for coupons or  money back from items etc. Most of the stuff I tend not to use so I ask myself do I really need this, nine times out of ten the answer is no. I would much prefer to spend my time doing something a bit more exciting to be honest with you. I think the key thing to be a successful extreme couponer is time to do the research of looking around for the best deal, printing out and travelling.

Now I do use coupons casually for the odd thing  here and there but I don’t buy multiple items as I do not have the space to stock pile (where you buy large amounts of the same product and store them typically in a cupboard). Fair play if you do, but if I did have the space I can’t really be bothered to have say 15 bottles of strawberry shampoo, 6 bottles of washing up liquid and so forth.

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My other problem is that the products tend to be store cupboard or junk food most of the time. You may get the odd offer for yogurt or Nakd bars but they are few and between. As someone on low income I need food to feed my family that is reasonably healthy and that I would definitely use.

I believe that nothing is free, there is a cost somewhere down he line. Yes you can get a coupon but you need paper and ink to print it. If you are skint and you can’t afford travel, I mean for me to get on the bus it would cost me £3.10 for my 5 yo, and £4.00 for me to travel anywhere.

Not to mention the fact that different offers are on at different stores, you have to travel here there and everywhere. Which I don’t mind but with two young kids, going on the bus and then shopping is a depressing state of affairs.

I also want to point out that it is better to shop less frequently then go to loads of different places as it saves you in the long run. If you don’t shop you will find a solution. Whereas if you are constantly in the supermarket the temptation is there and you just waste money just for the sake of couponing.

A lot of the time the supermarket’s own brand is just as good (if not better) then the actual branded stuff, instantly you save a small fortune just by swapping.

Therefore, extreme coponing is not suited for me. I  don’t knock people for doing it, it is there choice but for me personally I don’t have the time/money/need to warrant the item. That doesn’t mean I don’t use coupons and they can be beneficial but you have to weigh it up do I really need this and if so go forth and buy.

Cheers for reading X

Pink Pear Bear
Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs
3 Little Buttons

My top seven frugal tips 

Hey readers,

I love a good bargain and trying to save money when I can. So, I thought I would share some of the things that really help reduce the cost of my spending.

1.Plan, set a Budget for a X amount and stick to it.

2. Go to the supermarket near closing time to get reduced items.

3.You can put your recipts to a good use by download Shopprize from an app store and scan your recipts. You then can over time exchange the coins into amazon vouchers. It doesn’t take that long either. Sadly the app only works on Android at the moment.

4.Wait until after an occasion to get knocked down prices, I.e. Halloween/Christmas etc.

5.Use mysupermarket.com as it is brilliant for comparing products and finding the cheapest place to go.

6.Take advantage of the advantage card. Tesco and Boots are my favourite and they are nice little earners.


7. Save 10p every say in a jar, it soon adds up after awhile.

Thanks for reading X

Wet day outings

Hey readers,

When days are wet and you can’t bear another day trapped in the four walls while you slowly go  insane then you must check out my safe list of places to go indoors. They are child friendly, dry and more importantly cheap.

1) Go to the library, read some books, choose some books and let the kids check them out. It is all very exciting and costs nothing.

library

Via Pixabay

2) Your local garden centre is great as it has lots of random tat and they tend to have a coffee shop. Not to mention if your lucky enough fish to see and everyone is happy!

3) Got to love going to IKEA.  Child friendly, free play for 3yo, cheap food and child themed play areas. Both my boys love this place and they can run around causing them to tire them out, #winning.

4) Hit a coffee shop, my boys adore the mini cups as they feel like an adult. I also appreciate the atmosphere as it is a great chilled vibe.

5) McDonalds where you can go get a happy meal and it comes with a toy, what more could child want.  I have wrote a post here why I love this place so much!

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Via Pixabay

6) Get on a bus for a adventure. My boys love a good trip out on a bus.

7) We live near a free (whoop) green conservatory area for the public. It had plenty of green and a pond full of fish. Beautiful settings and makes a change for me and the boys.

8) Faithful museums are free and educational.

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Via Pixabay

9) If in dealt go to Pets At Home, it is basically a free zoo.

10) If you want have a sit down in a quite, dark room, go to your local Odean where every morning during holiday time and weekends term time they have tickets for children films for £2.50.

Cheers for reading X

Diary of an imperfect mum

The Gifts To Get If You’ve Got An Endless Budget

christmas, gifts, presents

https://www.pexels.com/photo/gifts-christmas-surprise-23074/

Imagine if you had an endless budget this Christmas. If either you could buy your loved ones whatever they wanted, or they could get you whatever you wanted. Wouldn’t it be a dream? It might even be the case for you, and if it is, this list should be just what you’ve got on your mind.

