Monday, 26 January 2015

Money Mondays - The Envelope Budget System

I can't remember a time when I wasn't savvy about saving money, I'm always looking for a bargain, using coupons, looking for freebies (that are relevant to us of course), trying to stretch our money that little bit farther, finding much needed items on Freecycle and the list goes on.

I'm always looking for inspirational blogs about how to save money and become debt free and kept coming across articles about using cash instead of debit cards for your weekly or monthly budget, the money is to be stored in different envelopes depending on your budget, for example we have one for groceries, one for petrol and one for Chris's expenses.

I started using the envelope system at the beginning of January and so far it's working really well for us, because we can actually see where the cash is going it's making us more careful about spending it, any money that's leftover each week goes into a separate envelope and will either be paid off our credit cards or used for a family day out, as much as we want to pay our debts down quickly we also need to be able to have a treat or life would be very dull and we would lose motivation.

Another great side effect of using the envelopes is that our 'loose change' sealed money box is filling up nicely.

I'm so glad we have given the envelope system a go, I feel like we are telling our money where to go instead of it disappearing in dribs and drabs from the bank, it's helping me budget better for our groceries which I will write about in next weeks Money Monday post.

Do you use the envelope system ? I would love to hear how it works for you if you do.

Angela x

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Webster's Week In Wins 18th-25th January 2015

I'm glad to say I've had a couple of little wins this week, I spent nearly two days in bed or resting so took the opportunity to enter lots of competitions, of course it might be February before I see any fruits from my labour but that's the amazing thing about comping you never know what's just around the corner.

On Monday I noticed the hashtag Blue Monday being mentioned a lot so I decided to search it on Twitter, I use the search facility a lot on Twitter to find low entry competitions, I don't just find competitions that need retweeting I also spot links to competitions usually with short closing dates, that was the case with my first win this week, a pair of cinema tickets from Freesat. The competition was only open for that day, Chris and I are going to see the new sci-fi movie Ex-Machina in a couple of weeks.

Also on Monday one of my Facebook comping friends mentioned that a competition from Magners that has been running on Blippar were being generous with their instant win prizes, I had been entering daily before Christmas but had forgotten it was still open, I had a go and won a Beanie hat, Chris had a go too when he got home and won one as well so no danger of our head's getting cold.

A Countryfile DVD that I won a couple of weeks ago from a local newspaper arrived in the post on Thursday.

As I mentioned last week I won a Frijj milkshake with the Spar's Shop & Win promotion, I picked it up on Friday and needed to buy something else so I entered again and this time I won a Muller yogurt, each time you play you are also entered to win £500, it's running until the 15th February so still plenty of time to enter.

I nearly forgot to mention that my Very Lazy prize that I won on Instagram arrived this week, a jar of chopped chilli's.

This week I'm going to concentrate on my wins wishlist for 2015, I'm a little behind on creating it, follow me on Pinterest if you fancy a nosey I'm MrsWebster147 or have a go at doing one of your own, it really helps keep you focussed.

Have a winning week

Angela x

This Week At The Webster's - Sniffle's, Snot & No Sleep

The above title sums up this last week perfectly, it's been an absolute nightmare, Daisy brought a nasty cold home from pre-school, she was really poorly last weekend but by Monday she seemed a lot better apart from a snotty nose so she went to school as usual.

                                                              My Poorly little girl

On Monday evening after doing the washing up I started getting a headache, then within a couple of minutes the back of my throat and my nose started burning and I felt really stuffy, I had a terrible night trying to sleep but tossing and turning, limbs aching and sweating like mad.

Tuesday morning I felt horrid, Chris had to take a few days off work due to him being poorly too, the next two days we muddled along between us taking it in turns to have a nap, sleep at night time was elusive.

By Wednesday poor Jake was full of it too, coupled with teething he's had a really rough time of it, he seems to sleep illness off unlike his sister who prefers to be awake when what she needs is rest.

Chris went back to work on Thursday so it was back to our normal routine, none of us felt any better but we had no choice but to get on with it.

I think it's hit us harder than usual as we were only just getting over cold's, cough and croup from Christmas.

Everyone I spoke to last week seemed to be suffering the same so there must be a particularly nasty strain of the cold virus doing the rounds.

