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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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Counting Your Pennies This Christmas

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Sponsored Posts | Posted on 08-12-2014

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Ah Christmas. Its the most wonderful time of the year. And its also one of the most expensive. The number of gifts that need buying seems to go up every year, and as parents we often get a little carried away when it comes of buying presents for our little ones. Add to that the numerous sales and special offer days that go on before Christmas where bargains are there to tempt us, and you’ve probably had your heating on more in the last couple of weeks in order to keep warm, and those piles of food, drinks and treats that you’re making sure you have in ready for the festive season. Plus all your usual household bills. It’s pretty terrifying really when you think about it. Hardly surprising therefore that around one million households don’t even OPEN their bills!

Household bills Infographic

SO how do you manage your money during December? Do you save throughout the year? Do you have a strict budget that your stick to? Or are your reliant on credit cards? Have you ever thought about changing your bank account to make more money? No really. The 1-2-3 Current Account from Santander pays an impressive 3% on all balances above £3000. And they give you cashback on your household bills. Think how that would help you save for Christmas, or for a family holiday, or even a wedding.

I’ve always considered myself pretty happy with my own bank account, but I must say I’m looking into moving it across to Santander in the New Year. It’d be fascinating to see how much cashback we could earn in time for next Christmas. There’s a really handy online calculator on the Santander website where you can get a rough idea how much you could earn based on the cost of your household bills and how much you tend to have in your bank account. In just a few clicks you can work out approximately how much you could gain in terms of cashback and interest payments. I think I’ll be transferring my earnings into a separate account so I can keep track on it – the ideal starter for my Christmas 2015 savings.

What would you spend your cashback and interest earnings on?

Money, Money, Money

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 25-09-2013

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Did you know its under 100 days to Christmas? In fact as of today its just 90 days away. Scary thought isn’t it? Just a few months to go before the big day, and before parents up and down the country reach breaking point as they try to figure out how to pay for presents and food and new clothes and everything else that comes with that most wonderful time of the year. We’re all well aware of the ideas of starting early, spreading the costs, being more organised, but to be fair I suspect most of us are just far too busy to begin thinking about Christmas before November. Every year around the start of December I start thinking “Gosh I’ll be better organised next year…” or “I’ll start buying presents / cards / wrapping paper in the January sales…” or “I’ll make an effort to discover a savings account option which will help me afford Christmas…” but I never do. Instead I will no doubt find Christmas creeping up on me at the start of December and realise I’ve achieved nothing.

Its just all so expensive isn’t it? I know, its not about the money its the family togetherness and all that good stuff, but even gathering your family around for Christmas lunch can be pricey. Turkey and all the trimmings, a few bottles of wines and perhaps something fizzy, the endless eating that goes on after the big day with nibbles and chocolates and selection boxes. And then there’s the presents. Little Man is usually a pretty cheap person to buy for because I do forward plan his gifts a little and there might be sales purchases, or competition prizes, or review items he’s used for a week or so and put down again that I’ve proceeded to hide until December. Being 3 has its advantages in that respect. But there’s still parents and grandparents and Daddy’s numerous siblings to think about. Plus if we want to visit the in laws during the festive break there’s the petrol costs of driving to and from Birmingham and things to do whilst we’re there. It all adds up.

I really think next year I’m going to be organised. No really. I’m going to get cards and gift wrap in the January sales and keep my eyes open for bargains in the sales. What I should really look into though is learning about the benefits of an ISA. Get myself a quality tax free savings account that I pop a little bit into every month and use that to pay for food and last minutes gifts next December. I also think lists will definitely be my saving grace. Lists of people to buy for, lists of things to make and bake, lists of where we are when and with who. Now I just need to find time to do it all. Wish me luck!

 

Buy MORE Clothes…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Fashion, Guest Post | Posted on 02-08-2013

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There’s nothing we like more than a good bargain. It used to be that there were only a couple of sale periods each year – straight after Christmas and in the summer. Now, sales, bargains and offers are available all year round, which means you can get more for your money without really trying.

Most of us work to some sort of clothing budget. Some budgets are more generous than others, but no matter how much you have to spend, it’s always worth trying to make the very most of it. The easiest way to do this is to look for clothing that you know works for you, but is available at a lower cost or as part of a deal. Men’s polo shirts are often used in this multibuy deal way in order to make you spend more money. The mistake that many people make is to buy anything, regardless of whether you really want it, because the price is low. In fact, with a little thought and planning, you can do much better than that.

colour choices for polo shirts on cotton traders website poppy bright blue pink cress dark purpleHow can you save money on your dresses, jeans, tops, jackets, knitwear and more? Easy. Know what clothing works for you, which brands you like, the colours that suit you and keep a constant eye out for bargains on your favourite websites such as Cotton Traders website for womens trousers. You can keep your costs down in a number of ways.

First, watch out for sales. Stores will slash up to 70% on normal prices and keeping updated with the progress of the sale, or having your eye on something from the main range and waiting for it to go into the sale is a great way to get exactly what you want for less. Second, look for offers. These are the “buy one, get one free” deals, or “three for the price of two” bargains. This gives you the opportunity to increase the amount of clothing you buy, whilst spending less. Third, use discount codes and cards if they are available. You don’t have to sign up to long-term buying; just use the discount available to get more for your money.

Retailers want you to buy their clothes and they are constantly coming up with new, innovative ways to help you make your money go further. Take advantage of this, as well as thinking creatively about the clothes you already have and searching out stores that always offer great value at low prices, and you’re well on the way to growing your wardrobe without losing too much from your wallet.

Shop At Zulily – Daily Deals For Mums, Babies, and Kids

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Launch | Posted on 09-05-2012

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Zulily launched in the UK last month after a press event in Central London. Zulily provides heavily discounted branded items – up to 90% off retail prices – for short periods of time. Each sale event lasts 72 hours and then they are gone, making way for a new brand and new deals. A group of bloggers and national press were invited to morning tea and to preview some of the clothes, shoes, books and accessories which would be on sale via Zulily in the coming weeks and months.

 

Every day at 6am a new selection of goods are added, and over the past week there has been clothing, changing bags, maternity bras, books and furniture on offer at great prices.

We bought this last week for Little Man to give him somewhere to sit whilst colouring or playing with his Lego or puzzles:
This desk for Pkolino currently retails for £79.99 from Amazon. I got it through Zulily for just £45, and it was delivered this morning 10 days after ordering. A sturdy flat packed desk which is suitable from age 2 up to around 6 – so a great investment too.

Ordering from Zulily is simple and you pay just one postage charge per day, so if you order something in the morning then have another browse later on you will get free delivery on anything else ordered before midnight.

Joining Zulily is free, so why not head over there now and take a look at what’s on offer today by clicking here.