8 Frugal Living Tips For Mums and Dads


The difference between frugal living and being a cheapskate is something you can see when you look in the fridge.  When you look inside a cheapskate’s fridge you will find nothing but on the other hand, a frugal cook will have a lot of healthy foods stocked in the fridge. The literal meaning of frugality is to spend less money than you are earning, saving it, and utilizing it for useful purposes. I have compiled a list of frugal money saving tips to help out mums and dads on a quest for saving money.

Ceramic piggy bank

  1. Make sure you find some good coupons, as well as visiting UK free stuff sites for some fantastic frugal savings. You can save a lot of money by checking out the current offers before you start your shop. Also shop around for the best deals on household appliances, home wares and other items that can be more expensive purchases to make sure you get items that will really work for their money and should last you longer. I also suggest to read product reviews before you buy anything – you can do that on Trustorreview.
  2. Save all the change and extra coins in a piggy bank that no matter what you can’t open (without using a diamond cutter.) When the piggy bank gets full and heavy then you should open it and save the money in your bank. I deposited £128 in our bank account the last time we broke our piggy bank.This is also something I get my little boy to do to save his holiday spending money.
  3.  You should take a look at your weekly menu and cut some of the meat out, going vegetarian is not only good for your health but it also lets you save a lot of money.
  4. Make your detergents at home, it’s easy to do and there are a lot of tutorial videos on YouTube.
  5. You can visit Baby and Kids Market and eBay to sell all of your baby’s old clothes, toys and other equipment. I personally did this and made £112 which I then used to buy new clothes for Joe. This habit can not only help you save money but is also helpful for the environment as we get to recycle our old things. Most children’s clothing is not that worn – they grow so quickly after all, so good quality stuff is snapped up and you can make a decent profit.
  6. Take your kids to the nearby park or playground instead of an indoor play centre which can cost a lot of money. Joe loves the park, we just take a picnic and a football, and can have hours of fun.
  7. My visits to the supermarket are always planned. At the start of each month, make one visit to the grocery store and meat, vegetables, milk and bread in bulk – this is often a cheaper option.  Freeze the excessive stuff and use it through the month. It not only saves money on making the trips to the store but also stops you from buying clothes and other luxury items that you don’t really need on each visit.
  8. Always keep an eye on your electricity consumption. Keep the extra lights switched off and make sure that all of your appliances are running on energy-saving mode.

Is there anything you do to be more frugal? Let us know…

How to create a safety net for your family

No one wants to think about what would happen to their family if they were unable to work. But if you were to fall ill, have an accident or even pass away, your partner and children could be left with much less income than before. Even if you’re not the primary earner in your home, the loss of your earnings could have a devastating effect. It’s important to think about these things before they happen, even if it’s not very pleasant. There are lots of things you can do to prepare for a situation when you can’t bring any money in or might not be around anymore.

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Get Income Protection or Critical Illness Insurance

If you can’t work for a short time or are diagnosed with a serious illness, it helps to have a way to keep money coming in. If you suddenly can’t work, you might have only a little income or even none at all. One of the insurance types you can consider is income protection, which will pay out for a short time if you can’t work. It can cover things such as your mortgage and bills. It’s especially useful if you’re self-employed and don’t have a company sick pay scheme. Another option is critical illness insurance, which will help you if you’re diagnosed with one of several illnesses.

Take Out Life Insurance

Death is a difficult thing to think about, but it’s something we’ll all have to face some day. While we all hope that our children will be grown, and we’ll be long retired by the time it happens, you can’t predict the future. If you do die while your children are still growing up, you want to know they won’t have to worry about money when you’re gone. One of your biggest expenses now is probably your mortgage. If you read a guide to home insurance, it will recommend life cover to help pay off your mortgage after your death. As well as helping them keep their home, it could cover other costs too.

Write a Will

Another way to prepare your family for after your death is to write a will. This is important if you have assets and if you have dependents. You can have a say in what happens to your children, as well as who receives your money and personal possessions. It doesn’t take long to write one up and make sure it’s legal, but it could make a significant difference if anything happens to you. If you’re a single parent, you might find it especially important to specify who will look after your kids.

Incorporated into this is planning for your funeral. It is not something we really want to think about, but buying a funeral plan, either upfront, or using monthly installments, can be a way to relieve a financial burden on your family, and most importantly, your children. A service like Co-op Funeral Directors offer plans that run from 2 years to 25 years, and help to take not just the financial burden away, but also the uncertainty that you are doing the right thing.

Build Emergency Funds

Another way to prepare for illness or accidents that take you out of work is building an emergency fund. You may already have one to deal with repairs in your home and other emergencies. But you might think about building it up a little more, in case you need enough money to live on for a short period. Some people save between three and six months’ income, just in case.

Start preparing for these situations, and you’ll be grateful if anything ever happens. If it doesn’t, you’ll still be glad you took the right precautions.

Who is the Smartest Woman You know?

A few years ago there was a pretty fab campaign for  Clinique Smart Custom Serum.  It Starred one of my fave Beauty experts Caroline Hirons (whom I discovered on Twitter, and who is as funny as she is smart), and it  celebrated smart women and their qualities. For Caroline Hirons, the smartest woman she knows happens to be her mom, something I can totally relate to.

If you have read the Sam Haskell memoir ‘Promises I Made My Mother’ you will probably find yourself agreeing that although you meet many people in the course of your life, it is your Mother you still turn to in times of need, in times of stress, even when you are way past 40, but still need someone to put their arms around you and tell you it is going to be OK. Sam Haskell rose to the top of a very successful career at the world famous William Morris agency, and felt he did this by holding onto the values and life lessons that his mother instilled in him during childhood. These helped him to retain his pride and dignity, even when working in the often morale free world that is Hollywood.

I’m so with Sam! My mom is my heroine in so many ways. She was a teenage mom who proved to be the best mom any young girl could wish for – clever, funny and most certainly smart. She was a stay-at-home mom until I was 12, and then went back to work and rose to the top of her career path. Now she is almost 64, still working in management and is as great a grandmother to her three grandchildren as she is a mom. My son Joe just adores her.

Life lessons from my mom, I have them in abundance and they certainly still guide the way I live my life. She taught me that you can do anything if you try, that you can be opinionated, intelligent, funny and outspoken without needing to be brash, rude, egotistical or offensive. She taught me that if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing in heels (although she does wear them slightly lower these days) and that you only have one skin, so you most definitely need to look after it, she certainly never sleeps in make up.

I get my love of fashion, of animal print, of Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe, of T Rex  and The Beatles all from her. She is inspirational, and most definitely deserving of the title smart woman. My love of reading, of old movies, of animals and travel, all come from my mother, but she also taught me that manners cost nothing and that if you can’t say or do something good, then maybe you should say nothing at all.

You can have lots of friends in your life, but you only get one mom, and I totally struck lucky with mine.

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On holiday in Menorca.

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my mom and me!

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At Marco Pierre White’s in Birmingham.

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Mother’s Day with my mom and sister.