Money Saving Family

5 Family Money Saving Tips

Here at Little Pickles HQ we love to bag a bargain. Why else do you think we created a business to save families money through the year. We don’t only love saving money on kitting our Little Pickles. But we also love to find deals and look for ways to save money raising our families on a daily basis. So we thought we would share 5 family money saving tips with you all.

  1. Budget – Make a budget and keep to it. If you have a budget when you go out shopping you are much more likely to keep within this. Even more so if you withdraw cash to pay as when the money has gone it’s gone. It is so easy to hand over your card and lose track of your spending.
  2. Meal Plan – Many people was so much food, therefore money too, as food goes out of date. So at the beginning of each week plan the week’s meals out. It can be useful to use a white/chalkboard in the kitchen to do this. Adding use by dates for meat and veg is helpful too, in case something comes up and you have to rejig meals. Also, meal planning is great to keep you organised and not panicking at 5pm trying to think what to cook.
  3. Free Family Days Out – We all love a family day out but some of these can break the bank. However, there are so many free days out all around us. Museums, Parks and Seaside, Scavenger Hunt.
  4. Childcare Vouchers – Childcare vouchers can save many parents with kids aged up to 15 over £1,000 per year on childcare. However you can only claim them via employers, you will need to check if your employer takes part. Check gov.uk for full details.
  5. Claim cashback – if you are an online shopper, then it is no brainer to claim cashback on your spending. From car insurance to nappies. A new pair of trainers to run around after your Little Pickle to a new TV. A holiday to upgrading your smartphone. There are plenty of sites around but Quidco and Top Cashback are two popular ones.

I hope you find these 5 tips useful, if you have one that saves you a packet and you want to share please feel free to comment below.

Read More

Baby Shower

Planning the Perfect Baby Shower

So the baby is cooking nicely, all the big ‘things’ have been ordered, nursery decorated and now thoughts can turn to the baby shower. Perhaps you are organising your own baby shower or perhaps you’ve been tasked with the job for the newest mum-to-be on the block?

Baby Shower

Here at Little Pickles, we’ve put together this short guide to help with planning the perfect baby shower!

First, consider the guest list – is this a girls only event or is dad-to-be included too? Are children invited? If family are on the list, it’s best to clear dates with them first to ensure they can make it – nothing worse than leaving family members out in the cold.

Once you have the guestlist it’s time to decide on the venue – the current trend seems to be hosting at a tearoom and having an afternoon tea style affair – though this does pose the question, does the host pay for all in the party or will guests need to pay for themselves?

Alternatively, if the host has a big enough area in their house that can be a great option – or even a local village hall or community centre.

Will there be a theme for the baby shower?

If the gender is known, go with the obvious – plan the theme around pink or blue, elephants and bunnies are nice, soft animal theme choices too – or if you’re not sure on the sex, then keep it neutral with whites, golds and pastels. You can never go too wrong with greys and yellows in my experience!

For the additional little touches, if you’re a creative type then homemade bunting and pompoms are a lovely touch to warm up the room. Etsy and Not On The High Street are fab for both generic and personalised items. Or if budget is a little stricter, Poundland and Home Bargains have an array of cheap and cheerful bits suited to a shower.
What food is baby shower appropriate?

If you’re not at a catered-for venue, like a café or tearoom, then the best food for a large number of people is a finger food/buffet style. Delicate cut sandwiches, pinwheel wraps, little sausages, pork pies, quiches, carrots, cucumber, peppers and dips and a few bowls of crisps. Be sure to make it all pregnancy friendly.

And don’t forget cake! Throw in cake pops for a splash of gender-related colour, if known.

Cake Pops

Another nice touch is to treat guests to mocktails in mason jars with paper straws!
What games are well received at a baby shower?

  • Baby bingo – who will be the first to get a nappy pin or baby bottle line?!
  • Guess the nappy contents – melted snickers bars or generous smears of marmite make fabulous meconium style nappy contents!
  • Guess the baby drink – gather together a number of babies bottles and fill them with various drinks and just like the nappy game, albeit a bit more pleasant, ask your guests to guess the contents.
  • Stick the dummy on the baby’s mouth – a bit of a twist on the classic children’s party game of pin the tail on the donkey.
  • Guess the date of birth and weight of baby – and if unknown, guess the gender!
  • ‘Advice for the parents’ cards – this is always a nice keepsake for parents to look back over in years to come
  • Decorate a babygro – arm yourself with a pile of white babygros and fabric markers and set your guests to work on designing

    Baby Shower DrinksFor the games, be sure to get some little prizes together to award the ‘winner’, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy but is a nice touch…if budgets allow.

