This week the children have been off school for half term, and we’ve been glad of the sunshine.
I reckon it can be easier to avoid splashing the cash when you can play outside rather than retreating to indoor activities. We’ve combined outings with taking it easy at home, and here’s my round up of our five frugal things.
Made home-made beefburgers
Feels like it’s almost been too hot to cook for most of this week! We’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches and salads, but I did make some beefburgers from this WeightWatchers recipe. I used a bunch of cut price short-dated ingredients culled from the Co-op – yellow-stickered steak mince, wholemeal rolls, mature cheddar and Boursin. Sometimes a home-made burger really hits the spot.
Chance for blogging chat and a charity shop trawl
On Saturday, I had the excitement of meeting up with fellow frugal blogger Jane, from Shoestring Cottage, for the chance to chat about blogging. If you don’t already read her blog, do head over there now! We had lunch sitting in the garden at Crabtrees, then did a trawl of the charity shops on Hadleigh High Street. (Check out Hadleigh’s charity shops here)
I carried off a £3.50 top and £1 notebook for my daughter, as her equivalent of some Star Wars toys snaffled by my son. I also spent a pound on chunky pavement chalks which came in handy promoting our yard sale. I tried on a couple of dresses, but nothing looked quite right, even though it was hard to resist a cocktail-strewn Henry Holland prom dress.
Took part in the Hadleigh Yard Sale
On Sunday, it was the long awaited Hadleigh Yard Sale (first mentioned here), with the chance to clear some clutter and raise some extra cash.
I’ve written a longer post with my top 10 tips for a successful yard sale, but it was a fun day and we ended up earning about £50 after paying the fiver to take part. We even had some home-made cake left over, which went down well as part of our picnic the next day.
Now I just need to schlep some of the unsold clothes to the charity shop, so they don’t end up reabsorbed into our house…
Made the most of National Trust membership
During school holidays, I try to combine time for the children to veg out round the house with day trips. On bank holiday Monday we couldn’t face trekking to a crowded beach. Instead, we rifled through our National Trust and English Heritage handbooks and discovered a National Trust place nearby we’d never visited before. Once you’ve paid for membership, I figure it’s worth making the most of free entry!
After a quick trip to the Co-op for picnic essentials, we took off for Bourne Mill in Colchester. The Mill itself is incredibly picturesque. I loved the surrounding flowerbeds, crammed with cottage garden flowers like lupins, marigolds, love-in-a-mist, geraniums, snapdragons and peonies. We ate our picnic sitting by the lake, while the kids fed the ducks with half grapes. They also had a great time careering off to try pond dipping. Inside the mill we could see the massive water wheel in action, and find out more about the wool trade. We headed home just as the skies turned grey and the rain shower started.
Bought a magazine to get 2 for 1 entry to loads of gardens
I thought I’d missed the chance to buy the May issue of BBC Gardeners’ World magazine, which comes with a card admitting two people for the price of one to 417 different gardens. But many cheers, it turns out you can still get a copy online for £5.99.
Now I’m particularly looking forward to visiting nearby Helmingham Hall, on Shoestring Jane’s recommendation! Admission costs £7 for an adult, so we’ll save more than the cost of the magazine from a single visit.
Now over to you – any frugal successes to share? Tips to survive half term? Do let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear.