All posts by Hannah Brice

WIN £100!

WIN £100 of shopping vouchersWell hello friends! I’m in a particularly good mood today, despite the RUBBISH weather, because I am launching my first ever competition on FeastStyleThrive! That’s right! I might just have to OWN #giddy on Twitter today……

Anyway, the competition is being run on my Facebook page and the lovely prize up for grabs is £100!! Yes, win £100 in your choice of either John Lewis or ASOS vouchers!!

After all, this is a blog about gathering together the money for the finer things in life so it makes sense that I help add to your funds!

All you have to do to enter is Like the FeastStyleThrive Facebook page (if you haven’t already), then Like the contest post and leave a comment filling in the blank in the statement:

“My biggest hurdle to saving money each month is ____________.”

The deadline to enter is 12pm GMT+1 on 1 July 2016 so you have a month to think of a really good answer and the winner will be selected at random on 2 July 2016 and announced on the Facebook page.

You can’t win if you don’t enter so go go GO!

While you’re at it, you’re very welcome to share the competition details with your peeps and also check out my other main social media profiles, which are:

https://twitter.com/HannahLisaBrice

https://www.instagram.com/mrshannahbrice/

https://uk.pinterest.com/feaststylethriv/

Snapchat is coming soon…..I promise…..ok I’m scared of it but I’ll pluck up the courage soon ok? I will. Stop pressuring me. 🙂

Oh and if you need any help starting your fund of savings fun money, why don’t you sign up for the FeastStyleThrive finance boot camp? It’s a free 5 day e-course which will take your finances from shabby to shockingly brilliant! So, stop unknowingly throwing your money away, and start building a hefty pot of cash to spend on the finer things in life!

Sign up for the free financial boot camp

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12 ways to cut the cost of having a baby

babysavingmoney
If you’re expecting a baby very soon, or you’ve just had one, CONGRATULATIONS! I had my first child 10 months ago and it’s been such an amazing experience.

Anyway, as a fairly new mum, I know first hand just HOW EXPENSIVE having a baby can be. It’s crazy that something so small requires so much stuff!

But, don’t worry, help is here. I’ve put together 12 tips to help you cut the cost of having a baby and spend a little less in your child’s first year.

How to cut the cost of having a baby

  1. Call a friend. If the baby hasn’t arrived yet, you’re bound to have a large shopping list of items you expect to need. You’ll also have a larger group of friends and family eagerly awaiting your new arrival, ready to shower him or her with gifts. Solve both problems in one swift move by creating a baby gift list. Like you would do for your wedding, create a gift list online of the things you’d like and subtly drop it into conversation so people know it’s there. Then sit back and wait for them to buy you what you need! Don’t feel guilty about it as those who give you gifts will get the satisfaction that they’ve bought you something you really need, and you’ve taken away their headache of trawling baby stores with no idea what to buy!
  2. Facebook to the rescue. It’s unlikely you can put too many ‘big’ things on your gift list but it’s highly possible that you have a few friends on Facebook who own some of those items already and are willing to donate them to you or sell them at a hefty discount. Post a message asking very nicely and see what you can come up with. It’s not begging if you suggest that you’ll pay or return the favour with something they need.
  3. Second hand? Try the NCT nearly new sales. This is where parents can buy and sell baby clothes and toys so it’s win-win as you not only get what you need at a cheaper price but you also help some other parents save some cash to kit out their own kids in the next stage of their lives.
  4. Buy in bulk. It’s impossible to avoid making a lot of new mum friends when you have a baby. And guess what? They’re going to be in need of nappies, wipes and other new baby things, just like you. So, agree on a brand and pop to Costco or another big wholesaler where you can buy the items in bulk. You can then share the purchases and the cost! An easy way of cutting the cost of having a baby!
  5. Host. When the baby first arrives, you’ll want to get out the house to see people and feel like you’re still human. Rather than meeting friends at coffee shops every day and spending over five pounds a time (on coffees, snacks and parking), organise for you to take turns hosting at your home. Everyone can bring a little food and you’ll find it to be much more relaxing, as well as cheaper.
  6. Go own brand. It’s tempting to go for a name you know when stocking up on nappies but supermarket own brands can be so much cheaper. Believe me when I say that you will get through so so many nappies so if you can buy nappies at 10p each rather that 20p each, that will amount to a HUGE saving.
  7. See what you can get for free. Did you know there are several websites that allow you to get stuff for free? There’s Freecycle which lets you see who in your local area is giving away items they no longer need, and then FreebiesiteUK and Freebiers Club which give you access to giveaways and free samples.
  8. Avoid expensive clothing. Babies grow quickly and everything they wear becomes stained just as fast. So don’t bother buying expensive clothes for them; get down to Primark or Asda and buy multipacks of clothes that cost a couple of quid. And don’t worry that your baby won’t look their best – they’ll be gorgeous in whatever they wear.
  9. Share childcare to cut the cost of having a baby. When you go back to work, if you’re not lucky enough to have parents or parents in law who can look after your little one, you’re likely to be faced with the sky high costs of nursery. However, as an alternative, you may want to look at finding a friend who will look after your child one day in return for you looking after her child another day. In other words, you pay for three days of nursery, your friend cares for your child one day, and then you care for their child and your little one on the fifth day. If you have to work full time, or you need a day just to yourself, another option is Nanny Share  where you share childcare with another local family thereby reducing the costs!
  10. Don’t buy flashy toys. Baby toys are very cute but I’ve found time and time again that my son would rather play with a wooden spoon or an empty water bottle than a toy car or cuddly toy. So before you stock up on toys for your little one, try them out with some simple but SAFE household objects. Wooden spoons are great because they’re too big to be swallowed. Be careful with anything made of card or paper as dribble could cause little bits to tear off and end up in baby’s tummy.
  11. Make your own baby food. Once your baby is at weaning stage (don’t rush there, it’s hard work!!!), you’ll be tempted to try all of the baby food pouches and jars available at the supermarket but as some are £1 a pop, I’d recommend recreating them yourself first. At stage 1, babies only need cooked and pureed fruit and vegetables so do that yourself and save some money. Annabel Karmel is the LEGEND when it comes to baby food and she has a huge range of recipes that will help you through the process.

