Thursday, 3 March 2016

World Book Day - my cheap and easy costume idea

Today is World Book Day and my son's school, like many others across the UK, have asked the children to go to school dressed as a character from a book.

I personally wanted my son to go dressed as a character from a book he was familiar with and that was appropriate for his age. He's five.

He actually came up with the idea that he wanted to go as a skeleton and Funnybones is a popular book in our house so it was the perfect solution.

So... In a dark, dark house. On a dark, dark Thursday... we reused his skeleton costume from Halloween and made a mask from white card and that was that! Job's a good'un!

Cheap as chips and he was more than happy with the results!

February was a wash out for this blog as everyone in the family took it in turns to have colds and bugs, but hopefully now I can get back on track! 

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Friday, 29 January 2016

Ninjago Sensei Wu's Dragon Only £17.50 at Sainsburys, Leigh - and other offers

For any Ninjago fans (or mums of Ninjago fans!), Lego set 70734, Sensei Wu's Dragon has been reduced at Sainsburys, Leigh, even further from the reasonable price of £23.32 to now just £17.50. They only had a couple left and I don't think they'll be around for long! 

My son's been desperate for this set for a while and I nearly bought it for him at Christmas before deciding it may be a little too complex and delicate for him to play with (he's only 5). But at this price it's hard to resist! 

Other items reduced to clear included Lego Star Wars buildable Obi-Wan Kenobi (75109) now reduced to £10.

Lego Juniors Beach Trip (10677) reduced from £10 to £5.

Duplo My First Bus reduced to £6.50 from £12.99.

And also some Hero Mashers on offer.

(Please note these were spotted in Sainsburys, Leigh today and may not be available at other stores.)

Please leave a comment if you've seen the same offer or better at other stores. 

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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Walking Journal, 28th January 2016 - Parr Fold Park, Walkden

This morning was a beautiful sunny Winter's morning in Greater Manchester and I made the most of it by taking a walk in the park.

I managed a good 30 minutes of really fast paced walking and, boy, could I feel it towards the end! Really reminded me of how unfit I am compared to life pre-pregnancy!

There were some signs that Spring is on it's way with some eager flower shoots appearing through the grass. Think they're daffodils but I'm not good with plants!

Hopefully this will mean lots more walks in the sunshine to come! 

Today's walk was a little impromptu but I have to admit, I really enjoyed it. The combination of mild winter sunshine after weeks of grey gloom and the buzz I felt after getting my sweat on (!) made me feel really good afterwards. And even inspired me to make a healthy homemade dinner for all the family...bonus!

It was a nice gentle start and I hope to be doing a lot more very soon!

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3 for 2 on Toys at Boots, Includes Lego, Barbie, Playmobil etc.

This afternoon I called into the Trafford Centre, Manchester for a quick browse. Didn't see much in the sales as they are now starting to finish but one offer that did catch my eye was in Boots. 3 for 2 on toys.

Boots prices can be more expensive than other shops but don't forget if you have an Advantage Card you can collect a good rate of points that can be redeemed against future purchases. And...if you have a Boots Advantage Card and a smartphone, download their app from the app store and get even more offers and coupons!

For example I used one today which was '£5 off your next shop over £20'. So an even better buy when combined with the 3 for 2! The vouchers on the app can only be used in store and not online. But the 3 for 2 offer on toys is also online. 

If you are a Parenting Club member you also get extra points if you are buying baby toys. Think they also were doing a promotion for Parenting Club members, 10 points per pound on luxury beauty products too if you're interested. Not sure when available until or if only in store, I just thought I was worth a mention. 

For anyone who doesn't often shop at Boots, some of the larger stores stock brands like Lego, Playmobil, My Little Pony, Barbie as well as baby and toddler brands such as Vtech and Fisher Price. There's not a lot of choice but could be worth a look.

For example their small range of Lego Star Wars. 

I love my Advantage Card and often save my points up to use on the 3 for 2 gifts and toys at Christmas time.

Another card scheme which I'm starting to like more and more is the 'My John Lewis' card. Which sends you vouchers for a free hot drink and cake. Just lovely on a busy shopping day!

