Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad, when he is not relaxing in one of our best recliners, or our baby bloggers and occasionally we accept guest posts. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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Category: News

  1. How to collect money online for good causes, gifting or girlie holidays.

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    It seems like we are always trying to raise money for something, whether it is a friends baby shower, teachers present collection or a hen weekend, let alone fundraising for worthy projects, so there always seems to be a need to find a few coins or a £5 note in your purse. Unfortunately if you are like me (or the queen) you never seem to have spare cash in your purse .... usually because the children "needed" it for a school project or something or other. It is worse when you have the organisers instinct inside you (this may be me) and feel the need to take control but be totally transparent too. 

    Can you really create an online money pot?

    With us being able to do most things online now, it makes sense for you to be able to to pool funds together online rather than in crumpled up envelope in the bottom of a bag. This is where Leetchi.com is rather handy! Founded in Paris in 2009 (the same year as the Lilypad), Leetchi.com has quickly become the leading European fundraising website with over 7 millions of users. The platform is now accessible from 150 countries, in 4 languages and 2 currencies! Leetchi provides an easy, secure and inexpensive way for people to club together online for personal projects, nonprofits or group gifts.... basically anything and everything!

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    That all sounds great in principle but how does it work?

    We have all seen adverts for products that say in just a few clicks you can get started but with Leetchi, this is really true. With just a few clicks anyone can create a personalised money pot and invite friends, supporters ... in fact anyone, to contribute. Contributions can then be made to the online money pot by simply using their individual credit or debit card. Once the target amount of money has been raised, the organiser can choose when and how they’d like to spend it.

    Does it cost anything?

    We are always looking for the most savvy options and so it is good to know that it is totally free to spend on partner sites or there’s a small 2.9 - 4% bank transfer fee. There is also the added benefit of being able to transfer the money pot directly to the beneficiary via email. It is as simple as that!

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    Is it easy to set up?

    The whole process takes minutes to set up and if you are usually the one who wears the organisers hat like me, whether it’s charity sponsorship, a present, or contributions to a girlie holiday, then Leetchi is definitely worth looking into with help on how to raise funds online.

    What are you waiting for?

     

     

  2. Five Frugal Things I've Done This Week

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    I have been trying really hard to be more frugal but to be honest it doesn't come easily. I love shopping and that isn't solely for my shoe habit but I also love to buy for my girls and am always searching to find the "perfect" present for friends.

    I see so many fabulous money saving blogs online, such as Mums Savvy Savings and every week I get reminded that there are things that I can do to make life a little less costly. So in an attempt to monitor my spending habits, I am joining in the Five Fabulously Frugal Things linky again this week. 

    Five Frugal Things Ive Done This Week

    1. Making a phone call really can save you money! My husbands car insurance came through and we were checking it against the current policy and despite 9 years no claims, we were disappointed to learn that it had increased. So after making a few phone calls to get some other quotes, we went back to our existing insurer and they matched the best price which was actually a saving on last years policy!

    2. My Taste Card still continues to make us savings as a familiy and not only can we save 40% on cinema tickets but we save on the drinks and popcorn too! You can imagine that we are suddenly visiting the cinema a little more so not entirely sure this is saving me money in the long run!

    3. We visited our local water park at the weekend. It costs £4.50 to enter the park and you can be there until it closes at dusk. We took a picnic and popped into the supermarket on the way to get a reduced loaf of bread to feed the ducks. So for the grand total of £5.00 and some things from the fridge we had a fabulous day out in the sunshine. 

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    4. Encouraging the children to save! I save for the girls but I have been trying to get them to take ownership of their own money more and more. This seems to be helping them to understand and realise how much they want something. They both want hamsters at the moment and we have a chart on the wall with how much money is needed to buy the hamsters and cage. You wouldn't believe the offers I have had for doing chores in exchange for pennies for the pot. 

    5. We have enjoyed PJ days at home, it is amazing how much money you DON'T spend when you just stay in the house and enjoy being at home. 

    How about you?

    Have you been money savvy this week? Do you have any words of wisdom or useful tips?

  3. 6 ways to save money with the children over half term

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    One thing parents don’t need any reminding of is the costs which accumulate when having children. There are the things you bargain for – education, clothing, buying a family-sized car, increasing the size of the food shop etc. But it never ceases to amaze how many little (and sometimes not-so-little) unexpected costs crop up, particularly when it comes to activities.