And my final tip to cut the cost of having a baby?

12. Baby modelling. If your little one is extra cute, they may be able to earn you a little bit of extra money with some modelling work. All you do is pay an agency fee and then you’ll make that money up in no time with modelling gigs. If you go with an established agency such as Baby Models UK, you will have the peace of mind that all contracts are safe and professional.

Mums, have I missed any ways to cut the cost of having a baby? Please share your money saving tips below xx

The best phone apps – for saving money

I’ve mentioned before how important my phone is to me. I carry it around with me all day, even if it’s just from room to room at home! And as being smart with money is such a big passion of mine, it’s only natural that I’d have a ton of money saving apps on my mobile.

Why? Well, not only does it make banking online much easier but I can also track my spending, EARN MONEY while out and about, keep a budget, and compare shopping deals on the go. It’s a no brainer!

Just who wouldn’t want to grow their bank balance with their phone?!

So here’s a round up of some of the best money saving apps out there BUT before you get any of them, make sure you have a pin code or fingerprint lock on your phone to keep your money safe!

Let’s start with banking.

rbsapp fdapp hsbcappbarclaysapp natwestapp

If you bank with any of these boys, then you’re in good hands as all have apps which are known to be very safe and have great functionality. By having your bank’s app on your phone, you can easily check your balance (to see if you can afford what you’re about to buy!), transfer money or set up any payments you require, while on the move. Easy!

If you don’t bank with the ones mentioned above, you can go ahead and get your bank’s app but it might not be the easiest thing to use just yet. Don’t worry though, they’re all working on improving their apps all the time.

Next, let’s look at tracking your spending.

wallyappIn my opinion, the best app available for this is Wally. Why? Well, not only is it free but it’s also very simple – you record your disposable income at the start of the month and then you track your spending each day, and the app lets you see where you stand in terms of remaining income.

It also shows you your spending habits i.e. how much you spend on clothing or food versus other items.

This feature is very handy if you want to set yourself some saving goals.

goodbudgetappTo go one step further and manage your money through budgeting, I’d recommend GoodBudget. It allows you to set spending limits for different things i.e. clothing spend (eeeek!), and lets you see when you’re close to overspending.

The best feature is that it can be synced with multiple devices which is great if you’re doing the budget for the whole household. You can keep an eye on your other half’s spending mwah ha ha!

 

What about earning money?

There are a few apps for this.

Starting with cashback:

quidcoappclicksnap Quidco, one of the UK’s leading cashback sites, has two apps.

The first (Quidco) shows you cashback offers available in shops, coffee shops and restaurants in the local area so you can make savings while you’re out and about, and the second app (ClickSnap) gives you cashback on your food at the supermarket. All you do is buy any of the items listed here and you’ll get cashback when you submit your receipt.

topcashbackapp Topcashback, the other leading cashback site, does the same as Quidco’s two apps but in one. I would recommend getting all three though as they don’t always have the same offers.

 

 

 

You can also do a little work for some cash:

clicandwalkappClic and Walk offers you cash in return for completing missions whereby you take photos or videos or nearby sites or buildings and send them in.

The downside is that the payments are very small but if you get a mission to go somewhere you’re heading to anyway, what’s the harm in taking part?

 

 

ipollappThere’s also iPoll which rewards you for completing surveys. I figure that if you’re half-watching something on the TV or are sitting waiting for a bus, you might as well earn something back at the same time!

 

 

 

For saving money while shopping:

vouchercodesapp Vouchercodes.co.uk is highly rated as it lists voucher codes, printable vouchers and lots of other types of discounts and deals in your local area or available online.

Handily segmented by activity, the offers are really easy to find and it makes eating out a LOT cheaper.

 

 

mysupermarketappThe Mysupermarket app will ensure you pay the best price at the supermarket. Input your shopping list and it’ll tell you which supermarket will give you the cheapest bill, or scan items in-store and it will tell you if the item is cheaper elsewhere.

