Mellow Mummy: My Top Ten Freebies - A Meme : Taking life as it comes...

Thursday 14 January 2010

My Top Ten Freebies - A Meme

I have been tagged by the very friendly Make Do Mum in the 'Top 10 things in your life that are FREE' meme. If you've read my lessons on Baby Stuff For Free then you will know that I'm a frugal mummy. I'll try not to repeat myself here, but there are a few things from the lessons that I feel are more than worthy of inclusion in my Top 10.

I've also tried to keep my Top 10 very practical – everyone knows that I love Mr B. and my little girl (even more than I love biscuits) and although I wouldn't strictly describe family life as 'free' (parenthood is a very pricey business), the happiness that they bring me every day is immeasurable and self-evident, so I've ruled that it doesn't count for this meme!!!
  1. Growing your own veg. Not strictly free given the initial investment and time/effort required but it does mean you can avoid the supermarkets and it does mean great tasting, healthy veg for you and your family with zero food miles. I know the weather is not conducive to veggie growing at this precise moment, but I'm starting my chilli plants indoors soon and this summer there will be potatoes, herbs, courgettes, beans and all sorts of yummy things for Lara to sample.
  2. Competition Prizes. If you've not read my lesson on how to win free baby goodies (and lots more)... then where have you been? Since I wrote it I have won a cookbook, a diary and some more smellies. Go on, give it a try.
  3. Free Wi-Fi. My scrumptious OH bought me an Ipod Touch for Christmas. Ever since then I have been scouring the airwaves for free Wi-Fi so that I can surf the net wherever I am... for FREE! Thankfully, I found a free network within reach of my desk at work. Phew: I was wondering what I'd do without access to Twitter and the blogosphere!
  4. Photo Souvenirs and Memories. Last Christmas, in a piece of ingenious forward planning given the new baby on the way, my present was a shiny new digital SLR. I love taking photographs of Lara (I've already had to archive off a whole load of them because they filled up my PC... oops) but my speciality is landscape photography. When I'm on holiday I struggle to find inspiring souvenirs but when I get back I always have a set of amazing photographs which are totally free and which mean much more to me than any piece of tourist tat. Here is just a taster!

  5. The wonderful worlds of Freegle and Freecycle – always worth a try for a few freebies.
  6. Reusable Nappies. I know, I know... they're not free because you have to fork out for the nappies, covers, liners and all the gubbins to deal with them... and you have to wash them. I know! But I've done my calculations, I am pretty certain that if you ignore the washing costs then I broke even nappy wise at 4 months so in my eyes, every reusable nappy that I now change counts as a FREE nappy. I do still use disposables occasionally and it always shocks me how much they cost. If you're interested in giving it a go, check out my Links for suppliers.
  7. Online Rewards Schemes. I touched on this briefly in Baby Stuff For Free but right now, I don't know what I'd do without the likes of Kidstart, Nectar e-shops, Mutualpoints and the whole host of online surveys I complete. I've had £55 in vouchers from various places so far in 2010 which has been a welcome contribution to the 'new baby car seat fund'.
  8. Free Coffee. On Monday I was incredibly grateful for my Caffe Nero loyalty card. All those trips to the coffee shop during maternity leave for a cheeky Mocha have paid off. It was lunchtime, I was tired after just half a day back at work, I was cold from tramping through the snow and all I wanted was a hot, warming, caffeine-packed coffee. Armed with my little piece of coffee-currency, I exchanged my loyalty card for a free cuppa and life was once again groovy. Genius.
  9. Free Music. Since I got my IPod I have discovered, a website that recommends music to you based on what you like and what you are currently listening to. You can listen to samples from their recommendations online, or through their Ipod application. If you like what they recommend, then you can choose to buy, or choose to listen to something else. They also have a lot of totally free mp3 downloads available on their site.
  10. Free Money. Yes, there is such a thing. Dear Government, Thank you very much for your gift of £250 for Lara's child trust fund. Thank you also for my child benefit which, although small in the grand scheme of things, is just enough to make me not have to worry about finances during the month. Oh, and thank you for the 'health in pregnancy 'grant, the maternity pay, the child trust fund tax breaks and the tax incentives on the childcare vouchers... you'd be mad to withdraw them because working mums like me might give up altogether leaving you with a smaller workforce and less tax income. Sometimes I feel lucky to be a UK mum.

I'm passing on the meme to Rebecca at Beetroot and Gherkins and Catherine at BabyGenie.
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