Somehow it’s been a while since my last five frugal things post. We’re still pottering along with everyday savings like yellow-stickered food shopping, charity shop hauls and low-cost activities. But this week I thought I’d highlight savings on recent out-of-the-ordinary excitement.
Without further ado, here are my five frugal things from the last few weeks.
Walked to a local Bonfire Party
Rather than heading into Ipswich for the big firework display in Christchurch Park, with all the associated petrol, parking and ticket costs, we walked to the Hadleigh Sea Scouts bonfire party instead. Rather than paying for tickets, every family was asked to take along one large firework. Great relief I bought our £15 ‘Haunted House’ fountain beforehand, because by the time the bonfire party happened on November 8, the nearest shops had stopped selling fireworks.
Anyway we had a fun evening at a bonfire party where we knew lots of people and the children could dash around without getting lost. I got a night off cooking, and we knew any money raised from the hotdogs, burgers and pumpkin curry went towards Hadleigh Sea Scouts. Top bonfire and lots of fireworks to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over.
Swapped children’s parties for the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour
I did a deal with my children this year. Their birthdays are less than a month apart, so rather than holding birthday parties, we agreed to go for a family day out to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour instead. Tickets are expensive and it’s way over near Watford, so we’d only ever go for a special occasion. I figured that even though the tickets cost a chunky £144.95 for a family of four, including audio guides, it would still be less hassle and expense than two separate children’s parties with food, entertainment, prizes, party bags, decorations and everything else.
I’m hoping to write a proper post, but the short version is that it was one of the best family days out we have ever had. It was brilliant. If you and your offspring are remotely interested in Harry Potter in particular, or film making in general, sell a kidney to go.
Got a fiver off a hair cut
My hair wasn’t looking great from the front, and after my husband took a picture of me for my post about exam results and credit scores, I realised it didn’t look too great from behind either!
With several work events this week, I made a hasty appointment with a local hairdresser, The Hair Lounge. Even better, I remembered to dig out the £5 voucher I was emailed after my last haircut, and discovered I was just within the two month expiry date. So my £29 wash & cut only cost £24.
Enjoyed a frugal day at the SHOMOs conference and awards
On Saturday, I headed to London for the money blogging fiesta that is the Show Me The Money (SHOMOs) conference and awards.
I look forward to the SHOMOs every year. Working from home, I spend most of my time tapping away behind a screen. The SHOMOs is the chance to catch up with loads of money bloggers in real life, learn lots and meet companies interested in working with bloggers.
It’s even great from a frugal perspective – thanks to all the hard work arranging sponsorship by organiser Andy, over at Be Clever with Your Cash, tickets for a whole day of lectures, workshops, awards and food are entirely free! I also got to bag some swag. My children and husband have already nicked the notebooks, but I managed to scoff the chocolate before they spotted it.
I didn’t even have to pay for a hotel afterwards, as I agreed to write a review post instead. (Budget boutique hotel Point A Shoreditch while you’re waiting for the post, super stylish and great value).
I didn’t win any of the three awards I was shortlisted for, Best Personal Finance Blog, Best Money Saving Blog and Best Frugal Food Blog, (sob) but I still had a fabulous time. Many congrats to the well-deserved winners: respectively Emma at The Money Whisperer, Ricky and Naomi at Skint Dad and Cass at The Diary of a Frugal Family. Do check out the rest of the winners too, over on the UK Money Bloggers website, for more fabulous blogs to follow.
Cut the cost of shopping for #FoodBankAdvent
Despite the best efforts of rail replacement buses and cancelled trains, I squeaked back from the SHOMOs on Sunday in time to talk to Georgina Wroe on BBC Radio Suffolk about the UK Money Bloggers #foodbankadvent reverse advent calendar campaign.
I’ve been popping one item every day during November into a box, ready to donate to my local food bank, FIND (Families in Need) in Ipswich. I’ve shaved a bit off the cost by using cashback apps. I claimed 15p off a tin of kidney beans and 10p off rice pudding thanks to TopCashback Snap and Save. I also added tinned fish, noodles, biscuits and yogurt-coated fruit for free via Shopmium cashback and referral credits (use code KFKKAMKL if you download the Shopmium app, and you can claim the cash for a free jar of Nutella).
It’s not too late to join in with #FoodBankAdvent if you’d like to support your local foodbank, with more info about the items most needed here. Do share posts and pics on social media using the hashtag #FoodBankAdvent, to encourage friends and family to join in too!
Now – over to you. Any savings on special occasions? Frugal successes to celebrate? Let me know if you’re taking part in #Foodbankadvent too, I’d love to hear.