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Getting Back in Shape on a Budget

Before I became pregnant with my second child I did lots of exercise. I went to the gym regularly where as well as using the gym equipment, I would also take part in various fitness classes and go swimming. As my pregnancy progressed I went to the gym less and less and by the time I was 6 months pregnant I decided it was a complete waste of money!

I no longer felt motivated to go and I knew once baby was born I would probably have even less motivation for a while as well as no time whatsoever! I subsequently cancelled my membership.

It was a hard decision as I really enjoyed going but there would be no point paying all that money every month for a walk on the treadmill, a couple of swims and the odd Zumba class. I would love to have been more motivated to keep up the gym-ing once baby was here, but I knew realistically it wasn't going to happen.

The only opportunity I would have to go would be late in the evening and very early in the morning at the weekend. Neither of which I really fancied doing! My husband doesn't get home from work until 7pm and I don't have anyone who could regularly look after my baby daughter during the day. I wish I could be motivated enough to go at 9pm at night or 6am in the morning but I'm just not that person! I envy those who do put in the extra effort. 

Not being able to justify paying a monthly fee for a gym I would hardly attend doesn't mean I've given up on getting back into shape, but what I need is a low cost, baby friendly option! So walking (quickly!) for now at least is my plan of action. With baby in the pram as well as my trusty Fitbit for company! And I'm not just talking about walking round the shops, I'm talking about proper walking in the great outdoors! 

I'm going to try (with the very best of intentions!) to keep a little journal here on the blog so I can hopefully motivate myself even more! I'll use the tag 'walking journal' for anyone who wants to read these posts. 
And...rather reluctantly...but for that added extra kick up the backside...I'm going to keep a note of my weight and hopefully weight loss in the posts. goes...current weight 11st 3lbs! (I'm 5ft 6ins.) The heaviest I've been in my life (apart from when preggo!).

I would so love to get back to the 9st I was pre-pregnancy but we'll see what happens... I'm now 34 and losing weight seems to get harder as I get older.

I'm writing this for my benefit as much as anyone else's, but if you do have any suggestions for free or cheap exercises do leave me a comment, contact me on social media or email me.
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Lego Reduced incl. Ninjago and Star Wars - Sainsburys, Bolton

Sainsburys still have lego reduced to clear. On a quick visit to Sainsburys in Bolton just before lunchtime, these were the ones that caught my eye.

Star Wars Microfighters Homing Spider Droid (75077) now £4.05 reduced from £8.99. Better than half price! 

Ninjago Cole's Blaster Bike (70733) now £12 instead of £18.

Ninjago Lava Falls (70753) now £5.27 instead of £7.99. 

Star Wars buildable Obi-Wan Kenobi (75109) figure for £13.19. Although I have seen him reduced in other shops recently. 

And one for younger Lego builders, this Lego Juniors Pirate Treasure Hunt (10679) now £6.59 reduced from £9.99.

As well as Lego, they also had other Star Wars items reduced to clear like this Force Awakens plush. Now half price at £7.50. I'm not familiar with these and haven't checked if they're cheaper elsewhere. 

All of these would make great gifts if you've got any children's birthday parties coming up. 

(Please note these were spotted in Sainsburys, Bolton today and may not be available at other stores.)

Please leave a comment if you've seen these offers in a store near you.

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Why I Started This Blog...

When I first started this blog in early January I didn't really expect to get many readers, if any! But a few weeks on and I've been pleasantly surprised by how many views my little blog has received. So if you are reading this...thank you...very big, thank you!

I wanted to write a post about why I was motivated to start this blog as I realised that when I first started I went straight in to posting about offers and nothing about why.

If you've read the about me page you'll already know I'm a married mum of two children, aged 5 and 6 months and I live in Greater Manchester, England. Oh...and I quite like shopping!

I like it so much that our tiny little house is starting to get very, very full! So I thought by starting a blog I could write about what great offers I come across instead of buying them...all!

Yes...ok...I might have a slight shopping problem...! But I'm working on it!

I can't avoid shopping completely so writing this blog is my attempt to curb my spending. It might seem counter intuitive but it's helping so far as it's making me more mindful about what I buy. If I can write about it without buying it I have time to go home and decide if I really want it. And if I decide I don't need that particular purchase in my life then I have a lovely reminder that I found it somewhere much cheaper than it should have been! And if it helps someone else out along the way, then even better!

