Category: happy

Boost Your Mood And Your Mind

Stress, anxiety, and depression are some of the demons that many of us will face at some point in our life. When you become a parent, it can feel like you are doing the wrong thing by trying to look after yourself, which is, however, entirely false. Looking after your mind and your body is something that everybody should prioritize. However, taking the time out of busy schedules to look after yourself can be guilt inducing and make you feel like you are slacking in other areas of your life. We all have the right to happiness in our lives, and the best way of looking after other people starts by looking after yourself first.Check out the following ways you can boost your mood and see if you connect with any of them.

 

Practice a form of meditation

 

Gone are the days when only guru’s or hippies would practice meditation, and it is now a well-respected and established way to relax, unwind and clear your mind of negative or destructive thoughts. Many people claim that meditation can affect your overall well-being and not just calm and empty your mind. Yoga is one such form of meditation, allowing you to connect your mind to your body and eliminate any interfering thoughts that can cause stress or anxiety. There are many different types of yoga, including Bikram, Kundalini, and Hatha yoga.  Find one that you enjoy, and you feel a connection with. It might be, however, that you simply don’t connect with yoga at all, and that’s okay. There are other practices that don’t entail getting out a mat and putting yourself into a series of complicated looking positions. Mindfulness is one such practice, that benefits the mind and the body all in one. Fans of this movement claim that mindfulness is about being present, enjoying the moment you are in, and focusing on what you are doing without allowing outside influences or future fears to rule your present. This can be a meditative practice as it allows you to focus on the act of being rather than worrying about things that are external to you and therefore beyond your control.

 

Plant based Diets

 

More people than ever are turning to plant-based or vegan diets as a way of boosting their health, as well as reducing the stimulants and  bad habits they may have such as cigarettes and alcohol. Living a more wholesome lifestyle might mean small steps such as exchanging cigarettes for premium e-liquids or only drinking wine on a certain day of the week. There is much evidence to suggest that plant based diets can increase your general health, from reducing the overall cholesterol in your body to providing you with mental clarity, something experienced by many proponents of a plant-based lifestyle. You don’t need to be vegan, however, to experience some of the benefits of a plant-based diet. Increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables you consume daily, and reducing the amount of meat and dairy you consume can really boost the way you feel about yourself. New lifestyle trends are popping up, such as Flexitarianism and Reductionism, all aimed at reducing the number of animal products in your diet as well as the negative impact of the animal industry upon the earth.

 

Focus On Yourself

 

If you are a parent or caregiver, it can be all too easy to lose yourself in caring for other people in your life. While looking after your family is important, it is also to look after yourself, and not lose sight of who you were before you had children. If you have a hobby, then make sure you continue with this and don’t give it up due to time restraints or being too tired to continue. Making time to ‘do you’ will often give you more energy, even if it means sacrificing time in another area of your life. When you do something you love, maybe playing a sport or painting, it can give you a few hours of time off being a parent and allow you to come back to your routine refreshed and with a more positive attitude.

 

I Don’t Want The School Holidays To End!

Not long until the kids are back to school! I can literally hear the sigh of relief from a lot of you!

I’ve got to admit, I have loved every second of the summer holidays with Dinky, he’s really come into himself as a character and his behavior has improved massively.

Before the summer holidays, I was struggling with his behavior because he was very much chatting me back, doing everything opposite to what I had asked and in general, being a little pain in the bum.



So what changed?

Once the summer holidays started, I decided to start this trust routine with him. Before, whenever I left the room I’d have to drag him with me because I’d be worried about him trashing the place or messing around with Mr. Pie’s gaming consoles. I decided to give him the option to show me that I can trust him, and he prevailed wonderfully. So, from then on I was introducing new ways of parenting him and he’s taken so well to it. He used to really freak out if something broke or he knew he had done something wrong, but now he calmly tells me what’s happened and we resolve it together.

He used to interrupt if I was talking to anybody but him, but now he will patiently wait by my side and lightly tap my shoulder. Little things like that have totally improved and I’m so proud of the little person that he is becoming.

