Elaine Butler

Disneyland Paris

We’re just back from Disneyland Paris. Unfortunately quite a few of the attractions were closed but we still had a great time. Here are my tips for a less-stressful trip

  • Get used to queuing. They can be up to 60mins for one ride.
  • Alternate rides you have to queue for with ones you don’t such as the Labyrinth, Dragon’s Cave, Sleeping Beauty Castle, Alladin’s Passage, Shootin Gallery (2euro a go). My kids really enjoyed the interactive displays in the Disney Animation Gallery in Walt Disney Studio Park. You don’t have to queue for this if you skip the video at the start and go straight in the exit. I was told this by a staff member so it’s okay to do.
  • Hit the most popular rides as soon as you get into the park and get fast-passes where you can. As far as i know you can’t have two ‘live’…

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Suppose to be great for low cost travel when you get a touch of wanderlust. http://www.holidaypirates.com/

Kids socks gets reduced at the end of every season, unlike adults socks. So if your shoe size is a 10 or less you’re onto a winner.

I bought a Gola (irish company) backpack last year in Elverleys (irish company). It was half price aat 15 euros and is in perfect nick after a year’s wear unlike any other brand I’ve bought. I’d highly recommend them and Elverleys normally have promotions on backpacks now.

If you add something to an online basket and then leave it there for a couple of days you might get ‘incentives’ to buy from the company.

If an item dramatically goes up in price, its probably due to be reduced quite soon after.

A friend told me that if you buy Apple products in Dixons in the Airport you can save hundreds of euro.

The premium membership of spotify lets you create your own ad-free play list; ideal for a party. And best of all a weeks trial of the premium membersip is free!







Below is a few of the bargains posted in the Savvy Irish Shopper Facebook Group over the past two weeks. To join the group visit Savvy Irish Shopper

Lidl have 20% off all Fairtrade products next week (Monday 23rd of Feb) to celebrate Fairtrade week.

Homestore and more have a load of Mason and Cash baking tools reduced to €1.99, which are currently on sale for fullprice in Homebase.

Checked these out in Home Store and More today and they’ve very sturdy and well-priced at €2.50. They come in pink or blue

Kids gardening tools

This toy is a really great toy for young dinosaur fans and is currently reduced to €20 in Smyths – it was originally €49.99. Comment on post noted it was further reduced to €10Imaginext Mega Apatasaurus

We got our food bill in Milano’s reduced from €44 to €26 yesterday with their latest offer of 40% (ignore text on link) off your food bill. Offer available until 12th of Feb.

We got our food bill in Milano’s reduced from €44 to €26 yesterday with their latest offer of 40% (ignore text on link) off your food bill. Offer available until 12th of Feb.

Button Pushpins

March 1, 2014

A clever way to recycle leftover buttons

Elaine Butler

Button Pushpins

I saw these over in London and decided to make some at home with the myriad of left over buttons i have. What a clever way to recycle them!


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Best Value – Jan 2014

January 3, 2014

My philosophy in shopping is to buy the best value available. That doesn’t always mean the cheapest. I will not buy something that i don’t like just because it’s cheapest. I generally buy the bulk of my shop in Aldi but there are a few branded goods that i like so i tend to buy them in bulk when there is a Buy-One-Get-One-Free (BOGOF) or 50% off promotion. These brands include Hellmanns Mayonnaise, Heinz Beans and Ketchup, YR Sauce, Lakeshore Mustard and Orla B Satin Floss.

If it’s not too expensive than the best value item i buy local, fairtrade and organic. I review this list from time to time to make sure the prices are current and If i don’t have something listed them i’m still hunting for a best-value product and currently buy whatever’s on offer.


