Bills and maternity leave

I was reading the other day that new parents face bills of around a quarter of a million pounds to raise just one child to the age of 21. Now that is a scary thought for older mums like myself who worry about having enough time to make ends meet in the years ahead.

If Cyberspace is to be believed then midlife mums are more ‘financially secure’ than younger mummies. Well, I hate to rain on that parade but it’s simply not true. I have more outgoings now than I’ve ever had in my life.

There’s the increase in my life insurance payments, fears over whether I’ll ever be able to pay off the mortgage, buildings and contents insurance (just in case) and eating healthier and exercising certainly costs more. There’s also more frequent trips to the salon to get rid of those greys, Botox, dermal fillers and dental hygiene … and that’s just off the top of my head.

Being on a tight budget (maternity leave) means I’m constantly looking for ways to cut corners. I’m now the first to tell friends about money-off coupons, B-O-G-O-F-F deals and 2-for-1 offers. Martin Lewis ( has also become my new superhero.

With pregnancy pulling on my purse-strings, I scoured the web for FREE STUFF that would help me on my journey. The result was a whole host of goodies landing on my doormat and a feeling of satisfaction. Below is a list of my magnificent seven FREEBIES (in no particular order) and where to get them …

  1. YOUR BABY BOX #yourbabybox

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on one of these – from Your Baby Club in the UK – they are filled with goodies that will keep you going until Christmas…if you give birth to a July baby like me. Competition winners are limited to a daily quota, but if you don’t win you can return every day and enter again until you do.


As well as a host of vouchers and money-off coupons for baby stuff, I received a MAM anti-colic bottle, Nuby soother, Ella’s Kitchen sample, Paddy’s Bubbly Stuff and more. What’s great is that the pack is brimming with useful products, not stuffed with adverts.

It turned out to be a lifesaver (twice). Once when Master C decided he didn’t want to breastfeed and we needed a bottle as a matter of urgency. And again, when the midwife was trying in vain to calm him down, the soother worked a treat. Top marks to Your Baby Club! Get yours now.

2. MAM anti-colic bottle – courtesy of Boots Parenting Club


As a member of the Boots Parenting Club, you can collect 10 Boots Advantage Card points for every pound you spend on baby products in the baby area.

As well as 2-4-1 offers and money-saving coupons, you also receive free gifts every step of the way. So far, I’ve received a MAM anti-colic bottle and soother (which obviously came in very useful), 60 free photographs which Master C can look back on when he’s older, an Ella’s Kitchen ‘a tiny taste of The First Foods Book’ and a Nuby Natural Touch 360 Bottle To Cup. Thank you Boots!

3 & 4 C&G cuddly cow toy and weaning book – courtesy of Cow & Gate


Now who doesn’t like a cute cuddly toy? Master C loves this pair of C&G cuddly cow toys that we received in the post after signing up to the C&G Baby Club. He now can’t be without them when he falls asleep. Aww! As well as the toy, you also get emails with tips and advice. This brings me on to my next essential freebie too … the Cow & Gate 5-step Weaning Plan.

Now if you’re struggling with what you should and shoudn’t feed your baby, this book is packed full of helpful menu suggestions, tips and advice and even an ingredients shopping list for each meal.  There are also some very handy money-off coupons to be had. This book has become my bible in the kitchen and it comes in such an easy to digest format too. Well done C&G, you have saved my bacon!


5. Johnsons Baby Wipes – courtesy of Johnsons Baby Club

Sadly the club doesn’t exist any more, which is a real shame as I was going to give it a plug here. In the meantime, you should (hopefully) get some Johnsons FREE stuff in your Emma’s Diary pack. It’s a brand I really believe in because I’ve grown up with their products myself. Master C hasn’t had any issues with the Extra Sensitive Baby Wipes and so I would personally recommend them.

6. Sudocrem sample – courtesy of Bounty

Now Bounty is supposed to mean good things that are given or provided freely in large amounts, although I have to say I was more than a little disappointed with my Bounty Packs throughout my pregnancy. I had hoped that my FINAL pack after C was born was going to be jam-packed with goodies, but it wasn’t. There were far too many adverts and offers and not enough freebies for my liking.

Now the one good thing that did come out of my Bounty Pack was a small sample of Sudocrem. While I’d initially used other brands of cream to protect C’s delicate skin, I hadn’t come across anything that completely got rid of nappy rash. I had kept all the samples I’d received in his baby bag for emergencies though, like you do, when I noticed he had a bit of a rash forming on his leg.

I’ll be perfectly honest now and say that the Sudocrem sample was the ONLY one I had left, so I lathered it on him. By evening, the rash had completely disappeared and Sudocrem had one very happy customer.

7. Weaning spoons – courtesy of Petits Filous and Bebivita

It’s the first time my blender has been out of the cupboard in quite a while, so that must mean it’s weaning time. So far, I’ve mashed and pureed a whole host of veggies and fruits and filled the freezer full of tiny Tupperware pots.

Now sadly you are no longer able to get a FREE weaning spoon from Bebivita, but I’m making use of the one they sent to me. I’m sure you’ll get something from Petits Filous however in your Emma’s Diary or Bounty Pack.

Both spoons have proved useful as I embark on weaning with Master C, although the real test was how much he managed to spit back out. And … Petits Filous won hands down.


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