saving money

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Birthday parties are expensive enough, even when you're not hosting. Besides the buying the gift, you often have to dress up. Superheroes, Spies and Alice in Wonderland are just a few themes we've had this year. Some costumes can be worn again, some can be fashioned out of other costumes. In the third picture, we took Moozles' witch costume from Halloween, an old tiara, and a giant heart she coloured in, and we turned her into The Queen of Hearts.

       

My daughter is in Year One. With 30 people in her class, this equates to A WHOLE LOTTA birthday parties. We don't get an invite to every birthday party, but we get many invites. Since September, Moozles has been to 12 parties, four of which have been joint birthday parties. That's 16 gifts so far. This not include birthday gifts for the children of close friends and family. 

As a Stay-At-Home-Mum, I try to watch the pennies. I used to spend £10 per gift, but now keep that amount to £5-£8, depending on the child. But this means being organised. Once a month I go to TK Maxx and buy a few presents. TK Maxx are extremely good for jewellery-making kits, puzzles, yoyos, books and Lego. I used to buy gifts from Amazon, but I'm trying not to shop with them very often because of their non tax-paying ways. Also, Amazon aren't that cheap as you would expect for toys and crafts. Supermarkets sometimes have special offers on toys so it can be worth checking from time to time. I also stock up from department stores during the big sales in the summer and after Christmas. Things like girls' jewellery and pretty hair accessories are nice gifts as sometimes you can get bombarded with crafts and makeup (I'm not keen on the latter for my five-year old).

TK Maxx bargain!

I have re-gifted a few things as well, as Moozles got so many gifts for her last birthday that she never got around to opening everything. Also, I try to buy unisex wrapping paper, which can randomly be on special at your local supermarket. Sometimes I buy gift boxes and wrapping paper at pound shops. And I always have my daughter make the card. Not only is it cheap, but it is a fun little activity for your little one. How do you handle the costs of kids' birthday parties?

And for more Thursday thriftiness, see Cold Tea & Smelly Nappies.

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I'm back for my third instalment of Thrifty Thursday, which is hosted on Cold Tea & Smelly Nappies. This week I'm looking at small ways to cut your weekly food shopping bill. I know some people go grocery shopping at 5pm/6pm and get discounted meat and vegetables, but that does not work for me. I have two small children and they eat dinner at 5.15pm/5.30pm. 


I love LIDL. If there is one near you (I'm sure Aldi is similar), go there! I only discovered LIDL last year as and have found it great at helping me stick to my food budget. I go once a week for certain staples, which include free-range eggs, whole free-range chicken (less than a fiver!), parmesan, own-brand oatcakes, bread, fruit and vegetables. Highlights include a whole cucumber for £.49 and six large free-range eggs for £1.00.

These six items cost less than £5.00 in total!


We also get a weekly food delivery from Ocado. Husband and I love Waitrose, but I find that shopping there often leaves me with a hefty bill. There seem to be more discounts on Ocado, plus it is so convenient having heavy things like loo roll, laundry capsules and dishwasher tablets delivered straight to the house. Once you have done a few shops with Ocado, you can also check your favourite items to see whether they are on special. That way, if I know we will need coffee soon, I can keep checking whether or not they are on offer.

Hope these tips have helped. Happy Thrifty Thursday!