Saturday, 4 January 2014

Bargain Buys

So far my no-spending resolution has gone to pot. I've spent money each day of this new year although most of it has been on needs rather than wants and I have managed to get stuff at bargain prices.

I bought work trousers for DH from the charity shop for £5.50 (instead of the £29.99 they would have cost from M&S), and today I got him a new pair of jeans for £4 from Store21.

Yesterday I splashed out and bought myself a thin cardigan for £3 from Primark reduced from £7. This wasn't strictly a need but since losing so much weight I have hardly anything that actually fits me. I'm now a size 12-14 and I only have 2 pairs of jeans that actually fit properly plus a couple of long-sleeved t-shirts and one other cardigan, otherwise I am still wearing stuff that's at least 2-3 sizes too big. So, the cardigan wasn't exactly needed, but before long my other clothes will look so ridicuously large I simply won't be able to wear them and I am trying to replace things gradually as I see a bargain.

Today I started my 2014 Christmas shopping. The Barnardos charity shop had all their packs of cards and rolls of wrapping paper reduced. I got 2 x 4 metre rolls of paper for 49p each reduced from £1.99, 2 packs of 10 cards reduced to 79p from £1.49 and 2 packs of 6 gift tags reduced from 49p to 9p each. We don't send many cards so with the few I have left over from 2013 I should have enough. I also have some paper left so hopefully will have enough of that too. That's a couple of things I can strike off my list.

I've also done some food shopping for things like cottage cheese, yogurt and salad stuff that I need to keep me on track with my diet. But...yesterday's dinner of 3 bean chilli was made entirely of storecupboard ingredients. I used 3 x 800g tins of beans(1 each of canellini, borlotti and red kidney), a large onion, 1/2 pack of chilli mix and served it all with garlic and coriander couscous. All these ingredients except the onion were courtesy of Approved Foods.

Tonight's dinner of pasta and chorizo bake was also mostly from my stores except the lettuce, cucumber and cherry tomatoes side salad. I used 500g pasta and 2 packs of white sauce mix (both AF), 1/2 chorizo sausage I had in the fridge, a couple of handfuls each of frozen peas and sweetcorn, grated cheese from the freezer and an onion.

With both of these meals there's enough remaining for my oldest son to have for his lunch when he's on late shift, or else we'll have a potluck dinner one day next week and just reheat all the leftovers.

Tomorrow is DS2's last day at home before he goes back to his student digs on Monday. I'm going to be doing a roast and making some muffins and stuff as a special meal and also for him to take some back with him. Well, I have to spoil my baby boy and make sure he doesn't starve. I'm going to be making the Turkey Loaf that Sarina's featured on her blog so I'll post pictures of my version tomorrow.

DH is back to work next week, hopefully for another full term at the college although he has to have an interview before they'll put him directly on their payroll and give him another term's contract even though he worked there for the whole of last term through an agency. Fingers crossed he'll be okay as the money's good and it will mean I can put some by for when he doesn't get paid during the school/college holidays.

I finally got back to some crafting this afternoon after a couple of week's break. I've cut out and backed all the pieces to make a messenger-style bag for DD2 to give to a friend for her birthday later this month. I've only made tote bags before but I found a pattern on the internet and it seems fairly straight forward. Nothing fancy like adjustable straps or zips or magnetic fastenings, thank goodness. It's basically just a tote bag with a flap and one long handle instead of 2.  Famous last words! I'll either start sewing it together tomorrow or when I have some alone time on Monday.

I've visited lots of blogs and everyone seems to be planning a frugal 2014 and all seem to be much more organised about it than me. But I'm hoping to get loads of tips and help from all you frugal folks out there and I will do better than last year. I have to. DD2 and her boyfriend are looking at flats and will be moving out this year. My bills will be a bit less and my stress levels lower (not that they're bad kids or anything but they're adults now and want to do things their way so there's inevitably the occasional clash) but I will miss their monthly contribution to the housekeeping. I'm already letting them off a little of it this month so they can put more into their savings for when they move.

Okay, I think I'm done rambling on for tonight. Tomorrow should have pictures of that Turkey loaf. If it turns out alright.


  1. I too have been spending! We bought a new Hoover, in the sales and I also bought paper and cards for next year. I also picked some things up in the Boots half price sale to go away as birthday presents. I see it as you have to grab the savings whilst you can! My Uni one goes back on Tuesday. She'll go with a frozen Christmas dinner, some ham and some money for her shopping! Spoilt brats eh?!!!

  2. I still have enough arts and craft materials to make all the next Christmas cards. I will not need any wrapping papers as I shall not give presents to adult children anymore. There will only be my granddaughter`s presents to be wrapped, and for that I have saved/recycled paper I had kept from my previously received presents and had ironed flat again.
    Yes, I have made a more organized start to this year. There will be an awful lot more posts on frugal cookery on my blog and I`m going to report on recipes I actually tried myself and found fitting the frugal cooking label. So, please feel free to pop along and sample some of those at your leisure.