Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (8-14 May 2018)

 

 

Thrifty FindsSaturday was our village May Fair and I managed to pick up some bargains:

1. I made a beeline for the ever popular plant stall and bought some tomato plants and sweet peppers:

 

My small veg patch is starting to spring to life and, apart from the radishes, there are some faint signs of carrots and lettuces appearing too 😀

 

2. I also got these goodies from the Bric a Brac stall for just £8:

ThriftyFinds: Carlton Ware lettuce dish, jigsaw puzzle, tiffin set, Thermos flask

3. BUT I was very good and didn’t buy anything from the Book Stall!

4. I finally got a replacement head for our dish brush. I bought it ages ago because it was made from recycled plastic and you could replace the head. I bought the new head at the weekend and changed it.

Eco dish brush

5. I’ve been making more vegetarian and vegan dishes. One of my daughters is vegetarian but doesn’t eat cheese (in fact she’s a pretty fussy eater). So I’ve been experimenting with a few vegan dishes. At the weekend I made a veggie taco salad which went down well, even with the meat eaters. I also made a chill taco bake (baked on a Deliciously Ella recipe) and added cheese for all of us – except the vegetarian who had some yeast flakes sprinkled on her’s. That was another success (we even had it cold the next day) so I now have a couple more dishes to add to my repertoire.

 

Do you have to cater for a variety of tastes/diets in your home? Any tips and recipes gratefully received!!

 

 

Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (30 April – 7 May 2018)

 

 

Thrifty Finds

Welcome to another post. Here in the UK we’ve just had the most amazing May Bank Holiday weekend (the hottest on record!). As I had done my monthly supermarket shop last week we were well stocked with ice lollies, which meant no trips to the shop. We did, however, take a day trip to the seaside yesterday but I shall include our ‘Thrifty Finds’ from that day out below:

  1. We donated another huge bag of clothing, books and games to the charity shop. Now that our kitchen is back to normal we have been able to sort through other rooms which were overflowing with stuff we no longer needed. We have also been quite ruthless about the arts and crafts and play storage in our kitchen as the girls have outgrown quite a lot of stuff.
  2. I harvested my first produce from the garden! Only a few baby radishes but I was very pleased. I haven’t grown veggies for ages but a new vegetable bed makes it ideal to start again. I have also sown lettuce, carrots and nasturtiums (that just look so pretty!)

3. My daughter was on ‘chicken duty’ again at school so we received even more eggs for free!

4. As mentioned above we had a day out at the seaside on the Bank Holiday Monday. In total there were six of us (one of the girls brought a friend) so I was determined to keep the costs down. I spent Sunday making food for a picnic, including homemade Spanish tortilla and fairy cakes. I also tried to cut down on our plastic waste by taking very little pre-packaged food, and reusable water bottles. As a treat on the beach I bought a pack of six ice creams from the local & Spencer for £3. They were still luxurious, but a fraction of the price charged at the kiosks.

5. Not quite a Thrifty Find, but we did come across a lovely package free soap stall at the harbourside market yesterday. I couldn’t resist buying a Rose scented Savon de Marseille. It smells so lovely that I’m going to use it to scent a drawer. I also splashed out and bought a bamboo hairbrush from Body Shop, which I’d wanted for ages.

What were your Thrifty Finds for last week? What did you do over the Bank Holiday?

 

 

Book review: Fashion on the Ration

A couple of years ago the Imperial War Museum in London ran an exhibition on wartime fashion. I had the best intentions to visit Fashion on the Ration but it never quite happened. So I was delighted to come across the accompanying book in my local library.

Written by Julie Summers, it chronicles how women’s fashion in the UK changed during the Second World War. She discusses services’ uniforms, the use of coupons and clothes rationing as well as ‘make do and mend’ and the immediate post war era of Dior’s ‘New Look’.

Fashion on the Ration is a fascinating study of a period in British fashion when everyone dressed equally. Once clothes rationing was introduced in 1941 the entire population was restricted by what they could buy, regardless of income. Even Princess Elizabeth had to save up her coupons for her wedding dress in 1947.