But most of, remember, that the nicest part of a baby shower is to ensure that the mummy-to-be is able to chat and catch up with all of their loved ones; this will be the last time in a while that they’ll be sitting still, drinking hot tea without a baby puking on their shoulder or a toddler clinging to their legs!

Written by Jess from Prosecco Mum you can find her on all the socials below

www.proseccomum.com

www.facebook.com/proseccomum

www.twitter.com/proseccomum

www.instagram.com/the_prosecco_mum

Read More

Prosecco Mum

Prosecco Mum’s review of Little Pickles Market

Guest Post – Check out Jess from Prosecco Mum, review and thoughts on Little Pickles Market

Prosecco Mum

One of the things I’ve learnt since becoming a mum is that babies don’t tend to wear clothes for long before they suddenly go through those bloody ‘growth spurts’ and burst out of clothes quicker than you can say, Michelin Man. 


So I’m a huge fan of Nearly New Baby Sales where you can pick up new, or as good as new, bargains for a fraction of their original price!


I have sold at a fair few Little Pickles Markets now and not only do I realise my children have a better wardrobe than me and are the new reason I teeter on bankruptcy each month but I realise how spoilt they are; rows and rows of clothes all hung on rails still with tags on, shoes that haven’t even been unclipped and every gizmo and gadget, you can guarantee they’ve had it. Well, probably not quite so much with Arlo, poor second child, I learnt my lesson with him and he still parades round with pink muslins and pink bibs on. But gender neutral clothing’s all the rage now, isn’t it?!


I don’t tend to buy clothes at these things but the last time I was selling I had a quick peruse at some of the other stallholders bits before the frenzied buyers burst through the door, and I managed to pick up a Gro Clock (I’m glad I brought it second hand because it doesn’t bloody work for Sofia she just bursts in at the crack of dawn saying “my clocks still blue mummy”) and a Maxi Cosi Family Fix base – that was a real bargain. On other occasions I have picked up some nearly new Clarks shoes for Sofia for nursery and a brand new bike seat, even though neither of us own a bike…but, you never know, maybe one day – and it was a bargain!

 

Today I sold at the Eastleigh market which is held at Fleming Park leisure centre – it’s a really busy market and ran from 10.30-12, so long enough to be constantly busy and not enough time to get bored or take up a whole day! The queue was out the door and around the carpark and I people’s faces were peeping through the door at 10am, which heaped the pressure on as I frantically tried to unload my jumbo bags full of one man’s treasure.

I had a great day today, I made over £200 and the best bit, is unlike carboot sales, people are all here for one thing; baby stuff so every person walking round is a potential buyer of your items. I was selling to make money, of course, but also to start ridding the house of bags and bags of bits that I’d accumulated over the past 3.5 years. By 11am my stall had quite literally been ransacked and I’d sold the big items such as the Sleepyhead, baby bath, baby carrier, stroller pushchair and shedloads of clothes. Also, unlike a carboot sale it’s all inside which is a real bonus as it will never be ‘rained off’ and you’ll always be warm and dry!

So what was the key to today’s success? 

  • Having a mixture of items – clothes, toys, books as well as some of the bigger items as mentioned 
  • It probably also helped that I had both boys and girls clothing; though obviously if you only have one, there’s not much you can do about that!
  • Pricing the items right – in hindsight I probably did the Sleepyhead too cheap but it’s gone now and no longer residing in the kids playroom, the clothes I marked anything from 50p (for leggings, tights and baby vests) up to £7 (for brand new with tags John Lewis/Gap/Ted Baker type items) and everything in between
  • Be prepared – I mark up all clothing labels with brand, size and price, it not only makes it easier for the people looking but also for me when selling!
  • Presentation – I always think that even though it’s a second hand/nearly new sale, it doesn’t mean that everything should look shabby….myself included! 
  • Good quality items – I only sell things I’d be happy to buy myself and I am fussy. So I do wash, iron and hang all of my clothes ahead of the sale.

Do you visit nearly new sales? Have you ever been to a Little Pickles market before?