So, he’s about to start year one at school, and that’s something I’m quite anxious about because of how much going to reception upset him at first. He’s now used to his routine there, and learning through play seems to work out really well for him. I know that going into year one there will be more ‘work’ as such, and I hope he settles into that as well as he has done with learning through play.

Also, I think part of me wants to keep my baby boy at home and enjoy this amazing behavior he has adopted for a little longer, before the attitudes he picks up from school come back!

How many of you don’t want the school holidays to end? What year will your little one be going into?

Health Essentials For Happy Holidays

Going on a holiday is a great way to relax and recharge your batteries. Holidays can be restorative, but if you were to find yourself hurt or ill during your trip, it could soon turn into a nightmare. To ensure a safe and healthy holiday, this list of essentials could be what you need to make sure you’re prepared for anything.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is an absolute essential when going away. Travel insurance ensures you’re covered against various possibilities including lost luggage, theft and any medical treatment you may need to receive while you’re away. It’s worth reading up on how to choose the right travel insurance so that you can pick the right policy for you. Travel insurance is a small expense to pay versus what you could be paying if something were to happen. Having an annual policy may be the best thing for you if you travel often, and can work out cheaper than buying multiple policies.

First aid kit

Image: Flickr

 

Having some supplies of the usual items you’d have at home can avoid those panicked trips to find a local pharmacy while you’re away. Pack a small kit that contains some plasters and dressings, antibacterial wipes, medication and some treatments for bites/sunburn. If you avoid liquids over 100ml, you can put these in your carry on luggage in case something should happen to your hold suitcase. If you’re not sure of what to include, the NHS Choices website has an excellent list of what to pack for your travel first aid kit.  Always check your first aid kit before setting off on holiday and make sure you restock any items that you use up.

Vaccinations

Before you book your holiday, you should check which, if any, vaccinations are required before you travel. Last-minute holidays to exotic destinations may seem like a great bargain but if you are leaving it too close to get the right vaccinations, it may not be worth the risk. If you struggle to get an appointment with your GP, you should try services like samedaydoctor who could give you an appointment the same day to get the vaccinations you need. Research your destination carefully and make sure that you and all the family are up to date with your vaccinations.

Sun protection

It’s a given that you’ll need sun protection during your holiday abroad. Many people, however, still fail to use the right sun protection which can cause many problems. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and if you’re not 100% sure how to protect yourself and others properly – this useful advice from Cancer Research UK could help. While sunburn is a clear consequence of wearing the wrong level of sun protection, you could also have to deal with premature aging and even skin cancer. Provided you tan safely, there’s no reason why you can’t return from your travels with a gorgeous glow, that can be maintained by following steps to keep your tan looking healthy for longer.

 

Holidays should be a fun time for all the family. Make sure you have the best trip away by being prepared with your health essentials to stay happy and healthy during your travels.

 

How Being A Mum Can Be The Best Workout

Being a busy mum is a 24/7 job, and once you’ve signed up; there’s always going to be plenty to keep you active. Therefore, it can be difficult to find the time to get to the gym for a workout and get home again; not to mention the added stress of finding childcare and ensuring that everything around the house is ready for the next day. However, there are some tasks and activities you can do; and it’s all part of being a mum. The following are some hints and tips on how to make “mumming” into a workout, to help you feel fit, healthy, and full of life.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/sunset-love-woman-sun-102170/

 

At-Home Chores

 

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a cleaner; the chances are that you do your household tidying and cleaning yourself. You can make even the dullest of chores into a mini workout, which will save you the time and money a gum visit may cost. Accentuate movements when it comes to wiping surfaces, hoovering the living room, and mopping the kitchen; push and stretch your limbs and create your own pilates session. Check out some free online tutorials for workouts, yoga, and pilates (with a cuppa) and see what movements you could pop into making the house sparkle.

 

Stairs provide the perfect environment for a cardio workout; when you’re lugging the vacuum up there, or picking up toys (thanks for the hazards little one), run up and down them as much as you can. Running and cardio will get the blood pumping through your veins, increase your fitness, and provide you with some endorphins to get you through to the school run.