  • Shampoo & Conditioner – Aldi / Tesco (Carina €1.39 for 400ml or Alberto Balsam €1.39 for 400ml)
  • Fragance Free Body Moisturiser  – Any chemist (Pinewood Aqueous Cream approx €4.22 for 500g. It’s also Irish which is great. Aldi sometimes have 500g tubs on special for €1.99)
  • Fragrance Body Moisturiser – Tesco (Own Brand €1.59 for 400ml)
  • Roll on Deodrant – Aldi (75 cent)
  • Petroleum Jelly – Dunnes Stores (Healthcarepoint Brand €1.79 for 200g)
  • Sudocrem – Tesco’s own brand (€1.99 for 150ml)
  • Talcum Powder – Tesco (Johnson & Johnson Brand €1.48 for 200g)
  • Paracetemol – DocMorris (€2.49 cent for 24)


  • Chocolate Bars – Aldi, Discount Stores (but check the date before you buy in Discount Stores)
  • Cereal – Aldi (€1.19 for 375g of Rice Crispies, €1.49  for 375g Multigrain hoops, €1.19  for 375g Malted Wheaties)
  • Museli – Aldi (€1.99 for 750g)
  • Porridge Oats – Aldi (€1.39 for 1.5kg or €1.69 for 1kg of Organic porridge)
  • Flour – Aldi (€1.19 for 2kg)
  • Caster Sugar – Lifl (€1.09 for 1kg Fairtrade brand)
  • Brown Sugar – Aldi (99cent for 500g)
  • Raisens – Aldi (€1.19 for 400g)
  • Read-to-roll White Icing – Aldi (€1.79 for 454g)
  • Fondant Icing – Tesco (€1.89 for 500g)
  • Pittas – Aldi (65 cent for 6)
  • Pittas /Naan – Aldi (79 cent for 2)
  • Tortilla Wraps – Aldi (89 cent for 8 wraps / 514g)
  • Par-baked Baguettes – Aldi (.59 for 300g)
  • Vegetables – Most supermarkets have some veg on special for 39-89cent but i also like Supervalu multi-buy deals. Although i always get brocolli in Aldi at €1.09 – €1.29 for 500g, unless it’s on special elsewhere.
  • Potatoes – Tesco (€2.99 for 2kg Organic Potatoes)
  • Fruit –  Aldi & Lidl specials or Supervalu’s multi-buy deals.
  • Bananas – Aldi or Tesco (€1.59 for bunch of Organic Fairtrade)
  • Garlic – Aldi (65cent for 3 bulbs)
  • Beef / Pork- High quality, high welfare, organic meat is my preference so when i can afford it I buy, free range pork from Ennis butchers in Rialto, (it’s not much more expensive and tastes amazing), organic mince beef in Lidl at €3.99 for 380g or in Supervalu at €4.15 for 380g. When i can’t afford free-range or organic  I generally buy meat in bulk in Supervalu when in it’s on special and freeze it, although I’ve found Aldi’s and Dunnes Stores meat good too.
  • Breaded Fish – Aldi (€2.99 for 4 fillets of Haddock)
  • Fish Fingers – Aldi (€1.75 for 15)
  • Tinned Tuna – Aldi or Supervalu (89cent per 130g tin of tuna chunks in brine)
  • Prawns – Aldi (€3.65 for 357g of North Atlantic Prawns). I noticed that Aldi’s Specially Selected prawns are from Thailand and given the problem with slavery on fishing boats in this part of the world i steer clear of them.
  • Chicken  – Aldi (€5.99 for a whole free-range chicken. Save yourself a fortune by learning how to deconstruct a whole chicken. Then freeze all the parts separately so you can use them as you need. Sometimes i buy Supervalu’s Free-range thighs and drumsticks for €4)
  • Sausages – Tesco (€4.75 for 2 packs of 10 traditional sausages 454g. Their finest range has the second highest meat content to Superquinn’s own-brand sausage)
  • Mozzarella – Aldi (59cent for 129g)
  • Prosciutto – Aldi (€1.89 for 100g)
  • Parma Ham – Aldi (€2.49 for 90g)
  • Panchetta – Tesco (€1.07 for 100g)
  • Chorizo – Aldi (€1.79 for 170g)
  • Grana Padano / Parmesan – Lidl (€2.99 for 200g).
  • Sliced Ham – Aldi (€1.19 for 100g of Genoa Style Italian Ham)
  • Streaky Rashers – Aldi (€1.49 for 250g). When Supervalu have an offer on i get 180g of Oliver Carthy’s Free-range back rashers for €2.
  • Frankfurters – Aldi (€1.49 for 10)
  • Pizza – Aldi (€1.39 for medium stone baked pizza)
  • Chinese Noodles – Aldi (89cent for 250g packet)
  • Udon Noodles – Any Asian Foodstore
  • Lasagna Sheets – Aldi (99cent per 500g box)
  • Spaghetti – Aldi (95cent for 1kg)
  • Penne / Fusili – Tesco (I like the Bunalun Organic brand best and it’s generally the same price as other non-organic brands but it can be hard to get so i stock up when i find it. Otherwise any bronze-die pasta on special (bronze-die pasta holds onto the sauce best!). Tesco do 2 for 1 on the Naponlina range from time to time.
