Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (12-18 March 2018)

Thrifty Finds


We had an unexpected snowfall at the weekend which meant that, once again, the village was cut off.

Here are my Thrifty Finds from last week (before it snowed!):

  1. I did a job that I’d been putting off for ages and registered the warranties for the new appliances we had bought for the kitchen. For some reason I’ve never done this before.
  2. We went shopping to Bristol (before the snow came) and took advantage of a free parking space that my husband gets with his job.
  3. My youngest daughter is studying Greek myths at school and really enjoying it. My dad bought her a couple of second hand Usborne books on Greek and Norse myths:


4. I had a lovely surprise from a friend who went to see the musician, Brett Anderson, in conversation. She bought me a copy of his new autobiography which was such a generous thing to do 🙂


I’m also reading a book that a work colleague bought for me because she enjoyed it so much: ‘A Boy Made of Blocks’.

5. Finally, I bought a Friends and Family Railcard to save money off our train fare to London in the summer.

Don’t forget to let me know what your recent Thrifty Finds are. Have a good week 🙂




charity shop find, Next, Dorothy House shop

Charity Shop Haul: my Coat Collection



As I look through my wardrobe I realise that one item of clothing that is completely second-hand is my coat collection.

I didn’t intend to buy all my coats from charity shops. In fact, I think that buying a coat is one of the most expensive and well-thought purchases you can make. In times gone by, I would have saved up for a winter coat (or asked for it as a birthday present) and it would have lasted me a good three-five years.

However, my approach to buying coats changed a few years ago when I found this beauty:


This Sainsburys coat still had its price label and was on sale at the Shaw Trust charity shop in Bath. While I hadn’t intended to buy a second-hand coat, the colour and cut was irresistible to me. The fact that it had never been worn was also a bonus. Four years later I am still wearing it and still get lots of comments – and compliments – on the colour!


Another charity shop bargain was my SeaSalt coat, bought for just £10 from Oxfam in Totnes. A quick trip to the neighbouring Seasalt shop confirmed my suspicions: a brand new version would cost £100! This coat has served me very well: especially on wet school runs. However, the zip has now broken and, alas, it is now too tight for me 😦


I got this red M&S jacket for free from a Clothes Swap party I helped to organise a few years ago. It serves really well as a light summer jacket and I do love the colour!


This year I have, already, purchased two new (to me) coats. The black hooded coat is the only second-hand coat I have deliberately hunted for. After a bit of a search in Bath’s charity shops, I found it in Dorothy House for £15. It was warm enough for a cold and rainy weekend in Birmingham and is my new school run/wet weather coat.


Finally, I found this lighter Spring coat by accident a couple of weeks ago in another Dorothy House store. This time it was only £8! I love the colour and the cut, and have a feeling it will make me feel as good as the orange coat when I wear it 🙂


charity shop find, Next, Dorothy House shop


I can’t imagine going back to spending £80-£100 on a new winter coat, now that I have fallen for the charity shop ones …. The low price and originality of each item really appeals to me. And, if I do outgrow an item I can just donate it back.

Do you buy coats from second hand stores? Or do you think it’s worth the investment to buy a brand new one that will last for many years?

Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (5-11 March 2018)

Thrifty Finds


How was your week? Here are my Thrifty Finds from last week:

  1. I used a Sainsbury’s voucher to get £12 off my shopping 🙂
  2. I also received a couple of pots of hummus for free. My mum was given them at a place where she volunteers, but she passed them onto us.
  3. I picked up my second pair of glasses, which were free as the opticians was doing ‘Buy One Get One Free’. I’m going to keep them at work as I have been known to leave my pair at home and then have to squint at the screen all day long!
  4. The girls had their postponed World Book Day celebrations at school. I bought a cheap gingham shirt and we were able to turn it into Dorothy’s dress from The Wizard of Oz for one of my daughters. We also borrowed the book from a friend.
  5. Finally, I came across this wonderful idea in Bath:



