Thrifty Tips for September

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Although I didn’t make the shortlist, I was absolutely thrilled to be nominated for several categories of The MADs. One of these categories was thrift, and a very pleasant surprise it was too. I get a real kick out of being thrifty, and it felt good to know that others have been enjoying my posts centred around saving money. If you’ve missed them, they can be found here. I’ve decided to write a regular post, and will be sharing my tips with you each month. Sometimes I’ll talk about brands, or products, sometimes my home made recipes and others the things I do to save cash here and there. I won’t be trying to reinvent the wheel, just passing on information. Hope you enjoy!

My tip this month is: It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas!.

I appreciate there are people out there that will want to gauge my eyes out for mentioning the C word, but hey ho. I start buying gifts in the January sales, and this year have been saving £1 every single day to lighten the load come December. I’ve spoken before about my fabulous present cupboard which I could not live without. I’d highly recommend finding the space for one somehow, even if it means turfing something else out. Ours is the bottom section of a wardrobe, nothing fancy whatsoever.

As long as you aren’t too averse to the idea of Santa in September, now is a great time to grab loads of bargains. Last weekend was the August bank holiday, and a wonderful opportunity for folk to have a big old clearout. It means the charity shops and eBay are full of treasure waiting to be found for pennies.

On my travels this week I came across countless ‘final clearance’ signs offering the shopper up to 80% off. You can’t really argue with those numbers if you ask me. The summer sales are the shops getting rid of older stock to make way for the Christmas lines. Here’s the thing though, would you prefer to be given a generic Xmas boxed set or something more original? I know which I‘d rather have 🙂

Are you an organised Xmas shopper or last minute one? I’d love to do a poll via the comments section.

 

 

Thrifty Tips For August

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image courtesy of http://zerocarbonista.com

Although I didn’t make the shortlist, I was absolutely thrilled to be nominated for several categories of The MADs. One of these categories was thrift, and a very pleasant surprise it was too. I get a real kick out of being thrifty, and it felt good to know that others have been enjoying my posts centred around saving money. If you’ve missed them, they can be found here. I’ve decided to write a regular post, and will be sharing my tips with you each month. Sometimes I’ll talk about brands, or products, sometimes my home made recipes and others the things I do to save cash here and there. I won’t be trying to reinvent the wheel, just passing on information. Hope you enjoy!

My tip this month is: Buy directly from source (often abroad) to get the best price.

When my hubby and I got engaged, we planned to have a small yet traditional wedding. I took one of my besties dress shopping and after many hours, and several coffees, settled on a gorgeous fitted number that would cost somewhere in the region of £2000. It complimented every curve and made me look like a princess, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay all that money on a dress. So I did some inter webbing (as you do) and found a China based company that make replicas for a fraction (I’m talking 10-20%) of the cost. I sent them my measurements and all the details of the dress along with payment via PayPal, and a couple of months later had it in my hands. It was every bit as stunning as the original and fitted me wonderfully – I was thrilled with it! Alas, it never got to see the light of day as I ended up being five months pregnant with a sizeable bump, and it would have been completely inappropriate. I did manage to sell it on eBay though, and get most of my money back 🙂

Over the years I’ve bought lots of things directly from overseas firms to ensure I’m getting the best price. Often I buy through eBay, but a Google search will bring up your options. Here are some of my favourite recent purchases (prices include postage):

Frozen Elsa Dress, completely the same as the one at the Disney store including all the labelling – £4.70 from China
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10 silicone individual ice lolly moulds with lids – £9.99 from Hong Kong
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Fermented cod liver oil – saved £7 buying directly from USA
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Exact replica of the Ergo baby sling – UK seller had these £100 slings made, and is selling them for under £20
ergo sling

So there you go, my thrifty tip for August is: Cut out the middle man, and buy direct from source to save £££’s 

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Thrifty Tips For July

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Although I didn’t make the shortlist, I was absolutely thrilled to be nominated for several categories of The MADs. One of these categories was thrift, and a very pleasant surprise it was too. I get a real kick out of being thrifty, and it felt good to know that others have been enjoying my posts centred around saving money. If you’ve missed them, they can be found here. I’ve decided to write a regular post, and will be sharing my tips with you each month. Sometimes I’ll talk about brands, or products, sometimes my home made recipes and others the things I do to save cash here and there. I won’t be trying to reinvent the wheel, just passing on information. Hope you enjoy!

My tip this month is: Embrace Your Inner Hippie 🙂 Eco alternatives are not only great news for the environment but often kinder to your pocket! Far cheaper than big brands, which are usually full of chemicals and toxins.

– did you know that that distilled white vinegar is a more effective dishwasher rinse aid than actual rinse aid? And a fabulous fabric softener? This stuff is a household miracle, and is always the base ingredient for homemade cleaning products. You can pick up small bottles of 500ml at the supermarket for about a pound, or do what I do and buy in bulk. I get 10 litres at a time, delivered to my door, for £11.

– bicarbonate of soda is another jack of all trades. From removing black marks from the bath, to getting out carpet stains to putting under your arms in place of deodorant! You can even make your own toothpaste by mixing it with coconut oil and a few drops of peppermint. It’s cheap as chips too, especially when you buy in bulk.

