My main memory of this week is the heat!
I’m not designed for hot weather, and have been very glad that our house is pretty cool inside, even when it’s baking outdoors. I’ve been writing away, although not all of it for the blog.
So here are my five frugal things this week, after returning from Madeira (previous post on inheriting a pension).
Forked out for a paddling pool
Faced with the heat wave, I cracked and bought a paddling pool from Lidl. I reckon £13.99 is actually pretty good for the size, at 2m long by 1.5m wide. The kids have loved dashing in and out, and they’ve already had friends round a couple of afternoons to use it. From a money-saving perspective, I’m glad it gets them outside without paying to go to a swimming pool or other attraction.
Used leftover chicken in a stir fry
I’m struggling to find the enthusiasm to cook in this weather. While I was away, my husband bought one of the ready to eat roast chickens from the supermarket. It was the basis of one main meal for him and the kids, and after I got back, we used the leftovers to make chicken stir fry and also a speedy chicken, bacon, mushroom and pasta recipe. Stretching meat and fish with a truckload of veg does help it go further.
Started making pot pourri
Roses outside = dried rose petals inside.
Most of the roses in our garden are going over in the heat, but I’ve rescued some with great intentions about making pot pourri. I’m not keen on buying artificial aerosols, sprays and scented candles but thought this might be worth a try! The lavender by the front path is still in full flower, so I’m hoping to pick some to add later in the year.
Anyone ever tried making pot pourri before? Looks like I might need to invest in some essential oils or some kind of fixative like orris root.
Earned loyalty points for donating clothes to charity
I donated some old clothes to Oxfam via a Shwop box in Marks & Spencer, and turns out you get 50 Sparks loyalty points each time you donate, even if the clothes aren’t M&S.
As I’ve have singularly failed to get round to selling second hand clothes on eBay, at least this way I know they’ll be resold, reused or recycled for a good cause, and won’t just end up in landfill. (More on Shwopping if you’re interested)
50 Sparks seems to be the same amount you’d get for spending a fiver. I suppose it all adds up as I don’t often shop in M&S. Sparks isn’t my favourite loyalty scheme either. Sparks seems to be all about getting a percentage off, eg 20% off women’s accessories, rather than money off vouchers that can be spent on anything. The Sparks offer I’d be most likely to use is early access to M&S sales – but at 5,000 Sparks, I still have a way to go…
Recycled goody bag toiletries for the school fair
Another donation – but this time for the school fair. On Friday, the children’s school had a non-uniform day, in exchange for bringing in toiletries for the tombola. The goody bag I got when attending the Time Inc / JD Williams “Don’t Tell Me I Can’t” event earlier this year came in very handy! The body butter and cream I sent in were worth a lot more than I’d have spent if I’d had to buy something to donate.
New column out now!
In other news, my latest column for Woman & Home is out now, with money-saving tips for living the good life on less. It’s the August issue with a glamorous pic of Anita Farris on the cover. Find out how to cut the cost of copies here.
Now – over to you. What’s your top frugal tip in this hot weather? Do share in the comments, I need all the help I can get!