I had a car crash of a time last week. I ended up with a newspaper deadline (this article on retirement homes) colliding with the deadline for a massive work project. Then a tree toppled over in the storm, and my beloved computer blacked out. Trying to write a multiple choice questionnaire on debt using a smartphone is no joy, I’m telling you.
Luckily this week has been distinctly less eventful! So here’s a round up of my five frugal things this week.
Got my laptop checked out
The moment when your laptop shuts itself down, and resolutely refuses to recharge, is never a good one. Black screen, no power light, no battery recharging light, everything dead. With imminent deadlines, I had to push the panic to one side, use my smartphone as a stop gap, and then commandeer my husband’s Mac. The pirate invasion pictured was an unexpected side effect of sharing a computer with my son.
I was bracing myself to replace my elderly laptop, but thought it was worth getting it checked out first. All hale to Acefast computer repairs in Ipswich. We nipped in on Saturday afternoon, and they confirmed that only the adapter had died, and not the computer itself. Plus, they didn’t charge me a penny for the diagnosis. Acefast didn’t have a replacement adapter in stock, so I ordered one online. Such a relief to be down £23 for a new adapter rather than £500 odd for a new computer!
Took advantage of Prezzo’s £1 child menu offer
After the joyful computer-not-dead news, we went for lunch at Prezzo. We don’t eat out very often, but after working flat out the previous weekend it seemed time for a family celebration.
The frugal bonus was that Prezzo are offering their children’s menu for just a £1 during September, when bought with an adult main course. Prezzo’s children’s three course menu includes decent sized pizzas plus a drink, so you don’t end up spending a gazillion pounds on apple juice (hard stare at Pizza Express). Sign up online, and you get an email with a voucher code to show your waitress. Pizza for the kids, speedy service and plenty of choice for Josh and me.
Nabbed a new-to-me dress
With the children back at school and my work deadlines dealt with, I had time for a quick trawl of Hadleigh’s fine charity shops. I splashed out an entire £7.50 in Sue Ryder on a fun dress with appropriately floral print. I’ve justified the new-to-me dress on the basis that I’m off to London on Saturday for the SHOMOs. The SHOMOs is a conference and awards ceremony for money bloggers. I had a great time last year, meeting some brilliant bloggers, chatting about blogging and coming away with loads of inspiration. I’m delighted to have made the shortlist for a couple of awards – Best Frugal Food Blog and Best Frugal & Thrift Blog – even though I haven’t got a hope in hell of winning. Check out the shortlists – fabulous blogs to read, if you don’t know them already.
Claimed cash back to buy guitar music
The new term means a new round of after-school clubs. My daughter has been doing guitar lessons, and is due to take her first music exam. Her teacher said we needed to buy a specific music book, with the code to enter Rockschool examinations. Just in time, I remembered I’d built up some cash back using TopCashback, which can be claimed with 2.5% extra if you take it as an Amazon voucher rather than just cash. So I’ve requested the cashback from our car insurance as an Amazon voucher, and will use some of it to buy the guitar music.
I really do view cashback as money for nothing, if you earn it on spending you’d do anyway. (For anyone thinking “what on earth is cash back?’, there are more details in this post.)
If you’ve never joined TopCashback before, look out for a decent introductory offer before you sign on the dotted line. Right now, for example, you can get something useful like £10 cash back on fuel* or £15 cash back from Superdrug*.
Used the free Runkeeper app
Since I started running (plodding?), I’ve become eternally grateful for the free version of the Runkeeper app. You download it on your phone, press “start running” when you do, and then it pipes up every five minutes to tell you how far you’ve run and how slowly you’ve been running. The five minute updates genuinely help keep me staggering on. Plus afterwards there are nice maps to show where you ran, and nice graphs that show you how high the hills were, and how much slower you got while running up them.
Keep your fingers crossed that the Runkeeper app works a treat this Sunday. After winning a free place, I’m finally due to take part in the Great East Run. I’ve managed to get as far as 18km (once), but that 21km for the half marathon still seems an awfully long way. I really can’t cop out though, as my husband and I are both running in support of St Elizabeth Hospice, where he works. Any donations very gratefully received, if you can spare a couple of quid! This is our JustGiving page.
So that’s my round up of our five frugal things this week. Now over to you – thrifty successes to celebrate? I’d love to hear, so do share your frugal ideas in the comments.
*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!