Car Scrappage Scheme to be extended

If you are looking to replace your old car and want to save some money this could be the scheme for you. 

The UK’s car scrappage scheme is to be extended, Lord Mandelson has announced.

He said the scheme, which started in May and gives consumers £2,000 off a new car if they trade in one at least 10 years old, was running out of money.

The business secretary broke the news, called for by the car industry, in his speech to the Labour Party conference.

He said “we cannot do everything but that does not mean doing nothing” and said the scheme would be extended to cover 100,000 more cars and vans. The £300m initiative had been due to end in February, or when the limit of 300,000 vehicles being scrapped was reached.

Read More at the Direct Gov Site here..

Household Insurance

Insurance Rip Offs

Household InsuranceI got my renewal for household insurance a few days ago and finally got around to doing something about it today. What an eye opener!!  The letter from the broker stated that it was the best offer available so I decided to do a little shopping around to check.

By chance I got a letter the same day from Churchill Insurance as we have our car insurance with them.  They were offering a great rate and a saving of £70 on our renewal quote. I called to check the details were OK for running my small business from home.  The customer service assistant was very helpful and as it was such a good deal I signed up to pay in instalments.

When I went to cancel my insurance I was told that they could maybe do something for me and came back with a quote £60 cheaper than originally.  This made me really annoyed, if they were honest in the first place and given me the best quote they would still have my business, as it is I have made the move!

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Always shop around before signing up for any insurance to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. Try shopping around at one of the many comparison sites.

Save the planet and your cash

Energy Saving HouseThere is lots of talk at the moment about our carbon footpring and being green however Saving Enenrgy can also save you money. Follow our top tips for painless ways to save energy.

  1. Turn your heating down by 1 degree. 
  2. Is your water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat should be set at 60°C/140°F.
  3. Wash your clothes at 30 degrees or lower.  Now if you have very mucky kids I would suggest buying some pre-wash stain remover or you will just end upwashing things twice!
  4. If possible, fill up the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher: one full load uses less energy than two half loads.
  5. Shower rather than take a bath.
  6. Hang clothes out to dry instead of using the tumble dryer.
  7. Check your tyre pressure so that less fuel is used.
  8. Clear all your clutter out of the car and the boot so you burn less fuel.
  9. Turn off appliances and lights when not in use.
  10. Use an energy comparison site like Uswitch to ensure you are not paying too much for your energy.

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EST_logoFind out what grants may be available to make your home more energy saving.   There are grants available for loft and cavity wall insulation for many homes.   Check the Energy Saving Trust to see if you can save.

Cheap children’s activites for a rainy day

rainy-dayWith the weather changing I thought I would write a quick post with some of my favourite rainy day activities that don’t need to cost the earth.  I have linked to some websites for you so you can get lots more ideas but the 3 below are my favourites.

Homemade play dough

This is really easy to make and the making is part of the fun.  Try and split the dough into a few pieces if you have more than one child and they can each make their own colours.  It keeps well in a sealed container in the fridge, you may need to knead it and add a little more flour when you take it out.

Your will need:

  • 3/4 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 3/4 to I cup of boiling water from the kettle.

Mix the dry ingredients together and add the water.  Start with 3/4 of a cup of water and add more as required.  Add a few drops of your favourite colour to the water or you can knead it in later if you want a few different colours.

paper snowflakePaper cutting

There are lots of sites with templates for you to use.  I would suggest starting with little people or snowflakes and see how it goes!  Paper aeroplanes are also ever popular. – Lots of instructions and videos for the little ones to watch. 


fimbles sportsSports Day

This is my daughters favourite rainy day activity.  We set up an obstacle course in the house, they make a slide off the spare bed and generally get rid of excess energy. 

Before you start you can do some arts and crafts and can print out a great set of badges and medals from cbeebies and their fimbles site here.  You can colour them in and decorate the winners trophy.

Some of our favourite games are:

  • An obstacle course with a blanket to crawl under, chairs to climb over and stairs to bump down on bottoms.  You can tailor this to the age of your children and their abilities.
  • Skittles with empty plastic bottles and beanbags.
  • Beanbag throwing into baskets and pots.
  • Musical pots and pans (if you can stand the noise!)