– my eldest has super sensitive skin, so I’ve always used a mild non-bio washing liquid. They aren’t cheap nor hugely effective. In recent times I’ve become rather fond of washing balls – which are tiny pellets of eco friendly detergent contained in a large rubber ball with holes in it. They get slowly released each time you use it, and start disintegrating. I would advise buying the balls with a small amount of pellets, as they start getting a little tired towards the end. It actually reminds me that the filter needs cleaning, so not a bad thing really. I stocked up when Ecozone were on offer on Ocado and bought 6 x 240 wash balls costing me £33. That’s less than 2p a wash!

– on the subject of sensitive skin, I stopped using shower gel years ago when I started investigating the toxic ingredients most contain. The natural ones are extortionately priced, so I buy pure chemical and additive free soap to wash my body with. Faith In Nature‘s Aloe Vera is a favourite, is under £2 per bar and lasts a couple of months.

– I’ve been making my own mouthwash for a while now, with water and three simple ingredients. Click here for the full recipe. A 500ml bottle costs around 10p.

– I have problem skin and react to a lot of facial moisturisers. I used Dermalogica for years, until a friend went to Morocco and brought me back a bottle of argan oil. She thought I’d use it for cooking, but I’d heard it could do wonders for the face. It didn’t disappoint, and now I alternate between argan and jojoba oil. I love Fushi Wellbeing as all their oils are pure, cold pressed and organic. They still end up only costing around a quarter of what I used to spend. Can’t argue with those numbers 🙂

So there you have it, embrace your inner hippie, and give your bathroom cabinets a good detox in the process!

Linking up as below: 
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Thrifty Tips for June

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a particularly good haul for just £1 when a charity shop was closing for a refurb!!

Although I didn’t make the shortlist, I was absolutely thrilled to be nominated for several categories of The MADs. One of these categories was thrift, and a very pleasant surprise it was too. I get a real kick out of being thrifty, and it felt good to know that others have been enjoying my posts centred around saving money. If you’ve missed them, they can be found here. I’ve decided to write a regular post, and will be sharing my tips with you each month. Sometimes I’ll talk about brands, or products, sometimes my home made recipes and others the things I do to save cash here and there. I won’t be trying to reinvent the wheel, just passing on information. Hope you enjoy!

My tip this month is: don’t shy away from second hand clothes, especially when it comes to the kids. As well as saving a ton of £££, it’s so much more eco friendly than buying from cheap clothing companies. I remember getting ready to watch a C4 Documentary a few years ago called The Devil Wears Primark, but it was pulled about ten minutes before it was due to go on the air. I’ve often wondered what that programme would have revealed!

Anyway, there are lots of ways to get your mits on second hand clobber…

– take any hand me downs on offer! I’ll admit that I used to be a little reluctant to do so, or feel obliged to give something in return, but not any more. I’ve come to realise that I’m doing them a favour by saving a charity shop run. Also people never pass on rubbish clothes.

– speaking of which, I’ve had some awesome bargains in various charity shops over the past year. You have to be prepared to stay there for a good chunk of time to have a proper rummage though. No point only half doing a job, and a quick glance will rarely bag you the bargain of the century!

– car boot sales can be very hit and miss, but on a plan free sunny Sunday morning why not?

– although postage charges seem to increase every month, eBay is still worth checking out. Ditto The Gumtree

Freecycle can be a bit random, and time consuming but it’s worth keeping an eye on. After all one ladies junk is another’s treasure.

– my favourite is to get a group of friends together and have a clothes swap party, as it’s also a fab opportunity to catch up and have a few drinks. Each person must bring at least five items with them. Everyone gathers into a circle and the clothes gets chucked into the middle, then you go round the circle and pick an item each until everyone has a few new bits. The host can donate what’s left to charity, thus also doing a good dead.

Do you have any to add?

 

Thrifty Tips for May

My bulk-buying stash

My bulk-buying stash

Although I didn’t make the short list, I was absolutely thrilled to be nominated for several categories of the MADs. One of these categories was thrift, and a very pleasant surprise it was too. I get a real kick out of being thrifty, and it felt good to know that others have been enjoying my posts centred around saving money. If you’ve missed them, they can be found here.

I’ve decided to write a regular post, and will be sharing my tips with you each month. Sometimes I’ll talk about brands, or products, sometimes my home made recipes and others the things I do to save cash here and there. I won’t be trying to reinvent the wheel, just passing on information. Hope you enjoy!

My biggest piece of thrifty advice is to buy food in bulk! Here’s what I do…

– order dried goods, tins, jars, coffee, etc through the ethical wholesaler Suma. To obtain free delivery you need to spend £250, so if you don’t have that kind storage space I suggest teaming up with neighbours, family or friends to form a collective

– I also use Birmingham based Natural Choice, who specialise in nuts and dried fruit. You only need to spend £50 for free delivery with these guys

– I found a wonderful from-source supplier of olive oil over in Spain, and now buy directly from them. The quality is unbeatable, it’s good value and only £6.35 delivery

– we buy whole animals (lambs and pigs) from our local farm shop, which works out really good value. They do all the butchering for us, and the meat goes straight into the freezer

– I also use Turner & George for meat deliveries. This is more expensive than buying a whole animal, but it’s still much cheaper than the supermarket. If you’re within the M25 you will get free delivery on orders over £40

Amazon Grocery have a wonderful range of foodstuffs on offer, and is often very economical

– Good old eBay! You would be surprised what you can find on there these days

So there you have it, my thrifty tip this month is: buy food in bulk!

Linking up to the fab linkys below 🙂

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