Which leads me to another reason as to why I also started this blog. Because I wanted to tell someone...anyone!..about the offers I came across. As it's always nice to save some money especially if it's on things you were going to buy anyway.

My husband is sick of hearing me talk about what I offers I spotted on my latest trip to the shops! As are my close friends most of who don't yet have children, therefore couldn't care less about a half price box of Lego!

I can't tell my five year old son because a lot of what I buy is for him! And it's stashed in various nooks and crannies in our tiny little house waiting patiently for birthdays or Christmas' when they can once again see the light of day!

My mum, who would have been the person I would have called from the shop as soon as the offer was spotted, passed away nearly ten years ago. And although she probably wouldn't have been interested in what I was going on about she would have happily indulged me and listened to me go on and on about it! Gotta love mums!

I have to admit my mother-in-law is really lovely and we have a good gossip about what things we've seen on offer this week! But I don't want to bore her!

I also don't know the mums I encounter at the school gates well enough to talk about all the bargain spotting I've been doing! I don't want them to think I'm a cheapskate...or a compulsive shopper!

So instead of just talking to myself...which has recently become more and more frequent! I thought I'd write about it (whilst my baby girl naps), get it off my chest and give my inner voice some peace and quiet!

...And hopefully stop my house from collapsing under the weight of toys as well as giving the bank balance a chance to recover! Here's hoping!

Although bargains will probably be the focus (hence the blog title and me being an avid shopper n' all) I do hope to write about other things too!

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Monday, 25 January 2016

A Couple of Great Barbie Offers, Tesco, Walkden.

As well as the bargain basement board games mentioned in the previous post there were also a couple of reduced to clear Barbie toys on offer in Tesco, Walkden today. Although stock was quite low.

Firstly this Barbie Rock N Royals Courtney doll for £7. 

And also this Barbie Chelsea and Friends clubhouse for £8. Originally £25 and the cheapest I could find elsewhere was BargainMax for £17.99.

(Please note these were spotted in Tesco, Walkden today and may not be available at other stores.)

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Bargain Board Games (from £1.50) - Tesco, Walkden

After a quiet week last week, this one was a much better start for bargain hunting. It often seems to be that when you searching for offers that are relevant to you they're few and far between, but other times when you just pop to the shop for some milk you see lots of interesting things reduced!

I called in to Tesco, Walkden, this morning and on their clearance aisle next to the toys they had some young children's board games reduced to clear. When I looked online they all seemed to have decent reviews.

Thinking ahead to half term in February, these cheapies could be a great way to pass a rainy afternoon! 

They had various Spears Games reduced to clear like this Wobbly Chef for just £1.50.

They also had Don't Drop The Acorns for £1.75. (This one was listed on Tesco Direct for £4.50 reduced from £7.)

Also for £1.75 this Pop 'n' Drop Penguins. Which I put in my basket and look forward to trying soon!

Silly Seal for £2.13.

A little dearer but still cheap enough was this Elefun & Friends Elefun with glow in the dark fireflies. £4.50 reduced from £18.

Finally for older children and adults they had Shout reduced to £7.50 from £30.

(Please note these were spotted in Tesco,   Walkden, today and may not be available at other stores.)

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Friday, 15 January 2016

£1 Annuals incl. Star Wars, Minecraft & My Little Pony at Asda, Leigh

My final stop today was at Asda in Leigh. I think I may have found the gift I was looking for with this Lego Creator Go Cart, £5.83 reduced from £9.99. Although I'm still tempted by the Scooby Doo set mentioned in the previous post!
While I was in there I noticed they still had some 2016 Annuals that they were selling off. All now just £1 and included Star Wars, Minecraft and My Little Pony. (Not pictured, they also had Turtles, Peppa Pig and I think a football one.)
A couple of other toys worth a mention was this little Lego City set 60126 for £3.23. Great for a pocket money toy.
And this Barbie Style doll, half price at £9.49.
(Please note these were spotted in Asda, Leigh and may not be available at other stores.)

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