HelloFresh family box

If you are a follower of our family vlogs over on YouTube then you will know a couple of weeks ago we were sent a box from HelloFresh to review and share with you all.

We vlogged the whole week from unboxing to summarising our ‘hellofresh week’ so feel free to pop on over there to see that find it down below but I also wanted to do a blog post as I have a few pictures to show you too that miiiiight just tempt you too to purchase your first box ūüôā

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You know I am all about getting value for money and I really feel HelloFresh give us that with their weekly subscription boxes. ¬†They are the UK’s leading recipe box delivery service and source the highest quality ingredients in the exact quantities you need to try something new each week.

They offer a veggie box, classic box, and a family box with 4 meals for up to 4 people with different recipes every week.


Being a working family we tend to always have the same kinds of meals… it’s also very rare we all end up having the exact same meal so making the HelloFresh meals that week was a refreshing change!

In the sturdy insulated box we had the ingredients to make:

  • Honey & Mustard Glazed Pork with Apple Lentils
  • Italian Pork & Tomato Risotto
  • Prawn & Serrano Linguine
  • Mexican Chicken Wraps with Appley Beetroot Slaw and Potato Wedges

They were stored in 4 brown paper bags with coloured labels on them that represented the ‘meal kit’ and had in them all things you needed to make each specific recipes for that week.

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Also within the box was a couple of ice packs and a well insulated separate bag keeping everything that needed to be kept in the fridge cool and fresh. ¬†The packaging I was really impressed with: I loved the inspirational quotes on the box and it really made me feel ‘I can do this!’.

We now have¬†the ice packs in the freezer to use when we go out on a picnic in the summer and the liners that keep the food cool can also be either put on the compost heap or sent back to HelloFresh themselves –¬†they are very eco friendly!

The first recipe I chose to make that week was the one with the least ingredients… the Linguine dish.

I am not a very adventurous eater – I do love cooking but I very rarely eat new things so I didn’t want to start by going all out on the one with the most ingredients and longest method at my first attempt!

The recipe and the step by step method was very easy to follow – I had no issues with any of them to be fair. I loved that there were pictures as you went along too so you could see exactly what things should look like.

We LOVED the Linguine dish – now I will admit to not using the prawns and just putting the ham in there but Alex was very adamant that he was putting nothing near his mouth or¬†food that resembled something from I’m A Celebrity and to be honest I had to agree so the prawns were absent from the dish ūüôā

I’m sure they taste lovely though but we weren’t willing to put that to the test!

This was a fab dish to try first and we new from the first mouthful that this was going to be a good week for dinners !!

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The next evenings dish was the Honey and Mustard Glazed Pork.

We too really liked this one – the honey & mustard was a lovely taste and certainly not something I would’ve attempted to put together myself but it worked really really well! ¬†I mean I knew it would as all of HelloFresh recipes are put together by professional chefs… they’re not just slung together like we do in our house!!

The lentils though….. I think you either love them or hate them and unfortunately I hated them… I felt they were something that would fall off a tree not food to eat – maybe I’ll try them again one day because I have heard they are actually really quite good for you but I wasn’t keen at all.

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Next up was the sausage risotto – now this one was probably the hardest out of the lot of them to do. ¬†I didn’t realise how much work goes into risotto – you definitely need time on your hands to do this dish properly and its probably not something I would be able to do regularly with kids around your feet.

It did taste nice though – I love sausages they are one of my favourite meats and to try them with something other than mashed potato and bisto gravy was a lovely change.

As I mentioned this one was the one I found the most difficult so I don’t feel it looked probably as it should’ve done but I’m pretty sure the taste was there and in order.

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Lastly, was Alex’s favourite. ¬†He LOVES chicken – he would eat chicken every single meal if he could and I also love that its so versatile and you can make all sorts with it.

This was the Mexican Wraps and although he wasn’t overly keen on the beetroot coleslaw he LOVED the wraps!

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He also loved the wedges – he isn’t keen on oven chips and so either doesn’t eat them or they have to be ‘nuked’ as he calls them – these he was very impressed with and has actually had them since too! ¬†So simple to do and healthy!

I’ve absolutely loved this week in the kitchen – I loved getting my and my family out of the comfort zone of eating and making the same things week in week out, I loved trying new things (something I never thought I’d say in my life!) and I loved learning different cooking techniques. ¬†I’ve even added different things to my shopping list – things I never dreamed I would ever EVER pick up during my weekly shop.

There are only 4 meals in the box which wouldn’t allow you to skip a whole weeks shop but that weeks shop took next to nothing. I had 4 out of 7 meals sorted for that week (well kind of 5/7 because we have a ‘great night in’ takeaway once a week!) but I only had two meals to sort out that whole week so it certainly saved us dragging the kids around the shops and saved us time not having to go¬†do the ‘big shop’ that week as well – it literally got delivered to my doorstep on the Sunday (yes they do weekend deliveries too!). ¬†The delivery was timed and so I didn’t have to stay in all day waiting for it either – the courier messaged me the morning of the delivery and gave me an hour slot which was¬†great!

HelloFresh send you the exact quantities we needed to make each meal Рso there was no need to measure anything out, no need to go get a big bag of something from the shop, use the tiniest amount and not get it out again until you clear your cupboard out next new year and realise it out of date!  No wastage whatsoever!

