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Tesco Clubcard Christmas boost….

How’s everyone getting on with Christmas shopping?

I decided that I wanted everything bought and wrapped by the 1st December this year and I’m not too doing badly at the moment.  I have all of Master Frugal’s (apart from a couple of things) wrapped and tucked away and I’m actually just about to open a glass of wine and wrap his sisters tonight which is a vast improvement on my usual last minute Christmas Eve wrapping session!

I’ve been quite sensible this year and have been buying things for the kids each payday since the Summer so I feel quite organised there but I do have a few other presents to buy for my nieces as well as a couple of secret Santa presents to buy/make and a present for my lovely neighbour.

As this is an expensive time of year, I thought I’d try and use some of my Tesco Clubcard points to help pay for some of it and I’m so pleased to discover that I have £15 worth of points left.  I wasn’t expecting to see many at all as I used them to pay for lots of out days out as £2.50 worth of points was worth £10 off the entrance fees to some of the places we visited.

I was even more pleased with this as Tesco Clubcard Boost is on at the moment so I can double my vouchers to make them worth £30 which will cover the majority of my last little bits thankfully.  It’s really easy to Boost your Clubcard points and you can do it really quickly online and get your vouchers emailed to you whether you want to shop online or in your local store.

I’ve had a quick look on the Tesco site and you can even use them on lots of things that are already discounted.  The Health and Beauty gift sets seem amazing value – look at this one for my Secret Santa present reduced to just £2.50:

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And what about this for my neighbour? It looks like it costs much more than £6:

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And for my nieces, I love the idea of a board game for them but I’m spoilt for choice.  Do I go for a classic like Cluedo which is reduced to just £11.33?

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Or something much more modern, like Bop It Beats which is the cheapest I’ve seen it anywhere at £15?

bop it beats

Whichever game I choose, I can buy one of my nieces presents as well as my neighbours and my secret santa using nothing but the points I’ve earned for spending where I would have spent anyway!

Now that’s a good deal!

And I’m giving away 500 Tesco Clubcard points (worth up to £20 depending how you use them) to one of you lucky people too.  All you need to do is leave a comment below to tell me who you still have left to buy for.

Easy as that!

There are a couple of other options if you want extra entries but none are essential. ;-)

Good Luck.

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Disclosure: Tesco are sending me some vouchers in exchange for hosting this competition.

Secret Santa on a budget – 10 presents for under a fiver….

I love a good Secret Santa with my friends at work but we generally opt for a lower budget because, let’s face it, Christmas is expensive enough as it is.

We’ve had a year where we set the budget at £1 per person with the idea being that you had to get the most creative gift that you could for that amount. We got all sorts of gifts from candles to cactus plants dressed up as Santa and it was much more fun than opening the inevitable chocolates, biscuits and alcohol that we would have no doubt seen if we’d had a higher budget.

This year, we’re going for a slightly higher budget of £5.00 which should allow for some more creative presents and seeing as none of my friends at work know about my blog then I’m free to share my ideas for Secret Santa presents on here with you all – all of them can be done for less than £5.00.

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A Selfie Stick – I bought one of these for Miss Frugal for her Birthday and paid about £3.99 inc postage for it from eBay and she LOVES it.  As a 12 year old who’s mission in life seems to be to take a selfie everywhere we visit, it’s just perfect and it’s a really funny gift as well so well worth considering!

A mini pamper hamper – I could easily spend £5 on some little pamper gifts from the pound shop of from somewhere like Home Bargains.  Pop them in a cute little box and you have a fab looking hamper.

homemade sweet hamper

A sweetie hamper – Fill a box with all sorts of chocolate sweets and lollies for someone with a sweet tooth and you’ll be their favourite person!

A movie hamper – You can get some great deals on DVD at the minute so why not buy a cheap DVD and a bag of popcorn or some sweets.

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Snowman Soup in a lovely mug – Have you ever made Snowman Soup?  It’s fab and makes a great secret santa gift if you pop it in a nice little mug.

A Book Hamper – You can get some great deals on books at the Supermarket so why not buy a book and a mini bottle of wine.

Last minute gift - a cooks hamper

A Baking Hamper – Last year Mr Frugal went to the shop and filled a gift bag with all sorts of cupcake decorating things and I loved it.  It was such a nice idea and cost hardly anything (apart from the beautiful timer he bought me to go with it).

And if you’re not very creative and have no time on your hands then I guess you could even buy a bottle of wine, a four pack of Kopparberg or a tin of Roses.

And don’t forget, even when you haven’t spent a fortune on a gift, a pretty gift bag or box and some ribbon will make it look awesome!

Win a photo canvas from Wall Create….

I love taking photos and have taken thousands over the years.  I’m not a great photographer and really have no clue about all the technical stuff that I really should know by now but I do have a good camera and the lovely Jen showed me a couple of bits to help me master it so every now and again, I manage to take a photo that is just begging to be printed out.

This is one of those photos:

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Even though Master Frugal kind of looks like a stunned bunny in headlights I still love it because (a) they’re both looking at the camera, (b) they have their arms around each other and (c) I managed to get the blurry background thing going on!

I thought it would make a great Grandparent gift for Christmas if I printed it out and put it in a really nice frame but then an email dropped into my inbox asking if I would like to review a wall canvas from Wall Create
so I decided to go with that instead and I’m really please that I did.

My canvas is the 30cm x 40cm size and the quality is fantastic – it looks really well made and it’s not flimsy at all which considering the price is under £20, is pretty good.

Once you’ve chosen your size and shape of canvas, it’s a really easy process to order your print and you can even personalise it as well if you want to.  Wall Create then print out your picture using high quality inks and give it a coat with a special varnish that should help your prints last for a very long time.

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I love my canvas print and I’m really pleased that Wall Create have also offered one of you lucky people the chance to win your own 30cm x 40cm canvas of your own.

All you need to do is leave a comment below and let me know what picture you would choose and you’ll be in with a chance!  There’s a couple of other things you can do if you want some extra entries but they’re completely optional.

Good Luck.

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Homemade oven baked S’mores….

Homemade oven baked S'more

Before I start, I know that anyone American will probably be horrified that I’m comparing these yummy delights to an actual S’more but in my defence, my children are always asking me if they can try a S’more and this is the closest I’ve managed. ;-)

S'more

For those of you who aren’t sure exactly what a S’more is,  it’s a traditional night time campfire treat popular in the USA, consisting of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker.

As I am sadly lacking a campfire and can’t find anything that even slightly resembles what a graham cracker seems to be, I’ve had to come up with my own version of an oven baked s’more which is much more British as it’s cooked in the oven and involves the humble digestive biscuit.  I even cheated some more and used chocolate digestive biscuits so I didn’t have to mess about with squares of chocolate!

All I did was place a digestive biscuit on an oven proof dish (chocolate side up), pop a marshmallow on top and then top it with another digestive biscuit (this time chocolate side down).  I baked it for about 5 – 10 minutes at around 200 c until the marshmallow was just turning golden and voila, an oven baked, kind of S’more.  The time I baked it for is very vague as it varied quite a bit each time I put a new batch in – no idea why!

Homemade oven baked S'more

And even though I’ve never tried an actual S’more, I like to think that my own homemade oven baked S’mores are just as yummy!