How to Save for a Rainy Day (sponsored guest post)

We’re all looking for a great deal on just about everything. What we save here, we can spend there. I adore the internet. Fingertip shopping allows you to compare prices, read product reviews, and find the best overall deal for your money.

Food

Find manufacturer coupons online for household staples like bread, cereal, and peanut butter. Many companies provide cents-off coupons to get you to try out their products. Others issue savings certificates for tried-and-true items that are persistently on your shopping list. Sign up for email updates and get printable coupons sent right to your inbox. Some manufacturers even mail out free samples for exciting new products to try out.

Mortgage

Compare your home mortgage interest rate to the advertised rates of other loan providers. Chances are other banks are offering a lower percentage than you currently have, especially if you’ve been in your home for a number of years. Your current lender may even have lower rates than the 30-year fixed loan you locked into when you first provided your signature. Now is a great time to refinance and to push your monthly payments down. Refinancing typically requires appraisal of your home in its current condition and closing costs. If you can’t afford these expenses upfront, many loan companies will roll the cost into the loan.

Utilities

Try new light bulbs, the standard incandescent bulbs that were popular for more than a century are no longer in vogue. Today’s most energy efficient homes have done away with these bulbs and replaced them with CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) lighting. You’ve seen them in the store, they’re squiggly-shaped. Just a few years ago, these bulbs were relatively expensive. Now, however, CFLs are inexpensive and the savings they offer your household are outstanding, and will stick you with a much lower energy bill.

Clothing

Keep in mind a new top or a fashionable pair of shoes doesn’t mean you need to squander your cash. Like I suggested, the internet is the perfect marketplace for comparison shopping and for saving. You can browse your favorite stores online and sign up for emails to get coupon codes and more (maybe a Backcountry coupon code, for example).

The cost of living needn’t damper your financial forecast. You can be frugal, but still get the things you really want. A quick online search makes everything at the ready so you’re equipped with money-saving tools. The internet makes it possible to do your financial homework to help you cut costs on just about everything. You’ll be able to save up for small purchases now and major items in the future, regardless of what the weather calls for.

This is a sponsored post

Win a Hostess electric milk frother worth £49.99 and a host of Yeo Valley goodies

Win a milk frother and Yeo Valley goodies

Yeo Valley, the British family-run dairy company, is launching a brand new on pack offer available with all 1 and 2 litre bottles of Organic Whole, Semi-Skimmed and Skimmed Milk.

From January, Yeo Valley are offering the chance to win a Hostess electric milk frother worth £49.99 with every purchase. To celebrate, we have one of these fantastic appliances to give away to Mums on the Blog readers.

Perfect for frothing up a cappuccino, whisking a hot chocolate or mixing a milkshake, these Hostess milk frothers come with both a stirrer and a frother function for hot and cold drinks.

What’s more, the winner will also receive a goody bag filled with delicious Yeo Valley products from rice pudding to fridge staples such as yeogurts, butter and cream.

Produced on the Yeo Valley farm in the heart of the Mendip Hills, Yeo Valley Organic Milk comes from its own herd of pedigree British Friesian cows and farms from the Somerset based cooperative, OMSCo, with whom Yeo Valley ethically trade. Yeo Valley is run by the Mead family who put real love and attention into making delicious dairy products and who go the extra country mile when it comes to keeping their land and livestock healthy – resulting in great tasting Yeo Valley products.

For more information about Yeo Valley’s Organic Milk visit: www.yeovalley.co.uk

How to enter

To enter, just comment (using the ‘email address’ option) below telling us how you like your milk.

Terms: UK only entrants. One entry per person. Giveaway closes 11.59pm 31/01/13. The prize is being provided and will be fulfilled by Yeo Valley. Winner will be selected at random using random.org. Winner will be notified by email. A reply is required within 48 hours or a new winner may be chosen. No cash alternative. No payment was received for this post.

Time to think about February half term break ideas (sponsored post)

Image © A Mummy Too

Now that Christmas is over and we’re at the beginning of a new year, it’s hard to say goodbye to holiday fun and go back to old routine of work and school. Like many families, we love adventuring, so our thoughts have already turned to the February half term.

What sort of family breaks take your fancy?

Hit the coast?

Yes, it’ll be cold in February, but there are still some beautiful beaches up and down the UK that are fun to visit all year round. Fossil hunting, kite flying, the local marine centre. Ooh I can almost smell the sea air.

Escape to the country?

Since having kids, I’ve really warmed to quiet breaks in a cosy cottage in the countryside. A few years ago we went and stayed near Thirsk and explored James Herriot country – lovely.

If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, Scottish-cottages.co.uk have a great selection of luxury cottages online.

I really like the idea of staying near the beautiful Loch Lomond and exploring Trossachs National Park. How about you? Here are some of the cottages available over half term.

Visit the big smoke?

I lived and worked in London for years and a little piece of my heart it still there. If you fancy taking a break in the city next half term, Time Out London has extensive listings for pretty much everything happening in London. Take a look – you sure to find loads of ideas to keep the family busy.

Jet off to warmer climbs?

We’re generally happy in the UK all year round, but if the summer seems too far away, perhaps you’re planning to take a break abroad.

Overseas breaks can be pricy in school holidays, so it makes sense to book early and use comparison sites to find the very best deal.

So that’s a few ideas, but there are loads of others I could list – walking holidays, theme parks, boating holidays…the list is endless so, what will you do?