As I’m sure you can already tell HelloFresh get a big fat thumbs up from me – it has made me WANT to try new things and it has even made me get a little more adventurous at dinnertime.

I have had many messages and comments from people saying how delicious their meals are and what a difference it is for their busy families so go check them out and see if

you agree!

As parents most of us are¬†guilty of not doing things for us anymore and ‘making do’ but although it is still us cooking these meals (HelloFresh haven’t yet introduced a way to get their chefs in the boxes too!) each meal really feels like it’s a special ‘family date night’ ¬†that has been already organised for you!

Thank for reading!

Kirsty x

 

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Manchester Airport hotel and parking: Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport

Although we don’t live MILES away from the airport we tend to travel from the most with children in tow we much prefer to not have to wake the kids up in the middle of the night to travel down the M62 prior to a 9 hour flight to Florida and tend to prebook a¬†Manchester airport hotel and parking.

2017 was the first year we have stayed anywhere but a Travelodge/Premier Inn style hotel prior to going on holiday. ¬†We were lucky enough to take up Holiday Extras¬† ‘Free if’ offer and managed to a bag one night stay at the Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport (formerly Bewleys) for FREE !!

I did do a blog post on the ‘free if’ guarantee last year but unfortunately Holiday Extras have now stopped that promotion so there is very little point in me explaining it too much to you guys right now but they do now have a ‘never beaten on price’ where if you find cheaper elsewhere within 24 hours of booking with Holiday Extras they will match the price by refunding you the difference.

We arrived at the former Bewleys Hotel Manchester Airport Terminal 1 mid afternoon. ¬†Check in is relatively early for a hotel I felt at 2pm which went smoothly. ¬†I asked if the room they had allocated us had a runway view and although the hotel is located close to the airport I don’t feel there would be very many rooms that could offer such a view.

We were on the top floor of the lower block and could see the runway flight path but that was about it.  There was a higher building that you would probably be able to see more but again i will be very surprised if in any room you can see the planes actually landing on the ground.

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We were given a family room (room 354) that had two big double beds. ¬†I mentioned in our vlogs that I wasn’t sure about the beds as they initially felt hard to sit on but they were ok and although firm they were certainly ‘sleepable!’

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The room was lovely and really spacious – excellent for a family of 4. ¬†The bathroom was an ideal size too with both a bath, shower and some complimentary hotel ‘smellies’ ūüôā

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The room also had a small but big enough wardrobe – I initially found this a little weird but the more i thought about it I thought how fantastic it was! ¬†Chances are you aren’t going to be in this hotel long enough to unpack pretty much anything but the things you do for the short time you are there will hang up nicely in their cute open plan wardrobe.

Not only did the kids love playing hide in seek in there but again when you think about it having a big bulky wardrobe in an airport hotel is just pointless and a waste – it also allowed for a floor to ceiling (ish!) mirror too which who doesn’t love in a hotel room!?

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In one of the drawers was a stash of tea and coffee plus a kettle and in another the hairdryer (and a bible!)

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I also loved that it had an ironing board and an iron!

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Because the hotel is so close to the airport there is very little (if anything!) around there as far as eateries are concerned however although we didn’t eat in either or them we noticed they had both a sit down¬†informal restaurant and a more relaxed Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport Lounge Bar.

Again, because there isn’t much around there they were busy but that is to be expected. ¬†I’m not sure on the price (other than I know kids under 12 eat free with a paying adult!) and I cannot comment on the quality of the food as we had access to a vehicle and headed over to the Trafford Centre for our dinner ūüôā but the area was clean, stylish, modern and looked nice. ¬†The people we spoke to and interacted with were also very friendly and helpful.

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They also offer room service (which again we didn’t experience) but looked reasonable for the service you were getting; a 12″ pizza was ¬£14 and it had a full range of things on that menu too from burgers to sandwiches and again pizzas.

The Clayton also had a ‘business area’ which although sounds executive it wasn’t! ¬†There was a couple of computers, a printer and a television screen with the up and coming airport departures showing which was good.

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The only negative thing I have to say about the Clayton is the lack of parking but I totally understand that the fact there isn’t much movement in the car park is probably the reason for this – cars aren’t really coming and going given that the majority parked there will be there for a while on a park and stay deal. ¬†There was a car park at¬†the back of the hotel but that meant quite a walk to the entrance to be fair which was fine but isn’t the most ideal thing with kids and cases I imagine.

It’s worth noting aswell that if you chose to book as a park and stay Manchester Airport you do actually¬†need to leave your keys with the hotel when you park too which I personally am not that overly keen on. ¬†I wouldn’t like to leave them with anyone to be fair¬†and is one of the reasons we tend to choose to park ourselves in the official Manchester Airport Parking terminal 2 multi story car park.

We did have to pay for parking too but I know that goes with any hotel I imagine these days in a busy area like this but that’s something we aren’t used to having to do (¬£12 is quite steep in my opinion!).

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The Clayton also offers complimentary transfers to the airport in their very snazzy mini buses which again is great Рthe gentleman thought we needed a lift to the airport so upon checking in his was asking us our flight details etc before I proceeded to tell him not to worry we are parking in the official multi story.  I imagine at that stage is when they will arrange the pick up time in accordance with your flight times Рvery good service in my opinion.

