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Choosing An Eco-Friendly Christmas | AD

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Disclosure | This post is a paid collaboration with Liverpool One. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

Brown paper and scissors
I was watching a series of instagram stories from a celebrity I follow recently and she was making her own Christmas crackers. I was intrigued so I watched as she made them and filled them with prizes that she knew the recipient would like. It got me thinking about the amount of crackers we have pulled over the years and how all the plastic toys inside have just ended up in the bin. It's such a waste and not very environmentally friendly at all. I am actually thinking of making my own this year too. I have also been looking at more ways that we can enjoy an eco-friendly Christmas.

We did start thinking more about waste and our environment a few years ago and we started to make some steps to becoming eco friendly. We made a decision to stop giving and receiving cards, not just at Christmas but birthdays too. Not only do they cost a small fortune but it's such a waste and they do end up in the recycling bin anyway.

This year I will definitely be making our own Christmas crackers and I am thinking about ditching the wrapping paper for brown paper and string. I actually think it looks so much prettier than the multi-coloured paper.

shopping centre
We love heading to Liverpool One at Christmas time to buy all our Christmas shopping. There are so many ways that you can enjoy an eco-friendly Christmas and you could start by making little tweaks when it comes to buying gifts.

John loves coffee and we have a lovely Nespresso coffee machine at home so for Christmas I am thinking about buying him a nice supply of Nespresso pods and a new reusable take out cup. This way he can make his own coffees in the morning and use his cup. Then once he has finished with his Nespresso pods we will take them back to the shop for them to be recycled. I know there will be some morning when he will feel like a Costa Coffee and that's fine, all he needs to do is take his reusable cup with him and they will fill it with his favourite drink. Not only is he helping to save the planet but the pennies too as Costa will take 25p off the cost of his drink.

John will probably head to Lush for some goodies for me this Christmas and if you didn't know already the black pots that Lush products come in are not recyclable everywhere so to encourage you to help the planet Lush asks that you bring back your pots so they can be reused. As a thank you for every five pots returned they give you a free face mask. The Body Shop also offer you the chance to return bottles to them for recycling and whilst there is no reward it is nice to know that you are helping the planet.

These a just a few ideas that we have in mind for this Christmas and whilst they are only small if everyone made just a little effort we could all be enjoying an Eco-Friendly Christmas.

Michelle
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5 Ways To Make Some Extra Money | AD

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Disclosure - This is a paid collaboration. If you chose to sign up to Shopmium using my Referral code please note that I may receive a referral credit. 

hands holding a piggy bank
Those who know me know I like to find ways to make a little bit of extra money each month. It helps pay for days out with the kids or a meal out. Once the Summer is over and the boys are back at school I start thinking about Christmas and how using Cashback Apps, Coupons or finding the latest deals can help save some pennies for my most favourite time of year. I've popped below 5 ways to make some extra money before Christmas.

Food and Drink Cashback Apps
I have mentioned this very briefly on my blog but using apps such as Checkout Smart, Shopmium and Click Snap save me so much money each month. The apps have lists of food and drink items which you can earn cashback on.

For example at the moment Checkout Smart are offering £1.60 cashback on 12 Richmond Thick Sausages if you buy at Asda.

If I want to buy these I pop along to Asda purchase them for £3.20 (that's how much they are in store right now), come home, load up my app, snap a photo of my receipt and a few hours later I will receive £1.20 in my Checkout Smart Account. It really is that simple.

They also offer lots of free items too so you get 100% cashback. Shopmium has an offer on at the moment giving you the opportunity to try Maggi Fusian Pots for free. All you need to do is pop along to Tesco, buy a flavour of your choice, upload your receipt and Shopmium will refund you the full amount straight to your bank or paypal address.

I like to save the money I receive during the month from cashbacks. You will be surprised how quickly it banks up.

If you would like to try Shopmium you can download the app and if you pop in my referral code KFYYKYGQ we can both receive increased offers plus you will get a FREE tube of Pringles.

Latest Deals
When I need to buy anything whether it is just something I need at the time or whether I'm browsing for presents I always check for the latest deals.


