Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Thrifty Times :: April Update

Hello Lovelies,
welcome to my 4th monthly thrifty post. So how I'm I getting on? 

Well I've continued to look for areas to save money on regular payments. I have a lot of direct debits coming out of my bank account and while many of them are quiet small, they certainly add up. I'm keen to reduce this amount as much as possible. This month I seized an offer for half price Sky TV for 18 months. It's just their basic package. I would do without any pay TV but hubby and the boys would not be happy, so this was the next best thing. 

Today I've finally got round to changing my mobile phone contract too. I wasn't using much of the data allowance I was paying for so I've now gone for a much cheaper £6 a month deal...woohooo.

All these savings do add up, but for myself, I'm still finding using cash for day to day expenses is really making a big difference.
 I was a "fritterer." You know, buying lots of things that simply took my fancy. Some things from charity shops, some things in "Bargain"  stores. All small amounts, but once again, they obviously added up. When you are using cash you are much less likely to do this.

I spend very little on anything but food, cleaning products and fuel for my car now. Of course I still buy gifts, but I always try to have a supply of inexpensive cards and wrap available, so I don't add unnecessarily to the expense. I also try and re-use gift bags and some wrap. It makes environmental and economical sense.

The happy thing is a healthy diet does not have to be expensive. A few sad looking vegetables can make an amazingly tasty soup 

And leftover omelette is great with salad.

it's under there somewhere :0)

  A large bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is also very affordable in Lidl.

I liked the quote I read somewhere "eat vegetables all day long". It's a simple prompt to guide me towards healthy eating. And getting the family eating more healthily too.

Of course the veg peelings I collect in the kitchen are still going into our garden compost bin.

It takes a long time to break down into beautiful, crumbly compost but eventually it does. Last year I emptied most of it into our new raised bed and the plants in here are thriving better than anywhere else in the garden.

Speaking of the garden, it's looking lovely at the moment. I'm enjoying all the work we put into it last year and hoping that my little apple tree will bear some fruit for the first time this year. 

 With 5 people in this house there's always a line full of washing and I'm happy to say I didn't resort to using the tumble dryer once in April.

I was surprised when I worked out that saving £40 a week on your food bill adds up to £2080 in a year. That's an emergency fund, debt reduction...or a very nice holiday right there!

In May I will be trying to avoid any impulsive online purchases...still an occasional area of weakness for me.
I'll also be continuing to meal plan and shop with a list using cash. I'll keep writing down all spending and look for any further reductions in direct debits I can.

I'll also try and remember to have fun and enjoy my favourite time of year :0)

My local council sends out e.mails of local events and lists any free events on offer.  Just this weekend we took advantage of an event I was not aware of before Radio Nottingham's big day out.

We went to Newark Air Museum on this free admission day. The boys and hubby had a great time looking around lots of old aircraft, and I admired the details on this recreation of an air raid shelter.

I even found a bit of crochet :0)

Maybe there are similar events where you live. The museum was still making revenue from cockpit visits and cafe sales so I didn't feel bad about visiting for free.

Jacquie x

P.S. My previous thrifty posts are HERE, HERE and HERE
P.P.S. Thank you all so much for your interesting and kind comments on those posts. I've learnt a lot x


  1. Your yard is so pretty! I'd love to hear more about your compost bin. Building a compost bin is the project at the top of my list this summer.

  2. You are doing a great job saving! It feels good doesn't it; I find it as rewarding, maybe more so, than spending. It can become a game. And if you allow small treats here and there, they are so much more enjoyable b/c you've 'earned' them so to speak. When you get serious about cutting out waste it's amazing how many ways you can find to cut cost and save money. Those savings are like your pay for doing so. I was taught as a child 'a penny saved is a penny earned". Never really understood it until I began working at saving.

    The aircraft museum and air raid shelter are so interesting! Sounds like a great outing.

    Love how nice your yard is too. I haven't hung out clothes for years and years. I always enjoyed it back in the day. Relaxing for the most part. And it made me feel good. Sometimes the old ways are better, if not best.

  3. One thing that has helped me with online buying is to put it in my cart but not buy it right away. Many times when I go back to pay, I find I really don't want it

  4. All excellent advice, Jacquie. This is a really good series you are running - I (we) need to start taking notice. Interesting to see the shots from Newark's Air Museum - the signs caught my eye when visiting the castle and Civil War museum recently, but unfortunately we ran out of time.

  5. A great post! It's very important to try to economize. You are very conciencious which is wonderful. Sounds like a great museum. Beautiful photos, especially of your garden.

  6. Love the museum, my middle boy would love to see that Anderson shelter, he's made a couple of model ones for school. Of course I love the whole veg growing ethos from the war. Your garden is looking beautiful. Fingers crossed for some apples. It doesn't look as if my plum tree will give me any plums again this year, but hopefully there will be apples and pears. Every bit helps doesn't it. I agree with what you say about making something delicious from some ordinary vegetables, it never fails to amaze me. Another great post Jacquie. CJ xx

  7. Great job keeping up with being thrifty. I know sometimes it's hard to do. I think using cash is key. People in the day and age, and especially kids, don't understand the value of money because they don't use it. Everything is done with cards. I still pay my bills with checks. I don't have a debit card or an atm card. I use cash for everything else. My parents and niece were here the other day and we were actually talking about bomb shelters! I hope we don't need them again, but things are kind of scary. I love your garden. I sent pictures of it to my husband at work! We need to landscape our back yard and I miss not having a clothes line! Have a great week.


  8. I enjoyed this this post, Jaquie! I now am hankering for vegetable soup. We had shrimp salad tonight. The shelter was very interesting for me to see. With the way our current president is going we may just need a bomb shelter in the back yard. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  9. I have been reading your blog for quite some time now, but have never left a comment. But this time, I wanted to say I really enjoy reading your thrifty posts :)

  10. A beautiful garden, love the tulips. I'm with you on hanging the cloths out, but I have to wait till the heavy pollen is gone first with my allergies, but after that the dryer wont see use till late autumn here. I love hanging cloths on the line, not a chore for me. I've found the more you save the more you want to, even a game or challenge to see if you can top your best efforts.I'm with you there too on the TV, but my hubby feels it's a "necessity." I wonder how that dandelion coffee was?...

  11. I haven't visited in a while, but I'm very happy to see you're doing great. Hope to come in here more often, as I really missed reading your posts. Keep up the positive vibes! :)

  12. Hooray for you! we just bought new drawers for our freezer which were cracked instead of starting to believe we needed a new freezer! It must be rubbing off... Jo x

  13. Your garden is looking wonderful. So glad to hear your thrifty plans are reaping rewards. A few veggies make delicious soup don't they? I like to make croutons from stale bread to go with mine but I expect there is never much bread left with your boys!

  14. The garden is looking great. Like you I like my washing hung out on the line, it always smell so good. I have refused to pay for telly, luckily my husband agrees. He always says Sky has ruined sport on telly.
    The Heritage days7-10 September are great free events. The website has all the information https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/

  15. Thank you so much for this and your other thrifty posts which I have just also checked out, you are an inspiration. I'm a divil for buying things that take my fancy, so I'm going to take a leaf out of your book. Thank you!


I always love to hear from you , thank you for taking the time to leave a message.