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Stop wasting money on Energy drinks….

Energy drinks for children

This is a bit of a two pronged rant about energy drinks so I apologise if you drink them or you allow your child to drink them – this is just my opinion!

I may have said this before but Mr Frugal loves his energy drinks.

He started drinking them when he worked nights for six months as he used to come home from work at about six am and not go to bed until the kids were packed off to school.   He moved to a different department after that but even though his job no longer involved night shifts, he would still have his morning can of Monster.

Several years later, he’s still having his daily Monster and it costs us a fortune.

We’ve managed to find it as cheap as £2.99 for four cans which is much better than the usual price of £1.39 a can but still, it’s works out to around £25 a month.  Not cheap at all, is it?

He doesn’t want to give it up because he says that he doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink alcohol and rarely goes out and I guess he has a point but it still annoys me.  I can’t force him to give it up but even he admits that it doesn’t have the same effect on him as it used to – it no longer gives him that boost that it used to.  More than likely because he’s drank it for so long that his body is used to it now.

If he’s tired, then he should go to bed earlier and if he needs energy, then a banana or even a chocolate bar will give him a boost.  Neither option will cost £25 a month! ;-(

There you go, part one of my energy drink rant done. Now, the second part of my whinge….

It really made me think about children drinking energy drinks when we were on holiday at Butlins a few months ago and I ordered a Monster at the bar for Mr Frugal (yes, I know!).  The bartender wouldn’t serve me with it if I was giving it to a child and I actually had to point out who it was for before he would let me have it!

I wouldn’t dream of giving my children an energy drink like Monster or indeed any other energy drink that is labelled as not recommended for children.  There’s a reason that they’re labelled not suitable for children – usually because they’re not suitable for children!

To be honest with you, I don’t even really care why they’re not suitable, all I need to know is that a company has labelled their own product as not for children – surely they would only do that if they had good reason to as it’s limiting their own potential sales.  However, because I wanted to back up my rant I had a little look into why these drinks aren’t recommended for children.

  • High levels of sugar in the drinks is linked to obesity.
  • The high acidic levels in the drinks is bad for teeth enamel.
  • The level of caffeine in just one energy drink can be as much caffeine as you will find in 14 normal caffeinated drinks.  One website I looked at described that level of caffeine as toxic for children.
  • Caffeine is shown to have an adverse effect on sleep quality and moods.
  • Studies show that they’re actually no better off for children as a bottle of water after sports.

Knowing all that, why on earth would you give your children any form of energy drink?

You wouldn’t give them medication that’s labelled ‘not suitable for children’ and you wouldn’t let them watch a film that’s labelled not suitable for children (ie. a 15 or 18 rated film) so how is this different?

Rant over.

As you were everyone!

Monday’s Parenting Pin It Party #79….

Ooh another week closer to Christmas and another fantastic Parenting Pin it Party to start off the week!

It’s Helen’s turn to host this week’s Parenting Pin It Party and we would love you to link up your favourite parenting posts of the week with us.  It’s super easy to join in – all you need to do is link up a parenting post to the linky at the bottom of this post and we’ll visit your post and share it on the brilliant Parenting Pin it Party Pinterest board.  Next week’s host will then choose  her favourite two posts to be featured in their post next Monday.

We’d also love you to add the badge but you don’t have to if you really don’t want to ;-)

The Diary of a Frugal Family

The Parenting Pin it Party is co-hosted each week by myself, Romanian MumKiddy ChartsMum of OneMummy AlarmAll you need is love and cake and The Fairy and the Frog



Our (much cheaper) alternative to a portable DVD player….

our alternative to a portable DVD player

Keeping children occupied on a long journey isn’t an easy task because no matter how prepared I am for the general boredom, there’s only so much I can do to keep the kids occupied before they get bored of me too.

We considered buying a portable DVD player  because we do travel quite regularly but then we thought about the fact that we’d either have to buy a double screened one (more expense) or buy two separate DVD players to avoid the inevitable arguments over what they watch (even more expense) so ended up deciding against that idea.

But then a couple of weeks ago, we called Sky up to discuss potentially cancelling our package and they offered us a couple of incentives to stay with them – one of which was the Sky Go Extra package which I think is usually £5 a month.  Sky Go Extra lets you download films and TV programmes to your tablet, phone or laptop to watch at a later date so it’s great to download a couple of films in advance of a journey.  It’s free is you have Sky multi-room and there is a free 2 month trial on it at the moment so you could even just use it for that time and then cancel it…. Or you could call Sky and ‘discuss’ cancelling and see if they can include it in your package for free! 

You can also download BBC iPlayer and 4OD, both of which let you download TV shows and watch them later.  I can’t find any option for you to do this with ITV though but keep an eye out as I imagine that they’ll be considering this now you can do this with Sky, BBC and C4.

For the car, my two have one of those bags each that attaches to the seat in front and converts into a little desk so they can easily prop their iPad up to the right angle but if you don’t have one, a quick search on eBay for ‘tablet headrest mount’ brings up lots of gadgets to help you attach your tablet to the seat in front – prices start from around £5.  

Our iPad stands have little stands built in to them so for travelling on a train or a plane, as long as you have a little table you’re good to go.  This was Miss Frugal watching The Princess Diaries on a recent train journey home from London.  I love watching her face change while she watches….

drama

It’s not even that bad on your battery – we charged the iPads up to 100% before we set off on a long journey last month and one film took the battery levels to around 84%.

So instead of buying a portable DVD player, you can use your existing tablet (or even your phone) to watch films or TV when you’re on the move.  Make the most of what you already have and get more from your smartphone or tablet – we generally pay enough for them to start with! ;-)

Oh, and don’t forget some headphones unless you want to listen to it too!

It’s not too early to check out these two amazing Christmas linkys….

I know it’s not December yet but more people are starting to think about Christmas so I wanted to tell you about two Christmas themed linkys that are being run by two of my favourite bloggers!

alternative advent calendar

The first one is the brainchild of Jen from The MadHouse and I think it’s a fantastic idea – it’s  an alternative Advent calendar which will encourage your children to focus on acts of kindness throughout December.  There are lots of ideas and ways to do this over on Jen’s blog and just reading them gives me a warm and fluffy Christmassy feeling.

christmas-on-a-budget-linky-

My other essential linky this year is going to be Becky’s bumper Christmas on a budget linky because let’s face it, we could all do with some tips to help us enjoy Christmas without spending a fortune.  I’ll be linking all of my Christmas posts up over there and I’ll be a regular visitor to see what everyone else is linking up.

Have fun ;-)