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Overall we loved staying at the Clayton – the room was lovely oh and smelt amazing(!) my hubby would disagree with me though but I think that’s a man/woman thing ūüôā

The location was again fantastic – it took us minutes to get to our terminal the following morning & there was no traffic to endure on the roads surrounding the airport so we didn’t have to bare than in mind either when setting the alarm the night before (not that we stuck to it in any event #excited!!!)

You know how much I love getting value for money and being able to use Holiday Extra‘s ‘free if’ guarantee allowed us to see whether or not we felt paying that little extra to normal was¬†worth it.

Using the dates we have flown out of Manchester in the past and crunching some number i have found that Holiday Extras offer:

2 weeks parking and 1 day stay hotel deal at the Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport during April comes to £140

2 weeks and 1 day stay at the Travelodge Trafford Centre and multi story parking during April comes to £145.99

What are you thinking?

Now I hate to say this as I did truly like the hotel but for us personally¬†the saving is not enough. ¬†As I’ve already mentioned, we travel 2 hours to catch a plane from Manchester and pass the Trafford Centre en route¬†– we don’t have anything like that around where we are and it’s not somewhere we visit all the time so when we are in the area we do like to pop in.

Now although we did go¬†from the Clayton Hotel to the Trafford Centre that evening it was a good 15/20¬†minutes away – the kids fell asleep in the car on the way back and typically woke up when we arrived back in the room! ¬†I couldn’t help thinking we could be less than 5 minutes away in a Travelodge and that wouldn’t have happened or it wouldn’t have been such a big issue!

For us personally it is easier to stay close to the Trafford Centre, have a variety of food, restaurants and shops on hand particularly with children in tow and also not have panic attacks whilst away thinking about who has been driving around your car and where on earth is it now because we have parked it ourselves in the multi story.

I really did like the Clayton Hotel at Manchester Airport – it was a beautiful hotel and if there was only myself and Alex then I would probably seriously consider staying here and making it a nice pre-holiday date night in the restaurant/lounge area but right now it’s not for us.

You can check out more of our reactions to the Clayton Hotel over on our YouTube channel within our travel day vlog.

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I hope this helps & thanks for reading.

Kirsty x

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Clarks girls winter boots

My little girls feet have been and still are sooo tiny for her age – she was walking around 11 months and she wasn’t even a shoe size! ¬†I had no trouble getting shoes for my eldest as he was well into shoe sizes when he was in need of his first pair but even at 2 1/2 now H is still only a 5.5 bless her!

With both children I have gone to Clarks for their first shoes and even shoes beyond their first shoes! ¬†We have an outlet about 45 minutes away from us and so I have even gotten a couple of pairs for H in the past at massively reduced prices too! Granted they’re maybe out of season ones but H or her friends are non the wiser and you know how much I like my bargains ūüėā

Because she is still so small there isn’t another high street store that I have found that do a soft thick soled comfortable boot style shoe – I didn’t want to get a cheap UGG inspired design shoe with soles as thin as paper so when I received a sales email off Clarks I decided to take a look.

A Tuesday before christmas I picked up up two new pairs of shoes for H … her first boot style shoes and oh my days they are sooooooo cute!!!!!!

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I have never actually ordered from Clarks online before but it was very straight forward no issues whatsoever and could choose anywhere BUT an outlet to collect them from.

They were in literally 4 days after I had ordered them and went to collect them immediately. The only issue I could’ve potentially come across was when I went to collect the lady asked for me for some ID – I did have it with me luckily but I had no real reason to. ¬†The email said just bring your email confirmation with no sign of having to provide any ID requirements. I mentioned it to the staff that there’s nothing in the email and I wholly accept it’s for security reasons (I wouldn’t have been happy if they gave away to someone else something that I paid for!) but I do hope they passed on my concerns to HQ; they probably have no idea what the actual email says so I felt it was worth mentioning. ¬†I would hate for someone to try and save their time by using click and collect then having to traipse all the way back home because they won’t hand over their good without ID.

They checked them before we left the store and oh my days it was love at first sight!

I got them home and H immediately wanted to try a pair on; she put on the MaxiBounce First in Natutal Suede first.

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These are sold with their patented ‘Max Spring FX’. ¬†Without reading anything that would tell what it is you can tell just by looking at the shoes and feeling them they are sooo comfortable, soft and cushioned. ¬†There’s a leaflet in the box that says the Max Spring FX shoes are specifically developed by their own experts and that underfoot gel cushions the foot and flexes with their natural movements. They are awesome and exactly what I have been looking for and needing for H.

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They maybe aren’t the most sensible in colour that a 2 year old could wear in the Winter but they are going to be perfect when it’s dry, cold and crisp I’ve no doubt about it!

They aren’t that difficult to put on either; H did need some help but I can’t be the only parent out there that hates trying the put wellies on kids…. it either kills the tips of your fingers or the kids are wriggling that much it takes an age! ¬†These are actually open on the back with the fastening on the reverse making them soooo easy to put on!

She’d been walking around the house in these for a good couple of hours with no issues whatsoever so we decided it was time to try the other ones we bought.

