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After an expensive week last week, I have settled down again this week. Nicer weather has returned and my family and I have been enjoying some lovely time outside. We are privileged to have a good garden. It is not massive but it does everything we need. We have a herb garden, fruit and vegetable patch, wendy house, sandpit, shed, patio, table and chairs, BBQ and firepit. We get a lot from our garden. It is the perfect place for enjoying the outdoors without spending any money.
When I reflected on the past week, I felt like I hadn’t been particularly frugal. Not because I had spent loads of money, but just because we hadn’t really done anything. So I had a REALLY good think and this is what I have come up with. I surprise myself every week with my own frugality!
Whenever I am in the city with the kids, we always take a trip to the library. It is a little bit of quiet in an otherwise busy place and it gives the children a safe place to explore. Every trip we return the 20 or so books we have borrowed last time and pick out new ones. There is always a good mix of stories, board books and non-fiction. However, this library is not our local library. On Tuesday, when I could think of nothing else to do, I decided to take the kids to our neighbourhood library. It was great! I had forgotten how good it was. We picked up a whole load more books to take home and all in all it has given us hours of entertainment. And it cost us nothing!
About 18 months ago, I Konmari’ed my life. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you need to read this book. As a result of this I do my best to remove clutter from my house at the earliest opportunity. This week it was more books and an old bike. The books went on eBay and the bike went on Facebook marketplace. A few of the books sold this week and the bike went hours after it was advertised. Now, I’m looking around my living room wondering what else I can sell. Unfortunately, I don’t think the husband is worth much!
This is another great app find. The way it works is you take pictures of job adverts that you see in shop windows. You snap a picture of the advert and a picture of the shop front. Both of these are uploaded and you receive points based on various criteria. For example, those adverts from independent shop windows will get you more points than from a chain. These points convert into money which you can withdraw as Amazon vouchers. There are no minimum withdrawal limits so I withdraw ASAP and add them to my Amazon account immediately. I’ve been using this app a lot this week and am saving the vouchers for Christmas.
We made another trip to the beach this week. Last time we went to the beach it turned into an expensive day, involving chips, ice creams and cake. I wasn’t prepared to do that again so stuck to my meal plan (you can see this here) and made a picnic. The picnic worked out perfectly as we were all starving when we arrived and were able to tuck in straight away. Yes, we still had to buy an ice cream, but overall the spend this time was much less.
At any one time I have a list of DIY jobs for my house as long as my arm. This week, I felt the need to make some progress on this. I have been meaning to complete the finishing touches to my daughter’s room for a few weeks or so now and decided to just get on with it. Using some cheap fabrics from our local haberdashery shop, I covered her black Kallax boxes so that they are now in keeping with the rest of the room. I also painted some old photo frames ready to make a photo wall. (Check out my Instagram for pictures so far.) All of these were cheap projects but have made a big difference.
You’ve heard from me but I’d love to take further inspiration from you. Let me know what you’ve been up to. Or, like me, you can link up with Cass, Emma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.
Disclaimer: Remember the information you read here does not represent advice. Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you. Read the full disclaimer here.
Looking After Your Pennies is an eco-friendly personal finance blog written and managed by Charlotte Jessop.
I write on a variety of topics including frugal lifestyle, eco-friendly living, money making ideas and generally how to make your money go further.
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