Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Magazines - A Great Income Boost

Have you ever checked how much magazines pay for your personal story?

Many of the weekly women`s magazines are paying up to £2,000! that is a massive amount.
 
If you don`t fancy bearing your soul to the world how about sending in a tip. Check out pinterest for some ideas.

Magazines pay around £50 for a tip with a photo, £75 or a nice prize for star letters and anything from £10 to £75 for a funny photo. The magazines want your letters, photos etc to be exclusive to them so only send to one magazine not lots.

With  ` that`s life` magazine, you can email your tips or letters to    letterbox@thatslife.co.uk

Around Christmas I earned  £100 form  magazine tips. 

 Egg boxes make great storage boxes for tree decorations #VCLifeHacks:
 This tip got me £25

I wrote the Santa Reindeer names on a card and put it in a picture frame because who can ever remember all the names. That tip got me £50 and I put some tee-lights in pretty cups with some coffee beans. The smell of the coffee beans was enhanced by the warmth of the candles. Another £25 for me.

I have just had another tip accepted and once it is published I will get £50.
 
Supermarket magazines are great too you can often get yourself some vouchers by writing a review or sending a picture. Next time you bake or make a fabulous dinner take a snap.


Here is my pinterest link to lots of tips

Easy tips


My Pinterest Boards 

 

Saturday, 22 April 2017

FREE DOMINO`S PIZZA WITH QUIDCO

There's nothing better than staying in, putting your feet up and ordering a takeaway.

No, wait, there is. Staying, in, putting your feet up and being paid to order a delicious takeaway.

We've found you a brilliant deal, which'll get you £15 cash back. So whether you want a meal for one, or a pizza feast, cashback site Quidco have you got you covered with their £15 cashback deal when you order from Domino's.

Here's how to claim your £15 free spend with Domino's...

1. Join Quidco, for
free

2. They''ll direct you to the Domino's website where you need to make a minimum £10 order
3. You'll receive a £15 cashback bonus to cover your order by the 7th of May.

4. You can then withdraw this straight to your bank, PayPal or as Amazon vouchers!

Now all you have to do is decide whether to go for a Mighty Meaty, Stuffed Crust or Vegi-Supreme. Or all of them (we won't tell anyone).

This cashback deal ends on Sunday 30th April - so get yours while it's still hot.







advertised on radio stations, quidco and hotdealsuk

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Five Fabulous Frugal Things This Week

Week ending 15/4/2017


#1 Staying with family in North Wales

I am very lucky my son and daughter in law live in a beautiful part of North Wales. I have been staying with them for four days this week and it has been wonderful.

Colwyn Bay North Wales


We visited Conwy a world heritage town with its fabulous castle and harbour.  Conwy Visitor Information  Angel Bay where a seal and her pup lay basking in the afternoon sun. Nature reserve at Angel Bay

Angel Bay North Wales


 Walked the dogs on the beach and had a wonderful lunch at this pub. Black Lion


 #2  First Aid Kit in a Water Bottle

I am going solo camping in the summer and will be doing some day hikes. I wanted a first aid kit that I could take with me without it getting squashed in my day sack or taking up to much room. I made this one which will just clip on to my day sack with a key clip.

First Aid Kit to clip on a rucksack



#3   Changing Travel Cash to Euros

I followed the advice on moneysavingexpert.com and got my euros from here. Best Exchange Rates


#4   Asking Friends

I managed to get a two man tent, ground sheet and sleeping bag simply by asking friends and family.  Freecycle is another great way to get things free or try free or cheap sites on facebook.

#5 Healthy Eating

I am trying to lose some weight by eating healthy frugal fabulous food so I don`t get bored. Aldi is my friend, with 7 breakfasts sorted for £2.15
Breakfast
Bag of pears      80p
Natural yogurt   55p
7 bananas           80p

Lunch 

am making soups for 7 lunches

Aldi Carrots, sweet potatoes red onions and red peppers.

