Treat yourself on a budget

Treat yourself on a budget

You can still pamper yourself once you’ve had a baby, even if your budget isn't what it was. Check out these post-baby treat ideas.

Before baby… Pampering at a posh salon

After baby… Visit a training salon

You can still have that great cut and colour by going to a training salon near you. While your cut will done by trainee, they will be supervised by experienced stylists who check their work throughout. Be prepared for it to take longer than your usual appointment though and ask what kind of styles are on offer before you book. Some training salons specialise in teaching classic cuts while others push the boundaries with modern, edgy styles. While some cuts are free, others make a nominal charge depending on whether you have a cut, colour or both.

No training academy near you? Your local college of further education may have a beauty salon where students studying hairdressing and beauty therapy offer their services for free or at a reduced rate. Or ask local hairdressers if they ever need models.


Before baby… Girls’ night out

After baby… Chilled-out night in

Drinks at your favourite bar, dinner and a taxi home can leave a big hole in your pocket. So take things back to basics and catch up on the latest gossip with your friends in the comfort of one of your own homes. You can still slip on the heels and sparkly tops if you feel the urge but this time go for something as easy as pizza, wine and DVDs. If you order takeout pizzas, check the delivery leaflets for special offers – extras like garlic bread or ice cream often come for free if you place a big order.

Or you can split the costs of the evening between you, so one of you brings pizza to pop in the oven, another brings the DVDs and snacks and someone else the drinks. Make it a regular thing, and you won’t feel as though your social life has suffered just because you’re on a budget.


Before baby… Holidays and city breaks

After baby… Join the swap shop

One way to enjoy a holiday without shelling out a fortune is to try a house swap. There are lots of companies online and most operate by charging you a registration fee. All the companies have guidelines so you know what to expect. It's worth trying to exchange with another young family so you can both leave things like stairgates in situ. With any luck your hosts will also leave detailed guides to the local area, so you’ll be able to find all the child-friendly cafes and tourist attractions. But if a fortnight’s swap seems too big a commitment, why not ask friends if they’d like to try an informal swap for just one weekend?


Before baby… Monthly gym membership

After baby… Get the DVD exercise habit

There are lots of bonuses to exercise DVDs. Aside from cost, the main one is you can execise in the privacy of your own home, whenever you want! Many exercise DVDs are aimed specifically at mums, so check out the selection of fitness DVDs at Sainsbury’s. Or you could join a DVD rental club or swap exercise DVDs with friends for variety.

If you prefer to get fit outdoors, why not find an exercise buddy to keep you company and so you can keep one another motivated. Keep an eye out for any groups in your area for set up for mums to exercise with their buggies too. Whatever you do, aim for a target of 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, which can help lower your risk of developing major chronic diseases by up to 50 per cent.


The views expressed here are the views of experts giving advice. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd. If you have any concerns about your child’s health you should consult your GP or health visitor.