    Of course, it’s always worth it in the end, and it’s difficult to really put a price on the memories shared with your children. But that doesn’t mean you can’t save a few pennies along the way, especially if it doesn’t reduce the levels of fun and enjoyment involved.

    6 ways to save money with the children over half term

    Here are some winning deals which may give you and the old bank account a bit more to smile about by the end of the month.

    Restaurants

    There are plenty of family-friendly restaurants with family-friendly prices. But there are a few which really stand out from the crowd. The ones which caught my eye are the 50% off mains at Frankie and Benny’s (who also have a separate £10 off offer via the app); kids eat free at La Tasca, and Toby Carvery all you can eat breakfast for £4, where kids can eat for just £2.99.

    Supermarkets

    Experts say that the supermarket price war is now coming to an end, but that’s not to say there aren’t some really good deals about. And there are some hidden gems too. For example, online supermarket vouchers to entice new customers tend to be particularly big savers. You can also take advantage of price-match policies by separating your bargain buys and your full price items into separate shops, as price match is done by the basket. Also, late-night shopping can allow you to take advantage of yellow-sticker reductions, with Morrisons and Co-op usually starting these offers from 7pm.

    Credit cards

    Many people I know have a bit of a love-hate relationship with their credit card, but there are some excellent cashback rewards available. At the moment the pick of the bunch is Amex Platinum, which offers a staggering 5 per cent on all spend for three months. But there are other good rewards from the likes of MBNA, Aqua and Sainsbury’s too.

    The cost-cutting loan

    The irony of the above is that any benefits from the rewards gained by spending will be more than negated if you don’t clear your balance each month. That’s because of high interest rates. But if you’re stuck with high balances on your card(s), you can cut your interest bills straight away by either taking advantage of 0% balance transfers, or consolidating debt with good-value loans.

    Clothes and fashion

    Season changes are always a good time for high-street (and online) store sales, and there are some good deals about. Asos top the shoe charts, with 70% off most merchandise at the moment, along with excellent discounts on shirts and jeans. M&S have an ‘up to 50% off’ general sale on the go too, while if you’re eyeing up school uniform for the next school year, you can pick this up for as little as £6.50 from Asda and Morrisons.

    Activities and excursions

    One offer which really jumped out at me is the collaboration with the Sun and Alton Towers. Tokens are in both the weekday and weekend Sun papers, and by collecting 10 different ones, you can win a pair (180,000 available) of free tickets to visit the theme park. Otherwise for other days out, it’s worth noting the myriad of free museums and galleries around, while, for the kids, there are free tennis and football clinics (the latter offered by the FA – free for girls, £2-£5 for boys) during school holidays. After all, it is by getting out and about that the precious time we have with our children can really be maximised.

    What do you do to maximise the time but minimise the cost of keeping up with the kids?

  4. Five Frugal Things I've Done This Week

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    I mentioned last week that I have been enjoying the Five Fabulously Frugal Things posts from Emma and 3 and I have become a little more conscious of our spending habits, even more so as this week has been half term. Keeping two girls of two different ages occupied and happy is no mean feat, especially when I am sure they simply believe that the money is delivered from the hole in the wall.

    Five Frugal Things Ive Done This Week

    1. Saved on Cinema Tickets by using my Taste Card. As part of my bank account, I get a Taste Card and it gives you money off meals but if you upgrade to the Taste Card Plus for just £7.99 you can make HUGE savings on days out, like 40% off Cinema or Warwick Castle tickets.

    2. Kids Eat for £1 at Harvester. Yes £1! So after our discounted cinema visit, we went and had lunch and for every adult meal we bought, we got a childs meal for £1. This was a half term offer but it is definitely worth checking out websites for venues prior to arriving.

    3. It is no secret that I LOVE shopping and I do 90% of it online but before I check anything out and pay for it, I always google discount codes for that website. This week I have managed to find 20% off codes for some of my daughters clothes which was a great saving.

    4. I bought uniform for next year! I know this sounds ridiculous but it appears that John Lewis are not longer stocking our school uniform so they are selling off all their stock at less than half price, I therefore "may" have purchased enough school logo cardigans and jumpers to last for the next school year, or so. 

    5. Theatre visit for FREE! Now I have to admit that this wasn't something I found but we were lucky enough to be offered tickets by some friends to go and see a traditional pantomine and it was amazing. (Oh no it wasn't ..... oh yes it WAS!)

    There are lots of things we want to save for this year and being a little more conscious week by week, will hopefully help us get those things a little sooner. 

    Have you done anything to save money this half term?

    I’m linking up with CassEmma and Becky  in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week linky.