 £4

Dinner 

I am making

Baked potatoes and tuna,  omelette's  and I will be buying a chicken, some salad and some rice cakes.

£10  

Add some milk and teabags total cost for the  week less than £20.

I am happy with that. I am sure some people could do much better but for me that price is fine.


  Aldi
 
 

Monday, 10 April 2017

We Had Five Fabulous Days in Budapest - £120 including flights

My sister Maggie and I booked five days in Pals Hostel in Budapest which was extremely good value and very central. 

We stayed in a two bedded apartment with kitchen, bathroom and all amenities. We had one of the rooms which was large and spacious. We paid £12.50 each per night. We are both in our 60`s so don`t worry about hostels being just for younger people they are not. The cheapest budget hotel would have cost us £30 each a night and would not have been so central. We were able to stay in Budapest for five days rather than just a couple of days by using Pals Hostel.

 Pals Hostel Budapest


Pals Hostel



Pals Hostel


We started our stay by buying a two day bus pass ( with one day free) so three days in all. This pass included a one hour boat trip and two walking tours and cost £15 each.



Fishing Port Budapest

Day one we spent getting used to the local area and visiting the beautiful nearby St Stephens Cathedral. We took the lift up to the circular balcony around the Cathedral dome and had an amazing view of the city for little more than a pound. The prices are so good in Budapest.


Bridge Linking both sides of Budapest

We asked advise on where to eat from the hostel reception and were given a whole list of local places with good recommendations. Eating the local dish of Goulash in the nearby market was a good choice.



Beautiful Parament building

We visited the Palace, the fishing areas and the beautiful park which was full of impressive statues and exquisite buildings.
The Hungarian people are lovely and very helpful.



We spent one day in the fabulous baths which are famous in Budapest, endless hot pools, large indoor and outdoor pools, steam rooms and saunas and fantastic buildings. £10 for the whole day including a massage. You must remember to take a swimming hat with you or you will not be able to swim in the pool.


One of the many beautiful baths

The walking tours are excellent we took one city tour which was a great way to find out the best pubs, cafes and markets.
 
Main Park


The second walking tour we took was the one around the Jewish quarter. It was very interesting and gave a good history of the city during the occupation in World War 11 .


Amazing Statues surrounding main column in park


It is a beautiful city and well worth seeing.  We paid £57 return each flying with Ryanair from Stansted Airport. We just took a small carry on case each, it held plenty for five days.


Ryanair 

 Tripadvisor Reviews

Thursday, 30 March 2017

TURKEY - A TRUE DELIGHT

My Silver Traveller Review





Turkey the country of Turkish baths, clashing colours, white beaches, blue lagoons, boat rides and  hot mud pools where goddesses once bathed. Local shops with patterned carpets, sweet tea  in glass cups on silver trays, and charming people that enchant you to spend your money. Turkey, the exciting country where Europe slips into Asia and the bells of beautiful mosques call the faithful to prayer. Where Constantinople, the old name for Istanbul, leaves her legacy of walls and temples, domes and art to capture our imagination.

I am going to Turkey how lucky am I? The decision is made, the excitement is building  and I fly on 27th May. In just a few weeks I am boarding a plane in Gatwick heading to Dalaman Airport which will take four hours. Then it is just 53km to the hotel in Ovacik. Hotel Olu Deniz which looks tranquil and charming and I am looking forward to my week’s stay there.

As a solo female traveller I was searching for somewhere that offered not only sun to the winter weary but also an exciting place to explore.  Somewhere to wander with a camera, sit under a sunshade sipping cool drinks while chatting with the locals. Hills to climb and crumbling temples that make time slip, sunsets to marvel at, somewhere to hear of gods who whisper their stories through the ages. The famous turquoise lagoon in a protected area surrounded by pine trees sounds divine and is close to Ovacik.
I wanted a hotel that offered a private room without single supplements in a place that was small enough to notice if I managed to lose myself in the mountains.  A place with reasonable transfer times and a pool, a few shops and interesting places to eat nearby. A beach with clear water and boats that offer day trips to pretty lagoons. The chance to visit Rhodes in Greece for the day traveling by hydrofoil for less than an hour is tempting too.

