Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds


This Week's Thrifty Finds via

I realise it’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted my Thrifty Finds 😦

Things have been busy here with kids off school and my other half is standing as a candidate in Thursday’s election (post to follow).

So, apologies for the lack of posting. I hope you’ve still been able to secure some Thrifty Finds, or looked at different ways of stepping off the consumer treadmill for a while.

  1. Re Game of Thrones. We finished Series Five via the library. Then my husband got a free subscription to NowTV with his phone. So, we are now working our way through Series Six….
  2. I’ve been getting into a new habit of making more use of the health food/bulk store in Bath. I’ve been visiting Harvest on Walcot Street to get filled up with washing up liquid (my bus stop is outside so I can do it on my way home)
  3.   I also try to make use of the health food store in Corsham, Green Ginger. I got very excited when I spotted these washing up brush and scourers – both made from recycled materials. You can buy replacement heads for the brush as well.

4. The big news is that I got a new (to me) mobile phone! My first ever smartphone (yes I know I’m rather slow!). My husband had traded in his old mobile and, with that money, I was able to buy a second-hand iphone 5 from the Games Exchange shop in Bath. I also signed up to a deal on ee which has given me some money back to my Qudico account.


5. Finally, we went camping over the Bank Holiday. Every year we camp with my  school friends, and their children, in the New Forest. The weekend is a great opportunity to catch up with good friends, let the children run wild and enjoy some good food (and drink). Apart from camping fees it’s low cost as we all bring food to share. We barely leave the campsite as well – instead we just talk and go for walks.

What did you do over the Bank Holiday weekend? Hope the weather stayed dry for you!

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

Plastic Free July – a year on

Last July I took part in the worldwide campaign, Plastic Free July. The aim of this initiative is to encourage participants to spend a month (or even a week) cutting out plastics, or at least single use plastics, from their lives.

Single use plastics (straws, takeaway coffee cup lids, bags) are the worst sort of plastic. They are cheap to make (while oil is still plentiful) but are the worst at being disposed of. According to plastic is rubbish in the UK we throw away  3 million tonnes of plastic rubbish every year. Most plastic doesn’t rot. It either stays in the holes in the ground where we bury our waste, or ends up downstream in our oceans where it has a drastic impact on wildlife.

When I participated in Plastic Free July last year I found it was a steep learning curve. It made me realise how plastic is present everywhere. Although I’ve decided not to participate this year I am hoping to keep up with those habits I adopted last year, namely:

1. I now (try to) go out armed with a filled water bottle, spoon/spork and napkin. No more disposable plastic cutlery or wooden stirrers for me.

plastic free: Second Hand Tales blog

2. I take reusable bags and have started using these Onya net produce bags for picking up loose fruit and veg.

Plastic Free shopping: net produce bags

3. We’ve switched from plastic hand wash dispensers and plastic shower gel to good old fashioned bars of soap (cheaper and way less packaging).  I’ve actually become a bit of a soap nerd and it has started to become my ‘holiday souvenir’ (when we were in Scotland last summer I bought home bars from the Isles of Mull and Skye). When I have the money and the inclination I buy the soap from Lush as it’s completely plastic free. Otherwise I buy multi packs from Boots or the supermarket (which often come wrapped in plastic)

Soaps and the minimal paper waste

4. Over the past couple of months I have been disciplining myself to refill washing up liquid when I am in Bath or Corsham. Both towns have health food stores with refill stations.

refillable washing up liquid bottles

5. One of the legacies of my adventures in Plastic Free July and Supermarket Free Lent has caused me to shop more regularly at local butchers. Their meat is local, tasty and well priced. It also comes in far less plastic packaging, free from those awful plastic trays you get in supermarkets.

There are still way too many things that I need to do.  I need to remember to take more bags than I think I need shopping, rather than struggling with overloaded bags and juggling things in my hands!

I also need to ASK which is something I find very hard to do. I admire those bloggers who ask – or rather demand- that produce be put in their glass containers, to pour take out coffees into their own flasks

So, although I am not taking part in Plastic Free July this year my aims are:

1. Continue with what I’m doing (as above)

2. Use my Onya produce bags, get takeaway coffee in my flask and say no to plastic straws for my daughters.

3. Try to travel Plastic Free this summer. This is a BIG CHALLENGE. Next month we are travelling by train through France, Italy, Germany and Holland. We will be camping, staying in hotels, youth hostels and with friends. There will be many opportunities to eat and live plastic free but there will also be lots of challenges in trying to avoid single use plastic. I need to learn the appropriate phrases for ‘no straws please’, ‘no bags please’ and see how we get on…

In the meantime I will be following those bloggers here who are taking part in Plastic Free July (#pfjuk)