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Useful tips on how to have a great Christmas celebration on a small budget!

Christmas season is a wonderful time of the year, but when household think about all the expanses there have to be made, the joy fades away. The thing is that in order for you to be happy and enjoy the celebration you don’t have to deal with big spending or fancy decoration and gift. Remember, Christmas is about enjoying time with the family and being thankful for what you already have. We have prepared top 5 advice’s that might help you have a good time, without stressful shopping, for Christmas.

1. Plan ahead and set up a fixed budget. This means that if you think about this season and everything you believe you will need to purchase to have a good time together with your family, you will have a clear list already months prior to the event. Thus, you will also know how much money you need, where you can save, what you can re-use, what you can borrow, what you can avoid having etc. Knowing in advance calms you down because everything will be already set up in your head, from food to gifts, from wrapping paper to Christmas lights.

On the other hand, you will be able to calculate how much you can start saving on every week prior to Christmas so you can somehow spread these expanses on different months.

2. Decide together for a fixed, limited budget for gifts. Christmas gifts should be a tradition that will add joy to family members and not stress them out. So, considering the overall budget of the whole family, you may talk to everyone and agree on having a certain amount available to buy gifts. The important thing is choosing something thoughtfully not pricey.

3. Use sales throughout the year. It is not strange to gift a summery thing to your family member for Christmas, there will come a time when they’ll need to use these gifts, of course, even though it is a little too cold at that very moment. So, keeping an eye on big sales throughout the year will help you buy staff that family member really like to use and also doing it for a very convenient price.

4. DIY gifts are fun. Think about what you are talented to do. Use that talent to create objects that will show how much you love your family member by gifting them something you spent so many hours to create. Sewing, crocheting, working with wood, painting etc. could come in very handy in these cases. You can also prepare jam jars, baskets full of chocolates and fruits, or even the most delicious chocolate cake. Don’t underestimate the power of a gift created with love.

5. DIY your Christmas decorations. Yes, I know they make lots of sales on Christmas decorations; still, you can’t get enough of hanging as many as possible around the house, right? Do some crafty work, buy some stationary and prepare paper stars and wreaths or anything else you think about or look up on Pinterest. It might be lots of fun for your little helpers too.

Budget, budget, budget! Tips on how to do it successfully.

Becoming a parent for the first, second or third time means going through hard times that consist in trying to figure out the best strategy on expenses, finances and how to keep them in a magic balance. The truth is that there is no magic in what you need to do. It is all about making specific decisions and being smart enough to play with your budget the way that you have fun and enjoy the pricy staff with your family, but at the same time, be careful and save.

Here below you will find some very useful tips you might want to take a quick look and adapt to your lifestyle:

  1. Follow carefully you financial movements and continuously look at your bank statements to figure out where do all your money go. Sometimes you may find that the biggest expanses are also the less needed ones. In this moment you may be very clear where to start cutting if you need to.
  2. Be careful to pay all your bills on time. You may want to create a calendar and put the deadlines there or place notes around the house. This way you will save on that extra money you pay as fees on payment delays.
  3. Check out what mortgage conditions you are currently on and also keep an eye on competition. If you find better deals you might want to switch and save some money on monthly payments. It will also make you save a lot on long-term expense.
  4. If you manage to save some money apart each month, place them in a high rate savings account and try to get the most out of them. This way you will not only close up some money and have them for the future, but also use them as an investment.
  5. Try to enjoy more staying home and enjoy less paying lots of money when you go out. Cutting out fancy dinners and bring home some tasty pizza might help with your finances.
  6. Plan ahead. You know all the holidays and vacation periods since January and you can use this knowledge to look up for the best deals on plane tickets, restaurant or hotel reservations, save coupons for expensive Christmas gifts etc.
  7. Keep the balance. If you receive a gat bill one month on gas or electricity, you might want to postpone expenses on new clothes or weekend gateways for the future. It is more or less logical: you spend more in some things; you need to cut off in others.
  8. Don’t forget about all those tools that might help you to make all of the above possible. You definitely need help on recording expenses, keep track of them, have always a clear picture of what is going on. There are so many websites or Apps that work just fine in this direction.
  9. Take usage of all the governmental benefits you might be entitled to like different financial aids for different financial situations like unemployment, pregnancy, new baby etc.
  10. Prepare lists of gifts for every occasion like Christmas or birthdays and ask other family members to pick up something from the list either for you or for the children. This way, you will somehow receive for free items which are needed at home as a gift and avoid receiving items you weren’t going to use anyway.