This holiday can be booked through Solos Holidays.The price is reasonable and breakfast along with three evening meals is included.  Solos’ reputation for providing excellent holiday accommodation for single travellers is good. I am hoping this hotel, being new to the Solos Holidays list is great too.
Set at the base of the mountains three miles from the beach this looks a perfect place to stay. I shall let you know if Turkey is as fabulous as it looks.


Feedback - 9,000 views

 Read the next 3 chapters here

•  Read Chapter 2: Olympos Hotel
•  Read Chapter 3: Turquiose Bay and Dinner amid the Turkish Carpets
•  Read Chapter 4: Goodbye Turkey

Get More Visitors To Your Blog

Wow I got over 2,000 page views today on my blog! 

 
Fort William Scotland




I have been working hard on my blog over the past few weeks and it seems to have finally improved my page views.  I have checked old posts, deleted some and tidied some up. I have also added links to more posts and read some of the tips from other bloggers.

Many of the traffic sources have come via pinterest were I already have a good following.   I think more people are using pinterest now so having some interesting boards will certainly help your blog.

I like taking photos and have many on my blog but as I have found out its all about writing interesting posts. 

Write about your holidays or day trips, my post below about Fort William has been very popular.

Fabulous Fort William - Scotland 


Writing a guest post on another site is an excellent way to improve your blog, you can post a link on your blog to your guest post.

My Post for Silver Travel Advisor got 9,000 views


My TripAdvisors Review - Almost 2,000 Views 




My Pinterest Boards



My Blog Stats



My blog - finally!!! doing something right pages views are over 2,000:





Pageviews today
2,675
Pageviews yesterday
84
Pageviews last month
4,812
Pageviews all time history

This post seems to have been a hit


Budget Places to stay in London and beyond 
77,227










This one too 
A Buddist Retreat



Five Fabulous Frugal Things

Five Fabulous Frugal Things  - week ending 31/3/2017


#1 Out enjoying the sunshine

Isabella aged 3 and sister Alice nearly 2
 
Saying Cheeeeeeeeeeeeese!
Fun time!
#2  Working on my blog.

I have been working on my blog a lot this week, adding links, updating posts and generally tidying it up.  Amazing I got over two thousand page views yesterday! I am so pleased I usually get about 70.


 My blog - finally!!! doing something right pages views are over 2,000:




 #3   Charity Shop Binoculars

bought a pair of binoculars in a local charity shop for £3. I shall take with me when I am out walking. I love to see the kingfishers and Herons on canal walks but it will be even nicer to see them close up.  A lovely frugal hobby.

#4  Surveys

I tend to get locked out of many surveys as I don`t fit well into their demographics. MintVine
remains the exception for me. I usually manage to get £10 or £20 a month with their surveys.

#5  Clicksnap

have bought quite a few things using the Quidco clicksnap offers this week. Saving myself a very welcome £12. I love pinterest too so spent some happy hours pinning.

My Pinterest Boards
Bird Watching and Wildlife 



My Money Saving Tips

Friday, 17 March 2017

Annual Passes Are they Worth it?

Zoo Membership - Covers London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo
 

Price £65 per year (individual)

It is £22.50 to go into Whipsnade Zoo and a little more for London Zoo so after three visits you are saving money. What could be nicer that popping into the Zoo each week to see the animals.

https://www.zsl.org/become-a-member

Getting close to the Lions at Whipsnade Zoo - Isabella



 Cineworld  


 Price £208.80 per year per person

It is £7.20 to go into the cinema so if you went once a week that is a saving of a least £150.  You would probably go more often though and you can go any day you like. No waiting for cheap nights early in the week.

 https://www.cineworld.co.uk/unlimited


National Trust 

 (individual) £65.00 per year

 https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/join-us  

From fabulous houses and gardens to coastal paths and forests the National Trust does an amazing job protecting it all.  Once you have your pass you can park free at National Trust Properties and enjoy viewing houses and gardens etc free all year.