 

Get As Active As Your Kids

 

If it’s time to take the buggy around the park; pop your trainers on and power walk, jog, or you could even run (little ones will love it). For older children; get involved in playing with them by joining in on the climbing frame, and lifting them up as much as possible. Again, anything that improves your heart rate and circulation is better than sitting on a bench and doing nothing; it doesn’t have to be every time, just when you feel you could use a fitness boost.

 

It’s about squeezing what you can into your busy life; make sure you check with a healthcare professional or use an online doctor app if you notice any negative effects from your lifestyle change. If illness or injuries are worrying you; it’s always best to seek advice and a second opinion so that you know you’re doing the best for your body and wellbeing.

 

Know When To Take A Breather

 

Give yourself regular respite and relax when you need to; overworking your body will cause stress, fatigue, and impact your mental health. Therefore, it’s vital that you know when it’s time to sit and take a breather, enjoy the T.V for a bit, and socialize with friends, so you can get back to being a great mum (and doing your mum workouts). Looking after your inner health and making yourself a priority will ensure you have a fulfilled and happy family home.

 

Everything You Need To Know About Your Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that affects over 4 million people in the UK alone. Sometimes, people don’t even realize they have diabetes until they have a hypo, and they visit their GP to find out what’s going on. Sometimes they’re visiting their GP for other reasons and their diabetes shows up in a blood test.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Lack of energy

Feeling dizzy

Excessive thirst

Increased urination, especially at night

Blurry vision

Recurring illnesses

Scrapes, cuts or spots that take longer than normal to heal

Feeling hungry all of the time

How is diabetes diagnosed?

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s wise to go and speak to your GP, who will arrange an hBa1c blood test for you. This will measure the glucose in your blood, and when your results come in, your Doctor will be able to confirm whether or not you have diabetes.

Depending on how high your blood sugar levels are, the Doctor will also be able to determine whether you have type 1 or type 2. This needs to be confirmed to determine whether or not you will have to take medication, inject insulin, or have a massive change in lifestyle.

If you GP is recommending that you change your diet and lifestyle, then it’s likely that you have pre-diabetes. Ask your Doctor to confirm this. If it is the case, you have a chance of reversing it and living your life free of the disease.

Will I have to change my lifestyle?

In short, yes. Even if you are put on medication for your diabetes, you will need to make some changes to your lifestyle. Swapping fizzy drinks for juices and water and cutting out food that has a high sugar content would be a good place to start.

If you choose to ignore the chance to change your lifestyle choices, you could find yourself having regular hypos. In some cases, they can be life threatening.

You can also expect to visit your Doctor every six months or so. This is because you will be invited in to check your blood sugar level and then have a consultation with either your Doctor or a trained nurse to talk through your results. They can then decide whether you need to change your dose of medication. They will also give you advice on how you can improve the current state of your diabetes.

Who gets diabetes?

Anyone can get the disease. Having diabetes is a scary thought for anyone, and unfortunately, many of us will get the disease at some point in our lives. Normally though, people tend to get the disease after the age of 45. There are some circumstances that could mean you will get it earlier in life. These are:

Overweight

Pregnant (gestational diabetes)

It’s hereditary in some families

If you have high blood pressure and low good cholesterol, this can turn into diabetes too.

What else can I expect?

You will also be invited once a year to have your eyes screened at your closest retinopathy center. This is because diabetes is known for damaging the retina in your eyes, which can lead to the loss of your sight. Attending these appointments are essential, and shouldn’t be something that you just shrug off.

You can also expect to receive letters in the post inviting you to attend sessions aimed at supporting people with diabetes. Although these aren’t essential, it’s a good idea to attend at least one to see if you take any useful information away.

Is there anything I can do to help prevent getting diabetes?

Luckily, there are some things that you can do to help prevent you from getting the disease. These are:

Eating healthy

Maintaining a healthy weight for your height (BMI)

Ensuring that you’re getting enough good cholesterol

Reducing the amount of sugar you consume

Regularly exercising

Diabetes doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds, as long as you take care of yourself (even if you have the disease), then you can still lead a very long life.

