Coupons for Food Shopping

As much as we’d all love for the price of food shopping to come down, the truth is actually much different.  When I shop for Darcy and I, I try to have a good selection of fresh food – after all I want Darcy to have a mixed, healthy diet. This is working well because she isn’t a fussy eater – but it can be expensive!

I have always loved a bargain, so a few months ago I thought I would have a look at ways I can save on our weekly household shop, and it’s working.

One of the most effective ways to save money is by redeeming coupons on your routine shopping trips to the market. There are a lot of misunderstanding about coupons that how using them is only a waste of time or how there are no coupons that work for the brands that families usually use. I believe that every person should use coupons and that is why I am going to bust some common myths and misconceptions about using coupons.

  • You can never find a coupon for the items you are interested in; it is what a lot of people say about coupons. What I have to say is that you can even find coupons for toothpaste and shower gels not to include other basic needs. I am a frequent coupon user and I believe if you do it right, you can literally walk out of a grocery store with a couple of items for free. I just managed to get some free ASDA coupons, and managed to cut down my shopping bill by £30.

  • People also claim that there are no coupons available for non-processed foods, what they don’t know is that you can buy a jar Uncle Ben's for £1, which is originally £2.99. It is only one example. If you are a healthy living enthusiast then you would want to switch from junk and processed foods to the healthier options. There are a lot of stores like Tesco's, Sainsbury's and Morrison's that accept all kinds of coupons for their all-natural, organic food options. You can use a manufacturer’s coupon with the ones that the Whole Foods offer to save a lot of money on non-processed foods.

Another thing that a lot of people relate to using coupons is that they think it is a lot of time-consuming thing to do. It might be true to some extent. But I think the only activity that takes time is arranging your coupons and clipping them together for the next time you go shopping is worth the money it saves. I prefer doing this task of clipping while I am watching TV or listening to music. 

There are a couple of websites on the internet that can help you save a lot of time because all of their coupons are already put together.

Using coupons is a good habit for saving money and living a more frugal lifestyle.

Do you use coupons? Have any other tips to save money? Let me know! 

*Sponsored post

Is Your Home Ready for a New Arrival?

Spring is officially sprung. And, as this is the season that’s traditionally thought of as the time the stork visits to deliver new arrivals, this post takes in some of the essential prep and planning you may need to do in your home if you’re currently expecting. Pregnancy can bring all kinds of feelings – nervousness, tiredness and a touch of terror, not to mention the sickness, but it’s likely to be a busy time of excitement for you and your partner.
You may just be settling into the groove of pregnancy and not quite ready to announce that you’re expecting or perhaps after a scan or two you’re desperate to start organising and making changes ready for the new arrival. Wherever you are right now, it’s often wise to start planning ahead as soon as you feel able to.

No matter how far off your delivery date seems right now time can really creep up on you, which is why so many new parents find themselves finishing off those odd jobs around the house or decorating once the baby has arrived! These are tasks that are made a lot more complicated to carry out when you’re working with a sleep deficit and have the constant company of a cute, vulnerable and often demanding new born. There are lots of posts out there already that give some great nursery decorating tips, so this one deals with some of the primary practicalities like deciding which room will be the nursery and making space for all the new essentials like linen, clothes, toys and furniture.

Bringing in boundaries

It’s recommended that your baby sleeps in your room with you for the first six months of their lives so that you can keep an eye on them and be prepared for the frequent feeds. This means that any furniture purchases you make will need to consider that the items won’t be taking up residence in the nursery immediately. Some people choose to purchase a beside the bed cot that acts as a safer extension of your own bed or you could opt for a freestanding cot or cotbed.
Whatever you choose, pay particular attention to sizes if you’re planning to move items between rooms. If you’re in the lucky position of having more than one spare room and you’re wondering which to turn into the nursery, you may want to take into consideration not only the shape and the size of the rooms but whether the route to them is all on one level and how easy it is to moderate the temperature within the rooms.
While it might be a little while until your baby is able to crawl, it’s worth thinking where they might start to wonder to straight away. Baby gates are a popular way of restricting movement between rooms and stairs but you may also want to think about whether you need to create any baby-free zones. If you work from home or like to have a clear spot for crafting or cooking, you might want to think about separating some space off just for you. You could keep a room free for that purpose or section off part of an existing room, using curtains or internal bi-fold doors. The latter can be a good option when you’d like a little more noise protection and can help partition larger and smaller spaces. Vufold offers options ranging from one to four doors in length.

Making space

If you’re already looking around you and wondering where you’ll store the baby’s things, now is the time for a clear out! If you’re short on storage space, invest some time in sorting through things to see what you no longer need. Along with gaining some valuable space you might come across items you can sell at a car boot sale and raise some extra cash towards any baby related purchases you need to make.
According to research carried out by the Money Advice Service, your first year as a parent can cost between £1,600 and £7,200 not including childcare. That covers things like clothing, furniture and other baby essentials. So be mindful there are some great savings to be made by buying certain things second hand or being gifted by friends and family. If you are also expecting to have a reduced income throughout your maternity period, every little bit will certainly help. Putting a budget in place might seem extreme but it should give you a good idea of where you want to splurge and where you need to save, check out Money Advice Service’s handy baby calculator to give you a headstart.

Are you making changes ready for a new arrival? Which aspects have you most enjoyed and what has you in a tizzle?

*Sponsored post

Quorn Speedy Creamy Pasta

Today I'm excited to share with you one of my favourite recipes at the moment using Quorn. 
Quorn is perfect for everyone whether you are a full time vegetarian or looking to reduce your meat intake like me. It is high protein, and low in saturated fat whilst allowing you to enjoy your favourite dishes without feeling guilty you can read more here.

