Yesterday was Marnie’s 2nd birthday. She woke up in my bed with Darcey singing ‘Happy Birthday’. Darcey was welcomed with the response “NO!” And a slap. 🙄. Great start to the day.
She opened her presents from the three of us and we got ready for the school run. After taking Darcey to school, we headed out for some party supplies. I’d already been to Costco’s for a couple of pizzas the day before, so yesterday was cups, plates and banners. A few other things were purchased too. New hula hoops and a couple of teddies for both girls.
To make it clear. I’m not “one of those parents” who give the non-birthday child a gift on the birthday child’s actual birthday. The things I got Darcey are hidden and I will give them to her on another day.
So, anyway. I prepped the party food during the day. The party was starting after Darcey had finished school. Everyone came over and filled the house pretty quickly, but I love the madness! We played some games, filled up all the children with sweets, cake and pizza and sent them on their way. Marnie did well for presents. Clothes, toys, soft animals and puzzles! She loved opening them all (with the help of the older children).
I got to the end of the day and thought “How on earth is she 2 already?!” It feels like I’ve blinked and she turning into a little girl. She’s just not a baby anymore. She’s talking up to five word sentences and just becoming more bearable to be around, which is always a nice feeling. Roll on Darcey’s birthday in October.
Also, I’ve come to the realisation that I’m turning into a ‘Pinterest Mum’ and do you know what? I’m fine with that.
So after being a mum for over five years. I’ve managed to do things on the cheap side. Here’s a few I’ve done so far.
- Going out for dinner with a toddler. Don’t pay for their own food. They hardly eat anything anyway. With Marnie I buy something for me and feed her off my plate. Going out for dinner is expensive anyway and restaurants expect a two year old to eat the same as a five year old. It doesn’t always work like that. Not saying all toddlers are the same as Marnie, who is a grazer. But this is a good money saving hack. And if we can. We take a picnic out with us.
- Save money on nappies. Try using shops own brands. Tesco have 52 nappies for £2.99! Pampers are more than twice the price. This money saver depends on your child’s need for wee and depends on your preference I guess. But Tesco own brand is great for us and mega cheap. We did use re-useable nappies for the first year of Marnie’s life, which I highly recommend! You spend a lot to get the nappies started and getting the liners and detergent, but that’s it. It’s definitely worth doing if you’re short on cash or care about land fill sites! I just couldn’t use them when Marnie got so big. You know….. Big poops💩
- Try shops own brand food. Fresh fruit and veg is so expensive. Especially if your children are like mine and will eat fruit all day everyday if I let them! Tinned fruit is just as good, just find the ones in their own juice not the syrup.
- Our four weekly food planner is a lifesaver sometimes. I found meal ideas on ‘Pinterest’ and in ‘Ella’s Kitchen’ cookbooks. It’s all healthy and easy to do. Don’t get me wrong. We don’t always eat healthy, but I do try and have the girls eat veg in most of their dinners. And it’s good for when you’re shopping you won’t impulse buy. You’ll only buy what you need. Unfortunately we’re not lucky enough to have the ability to ‘Extreme Coupon’ buy here in the U.K., but I would be SO one of those mums!
- I’m not afraid to say that I buy some of the girls clothes and shoes secondhand. I use ‘eBay’ and ‘Vinted’ to buy really nice secondhand stuff for both girls. Mainly Darcey because Marnie gets all of Darcey’s Hand-Me-Downs. What I do buy is always in great condition and they are just happy to have something new.
I buy Birthday presents/Christmas presents throughout the year. So when it comes to the big day. I’m not struggling financially. And I don’t “over buy”. I try and get what Darcey asks for. At the moment she’s just happy to have a few things. Marnie is just happy with an empty box! Why does a two year old need loads of stuff?! I don’t understand parents that just buy £100’s of stuff for them. I have a budget for each occasion and stick to it. Children don’t need all the stuff! I also make the girls birthday cakes too. I’m not paying someone else to do it when I know I can do just as well. Now I know some parents won’t even attempt to bake. But it’s not hard. Give it a go. You might surprise yourself! Cake below is from 2017.
Once I think of others along the way. I’ll note them down. I guess what I’m saying is love within your means. If you can afford all the nice, expensive stuff. Good for you! I guess if I was still working full time, I would probably spend more. Fact is, I’m not and I had to make major changes. Maybe when I can get a full time job, once Marnie has started full time school. I’ll be able to work more hours, but for now our situation works for us and we still do nice things with the girls and make memories that I didn’t really have as a child. So already the girls have a better childhood than what I did and that’s I wanted to do for them.