National Trust protects coasts as well as forests, Houses and wildlife


 English Heritage 

 (1 adult and up to six children) £52 per year

 Castles are just some of the fabulous places to visit

UNLIMITED ENTRY TO OVER 400 HISTORIC PLACES

 http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/join/


Merlin Card 

 (individual) £179.00

Cheaper if you are buying a family card

https://www.merlinannualpass.co.uk/

London Eye,Theme Parks, and the London Dungeon are just some of the places you can go to with a Merlin Pass.


Madame Tussauds  - singing with Freddie




Approx £600 per year -  or £50 per month. That is the social live sort though! You wouldn`t be wondering what to do with yourself and it is easier to budget.



Legoland  go all year with a Merlin Card


Add a Tastecard ( around £40 a year) for half price meals or just take a packed lunch. 


I think they are all very good value.


I know it is more expensive if you have a family but you do get family discounts too. Add free parking with the Merlin and National Trust cards, discounts on food and drinks and over a year it has to be cheaper than paying each time you go out.

You could just buy a zoo membership, or an English Heritage Membership and have great days out throughout the year. I buy these and the National Trust Card.

family fun - Legoland



I paid £450 for a family Merlin Premium Card (2 adults 2 children) in January when Merlin offered a discount. The year only starts from when you first use the card. Which was March for us when we went to London for the day.

Last year when we did this we used our Merlin Card over 20 times during the year. That meant a massive saving and the bonus of no long queues as you get fast track entrance to places.


Grab a cheap place to stay and hit the theme parks for a few days.

University Rooms to Churches - best budget places to stay



This is not a sponsored post I did not receive any incentives for writing this post.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Five Fabulous Frugal Things This Week

Five Frugal Things

Week Ending 17/3/2017


#1 Swimming


It was such a lovely day on Monday I decided to go swimming. I have a discount card so it only costs me £2.50. Great exercise and I really enjoyed it and now the weather is better I will go every week.

#2 Walking 


I went walking in St Albans park which is not far in a car from were I live. It was quiet as the weather was not good, these beautiful swans were after my lunch. I thought they looked so sweet all lined up so I did give them half my sandwich.

Shall we get away from the riff raff? by Christine Reid









#3 Flowers


I love having flowers in my house so I decided to buy a plant this week so that it would last a while. Then I saw these flowers for £1.20 and bought them too.


£1.20 Yellow Sticker Tesco

£3 plant from Supermarket
#4 Freezer Stocktake

Enough for well over 20 meals in my freezer so not buying anything other than fresh bread and fruit this week. I am aiming for six no spend days this week.

#5 Cash 


£10 from MintVine survey Site  https://mintvine.com/ cashback from Quidco and cash from mystery shopping.  Very nice and every pound counts. Add my usual free coffee at cafe Nero with o2 and it has been a nice week. I am saving up to take Isabella and Alice to Whipsnade Zoo   Here is the link for tickets  Zoolink  at Easter. It is expensive but last time we went the girls loved it.


Flamingos at the zoo - C Reid

Places to go in Herts, Beds and Bucks


Abbots Kitchen Cafe St Albans Cathedral

Competitions


My Money Saving Tips

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Scotland - Dolphins, Whales and Puffins

Have you ever seen fabulous dolphins swimming at the side of your boat?

Seen them showing off their babies and playing in the water?

We did on this amazing boat trip in Scotland.