Thankfully we are all starting to feel much better now, I can't stand weeks like that where everyone is in a grotty mood and nothing get's done, I've been so motivated since the beginning of January and it really felt like I had stalled but I mustered up some energy this weekend and got stuff done.

So onwards and upwards into a new week with less snot and plenty of sleep.

Angela x

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Our Winning Afternoon In Liverpool & A Giveaway

Just before Christmas I won a prize with Juice FM, a £75 voucher to spend at Beauty Buzz Kardashian Beauty store in Liverpool then a couple of weeks ago I won a meal with a bottle of wine at Gusto on the Albert Docks, as both prizes required a trip to Liverpool we decided to make an afternoon of it.

We left the little ones at home (not alone of course) and made our way to Liverpool and headed to church street to find the Kardashian store, we walked all the way to the end of Church street before admitting defeat and popping into a camera shop to ask them what number they were, after finding our bearings we headed back the way we came to find the store right at where we had started ! Not to worry as we enjoyed the street entertainment on the way.

The lady in the Beauty Buzz store was really friendly and so helpful, although I do wear make-up I've always been an eye-liner, foundation and powder type of girl, keep it simple is my motto, after a little friendly guidance I chose my products, most of which were on buy one get one free, what a bonus !

We left the store and headed back towards Albert Docks, we had some time to spare before our reservation so we had a wander round, taking photo's, we popped in to look at the 1950's house, looked out across the Mersey and spotted the love locks that I heard so much about.

We made our way into Gusto, we were a little early so ordered a drink and sat on the comfy well worn leather sofa's in the bar area, once our beeper started flashing we were shown to our table and the waiter took our order's, I had already studied the menu at home so we knew exactly what we wanted, the food was delicious, I totally forgot to take a photo of the starter's as Chris and I were both so hungry having missed lunch so we could fit all three courses into our belly's.

The only negatives about the experience were the dim lighting and the very loud music, I could barely hear what the waiter was asking me and Chris and I had to almost shout to have a conversation.

With full belly's and me a little tipsy from one glass of wine too many we made the journey home, we were treated to a few flakes of snow but sadly they didn't stick.

We had a fantastic afternoon all for free and thanks to this wonderful hobby, so I thought I would treat you my readers to something nice, I picked up an extra palette and powder compact from Beauty Buzz to giveaway.

All you need to do to enter is complete the tasks in the Gleam widget below.

Open to UK residents only.
The winner will be selected at random the Gleam widget.
The winner will be informed by email & will have 28 days to respond before the prize is passed on to another winner.

Kim Kardazzle Palette & Flawless Finishng Powder In Nude

Angela x

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Webster's Week In Wins 12th-18th January 2015

I've really gotten back into the swing with comping this week and have had a couple of nice wins, I can't seem to get up the motivation to start the survey sites just yet but I'm sure I will soon.

I had been doing shop & scan for about six months but I didn't feel that the reward was worth the time and effort you have to put in so I decided to end my participation, the scanning part is easy but remembering to upload and then scan each receipt was time consuming and we often forgot or rushed just before the deadline.

The Cbeebies magazine that I won for Daisy from their Facebook page arrived this week, Daisy has already demolished the sticker page, they had another giveaway last Friday so it might be worth having a go yourselves.

On Thursday I had an email from Asda Magazine to say they had re-drawn an earlier competition due to someone not being able to accept the prize and I had won a family ticket to Gulliver's World with access to Splash, Spy or Nerf zone, I'm delighted as we haven't taken Daisy yet and we live really close by.

The Cow & Gate pouches are from Mumsnet, we are trialling them and then letting Mumsnet know what we think, we could also win a £250 Mothercare voucher for giving our opinion, I've tested several things for Mumsnet, it's a brilliant way to try new products.

On Thursday I got a message on my Instagram account from Very Lazy Foods to say I had won a prize, I'm not sure what it is yet so I will let you know when it arrives. They have a new Instagram account and are giving away prizes for every 100 followers they get up to a 1000 so if you're quick and give them a like you could be in with a chance too !

Change 4 Life do these packs a couple of times a year and are really worth applying for, as well as containing coupons there are stickers, a shopping list pad and some great ideas of healthier snacks.

