How has Storm Ciara been for you? We listened to the wind howling round the house, with trees bending alarmingly in the wind. Luckily, we only suffered from a few fallen branches and a bit of guttering blown off from above the bathroom window.
Otherwise, the kids are back in the swing of school, getting more tired towards half term. Outside the garden is showing signs of spring: the first daffodils are now out, alongside the snowdrops and hellebores.
This week I covered a whole range of topics for work, from the Women & Money podcast I recorded about self employment for Fidelity going live, to assorted BBC Radio interviews about weight loss wager websites, to my latest money-saving column appearing in Woman & Home.
Here are the five frugal things I managed to fit in – together with our big family excitement at the end of this post!
Got refunded for a delayed train journey
Back in December, I endured a mad cross country train journey to Leeds as not one but two trains were cancelled. As I arrived a couple of hours late, I put in a claim for ‘delay repay’ (not helped by the ticket barrier at Leeds station swallowing my ticket). Anyway it was a great relief when after some to-ing and fro-ing the refund finally hit my credit card statement – even if it was only for £13.60, as I’d booked such a cheap advance!
Picked up a bargain Too Good To Go bag
I was back on the train this week, when I headed to London for assorted work meetings and a fun party to launch the new Times Money Mentor website (here I am as a Money Mentor, after I wrote some of the content). Great initiative to demystify money, with everything from how-to guides, product reviews and comparison tables to real life examples and video explanations.
I planned ahead, using the Too Good To Go food waste app to scoop up £10 worth of fresh food from Shuro Shirin, a Persian takeaway, for just £3.29. I ate the wrap and granola yogurt as a late lunch and set aside a walnut, feta and avocado salad for after the party.
More about Too Good To Go: My five favourite apps to cut food costs
At 10pm I happily boarded a train home, looking forward to scoffing my salad – only to remember I was due at the doctor the next morning for blood tests, and had to fast for 12 hours beforehand. So I could only stare at the box all the way home, and delay eating it until lunch the next day! Best laid plans, eh?
Pin for later:
Nabbed free cinema tickets with my current account
This week, I was emailed with my annual membership benefit for having a Club Lloyds current account: vouchers for six free Cineworld tickets. It’s perfect timing just before half term.
The Club Lloyds account is free if you pay in at least £1,500 a month – otherwise there’s a £3 monthly fee. You can also earn interest if you have two direct debits going out each month, at 1% a year up to £4,000 and 2% a year on any balance from £4,000 to £5,000.
If you don’t fancy Cineworld tickets, you could opt for Odeon instead, or switch to a magazine subscription or membership of the Gourmet Society.
Benefited from a refer a friend bonus
When my mother moved to Hadleigh, she wanted to switch her bank account to TSB, as the branch nearest her house. I have a TSB account as well as my Club Lloyds account, so we filled in the ‘refer a friend’ form online, and this week the £75 each finally hit our accounts.
If you are ever transferring bank accounts or assorted bills (energy, broadband, mobile, that kind of thing) it’s definitely worth asking around to see if anyone has a referral link. Brilliant to get paid for something you intended to do anyway. Plus, if anyone is interested in an account with TSB, the refer a friend bonus has now gone up to £100 until the end of February.
Pounced on cut-price pet supplies
In a not remotely frugal thing, we’ve just got a dog, and the entire family is hugely over-excited! On Saturday we collected Otto, a Cairn terrier puppy.
In preparation, we picked up feeding bowls, towels and fleece blankets from local charity shops, and borrowed a dog playpen. My mother also found a bargain £8 crate for training purposes. At least we can save somewhere, faced with all the future bills for food and pet insurance!
Previous post: A cornucopia of charity shops
Now – over to you. What was your frugal highlight this week? Or tips for our first ever family dog???? Do share in the comments, I’d love to hear!
Want more frugal inspiration? Do head over and join the Much More With Less #MoneySavingYear Facebook group, to share thrifty tips and support. It’s a private group so your comments won’t be splashed all over your friends’ Facebook feeds.