The other pair we got were called Juggle Zip First and I’m still not entirely sure why it has Zip in the name as they actually have no Zip on them!!? No worries though it makes no difference to us they still are sooooo darn cute!!

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The pictures on Clarks website do not do these justice.. you can’t really see them on there but when you see them in real like they have the most amazing finish – where the colour is is like a beautiful glitter/shimmer effect. Truly gorgeous!

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As I said these don’t have a Zip on them and like the other pair have a Velcro fastener (which is always a god send with small children!) but it also has a velcro but attached to the tongue of the shoe too which stops the tongue moving around when H is waking in them which I love! I have never seen anything like this before and although it’s such a small bit of detail it’s such a big deal …. I for one hate it when you walk and the tongue of the shoe starts slipping down the side; these babies are going nowhere! Excellent touch Clarks!

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They also do these in pink which I am very tempted to get now that I have seen the finish on this blue – I love that they aren’t difficult to wear/put on tall high tops and nor are they trainers but they are somewhere in between and can be worn with leggings, jeans or skirt & tights!

I love BOTH of these style shoes; although I’m not the one wearing them I can tell they are both extremely comfortable for H, they are soft, they are not cheaply made and they are worth every penny!

I also failed to add (although you should know me by now!) that both of these pairs of shoes were actually half price at just £20 and £15 respectively! (the blue ones are actually now only £10!!)

So if you are looking for some kids or even adult shoes Clarks do actually have a really awesome half price sale on right now so be sure to go check them out!

Thanks for reading

Kirsty x

 

 

 

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Stroller rental in Orlando

If you are a follower of our family vlogs on YouTube it’s extremely likely you know our holiday of choice would be a theme park holiday…. a something for everyone vacation!

Whilst preparing for our first ever trip with two small children we were constantly thinking of ways to make things easier…. having never gone with two children before we didn’t have a clue.

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My top 3 cashback money saving apps!

Yes I am one of those women who at somepoint during the week visits nearly every supermarket there is…. I tend to get my main shop from Asda; pastries, breads, desserts etc from Aldi, meat from Morrisons and then Sainsburys for whatever I forget as its my closest supermarket ūüôą

It’s only actually within the last 6 months that I actually found out about, downloaded and started using cashback apps…. before then I used to get sick of having to go to four different supermarkets in a week but now I have these I have an excuse and reason to go and stock up!



The first one I’m going to talk about is shopmium; this is the app I feel is the easiest one to use out of all I am listing today. It finds my location and lists the stores nearby that have any deals. ¬†It is really easy to read and use; you can choose your categories such as groceries and beauty aswell as narrowing down to specific supermarkets for example if you know you are going to be passing a certain one you can find it on the map and click to see all their specific offers that are available rather than having to manually filter and read into every offer on there. I like that it’s mumsy & pink too ūüė¨ !


I also love that Shopmium also allows you to scan products you come across to see if they are eligible for cashback; before I knew about shopmium I regulary came across items I have presumed are those listed on an offer only to find out that it is the wrong size or flavour… this app has a section on each off that allows you to scan the product to double check for eligibility which is great.

As with all of these apps I’m talking about today you will need to save you reciepts, photograph clearly and upload it to the app in order to get your cashback. The guidance is very simple and easy on what and how to photograph.

I have this week claimed from Shopmium on three items at Morrisons; some gluten free sausages that should’ve been I think ¬£2.50 but I got them for ¬£1.50 and two little dish pots for free ¬†(¬£2.30ea these were). I just scanned the product, took a picture of the receipt and received mortification shortly after that I should receive my cashback soon ūüĎćūüŹĽ



So how do you fancy your first freebie…. just download the free Shopmium app (make sure it’s the app it won’t work if you just do it online on a PC or the like!) search Shopmium in the App Store or via www.shopmium.com/uk/download pop in my referral code: KMFHUAFN and get yourself a free gift! If you sign up during the Christmas period and get yourself a free Lindt reindeer!! Usually it’s a¬†free bar of green and blacks chocolate ūüėć either way it’s FREE so do it now!

The second app I’m going to talk about today is¬†Checkout smart; you get with this app too just like Shopmium notifying you of new deals too which is good.. I’m sometimes to busy to click on apps to see what’s there but with me getting an email notification I am prompted to have a look if there’s something that catches my eye. Checkout Smart is a lot more like a cash back site than Shopmium I feel in that you don’t get the money back straight away – it’s banked until you reach a certain amount (as if writing this it’s ¬£20.00). You can withdraw a lower amount than ¬£20.00 however you will be charged a fee so I just leave it until I have reached that. It’s not ideal having to lay out the money to get the cashback then not actually get the cashback straight away but it’s ok I guess and the more you use the quicker you can withdraw I suppose!

Checkout smart also allows you to filter out shops and  favourite items too which I like.