30 Tips and hits for parents on how to stop waste!

Living on hard times, with a very delicate state economy, makes it difficult for moms and duds to support their children economically from birth till university. These difficulties are not only related to prices or fees but also to a bad expense management from the households (no offense). Did you know that an average family wastes £700 worth of good they first buy and then throw away, in a year?

Knowing that, we organized a team of parents here at Love Food Hate Waste to bring up a list of 30 tips on how to avoid wasting this much and save money instead.

1) Wonder how to make a perfect snack for your children (or even grownups)? Use frozen fruits like grapes, bananas and peas with yogurt. It is cheap and healthy.

2) There is no need to pay lots of money to spend lots of money on expensive child food. You can just mash up some cooked vegetables and freeze it in small quantities.

3) Summertime treats? Yes, kids can’t have enough of them. You can use some frozen yogurt and fruits with straws or in a lollypop stick and you’re ready to go. It is a perfect add on to the lunch box as well, it will defrost till lunchtime.

4) What’s Fast and easy? Pizza dough. You can make it yourself at home and divide it in smaller portions to keep in the freezer until when you actually plan to use them.

5) Do you feel like there are a lot of vegetables that are going bad in the fridge? It’s time to make a stew or some sauce. It will taste delicious; you have one less meal to think of and also save from not wasting your fridge’s content.

6) Sometimes kids are not so found of mealtime. Make it enjoyable and show them how you and them enjoy the same food.

7) You can save and have time at the same time. Cooking simple dishes might be the happiest family time! Use that pizza dough you had stored in the freezer and play with the topping. Let the kids get out of whatever is left in the fridge and decide how to finish the pizza. They love the strangest combinations.

8) Another simple yet very useful meal would be topping of toasted oats or crackers. They are great and quick in the oven.

9) Be smart! Keep at least one ice cube of milk. Mornings are very important and you don’t want to start your day without some milk in your coffee or tea just because there isn’t some!

10) Why spending lots of money on sandwiches and snakes when you are out in the park or at the zoo? Take a snack bag and place anything easy and tasteful like raisins, chopped fruit, nuts etc.

11) Throw an aperitivo night with friends or family using those leftovers you placed in the freezer!

12) Lots of cake leftovers? Broken biscuits and pieces of fruits screaming on the counter? Lay them down under some yogurt and make a surprise pudding for your kids.

13) Don’t use big fancy plates and separate bowls. You’ll tend to pour more food than needed to fill them up. Use smaller plates instead. It will save you from bog waste.

14) Use big mugs instead of bowls for morning cereals and milk. It will make you serve less of each and save from useless waste.

15) When you serve mashed potato, use an ice – cream spoon instead of the usual big one.

16) If it’s springtime and you feel like having a picnic on the grass, throw a blanket and serve those leftovers you placed in the freezer two days ago, before totally forgetting about them.

17) When you cook, try to involve your children in it, by creating funny games or contests since you return from the supermarket and ask them to place fruits and vegetables where they belong, after washing and rising, until you ask them to take out ingredients and dishes to prepare lunch or dinner. It will make them love food even more and educate them towards less waste.

18) Allow your children to pour the food themselves in their plates. They will get as much as they feel they need and you will avoid waste.

19) When you end up having leftover cake, don’t throw it. Put it in the freezer in small portions and use it as an additional element to the lunchboxes.

20) Did you buy a lot of cheese or ham? Prepare sandwiches and place them in the freezer. They will come in handy for the days out of the lunchboxes and you will avoid having food that’s gone bad.

21) Did your kid eat just a small piece of an apple? Don’t throw the rest. Food pieces can be used later as snacks, for a fruit salad or jam.

22) Have your cornflakes or rice krispies gone soft due to extended air exposure? Don’t throw them; they will make excellent chocolate crispy cakes.

23) Lots of leftover cake? Mash it up and roll it in melted chocolate. Place a lollypop stick and be a super mom.

24) Make smoothies or banana loafs out of frozen bananas.

25) Turn food into a mysterious adventure for your kids to love. Ideas? Here’s one: a giant volcano made from mashed and baked beans. How about that?

26) When you notice an offer of the most common product you use like pasta or corn flakes, get usage of it. Buy as many as possible and avoid temptation from offers on products you almost never use!

27) Do you know that a simple gesture like placing a lid on top of a pan will make the food cook faster and save you on energy spent?