 

Amazing Alternative Ideas for First Dates

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First dates can be nerve-wracking. Many people dread the thought of sitting at a plush restaurant, trying to make conversation when there’s nothing much around to react to. So why not opt for a more relaxed or alternative first date setting? Here are some fun first date suggestions that will keep things moving smoothly, making it easier break the ice and prevent any awkward silences!

Get outdoors

A lot of people think about indoor venues for first dates, but why not head out? Whether you live by the beach or you’re a stone’s throw from the forest, it’s the perfect time of year for outdoor dates. Take a picnic down to the lake and hire a boat out. Get the adrenaline pumping with a zip wire ride or a treetop walk. Go for a bike ride or lay back and soak up the rays by the sea. In the summer months, look out for one-off events, such as outdoor movie screenings and pop-up theatre shows.

Dance the night away!

If you’re up for a laugh and you fancy getting up close and personal, a dance lesson offers a fun and flirty first date. Get those hips moving with a salsa class or embrace the sophistication of times gone by with a romantic waltz. Whatever your preferred style of dance, there are bound to be dancing classes for you both. Treat yourself to a well-earned cocktail and a freestyle whirl around the dance floor afterward. If you love the class, you could make it a regular thing – it makes for amazing exercise!

Get the blood pumping!

Okay, yes, dancing will certainly get the blood pumping. But I’m talking about something with a little more thrill… in fact, perhaps something with an element of fright to it! Theme parks make for a great day out and are an excellent option for both laid-back first dates or thrilling ones. Scary rides can definitely be a fun way to break the ice; if that’s too much for you, then you can try to win a giant cuddly toy for your date. (Classic, I know.) The best theme parks have all kinds of different entertainment on offer, so do your research before you go. If theme parks aren’t for you but you’re looking for an edgy thrill, then a horror movie may be your best bet. See if there are cinemas nearby that are showing old classics like Scream or Nightmare on Elm Street!

Some competition

Nothing gets people talking like a competition. Visit your local karting track and take each other on in a race to the chequered flag. Jumpsuits may not be the most flattering first date outfit. But your date will be entertaining and you’ll have plenty of time to impress in another outfit afterward!

First dates can be awkward, but they can also be awesome. Try to focus on the awesome part! Choose a date which is fun and gives you both plenty to talk about. Take each other on, learn a new skill, or get your pulses racing. Most importantly, stay calm and enjoy the experience!

 

4 Simple Ways to Cleanse the Body

The process of detoxing is one that is often talked about in the health and wellness sector. Essentially, this involves people making certain lifestyle changes that help to clear the body of toxins which are things that cause negative health effects.

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People do this through various different methods. Some will use specific programs designed by companies like nutritionalcleanse.co.uk, while others will choose their own path. In our daily lives, we constantly come into contact with substances that may cause us harm – they are pretty much impossible to avoid. Your body is constantly working to remove these toxins, so here are a few ways that you can give in a helping hand.

Choose the Best Foods

What you put into your body on a regular basis makes all the difference. So, you can help your body out by avoiding some of the toxins that you put into your body in the first place. In many cases, making the distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad food types should be fairly obvious. Foods that are heavily processed should be avoided as much as possible, while organic fruits and vegetables will provide you with various essential nutrients. What constitutes a detoxifying diet really varies from person to person, and while some decide to live a vegan lifestyle, others go for an all-juice cleanse.

Exercise and Meditation

Both exercise and meditation can work side-by-side in a good program of detoxing. Exercising causes you to sweat which, in turn, promotes the release of toxins through the skin. And many people also view detoxifying the mind as an important part of this process which is where meditation comes in. When you have a lot of negative thoughts running through your mind, the physical body can end up not functioning as well as it could do.

Purify the Air You Breathe

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If you are breathing clean air, you can reduce your overall exposure to toxins. Obviously, you can’t control the whole environment, but you can make a difference in your own home. One of the ways that you can make a difference is through an air purification device, but a more natural way of affecting the air within your home is with a few house plants which help to filter out the air.

Drink More Water

Pretty much every piece of information that you find regarding detoxifying includes drinking more water. All of the body’s most basic functions require plenty of water, and removing waste through perspiration and urine are just two of them. Many people substitute water for some kind of alternative, but pure water is always going to be the best substance to drink. If you are one of those people who forgets to drink enough water, try setting a reminder on your phone.

