Bargain · Budget · Maternity Leave · Money · Moneysaving · Parenting · Weaning

The Art of Getting by on SMP #4

4.5  Months! 20 weeks, and 18lb 4oz –  what a champ! He’s having his moments, and there certainly seems to be some separation anxiety that comes and goes, but Albert is making leaps and bounds. This week, he’s shaking a rattle, moving around all over the place, thrusting his hips up when lying down, rolling to the side, playing with his feet to name a few of his new talents! Oh and squawking. So much squawking – my ears!

Time flies by so fast, and I find myself barely having time to blog at all! Must try harder!

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This card is now markedly more chewed on than its predecessors
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Matching outfits for a BBQ

My money saving tips this time round include:

  • Bagging free baby food

I signed up with Ella’s Kitchen and got my free weaning pack, which included a wall chart and stickers, and a coupon for a free sachet of first tastes food. I also went to my local NCT Bumps and Babes group and they had a bundle of left over Piccolo food from their Nearly New sale, so they were giving that out, I grabbed 3 sachets. September’s Tesco Magazine has a coupon for a free sachet of HIPP food, and I also had been sent a coupon from HiPP’s own club, for 75p off any baby food item – in Sainsburys, the jars are only 75p anyway so that was free too!

I’m building up a real stockpile of jars and sachets, and a friend is giving me a baby food blender that she no longer needs, so soon I can start with my own concoctions. We also have raspberries growing in our garden, through sheer luck rather than merit I might add, and my friend suggested I freeze some for later on as her son really loves his raspberries. Soon we’ll need a highchair. Thankfully D’s dad has offered to buy us the one we like from John Lewis, which splits into a table and chair for when A gets bigger.

  • Second Hand baby gear

The NCT Nearly New Sale was great, I am so glad I didn’t miss it. It was starting at 11:45 for NCT members, and we had guests arriving for a BBQ at 13:00, and we had SO much to do I said I would miss it, but D persuaded me I should go as I had been looking forward to checking it out. After some frantic gardening, I jumped in the shower, and didn’t even brush my hair before jumping in the car before heading to the sale. I got a lovely Mamas and Papas grey changing bag , a couple of great wooden toys, a set of balls for a ball pit (we were planning on having one for the BBQ and the 100 balls I had bought online didn’t look like enough) and a couple of books, one for Albie, and one for me – the Wonder Weeks, which I am glad I got as it is so much more detailed than the app! All for £12!

  • Party leftovers

Our barbecue was great, we had a lovely day, it was a little overcast but only spat with rain a little towards the end. I made a gigantic cheese board, and had bought two different birthday cakes, then wonderful friends turned up with even more cake, and booze. We’ve now got more booze than we started with, since most our our buddies came with kids and were gone by 6pm. And so much leftover meat, cheese and cake! I’ve been trying my very best not to waste it, so I shoved what I could in the freezer, but the burgers had already been frozen when I collected them from the butchers, so I divided the 18 remaining burgers into meatballs and slowcooked them, so that lasted a good few meals.  The chicken was also all cooked the next day, so we had that over several lunches during the week. The leftover cheese is being slowly rationed out, and the cake, I’ve been making D take it to work with him to give out to colleagues – I fell off the Weightwatchers wagon for a week or so due to family circumstances and the BBQ, so now I am back on it, and another 2lb down! 30 to go!

What we’ve been spending on this last month:

  • Our dear old cat Sadie needed to go to the vet and upon discovering that she had a large tumour, the vet told us it was kinder to put her to sleep than to try and treat it. This came with a bill of course, and D spent an entire weekend digging a hole so that we could bury her in the back garden. Under 3 weeks later, really feeling her absence in our home, we were offered 2 rescue kittens by D’s aunt who volunteers at a shelter. Harry and Delilah are 11 weeks old and completely bonkers. We have no idea which is which. We had a feeling, based on their personalities and issued collars, but the mites keep pulling them off. We’ll soon be needing to get them neutered/spayed so the vet can tell us then which is which!img_20160923_192924
  • We finally got our piano tuned. The piano lives in our dining room, I got it for free from a local Facebook page for items being given away. I don’t play at all, I am virtually tone deaf, but D plays a little, and we really wanted it around for Albie to grow up around music. I never had music lessons as a kid as my parents weren’t that way inclined but I really wish that I had lessons in something now!
  • We got an eye-watering quote for a new kitchen, which we certainly cannot afford as is, but we’re shopping around. With the rest of the house done, the kitchen and bathroom are looking seriously scruffy so we want to get to work with them as soon as possible. I have found someone selling a 3 week old range cooker on Facenook for £150 so I have arranged for that to be delivered this week, so I am trying to get rid of our current one in the meantime, hopefully for a few pence!

Projects ideas I’ve got in the pipeline:

  • Working out how to have an epic Christmas on a budget – we’ll be hosting this year, so we need to decorate the house and feed the masses. I’m collecting gift ideas and have grand plans to make some chutney from the apples on the tree in our garden as gifts too.
  • I’ve got my mum’s desk from her childhood bedroom, so it’s about 50 years old. Now that D has a new computer desk, I have liberated this one and since I need a space for my sewing machine, I plan to give this one a spruce.
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