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We are family of six with a huge mortgage, one income, and a tiny budget – here are some of the ways we save & make money so we can save for the future and spend more time doing the things we love

Wow, can’t believe that the academic year has come to an end and that my four children haven’t been at school since March due to Covid19. In September they will return to school in a new school year. My eldest son will start his last year in primary school, whilst the girls move up to Y5, Y3 and Y1. We moved house last November, then swapped schools in January, their uniform has only had 10 weeks of wear – but probably won’t fit come September!

By this point in the year, I usually have all the new uniform bought and ready for the start of the next term, but everything is so out of sync at the moment it’s only just crossed my mind. We are going to celebrate the last day of homeschool today, by having a huge homemade pizza, followed by a mini afternoon tea! I should probably buy myself a ‘thank you teacher’ gift.

5 thriftyish things

A lovely birthday

This week I celebrated a quiet birthday at home with my family. Mr T baked me a cake, and it both looked amazing and tasted delicious. It was his first-ever cake. He gets about as nervous baking, as I would detonating a bomb. It was amazing, it was definitely made with love. My other favourite thing about the day was the messages from the children written inside my birthday card; I am the best mum, a superhero, a shining light & my smallest ‘lufs’ me lots. I also received a beautiful new personalised cup, some earrings and a new (to me) bike for £35. I was the only member of the family without a bike, and has our five-year-old has just learnt to ride without stabilizers, it seemed like a good idea to test the strength of my heart by taking all four children out on their bikes, with myself and Mr T on our bikes too. Thankfully we all lived to tell the tale.

A thriftyish day trip

Last weekend we decided to take a trip to the beach for the first time this year. My 5-year-old hasn’t been to the beach since she was three, and with some awesome social distancing (from us, at points it felt like we were in the minority) she had an absolute whale of a time in the water. She may, in fact, be half mermaid.

Day trips can be expensive, especially for a family of six, so we took some buttered breadcakes & snacks, and planned to buy fish and chips and make chip butties with our breadcakes. We bought doughnuts and rock for the children but managed to avoid the arcades and rides (more to do with social distancing than it was about saving money) We spent £22 plus fuel, and lots of memories were made, not bad for a day out!

Survey earnings

Another thing I have been doing this week is to sign up to survey sites to see if I could earn any extra-money while at home. I am planning on writing a round-up with my findings, but so far prolific academic and valued opinions are my absolute favourites and I have earnt £7 & £8.25 respectively. Another £15.25 to throw at the credit card!

Too good to go

Too good to go is an app that lets you purchase food from restaurants, cafes and shops that otherwise would end up in the dustbin. There is only one supermarket near me that is part of the scheme and that’s Morrisons. You purchase a ‘Magic bag’ from the app and then collect during the allocated collecting times. The bags sell out in seconds, so you have to be looking at the right time. The BEST time to look is usually 15 minutes after the collection window has closed for that day. We managed to buy our first bag for £3.09 and this is what we received;

Too good to go box contents

Our Morrisons Magic Bag contents;

New potatoes
2 x loaves of bread
3 x packs of 4 scones
2 x packs of 2 vanilla slices
6 x garlic pitta bread
4 x cheesy muffins
1 x fruit loaf
1 x croissant
1 x chocolate croissant

I am 100% behind anything that reduces food waste, and with a bit of a freezer shuffle to keep it fresh, we will probably use all this up in 3-4 days.

And a haircut.

I usually play hairdresser for Mr T and the children, but during the lockdown, I have also been cutting my own hair. This sounds much simpler than it is, as I have super short hair, and have to use the hair clippers and scissors. At the very beginning of lockdown, I was overdue for a haircut and decided to try. After watching several Youtube videos I was practically an expert (not!) and decided to give it a go. I am not a huge fan of visiting the hairdressers anyway and have been known to trim my own hair when between haircuts when I found it getting messy around my ears and fringe. I know hairdressers are reopening slowly, but as someone who feels awkward visiting anyway, the new measures would make me feel extra uncomfortable – so although I am no hairstylist I might carry on snipping for a bit longer, I mean, what could possibly go wrong? Don’t answer that. At least it grows!

Goodbye Debt!

Total debt at the beginning of July 2020: £3922
Total debt now: £3574

Plans for this week

My plan for this week is to let the children relax, read lots of books and finish decorating the dining room. Its really the dining side of our kitchen, and we lining papered it about 3 weeks ago. It just needs a few coats of paint and we can put some things up on the wall to make it look a bit more homely. In our last house, we hung fruit baskets on the wall and I just can’t wait to do that again here. It makes the fruit more accessible and clears up one of the worktops so I have more space when I bake/cook. You can kind of see them at our old house, in this photo below.

I’m linking up with this CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Frugal Friday’ linky. 

Have you any thrifty plans for this week?

 

2 Comments

  1. Emma July 18, 2020 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    What a lovely week! The cake looks amazing, well done to your hubby for doing such a good job on his first try. I’m a big fan of prolific too. It’s the only one I use, because I know it’ll always do well for me. As for the haircuts, just have a good hat in the drawer as a back up. 😛 Oh and yes, you should absolutely get yourself a thank you teacher gift 😉

    • Hannah Tasker July 24, 2020 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      I think prolific is my favourite! I often keep the app open on my PC but there is a chrome extension that announces when there is a new study available, and you just refresh the page. I have found a few this way that I would have missed otherwise!

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