This is a featured post

Bedroom tips for allergic kids (sponsored guest post)

Image © A Mummy Too

All children are highly susceptible to a wide variety of bugs and viruses. No matter where they go there are common germs to picked up and suffered for even the most robust child. From the common cold to Chicken Pox, school is an environment where these illnesses are transmitted from child to child at an alarming rate.

Recently the winter vomiting bug, the Norovirus, has affected many adults and children alike in the UK.For the majority of kids, being exposed to these minor diseases is part and parcel of growing up and helps them to develop a strong immune system to fight against more potent germs as they grow older.

But, there are many children who suffer from great discomfort on a day-to-day basis due to allergies. Dust, hay-fever, pet hair, washing powder even certain materials can make these children extremely uncomfortable, sometimes it can take years for parents and doctors to pinpoint exactly what is causing a child’s allergic reaction.

The bedroom of an allergic child needs to be carefully designed and thought about to minimise his suffering during the night. There are arguments about the type of flooring best suited to minimise dust in a kid’s bedroom. Some say that dust sticks to the carpets so is easy to hoover away and will float around the bedroom more if the floors are wooden. Others argue that a wooden floor is much easier to clean and sanitize after spillages, sickness and other unpleasant incidents.

There are a few definite measures that can be taken to help an allergy sufferer.

Try to have a clutter-free bedroom, make sure there are plenty of storage containers with lids for your child’s toys and games.

Check windows for condensation, which can cause damp and mildew.

Empty wash baskets daily to avoid damp and dusty clothing staying in the room for long periods of time.

Do not allow pets into the bedroom.

Make sure outdoor clothes such as coats and shoes stay out of the bedroom as pollen and other plant spores can be transmitted from the outside to the bed.

Buy an a All children are highly susceptible to a wide variety of bugs and viruses. No matter where they go there are common germs to picked up and suffered for even the most robust child. From the common cold to Chicken Pox, school is an environment where these illnesses are transmitted from child to child at an alarming rate.

Recently the winter vomiting bug, the Norovirus, has affected many adults and children alike in the UK.For the majority of kids, being exposed to these minor diseases is part and parcel of growing up and helps them to develop a strong immune system to fight against more potent germs as they grow older.

But, there are many children who suffer from great discomfort on a day-to-day basis due to allergies. Dust, hay-fever, pet hair, washing powder even certain materials can make these children extremely uncomfortable, sometimes it can take years for parents and doctors to pinpoint exactly what is causing a child’s allergic reaction.

The bedroom of an allergic child needs to be carefully designed and thought about to minimise his suffering during the night. There are arguments about the type of flooring best suited to minimise dust in a kid’s bedroom. Some say that dust sticks to the carpets so is easy to hoover away and will float around the bedroom more if the floors are wooden. Others argue that a wooden floor is much easier to clean and sanitize after spillages, sickness and other unpleasant incidents.

There are a few definite measures that can be taken to help an allergy sufferer.

Try to have a clutter-free bedroom, make sure there are plenty of storage containers with lids for your child’s toys and games.

Check windows for condensation, which can cause damp and mildew.

Empty wash baskets daily to avoid damp and dusty clothing staying in the room for long periods of time.

Do not allow pets into the bedroom.

Make sure outdoor clothes such as coats and shoes stay out of the bedroom as pollen and other plant spores can be transmitted from the outside to the bed.

Buy an anti-allergy mattress for the bed. This will help prevent against dust mites and help aid quality sleep.

Dehumidifiers are only good idea if they are cleaned regularly as they can become a haven for mildew and mould if not.

A dust free bedroom doesn’t need to be dull however! Choose bright coloured cotton linen and research which paints contain the least amount of chemicals; some are specifically made without the additives that are harmful to allergy sufferers.

We can’t wrap our children in allergy resistant cotton wool but we can be allergy aware and take a few small steps to improving their sleeping environment. gy mattress for the bed. This will help prevent against dust mites and help aid quality sleep.

Dehumidifiers are only good idea if they are cleaned regularly as they can become a haven for mildew and mould if not.

A dust free bedroom doesn’t need to be dull however! Choose bright coloured cotton linen and research which paints contain the least amount of chemicals; some are specifically made without the additives that are harmful to allergy sufferers.

We can’t wrap our children in allergy resistant cotton wool but we can be allergy aware and take a few small steps to improving their sleeping environment.

This is a sponsored post.

We love: The Disney Fairies Guide to Winter

The Disney Fairies Guide to Winter

TV presenter and mum Angellica Bell is encouraging families across the country to get outside and discover the winter wonderlands on their doorstep.

She has teamed up with Disney Fairies and nature experts to launch a new free guide, The Disney Fairies Guide to Winter, to help parents set fun, fairy-inspired outdoor adventures for their children.

Said Angelica:

“Winter really is a beautiful season – a time when trees and plants glisten and you see animals you don’t spot at other times of the year. I loved my trip to the Arctic Circle and although it was cold and a challenge it was also one of the best experiences of my life. It made me appreciate the beauty of winter and I’m passionate about helping others explore what really is a magical season.”

Disney Fairies has worked with nature experts at The Woodland Trust to pack the guide with things to do and watch out for while out and about this winter. It also includes activities for children aged 6-9 to do when they get back with their souvenirs of their outdoor adventure.
The guide – launched by Bell with a new Woodland Trust created fairy themed walk at Heartwood Forest, St Albans – is available to download online at www.disney.co.uk/fairies.