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  1. cashpileThe summer holidays are fast approaching it's unreal! Where has 2015 gone? The thing about the summer holidays are they can be an expensive time, especially if like me you are on reduced working hours. Some days I'm too tired to even consider working once the children are in bed. Whilst I fill the calendar up with free activities and have been booking days out in advance (it's so much cheaper this way) it's nice to have some money to just be spontaneous, have a meal out or just treat ourselves. So with 2 weeks to go I need to consider making a bit of extra spending money.

    Decluttering :

    Apparently we have around £600 worth of unwanted/not needed/justin case clutter in our homes. Whilst £600 would be nice I'd be happy with half that!

    • eBay: is the obvious starter as you can do this at home. However it can be time consuming photographing and listing everything.

    • You can list items for free on Gumtree and Facebook.

    • Carboot Sales: this is a good way to do a one off declutter in one hit, towards the end of the day you can lower your prices and hopefully go home with an empty boot.

    • DVD's and CD's: there are lots of online platforms and apps where you scan the barcode and are given a price for your unwanted bits. Music Magpie, Ziffit, Zapper to name a few. Whilst each DVD might only fetch sometimes as little as 25p if you have a large collection it can soon add up.

    • Books: another great app is We buy books, scan the barcode and cash them in. Great if like me you have a ton if children's book that the children have grown out of!

    • Empty those drawers you know the one filled with old mobile phone handsets, ipods, cameras and games consoles. There are plenty of sites that will take them.

    • Clothing: children's nearly new sales, dress agencies and if you still have some items left try cash 4 clothes where they pay you on weight for your clothes.

     

    Using your skills :

    • Blogging: although it's no quick fix as running a blog takes work, time and commitment you can earn from blogging in the way of paid reviews, sponsored content and advertising.

    • Survey sites: by filling in online surveys for cash and attending face-to-face focus groups you can soon top up your income.

    • Topcashback: earn money by just shopping online! (although not quite saving money at least you are making money from those sales)

    • Secret Shoppers: A mystery shopper is a person who poses as a real customer whilst assessing customer service levels provided by a company

    • Sell your handmade items: if your a dab hand at card craft or knitting why not consider selling your wares.

    • Sell your photos: have a keen interest in photography? Good at taking photos, sell them on sites like Shutterstock or Dreamstime.

    • Be an extra: fancy being in the next blockbuster or maybe an episode of Eastenders, extras can earn up £80 a day.

     

    I for one am definitely going to be opening up some drawers tomorrow and having a good sort through! Do you have any top tips for making extra money?

    This post complies with my Disclosure Policy.

  2. Pretty! #biscuits #review #food @QofHCookieCo

    A photo posted by Joanne Dewberry (@charliemoos) on

    Buying gifts for people is one of my utter most bug bears! I hate it! I either cannot find anything suitable, in my price range or then I do buy them but they are sat on my desk for weeks before I post them which means the birthday has actually long been and gone. Lame! I need to be more organised in my personal life!

    I've heard of people sending cake and biscuits through the post before and it sounds like a great idea. Queen of Hearts Cookie Company sent me a standard box (£18.99) which contained 8 biscuit inside 4 small and 4 largeer ones, in their vintage lace and golden birds design. You pay £3.20 delivery costs too. I was out the first day they arrived and had to select to have them redelivered on a more appropriate day. It's a shame they weren't packaged to be able to just slip throug the letter box.  If you are sending as a gift you will need to consider this. 

    I took out the 4 small biscuits and gave them to Daddy Moo and popped the beautiful box in my bag. After our long drive to Harry Potter Studio Tour last week I whipped out the fancy biscuits and we all had a nibble! I'm not a huge lover of thick icing but these biscuits are actually quite delicate in decoration. M&M really enjoyed theirs I mean what more would you expect from a 6&8 year old! Nanny Moo isn't normally a fan of icing either but she tried them and they weren't as sweet as she had anticipated.

     Queen of Hearts Cookie Company

    Queen of Hearts Cookie Company is a quirky idea for an unusal gift or for those hard to buy for relatives. Why not enjoy 10% off your order using “GIFT10” in the checkout.