Five fabulously frugal things this week (14 July)

Picture of pink hydrangeas in the sunshine

Gloriously pink hydrangeas


The weeks seem to be accelerating at mach speed towards the school summer holidays. Eek. Somehow I have to shoehorn a bunch of work into the remaining days before the children skip out of school on the last day of term!

In the mean time, here are the five frugal things we’ve managed this week.

Picture of a small garlic bulb, which I am delighted to have grown in the garden to help with frugal cooking

Teeny tiny garlic bulb

Cooked with home-grown garlic

Anyone remember when I planted some garlic cloves? I just stuck them in the herb patch, marked with bamboo boles from where we hacked back the clump of bamboo by the side wall. I was afraid they’d been frazzled in the recent heat wave, as the leaves dried up, so I pulled one up. Despite the small size, I was able to use half a home-grown garlic bulb in our spaghetti bolognese this week. So please to be cooking with food grown in the garden, even if it was a tiny amount!


Picture of the oven door that needs fixing so we range before the guarantee ran out

The offending door. Looks fine, opens wonky.

Rang before the cooker guarantee ran out

Much as I love our new cooker (bought after much research and angst), it has a wobbly door. I think it’s just a screw missing from the door to the grill, but we haven’t managed to mend it. This week my husband leapt into action, and rang the cooker company before our free guarantee runs out. A repair man is due to visit on Monday – fingers crossed it’s something easy to fix.

Marvelled at the returns on the children’s Child Trust Funds

Back in the days when the Government handed out free money to babies, I invested the £100 Child Trust Fund (CTF) vouchers for both my children with the investment company Foreign & Colonial. The kids can’t touch the money until they turn 18, so I figured over such a long time frame the money would be better invested in stocks and shares than earning next to nothing in cash. (Nowadays  it’s all Junior Isas rather than CTFs, but I haven’t switched the accounts over).

We’ve topped up the accounts here and there, splitting the money between two different investment trusts: Foreign & Colonial and F&C Global Smaller Companies. Last week a statement showed up, and F&C Global Smaller Companies is up 28% in a year. Admittedly it was an incredible year for the stock market, but it did remind me that it’s possible to make much more of your money by investing than saving, if you’re willing to make more risk. I’ll celebrate 28% while I can, because it’s not realistic to expect more than 5% to 7% over the long term – including any years when the stock market plummets!


Picture of camping stuff in blues, reds and blacks so both my son and daughter can use it rather than buying 2 of everything

Camping stuff, ready to reuse


Reused camping equipment

A recent highlight for my children has been heading off on their Beaver and Cub camps. I try not to take it personally when they are champing at the bit to spend a night or two away from home, and rush off to the minibus with hardly a backward glance. I am certainly eternally grateful to the Cub and Beaver leaders for all their hard work in whisking my offspring away to have such a great time.

When it comes to the equipment list, I also thank my lucky stars that my daughter doesn’t insist on all things pink.

This means we’ve been able to buy one set of camping stuff in neutral colours, which can then be used by both siblings, rather forking out for two of everything. We do all have our own sleeping bags for family camping trips, but can get away with a single (red) cagoule, one (blue) sleeping mat, and just the one (black) LED torch. We’ve even co-opted an ancient travel bag, from one of my husband’s trekking trips, to carry it all in.


Picture of the fields in Leicestershire when I went out for a run, my frugal form of exercise before the chelmsford Race for Life

Photo as an excuse for a quick breather during a run

Kept on running

I’m still plodding away with running as a frugal form of exercise, after somehow ending up with a place on a half marathon. I even packed my kit during a flying visit back to Leicestershire, and ran a circular route out to my old village and back. Had forgotten quite how hilly the roads were…

Recently I had to report my progress along with the other Great East Run competition winners, and then promptly hurt my foot. Such an embarrassing injury – I stubbed my toe on one of the children’s bikes!  It’s quite worrying because I’m due to attempt my first 10K run next weekend, but currently I’m limping along with a fetching green and brown bruise. Anyway, I’m still hoping to stagger round the Chelmsford Race for Life on 23 July. If anyone fancies supporting breast cancer research (and I do appreciate that everyone has their own favourite charities), and encouraging me at the same time, this is my fundraising page.


Now over to you – any frugal tips to share? Ways you’ve saved money in the last week? I’d love to hear, so do share your ideas in the comments.

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

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  1. 14th July 2017 / 8:53 pm

    Well done on the growing – it is fab isn’t it! You can plant them out sometime in winter I believe then they would be MASSIVE by now…

    Ours weren’t huge either, but hoping to do better for next year. Still had 150-200 cloves to freeze (I freeze them whole).

    • Faith
      17th July 2017 / 10:12 am

      Wow sounds like you had an amazing garlic harvest! Great plan about getting them planted early. I should have kept a better eye on how dry the herb bed was getting. Live and learn!

  2. 15th July 2017 / 11:00 am

    My parents recently fished out the camping gear that they have hoarded for years since we were kids! The highlight for my kids was a rubber dinghy – it regularly gets filled with water as a make shift paddling pool at nana and grandads!

    • Faith
      17th July 2017 / 10:13 am

      Love the idea of reusing the dinghy as a padding pool – probably a lot for durable than many of the ordinary pools.

  3. 16th July 2017 / 8:48 am

    Your frugal things are fab. Keep on running! Thanks for joining in #5frugalthings

    • Faith
      17th July 2017 / 10:13 am

      Thanks Becky!

  4. 16th July 2017 / 10:19 am

    So impressed with your running hon. And yes feeling the same as the summer hols, one more week eekk. Except Jack has already finished school….so its sunday and Im working;-)

    • Faith
      17th July 2017 / 10:14 am

      Woah tricky if Jack has already finished. I need to get act together and book a few sessions of holiday clubs.

  5. 17th July 2017 / 8:52 am

    Oh no, sorry to hear about your toe!! Hope you can get to do the 10k still.

    • Faith
      17th July 2017 / 10:14 am

      Thanks Katy, I’m determined to get round one way or another, and really appreciate your support.

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    19th November 2018 / 12:48 pm

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