  • Tagliatelle – Aldi (€1.19 for 500g)
  • Garlic Bread – Aldi or Tesco (79cent for 2 sticks). Personally i prefer Tesco’s – more butter!
  • Rice Cakes – Aldi (€1.29 for 130g)
  • Breadsticks – Aldi (79cent for 125g)
  • Crackers – Aldi (39 cent for 300g)
  • Bread – Aldi (€1.19 for loaf of Multigrain)
  • Burger Buns – Aldi (89cent for 6)
  • Jellies – Aldi (Love their Cherries jellies at 69cent for 100g bag)
  • Dark Chocolate – Aldi or Tesco (89cent for 200g)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies – Aldi (They do a basic range for 39cent)
  • Butter – Supervalu / Tesco (€1.69 for 200g of Kerrygold)
  • Fromage Frais – Aldi (79cent for 6)
  • Greek Yoghurt – Aldi (99cent for 500g)
  • Yoghurt – Tesco / Supervalu (€2.19 for 4 pots of Glenisk Organic Kids yoghurt. This brand has no additional sugar added and is organic)
  • Cheddar Cheese – Any Supermarket (I like strong cheese so my favorites are Dubliner Vintage or Wexford Vintage. Typically one of the large supermarkets have 200g block for €2 or less. Failing that i buy Supervalu’s mature cheddar 200g block for €2.11)
  • Creme Fraiche – Glenisk Organic from Tesco or Supervalu (€2.19 for 125ml)
  • Cream – Aldi (€1.29 for 125ml)
  • Soft Cheese – Aldi (69cent for 200g)
  • Ice Cream – Aldi (€1.99 for 1 litre)
  • Ice Cream Cones – Tesco (€1.29 for 21)
  • Meringue Nests – Aldi (€1.49 for 8)
  • Cream Doughnuts – Aldi & Lidl (€1.99 for 6)
  • Profiteroles – Aldi (€2.79 for 12)
  • Passatta (sieved tomato) – Aldi (59cent for 500g)
  • Tinned Tomatoes – Aldi (55cent for 400g chopped tomatoes)
  • Tinned Pineapples – Aldi (69cent for 423g)
  • Jelly – Aldi (49 cent for 135g)
  • Custard – Aldi (69cent for 500g)
  • Honey – Aldi (€1.99 per 454g jar)
  • Vegetable Oil – Aldi (€1.35 for 1 litre)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Tesco (€2.99 for 500ml)
  • Mayonnaise – Any supermarket with a special on (Only hellmanns works for me but i’ll buy in bulk when there is 50% off)
  • Ketchup – Have a passion for Heinz ketchup so buy it in bulk when it’s BOGOF or 50% off. Aldi’s is very good too but it’s thinner than Heinz / Chef ketchup and so doesn’t last as long.
  • YR sauce – Tesco (€1.79 for 250g)
  • Mustard – Supervalue / Tesco (Lakeshore brand €1.43 for 205 / 215g). Aldi’s is good too but the English Mustard thinner so doesn’t last as long.
  • Stock Cubes – Aldi (89cent for 120g)
  • Green Olives – Aldi (49cent for 240g / 90g drained weight)
  • Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce – Aldi (€1.29 for 300g)
  • Potato Crisps – Aldi (€1.39 for 135g Hand cooked potato crisps)
  • Potato Crisps (multi-packs) – Aldi or Tesco both have 6 packs for around 99cent
  • Tortilla Crisps  – Aldi (75 cent for 200g – cool flavour)
  • Cartons of Orange Juice – Aldi (99cent for 1 litre carton)
  • Concentrated Juice – Aldi (€1.45 for 1 litre)
  • Toilet Roll – Aldi (€1.49 for 4 rolls)
  • Kitchen Paper – Aldi (€2.49 for 4 rolls)
  • Tissues – Aldi (€1.09 for 90 balm tissues)
  • Floss – Tesco (€2.00 for Oral B’s Satin Floss)
  • Ear buds – Tesco (79cent for 300)
  • Adults Toothbrushes – Aldi (79cent for 2)
  • Kids Toothbrushes – Supervalu (€2 for 4)
  • Bin Bags – Aldi (99 cent for 20 multi-use tie-handle bags)
  • Washing Powder – Aldi ( €2.59 for 2.4kg box )
  • Fabric Conditioner – Aldi (99cent for 1 litre)
  • Washing-up Liquid – Aldi (79cent for 100ml)
  • Toilet Cleaner – Aldi (99cent for 1 litre)
  • Bread Soda – Tesco (€1.19 for 100g. I use this for cleaning instead of Cif)
  • Beer – Aldi (€11.99 for 12 x 500ml Saint Etienne or €1.09 per can)
  • Sparkling Wine – Aldi’s Cremant Du Jura (€9.99 for 750ml)
  • Cider – Aldi €3.49 for 1 litre or €1.19 for 500ml can)
  • Tea – Aldi (€1.49 for 80 Fairtrade Bags)
  • Coffee for Espresso Machine – Lidl (€3.99 for 500g Cafe Gold)
  • Coffee for Cafetiere – Aldi (€2.69 for 227g)
  • Batteries – Aldi (€2.99 for 8 AA or AAA Active Batteries, €3.49 for 2 x 9volt Active Batteries)
  • Rubber Gloves – Tesco (€1.65 for pair of Tesco Tough gloves)