This creamy pasta is so super quick and easy to prepare, and tastes amazing. You'll forget it's not even meat. And it only takes 20 minutes to make, so a perfect dish for those busy nights.

  • 8oz of Tagliatelle Pasta
  • 8 rashers of Qourn Bacon - sliced
  • 4oz of Cream Cheese
  • 8oz of Frozen Peas
  • 150ml of Milk
  • 2oz of Grated Parmesan Cheese 
  • 1/2 tsp of Garlic Powder
  • Cook pasta as directed
  • In a separate pan cook bacon till crispy
  • Add all remaining ingredients and stir on a low hit for 5 minutes or until the peas are cooked
  • Add pasta to sauce and mix lightly
  • Salt and pepper to taste as needed 
To find out more about the health benefits of eating Quorn and be inspired by some more recipes click here.

Review | Little Dish Go Gos

I always try to be conscious about what I give Darcy to snack on, especially hard when Darcy is slowly starting to reel off all the things she has decided she no longer likes to eat.

Little Go Gos are delicious mini wholegrain oat biscuits. Made with chia and flax seeds and protein, they have been designed to release energy slowly. Each packet contains fibre and 3g of protein, which is important for growth and healthy muscles for little ones.

Little Go Gos are available in three flavours; Vanilla, Raspberry and Ginger. I felt that the Vanillia and Raspberry flavour weren't as flavoursome as the Ginger offering. Ginger turned out to be our favourite and it's definitely an healthier option than the Ginger Nut biscuits Darcy enjoys. 

The biscuits were not very sweet, which is definitely as a positive for me, as Darcy does like sweet items. They are rather oaty with a nice crunch, if i were to compare the texture to anything, i would say similar to an wholewheat biscuit.

What I also enjoyed about Little Go Gos was the packaging. Each packet has a sticker on the back which could be put on clothing or used to reseal the packet, which is really handy for me as i am always finding leftover food and crumbs at the bottom of my bag due to Darcy's half eaten food.

Little Go Gos are an delicious snack for both little ones and adults, we will definitely be purchasing them again. You can find Little Dish products in Asda, Sainsburys and Tesco and are suitable for 12 months upwards.

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Mumsnet Research Panel, a group of parents who have agreed to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product, or to attend an event. I have full editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

White Chocolate Easter Egg Nests

I don't know about you but Chocolate Cornflake cakes reminds me of my childhood. Milk or white chocolate everyone loves a crispy cornflake cake whatever their age. I had lots of fun in the kitchen making these with Darcy,  I'm sure you will with your little ones too.

  • 50g butter
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 100g cornflakes
  • 1 packet of Mini Eggs
  1. Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a pan on a low heat until melted
  2. Allow to cool
  3. Pour over the cornflakes and gently stir ingredients together
  4. Arrange 12 cupcakes cases into a cupcake tray
  5. Spoon mixture into cases
  6. Add one or two eggs in the center of each cake
  7. Put in the fridge to set
 If you don't like cornflakes you can also use Rice Krispies or Shredded Wheat

Darcy's Easter Basket 2016

Last year was the first time I put together a Easter basket for Darcy which was lots of fun. So I couldn't wait to make one this year for her especially now she is older. If you are still looking for ideas what to put in your little ones Easter basket look no further.

I know Darcy will be getting lots of chocolate treats from relatives and friends, so I wanted to try and limit the amount I put in her basket. Obviously I couldn't put together a basket without an Easter egg, I also got her some jelly beans, a bunny marshmallow lolly and a "decorate your own cookie" all form Home Bargains. Darcy is always pointing out Lindt bunnies so I got her some whilst shopping in Sainburys. They are currently 3 for 99p at the moment.

The Works is always my go to for books and art materials. Darcy is really into colouring at the moment so I got her two Activities book. I'm keeping the theme going from last years Easter basket and have got her a Easter theme book as well.

For the finishing touches I got Darcy some bunny ears and a hopping bunny from Home Bargains, a Dora The Explorer Easter theme DVD which is over a hour and a half long. This will keep her entertained whilst I'm cooking the roast and last but not least a little sheep from The Works.

Other basket ideas:
  • Puzzles
  • Easter theme clothing
  • Fruit snacks
  • Playdoh
  • Socks
  • Tumbler 

So there it is, Darcy's Easter basket 2016. Are you a fan of Easter Baskets? what do you put in yours? .....hope you all have a lovely Easter break

Review | Aura Print Business Cards*

If you're a blogger, you'll be aware the blogger's conference season is fast approaching. Every blogger needs business cards to network with ease. With the redesign of my blog, my next goal was purchase some business cards which reflected my new branding.  Luckily I was contacted by the lovely people at Aura Print to review their Luxury Colour Core Business Cards. What perfect timing!

I was really excited when they arrived and they exceeded my expectations. The quality Impakt business cards are thick. 800 gsm to be precise. You can choose from fifteen different colour cores i opted for green as it complimented the theme of my blog.

They also provide the option to design and laminate your cards. Aura Print don't only produce business cards,  they have a wide range of products that include PVC banners, printed stickers, business stationery and brochures.

Delivery was rather quick and the cards arrived well packaged in a bright pink box, the cards neatly stacked in plastic cases.

Having business cards are very important for making a lasting impression and a pretty, eye catching one is a great conversation point when exchanged. I would definitely recommend Aura Print for original, sturdy, attractive business cards.

You can find Aura on their website, Twitter and on Facebook.