The Hot Water Bottle Network provides free hot water bottles for homeless and vulnerable people in Bath. The bottles hang on the railings outside Bath Abbey and people can help themselves. There is also a list of about a dozen cafes where the bottles can be filled for free. Such a great idea 🙂

Don’t forget to let me know what your recent Thrifty Finds are. Have a good week 🙂




Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (26 February – 4 March 2018)

Thrifty Finds




Apologies for not posting my Thrifty Finds last week. I had planned to write them up last Friday but the snow came and everything stopped… Being snowed in for a couple of days was fun. Our village is quite high up, on the edge of the Cotswolds, and it’s not unusual for all the roads to be blocked by snow. We had a great time sledging, going to the pub (!) and making do with what we had. How was the snow for you?

  1. Because of the snow (and not being as prepared as I should have been) we had to use up what we had in the freezer. We managed to get by with enough family meals and used up all the bread products (wraps, bagels, buns) that had been stored in the freezer.
  2. Despite the snow we still ran our school’s Nearly New sale. It wasn’t very busy but I did manage to get a few bargains, including two tops, a Christmas jumper for one of the girls, and this amazing 80s dress (for just £1.50):

It has batwing sleeves and everything! However it is a little tight so I may have to shed a couple of pounds before I can wear it comfortably.

I also picked up these brooches for 50p each:


3. My daughters received their World Book Day tokens, which means they can get one of the special World Book Day books for free.

4. Speaking of books, I also bought a (new) guide to London: ‘1000 things to do in London for a tenner’. We are staying in London for a few days this summer and are hoping to do lots of cheap – or free – activities. This Time Out guide has some cheap places to eat, which is often a challenge to find when you’re in the capital. Ironically the book cost more than a tenner but I think we’ll get a lot of use out of it.

5. My husband put some finishing touches to the kitchen, Remember that old wallpaper we discovered? He covered it with some Perspex and added a piece of pottery that he’s found in the garden. I think it’s a great feature. We just need the floor to be tiled and then the kitchen is complete 🙂 The old key was found when clearing out the Parish Council offices a few years ago.






If you live in the UK I hope you survived the snow! Were you well prepared or did you have to do make do with what was in your cupboards?

Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (12-18 February 2018)


This Week's Thrifty Finds via

Last week was half term and, not having a kitchen, meant that we ate out a little more than normal. It wasn’t the thriftiest week but I still managed a few Thrifty Finds:

  1. We took a trip to Ikea. I know this isn’t a money saving activity BUT we hadn’t been for about 3-4 years (even though it’s only 40 minutes’ away). A new kitchen means we need to upgrade a few of our accessories so the Ikea trip was inevitable. We also ate lunch there and I was really impressed with their low waste dining. I paid 85p for a flavoured water served in a glass that could be refilled as many times as you want (my husband paid 95p for a refillable coffee). Real cutlery, plates etc is something I was impressed to find – bearing in mind that most low price cafes tend to use just disposable tableware. I also took my handy water bottle which could be filled up in the canteen too.
  2. The girls and I paid a trip to a local Dorothy House shop in one of Bath’s suburbs. It’s a large shop and we managed to pick up a game, cookery book and skipping rope – to keep them occupied during the holidays:

3. I also picked up a gorgeous Spring coat. Funnily enough, the waterproof coat I bought a few weeks ago here came from the same charity shop chain, but at a different location. That one cost me £15 (and I had to mend a rip), but this former Next coat was just £8. I wonder why there was a difference in pricing?!

charity shop find, Next, Dorothy House shop

4. The kids spent a lot of time stuck on screens last week – it doesn’t help being confined to one room, and the weather wasn’t great. However I made sure we spent some time playing games. We tried out the new (to us) Ghost game (a bit like picture pairs – match the ghost to the correct National Trust house), some other second-hand games and Cludeo (which we borrowed from my parents).

