June 11

Thrifty Things To Do This Week – Grow Your Own Fairy Strawberries And Get Yourself Outing-Ready

Week 2 – June 11th, 2018

It’s the second week of the month: if you can make the time, Try A New Free Or Cheap Activity and Grow Something.

 

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy free food from your garden because nature seems determined to grow it for you. If you want to find out how to fill any gaps in your garden with plants that will provide you with free food AND reduce the amount of weeding you have to do, read the final instalment of my journey from concrete jungle to tiny forest garden.

Summer is also the perfect time for free fun because if (?) the rain stays off, you can go outside. Somewhere – anywhere – you don’t often go, with a picnic, is a fun family outing. Which is why I am loving this post from Cass at Diary Of A Frugal Family. Cass explains how she keeps a bag in her car all summer filled with the kit she needs to turn any spontaneous detour into a fun outing for the family. I love the idea that a tiny amount of planning at the start of the summer means you are ready for fun whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Five Must-Haves For Thrifty Summer Outings

I am going to do the same – and to keep it thrifty I am going to add the following items to our bag.

  1. A newspaper, a lighter and a bag of marshmallows so we can gather wood, light a fire and toast marshmallows whenever we find ourselves in the woods or on a beach.
  2. A penknife so the kids can learn how to sharpen a stick for their marshmallows and so I can rediscover the pleasure of whittling while I watch the fire die down.
  3. Packaged snacks, because multipack crisps, are much cheaper than trips to a cafe when little tummies start rumbling. Yes, homemade is cheaper still, but it doesn’t sit happily in the boot of the car waiting till you need it.
  4. Cans and cartons of juice – again, less cheap than taking water but much cheaper than a cafe and always fresh.
  5. bathinglady004Baby wipes and a kitchen roll, because wipes are endlessly useful and kitchen roll can mop up more serious spills, wipe runny noses and double up as an emergency plate.

Those are my five must-haves for thrifty summer outings – what are yours?

I will be back next week with a fresh Thrifty Habits Planner and two easy and essential summer preserves.

 

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.

 

June 7

Thrifty Things To Do This Week – Lemon And Poppy Seed Muffins And New Uses For Old Jeans

Week 1 – June 4th, 2018

It’s the first week of the month: if you can make the time, Put Cash In Marked Purses and Make Something

A beach-ready tote made from the legs of old jeans from Christie Chase Blogs

I blame my mother. When I was 7 she turned a pair of my outgrown jeans into a cute little duffel bag for me. I was hugely impressed by this transformation – how could my trousers also be a bag? When Tiny Tartan outgrew his first pair of jeans, some forgotten bit of my memory kicked in and I decided to turn them into a tiny toddler tote and some matching bean bags. He carried the tote, filled with little toys, crayons and colouring books everywhere we went for three years and was always able to entertain himself with the contents.

This got me thinking. I would have paid several pounds for a little backpack in a shop for Tiny Tartan but jeans you are about to bin are FREE! Up-cycling his jeans was not just a satisfying way to hold onto a particularly cute garment, it was a way to save money. What’s not to love about that? Several years down the line I now have a whole box full of baby and toddler jeans that were too cute not to keep. Which is, basically an excuse to spend hours on Pinterest deciding what to make with them. If you want some up-cycling inspiration for your own jeans-stack, have a look at my Make Something board on Pinterest. Or take a look at So Sew Easy’s collection of 101 (count ’em) inspiring ideas for up-cycled denim – everything from cute purses to re-upholstering a sofa. All with fabric you were going to throw away.

When you have finished turning a pair of adult jeans into a cute apron (ok – it’s not compulsory) get in the kitchen and make a batch of Lemon And Poppy Seed Muffins. No weighing, no beating, just fragrant and freezable little snacks for the kids. Or you. You could pop some in a lunch bag made of recycled jeans…

I will be back next week with a fresh thrifty habits planner and some suggestions for making the most of the sunshine without ripping through your summer budget.

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.

December 18

Thrifty Things To Do This Week – Steel Yourself And Shop At The Last Minute

Week 3 – December 18th, 2017

It’s the third week of the month: if you can make the time, Preserve Something and Review Your Spending

Are we nearly there yet?

Do you feel like you have been doing Christmas forever? I get that, I really do, but…

From about 23rd December, supermarkets start marking down their Christmas gifts in a last ditch attempt to shift them all before it’s too late. If you have anybody still to buy for (and nerves of steel) hold off until then and spend a couple of hours trawling as many supermarkets as you can.

