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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
*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!