Food is probably one of the things I find easiest to economize on, I adore cooking which sadly doesn’t mean I am any good at it, but I adore it nonetheless.  I am a huge fan of my slow cooker and find it such an ease to pop something on in the morning and then wolf it down ten hours later after smelling it all day weaving through the home.

Slow cooking allows you to use basic ingredients to create a perfectly tasty meal, try this easy recipe for starters… View Post

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My weakness and biggest extravagance in life is holidays.  I try really hard to be thrifty.  Honestly I do.  I shop in Aldi, I can’t even cope anymore with the choice at Tescos and Waitrose.  I take the car out of gear when driving down hill.  I save coupons, I buy bulk discount.

But I dream of beaches, I fantastise about laying by the pool with a best seller in hand, listening to the happy noises of my children playing in the pool.  When I close my eyes I can feel the sun kissing my face.

For all my new thrifty ways, holidays are something I just don’t seem to be able to live without.

I surf the net in the evening looking for a bargain holiday that I can book without telling the husband.  He asks what I am doing, and I cough, and say ‘working darling’ and he buries himself back in the sports section of BBC news.

I have tried alternatives.  I have tried to camp, but for me, it is simply not relaxing or meets my description of a vacation.  I have had some glorious weekends holidaying in the UK, but still, it doesn’t touch the enjoyment we share as a family when we holiday abroad.

So can I be thrifty and still journey abroad?

This is how I justify it to myself…

We always book late deals or well in advance to ensure we get the best price.

We save for our trip abroad all year round, but we have to make sure we save a certain amount first before contemplating booking a trip.

We go all inclusive and spend next to nothing when we are on holiday.

Plus – the kids love it – and I am trying to be thrifty to give them a better start, so that makes it ok…

Right?

I love Cheesecake, almost as much as it loves my hips!  Plus it is so easy to make, grab your digestives, some cream cheese, and bit of double cream and see what you can create.

Here is my attempt at an Easy No Bake Cheesecake.  I didn’t use a reciepe, I just threw in a few ingreiednts and tasted the outcome.

If the photos make you want to have a go yourself check out some of these recipes..

The Crazy Kitchen: No Bake Oreo Cheesecake

A Mummy Too: Honeycomb and white chocolate No Bake cheesecake

Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary: Easy No Bake Cheesecake

 

Easy No Bake Cheesecake

Cheesecake no bake

My quest to live a thrifty life is not always successful, as proven by my recent shopping spree on the high street.  However, we have tried to put our big expenses in order.  Heating our home and running the electricity are two areas where we are always looking for better deals, but it can be a minefield of information which can be overwhelming when you start comparing different tariffs and providers.

Hence why I was excited to hear about a new energy switching app that is reputed to make all of the above easier.  It is the brainchild of price comparison site, compare the market, aimed at helping the modern-day household reduce their energy bills.

We were sent an Ipad mini to test out the Snapt app and quickly put this clever feature to the test.

It is a simple process (even for the technically challenged like myself).

First….

Download the Snapt app from iTunes : Hardness Rating – Easy.

Find where you filed your most recent Gas and Electricity Bill : Hardness Rating – Extremely hard for me, who has a complicated filing system – I understand normal, rational people find this bit easier.

Open up the Snapt apt and using on-screen instructions take a photo of each page of your bill : Hardness Rating – Easy Peasey.

Press send and send your bill to the team at Snapt and make a cup of tea whilst they do the hard work : Hardness Rating – Childsplay

The results are typically sent within ten minutes and I nearly dropped my drink when mine arrived.  Snapt discovered it could save us as much as £460 a year of our energy bills.  Can you imagine the shopping spree I could go on with that!

Snapt emailed a concise list of local suppliers with a listing of how much we could save and details of the tariff.  It has made the daunting prospect of changing suppliers incredibly easy.  All I need to do now is confirm which supplier I want to move to and Snapt will do the hard work.

What technology can do nowadays never fails to amaze me, and inventions like Snapt only confirm that wonder in me.  It is so simple, so user-friendly that even the kids could use it.  And all it does is save you money!

If you want to know more details on how Snapt works check out this video.

Disclosure: We were sent an iPad mini to review Snapt – all opinions remain my own

ts fluffy time at mine at the moment, well fluffy with a layer of dust. I have promised my children to play more and clean less, after week one I can report back successfully. In fact I have not raised my voice in anger towards any of my three, yes three children in six days! As Molly pointed out last night; dragon mummy has gone on her holidays and fun mummy has come to stay.

However I am keeping all activites cost free!

P1050517

So when Owen deliberately ran off with horse riding Barbie on Monday causing Libby to explode into Niagara Falls style tears I managed to contain my frustration and instead we had a conversation about stealing and used Oliver Twist as a useful frame of reference. (Hidden message being – do it again and you will be sharing a bunk with the artful dodger under Mr Bumbles watch.)

On Tuesday when Libby asked to play with play doh, instead of feigning deafness I swiftly suppressed the blood curdling shriek rising in my throat and together we made all manner of models. If I am honest I am growing to love the patchwork effect on my cream carpet and it keeps the cats amused for hours licking play doh out of their claws.

BB

I’ve ignored Facebook, not had my usual Friday night at the online casino, not picked up a book. Instead we have watched Home Alone for the thirteenth thousanth time, played board game after board game and been on family strolls. Me time has gone out of the window as I focus on simply being a calm, quiet mum.

The bets are against me succeeding with this…..

When all refused to eat my beautiful home made spag bol on ‘why, mummy, wednesday’ I merely forced a grin and scooped it into the bin whilst simultaneously making a round of cheese butties and inventing a new child rearing phenomena ‘school age children-led weaning’. Book to follow shortly but should you wish to attempt before reading stock up heavily on fish fingers, co co pops, and lemonade.

Now as the week has gone on I have become more exceedingly tired, not shouting requires much more energy than a good screech, plus you use your facial muscles a lot more trying to control your voice to a cheery, irritating loving level. I am also training for a Crossfit competition and now whilst the children sleep I have to clean up the debris that three short people and one furry four legged thing leave behind. Yet with all this in mind on Thursday I still faced one of my deepest fears and allowed the children to paint. Supervised they behaved impeccably, only painting themselves and their wooden birdhouses. However Libby-Sue needed a bath and her bed was calling so I had to, I had to leave them alone.

Libby painting

All seemed fine, bb was just finishing up her milk and I was about to pop the lid on and put it back in the fridge when I heard; “mummy I’ve finished; let me show you.”

Now I was upstairs, dragon mummy would have just yelled “no you fool, stay where you are don’t bring the paint covered bird house up to me”. But no, I don’t shout, instead I ‘called out’. “Honey please don’t….”

Too late

“What mummy I can’t hear you”

Oh the irony, followed by trip, crash, bang,

And then tiny thuds as a freshly painted wooden birdhouse tiptoed down my stairs leaving a rainbow behind.

To my credit I did not yell like a banshee, but as I surveyed my carpet I inwardly muttered every swear word I know, yes even that really naughty one, twice.

And that ladies and gentlemen is how not to shout at your kids and how to extend your vocabulary.