The best kind of detoxifying requires various different lifestyle changes, and the above methods are just a few of the most common. Try a few to see what a difference they could make to your health and life.   

  

How To Actually Be Happy With The Way You Look

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Everybody has some grievance with their appearance, but that’s to be expected. We notice the blemishes that nobody else notices and we see the small weight gains or losses that nobody else notices. If you want to be happy with the way you look then you need to make changes for yourself. That’s the most important thing. Don’t look the way you think other people want you to look. Act on your behalf. Here are some tips to help you on that journey.

Exercise and dieting.

People have such a bad relationship with these two things, and it’s because we often fall into the trap of thinking there are only two extremes: you either go hard or you don’t do it at all. This isn’t the case. Exercising could mean a 10 minute jog around your local park; you don’t need to hit the gym for 10 hours. Eating well isn’t about starving yourself either. You can cut out some bad foods, but you need the good foods (not all calories are evil). You might want to read about the HCG diet because it’s also a fascinating approach to losing weight and being healthier; there’s a strong link between the HCG hormone and your metabolism, so it could help your efforts. Of course, there is no magic fix, and even methods such as this require your adherence to a strict diet and exercise regime.

If the thought of exercising and eating well frustrates and bores you then you’re approaching it in the wrong way. It shouldn’t seem like a chore. You need to find something that works for you. Rather than banning sugary snacks from your life, have the occasional biscuit or chocolate bar as a treat after a healthy and balanced meal (you’ll enjoy it more). What matters is finding a diet you can stick to permanently; a good variety will help with this because you won’t be starving yourself of anything important in your diet and you won’t feel the need to suddenly binge on snack foods because you’ll be getting a good filling variety of proteins, nutrients, vitamins, and so on. Eating a good combination of vegetables, fruits, and low-sugar high-protein foods is a good start. You’ll have the appearance you want, and you’ll be doing it in a healthy way.

Your skin.

If you want to improve the appearance of your skin then that probably says a lot about your health. Of course, that’s a good thing; you now have the motivation to look after your body more effectively in that you want your skin to look nicer. What you might not realize is that even things as simple as sleep deprivation and not drinking enough water could be leading your skin to look dry or acne-ridden. You need water to keep your skin hydrated, and you need sleep so that your body can repair its damaged cells. Stop denying yourself both of these things and you’ll definitely notice an improvement in your skin’s appearance.

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Fashion and confidence.

Fashion is a huge factor in your appearance, but confidence is the biggest part of this. Why do you think celebrities look good even when they make wacky and “vintage” fashion decisions? The answer is that they’re confident in the way they look. In fact, you’ve probably seen people walk down the street in bold clothes before. They don’t look better in that thing than you; they just feel better in it than you would, and that’s why it works for them. You just need to find a style that makes you comfortable. The only objectively crucial thing is that the clothes fit you well too. Go for that tailor-made look.

Holiday Hacks For Great Summer Skin

It may feel a little bit like we have had our summer over here in the UK, but we should have some more warm temperatures coming up. One of the things that many people forget is that during the summer, or skin needs to be taken care of slightly differently than in winter or colder months. There are some subtle differences in the care that your skin needs in summer, but it is good to pay attention to them to make sure that your skin is looking as good as it can be.

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Protect Your Pout

 

Our lips can get dried out in the heat of a sunny day (so this is especially important when you’re on holiday and out in the sun all day). So make sure that you look for a lip balm to use as a base that has sunscreen in it, and make sure that you reapply it regularly. There are many products out on the market that do have SPF in as a lip balm. But one that works for your lips, as well as other areas on your face is from La Prairie and their Ultimate Protection Stick. As you might imagine it is a little pricey, but if you’ve got it in your budget, then it can be worth it, especially if you’re prone to dry skin on your face and lips.

 

Keep Cool

 

When you’re on holiday, it is important to keep as cool as possible. You don’t want to overheat your skin as it can lead to some other problems with your health. Plus, it can lead to quite leathery looking skin if you never give your skin a break from it all. A face spray mist is a good idea to have with you. They help to cool your skin as well as giving it a quick burst of hydration. So if you are going away on holiday soon, that needs to be in your beauty and skin essentials.