If you have a little fan of Lego make sure you sign up to their free club , Daisy loves getting her Lego magazine through the post, inside you will find stories, activities and competitions.

If you shop at the Spar be sure to keep your receipt as they have a 'Shop & Win' promotion on at the moment, details are on the bottom of your receipt. I played today and won a Frijj Milkshake and was entered in a £500 prize draw.

Also if you are not already signed up to Tesco's Orchard scheme then have a pop over there and join, I've just had a new campaign email through, they are sending me a £10 coupon to spend on fresh meat which can be used on their 3 for £10 deal, have brilliant is that just for your opinion and spreading the word.

I think that's it for this week, please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or if you want to tell me about any great freebies or wins you have had recently.

Be Lucky

Angela x

Daisy's First Week At Pre-School

Monday was the day I'd been dreading ever since I put Daisy's application in last year, it would be her first step on the ladder of education but it would also be the day that I let my little girl out into the big bad world on her own, I know that sounds terribly dramatic but that's how it felt.

You would think it would be like water off a ducks back to me, I have a 17 and a 15 year old who both survived primary school but that seems like a lifetime ago now, I think it felt different this time too as I gave up work when Daisy was born so we have spent all of our time together.

I knew that Daisy was more than ready to head off to pre-school, she's such a friendly sociable child, she's also very bright and inquisitive which I haven't been able to nurture quite as much since Jake was born.

The Thursday before she started we had a home visit from her teacher and one of the teaching assistants, this is quite a new thing to me and I'm still not entirely sure why it's necessary, the following day Daisy spent an hour at pre-school which she was very excited about, she looked most offended when I came to collect her.

Over the weekend we bought her uniform and PE kit, uniform is not compulsory but I like them as they look so sweet and of course it saves her good clothes from any damage.

As a side note, if you are ever stuck for finding the right size pumps, try Marks & Spencer's they have a great range.

So Monday morning all nice and neat in her new uniform with her snack money in hand Daisy happily toddled into pre-school, I collected her a few hours later, she had a good morning and told me she was 'humbry' and wanted her lunch.

Each morning she goes in, hangs her coat on her peg, finds her name apple, puts it on the tree then practices writing her name, parents are encouraged to do this with their children which I think is nice.

I ask her each day what she's been doing and the answer is always the same 'dunno' or 'nuthin' which I think is pretty normal, she always know's what she's had for snack funnily enough.

The new routine has been a bit of a shock to our systems and by Thursday afternoon we were all exhausted, once Daisy had finished on Friday we all had an afternoon nap !

Daisy seems happy and excited to go in each morning although she has brought home a nasty cold so this weekend hasn't been much fun.

I have missed my little buddy but it's also been nice to have a some time to myself, Jake has been napping in the mornings so I've been able to relax and enjoy the quiet.

So that's it our life of school run's, homework, school holiday's and education has begun.

Have your little ones started pre-school recently ? how did they and you find the transition ? let me know in the comments, I always like to hear from you.

Angela x


Saturday, 10 January 2015

Webster's Week In Wins 5-11th January 2015

Last year was my worst year, prize wise in all of my 12 years of comping, no matter how much extra time I put into my hobby the wins were few and far between, luckily surveys and freebies were aplenty.

It's a brand new year full of possibilities and this first week has been rather lovely prize wise.

The DVD was a prize from last year that I had to chase up, I've heard good things about this film and it's always a bonus if we can watch a film altogether.

Chris won the t-shirt last year and we had forgotten all about it, it's a very generous size which is a good thing after the Christmas indulgence.

The letter takes the best prize of the week award, it's a voucher for a meal for two with wine at Gusto, I've looked at the menu and oh my goodness it all sounds delicious, it will be a lovely treat for Chris and I without the children for once, just have to decide when to book now.

On Friday I entered a comment giveaway on Cbeebies Facebook page and won a comic for Daisy, she will be delighted when it arrives.

I also had a letter informing me of a win from a local paper, a Countryfile Seasons DVD, it should hopefully arrive soon.

No freebies in the post this week but I did redeem £40 in Argos vouchers from a few survey sites which meant that Jake's new car seat only cost us £10 cash.

Be Lucky

Angela x