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?

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

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

Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (15-21 January 2018)


This Week's Thrifty Finds via


Well another week has rolled past and the days are – slowly – getting longer. I have to say, though, January does seem to be going on forever..

This past week my Thrifty Finds were:

  1. We held a 70s/80s party at the weekend. We went as Tom and Barbara Good (from The Good Life) and friends went as Jerry and Margot. It was probably the least I had ever spent on an outfit: just a £4 shirt from a charity shop. And I think it’s the first time I’ve ever been to a party wearing dungarees and wellies!
  2. We ordered a new bed as our old one was in need of replacing. Using the sales discounts we were able to buy it within budget (I hadn’t realised how expensive beds are!) I also resisted paying the extra £9 to guarantee a morning or afternoon slot as I was in all day anyway. We also found a cheaper way to dispose of our old mattress and bed.
  3. I was very disciplined and, as soon as our veg box arrived, I cooked a couple of meals to use the veg – our last veg box wasn’t so successful and I ended up throwing out some old broccoli 😦


4. We’re still sorting through our kitchen. I have some old unpackaged puzzles which I tried to donate on the local Facbook free site but with no luck. However I have a colleague who may take the puzzles for her little boy. If the worst happens I could recycle them as they are all made of cardboard.

5. Not quite a Thrifty Find but I have huge pile of books from my birthday and Christmas which I really need to tackle. I’m trying to find time during the day to read – and am determined to read more on my morning commute, rather than aimlessly scrolling through my phone!





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Thrifty Finds

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

This Week's Thrifty Finds via secondhandtales.wordpress.comHope you had a good week. Last week we started back at school and work and it’s amazing how quickly we all got back into the swing of things (even though it’s hard getting up in the dark)

  1. I spent the last of my Christmas gift money on some amazing sales-priced clothing at Marks and Spencer. I bought a jumper, shirt, top and pair of trousers for under £25. If you get to M&S at the right time their reductions are amazing – I picked up some gorgeous trousers reduced to just £7!

2. We cleared out a lot of drawers and cupboards in the kitchen (in a couple of weeks’ time the kitchen is being ripped out and we are having some damp proofing work done, then a new kitchen installed). We donated quite a few bags to local charity shops as a result.

3. We also sold some unwanted DVDs to the local CEX shop and received a voucher.

4. I finally cancelled our Amazon Prime subscription. I don’t know why we still had it as it was something I accidentally signed up for. We don’t use Amazon enough for it to be worth £80 for the free postage, and the Amazon/LoveFilm channel isn’t that good, either.

5. My middle daughter is learning to play tennis and I picked up a  racquet for her for half price in the sales.

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

Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (1-7 January 2018)


This Week's Thrifty Finds via



Welcome to the first full week of Thrifty Finds in 2018!

This past week my Thrifty Finds were:

  1. My biggest ever Thrifty Find was to spend just £1 in Debenhams and buy the following:

x2 single duvet sets

x 1 double duvet set plus fitted sheet

x 2 pillows

x 1 bathmat

x 4 towels

For the past couple of years I have used the cashback site Quidco when making purchases online. For every purchase you make you get a little cash back. This can range from a few pence to up to £50 (!). The money takes a few months to reach your account so it’s not a quick fix solution. However as I’m going to make the purchase anyway it makes sense to use the site and earn a little more. Last Christmas I used the money earned to buy Christmas presents from Amazon. This year, however, I decided to convert the rewards into a Debenhams voucher (for a higher rate) and buy some much needed bedding and towels at the value of £132 🙂

2. I also had a good sort out and donated some clothing and household items to a local charity shop. I still need to sort through our linen cupboard and my own clothes as part of a New Year declutter.

3. I also finally got round to mending a couple of items of clothing 🙂

4. We’ve been eating the last of the Christmas food and trying to put off a supermarket shop. I managed to make three extra meals from what we had left in the freezer and food cupboard.

5. With regards to Christmas food waste, so far we had to throw away:

1 lime

2 satsumas

1/2 a red cabbage

one portion of Brie (that had gone mouldy).

We still have a portion of turkey in the freezer and the Brandy Butter is floating around the fridge (I suspect it will have to be thrown out soon). I also have 1 1/2 jars of mincemeat to use up and some very brown bananas.

I need to make some banana cake with leftover bananas

How did you get on with Christmas leftovers?




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