 Watch the our video here.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU8VitLz6Hw&t=606s
 
We traveled to Inverness on easyjet https://www.easyjet.com/en/ from Luton . Hired a car then headed to:  

Hebridean Whale Cruises
Address: Pier Rd, Gairloch IV21 2BQ
  
https://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/

I won this trip in a competition held by Nutella full details on the prize is in this post My Winning Hobby

Whales surfaced in the distant and puffins filled the cliffs. seals bobbed near the shoreline and otters hid behind the rocks.
 
The boat trip cost £75 per person and lasted around 3 hours.  It was amazing.  We didn`t have to pay it was all part of this fabulous prize.
Dolphins
Puffins
Misty around the cliffs
Dolphins
 

Highlands from the boat




We stayed in Scotland overnight  in a hotel near the harbour  and flew back to Luton the next day. It was an amazing experience and one I would love to do again.




Fort William is fabulous too. Read my review here.


http://www.alondontourist.com/2016/09/fabulous-fort-william.html


Friday, 10 March 2017

Five Fabulous Frugal Things This Week

Week ending 10/3/2017




I’m linking up with CassEmma  and Becky in this week’s `Five Fabulously Frugal Things`



 #1 Mystery Shopping

Two mystery shops this week which is very nice as not many become available in my area. I joined up after reading a post on  Katykicker.com and used the referral link. I really enjoy it so hoping plenty more jobs come up as the weather improves.

Mystery shopping Information

Mystery Shopping


I would get a small payment if you joined via my link and went on to complete a mystery shop.

My Referral link


#2 Slow Cooker Chicken

I cooked a chicken in slow cooker then shredded it. It made
2 roast dinners, 2 chicken and pasta lunches, two stir fry meals, 2 chicken wraps and a vat of soup. Chicken Soup Cost £4 for the chicken. Bought in M/S because they have a good animal welfare policy. More than happy with that.

#3 Walking

Added the health app to my phone so I am now tracking my walking.
Great incentive to walk more. I am aiming for 10 miles a week, App is free, walking is free and it makes you feel better. I went on a canal walk and as I was taking photo`s I didn`t notice how far I had walked. I walked 2.8 miles, making 12.4 miles this week. More than I hoped for so.

I will be following some of the many wonderful Waterway Walks over the coming weeks.  Link    Waterway Walks


Grand Union Canal


#4 Studied this great blog

Link    The Money Shed 

I haven`t really thought much about making money from my blog, I always just post my photo`s and talk about London in particular. I have very few followers on the blog although on Pinterest  and twitter I have a good following.

I thought it was time to see what was possible and to be honest I am staggered by the amount of information freely available.  I am sure its very hard to make a living from a blog but any money at all is a bonus.

Skint Dad`s blog is brilliant for information on money saving and survey sites.  

Link  Skint Dad

I have never got to grips with Match Betting,  I understand the first sign ups and how that works. After that I am lost and I wish someone would set up an interactive workshop about it.

Link Match Betting




#5 Quidco and o2

Took advantage of a few clicksnap offers on Quidco which I check before going shopping. My social life now seems to revolve around the o2 offers. I meet friends for a free coffee at Cafe Nero on a Tuesday.  We also go to Pizza Express for lunch one day a week where a main meal is £5 using the app offer.


I`m Off - Canal Walk


My Money Saving tips



Staying in University Rooms in Central London
https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8901933505469309742#editor/target=post;postID=1347278831951208759;onPublishedMenu=template;onClosedMenu=template;postNum=3;src=link








walks, mystery shopping, grand union canal, boats, Quidco, o2, Moneyshed,

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Sunshine and Canal Walks

Seeing the sunshine always makes me want to get outdoors with my camera so today I went for a walk along part of the Grand Union Canal. It is not far from where I live and is a lovely place to walk.

Take Off! - C Reid

 I was lucky to snap this beauty just taking off from the water.

Geese relaxing in the sun
 The geese took a more leisurely approach to the sunshine opting for a snooze on the canal bank.