My last recommendation for cashback app is one by Quidco and it’s called ClickSnap. Again like those I’ve already mentioned you can filter supermarkets but these don’t have half as many available as the previous two apps. This one neither allows you to check if the product you think they are talking about is the correct one in that they don’t have an eligibility scan available so just double check the descriptions. This app is good if you have a quidco account though as it’s all connected which is handy; if you use quidco you will probably find this one works quite well for you. ¬†If you aren’t already signed upto quidco I would probably say first off sign up to them¬†here¬†– then go download the app and sign up using your quidco account. It just saves you having two accounts and you then get the cashback in one place for both. If you also use the link I provided above you will get 50p added to your balance to start your quidco fund off ūüĎćūüŹĽūüĎćūüŹĽ



With all of these apps just make sure you read the ‘small print’ and I don’t mean that sneaky text that’s hiding; their terms are right there on every offer, just make sure you read it thoughly to make sure you have gotten the right thing, the right weight, the right quanities – you can’t just go buying 50 million packs of sausages… they do restrict you! ..so don’t buy a ton thinking you are going to get it all back when it’s extremely unlikely you will!

Which shopping cashback apps do you use/use the most? For me it’s most defiantly Shopmium but the others are defo worth having for sure!

Really hope this blog post helps: free to subscribe for notifications of new blog posts as well as following all our social media accounts at Facebook, Twitter¬†and Instagram¬†to see what bargains and freebies I manage to get as I continue on as ‘themoneysavingmum’ ūüôā

Thanks for reading

Kirsty ūüėė x

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The time has come to let go…. selling on eBay & donating to charity shops

I’ve kept pretty much everything the kids have had bought in the past 5 years from big activity bouncers to small rattles, from clothes still housing baby stains (not poo stains I will add!) to even bottles!

Well the time has come now to start getting rid and consider selling on ebay or otherwise… we just can’t house anymore and I’m sooooo sad!

Although we both always said we only wanted two kids the feeling of having all this stuff still under our roof allowed me to think after Harper ‘well if we do end up having another we still have it all and won’t need to buy anything’ …. not that we ever would but it just made me happy to think we were prepared if we ever woke one morning and changed our mind.



After Zac I was petrified of having another.. the worry of whether we were able to have another, the worry of carrying a baby, the worry of how I was going to cope with two of the little buggers ūüėČ the worry of giving birth…. the lot! I am a worrier and it’s only gotten worse after kids…. I think my mind realises now there is something worth worrying about instead of the pointless things I used to (and still do tbh!) worry about in the past!

After I had Harper I wanted to do it all again!!!! The pregnancy, the birth the everything…. but I think I only thought like that because I knew she was going to be my last baby ūüė©

As of today I would have loads of babies if I didn’t have a job, we had a cleaner, if I had a maid, if I had an inhouse babysitter/nanny …. I will be so upset if we win the lottery after I’ve gone through the menopause ūüėā

I must tell you both of my birth stories before it just ends up mush in this brain of mine because they were both very different but again I digress and go way of topic ….. and as i’m writing this typically the kids are playing with everything I’m getting out … things they haven’t played with since they were babies ūüė≠



I’m going to give ebay reselling a go I think.. I’m going to take a lot of the stuff to charity shops things that can’t be posted but clothes that I just bagged up after my first i’m going to attempt to sell on ebay. ¬†There are some decent stuff in there but I will have work out what’s more time consuming… eBay/paypal also charge to sell items so chances are I will just end up taking the majority to the Charity shop and letting them profit from it.

So that’s what I’m doing today… initially digging out all old rattles, tummy time pads, activity tables and building blocks and I’m officially getting rid ūüė© it pains me but I have to accept that we can’t keep everything and in order to move forward and move bedrooms and grow the amazing little family we have been blessed with I have to let it go! ‚õĄūüėČ

Thanks for reading

Kirsty

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Make (risk free!) tax free money with matched betting …

However you want to think of money you can’t deny that it pretty much makes the world go around…. without it things would be sooo much easier (or would it!?) who knows its never going to happen so if someone said to you right now would you like to start earning (risk free!) tax free profits from just¬†playing with a few numbers, what would you say?

Very briefly if you haven’t heard of Matched Betting before it is where you¬†back something to win with a bookmaker and then also¬†back it to¬†not win (known in MBing as¬†lay) with someone else meaning you loose nothing because one of the other is going to ‘win’. ¬†You are sometimes going to lose a very small amount in exchange for a free bet or other form of bonus/offer but this is quite normal and is just deducted from your free bet profit….. there are calculators too that help you along the way which makes you not even have to think about the figures really if numbers are not really your forte.

There are people out there making ¬£1000s on MBing… truly ¬£1000s a month (ok so i’ve never actually seen there bank balances but there are a lot of people out there saying the same thing on a website I’m a member of¬†and I’ve no real reason to doubt them to be fair… I can see how it’s totally achievable if you have the money to begin with AND the time.

Now the difference between me and these ¬£1000/month folk is that i’m not an avid or consistent MBer – I just don’t have the time.. the more time you have to put in I can see can earn you ¬£1000s/month HOWEVER for me personally I use it as and when I can for whatever offers on at the time and when I have the time to complete it. ¬†Because of that¬†I have made just short of ¬£1000 in about 5/6 months¬†which I know is¬†excellent and has helped us greatly in the last few months for childcare but its such a small amount in comparison to what you COULD earn.

