Festive Thrifty Finds (19 December- 1 January)

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and aren’t feeling the side effects of last night!

I thought I would let you know what my Thrifty Finds were over the festive season:

  1. If you read my previous Festive Thrifty Finds post you’ll know that I was determined not to waste food this holiday season. I have been keeping a list of what we did throw away (half a red cabbage and a mouldy Brie so far) and notes on how we can improve quantities for next year.  I’ll keep you posted on the total later in the month.
  2. I managed to stick to my present budget 🙂 We reduced the number of adults we were buying far which helped a lot. I didn’t buy as many second-hand presents as I had planned. I think I’m going to try to buy presents throughout the year in 2018 so that I can increase the number of pre-loved items I buy. I’ve been following @feegilfeather  on Twitter and love how she had posted all her presents bought from charity shops throughout the year.
  3. However, I have already picked up a couple of decorations for Christmas next year. These ornaments were reduced to £1.35 in total  in Oxfam. I also bought some Christmas cards for next year.

4. I did go a little over the grocery budget but made some savings by cashing in all the 1ps and 2ps we save over the year and making use of my Nectar points.

5. We managed to keep to a budget for family activities, and reduce the amount we committed to. Highlights included:

attending the Crib Service at the village church then going onto friends for mince pies and cocktails;

having friends round for a Games Night;

going to the cheaper cinema in our local town to watch Jumanji (£18, instead of £32 at Bath Odeon!);

eating out at YoSushi, which was a first for us. I had 1/3 off the bill as I signed up to get a birthday discount;

spending New Year’s Eve at a friend’s house in the village. We cooked a dish and brought along the champagne we had picked up in France on our holiday.

6. I’m also really pleased that I did not buy something! Despite trawling the sales and charity shops for a New Year’s Eve outfit I decided that I actually had a choice of three outfits already at home (two of which were – of course- second-hand!). So I saved money and making a horrible last-minute impulse buy, which is something I would have definitely done in the past.

Looking to the future, I have many more second-hand and thrifty finds in store for 2018. May your 2018 prove to be a thrifty, peaceful and (maybe) second-hand one too xxx




New Year: Old Vinyl

Tonight we are taking part in what has become a New Year’s Eve tradition for us: going to a friend’s house in the village, eating, drinking, and dancing….to our vinyl collection.

record player

For the past three years we’ve transported the record player to their house and bought along a wide selection of LPs and singles. Some of our friends have contributed their own collections too.

This New Year’s Eve we have a few more records to add, having picked up some bargains from charity shops in Bath, Bristol and Kent.

charity shop vinyl

(l-r: The Bangles, Haircut 100, Style Council and – a Tears for Fears classic: The Hurting)

I also bought this album for purely sentimental reasons as Wet Wet Wet were the first band I ever saw live and I played this LP non stop when I was 15!

second-hand vinyl: Wet Wet Wet

My husband has done a couple of local DJing slots and I bought him this carrying box for his birthday this year:

Vinyl carrying case

Stuffed with some of our favourite records, ready for a good night:

vinyl carrying box

Finally I will be really looking forward to playing this LP tonight, which we picked up in Bristol last month for £2.

second-hand vinyl finds


Nothing says ‘New Year’s Eve Party for the over 40s’ then a good Abba album. We already have these ones:

But I’m particularly looking forward to playing their New Year’s hit: Happy New Year which, when you listen to the lyrics, is actually quite depressing. As a kid I was always intrigued by the lines:

It’s the end of a decade

In another ten years time

Who can say

What we’ll find

What likes waiting

Down the line

In the end of Eighty-Nine

I remember how futuristic that sounded at the time.

Next year I’m determined to add to my second-hand vinyl collection with Abba’s last album, the melancholic The Visitors. I will still also be looking for Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors and would love to get hold of Tapestry by Carole King and Rio by Duran Duran. However as vinyl prices rise (across the road from where we picked up our £2 Abba LP another charity shop was selling albums for £10) this may become harder.

Wherever you are I hope you have a great New Year’s Eve and wish you all the best for 2016 xxx


New Year’s Eve – in a Seventies’ style

I don’t know why but I had it in my head that I wanted to dress in a Seventies’ style for New Years Eve. It may have been the thought of the prawn cocktail and curried eggs that our friends were serving as 1970s canapes at the beginning of the evening. It could also have been the record player that my lovely husband bought me for Christmas which has reunited us with a lot of our parents’ vinyl (Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder and of course Abba). Anyway we took a post Christmas trip into Bath, scoured the charity shops and picked up two suitable Margot and Jerry outfits for the evening:


His was an Austin Reed suit (£12.99 from the British Heart Foundation Shop). Mine was a green acrylic/wool blend dress which cost £10 from the Julian House charity shop (which I previously blogged about here). I also had to buy the matching knuckle duster ring for £4. The dress is by David Gibson of Regent Street and I am guessing, from the label and sizing, it’s 1970s.


Button details

Button details

I wore the dress without the belt as it was, ahem, a little tight.

I wore the dress without the belt as it was, ahem, a little tight.

It’s hard to do justice to the shade of green which looks more jade in the photos. If I was the say it is a 1970s shade of green I hope this makes sense. I actually really love it and am determined to wear it again for everyday. A friend actually commented that it looks fairly similar to this one currently on sale at Hobbs for £159! And this is why I love shopping second hand!!

Anyway needless to say we had a great New Year and didn’t crawl home until three am. We took our record player round to friends and danced until the early hours…

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