Canal boats 

 I saw old and new canal boats tied up but I didn`t see any cruising down the canal. Perhaps its still a little early in the season. I saw plenty of dog walkers and canal fishermen.

Canal fisherman

 I sat by the lock and enjoyed my packed lunch which I brought from home. Sometimes in the summer its nice to sit in a pub garden and watch the boats go by. There are quite a few pubs along the Hemel Hempstead to Berkhamstead Canal Walk.

Canal Lock

Heron
 I saw this beautiful Heron fishing for his dinner in a stream near the canal. The birds were out busy collecting twigs for their nests and I felt very lucky to have seen so much in a few hours. I was also quite pleased to see I had walked 2.8 miles according to my phone app.


 Hertfordshire Walking  information can be found here:

 http://www.gps-routes.co.uk/routes/home.nsf/county-walks/Hertfordshire

There is something very soothing about getting out alone for a nice walk and just watching the world go by. It is free too!

When I wrote about supporting my daughter Katrina with mouth cancer I didn`t think I would ever smile again. 

Katrina - update 







walking, hertfordshire, canals, canal boats, heron, fishing, pubs.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

From University Rooms to Churches - Best places to stay on a Budget

Stay in a University Room right in the centre of  London

The best places to stay on a budget in London.

 http://www.universityrooms.com/en/city/london/book/rooms/local



Trafalgar Square - A Reid
Great for families too.

You can even book a two bed apartment with university rooms, now wouldn`t that be nice for New Years Eve.  You could watch all the wonderful fireworks then wander back to your apartment without having to pay the expensive hotel costs.

I stayed in a university room when I went to Edinburgh and it was excellent. Minutes from the Royal Mile and just behind a very expensive hotel. It was a six bedroomed flat with two bathrooms and a large kitchen/dining area. I paid £28 per night for one room. There was only one other room occupied.

Edinburgh Castle - C Reid

I have also stayed in university rooms in Oxford, again they were excellent and very central. I got my own single bedroom, a bathroom shared with three other rooms, and a very filling buffet breakfast. all set in a beautiful old college with its own garden square.



Oxford  -  A. Reid



Fancy a few days away from London during your holiday?

Get the Caladonian sleeper train to scotland form £39 each way and stay in one of these amazing places.

Airbnb Fabulous places in Scotland 

How about staying in a church!

`Champing` - Camping in a Church



I have just booked this one in Cumbria for two nights for two people. Once you make your booking the church is yours, for your private use. You do not have strangers sharing with you. Imagine the fun kids would have camping in a church.

£225 for two people for two night in August 2017. 

The Churches Conservation Trust - Anytime Booking:
St. Marys Church Cumbria



It is basic, cold and you might see a few mice or ghosts from the local graveyard. Looks good fun though and this church is surrounded by mountains, it is ideal for hikers and you can take your dog. Sometimes you have to try different things just for the experience.

You need to take your own bedding but camp beds, chairs, and battery operated candles are provided. A great breakfast is brought by a local farm or pub each morning. You also get a loo with a view no going out to the graveyard with a torch, just as well you might give yourself a fright.

 You can book here:

 https://thecct.anytimebooking.eu/place_booking/preset/931/21948/2017-08-23/#forward

You are given a list of things to take with you but I will certainly be adding extra batteries for the candles. A good torch and a eye mask just in case the stained glass windows were designed to catch the sunrise. 

Read this great review here about `champing` and see what you think.

 http://www.converstanttraveller



This is not a sponsored post, no incentives were received for writing this post. It is my own opinion. 


FREE :  `Ceremony of the Key` tickets for Tower of London

https://www.blogger

or

Stay in Windsor 

Beautiful Historic Windsor - A Review

You Could Fly to Dublin for £19.99










 
holidays, champing, London, Edinburgh, Oxford, photogrphs, university, universityrooms, glamping, St Mays Church Cumbria,/camping.