Monday 28 July 2014

Money Saving Monday #5 - My little ways to save money!

Saving money can be hard at the best of times, and with increasing costs it gets even harder. Here is a couple of tips and tricks I like to use!

Money Box
This may sound funny but all the pennies I find loose in my bags and pockets I put into a money box. Once it is full you won't believe how much is in there! Just pop that in the bank and I put it into my savings as it is money I otherwise would never knew I had so I won't miss it in my savings.

Putting Money into savings on pay day
I know this is harder for some people but as I do not own a house I have a high amount of disposable income because I have little bills, so half of my wages go into savings on payday. I know this is not possible for everyone but moving a set amount into your savings on pay day means that you won't spend it on thing you don't really need! I also put the 'left over' money if there is any into my savings the day before pay day so I doth spend that as well!

Its not a deal if you won't use it
It's great if something is of offer or reduced to clear, but if you don't use that item regularly, don't kid yourself, you won't use it, and this is just a waste.

Hunt around when shopping
You rarely need to pay full price for anything, use coupons, discount codes and shop around, if you are willing to wait you can always find a better deal.

I am a fan of high end makeup but I do use drugstore makeup and nail polishes too! These can be found in the pound shops, you guessed it for £1! In the past I have found Rimmel, OPI, China Glaze, Maybelline, Revlon plus many more! I also pick up so craft and home things in pound shops. But watch out some products are not a good deal!

Hannah x

Monday 21 July 2014

Money Saving Monday #3 - Food for Days out

Today I wanted to give my thoughts on days out and in particular eating and drinking whilst out. This weekend I went to see Wicked (Which was AMAZING) and then the others walked over the O2, which I didn't do again as I hated it the first time!

Being as thrifty as I am (or cheap as some people may think) I was shocked at paying £18.50 for 5 bottles of water and two bags of sweets! So that made me think what sort of meals and refreshments I could do on a budget but still be on the go friendly and this is what I came up with.

I know some places won't let you take in your own food but some do and this is what I would pack for James and I
  • 500ml bottles of fizz - 2 for £2 in ASDA and Waitrose but this offer circulates all supermarkets, then using 70p off on shopitize 
  • Tesco Everyday Value midget Gems - 27p (other supermarkets do similar) 
  • Popcorn is about £1 in most shops, just pick between your preference/ what's on offer. 
Total - £2.57

The average price of this in a cinema or show would be £15-£20 so that is a huge saving. And I would recommend throwing the midget gems in the popcorn bag and mix it up! YUM!

All Day Events
All day events can be tricky as you do not know what type of weather or seating there is other than the cafe, so to play it safe I always pick easy eating on the go items.
  • Seabrook Crinkle Cut Crisps (6 pack) - Free with shopitize app 
  • The same bottles of fizz as before 
  • evian 500ml water bottles x6 - £1.80 after cash back from Checkoutsmart (you can buy basics but I enjoy this brands soft taste) 
  • Bagels with Cream Cheese and Salmon x4
    • Udis gluten free bagels 50p after coupon from free from show and in store offer.
    • Cream Cheese 75p for basics
    • Basics Smoked salmon trimmings for £1.69
  • Frubes (James loves these!) 80p in ASDA after topcashback offer.
  • Fruit from my garden
Total - £ 7.24

The best thing about this is we are bound to have left overs as there is only two of us but this could feed up to four. 

Evening Snacks (quiz night Suitable)
I am part of a drama group and when we do events such as quiz nights we do have a bar but we also welcome people to bring their own if they want. This is what I would take
  • Kettle Chips 150g - £2.20 each but are 3 for 2 plus 70p off on Shopitize 
  • Blossom Hill White Zinfandel £7 but £1 off with Shopitize
  • Blossom Hill Californian Red - £5 but £1 off with shopitize 
  • Basics peanuts - 70p 
Total - £14.40 

This is to cater for 6 people so that is only £2.40 per person! 

As you all know I really enjoy my coffees so this allows room in my budget to visit a Starbucks or a costa whilst out!

Hannah x

Monday 14 July 2014

Money Saving Monday #2 - Products with many uses!

Enjoy getting the most out of a product? Me too! As I have been more and more conscious on what I am spending I have found some products which can be used for other uses! Here are my top 5:

Red Lip Stick
I am a lover of a red lip and have many red lipsticks, but did you know they are also great for cleaning up silver. Just put some lipstick on a tissue and give your sliver a little scrub! And hey presto clean Jewellery!