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Now here’s me being honest and saying things that not many people will tell you before¬†starting the MBing journey:

  • MBing is not the easiest thing to understand.
  • you WILL need some money to start with… the more you have to start with the more profits you can earn however if you have only got a small amount don’t feel disheartened just either concentrate on getting as much as you possibly can for your money with what you have got or wait until you can afford to have a min of ¬£100 to float around between bookies/exchanges.
  • don’t get drawn into expecting to earn ¬£1000 guaranteed every month… those amounts are NOT guaranteed there is still a element of luck to a lot of the offers you will end up doing once you have progressed¬†to the ‘advanced’ section of Profit Accumulator¬†but ultimately don’t get too attached and obsessed with trying to make those amounts of money.
  • Although its ‘advertised’ as risk free you do sometimes lose money… mistakes are made and WILL be made particularly when you are learning (& even when you think you are 100% up to speed!). ¬†In order to qualify for some offers too expect to ‘lose’ a couple of ¬£ per offer – this is ok and acceptable as you¬†should deduct it from the profit you will be getting from the offer/free bet leaving you with NO losses.
  • AND last but my no means least the most important point of them all… if you find it easy to become addicted to something or feel you might struggle to walk away when you’re up and pop ¬£10 here on the slots and ¬£10 here on another in the space of 10 minutes then seriously reconsider matched betting. ¬†It is very easy to get drawn into offers that you get NOTHING out of .. ones that pop up when you’ve placed a bet. ¬†If you think you’d be tempted or notice you are tempted by them once you start and you can’t stop then walk away.

MBing is still betting in the eyes of the bookmakers – only YOU know you are MBing as although it’s not illegal it is frowned up and if the bookies suspect you are Matched Betting and guaranteeing a profit on every bet then they can ban you (in the world of MBing its called ‘being gubbed’). ¬†So make sure you remember from the bookies point of view you are a regular punter and make it look like that as long as you are placing bets.



In order to make it look like you are a regular punter and your account with the bookies is a normal account don’t just bet on things that guarantee free bet, offers or bonus’… they will automatically think all you are after is the freebies (granted you are!) so be prepared to bet on regular occasions on things that you get nothing in exchange for (this is called mugging). ¬†You will not loose massive amounts, it will probably be pence maybe a ¬£1 but it will keep your account with the bookies active for longer and will stop them restricting you.

As I mentioned previously i don’t earn half as much as some people who MB but I also¬†like that although its a small amount of money I have less chance of getting gubbed because I don’t do EVERY single offer available, I don’t do the maximum stakes thats available because I don’t have the money in the first place so i probably do look very much like a regular punter. ¬†A lot of these people who do earn ¬£1000s+ per month I have noticed are gubbed from many of the big bookmakers¬†so although they can still place bets with them they will either have stake restrictions OR banned from taking them up on any offers.

Now I’m not going to go into too much about how, what, when and where because there is a fairly comprehensive website available to explain EVERYTHING to you called Profit Accumulator – I was going to attempt to explain to you the exact process in layman terms but I feel I will probably just confuse you even more so if you haven’t already popped over to PA¬†and have a watch of their fab tutorial videos on the whole process. ¬†PA¬†does cost monthly but you can do a free trial to see how you get on with the tutorials before you commit to them.

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Let me know if you end up having a go at MBing – you won’t regret it – just give it a try and see if its for you and ask if you need any help! Whether you use it like me as and when you can for a little extra money (mine paid for my childcare this month so has made me a little more determined this month to try and recoup that back!) or you want to go all out and earn as much as you possibly can.

Hope this helps

Kirsty x

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Make money (& get freebies!) with Red Wigwam

Do you remember my Instagram post last month of all those fab goodies I got for free AND my previous blog post about my fave cash back apps….

Well as promised heres how you too can get some freebies WHILE getting paid for it too !

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I have been a member of Red Wigwam for probably about 6 months now but i have only very recently been in a position to take them up on some of their jobs.

Who is Red Wigwam

Red Wigwam is a site that acts like a recruitment agency for temporary jobs that range from 2 minute ¬£6.50 ‘take a picture job’ in Asda to a mystery shopping job lasting 45 minute at Mecca Bingo but¬†worth¬†¬£28!!



Now i’m back from a near 3 week holiday to the US of A ūüėÖ I’ll be signing up to do some more for sure – in fact i have 5¬†job opportunities on there as i type!

What I love about Red Wigwam

I love¬†that they notify you via email of any matches the minute they are uploaded to their system too but don’t delay; if you think theres one of there¬†for you or you know you are doing your weekly shop at said¬†supermarket before the expiry date then click that red BOOK button asap and¬†get your name against the job before anyone else does. Some¬†countrywide jobs are gone before you even click the button to read more about it but local ones you may find are on there for a couple of days – no guarantee though!

I also like that Red Wigwam give you wage slips too Рit makes making money a lot easier and allows you to monitor things i feel plus all the information is there to submit to HMRC as and when its needed.  They also deduct taxes and NI too which to me makes them one of the most trusted companies out there I deal with.

Red Wigwam is one of the easiest mystery shopping style sites i have come across – it doesn’t ask for the world once you’ve completed your assignment and it doesn’t ask for what colour shoes the cashier was wearing (not that any others do but some certainly feel like you have to be THAT observant with some!)