Or not. It’s up to you. Forget I even mentioned it and go put your slippers on and your feet up. Much better plan.

We have decided, as an experiment, to go a step further and not buy our Christmas Dinner until closing time on Christmas Eve. This is largely prompted by the fact that we are shorter on time than money and I just have not bought so much as a single mincemeat pie so far. But it is also prompted by the fact that we spend Christmas at Tartan Towers by ourselves. We have a very laid-back day on the 25th. If Christmas dinner is a more… eccentric menu than usual we can take that in our stride. I do not recommend this strategy if you are expecting guests!

I am curious to see how this works out but also right out of my comfort zone – I usually start prepping the dinner round about October. The thought of hitting Christmas unprepared terrifies me, but this year I am going to Feel The Fear And Not Do It Anyway. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I will be back next year with a fresh Thrifty Habits Planner.  In the meantime, enjoy your Christmas, however you spend it and whatever you spent to get it.

 

 

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.

 

December 11

Thrifty Things To Do This Week – Festive Family Fun For Free

Week 2 – December 11th, 2017

It’s the second week of the month: if you can make the time, Try A New Free Or Cheap Activity and Grow Something.

‘Tis the season to be jolly and ’tis the week to try out a new, free activity. But for maximum impact this month – don’t! Don’t do something new – try a cheap activity you have done at this time of the year before.

Why? Because if you don’t do something all the time but you always do it at this time then it becomes a Tradition. And Traditions are the lifeblood of Christmas.

When grown adults grow misty-eyed about Christmasses past it is almost always the things their family did every year that they recall – not the gifts they received. That’s very important if you are doing Christmas on a tight budget, because gifts cost but traditions don’t have to.

So do something festive and free this week. Gather cones and twigs and greenery to deck your halls. Or make DIY airdrying clay ornaments with cookie cutters. Or watch a festive film together. Or decorate the tree; or put out the lights and light the place with candles for one night; or make sweets; or…

Your family, your traditions – just make sure they are ones you will always be able to afford. That way, if Santa ever has to tighten his belt, you will still be able to do all the things that make Christmas Christmassy for you and yours. And when your little ones are all growed up, they will be able to recreate the Christmas they loved as children without spending a fortune. Click here for simple advice about keeping the cost of an outing down.

If you are making sweets, by the way, or if you have a stash of truffles in your freezer waiting to be coated in chocolate, now is the time to order in some packaging for them. Click here for more information.

 

I will be back next week with a fresh Thrifty Habits Planner and some last-minute advice. Have fun!

 

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.

 

December 4

Thrifty Things To Do This Week – Snowy Road And Other Sweet Stuff

Week 1 – December 4th, 2017

It’s the first week of the month: if you can make the time, Put Cash In Marked Purses and Make Something

Make something? Is she mad? I can’t find time to eat or sleep at the moment…

How about a really easy make then? This is the perfect time to throw together a jar or two of Snowy Road Mix. If you have zero baking skills you can still assemble ingredients in a jar and if you have zero crafting skills you can still print out the label and cut it out.

Snowy Road makes a perfect hostess gift for a hostess with little helpers. It’s also a handy thing to have in the cupboard if you have to come up with a donation for the Cake And Candy stall at the Christmas Fayre. Pack it up with a cute mini-apron and some bake-ware and it is an easy kid’s gift. Click here for easy instructions and a downloadable label.

On the subject of sweet treats – if you are looking for budget stocking-fillers, click here to find out how to turn a single pic-n-mix into a whole bunch of sweet stocking fillers.

I will be back next week with a fresh thrifty habits planner and advice about thrifty festive outings.

 

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.

November 27

Thrifty Things To Do This Week – Bag A (Nearly) Free Christmas Tree

Week 4 – November 27th, 2017

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

Do you love the nose-tickling smell of a real Christmas tree but hate the eye-watering cost? What if you could buy a nice, bushy tree for only a fiver?

Each year, Ikea more or less provides just that. The catch is that your tree will cost you £25 up front. For that you get a nice, traditional nordic spruce – and a £20 Ikea voucher to spend in the new year. There is a time-limit on when you can spend your voucher – not until the January sale is over – but if you will be spending money in Ikea in the next couple of months anyway, this is a steal.

Trees are in-store now. I will be back next week with a fresh Thrifty Habits Planner, instructions for Snowy Road kits and some sweet stocking-filler inspiration.

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!

