April 29

Thrifty Things To Do This Week – Budget Wisely And Banish Bad Smells From Your Washing Machine

Week 5 – April 29th, 2019

It’s the last week of the month: if you can make the time, Write a Budget and Share Something.

There are many ways to budget – as many as there are people, I suppose – and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Most months, I use a basic spreadsheet. This has the advantage of being quick and accurate and easy to use. Some months, though, my budget is hastily scribbled on a piece of paper and added up in my head. This has the advantage of being free and not depending on my having technology to hand. Occasionally, my budget is done in my head, hastily, on the hoof, right before I pay for something. Because I realise at that moment that I have not yet got round to doing it. That has no advantages at all.

I strongly recommend that you don’t repeat my crimes against personal finance. Make time to budget – by whatever method works for you – before it’s too late to seize control of next month’s spending. Read How To Budget, Part 1 if you want advice on how to get started.

On a completely different note – how about the easiest bit of spring cleaning you will ever do? For a couple of years, the Tartan Family regularly threw out clothing, towels, even bedding that was in perfectly good condition. Why? Because they stank. In spite of repeated washing, they had an unpleasant mouldy odour. They started out fragrant (if a little grubby), went through the machine, hung up to dry… and then were haunted by a whiff of such fustiness we couldn’t stand them. Out they went. I am not, as you may have guessed, a person who relishes throwing things out and spending money on replacements. I am happy to report, though, that I did eventually figure out what was wrong and our washing is now whiff-free. If you want to hear how spending a few seconds – yes, seconds – spring-cleaning can banish bad smells from your laundry, read Spring Clean Your Washing Machine.

I will be back next week with a fresh Thrifty Habits Planner and a recipe for goey, chewy, chocolate cookies. Freezable snacks for pennies in only a few minutes.

Free, Downloadable Thrifty Habits Planner To Keep You On Track

Click here to download your copy of this week’s free Thrifty Habits Planner.

So, you want to get into the habit of spending less without putting in more effort? You need something to remind you what to do and when, so you don’t have to keep thinking about it. The Thrifty Habits Planner is a simple tool to help you do just that. Use it to pencil in which thrifty things you plan to do this week and to pin yourself down to when you plan to do them. If you take control this way at the start of the week, you are far more likely to have stuck to your plan by the end of the week. Sticking your plan up somewhere you will see it every day helps you to stay on track too.

Take time at the end of the week to give yourself a little treat as a reward for your thrifty efforts. Little splurges will actually help you to stay thrifty – read this to find out how.

I will be back next week with a fresh Thrifty Habits Planner, instructions to make deliciously fragrant luxury candles and a recipe for Apple And Custard Cake. See you then!

September 7

How To Go To The Cinema For Almost Nothing

 Cheap Family Movies

I have been promising the Tartan Kids for weeks that I would take them to see Inside Out so today we went to the Kid’s Club screening at our nearest cinema to take advantage of the cheap tickets.  Weekend morning family screenings allow cinemas to sell seats at times nobody else wants to go to the movies. For families, the major bonus is that these tickets are much cheaper than at normal screenings. And it is a great time of day for families to go because, while the kids are as fresh as daisies and likely to behave well, their parents could do with a slower entry to the day. Sitting in the dark with a coffee and a movie is not the very worst way to ease into the weekend.

This is not always as cheap as waiting for the film to come out on DVD and the truly thrifty will wait. We mostly do (I should rename the blog Mostly Thrifty) but sometimes there is a film we really want to see NOW. Besides, I would like the Tartan Kids to grow up knowing how to behave in the cinema. Plus I actually love the luxury of just sitting in the dark with my boys. When we watch a DVD I am always getting on with something else at the same time. Ironing. Admin. Dusting. Mine is a glamorous existence.

How To Go To The Movies Without Going To Town At The Foyer Kiosk

Anyway – the crucial thing about cheaper cinema tickets is this – cinemas make money, in spite of the cheap tickets, by creating an extra opportunity to sell kids hugely overpriced food and drinks. So the key to keeping it Mostly Thrifty is to take your own. Bottles of water or diluting juice – made up with cheap supermarket carbonated table water if your crowd like a bit of fizz – cost pennies. Dried fruit, or whatever other snack you usually give your kids, is a lot cheaper than a bag of cinema candy. And if they really want the traditional movie experience, popcorn is cheap, simple and quick to make at home. Although a truly hard-line thrifter might point out that nobody who has just eaten breakfast actually needs popcorn. Like I said: mostly thrifty.