This Week’s Thrifty Finds: Week One July 2018

As I briefly mentioned in last week’s post we took a short break to Dorset, which is one of my Thriftiest Finds ever….

1. With the weather being sooo hot and my eldest now out of school as her exams are finished, we decided to take a last minute break to Poole in Dorset.

Poole, Dorset as viewed from Ham CommonThis isn’t something we’ve done before as we had to take the younger two out of school for three days (they are in years 5 & 6, aged nine and ten). They don’t break up until 25 July and the heat is really getting to them and they are really tired.

Anyway we booked a static caravan via Air BnB in a holiday park in Poole and spent three days swimming in the pools and playing at the beach. It was one of the best family holidays we have ever had! And as we took the girls out of school the accommodation was a fraction of the price 🙂 They have now gone back to school refreshed and ready for the  last few weeks of term.

2. On our way home from Poole we stopped in Shaftesbury (famous for Gold Hill and that Hovis advert). My husband and I used to live in Shaftesbury before we were married and we enjoyed showing the kids around. My youngest spotted the free to enter Gold Hill Museum and all five of us really enjoyed it. The girls particularly enjoyed the 20th Century artefacts including the rotary dial telephone and the manual typewriter:

Gold Hill Museum in Shaftesbury

3. While in Shastesbury we HAD to browse the charity shops and, despite my pledge to not buy any more clothes, I did pick up this top and dress for £10 in total from the Naomi Hospice Shop.

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4. My daughter also picked up a pair of dungaree shorts from another charity shop.

5. Since coming home I’ve made a conscious effort to reduce our food waste. As we are away again at the beginning of August I’ve decided to ‘shop the cupboards’ ie see what we already have in the cupboards and freezer and cook from that. I took an inventory of everything we had and am now trying to create some meals so I only have to do one small food shop before the end of the month.

Hope your July is going well. I’d love to hear some of your Thrifty Finds 🙂

 

 

This Week’s Thrifty Finds: Week Five June 2018

 

 

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Apologies for the late posting. We’re actually away on a mini break in Dorset (I’ll reveal more next week….)

In the meantime last week’s Thrifty Finds were:

1. I got another free coffee with my loyalty card and was given a couple of extra stamps for my reusable cup 🙂

Is Free Coffee worth it? via secondhandtales.wordpress.com

2. Having looked at our budgets for July I’m going to have to reduce our clothing allowance for the month. So instead of buying a couple of new things for the summer (and this current heat) I’ll have to be inventive and ‘shop my wardrobe’.

3. I was given a PE kit for the secondary school that my daughter will be starting at in September.

4. World Cup fever has reached our village! The local pub was doing a fiver barbecue on Thursday. I couldn’t finish my side salads so I took the leftovers home and had them for lunch the next day. (I never normally take leftovers home: is this more of an American tradition? I need to start doing this more often).

5. We received free ice creams at work from our head of service 🍦🍦🍦🍦

How are you coping in this heat? Any tips for keeping cool?

This Week’s Thrifty Finds: Week Four, June 2018

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How was your week? The weather here has just got hotter and hotter 🙂

This past week my Thrifty Finds have included:

  1. I used a money-off voucher to buy my favourite brand of eco spray cleaner.
  2. I quickly devoured the book, ‘Les Parisiennes’ which I had bought from a charity shop last weekend. It’s so great when you lose yourself in a book and all you want to do is find some time to read it. In fact I was enjoying it so much that I spent half an hour in a coffee shop last Wednesday morning before starting work!
  3. Last Saturday my husband and I spent a lovely morning by ourselves browsing the shops in our nearby town. He had walked the five miles there (!) and I drove the car to meet him. We had a coffee and explored some charity shops (he bought a book – I was tempted by six Babycham glasses but they were £20 so resisted).
  4. I also managed to do some plastic free food shopping. For the first time I bought some meat and used my Tupperware boxes to put them in. The butcher didn’t blink an eye when I asked for the burgers and sausages to be put in the boxes. Apart from the wax paper for the burgers, there was no waste 🙂

5. Tonight is my daughter’s prom. A while back we bought a simple evening dress from Debenhams and asked a local seamstress to alter it for a very reasonable rate (she hopes to get it shortened again after prom to wear as a party dress). She has a very low key prom in that she is just going with one friend and I am driving them there in our Vauxhall Zafira (!). She’s not going to an after party and, instead, is having a sleepover with her friend. I quite like the simple approach has taken to Prom as these events can become very expensive and hyped up.

Hope you have a good – and Thrifty – week and take care in this heat 🙂

Thrifty Finds

This fortnight’s Thrifty Finds (late May 2018)

 

 

Thrifty Finds

Apologies for the radio silence over the past couple of weeks. I sometimes find I just can’t fit in writing a blog post – if you follow me on Instagram, though, I do try to post daily.

  1. This last fortnight it’s been hard to avoid the Royal Wedding. Although I’m not a royalist I did manage to mark the day with two mugs I’d bought at the May Fair for 50p each:

2. There was another bric a brac sale in the village last weekend and I bought his lovely cotton dress, originally from Joules, for a fiver:

It’s not quite my colour but works really well with layers and will be lovely and cool when I swelter at work (we are in the top office and all the heat rises!)

3. I got a free coffee with my loyalty card and was given an extra stamp for bring a reusable cup (I had wondered why the barista kept on stamping me twice!)

4. We were given some rhubarb by a neighbour.

5. I spent a lovely day on Saturday with a friend at Bath Festival. We’d originally booked tickets to see Tears for Fears headline at the Festival Finale. However they had to pull out because of illness. We decided to keep our tickets and I was pleasantly surprised by how good the replacement act, Paloma Faith, was. We also received a free upgrade to the weekend ticket although neither of us ended up using it.   I managed to pack some reusables to take for the day out: water bottle, spork, cloth napkin. All the food was served in recyclable containers although I did end up buying a tea in a takeaway cup (very rock n roll!). I’m now on the hunt for a collapsible coffee cup that I can fit it in my shoulder bag.

How was your Bank Holiday weekend? Did it stay dry or were you soaked?

 

 

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?

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 (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?