A calmer week this time, without any crunch work deadlines for me, but with the added excitement of Mothering Sunday.
Mothers’ Day did get a bit disrupted by the whole business of being a mother. In the morning my husband carted my son off to rugby while I did the dutiful thing of escorting my daughter to the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts church service. She got to be one of the standard bearers and eat plenty of cake afterwards, so ended up pretty happy, and I came away with a bunch of daffodils.
In the afternoon we did find some suitably thrifty ways to celebrate Mothers’ Day, so here are my five frugal things for this week!
Treated myself to some gin
I’m not a big fan of turning high days and holidays into reasons to spend hand over fist. Nowadays, shops seem to use any excuse to pile the shelves high with themed merchandise: Hallowe’en, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Easter, Back to School, Fathers’ Day and most recently Mothers’ Day.
However, there’s no denying you can pick up some bargains, whether on special offers beforehand or reduced prices afterwards.
As my own “Happy Mothers’ Day” present, I spotted Morrisons had several offers on gin, including £4 off Opihr, plus More loyalty card points worth another £2. I even stood there in the supermarket, checking the MySupermarket app to make sure it was actually a good deal. Thankfully I couldn’t find it anywhere else for less. Cheers!
Made the most of English Heritage membership at Framlingham Castle
To celebrate Mothering Sunday, we headed off for an afternoon at Framlingham Castle.
We’re been before, but I reckoned the kids would enjoy the massive slide that Framlingham Castle have put up during conservation work while the visitor centre is closed.
As we’re already members of English Heritage, the entrance was free, rather than paying £23.10 for a family ticket.
Plus as it was Mothers’ Day I could insist that everyone listened to my other present, an Ed Sheeran CD, for the entire journey. Ed’s a Framlingham boy, and Castle on the Hill is all about Framlingham Castle, so it seemed rude not to.
Anyway the kids had a blast, zooming down the ‘slide into history’, racing round the battlements, rolling down the slopes outside the castle and attempting a rather muddy walk round the mere. If you’re nearby, it’s well worth a visit, and the slide is in place until May.
Used cut-price parsnips to make soup
This week I picked up a 41p bag of parsnips from the reduced section in our local Co-op, and decided to make some soup. I flicked through a couple of recipe books for inspiration, and spotted a recipe for parsnip and apple soup. This seemed a great chance to use up one of the Bramley apples that have been rolling around our freezer for ages. After some peeling, chopping and simmering with a value veg stock cube, I ended up with three portions of surprisingly creamy soup for only about 20p a bowl. Marvellous.
Justified my jar hoarding
I was astonished this week to see perfectly ordinary empty jam jars for 99p in QD. That seems like madness when you can buy full jars of jam for as little as 27p in the value ranges, and around 75p for supermarket own brand.
Given the numbers of jars I hoard in the hope of making my own marmalade and elderflower cordial, my kitchen cupboard must be worth a mint.
So top frugal tip: if you want empty jars, check out full versions on the supermarket shelves first!
Signed up for Kids Pass for a £1
As part of my Easter holiday survival plans, I signed up for a 60 day trial membership of the Kids Pass app for the grand total of £1*.
Using Kids Pass you can get discounts off a whole range of family-friendly activities at more than 5,000 places. Offers include eating out, cinema tickets, activities like paintball, tennis and bowling, and theme park entry at the assorted Merlin Entertainment places like Legoland, Sea Life centres and the London Eye.
(I’ve posted in the past about Legoland on a budget and frugal holiday activities including Sea Life Weymouth)
My cunning plan involved waiting until today to sign up, so that the 60 day trial would cover not just the Easter holidays but also both May bank holidays.
Will let you know how I get on, as the expense for these kind of activities can really mount up, so I’m keen to save where I can. My daughter has been campaigning to see Beauty and the Beast, and Kids Pass will cut a chunky 40% off the cost of the tickets.
At the end of the trial, the membership will automatically renew for a whole year at the reduced rate of £39.99. If I don’t want to continue, I can cancel any time between now and 5pm the day before the last day of the trial.
If you’d like to try Kids Pass for £1 too, you can get a 60 day trial, double the length of the normal 30 day offer, using this link*.
Now – over to you. Any thrifty successes to report? Ever looked at shop shelves and thought: “How much?? For that??”, as I did for the jam jars? I’d love to hear!
I’m linking up with Cass, Emma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.
*indicates an affiliate link, so anything you buy through it will help support the blog, as I will get a small commission at no cost to you. Many thanks!