This Week’s Thrifty Finds: Week Two, July 2018

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I can’t believe we are still on countdown for the end of term here! My daughters don’t break up until 25 July and already they are tired, hot and bothered!

1. Last week I got round to ordering some Thank You cards for their teachers and assistants. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you may know that I struggle with the expense and waste of the industry that is Teacher thank you gifts. The shops are crammed with mugs, photo frames and other trinkets for teachers and I do wonder how much of this ends up in a bottom drawer somewhere!

It’s not that I don’t appreciate what their teachers and TAs do. We are lucky to have such a caring and talented teaching staff at our village  school. To this end, I have ordered some personalised thank you cards for the girls to write their own messages of thanks. I also received a half price voucher as I was ordering from the website for the first time.

 

 

2. I got some money off using a supermarket voucher.

3. Despite my ‘no new clothing’ ban I did buy myself a much needed pair of very comfy sandals from the Clarks sale (reduced from £49 to £19).

4. However we went to a party on Saturday night and I wore my faithful black jumpsuit and accessorised with some new nail varnish.

5. I’m continuing with our ‘eat the store cupboard’ mission and made a lovely Greek salad using a jar of olives and a can of butter beans that we’d had for a few months (plus fresh tomatoes and cucumber). I also used up a half empty jar of Thai Curry Paste and a can of coconut milk for an easy Thai Curry, although I did need to buy some meat for that.

 

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 Three, June 2018

 

 

 

 

Last week we celebrated the end of my daughter’s GCSE exams with a camping trip 🙂 We meet up once a year with my school friends and, what has grown from five of us plus partners, is now a total of 20! It’s a wonderful opportunity to catch up, eat lots of food and enjoy the outdoors. The children all get along really well and it’s lovely to see them away from screens and climbing trees and having adventures.

  1. For camping food I took a lot of what we already at home: in the store cupboard and the freezer. I made some hummus from scratch using some chickpeas I’d had for a while. I also managed to buy some unwrapped fruit and veg (for the carrot saga take a look at my Instagram posts!)

2. We also borrowed a camping table from a friend, rather than buy a new one for the trip.

3. While camping we browsed the local charity shops (charity shops in Marlborough, Wiltshire, are packed with some real goodies – post to come soon!). I picked up three books from the Oxfam shop – one of which had been on my wishlist for a while:

 

4. My youngest daughter also picked up a book for 10p from the Dog’s Trust shop.

5. I was also proud that we managed to use just our glass milk bottles on the camping trip. I had searched for a screw top lid for the milk bottle as the foil one doesn’t stop the milk from spilling once opened. But no luck. Then I remembered I had a glass bottle left over from a free sample of orange juice, that did have a screw top lid. So I was able to take two pints and just decant an opened pint into the glass bottle with the lid. Problem solved and no need to buy any new gadget!

Do you have any thrifty camping tips to share? Or any ideas for camping with less plastic? I’d love to hear them!

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?

 

 

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?