Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds

So, welcome to the second installment of This Week’s Thrifty Finds.

This past week my Thrifty Finds have been:

  1. We’ve started to introduce the kids to ‘Friends’ and have been able to pick up Series 1,2, 7, 9 & 10 at charity shops for a bargain £2.50 per series.I’ve really enjoyed watching them again and forgot how funny each episode is. We’ve just finished Season One which, looking back, is pretty dated (no one has mobile phones and the clothes are definitely nineties!), but we’ve still found ourselves cracking up.

thrifted Friends series via secondhandtales.wordpress.com

2. I donated a bag of children’s clothes to the Air Ambulance donation bin at school:

clothes donation bin via secondhandtales.wordpress.com

 

3. It’s been a good week for getting food for free. I picked some apples and pears from our small trees in the garden. I enjoyed blackberrying around the village and also helping myself to some apples that were left for free outside a couple of houses.

Food for free

 

4. We used up all our leftovers in one of our meals this week.

On a not so great note I found myself spending £15 on something I didn’t want and definitely didn’t need! I went to a candle selling party at a friends and, despite going with a set budget, found there was nothing I could buy. So I ended up getting a candle for £15. It wasn’t even a soy candle which at least would be slightly better for the environment. Does anyone have any tactics for going to parties like this? I really wanted to support my friend and did have a good evening. I just didn’t want to appear ‘tight’ by not buying anything at all.

What were your Thrifty Finds for the past week?

You can also share your Thrifty Finds on my facebook page, or use #thriftyfinds on Twitter or instagram

The Joy of Blackberrying

 

Blackberries

These past few weeks I have been spending some time outdoors picking blackberries. Blackberry season is one of my favourite times of the year and is so evocative of my childhood. Whenever I start to pick the berries from the hedgerows, I am reminded of my Nan who, even when she was in her late eighties, loved to go blackberrying.

My children sometimes come out blackberry picking too and we seem to have collected quite a haul already this year. Earlier this week I was on my own, blackberrying, when an old man told me you shouldn’t pick them after 1st October because they will have ‘devil’s spit’ on them.

I’d always thought you couldn’t pick the berries after the first frost but I went home to look up this piece of folklore. Apparently on Old Michaelmas Day (which was 10th October*) Lucifer was expelled from Heaven. He fell from the skies and landed on a blackberry bush. He cursed the fruit and spat on it (hence the ‘devil’s spit’) and made it unfit for eating. So, according to tradition, blackberries shouldn’t be picked after this date. However other advice I have looked at says they are fine to pick until November – it’s really common sense anyway as to how they look and taste. I do like this piece of folklore though.

Following our successful hauls we have made crumbles, frozen a batch of berries and I am now trying to make blackberry cordial, which is meant to be good for winter colds and sore throats.

 

I’ve also picked up a few apples from the many ‘help yourself’ containers that people have left outside their houses.

Food for free - Second Hand Tales

What hasn’t been so nice, though, is finding other items when out in the lanes blackberrying, like this plastic packaging I found by a field (not such a great harvest):

apples, blackberries and discarded plastic packaging for free via secondhandtales.wordpress,com

 

This autumn’s fruit harvest, though, seems to have been quite a good one and, despite the ‘devil’s spit’ I’m going to keep on picking blackberries for a little while longer…

Have you been blackberrying too?

*Michaelmas Day is now on 29 September