On my last job I did with them I chose to do a taste and test (not me personally as it was on dog food(!)) and all i had to do was complete my timesheet; upload my receipt using my camera phone, pop in my expenses (they tell you how much you get refunded for the product you are required to buy in the description before you book), list the date of the review and take a screenshot of said review on the supermarkets website….. i was paid within a couple of days! ¬†Their site is super easy to use and everything is so self explanatory but if you do have any issues there is a ‘chat’ option on their site that they will be happy to assist via i’m sure.

Sign up for freebies….

If you too would like to sign up to Red Wigwam to see what jobs are available for you (and free food!!!!!) then check them out here.

I would love to know how you get on with Red Wigwam and what your first job¬†is so let me know… mystery shopping¬†is nerve wrecking at the start but honestly it gets easier¬†ūüôā

Thanks for reading Kx

 

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Make savings with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

So as I’ve already explained in previous v/blogs we haven’t yet flown across the pond with anyone but Virgin Atlantic¬†and although there are more factors than just this one; the Virgin Flying Club¬†is¬†one¬†of the key reasons for doing so.

We probably haven’t what Virgin would class as a massive amount of miles but we certainly have enough miles to be able to make a difference to our fares for a fair few future trips ūüĎćūüŹĽ

Last year we made a miles and money reservation with a saving of at least ¬£250. ¬†This year again we decided to use somemore of our miles and saved around ¬£500! ¬†The discount we got this year was also for a flight in school holidays too… we feel like we had in fact got a free flight this year the saving was that great!



The good thing is too that it’s costs us NOTHING to have a Flying Club membership or acrue our miles! Granted they aren’t free as such but we acrue miles to put towards future flights more often than not in our day to day life by using our Virgin Atlantic Credit Card for everyday purchases.

Everytime we make a purchase we put it on the card – however small it all counts! Your miles will soon rack up so if you too are an avid Virgin flyer or just want to try ans reduce the cost of your flights then I cannot recommend the Flying Club enough!

Now you don’t necessarily NEED the credit card to acrue your miles; every time you take a flight either with Virgin or one their partners you can earn them! Shop at Tescos and have a clubcard? You can earn them! Staying with a popular hotel chain? You can earn them! One of the major plus of having one of credit cards too is because your miles can expire if not used or added to… now even by just putting your weeks petrol on the credit this will extend the expiry date and you will be able to keep those miles for longer! Obviously if you shop at Tescos weekly and get Clubcard deals regually that too will keep them valid but having the credit card even as a back up or opening one when you get close to expiry is highly recommended.



Which card?

There are two card options that you can choose from when you have been credit checked & approved for an account; ¬†I won’t go too much into it as you can find the differences between them both here but we have the white and although we could possibly acrue points quicker on the black card I kinda begrudge paying to spend my own money (we pay off the credit card every month in full by the way!) and given that we don’t go away or use our miles up every year the blacks annual charge is ¬£140(!)

There are also three tiers within the Flying Club – both me and Alex are Red members (as are anyone that signs up with or without miles); you make silver if you earn at least 15 tier points per year and gold is when you reach 40 (never going to happen for us!).

Benefits

Now the benefits of the Flying Club can be taken advantage of with or without miles so signing up for the flying club before you’ve even taken your flight is VERY beneficial. Not only will you end up earning miles when your flight does come around but you can also use it to prepare for your next flight. ¬†As a Red member you can prebook your seats for free 72 hours before you fly. All those that are NOT flying club members will have to wait until online check in opens at 24 hours which in my opinion is a great benefit. You can also book discounted airport car parking AND earn miles too!

It really is a good club to be a part of – we have intentionally not spent our miles prior to last year due to knowing that once we were to start taking the children away it would start getting a little more expensive than previous trips… the saving this year was fab!

Hope this helps and if you haven’t signed up yet check them out and bag yourself a credit card¬†here¬†and get accruing those miles.. you won’t regret it!

Kirsty x

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How our Walt Disney World stay cost just £235?! {update now actually £192!!}

I was never lucky enough to visit Walt Disney World when I was younger; I imagine money was one of the problems as it wasn’t and still isn’t a ‘cheap’ holiday but also my parents are not really ‘ride’ people… Cleethorpes and Hull Fair was the closest I ever got to experiencing a theme park ūüėā we tended to head to a European beach resort for our holi-bobs.

[updated [figures updated after our trip РDecember 2016]header-2

My husband on the other hand; his vacations when he was younger were all about action – they went to Center Parcs yearly from a very young age and also Florida a few times too.

So HE is the reason for my love for Florida & we booked our first holiday abroad to Florida at 18 and 19 years old.

Now our little family has expanded holidays are obviously becoming more & more expensive to what they were back when just the two of us went so we are a lot more conscious about looking for the best deals/offers/discounts when booking our Florida trips now.



This year we are staying onsite at Walt Disney World for the whole duration of the holiday. Last year when we got married we spent 4 nights of our ‘Disneymoon‘ at two separate Deluxe hotels¬†in Bay Lake at the Contemporary¬†and Animal Kingdom Lodge which were both equally amazing. ¬†It was a nice taster to experience an onsite stay as although on paper there are loads of benefits of doing so; at the times of our past trips without children they weren’t really benefits to us.

