Five fabulously frugal things I did this week (24 November)

Picture of a leaf on our lawn, covered with frost crystals, to illustrate my post on five frugal things this week

Leaf caught by the first frost


This week made me so grateful for health and happiness. We normally bumble along with only the odd cough and cold. Turns out a chest infection on top of asthma wasn’t an ideal combination for my son. We ended up spending a couple of nights in Ipswich hospital. Thank goodness he’s now masses better, and we were glad to come home yesterday.

In between we have managed to fit in a few frugal things, so here’s my round up:


Picture of reindeer I made from a Mollie Makes kit for my 5 frugal things this week

One wobbly reindeer

Made a Christmas tree decoration

I used to love sewing, but rarely find the time nowadays. I miss it. Last week I actually sat down to make the little reindeer kit that came with Mollie Makes magazine. The frugal part was that it came as part of a special offer subscription, at just £5 for 5 issues. (More about my bargain magazine habit here)

Hopefully the reindeer will make it as far as our Christmas tree, unless my daughter half inches it in the mean time. We’ve made or bought assorted decorations over the years, and each one brings back different memories. This post has a picture of our Christmas tree a couple of years back.


Picture of lemon drizzle cake as one of our five frugal things this week

Now you see it, now you don’t

Baked a lemon drizzle cake

Pre hospital drama, my son and I decided to make a cake after school (rare occurence). He chose lemon drizzle cake which is really quick and easy, and worked out well. Perhaps not the most diet-friendly option, as we scoffed the lot within two days. Check out the recipe here.


Picture of visible mending on a favourite cardigan as one of my 5 frugal things this week

Wonky flowers ahoy

Mended a cardigan

After the reindeer, there was no stopping me on the sewing front. One of my favourite cardigans had been banished to the back of the wardrobe, after a caught thread left a small hole right at the front. I had a go at visible mending, inspired by pictures on Jen Gale’s Make Do and Mend Facebook group. Not perhaps the smartest item, but at least I’m happy to wear it round the house.

Switched to cheaper breakdown cover

The renewal notice for our RAC breakdown cover was £108.99 – a whopping 28% higher than last year’s premium. When I rang to query the increase, the lady offered me the same cover for £85.41 instead.

In the end I decided to switch, as a similar policy from the AA was only going to cost £70.50 after cashback. That’s more than a third off!

Just goes to show it’s always worth comparing prices, rather than letting your policies renew automatically.


Picture of an article in The Week Junior about reverse advent calendars, including an interview with my daughter

Proud of my daughter in The Week Junior

Added to our #FoodBankAdvent box

We’ve carried on adding an item a day to our reverse advent calendar, ready to donate to our local food bank, FIND, early in December. This week we included some essentials like long-life milk and tinned ham, plus dog food, as I figured anyone who was struggling to feed themselves would also find it difficult to feed their pets.

We’ve saved money by for example adding a freebie tin of Prince’s tuna sandwich filler, and claiming cashback from Shopmium to get a free jar of Hipp Organic baby food. (More frugal tips on how to do #FoodBankAdvent here)

I was really proud of my daughter when she appeared in an article in The Week Junior about reverse advent calendars. I’ll also be spreading the word about #FoodBankAdvent, as part of a feature on advent calendars on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Sunday’ programme. If you can face the early start, it’s due to go out some time between 7.10am and 8am this Sunday (26 November). Fingers crossed I make sense – I made a lightning dash out of hospital to do the recording, so was all a bit flustered! Still if it encourages a few more people to support their local food bank, it’ll be worth it. It’s not too late to take part!


Now over to you – any frugal highlights this week? Do share your top tips in the comments, I’d love to hear!

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. Alice strang
    25th November 2017 / 11:00 pm

    Amazing to have done all this AND written up whilst juggling Hospital Adventure. Hope all well now.

    • 26th November 2017 / 4:32 pm

      Joys of hospital wi-fi helped a lot!

  2. Gill
    26th November 2017 / 7:44 am

    Such good timing! I read your post at 7.25 am which was 5 minutes before your radio appearance. You gave a very succinct message that I hope other people get inspiration from.

    I followed the principle of donating even more at Christmas than usual but instead of gathering items day by day I bought a heap of things from Approved Food that had at least 6 months dates on them and took 3 carrier bags full to Tesco yesterday. Tesco say that they add 20% to the donation so that’s good too.

    I don’t pay any attention to the best before dates on food myself so I’m happy with ALL of the items from AF but I know that the food banks stipulate that the goods are to be in date however its easy enough to find food on AF with plenty of time left on them so by shopping there I could donate even more than I would have done if I’d bought elsewhere .

  3. 26th November 2017 / 11:05 am

    I love the reindeer decoration, I have a few handmade ones from years back. I might get my sewing hat on again. Unless the gingerbread house we are attempting today breaks us;-)

    • 26th November 2017 / 4:37 pm

      Yay for sewing and good luck with the gingerbread house. Will hope to see pics over on Instagram!

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