28) Most of the people as terribly scared to use food after the “best before” date. They think it means that the food has gone bad. Well no. It is not related to the safety part rather than on the quality one. It may just mean that the food will not taste at its best. So think twice and maybe taste it yourself before throwing this kind of food away.

29) To avoid throwing away food or juices just because you think they may have gone bad, place an ‘opened on’ label to them. This way you will be able to figure out what to do with them.

30) Agreeing on having at least one “eating from the freezer” night might help on using those leftover that do not need to be forgotten.

Top 7 Freebies for New Mums!

Raising a child is becoming harder and harder and I don’t refer to the social and political situations in our country. The economical support behind doing so is asking for more and more from our bank accounts that we find ourselves in the need of doing some tricky moves to keep staying on budget. Apparently, that the cost of raising a child from infancy to adulthood reached £245,340 this year! So what to do…well, let’s start by trying to get as much as we can from all the freebies out there, right? Here’s a list of 7 things you need to check out:

1. Free baby diapers

Do you know that it has been estimated that you’d have to spend up to £2,100 on diapers before your child finishes fully (and successfully) the potty training? Well, quite an amount right? So, why not getting as many free diapers as possible from all the promos out there? There are different resources for free baby diapers that you can use, but first check out our favorite ones from the best free stuff website:

a. Little Huggies: If you register here, you will receive a full sample pack of diapers and wipes for free. Not bad huh?

b. Simply Right: Apparently the number of free diapers you will get varies from time to time (we do not really know on what it depends) but when we did it, we received 5 diapers for free.

c. Honest: all you have to do is fill out the form and you’ll be able to receive 7 premium, eco-friendly diapers for free.

d. National Diaper Bank Network: This is a non-profit organization that helps people in need. So, if you find yourself in a very bad situation, you might try this out to receive free supply of donated diapers.

2. Get nursing pillow for free

You’d never want to miss what are doing. They are giving away free nursing pillows worth £44.95. It is very easy. Go here, select one of the items in different colors and sizes and than, once redirected at the shopping bag page, enter the promo code “ENBABY”. It will deduct the whole cost of your selected item so that you can pay only for the shipping costs. How cool is that?

3. Baby slings for free

Did you know that Seven Slings will give you a free promo code worth £48 to use on a baby carrier? All you have to do is: go to the baby site here, than click on ‘Shop Now” and select the carrier that you are interested to get. Do not miss to select the needed size on its dedicated page before you finalize the process. Once you do that, you will be directed to the “shopping bag” section where you will be able to use the promo code. It is “ENBABY”. Doing so, you will only have to pay for the shipping fees.

4. Get some free coupons

One common strategy companies use to gain as many customers as they can and create a loyal customer base is the usage of free coupons. Especially among mums, this is a very well perceived promo activity. Some coupons might offer discounts but other even totally free products, so you don’t want to miss them. Here’s a list of our favorites:


5. Free detergents and body wash

There is a company called EverydayHappy that produces toxin free and eco friendly baby products that include laundry detergents and bath wash. These products are quite new and the company is willing to send you samples for you to test. So, what you need to do is go and fill out their form here for a trial service. They will send you a pack of products like hand soap, shampoo, lotion, rash cream and detergent for you to try. Than, you have 7 days at your disposal to keep having the service or cancel it.

6. Get freebies with Pampers rewards

Do you want to get some free diapers? Than use the loyalty programs out there! Here’s one: Pampers has a Pampers Gifts to Grow program through which they’ll send you free diapers as reward if you show your loyalty to the brand.

How does it work: any time that you buy a pack of Pampers, you should look on the onside of the box to find the code stamped there. Than, you enter the site and add the code to gain points that you can accumulate and use for different products like diapers, toys or even food.

7. Car seat Canopy for free

This is another promo code offer to benefit from. The logic is the usual. You go the site here and select the car seat canopy worth £49.94 that you want to receive. Again, do not forget to select the size appropriate to your need. Once you do so, you will find yourself at the shopper bag page, where you can now enter the promo code “ENBABY”. This way, the price of you item will become zero and you will only have to pay the shipping costs.

So, this was it. I hope you found the above very interesting and helpful. I will continue to keep an eye on new entries and update the page. So come back again!

Disclosure: the companies sponsor some of the links in this post. I would have suggested them to you anyway, due to their relevancy to the post, but if the companies offer some extra money, why not .