Now we have children and I can say I have experienced it for myself; I can totally see the attraction to staying on property and I cannot wait to spend a whole two weeks (just short infact!) in the Disney ‘bubble’ in just a matter of months.

Here are this years ‘The Money Saving Mum’ tips that we have relied upon to get such a fab deal and allow us to travel again back over the pond so soon after our last trip…

Our vacation (park tickets included!) was priced at ¬£1773 direct with Walt Disney World. ¬†OrlandoAttractions.com shaved ¬£107 off that without even asking… that was their price from the off! ¬†In the footer of their email they specified that if we were to find it cheaper elsewhere then they would do what they can to price match or even beat so having used orlandoattractions.com before and had nothing but good service and trusted them completely; I thought I would send them over a quote I had been given you another company to see what they could do. They ended up knocking another ¬£26 off ūüĎćūüŹĽ

Orlandoattractions.com will certainly be a company we will use again for sure!

Hotel saving: £133.00

Our hotel only reservation also includes Walt Disney World Ultimate Tickets too AND free dining! Because we are in an ‘value’ resort we are entitled to a new ‘free dining’ category whereby our free dining is a free breakfast each (not including Harper as she is under 3) per day. At the time of writing it is 1-quick (counter) service meal per person so using that as a guide means if we average a meal costing $20 (very very rarely did it cost less than this to be fair!) per person per day that would mean we saved a total of¬†¬£600 in food!

 

[December 16] (@ 1.20 rate).  Food is ALOT more expensive than it used to be we felt Рso the difference between our predicted prices and actual prices has increased out savings to £600!)

Free dining saving: £600!

This years tickets for the first time ever (I think!) also automatically include the amazing Memory Maker … seeing asthough that would actually be something we would have 100% bought anyway and have done in the past¬†it is certainly classed as a saving for us.

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Memory maker saving: £120

Parking is also included staying onsite and because this trip is solely a Disney trip we will be going to a park more often than not and of course taking advantage of the free parking… so at $20/day…

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Parking saving: £184

As I say our park tickets were included in the room only reservation so there maybe a couple of pounds difference in this as we booked in May 2015 but going on today’s prices for this years tickets it would’ve cost us wherever we had stayed a little more than ¬£1000 AND we are this year entitled to a round a day crazy golf. [December update –¬†Now previously I added this up to a round a day… now I knew for a fact we wouldn’t be using a round a day but given that we were entitled to it I felt it should have been certainly something that should be taken into account given its ‘free’ and inclusive HOWEVER i have chosen to reduce this to a more realistic saving and class it as if we were to visit around 6 times in the whole holiday.]

Mini golf saving: £191.50

So adding up all our savings by staying onsite and getting¬†the deal we did…

  • Hotel saving: ¬£133
  • Free dining saving: ¬£600
  • Memory maker saving: ¬£120
  • Parking saving: ¬£184
  • Mini golf saving: ¬£191

Brings our total saving to: £1228

Less the park tickets that we would need if we stayed ANYWHERE would mean our hotel stay onsite at Walt Disney World for 12 nights costs just:

£192.00 Рless than we had originally added up prior to our visit !!

How crazy does that sound!!?

So if you think Walt Disney World is expensive think more so about it as value for money and it doesn’t hurt as much ūüėČ

I hear so many people say that they can’t afford it and it’s too expensive – which is fine we all earn what we earn and save what we save, I fully accept it might not be affordable to some… but I really hope this helped with offering some guidance and figures on what exactly you get for your dollar on trip to Walt Disney World.

 

I know there’ll be some sceptics out there and to those thinking ‘yes but what about car hire, spending money, and most importantly the mode of transport that is¬†going get you there in the first place; the FLIGHT!’ well of course on top of this there are a few more things you MUST factor in but there is also things you you don’t necessarily HAVE to factor in if you don’t want to such as car hire; thats not a MUST if you want to and you can hire one then hire one, if you want to save that and put it towards your spends then brilliant – it’s certainly not a necessity if you are staying on site.

I will also add that these are OUR savings… they may not be the same for others but this previous trip was our first every onsite stay for the whole duration of our holiday. ¬†We have always been ones to say ‘we can’t afford to stay onsite’ but by doing these few calculations it showed how excellent value for money for US in comparison to our previous Orlando vacations.

I plan to do another post like this but by comparing and using the other dining plans available staying in moderate and deluxe resorts too so be sure to subscribe if you want to see more. ¬†I also have all intentions of doing similar blog to show the best value for money airlines too which will probably be in the form of a vlog so if you haven’t already be sure to subscribe to my families YouTube channel¬†here.

To be a travel agent is honestly a dream for me.. I has been a dream of mine for aslong as I can remember -I love doing things like this.. now I don’t think being a TA is ever going to happen now unfortunatly but that doesn’t stop me helping people out where I can so again I do hope this is beneficial to anyone like us who is yet to stay on site and is needing these kind of figures to show how worth while and how excellent value for money it actually is.

If you want to see information on where we saved for our 2018 trip and how we again got a ridiculous amount of ‘free stuff’ for our money you can check out that blog post here.

I would love to hear when you are next taking a trip across the pond – keep an eye out in April for the next release of the free dining!

Thanks for reading!

Kirsty x

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