This week’s Thrifty Finds for last week of March 2019

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I had some good Thrifty Finds this week:

1.I was able to get another free 11 journey bus ticket as I discovered 10 more used tickets at home. My daughter was also able to get a free student ticket as she had collected 10 used tickets. So far this promotion has saved us nearly £90 (no wonder they are cancelling the promotion!).

2. I decided to take a trip to the new AlDI and LIDL stores that have opened up nearby. I did my usual monthly shop there, rather than doing an internet delivery. While it definitely took A LOT more time (and I had to go to Sainsburys to get some things they didn’t have) it seemed a lot cheaper. I just have to sit down and do a careful price comparison. I also joined the LIDL loyalty club and received two free boxes of washing powder!

3. I finished the book a friend had lent me and started reading Andrew Taylor’s ‘The Ashes of London’ which I originally bought secondhand for my husband. I am really enjoying it. If you like historic detective stories (or are a fan of CJ Sansom’s ‘Shardlake’ series ) I think you will enjoy this one.

 4. I donated a small bag of clothes to a charity shop.

 

5. Finally I treated myself to a new (to me) coat. This navy blue Autograph jacket is perfect for warmer weather. I had to donate my old red jacket as it no longer fitted me but this is a great replacement. It cost £10 from Oxfam.

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?

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: second and third week January

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Apologies for no post last week-the week was just very hectic! Here are my Thrifty Finds for the past fortnight:

1. I have now bought my Christmas cards for this year. I must remember to buy stamps at regular intervals this year to spread the cost.

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2. I used a £20 Amazon gift voucher from my birthday to buy five secondhand books. That should keep me busy for a while!

3. As an early birthday treat for my eldest, we went to the Thermae Spa in Bath with some friends. Because the steam rooms were being refurbished we received a free return voucher – two visits for the price of one 🙂

4. Last Friday I popped into the local Dorothy House charity shop in Bath. They had a ‘fill your bag for a tenner’ promotion and I couldn’t resist! I was disciplined, though, and just bought clothing that will work for Spring and Summer (rather than my winter wardrobe which is completely full). In the end I came away with four tops, one jumper, one skirt and a dress.

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5. At the weekend we hosted our annual 80s party. I had picked up this 80s dress for £12 from the Dorothy House vintage shop in Bath. It was the perfect dress with massive shoulder pads, electric blue and made from some godawful man made fibre that made me sweat all evening!!!

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Thrifty Finds for first week January 2019

Happy New Year! How was your first week of 2019? I took the first week off as the girls weren’t back at school until 7th January. We had a lovely, lazy week.

These are my Thrifty Finds:

1. I went through my food spending for Christmas and made a note for 2019 of the things we didn’t really need. For example we never got round to eating the Christmas pud :0

2. My mum picked up some Christmas wrapping paper for me that was reduced at the charity where she volunteers (Dorothy House Hospice).

3. After two weeks of ridiculously slow internet I called BT and they came round to fix it. As a result we have a brand new phone line (the old one was over 40 years ago and corroded, which explained why our internet would drop during bad weather). I also upgraded to super fast – all for no extra cost.

4. I had an honest clear out of those clothes that are now too tight for me 😦 I also donated a bag of books and games to a charity shop,

4. I couldn’t resist a little trawl around the charity shops in Weston, Bath. My daughter had an appointment at the hairdressers there and I had a few minutes to spare. Once more, the Dorothy House Shop came up trumps! With some Christmas money, I bought a pair of trousers (originally Mango, on sale for £7) and a gorgeous 50s style dress from Country Casuals (£10).

Apparently January is a good time to browse the charity shops as they have lots of post Christmas donations!

Christmas Jumpers: love ’em or hate ’em?

 

What are your thought on Christmas jumpers?

Do you think they are a waste of money and precious resources? Are they just another example of how the festive season has become all about buying ‘things’ and inventing new ‘traditions’ ?

Or are they just harmless fun? After all don’t we all buy new clothes at Christmas anyway? Surely a jumper is far more versatile than a special outfit only to be worn on 25 December? They can also be a great fundraising tool (see Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day here on 14 December)

I have to confess to having mixed feelings about Christmas knitwear. When I walk through the shops I feel inspired by the outfits, jumpers and – yes even Christmas pjs! It’s fun to embrace these little things that can make people smile and show that you, too, can take part in the silly things that make the festive season.

Once upon a time Christmas jumpers were laughed at (remember the scene in Bridget Jones’ diary where Mark Darcey is wearing a hideous, home knitted one?). But in true capitalist style, they’ve been turned into a season ‘essential’.

Slowly I have begun to embrace the Christmas jumper but have been determined to do it in my own way that gives not one single penny to the High Street stores that now churn them out. As these items have become so throw-away, I have decided to rummage through people’s cast offs and buy mine second hand.

Here are some of my tips for sourcing a second-hand Christmas woolie:

1. Obvious one but buying a Christmas jumper from a charity shop means you are donating to that charity.

2. A jumper doesn’t have to be overtly ‘Christmasey’. I bought the gold sparkly top a few years ago and have got so much more wear from it because it doesn’t just have to be worn at Yuletide. I also followed a tip from a post on Barnardo’s The Thrift and bought it in a size far larger than I would have normally chosen. And guess what? It fits really well!

 

3. Likewise how about investing in a Winter Jumper? My latest acquisition (bought for £4.50) will be worn all Winter. While it’s not as glam as the gold jumper it’s a good, solid hard working sweater that is just sooo cosy that I’m practically living in it anyway! I believe the snowflake pattern is more of a Winter, than Christmas, motif anyway.

4. Browse those charity shops that get inventive about Christmas jumpers. A friend pointed me towards a shop here which makes its own seasonal knitwear. Or why not ‘festive-ise’a jumper yourself and add some Christmas trimmings to one you already own? See the instructions here from the Emmaus charity shop.

5. Finally if you really can’t stand the thought of a Christmas jumper how about a good old piece of knitwear that can be worn all winter? Classic knits such as Fair Isle or chunky Arran have a great winter look to them anyway. Anything tartan or red is synonymous with the festive season, or how about a second hand brooch with a classic Christmas theme (angel, deer, star) to add a subtle touch?