This week started with the return to school after the Easter holidays, and finished with glorious sunshine. In between tidying up the holiday chaos and getting out in the garden, here’s my round up of our five frugal things this week.
Coped with a can’t be bothered to cook night
Ever have days when you can’t face cooking? Or even the faff involved in defrosting a UFO (unidentified frozen object)?
That was me on Monday, after surviving the sauna that is sitting beside the children’s swimming lessons. Rather than spending a small fortune for fish and chips, I asked my husband to pick up a roast chicken from the deli counter at Morrisons.
I think the yellow-stickered gods must have been smiling, because he arrived as roast chickens were being marked down to less than half price, from £5.50 to £2.20. He swooped on two, so we ate one that evening with (cut price) baguette and salad. When the sun came out later in the week, we chopped up the second to make chicken fajitas, where everyone could pile on their choice of stir-fried peppers and red onion, lettuce, tomato, grated cheese and some leftover creme fraiche.
Shock horror two quick and easy family meals that hardly raised a complaint from the younger generation. Plus, the leftovers came in handy for lunch time sandwiches.
Saved on a ticket to the Hadleigh Show
In our household, excitement is already mounting for the all-singing, all-dancing Hadleigh Show on Saturday 19 May. It’s one of the oldest one day agricultural shows in the country and I love it (some pics from last year in this post plus some top tips for triumph in the baking tent).
Whatever the weather, we’ll be heading over to Holbecks Field, so I bought our family ticket for £25. I saved a fiver on an early bird ticket, compared to rocking up on the day. Also, a family ticket is less expensive than individual tickets for two adults and two children, which would cost £15 more on the gate.
Buying tickets in advance often saves loads, and it’s always worth checking for group deals.
Nabbed free fancy mascara (and one of my articles!)
So two reasons to buy a copy of Red this week – a freebie fancy Rodial mascara (normally £24) AND my article with a beginner’s guide to investing. Look out for the copy with Kylie on the cover. (And yes, I’m sufficiently old that when I say Kylie, I mean Minogue not Jenner).
Can safely say it’s the first time I’ve written for a publication giving away make up. However, it’s brilliant that Red are encouraging women to consider investing, rather than only money-saving tips.
The magazine does cost £4.50, but I save on make up mainly by buying very little, and I liked the Rodial mascara that came free with a previous issue of Red last July. After reading some scary articles about best before dates on make up reckon it’s about time I consigned my old mascara to the bin.
Plus, if you’re keen to start investing, rather than losing money on your savings, do come along to the Stepstoinvesting.com event in London from 6.15pm on Wednesday 25 April. Get the chance to meet some other newbie investors and ask questions. Free entry + wine + no Powerpoint and not a suit or salesperson in sight. It’s backed by Janus Henderson, a big investment management company who’ve been in business since 1934.
I’ll be speaking on the panel, about how I faced my own fears about investing, so do come and say hi! Tickets are going fast, but you can find more details and register here.
If you’d like to read a bit more about my own first steps to investing, Emma over at The Money Whisperer, a blog about the secrets to living the good life, has been kind enough to host my post here as part of her “Investing: A Woman’s Perspective” series.
Compared travel insurance policies
Yay we’ve booked budget flights to visit my mother in Madeira later this year. Rather than clicking ‘load me up with insurance’ when booking, I prefer to arrange my own policy.
My son sometimes has asthma attacks, so I have to declare that when arranging insurance, or risk buying a policy which might then refuse to pay out when needed. I bunged all the details into the GoCompare comparison site, and went for a Post Office policy with reasonable limits and a good star rating from Defaqto. Our single trip policy cost £34.66 but I should get a token £3 cashback, just for clicking through from TopCashback* to GoCompare.
Avoiding travel insurance might seem a great way to save money, but I’ve certainly been grateful for policies in the past, when my bags arrived several days after we did! I pay for the peace of mind that if the worst happened, like a medical emergency or the airline going bust, we’d be covered.
Devoured some free crisps
I’m happy to support local businesses, and so was delighted when Fairfields Farm sent us some of their new ‘Heat & Eat’ crisps to try. Fairfields Farm is not far from us, just north of Colchester. We buy their potatoes from our local Co-op, as part of their Sourced Locally initiative, and I enjoyed meeting the people from Fairfields Farm (and trying their crisps) when I’ve been along to the East of England Co-op AGMs. It must be a nightmare for small businesses trying to fight for shelf space alongside the big international brands.
Anyway, Fairfields Farm have come up with the cunning concept of crisps you heat up, sold complete with their own pot of dip. Fairfields Farm Heat & Eat crisps are even packed in a special bag, so you tear off the top, retrieve the dip, and then bung the bag in the microwave for 30 seconds. We scoffed both the sea salted crisps with tomato salsa and the cheese and chive crisps with particularly delicious caramelised onion dip. It was fun trying out the new packaging and heating them up, and amazing how quickly they disappeared!
If you fancy tucking in to some for free, Fairfields Farm have kindly offered to send one lucky winner three bags of Heat and Eat crisps. Just click on this Gleam link to find out all the ways to enter: Fairfields Farm Heat & Eat Crisps Giveaway
Now over to you – what’s your top frugal tip this week? Do share in the comments, I’d love to hear!
*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!