November 20

Thrifty Things To Do This Week: Check Your Utility Bills, Chuck Out Some Toys And Drive More Cheaply

Extra Week  – November 20th, 2017

It’s the fourth week of a five week month – if you have the time, Take Stock and Tackle One Big Spend

I know, I know – it’s only five weeks to Christmas and the last thing you need is extra thrifty things to do. You are right. If you need this week to focus on staying on top of your festive spending then go ahead and do that instead. Or, you know… if you need this week to pour some mulled wine, watch It’s A  Wonderful Life and remind yourself that Christmas isn’t all about rabid commercialism then, frankly, no jury is going to convict you of crimes against thrift.

But if you do have a spare couple of hours, this is the perfect time of year to have a stock-check of your kids’ toys/games/etc. That way you clear space for the new things they will shortly be getting and rekindle their enthusiasm for some old things they had forgotten about in the meantime.

If you don’t fancy that, how about taking time to tackle the cost of your utility bills or of running your car? Click here to read about how I went on a journey into thrifty motoring only to discover the answer was in my own glovebox all along.

I will be back next week with a fresh Thrifty Habits Planner and advice on getting a real Christmas tree at a real bargain

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.

 

November 13

Thrifty Things To Do This Week – Make-Ahead Chocolate Truffles And Stocking Fillers For Any Budget

Week 3 – November 13th, 2017

It’s the third week of the month: if you can make the time, Preserve Something and Review Your Spending

This is more the time of year for eating preserves than making them. But you can get ahead of your Christmas prepartions by preserving the centres of some decadent DIY chocolate truffles to give away. Spend half an hour melting, mixing and moulding this week and in December all you have to do is pop them out of the freezer, coat them in melted chocolate and in a few minutes you will have a bag of delicious truffles.

No freezer? You can still use the recipe in December but you will need to gift them right away. Cream truffles don’t keep for more than a few days.

Over the last couple of weeks I have written about how to make stockings part of a Merry Thriftmas and last week I pointed you in the direction of my Stocking Planner. The Stocking Planner is designed to fit budgets of  all sizes. To see how it can help with even a tiny budget, take a look at How To Fill A Christmas Stocking For Around A Fiver. No, it’s not easy – but it can be done.

I will be back next week with a fresh Thrifty Habits Planner and thoughts on a pre-Christmas clear-out and cutting the cost of running a car.

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.

 

November 6

Thrifty Things To Do This Week – Berries, Baking And Bulging Stockings

Week 2 – November 6th, 2017

It’s the second week of the month: if you can make the time, Try A New Free Or Cheap Activity and Grow Something.

Dreary November days are the perfect time for free family fun that doesn’t involve actually leaving the house. A kid-friendly home-baking session is an easy no-need-for-wellies family activity that also ticks Batch A Snack off this week’s list of Thrifty Habits. Try Chocolate Chip And Berry Cake, a recipe so easy even a small child can make it.

Once your kids have mastered the basic recipe, why not let them run amok in your cupboards and choose their own additions? As long as they stick to the same amount of flour, eggs, oil, sugar and yoghurt they can add anything else they like. They could add grated apple and cinnamon, or lemon zest or frozen berries or a mashed banana… They can even omit the sugar and add cheese, or olives, or sundried tomato pieces, or ham or….

Once you are all stuffed with cake, take time to think about stuffing stockings next month. (Yes, you only have a few weeks to go. No pressure.) How To Fill A Bulging Stocking Without Blowing Your Budget will help you to work out how to turn a small budget into big smiles on Christmas morning.

I will be back next week with a fresh Thrifty Habits Planner, and a simple way to make decadent chocolate truffles that will keep till Christmas.

 

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.

 

October 30

Thrifty Things To Do This Week – Start On Your Stocking Fillers

Week 1 – October 30th, 2017

It’s the first week of the month: if you can make the time, Put Cash In Marked Purses and Make Something

And, because Christmas is now less than two months away, what better thing to make than fillers for Christmas Stockings? Ah… Christmas Stockings. I love them so much I wrote a whole post about them – click here to read why I think they are an essential for every thrifty family. They are, after all, just the weekly habit of treating yourself taken to a slight extreme.

The cost can add up, though – alarmingly quickly. So why not make some of this year’s fillers yourself? Take a look at 5 Ways To Make DIY Stocking Fillers When You Have No DIY Skills to see how easy it is.

I will be back next week with a fresh thrifty habits planner, a snack recipe that is child’s play to make and some more advice to help you fill your kid’s stockings without emptying your bank account.

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.