Five fabulously frugal things I did this week (31 March)

Picture of my son jumping off the slide at Framlingham Castle, visited because we have English Heritage membership

Joyful jump off the slide at Framlingham Castle

A calmer week this time, without any crunch work deadlines for me, but with the added excitement of Mothering Sunday.

Mothers’ Day did get a bit disrupted by the whole business of being a mother. In the morning my husband carted my son off to rugby while I did the dutiful thing of escorting my daughter to the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts church service. She got to be one of the standard bearers and eat plenty of cake afterwards, so ended up pretty happy, and I came away with a bunch of daffodils.

In the afternoon we did find some suitably thrifty ways to celebrate Mothers’ Day, so here are my five frugal things for this week!

Picture of a bargain bottle of Opihr gin on the shelves at Morrisons

Seduced by an elephant on the bottle (and an offer)

Treated myself to some gin

I’m not a big fan of turning high days and holidays into reasons to spend hand over fist. Nowadays, shops seem to use any excuse to pile the shelves high with themed merchandise: Hallowe’en, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Easter, Back to School, Fathers’ Day and most recently Mothers’ Day.
However, there’s no denying you can pick up some bargains, whether on special offers beforehand or reduced prices afterwards.
As my own “Happy Mothers’ Day” present, I spotted Morrisons had several offers on gin, including £4 off Opihr, plus More loyalty card points worth another £2. I even stood there in the supermarket, checking the MySupermarket app to make sure it was actually a good deal. Thankfully I couldn’t find it anywhere else for less. Cheers!


Picture of the slide at Franlingham Castle, after we saved money with English Heritage Membership

6.6m of zippy slide at The Castle on the Hill

Made the most of English Heritage membership at Framlingham Castle

To celebrate Mothering Sunday, we headed off for an afternoon at Framlingham Castle.
We’re been before, but I reckoned the kids would enjoy the massive slide that Framlingham Castle have put up during conservation work while the visitor centre is closed.
As we’re already members of English Heritage, the entrance was free, rather than paying £23.10 for a family ticket.
Plus as it was Mothers’ Day I could insist that everyone listened to my other present, an Ed Sheeran CD, for the entire journey. Ed’s a Framlingham boy, and Castle on the Hill is all about Framlingham Castle, so it seemed rude not to.
Anyway the kids had a blast, zooming down the ‘slide into history’, racing round the battlements, rolling down the slopes outside the castle and attempting a rather muddy walk round the mere. If you’re nearby, it’s well worth a visit, and the slide is in place until May.

Picture of a bowl of money saving home made parsnip soup

Money saving home made soup

Used cut-price parsnips to make soup

This week I picked up a 41p bag of parsnips from the reduced section in our local Co-op, and decided to make some soup. I flicked through a couple of recipe books for inspiration, and spotted a recipe for parsnip and apple soup. This seemed a great chance to use up one of the Bramley apples that have been rolling around our freezer for ages. After some peeling, chopping and simmering with a value veg stock cube, I ended up with three portions of surprisingly creamy soup for only about 20p a bowl. Marvellous.

Picture of empty jars on the shelf at QD for 99p each

99p for an empty jar? Madness, I tell you.

Justified my jar hoarding

I was astonished this week to see perfectly ordinary empty jam jars for 99p in QD. That seems like madness when you can buy full jars of jam for as little as 27p in the value ranges, and around 75p for supermarket own brand.
Given the numbers of jars I hoard in the hope of making my own marmalade and elderflower cordial, my kitchen cupboard must be worth a mint.
So top frugal tip: if you want empty jars, check out full versions on the supermarket shelves first!