By 1942 the number of clothing coupons allocated each year was just 48 as material shortages and labour redeployment became more desperate. With a woman’s winter coat costing 14 coupons this wasn’t much to work with. In 1942 the Utility Scheme was introduced which worked to restrict the amount of fabric used and reduce workers’ time (after all factory labour was needed for war essential work).

Under the Utility Scheme the government dictated the number of pleats in a skirt, buttons on coats and jackets, length of men’s socks and prohibited the trouser turn-up, among other things. It seems remarkable, nowadays, that the population accepted these dictates, although sometimes there were grumbles and even defiance (Montgomery carried on wearing his army trousers with turn-ups).

But, as with food and fuel rationing, and so much more, clothes restrictions were seen as the right thing to do to save labour and finite resources.  Even removing 2″ from the bottom of men’s shirts and getting rid of double cuffs could save four million square yards of cotton each year, as well as 1,000 clothes labourers. Utility Clothing was also well-made, originally from designer patterns, and price controlled, meaning nearly every woman could now afford a designer item.

Rationing and ‘making do’ was seen as patriotic and Fashion on the Ration discusses how women weren’t supposed to admit if they were wearing something new. Ingenuity and resourcefulness dominated the war period. With the men away on active service, wives and daughters would re-work male outfits so that they could now wear them. Materials that weren’t rationed, such as blackout cloth, muslin, cheesecloth and curtain net, were used as clothing fabrics. Even old blankets were turned into coats and jackets, and these coats could then be turned into jackets and then into dressing gowns etc. etc.

Wartime Fashion on display at Fashion Museum Bath l-r: wartime wedding dress, evening dress partially made from blackout material and Jaeger tweed suit produced under the Utility design scheme of 1941

 

The WVS (Women’s Voluntary Service) and WI ran ‘make do and mend’ classes (at one point it was considered that these should be made compulsory), and produced a booklet on how to mend cuffs and collars, darn socks etc. There were even pop up booths that could fix stockings.

Social attitudes towards clothing and appearance also changed during this period. It became more acceptable for women to go bare legged and they were no longer required to wear hats in church. However by the end of the war, with rationing still continuing, women became increasingly fed up with this “tiresome necessity”. No wonder they looked to the Paris collections of the post war years and yearned for the glamour of Dior’s ‘New Look’.

Dior’s New Look, Fashion Museum Bath

Dress worn by Princess Margaret, late 1940s, on display at Fashion Museum Bath. Created by Norman Hartnell the cotton dress was designed to promote the domestic cotton market after World War Two.

Yet the introduction of mass manufactured clothing at reasonable prices sounds something we are familiar with today. What was created due to wartime necessity is now something we expect on the High Street. However the outfits we buy now are only expected to last a season – if that – and their cheap price tags mean we no longer need ingenuity or the skills of ‘make do and mend’ to make them stretch much further.

Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (22-29 April 2018)

 

Thrifty FindsI’m not sure how we’ve reached the end of the month and I only managed to write one Thrifty Finds post! That certainly wasn’t the intention but time has just flown by this April…

This past week my Thrifty Finds have been:

  1. Having had a good clear out we donated about half a dozen bags to a local charity shop.
  2. Following the clear out I was also able to sell some children’s books to a second-hand book stall in Bath.
  3. My youngest daughter picked up this pretty summer dress from Oxfam:

 

4. We were also given a couple of items of children’s clothing from a friend.

5. About a year ago we were given a second-hand Wii from grandparents. However the girls never played it and, while having our clear out, we decided to sell it to our local CEX Games Exchange shop. We were given an £80 store credit in exchange, which will go towards buying a second-hand ipad for the younger children. They will have to save up some of the money themselves and look at selling their unwanted dvds in exchange for more store credit.

 

What were your Thrifty Finds?

Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (1-8 April 2018)

 

Thrifty Finds

Hope you had a great Easter break. We had a very laidback Easter weekend. The girls received two eggs each which means we didn’t have loads of chocolate in the house (thank goodness!). They are currently half way through the school holidays but the wet weather means we have been mostly housebound. My eldest is also studying for her GCSEs so we have made these holidays very low key.

