Five fabulously frugal things I did this week (28 Oct)

Picture of deep red roses against blue Suffolk skies in Colchester Castle Park

Red roses by Colchester Castle Park

This week has been half term here in Hadleigh, with much child-related chaos while I’ve been trying to get some work done.

Also very sad because I dashed off to the funeral of one of my oldest and dearest friends. As Beata lived in Paris, this was not remotely frugal, but one of those times I was immensely thankful to have some savings set aside. My thoughts are with her husband, daughter and all her family and friends.

So while counting my blessings, here are five frugal things we did this week.


Picture of my daughter and den she built from sofa cushions and blankets

Mega den #2 of many

Delights of den building

Turns out expensive half-term activities are not always necessary if you’re willing to unleash your children on sofa cushions, duvets and blankets. Stair sliding and den building both featured heavily this week, and kept the kids occupied for hours. Total cost: precisely 0p.

I attempted to reinforce the rule that everything had to be put back at the end of the day. This was not always entirely successful, as demonstrated by the multi-storey den still standing in our sitting room.


A picture of two pumpkins given to us as a present, sitting on our window sill

A present of pumpkins

Presented with free pumpkins

When our cousins Janet and John came round to visit, they kindly brought pumpkins for the children to carve. Great present! We all love making pumpkin lanterns for Hallowe’en, and now it’s something I can strike off my shopping list. I also have grand plans to produce pumpkin soup, so watch this space.

If you’d like a free pumpkin, my post yesterday with tips and films for a frugal Hallowe’en movie night included where to get £2 cashback on a pumpkin purchase.


Picture of the Art Nouveau entrance to a metro station in Paris

First time I’ve been sad to visit Paris

Got a hotel deal on Groupon

I seemed to spend hours this week comparing details of flights, trains and a hotel for the funeral. As I was travelling on my own, I didn’t feel 100% comfortable renting a budget room with Airbnb. Instead, I ended up finding a reasonable hotel deal through Groupon, which included breakfast. Clicking through from TopCashback* means I should get a little bit back, as 5.25% cashback.


Picture of the sky maze at Bewilderwood, one of the five frugal things we did this week

Sky maze at Bewilderwood

Bought Bewilderwood tickets beforehand

My husband had time off work to help field the children, and after I disappeared off for a couple of days, we really wanted to enjoy a family outing together. We spent a brilliant day at Bewilderwood, up in Norfolk. Bewilderwood is an adventure park set in a forest, with tree houses, rope bridges, mazes and some of the longest, fastest zip wires and slides I’ve ever tried. It’s been on our “would like to go” list for ages, but the ticket cost means it was only ever going to be a rare treat.

One of the major advantages is that once you’re there, everything apart from souvenirs and food is included: rides, facepainting, craft workshops, storytelling sessions, boat trips and so on. By booking online in advance we saved a few pounds on the ticket costs, and we also took our own picnic.

We were lucky the weather was so mild, which made it a joy to spend a day outside under the trees, crunching leaves underfoot while sunlight pierced through the branches.

Queried my mobile bill

I was glad I read the email with my mobile bill this month, as it was higher than expected. One call to Virgin Mobile later, and some extra data promised previously was added, and £6 in charges refunded. It really does pay to make sure you’re on the right tariff for the way you use your phone. I normally potter along paying roughly a fiver a month for my SIM only deal, but get whacked with an extra £3 a day if I go over my data allowance. Top tip: if you’re about to go over your allowance, go into your settings and turn off “mobile data” to avoid hefty charges. Similarly, there’s no need to pay £40 odd a month for oodles of data and extras if all you do is send the odd text. Worth checking.


So now – over to you. Hope you’ve had a happier week, and do let me know any frugal successes to celebrate. 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.

*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!

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  1. Alice strang
    28th October 2017 / 1:12 pm

    Very sorry about Beata

  2. Kathryn Hipkin
    2nd November 2017 / 3:10 pm

    Sorry to hear about your friend Beata, love. Sending hugs (( ))

    Not sure I can get up to 5; had the kids 2 days over half term, we went to the Discovery Museum on Wednesday as it was free except to get there and, as the weather wasn’t great in the morning, we had an early lunch at home so no expense there.
    On Thursday I took them to the climbing wall which they LOVE but is £10 per child so I just sat and watched and had coffee with my mum.
    Mum had them Tuesday and Friday; they went to the park on Friday as it was a nice day and they still fit onto SOME things.
    DH had them on Monday, not sure what they did then either, tbh. Think they went into town because he rang me at work to ask if there was enough for them to go to McD (yes, for once) and they had gone to the Byker one as city centre very busy.
    On Sunday they went out with Auntie Carol and Uncle Mark. The metro system had a power failure so no metros and there was a sold out rugby match near where we live. Traffic horrendous!
    So DH and I got the bikes out, cycled to Aldi at Fawdon, then the BP garage in Gosforth then up to Gosforth Park and I had a latte and he had a hot chocolate at McD there. Was lovely, felt like being on a date. Never usually just the two of us. Cycled back through Great Park as that is off road. Still lots of traffic, glad I wasn’t in the car. I also now have a full card for a free hot drink when our McD opens again next week!
    Thanks for reading

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