I use the website when planning my main food shop for the week and the first time I did it, I saved £20!

 

 
tastecardappIf you fancy dining somewhere other than a chain restaurant, you might have luck finding a deal with the Tastecard app. With over 7,000 restaurants listed, you’re bound to find somewhere in your area offering a fab deal.

And to finish off, while we’re on the subject of food, to avoid opting for an expensive ready meal at the supermarket….

 
bigovenappTry BigOven. It will revolutionalise the way you do your food shopping. Planning ahead is the only way to make big savings on your grocery bills and this app lets you build a meal planner using its massive database of recipes. There is also the option of finding recipes which use up your leftovers to ensure you’re making your food shopping go as fas as possible.  And with so much lovely inspiration, you may end up cutting your dining out bills too!

 

And on that note, have you signed up for the FeastStyleThrive finance boot camp yet? It’s a free 5 day e-course which will take your finances from shabby to shockingly brilliant! So, stop unknowingly throwing your money away, and start building a hefty pot of cash to spend on the finer things in life!

Sign up for the free financial boot camp

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Thanks for reading!

Making a meal from what’s in your cupboard: easy cheese scones

HOW TO MAKE CHEESE SCONES

I’ve said before that I try to be smart with my money so that I can go on lovely holidays, and SHOP. And being smart with my money also applies to food. I used to buy my dinner every night on the way home from work and it cost me a fortune.  So now, I plan meals and I do a weekly shop.  It has made such a difference.

But on the odd occasion that my planning has gone wrong – we’re short of food or I’ve been too tight and haven’t accounted for the fact that P and I eat a lot more than we probably should – it’s good to have a few recipes up my sleeve that allow me to create a meal or a snack from the basics in my cupboard.

My first example: Chilli cheese scones

They’re tasty, tempting and almost posh(!) but they are one of the easiest things to make in the world. Also, they’re a great substitute for bread if you’ve run out.

Ingredients

To make 6 small ones, which will do two of you for a meal with some ham (ooh or proscuitto!!), all you need is:

4 oz self raising flour

Seven twists of a salt mill (ish)

1 oz of butter

1/2 tspn of chilli flakes (omit if you fancy regular cheese scones)

1/2 oz grated cheddar (the more mature the better)

75ml milk

Method

Mix together the flour, salt and chilli flakes and then add the softened butter.  Once mixed well, chuck in the cheese and the milk and you’ll see it form a dough like consistency.  Combine into one ball, lift out of the bowl and place on a floured surface.

Knead it a bit, flatten to 2cm thick with the palm of your hand and then cut into small rounds.  I used an espresso cup as my cutter and it worked pretty well.

raw scones

Once you’ve got your 6 rounds, lay them on a greased baking tray, brush with milk and then bung them in the oven at 200 degrees fan for 15 minutes until golden brown.

cheese chilli scones

It takes about 20 mins in total to make the things and you’ll feel so resourceful. You’ll also have saved yourself a few quid! Enjoy!

cheese scones

And if you’d like to learn more about saving money, on groceries, and much more, sign up for FeastStyleThrive’s free email course below. Follow it and you should save hundreds of pounds a month!!

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The month’s 10 best clothing buys under £10 – May

If we IGNORE the weather over the last few days and think back to the weekend, the weather has been GLORIOUS. The sun got his hat on and ROCKED IT.

All over the country, people were pulling on their shorts and flipflops, cleaning out their bbqs, and shamefully shunning the sun tan lotion all in honour of some lovely lovely rays.

We may have had a bit of a blip over the last few days (with torrential rain causing a small flood in my back garden) but a blip is all it is. The sun is on his way back to us. And it is because of this that I have dedicated this month’s 10 best clothes under £10 to summer wear.

Yes.

Let’s get summery.

And let’s do it on a budget because we can.

(But be quick because some of these lovely items are disappearing quickly!)

Here’s to May’s best clothes under £10!

10under101 10under1021. Beige Colour Block Oversized Tshirt, £10 from River Island, 2. Red contrast trim turtle neck, £10 from River Island, 3 Grey Tie Neck Body, £7.20 from Dorothy Perkins, 4. Laura Daisy Print Tie Belt Flippy Shorts, £10 from boohoo.com, 5. Five pocket Jeans in Dusted Mint, £8 from Marks & Spencer, 6. Navy White Contrast Sleeve Tee, £10 from Nobody’s Child, 7. Blue Tropical Print Tube Skirt, £9.99 from New Look, 8. Ruffle Front Shirt, £5 from Topshop, 9. Wide Fit Tan Metal Knot Sandals, £7.99 at New Look, 10.Grey Border Fitted Boxy Crop Top, £8 from River Island

And if you want more insight into how to save money on your wardrobe…..you know, proper advice on how to get the clothes you want from the brands you love more cheaply, as well as a TON of other help to make your finances a little easier to swallow each month, then sign up below to receive a free guide. Did I mention it’s free?

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