Poundland have loads of cheap stuff to occupy your kids at half term - I like:
Ben 10 and Spiderman armbands Spiderman and Barbie Swim goggles Ben 10 frisbee Sunflower bird feeders A4 coloured paper pad Pack of 40 colouring pencils Pepper Pig sticker pad 6-piece doll's fashion outfits Ben 10 Morph Lite Funtastic beads set Simpsons Slick Slime Dinosaur Model to make Disney Story books Taz, Chuggington, Marvel Heroes, Beano and Bunty annuals New schoolwork "help with homework" books Camping stool Wind-up torch
February half-term is a great time to get the kids gardening. Spring is on the way and it's time for everything to start growing. If you begin in this half-term holiday, you can carry on and develop the gardening activities in the Easter holidays. The Royal Horticultural Society has an edible frog pond to create - yummy! There are also colouring sheets to download, an ice mobile to make and fascinating horticultural facts. The BBC's Gardening with Children website has more ideas. Gardening with your kids may not exactly be free, but you can improvise. Collect yoghourt pots and other plastic food containers and explore the seeds at your local garden centre or supermarket. Look for special children's mixed seed packets which may work out more varied than buying lots of packets of different seeds. Check dates and see what could be planted now and what should be done at Easter - but even now, it's not too early to start planning. Don't just think about flowers- lettuce seeds are great for coming up quickly and can be sown every couple of weeks in containers for a great crop all summer - buy mixed salad leaves seeds for the most interesting and colourful show. Don't forget that by Easter there should be plenty of other seeds that children can plant. Lovely large seeds like courgette and squash can be planted one to a pot and will soon be sturdy little plants (keep up high away from snails!) ready to plant out for summer. Children can then eat their own produce! More ideas for school holidays!
A whole week to keep the kids occupied without spending too much - how will we cope? Well, by being inventive, active, educational and economical of course! Yes, I know, easier said than done - but I've got some ideas! First, think about being outside as much as you can if the weather is dry. Doesn't matter if we don't see the sun or if it's freezing cold - as long as it's not raining, get out there! So try a woodland walk- the Woodland Trust (very topical in the fight to save our Ancient Woodlkands) has a whole range of activities to download for free and free packs. There are bird spotting sheest with colouring and activities and as a last resort for a rainy day there are a great selection of online games on the site. There are quizzes and puzzle sheets too. So that's a bit of outside activity and something quiet and relaxing to do when you all get back home. More ideas for school holidays!
What have I done this week to save money? Well, I'm afraid not very much. It's not been a great week for me one way and another and life, with all its intransigencies, has got in the way of my moneysaving. The only thing I have done (or can remember doing) to save money this week, was to switch off the microwave at the wall plug. That little clock goes on ticking 24/7 and who needs it? How many clocks do we need in a kitchen? So now the microwave is off unless we want to cook with it. May be only a small saving, but it's a saving that's going on day in, day out, month in, month out, year in...well you get the picture. Edit - just remembered- on Friday I made lunch from some of those "biscuits for cheese" we never ate at Christmas and some Gouda cheese that we never ate at Christmas, either! I am here to report that it was all delicious and I have suffered no ill effects! More money saved! Let's hope I can do better next week!
Yes the ideal Valentine's present for a dieter a box of chocs they can't eat! This free crochet pattern is very cute, get it HERE! Or you could trim that bottle of champagne with a crochet heart - free pattern HERE! Then you can add to the ambience of your room by making and hanging a Valentine's Day heart mobile- get the pattern HERE!
What have I done to save money this week? I'm going to keep asking myself that question every day, every week - just to keep my mind focussed on my spending (and saving). Well, this week I have:
stored my roll-on deodourant upside down to get another week's (or maybe 2 weeks)applications. It works.
poured boiled water over my mascara brush, shaken off the excess and replaced it in the capsule. Has already given me another week of daily applications as my mascara was dry and running out. It's going to last next week as well.
Walked 100 yards across the shoppping centre to buy my usual shampoo from an independant pharmacy for £1.19 as Superdrug had put it up to £2.03!
Remembered that the so-called cheap chain stores are not always the cheapest!
Checked out the reduced counter in my local supermarket and bought 3 pineapples for 60p (not strictly saving money, I know - but we like it and only buy it when it's reduced).
Eaten Saturday night's leftovers for my lunch on Tuesday - mmm, Jamie Oliver Tapas!
Can't remember anything else at the moment - but I'm working on it.