I have found so many amazing offers over the years through using websites and forums. Everyone loves a bargain and you would be a fool to pay full price for something in one shop if you can get it half price in another. Also you can use these type of sites to find items that you may not of thought of, at a great price. Finding offers can help you afford other gifts or you can pop the money you've saved away in your savings pot.

Sell Your Stuff

I like to have a clear out a few times a year of old toys, old clothes and basically anything I don't use anymore. Over the years I have donated so much to charity shops but I do like to try and sell some of my old stuff using sites like eBay or Gumtree. What's no good to you anymore could be perfect for someone else. eBay is a great way to sell unwanted items especially this time of year when people are browsing for gift ideas for Christmas. eBay gives you the chance to auction your items or you can give potential buyers the chance to buy it now. You will be surprised how much money you can make by selling items that you don't use anymore.

Check Your Direct Debits
This is something I try and do every now and then. I go through all our outgoings that come out of our bills account and see if there are any I don't need anymore. Sometimes I sign up for things like little insurances for appliances that only cost a couple of pounds a month but when you haven't had the appliance for over a year yet still paying you are wasting money.


Finding Help Elsewhere
You may have tried all of the above and you still need a few extra pennies or an emergency may have cropped up. I think we have all been in that situation and it can make you panic especially when you just don't have any spare cash to hand. cashlady can offer small loans to those that need that extra cash quickly. John and I needed a small loan when we first started living together and I remember thinking it was a bad idea however as it was only a small amount we were able to pay it back within a few months but it really did help help us in a sticky situation and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again if needed. Quick loans like the one we needed tend to be smaller amounts and over shorter periods, for example a few months.


I hope these help you save a little extra money before the Christmas period. Do you have any other 'saving' tips?
 Michelle
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Trolley Bags Xtra and Cool Bag Review and Giveaway

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I have been using my current Trolley Bags now for about two years and I absolutely love them, in fact I would be lost without them. Trolley Bags do exactly what they say, they are bags that fit in your trolley while you are out shopping. Trolley Bags really do take that stress away especially if using the popular 'scan as you shop' option in Tesco or in Aldi when you are trying to pack your shopping away as soon as the cashier scans it. Trolley Bags have extended their product range to now offer an Xtra Bag and a Cooler Bag.
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Shopping Made Easier With Trolley Bags #giveaway

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Trolley Bags
A few weeks ago I noticed in my local Tesco that they had a trolley near the 'Scan As You Shop'. It was filled with coloured Trolley Bags. I had seen people with these bags before in their trolleys and although they looked good I never got round to trying them out, until recently. Trolley bags are exactly what you would expect, bags that fit in your trolley.
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Letting Your Child Choose New Toys

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I decided to take little J for some new toys recently. He loves toys and he hasn't really had any new ones since his birthday in March. When we arrived at Smyths I told him that he could buy some new toys and he could pick them himself. He was really excited and kept saying 'new toys for me'


Just outside the store was a huge Lego figure so he climbed on and posed for a photo.


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Free Shopping Using Cashback Apps

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food shopping that was free using cashback apps
I like to think I'm quite savvy when it comes to shopping. It's very rare we will go food shopping without it being planned beforehand. There are so many ways to save money on your weekly shop and if you give it a little thought you can save a lot. 
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Belo & Me Little Lunch Bag

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Disclosure - We were sent the products below for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our unless stated. 

I recently found the cutest little lunch bags over at Belo & Me. I love jute bags and I have shopper bags that I take with me when I go the supermarket. I'm not a fan of plastic bags. They always rip or break so I prefer to take my own with me.
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I'm a #MorrisonsMum Thanks To BritMums | AD

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Disclosure - We were gifted £80 Morrisons vouchers for the purpose of this post.

£80 morrisons vouchers
I was so thrilled and honoured last week when BritMum's made me a Morrisons Mum. I was so excited when I opened my envelope and inside was a lovely letter telling me I had been chosen. Enclosed was £80 worth of vouchers for me to spend on May Bank Holiday Weekend.
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