Welcome!

welcome

Sign from Rubha Phoil campsite, Skye

Welcome to my second-hand tales blog where I chronicle my adventures in second-hand shopping, and other greenish ventures.

I also post a weekly list of all my Thrifty Finds (see here) ,  The idea is not to just share any secondhand purchases I may have made, but also list those things I have repaired, recycled, donated, re-used – or just decided not to buy. I would love to hear from you as well so please share your Thrifty Finds every Monday

I hope you enjoy reading my random(ish) posts: please leave a comment on any post that interests you – or you could  follow me on instagram

 

Thrifty Finds, Saving Money v ia secondhandtales.com

This week’s Thrifty Finds second week March 2019

Thrifty Finds, Saving Money v ia secondhandtales.com

 

I had last week off work as I still had annual leave to take. This meant I could get on top of some decluttering jobs and sort out some finances.

  1. I sorted through my younger girls’ bedroom and filled a couple of bags for charity.
  2. I was also able to get on top of some of our savings accounts. I’ve rejigged what we are saving for some things as we are about to have a salary drop. I discovered that I had been over saving for one fund which will come in useful as…
  3. The car broke down again! We were warned that the problem may be more serious and it may need to go back to the garage. I think the next job they will do on the car will involve the engine and is going to cost a lot more 😦
  4. I spent a quiet week at home working through my list of jobs as well as enjoying some time to read. I went out for lunch twice with friends but just to local cafes. I had planned to go to the cinema but there wasn’t anything I wanted to see.
  5. However my husband has just discovered his Vodafone rewards app so we can claim two Odeon tickets for just £7! He also challenged his new bill and was able to get the discount he was originally promised (although it involved two phonecalls, filling in an online form and then returning to the store!)

 

On a completely separate note at the weekend I completed a Fearless Flyer Course with Easyjet!

I haven’t flown for 13 years and this summer we are taking a long haul flight. I’m not a great flyer and, having not flown for so long, it has been building up in my mind. As the course was only in Bristol I decided to go for it. The first day was in a hotel in Bristol and involved motivational talks, mindfulness and some very mild hypnotherapy techniques. We also had a talk from a pilot who explained all the noises and – basically – how planes work. The following day was a short 40 minute flight from Bristol airport. Having done the first day I felt surprisingly calm at the airport and didn’t mind boarding the plane. The take off, and landing, though were pretty bumpy (due to the tailend of the recent storms). The course pilot talked us through the take off and landing which was so helpful. Although I felt uncomfortable and uneasy I was a lot better than I would have been having not taken the course. I still can’t say I’m looking forward to our summer flights but I feel I have more tools and techniques to utilise.

Thrifty Finds for first week in March 2019

 

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  1. I finished my #10×10 challenge last week. I succeeded in only wearing ten items (eight items of clothing and two pairs of shoes) for ten days. While it was feasible to wear a different look each day, which made getting dressed a lot easier, I did find it a little boring. Everything I chose to wear HAD to match, which means I couldn’t fit anything quirkier into my wardrobe. I also had to wash my clothes A LOT more! I would definitely use a 10×10 challenge when packing for holiday as it shows you can wear less – but as a day to day exercise I found it too limiting.
  2. I finished the book I borrowed for Book Group. We are now reading Michelle Obama’s autobiography, ‘Becoming‘, which I’m really looking forward to. I decided to borrow the audiobook from the library, as I believe she narrates it. Thankfully we are not meting until mid May!

 

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3. While at Book Group I also borrowed another book from a friend: ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ by George Saunders. I have next week off work and plan to do a lot of reading.

4. In order to reduce our outgoings we have cancelled a couple of unnecessary direct debits for TV and music. My husband has also renegotiated his mobile phone contract which should significantly reduce that debit. My own phone has started to play up (I’ve had it for two years and it is second hand). I’m going to use my husband’s phone when he gets an upgrade, so I will still be paying for SIM only with my contract.

5. On the downside, our car broke down last Thursday 😦 😦 Thankfully we have breakdown cover so my husband was picked up on the side of the motorway (where the breakdown occurred) and he and the car were taken to our village garage. However, at present (Monday) it is still in the garage while they work out what is wrong. This is NOT good news! I’m glad we have some savings put aside for car emergencies but I suspect it won’t be enough for this repair 😦

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Thrifty Finds for last week February 2019

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These are my Thrifty Finds for the last week in February:

  1. My parents were able to pass on the girls’ old playhouse to someone else in the village. This playhouse had originally been a play fort which my parents had – very cleverly – turned into a playhouse. However the girls (and their cousins) are growing too old for the playhouse so we put it on the village ‘Free, Sell, Swap’ page and had three offers to collect! By the end of the weekend it had gone to a lady who was going to give it to her granddaughter – so it will now have its third incarnation!
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2. I borrowed the book we are reading for Book Group, rather than buy it.

3. I had a big win with a Boots offer and points! I received a money off voucher for Number 7 cosmetics (my go-to brand for foundation and concealer) but was also able to make use of their ‘Three for the price of two’ offer at the same time. What should have been £45, only cost £28. I was also able to claim my double points voucher so I already have nearly £5 saved for Christmas (I save all my Boots Advantage to help buy Christmas presenrs).

4. I decided to take part in the #10x10challenge on Instagram. The idea is to wear just ten items of clothing for ten days. I thought it would be a good idea to see how much use I could get out of my clothes, and make me rethink how I wear some of them. I’ll post the results next week! Interestingly, only about a third of the items were second hand.