But, if not, it could be what you’d ask for if you have an imaginary budget to buy whatever you liked with. These are just a few ideas, but if you could get away with anything this Christmas, and get your hands on a gift of your dreams, what would it be?

A Bit Of Bling

Maybe it would be some diamond jewellery? If you’ve always been a lover of glittering gems and sparkly stones, then jewellery would be the best gift for you. Perhaps your Mum or best friend loves her bling. If you had an endless budget what would you buy for her? Take your decision and downscale it a bit, you might just find a gift to get her with the budget you’ve got.

A Whole New Bed

One of life’s biggest luxuries is the ability to go to sleep in stunning surroundings. And no, that doesn’t have to be a desert island. Sleep is something we all do, no matter the paths we’ve walked in life. So, it’s important to be well-rested as best as you can be. If you had an endless budget, who in your life would love a new bed? Or maybe it’s what you’d ask for? Why not even add a new bedding set or quilted mattress cover to the list too. They could even be the gifts you get for those that love their sleep.

A Winter Getaway

Winter sun is beautiful. When you’re fed up of the cold mornings and extended dark nights, you can take comfort in the fact that a sunny paradise is just a few hours away. If your budget has now bounds, play roulette with some of the world’s most incredible destinations and see where you end up. But, if you’re on a budget, see where it will stretch too. You might even decide to scrap the idea of gifts for each other altogether and all chip in on a family holiday in the sun instead.

Shopping Spree

What girl doesn’t love a shopping spree? Gift cards are always a good idea, no matter what anyone tells you. There was a time when it was considered thoughtless to give a gift card as a present. It was if you hadn’t tried hard enough. But now, it’s one of the best presents a girl can get. If your budget was unlimited, you might even go to town n your favourite store with the largest amount you could buy. But, if you’re budget won’t allow that, why not pick up a gift card in an amount that it can? It’ll be the best present any shopaholic could ask for!

Just because your budget isn’t endless, it doesn’t mean that you can’t pick (or ask for) some pretty amazing inexpensive gifts. Just be creative about how you choose them, and you’ll be sure to select them.

 

This post has been contributed and may contain affiliate links.

Penultimate

Hey readers,

 

My word of the week is:

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Because it is the final week till my DS1 starts school and DS2 returns to nursery. We went a bit crazy list week to cram as much activities to get in before the academic term starts.

I enjoyed successfully making bread with the eldest, I didn’t want to kill him and no one got poisoned, result!

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I finally got round to seeing Brick Wonder at my local museum. It exhibits the work of Lego and different scenes. SO clever and creative.

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We had so much fun on Monday visiting a pick your own farm where we picked strawberries, raspberries and sweetcorn. Oh my word the taste is incredible and so much better then the supermarket brought.

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Then on Wednesday we went to Sheldon Country Park for a picnic and a chance to watch the planes landing in Birmingham airport, though it was super loud so close. My boys adored it and it was surprisingly relaxing. We also went to the park close by with the scooters. Not to mention the cute little farm with animals there. Such a fab day especially when it is all free, which I am partial to a bit of frugality.

We also went on a summer scavenger hunt and surprising my eldest really enjoyed it and got right into finding the leaves of the trees.

Cheers for reading X

The Reading Residence

My Top Ten Frugal Tips

Hey readers,

I love a bargain and saving money particularly when hard times prop up. It can be hard to save but here are my tips that have helped me out in dark times.

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1. Don’t  buy books before checking out your local library.  They have a wide selection of books that you can borrow for free. If you are unlucky and cant find something that you are looking for then check out Amazon for second hand books at a cheaper price then buying them brand new.

2. If you are looking for days out but want to keep the costs low check out your local council webpage. There are frequent free family events to participate in your local area.

3. If you need a haircut but cant afford the high prices at the hairdresses then check out your local collage. Though they are trainee hairdresses the prices are lower saving you £££s.

4. Check out Ebay or your local NCT sales as you can get great bargain childrens clothes and showes.

5. check out supermarket own brand. Sometimes it’s  better then the branded stuff.

6. When going shopping use a list and stick to it.  Easy way to stay in control and look after your money.

7. Clear out all your unwanted stuff that you don’t use. Sell in on eBay or your local Facebook selling pages and you can make a few quid.

8. When going to the park instead of buying over priced ice-cream from the ice-cream van buy a packet of lollies from the supermarket.

9. Look online for the deals. Particularly Martin Lewis website is a good one. It has the latest and up to date coupons and deals locally and nationally.

10. When making meals use more veg then meat. More healthy and cheaper way to bulk up a meal.

Cheers for reading X

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