Picture of Kids Pass with example of discounts available like money off Days Out, Cinemas and Restaurants

Here’s to cutting the cost of holiday activities

Signed up for Kids Pass for a £1

As part of my Easter holiday survival plans, I signed up for a 60 day trial membership of the Kids Pass app for the grand total of £1*.
Using Kids Pass you can get discounts off a whole range of family-friendly activities at more than 5,000 places. Offers include eating out, cinema tickets, activities like paintball, tennis and bowling, and theme park entry at the assorted Merlin Entertainment places like Legoland, Sea Life centres and the London Eye.
(I’ve posted in the past about Legoland on a budget and frugal holiday activities including Sea Life Weymouth)
My cunning plan involved waiting until today to sign up, so that the 60 day trial would cover not just the Easter holidays but also both May bank holidays.
Will let you know how I get on, as the expense for these kind of activities can really mount up, so I’m keen to save where I can. My daughter has been campaigning to see Beauty and the Beast, and Kids Pass will cut a chunky 40% off the cost of the tickets.
At the end of the trial, the membership will automatically renew for a whole year at the reduced rate of £39.99. If I don’t want to continue, I can cancel any time between now and 5pm the day before the last day of the trial.

If you’d like to try Kids Pass for £1 too, you can get a 60 day trial, double the length of the normal 30 day offer, using this link*.

Now – over to you. Any thrifty successes to report? Ever looked at shop shelves and thought: “How much?? For that??”, as I did for the jam jars? I’d love to hear!

I’m linking up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

*indicates an affiliate link, so anything you buy through it will help support the blog, as I will get a small commission at no cost to you. Many thanks!

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  1. 31st March 2017 / 10:33 am

    I used My Supermarket this week too to check the price of some reduced coffee in the Co-Op. It was truly a bargain – yay! Nice when that happens isn't it.

    Also, great tip about the jars!

    • 1st April 2017 / 6:54 am

      If I check MySupermarket in a shop and find out something isn't good value it can feel disappointing, but also a relief if I don't get suckered by a bargain offer that isn't really a bargain.

  2. 31st March 2017 / 8:50 pm

    Goodness, my box of jars in the garage is worth about 50 quid! Bet someone buys them! (not my jars but the QD ones!)

    • 1st April 2017 / 6:56 am

      Yes, someone must be buying those empty jars, and fancy Mason jars are even more expensive. I'll be sticking to my empties rather than buying new.

  3. 1st April 2017 / 6:21 am

    I like the jars point – would like more of that kind of advice if possible.
    I got 40% off a photo prints order at this week

    • 1st April 2017 / 6:57 am

      Who knew jars were such a popular topic? Good deal on the photo prints. I can get a certain number free each month with my Times/Sunday Times subscription, but I don't often remember to use them.

  4. 2nd April 2017 / 8:25 pm

    99p for a small jar? Blimey, some people have more money than sense. Why not spend 27p on a Tesco jar of Basics marmalade, chuck away the marmalade and wash out the jar?
    Actually, I saw someone buying a bag of what looked like empty egg boxes this week. Presumably to ‘chit’ (types that carefully) their potatoes before popping them in the garden.
    But who buys empty egg boxes? Even if they’re Vegan or egg-intolerant surely they’ve got neighbours who eat eggs and would let them have the empty boxes?
    Never fails to amuse me what some folk spend their hard earned cash on. Never fails to annoy me when those folk moan about the ‘high cost of living’.
    (I’ll stop ranting now. I’m just wasting time until ‘Line of Duty’s on telly. 🙂

  5. 3rd April 2017 / 8:28 am

    I noticed this about jars a few weeks ago. They were asking almost £2 a pop for empty ones but a few pence for ones filled with jam – madness! I’m really considering investing in an English Heritage pass, certainly takes away the “there’s nothing to do” out of your life!

    • faith
      3rd April 2017 / 9:09 am

      Hi David! If you’re likely to visit several English Heritage sites, it’s definitely worth paying for annual membership rather than buying tickets each time. I wrote a post when I was working out whether it was worthwhile for us, based on family membership: Also, there are several ways to get membership for less – I’ll have to put another post together on that!

  6. 3rd April 2017 / 8:54 am

    Great Easter hols planning with the Kids pass. And that castle place looks cool, my boys would also love that slide!!

    • faith
      3rd April 2017 / 9:10 am

      Do come and visit if you’re all heading to Framlingham!

  7. 24th May 2019 / 7:10 pm


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  8. 26th June 2019 / 11:10 am

    Thanks for sharing this amazing post, all the things are very informative .

    • Faith
      1st July 2019 / 11:08 am

      Thanks Jessica! Hope it helps.

  9. 28th September 2020 / 11:14 am

    Thanks for sharing.

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