So far, my Easter Thrifty Finds have been:

1. We made use of a McDonalds voucher for a cheap lunch when we went out.

2. I finally sorted through a pile of old gift vouchers that had been stored in a cupboard. It turns out we had a total of £6.50 to spend at Claire’s and a £6 book voucher. I gave the Claire’s voucher to my younger daughters and used the book voucher to buy a book I had wanted for a while. All three girls had also been given Claire’s vouchers by their grandparents, in lieu of Easter eggs, but my eldest very kindly passed her card onto her sisters 😊

3. I finally found a set of Easter cookie cutters in a charity shop. These had been on my list for ages. They were brand new and only 99p. Although, technically, Easter is over we will still make use of them.

 

4. The primary school is running its Easter Trail around the village. This is a very cheap activity to take part in. There are 50 odd clues dotted around the village and the aim is to guess them all. This year’s theme is TV Programmes. The cost of the trail sheet goes to school funds.

5. Finally, when we have been out in the car we have found ourselves over paying for parking tickets, as we didn’t stay as long as intended. In both cases, I left the ticket by the parking meter so that other people  could use the extra time we had already paid for.

What were your Easter break Thrifty Finds?

Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (19-25 March 2018)

 

Thrifty Finds

Hello and welcome to another week of Thrifty Finds. This past week I have:

1. Donated a bag of clothes to school for a fundraiser.

2. Saved £12 off a supermarket shop with a voucher I had.

3. For the first time I made a homemade waffle mix, which turned out really well! We have a sandwich toaster which also has a waffle plate. I hadn’t made waffles before and – for some reason – I thought they would be difficult. In the end I googled a simple recipe and discovered the waffle mix is very much like pancake batter (I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before!). I ended up making a double batch which lasted us two days :

4. A friend lent me the book for our reading group so I don’t need to buy it, or source it from the library.

5. Finally, my proudest achievement of the week: I took part in our annual Community Litter Pick. About 30 volunteers turned up on Saturday morning to help clear the village of rubbish. I went off to the Recreation Ground and spent about 90 minutes clearing the hedges around the football pitch and the skate park. I came across three footballs, one bike and lots and lots of plastic drinks bottles and crisp packets. I created two bags of rubbish. The total for the village was 40 bags of rubbish – 10 more than last year. But maybe this means there were more volunteers and more was cleared, rather than an increase in the rubbish that was produced?

IMG_2202What were your Thrifty Finds? Do you have any ‘thrifty’ plans for Easter?

Vintage Style Bloggers to follow

 

 

do love vintage style: anything from the seventies all the way back to the 1920s/1930s does it for me. I love browsing second-hand shops, vintage fairs and jumble sales in search of an elusive piece from any of these period.

However while I don’t have the confidence to dress in a certain period I am a big fan of those bloggers (and Instagrammers) who make vintage style part of their everyday life. Here are a few that I follow:

The Freelancer’s Fashion Blog

I’ve mentioned this blog before here in a post on second-hand style bloggers but have to repeat my admiration for this blog. Norwegian blogger, Ulrika, has the most beautiful 1940s/1950s style. I love everything she wears (although her burlesque costumes are slightly more revealing than I would personally wear!). I also like the fact that she dresses beautifully – even in the freezing Norwegian winters.

Style Sixties

I’m still quite new to Sarah’s blog but if you like 1960s fashion this is the one for you. I like the images she posts of her outfits, as well as her informative pieces about clothing styles and fashion icons.

Musings of a Mid Century Girl

I also follow Emma on Instagram here as she posts some gorgeous pics of her 1940s outfits. Along with her friend Lara (that40sgal on Instagram here) they dress in impeccable forties style and both volunteer at 1940s events including the Forties Experience living history museum.

Remembering the Old Ways

If you want to follow a blogger who lives a vintage life then I can recommend Michelle’s blog, which shares her family life, love of sewing and baking (her weekend tea time posts on Instagram are just so cosy!). She shares family experiences including trips to country houses, 1940s themed gatherings and homeschooling her children.

Finally, although she doesn’t write a blog, I am a huge fan (bordering on the obsessive) of the fashion historian, Amber Butchart, who dresses in the most amazing style. Bright colours and turbans are her trademark. You may have heard her on Radio 4 or seen her recent TV series, ‘A Stitch in Time’, where she worked with experts to recreate period clothing.

Are there any vintage style bloggers or Instagrammers that you follow?