Friday, 19 August 2011


Bunting is all the rage at the moment and I think it really does add a certain something to anywhere it's hung - a dark corner of a bedroom, in your retro camper, across the front of your garden tent or patio, down your fence - wherever it hangs it seems to brighten things up, so on my trawls around the internet looking for nice things to make (which incidently means most of the time I actually don't have any time to make anything) I have found a great way to make pretty bunting for (almost) free!
This is a great one for the kids to do as it is simple to make, but effective. All you need is old road atlasses, maps or magazines, a cardboard template in the shape of a diamond (use a cereal packet), glue stick, scissors and garden string or wool. You can make this bunting as glam or simple as you like. All you need to do is cut out your diamond shapes, fold them in half to make a crease, open out, spread glue over one half and fold over your string or woll at regular intervals - done!
Take a look at this upcycled bunting tutorial to get started.
You can vary your design and make your bunting as long as you want - if you use magazines you could choose all pink pages or any colour to co-ordinate with your room/garden/camper/car! If you happen to have any glitter, puff pens or old nail varnish around the house, you could add a this for a bit of sparkle too! Your design choices are endless, but just remember don't leave your bunting out in the rain!
Happy frugal summer!

Monday, 15 August 2011


I suppose you can never have too many dot-to-dots, activity sheets and colouring pages in the school holidays! I've come across another whole set of them on the netmums website.
are activity pictures with crosswords seasonal pictures, outdoor pictures, animal pictures, fantasy pictures and educational pictures all to colour. There must literally be a few hundred.
Enough to last to the end of the kids' summer holidays! 

More ideas for Happy frugal holidays!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


We've had a reasonable school summer holiday so far - fairly sunny, even with the odd downpour! But if you're in the middle of one of those wet days - what do you do with the kids? Here's a few free ideas:
  • Get out your photograph albums and look through them together. Kids love to see themselves as babies or toddlers. Get them to talk about the photos by asking questions like "when was that?", "who is that?", "what were we doing then?" or "where were we on holiday?" Kids love to show what they can remember and this also develops their communication skills.
  • Get the macs, umbrellas and wellies and go for a walk in the rain to do some puddle jumping. Good exercise and fun!
  • Get them storytelling. Sit together with cushions and duvets under the table or all on the sofa. Start them off with a line such as, "Once upon a time..." or something more dramatic like "Michael opened the heavy old door with difficulty. It creaked open and revealed..." Everyone has to take a turn at telling the next part of the story, it can be written down later - a good memeory test- and illustrated by all contributors!
  • gather together some junk (cereal packets, cardboard tubes, small boxes, plastic bottles) and have a junk modelling session with sticky tape and glue.
  • decorate old socks with buttons, felt and glitter to make into puppets. Put on a puppet performance when you've finished your creations.
Happy frugal fun! 
More things to do in the school holidays!


This lovely, almost fat-free fruit cake is cheap and easy to make as well. It divides into 12 chunky pieces and mixes in one bowl. Before you begin, note that the dried fruit needs to be soaked for at least 2 hours (or left overnight). You will need a 1kg size loaf tin to cook this cake in.
Ingredients: 1 tea bag, 300ml boiling water, 300g dried mixed fruit*, 175g dark brown sugar (actually any sugar will do but the cake may just be a little paler), 2 eggs, 225g wholemeal SR flour, 1 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp baking powder.
* you can use up any dried fruit you happen to have - including mixes of sultanas, apricots, raisins etc., just as long as the combined weight is still 300g.
Method: Preheat your oven to 180 deg/Gas mark 4. Soak the teabag in the 300mls boiling water in a jug for 10 minutes, while you grease and line your loaf tin. Squeeze out teabag and discard. Put dried fruit in a mixing bowl and add the tea. Cover and leave for 2 hours. Mix the eggs and sugar into the fruit. Weigh out the flour, adding the mixed spice and baking powder and lightly stirring in the scale pan to mix. Mix flour into the fruit mixture and stir well. Spoon into baking tin, level and cook for 45-50 minutes until a skewer will come out clean. Allow to cool (just enough so you can handle it) before removing from tin and leaving to cool completely on a cooling rack.
To slice I always cut this cake into 6 big slices then cut each slice in half (from top to bottom). it's easier this way as the cake has so much fruit in it that cutting 12 thin slices is difficult.


Good to Know has a fantastic recipe resource in the shape of its 50 recipes for £1 per person. Whether you're feeling hard-up, bored with your usual dinners - or both, there's plenty of choice here and quite a few veggie options too.