Lip Balm
Keeping in with the lip product theme I use lip balm (preferably one in a tub) to rub on my heels and toes to stop new shoes pinching or rubbing. This is something I always have in my handbag too so quick and easy on the go!

Floristry Ribbon
OK, so this one may not be in everyone houses, I trained as a florist for a short while before realising some flowers give me headaches! However I do still enjoy making arrangements when I have the time! But Floristry ribbon is as cheap as chips, Pick up a couple of rolls and you can use it to wrap gifts, prizes for raffles and even for kids crafts. You can choose how wide you want it just by ripping down the middle and it's really strong!

Magazines/Newspapers and old maps
As a crafter once you have read your favourite mag why not put it in your craft stash, either to use as background paper, to cut out embellishments or why not just keep your surfaces safe from the mess you're about to create! Maps also look great as wrapping paper, as does some left over wallpapers, then stick some of that floristry ribbon on top!

Once you have finished with that little piece of lemon in your drink why not blitz it up with some water (or white vinegar if something is really dirty!). Lemon juice is great as a cleaner, and this does not waste the rind either! You can even get out some of that newspaper you've saved and your glass will shine!

Hannah x 


Monday 7 July 2014

Money Saving Monday #1 - Samples and Coupons

It is fair to say that I love a bargain, freebie, sample, coupon, loyalty card or anything were I can get something for less, try before I buy or getting the most out of my money. As we all try to save money here and there I thought I would start a series of small money saving tips and deals I have found! Hence Money Saving Monday! This week I will start with my views and tips on samples and coupons.

Many manufactures give out samples on their websites or on Facebook or through other companies. My biggest tip is don't become a sample hoarder. If you have never had a dishwasher why apply for dishwasher tablet samples? If it is not something you will use or something someone you know will appreciate don't apply for one, otherwise people who do what to try these products will not be able to get their hands on them!

I find most of my samples through Facebook, from online shopping/Tesco groceries online or googling for a product I am interested in to see if they are freely giving away samples. I know many people contact companies for samples but I do not tend to do this. I also would recommend supersavvyme, they give away many samples and useful ones at that!

Here is a quick look at the samples I have received recently, as you see they are all on the same vain as these are products I am interested and potentially would buy!

Coupons are great! Yes my family think it's funny but I don't mind, I enjoy using coupons. My first bit of advice is don't watch Extreme couponing and think 'yeah! Everything is gonna be free' This just does not work in the UK and those who do manage this are more than likely buying things they really don't want/need which is again a waste!

Watch out though, sometimes the non brand item still may be cheaper even with a coupon, just look when you think you are savvy shopping! I tend to use coupons combined with a deal or to get speciality items also to try branded products. Or if the coupon makes the price comparable to the own brand equivalent I'll give the product a go.

For example this week I brought 2 John West Infusions pots in Sainsbury's they were on offer from £1.50 down to £1 and I had two 50p off coupons. This meant I got flavoured Tuna for 50p a pot, a really good deal! (These were done on two separate days, if there is a product and I got my boyfriend to print the second coupon!).

As I am gluten free I do not take advantage of as many coupons as others could. However I do get some great deals.

Where I find coupons: 99% of my coupons are found online either through google, emails or Facebook, I have also received some in the past from companies when I have been dissatisfied by a product, but only contact companies if you have a real complaint or issue. I also received some in the post and recently from going to to a free from show!

I would also recommend cash back websites and apps! But I will talk about these more later. 

How do you save money?

Hananh x

Sunday 6 July 2014

Shop My Stash Sunday #4 - Stripes!

Seeing as I had mastered Men's cards last week I thought I'd give myself a break and do some more feminine ones, however I think a couple could be given to men at a push...

I am still using the Docrafts Dots and Stripes collections as clearly these really appeal to me,  I have tons from the collections! 

I found some of the shaped postcard style papers, the sort that have scalloped and curved edges. (Sorry I cannot remember what these are really called and the label has gone walking!) So I got these out as well as the other papers from this collection . 

I also hunted through my embellishment box and found some card toppers so I thought I would try those as well as a Cardmaking and Papercraft Embossing folder (goodness knows how that ended up in the wrong box!)

Add some buttons and Card Candi and your all set!

This is what I came up with!

Hannah x