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5. Knowing I was only going to be wearing ten items of clothing (incl shoes) made me get my sewing kit out and mend a couple of items!

Have you tried a clothing challenge? Are there any tips you can pass on?

Thrifty Finds: second week February 2019

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1. I used a money off voucher for some birthday presents for my eldest daughter .

2. I also used a money off voucher for some supermarket shopping.

3. A friend gave me a book she had read:

 

4. My younger two daughters had eye tests and it turns out they both need to wear glasses! I knew my middle daughter was struggling to read the board at school but had no idea my youngest needed glasses too – it came as a bit of a shock, especially as they’ll need to wear glasses all the time.   Anyway, thanks to the wonderful NHS the eye tests were free and I only ended up paying £20 for one of the glasses (the other pair were free).

5. We had a small clear out of books and donated two bags to charity.

Thrifty Finds: first week in February

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 I hope you are having a good week and enjoying the milder weather here in the U.K. Last week’s Thrifty Finds were:

1. I had a Sainsbury’s delivery and was given an extra chicken!

2. We had a trip to Bristol on Saturday and used my husband’s free parking space through work (not for much longer as he will be moving to Bath in April)

3. In light of his job change, and a salary cut, I have started to adjust our monthly spending budgets. When we get paid at the end of the month I do the following things:

– transfer money to short term savings accounts for things like holidays, car maintenance, school bus pass

– put some cash savings away for shorter term funds, i.e. Clothing, day trips, piano lessons

I will start to adjust some of these and also try to limit us both to a set amount of free spending money each week. If we take cash out then when it’s spent it’s physically gone (rather than using plastic).

I’m desperately putting aside as much money as I can at the moment to save for some big projects this year (holiday and possible building work) before we have an income reduction.

4. I received notification of a small wage rise at work 🙂

5. A friend very kindly treated me to a cinema ticket to see ‘The Favourite’. I drove and paid for refreshments, but the cinema tickets were way more expensive so it will be my turn to buy her ticket at our next trip!

Charity Shop Haul: January 2019

While I am trying to be more disciplined about buying new (to me) clothes I just couldn’t resist the ‘Fill your bag for a Tenner’ promotion at Dorothy House charity shop last month.

This is the closest charity shop to where I work and a couple of my colleagues had already sneaked in and bagged some amazing bargains (including a brand new Anthropologie dress!!). So I thought it would be rude not to have a browse on my lunch break….

However I did stick to buying those items that can be worn in the Spring and Summer, rather than just adding to my winter wardrobe.

In the end I bought these goodies for £10 in total:

The jumper is originally from Dickins and Jones. It’s a nice lightweight jumper for the Spring and Summer:

 


The blouse is originally from BonMarche and a size 16 – both of which I wouldn’t normally try. However the beauty of charity shops is that you come across labels you would never normally consider (see my Country Casuals 1950s style dress here from December). And I have learnt over the years to look beyond my normal sizing. Anyway the blouse fits really well as an oversize top perfect for hot summer days (remember them?) and a cover up on the beach.

The dress is from Tesco and, as with the blouse above, will be great for the summer, especially at work.


While I have put most of this haul away for warmer months I couldn’t resist wearing this polka dot blouse now, with a long sleeved top underneath. I really love the pattern and the collar and bow 🙂


Finally, the two red tops have come in very useful as they have extended the colour palette in my wardrobe. The long sleeved top (not shown) is actually a size 20 but works well underneath layers. The red t-shirt and skirt below work very well together. I don’t normally buy skirts as they do not flatter my waist, but I couldn’t resist the pattern. I’m really looking forward to wearing it in the warmer months!


Thrifty Finds for end of January 2019

thrifty finds2Apologies (once more) for another fortnightly post. Last week I came down with a really horrible cold (flu?) and ended up spending a few days in bed. Although I’m now back at work I still don’t feel 100%….

Here are my Thrifty Finds for the past fortnight:

1. Being sick at home meant that we didn’t really spend much money and had to cancel a couple of social engagements. One of them was pre-paid but I didn’t mind as it was a charity event.

2. When I did return to work I did get my free flu jab! Ironic I know! I had been waiting for the pharmacy to order in some more innoculations as they had been out of them. Apparently it takes two weeks to start working so I think I would have picked this cold up anyway 😦

3. While I was stuck in bed I started reading my second hand  Amazon pile, bought with my birthday gift voucher:

img_80784. We had snow at the weekend and ended up being snowed in on Friday and Saturday (being 500 metres above sea level and on the edge of the Cotswolds means this does happen!). Being snowed in is great fun – as long as you have supplies! We didn’t spend half as much money as we would have done at the weekend as I made sure we just spent the cash we had lying around. We still managed a trip to the cafe for hot chocolate and the obligatory trip to the village pubs – but didn’t put anything on the card which is one of my golden rules of budgeting. We also had lost of free entertainment – sledging and playing in the snow!

5. Finally my husband got a new job, which he will start after Easter! This is such a big change for us as it means his  commute will be reduced from one hour to just 20 minutes! He will be so much happier and we should get to see more of him, HOWEVER  it comes with quite a pay cut so we are going to have to get our budgeting seriously sorted. But I’m looking forward to the challenge….

Do you have any big changes planned this year that will require you to budget?