Young woman with sun shape on the shoulder holding sun cream bottle on the beach

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Use Sunscreen

 

This is pretty much a no-brainer in summer, right? And especially on very intensely hot days. When we damage our skin from the sun, it can lead to it breaking and getting dehydrated, as well as possibly some further complications later in life. So always use a sunscreen! One of the best ways to protect yourself, at least on your face, is choosing a foundation with a built-in sunscreen. Pretty much all of them have it these days but do check for cheaper brands.

 

If you suffer from acne, then the sun can be a help to your skin. The UV rays can help it to heal. So you need to check that the sunscreen you are using just blocks the sun’s harmful rays and not the ones that can help your skin. Having said that, there are options for you. For acne sufferers, gels such as duac, can be bought online and they can work as a base to help clear your skin, before applying your normal foundation (with SPF). Have you ever had to use anything like that before?

 

Cold Showers

 

After a hot day out on the sun, and even after a busy commute, having a hot shower can make your skin dry out even more. It also delays the cooling down of your skin too. So the best thing to do is to have cool showers after a hot day. There are many benefits to it. It will help to cool your skin, as well as help to stop you from sweating excessively (gross in two ways; smell and dehydration). It also helps your skin to close its pores, which is more likely to lead to clearer skin, especially if they have been open in the heat all day. Left open can lead to more spots. So something to think about, right?

 

Drink Red Wine

 

In summer you might prefer something colder, but there are reports that red wine can act as an anti-inflammatory. So if you have some mild sunburn, something that is naturally found in the skin of red grapes can decrease the redness and help it to heal. I mean, you could have a bowl of grapes instead. But red wine sounds like a better option. Cheers!

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Wide Brim Hats

 

Not only do these look good, but they are actually going to help to keep you safer in the sun. Smaller hats, like a baseball cap or a trilby, aren’t going to protect you from the sun coming in at all angles. So if you’re heading away on your summer holiday, this is a must in your suitcase. Team with a pair of oversized sunnies and you’ll be looking and feeling good all holiday.

 

Eat Plenty of Water-Based Fruit and Veg

 

We all know that drinking plenty of water is not only good for our skin but is a vital part of staying hydrated over summer. But another way to get some extra water into your body, without having to drink more and more water, is to eat a diet that is full of watery fruits and vegetables. To me, that is pretty perfect, as there is nothing more that you want than some watermelon on a hot day! All members of the melon family are good choices, as well as things like cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, strawberries, celery, pineapple, and spinach.

 

Treat Sun Spots

 

If you’re my age, it probably won’t be too much of a problem. But as we age, we can find that the sun can give us some dark spots, or sun spots (melasma) after being out in the sun for a while. There are fade creams out there that can be applied at night to help, though. Clinique has one that I’ve heard good things about, so that might be worth a try if you do suffer. It is best to treat them as and when they occur rather than just leaving them.

 

Are there any other summer skincare tips and tricks that you would add to the list?

 

 

How you can save money by making small changes

Today I’m going to show you how you can save money by making small changes, and without even feeling like you’re missing out on anything. If you can make these small changes, you will notice a difference in your bank balance which will help you save even more money for a rainy day. We all love a good bargain or being able to save a bit of money here and there, but let’s face it we probably all indulge way more than we should. Well I definitely do.

Set small savings up.

Let’s start with going through the traditional way to save money by literally putting some money aside. You could choose to do this each day or at the beginning of every week, obviously it all depends on when you get paid.

For example:

If you put £5 away a week, (which let’s be fair won’t get you very far in this day and age) by the end of the year you will have a whopping £260! As we all know the end of the year means Christmas and having that tucked away would certainly help, especially with the cost of Christmas rising as the years go on.

Another way of saving that I personally love, is whenever I buy something from the shops, I put the change away in a jar. So if I spent £9.63 I’d put the 37p into a jar. You’d be surprised on how quickly things like that mount up.