Stylish hallowe’en decorations don’t have to be shop bought or cost the earth. Check these out.

Elaine Butler

Ghost Door Hanger

halloween garland

I did this in my own house and i love taking it out every year. Find out how to make it here.

Mice on stairs

For mice templates by Martha Stewart click here.

Monsters in Window

I got this image from the blog craft lifters . Some slightly simpler, but just as cool, window monsters can be seen here.

Swirl Ghost Decorations

flying bats

Image from the blog Dan Made It but idea came from Country living originally, where you can download lots of hallowe’en templates for free!

Hanging Bats

For instructions on how to make the hanging bats by Martha Stewart click here

Starch Ghost

For instructions click here.

Paper Pumpkins

And for a bit of colour. These cute paper pumpkins. For instructions click here.

pumpkin vases


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Pricenoia.com is a handy website that allows you to compare the price of products across all of Amazon’s websites.


Avoiding Paypal Charges

March 16, 2013

If you use the gift option when paying someone through paypal and have money in your paypal account you avoid any charges. If you use a credit card to pay you get charged.


The famous cook Delia is now offering free cookery lessons online at http://www.deliaonline.com/


Free Online Courses

February 20, 2013

Get free online courses from the world’s leading universities, including Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard and Berkley. This collection includes over 650 free courses in the liberal arts and sciences. Download these audio & video courses straight to your computer or mp3 player.