5. I had an eye test, which was free using a voucher from work. I was also able to get some money off my new pair of glasses using another work voucher 🙂


I’d love to hear about your Thrifty Finds too! Please  share your Thrifty Finds on my facebook page, or use #thriftyfinds on Twitter or instagram

This week’s Thrifty Finds (5-11 February 2018)

Thrifty Finds

How was your week? Last week we struggled without a kitchen – but received some generous invitations to dinner and the use of friends’ kitchens and homes. I feel very blessed to live in such a caring community 🙂

Last week’s Thrifty Finds included:

  1. It was a busy work week culminating in the launch of the Royal Women exhibition at Fashion Museum Bath.  I really love my job and feel so privileged to get a sneaky peek at exhibitions such as this one. Spanning the last hundred plus years, this exhibition focuses on dresses worn by Queens Alexandra, Mary, Elizabeth The Queen Mother and the very glamorous and beautiful Princess Margaret. I had been binge watching The Crown prior to the exhibition and, for me, Princess Margaret’s dresses were the highlight.

Princess Margaret dresses Fashion Musesum Bath Royal Women The Crown


2. On a more down to earth note, work started in earnest on our kitchen. We were able to start some painting work and I was pleased to be able to use some old rollers and brushes I had washed and saved from a couple of years ago. I was also able to use up half a tin of paint that had been lying in the shed for a while 🙂

3. We uncovered some old layers of wallpaper. Despite having lived in our house for 15 years there are still some areas we have never touched before. I was amazed to find the old pieces – we’re hoping to keep some of the wallpaper in situ, and frame another piece. I’d love to know how far back they date….

4. Now that we are cooking and eating in our lounge I’m beginning to understand what a struggle it must have been when families had just one room to do everything in. So it’s quite timely that we’ve started watching the new BBC series Back in Time for Tea, following a family as they struggle through the 1920s and 1930s.

5. Our Book Group was discussing The Golden Compass and I was delighted to be re-reading the copy I had first bought 16 years ago. I try to borrow the books for our Book Group, rather than buying a new one each time. It’s a real bonus when I already have the book on my shelf 🙂

I’d love to hear about your Thrifty Finds too! What have been your bargain purchases this week – or did you donate/recycle/repair something? Or did you decide not to buy something?

Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (29 January – 4 February 2018)


This Week's Thrifty Finds via



At the weekend I had a trip away with my university friends. This meant a little bit of planning and plastic-free packing – and a second-hand purchase to keep me warm on our city break.

  1. I was in need of a second winter coat. Although I have my gorgeous second-hand orange coat it is not waterproof or really, really warm. I do have a waterproof Seasalt coat (once again bought from a charity shop) but it is now too small for me 😦    So this past week I have been trawling Bath’s shops on the hunt for a second-hand winter coat. I found the perfect one in the Dorothy House charity shop for £15. It’s really, really warm, has a detachable hood and is a longer length than my other coats. Despite being one size too big for me, it fits well over bulky jumpers and layers. It proved the perfect coat for our trip to Birmingham.
  2. I also got my warm, fur lined boots re-soled. I have had these boots for years and they are so warm and cosy. However they were worn and starting to leak. I paid a fairly hefty sum to get them re-soled but feel pleased because a) I wouldn’t find a replacement for the cost of the repair and b) I’ve extended their life a little.
  3. While packing for my trip away I made sure to add my reusable straw, spork and reusable coffee cup. However I forgot my water bottle and had to buy a single use one. I also forgot to ask for a no straw when I ordered a drink (why do all drinks have to come with straws?) but did manage to ask for ‘no straw’ when I ordered a cocktail.

4. We are now without a kitchen for the next three weeks while we have building work done. So I have cancelled our veg box delivery as there is no room to store the veg. I’m afraid we will be living off pub meals, toasted sandwiches, microwave meals and some slow cooker meals  – however a friend has offered to feed us on Saturday night and another friend has offered the use of their house next week during the school hols if the building work gets too much!!



I’d love to hear about your Thrifty Finds too! Please  share your Thrifty Finds on my facebook page, or use #thriftyfinds on Twitter or instagram