Also if you’re with Lloyds Bank (I’m not sure if other banks offer this service) you can set up a change saver account, which literally does the same thing. On many occasions I’ve logged into my internet banking and £40 has appeared in my change saver. This includes when you have direct debits going out, if it’s not at the exact pound Lloyds will pop the rest into you change saver account. They even send you a cashpoint card for it so that it’s easy to withdraw. A brilliant way to save money without even knowing about it!

save money, saving money, money saving

Changes you can make to your shopping to save money.

We all work hard so I’m not going to bang on about how you should stop buying treats or not get that bottle of vodka, but what you could do instead is buy the cheaper brand. So for example instead of buying a family packet of Doritos, go for the shop’s own. I promise you they taste just as good, and they’ll taste even better knowing that you’ve saved a quid or two.

Collect coupons. I used to shrug them off as I felt a bit insulted by the idea of them, but seriously they are one of the greatest things ever. You can find coupons in magazines, newspapers, online and often in leaflets that are posted through your door.

One other thing that you could do is sign up to your regular supermarket’s scheme. Most places offer some sort of “card” that you can save points on. For years I’ve shopped at Morrisons and always denied getting one of their cards because I didn’t feel like I went there enough to earn anything of value. Then I started using my parents card and I saw all of the coupons and discounts they get given and quickly signed up for one.

What you could do at home to save money.

Lights

Do you really need that hallway light on? Some people do it so that their children can see if they need the toilet or any other of the thousands of things children demand in the night. Instead why not invest in a battery powered lamp that could light the hallway up just enough for the kids to see. Or switch to energy saving bulbs, not just in the hallway but everywhere in the house. You may not feel like there’s a difference but there will be.

Same goes for all electrical appliances, try and make sure you turn them off when you’re not using them. I’m awful for leaving the cooker main switch on and also the showers switch too. Not only will you be able to save money, but you will be environmentally friendly too!

Water

You can also save money on your water bill by taking a shower for only as long as you need to and sacrificing your singing time(!).

Another thing you could do is keep the tap water off whilst brushing your teeth.

You could put the washing machine on a cycle that uses less energy and water. Most modern machines have some sort of energy mode on them, take a look at yours! Also, setting your washing machine up to do a cycle through the night will cost less, as the rates go down through the night.

Heating

Depending on how your home is heated you could save a small fortune by switching to halogen heaters. They are small free standing heaters that you can buy from pretty much any hardware shop for around £10. There are bigger options available but for my flat (which has super high ceilings) all I need is two of these and the place is nice and toasty. They run on pence an hour and plug straight into your mains. They also have a great little feature where if they are knocked over or taken off the base whilst they’re on, they will automatically shut off. So you’ll be fine leaving it on if you’re nipping for a quick wee between your TV shows.

Is there anything else I could be doing?

Of course, here’s a list of ideas you could take on to save money

  1. Don’t bin ripped clothes, use them! This could be as cloths for cleaning or upcycling them into cushion covers, get creative!
  2. Keep all of your machines in and out of the house maintained (Yes I’m on about the car)
  3. Make gifts and cards at home. These are often more sentimental anyway!
  4. Cancel any unused subscriptions you pay for like the gym
  5. Plan your meals for the week and stick to it when you go shopping
  6. Don’t make a large purchase without first really taking time to think about it
  7. Sell your unused belongings, there are so many easy ways of doing it now!
  8. Aim for something that you would really like to buy, it will give you more motivation!
  9. Bargain with your TV and internet providers for a better deal.
  10. Walk to school/work instead of driving or taking the bus wherever possible.
  11. Invite people over rather than going out
  12. Buy from charity shops
  13. Take a packed lunch to work, and do it for the kids too
  14. Quit smoking – great for your health and your purse
  15. Cut the kids hair instead of going to a salon
  16. Cancel magazine subscriptions – do you really look at them anyway?
  17. If possible, take on more hours at work
  18. Enter competitions to win things that will save you money, this could be meals or days out, clothing vouchers, discounts on utility bills. The list goes on.
  19. If you hear of any cash-in-hand work going that you can do, go for it!

There are literally hundreds of ways to make money and save money – so treat your purses to a rest and begin saving!