***Update*** How MSM's Money Tips Are Working In The Real World!

03/06/2012 13:11

Hello All, MoneySavingMummy Steph here with an update on how my tips are working for me! I have had a lovely week's break with MSD (MoneySavingDaddy) to kick off my maternity leave and we have saved ourselves a nice lump just by a bit of wise shopping and researching!

Tuesday: Garden Makeover

On Tuesday, with the beautiful weather we have been having, we decided to give the garden a bit of a makeover. I purchased a little plastic put-u-up greenhouse just a few months ago in the half price sale (paid £19.99) and I really wanted to fill it with veg and herbs, but due to the garden work not getting finished, my Poundland-purchased stuff died on the windowsill awaiting bigger pots! MSD and I made tracks to our local B&M bargains to have a browse first of all, as we really wanted some cheap pots and pick up a few bargains along the way. We then headed over to Homebase for some lovely things to put in the garden pots. Here are some of my top picks from our spree.

Galpharm Peppermint Antacid Tablets (B&M Bargains) just 99p per pack of 24. (Rennie Equivalent £2.79 for 24)

Two long black planting troughs (B&M Bargains) £1.99 for two.

Bedding plants (Homebase) £3.50 per tray, 3 for £9

Compost (Homebase) £5 for 60 litres, just enough to to all of my planting.

We also purchased various other plants, strawberry and chilli plants, herbs, (spent just £31 in Homebase and came away with a boot full of plants and garden blooms). What makes this so special? I got NECTAR POINTS and discovered a 'FREE' stand on the way out. I picked up some shallots, garlic, and loganberries for absolutely NOTHING! Admittedly I am no gardener, and they are probably not in season now, but if I can make them grow, I haven't lost anything! You may wonder how I got very far at all with only two pots. Well, the previous tenant had left LOADS of pots with dead plants in, so we just reused these beautiful planters! I gave my garden a complete makeover for around £33! Its my little haven for MSB (MoneySavingBaby) and me to enjoy now.

Wednesday: Edinburgh Zoo

Earlier in the week, we decided to take a trip to the zoo. After looking up train tickets and realising it would be £63 for the two of us, we decided to take the car. Despite rising fuel costs, it is still cheaper to take my little Fiesta to Edinburgh with a full tank costing around £55 from empty. I know from the efficiency of my car, it would take a maximum of two thirds of a tank to complete the whole journey. As it happened, I used little more than half a tank, estimating £30 for the trip (half the cost of train tickets). On arrival, we did get a little shock for the £4 parking charge! If we'd known we would be stung we would have sourced an alternative. Never mind, we wandered in and got our tickets, just under £28 for the two of us, without paying the optional donation. We saw some lovely animals, my favourites are the meerkats, and I love all monkeys! The giant panda exhibition was also open and we got to see Yang Guang and Tian Tian chomping at the bamboo!

As you will all know, another MoneySaving tip I always preach is 'take your own munch'! We took a packed lunch of sandwiches, cola, two packets of crisps and little bits of snacks, costing us around £5 in all, saving us probably £10-15 on zoo food.

Our lovely day out in total cost us less than £70, and we had a fantastic day doing things we don't normally get time to do, while saving pennies at the same time! Being 32 weeks pregnant was rather tiring, but all the exercise from walking did me the world of good! MSD, being the keen amateur photographer that he is, got around 200 photographs too, which I am thinking about getting some of them printed or canvassed and displayed in our home to brighten it up! I'll be looking out for offer prices on that too!

Friday: Perfume Shopping

As a treat to myself, I really wanted a new perfume, as my favourite Diesel Loverdose had run out (*sob*). I went to the Metro Centre, naturally visiting Boots as a priority (staff discount + Advantage card + vouchers + maternity gift card = HAPPY TIMES) and I knew I would get a good deal, but not as good as this!

I couldn't decide what to get, and after spraying a few, I was going to go back to one of my old favourites, when a colleague sprayed me with Ed Hardy Villain. A light, fruity, non-offensive fragrance, and just what I want for the summer, so I took it! It was £27, but do you think I paid that? NOOOO! I rummaged through my purse, and found I had a £5 off fine fragrance voucher, valid on that fragrance among others! So that would knock it to £22. After taking off discount, I would be paying just over £18, not bad! Then it gets better. As a Jubilee Points Event, I got 10 points per £1 spend, which boosted my Advantage card total. AND because I had my giftcard to use, I didn't actually pay for it out of my own pocket! Now I smell good and feel fabulous with my frugality!

So, all you MoneySavers out there.....

That is how I saved the pennies in my week off.....How proud am I!! Have you had a MoneySavingExperience you want to share? Drop me a line at moneysavingmummy@gmail.com or visit our forum now!