You can see where your nearest market is by clicking here, and you never know I might see you at one if you’re local!

You can find Jess from Prosecco Mum on all the socials below

www.proseccomum.com

www.facebook.com/proseccomum

www.twitter.com/proseccomum

www.instagram.com/the_prosecco_mum

Read More

A New Baby Costs HOW Much????

There is much speculation about how much it costs to raise a child from baby to adulthood. Recently The Guardian stated that it can cost a whooping £231,843 to raise a child to their 21st Birthday  to feed, clothe and educate each new member of the family. This includes childcare, but does not take into account loss of earnings if a parent opts to stay at home, or reduces working hours. The report also reveals that the first year alone could cost a parent upto £11,498. So where does this money go and what can we do to reduce it?

The second hand market is becoming big business as people who have had babies try to recoup costs, whilst those starting on their parenthood journey are budget saving and aiming to slash costs. Our Little Pickles Markets are ideal for both markets, with families being able to hire tables to sell their good quality pre-loved baby items and buyers paying a minimal £1 per adult entrance fee. There are other organisations who run similar events, so look around to see what is on in your area. These places are ideal for picking up second hand cots, moses baskets, prams, pushchairs, baby monitors – all the things you need to see you through your first year.

You could also try eBay, Freegle, Gumtree, Freecycle and Facebook selling pages to pick up second hand items, although obviously in some cases, you have not actually seen the item before you agree to buy it, and sometimes saying “no” is not as easy as it sounds when you have arranged to meet someone at their house!

There are some items that you will inevitably want to buy new and in this instance, I would suggest trying your local Poundland, or waiting for the Aldi Event (other supermarkets also run similar promotions). Toiletries and some basic items are available very cheaply here. Another tip would be to join all the baby clubs that major retailers have. Most supermarkets have them, as do other high street names. Many of them offer freebies as an incentive to join and can be quite useful.

A New Baby Cost HOW Much

If you have a Childrens Centre in your neighbourhood, then pop along to see what they have on offer. Our local one offers baby massage, toddler groups, baby groups, coffee mornings and messy play, to name just a few! Some classes are free, others will charge a nominal amount, but it can be a lot cheaper than other baby groups. They may also offer a toy library, which will give you a chance to sample toys on offer to see what is suitable for your child. Once you have seen what catches their eye, you know what to look for when buying for them.

There are other costs you will encounter, such as nappies (reusable are obviously cheaper than disposable, but that is a whole other topic!). You will also increase electricity usage as you are home more and no doubt washing a lot more than you would have previously! However it is clear to see where it is possible to make some savings that will help to offset the other costs that you cannot avoid.

Read More

Little Pickles Markets Buyers Tips

Our mission is to save parents as much money as they can kitting out their growing families from bump to early school years at our Little Pickles Markets and on through their primary years at our BIGGER Pickles Markets.

With this in mind, we have a few tips to help you to be a savvy nearly new shopper.

  1. Raid the change jar – If you have your £1 entry ready for entry to the market. It helps the queue go down quicker, so you can get shopping quicker. The stall holders also appreciate it if you have change instead of handing over a note.
  2. Time your shop – Our popular markets do attract a long queue of money-savvy parents eager to scoop the bargains. So if you want first dibs make sure you arrive early to get to the front of the queue. If you like a quieter shop, you can arrive later. Don’t worry there will still be tons of great quality bargains left.
  3. Make a list and set a budget – if you are expecting a new baby you might have a long list of needs and wants. Keeping a note of what you need already have. This will help you to ensure you don’t buy duplicates. Make a little note of how much you are willing to spend on certain things. It’s only a bargain if it is something you need/want and are going to use.
  4. Take a second look – You will be amazed what you can miss on your first circuit around the market venue. After all there will be tons of bargains for you buyers to see. So take a second or even third walk around the venue and see what pops out.
  5. Lastly be safe – if you are buying battery operated/electric items make sure you see these working before purchasing. If you would like to use a plug socket please ask the market organiser and she will be happy to help on the market day. Also if you are buying a pushchair or highchair or anything else that may have a knack for using it, make sure that you get a full demonstration from the sellers. There is a great range of toys at our events but please make sure these are complete with all parts/pieces before buying.

We hope these tips help and please share any tips or advice you could offer Little Pickles Markets newbie buyers.

buyers tips

Read More