Tightwad Christmas: How To Save Money On Toys

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As we’re on the countdown to Christmas, I’m sharing my tips on how to get organised, save money and have a stress-free Christmas. This week is all about how to save money on toys.

Play is such an important part of childhood and toys are a wonderful thing to have. But we all know they can be expensive, especially if your little one is into the latest craze. There are plenty of ways to find bargains and save money on toys. From buying second hand to finding the best discounts, here are my top ways to save money on toys. read more

Tightwad Christmas: How To Have A Stress-free Christmas

Now it’s officially autumn I feel like it’s time to start talking about Christmas! I know a lot of people find Christmas stressful but I honestly never feel like that. I always get organised in autumn, set my budget, start buying gifts and plan my festive calendar. It really helps me save money and have a stress-free Christmas. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing my top Tightwad Tips on how to save money on everything festive – from kids toys to toiletries and even family days out. read more

Easy Home-made Play Resources You Can Use Over And Over

Being a stay at home mum means I spend a lot of my day trying to keep my son entertained. Any parent of babies or toddlers will know how exhausting this can be. Ollie has plenty of toys, but like all kids he gets bored of playing with the same things all the time. So I created a set of home-made play resources we can use in different ways to keep them interesting.

Why I Make My Own Play Resources:
  • It saves me money as they’re cheap to make and replace.
  • I can make and adapt activities for Ollie’s interests and stage of development.
  • I now have a cupboard full of resources that can be used to set up new, fun activities.

Sometimes I’ll spend a while coming up with a new game or activity, but mostly I do things that are quick and easy to set up. Because any parent knows sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. When Ollie says he’s bored or I want a few minutes to enjoy a hot drink, we’ll go to the cupboard and pull one of these resources out. I love the fact that they’re versatile and can be used to create completely different activities each time.  read more

How To Have A Fab Frugal Family Holiday At Haven

If you want a family holiday this year without spending a fortune, I can fully recommend a trip to Haven. There is so much for all the family to do, and you can spend as much or as little money as you want when you get there. I’ve been going on Haven holidays since I was a kid, and now we have at least one family holiday at Haven each year. And no this isn’t an ad, I just genuinely love the place!

Earlier this year, Ollie and I went on a last minute trip to Haven with my sister and my nephew. We were both on a tight budget, so we decided to see how little we could spend in a week while still having fun! We visited Haven Reighton Sands in Filey – North Yorkshire, but there are Haven sites all over the country. read more

The Ultimate Guide To Disney World With Toddlers

Earlier this year we had the holiday of a lifetime in America. We spent 10 days in Florida and visited Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. This was my first trip to Disney World and as much as I was looking forward to it (since I was about 5), I wasn’t sure how it would be with a toddler in tow. He loves Disney films, but I was worried the heat, the crowds and the sensory overload might be a bit too much for him. We did a lot of research before we went and learned a few things along the way. read more

Fun Ways To Keep Kids Cool In The Summer

The great British summer is finally here and it looks like it’s sticking around for a while (for a change). As much as I’m loving the sun, it makes parenting a toddler a bit more challenging. Not only is Ollie waking up a lot earlier than normal – 4.30am yesterday argh! – but he’s also a bit more grumpy and has a lot less energy than normal. It doesn’t help that the sun shines directly into our living room in the afternoon and it basically becomes a sauna. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking of ways we can cool down and have fun without spending any money. read more

Geronimo Festival At Knebworth House – An Honest Review

This weekend we ticked another thing off our Summer Family Bucket List – go to a family festival together. We visited Geronimo Festival at Knebworth House and had an amazing time. We were lucky enough to have been gifted tickets in return for an honest review, so all opinions are definitely our own.

This is the first year Geronimo Festival has been held at Knebworth House, so they now do one in the North at Arley House and one in the South. I’d heard really good things and seen loads of photos on Instagram from Arley so I couldn’t wait to give this one a go. read more

What’s On Our Summer Family Bucket List

I’m loving this heatwave and it feels like summer is offfically here now! This year seems to have flown by already and I can’t believe we’re nearly at the end of June already. Given that we live in England, we’re never sure how long summer is actually going to last so we’ve decided to try and make the most of it this year.

Most of the time we’re so busy with work, sorting our finances, keeping the kids alive etc that the weeks just pass us by without us really noticing.

So this year we’ve decided to be a bit more proactive and write a Summer Family Bucket List. This is basically a list of all the things we want to do together as a family this summer. I loved writing it because we all sat down together and got input and ideas from everyone. I loved hearing what the kids really wanted to do – although as Ollie is only 2 1/2 he didn’t fully get the concept and suggested things that weren’t really in season like ‘Go on the Father Christmas train again’ and ‘splash in puddles’. To be fair, with an English summer, the second one is probably pretty doable so we added it to the list! read more

How To Make The Most Of Customer Loyalty Schemes

I am a massive fan of customer loyalty schemes, and they are EVERYWHERE these days. If a shop offers me a loyalty card, I take it. I know you might only get a couple of points at a time, but if you’re shopping there anyway, why not earn a few points? They all add up in the end!
Supermarket schemes like Sainsbury’s and Tesco give the highest rewards for me, but I also have loyalty cards for beauty stores like Boots, coffee shops such as Costa and Starbucks and loads of local independent places in my area. I love that my hairdressers and favourite local restaurant both have one! read more