This week’s frugality

Frugality 1


First of all, I really hope you like the refreshed and revamped redesign of Shoestring Cottage. I did not employ a web designer at great expense and it was the epitome of frugality.

I ordered a logo for just £5 from and got the lettering from there. This is so ridiculously cheap for the service on offer and I recommend it. We thought it looked a bit plain so Mr S added a cottage and a flower. I should have just got him to do it on the first place as he never charges!

Frugality 2

frugalityThe garden is still providing is with lots of free food. This week the grapes have ripened to perfection. However, when our lodger moved out she left behind a juicer. We tried it on the grapes and it is brilliant, if a bit fiddly to clean. So we have delicious fresh grape juice in the fridge for nothing.

Frugality 3: Frozen produce

I have been putting all of the excess home grown produce in my big freezer, so the garden will continue to feed us throughout the autumn and winter. We have blackberries, plums, greengages, courgettes, runner beans and lots of home-made soup in there. I made two sorts at the weekend: fresh tomato and courgette. 

frugalityI had a near disaster though. A lead from the iron got stuck in the freezer door. Nobody noticed until it began to make a very loud noise. The contents hadn’t defrosted thankfully but they were getting soft around the edges. We got all of the meat out and cooked it as I didn’t want to risk any of that, but squeezed the fruit and vegetables into the little freezer. Fortunately, the big freezer isn’t broken. I turned it off and defrosted it, and it is back to full working order now. Phew!

Frugality 4: saving money on TV and broadband

One of my aims for this month is to cancel my TV contract and organise a broadband only deal. We had intended to buy a new Humax Freeview box. However, I have found two second hand! One from eBay and the other from Facebook Marketplace. I hope they work. We will have one downstairs and the other in our bedroom.

Frugality 4: Looking smart for the SHOMOs

I have mentioned a few times that Shoestring Cottage has been nominated in the thrift and frugality category at the SHOMO Awards. I will be attending this event in London at the end of the month and I am so excited to meet some fellow bloggers! But what to wear? I am not one for dressing up, but thought I should make a bit of an effort. I looked on eBay and found a beautiful Phase Eight silk skirt in excellent condition for just £15. This is a brand I really like, so I was dead chuffed. I just need to work out what to wear with it now.

 Frugality 5: Luxury champagne afternoon tea

frugalityI hesitate to put this under a frugality heading. However, it didn’t cost us anything, so maybe! Mr S was given a gift voucher for a champagne afternoon tea at a beautiful hotel and restaurant in Colchester called Greyfriars. We booked it for Sunday. It was really special, absolutely first rate, quality food, service and surroundings. What a treat! It felt particularly poignant as I actually used to teach yoga in the same building – it was once a local authority adult learning college. This is where I met Mr S – he was one of my first students! It has been completely transformed since it was a creaky and draughty government building and is now the height of luxury.  We had a lovely afternoon.

9 thoughts on “This week’s frugality

  1. My goodness, that was a bargain re-vamp of your blog, Jane. I spent quite a lot on mine – oh dear, that has come out all wrong; what I mean is I haven’t a clue about blogs and my computer man suggested Fiverr, and someone there sorted out my computer problems and set up a totally new-style blog, but it came at a price. But I’m pleased with it, so I’m not complaining!
    On the frugality front I’m considering cancelling Netflix. We have only watch The Crown and Homeland and perhaps one other film, can’t find anything that we want to watch … any suggestions? We don’t want sci-fi, or Scandi-noir, or silly films, or violence … I just bought (as inexpensively as possible): Viceroy’s House, The Butler, and Bridge of Spies. We enjoyed all three but I would’ve preferred not to have had to shell out money on DVDs when we subscribe to Netflix!
    The champagne tea sounded lovely but you’ve not said how it came to be free? Perhaps you’re keeping that under wraps, ha ha!
    Margaret P

    • It was a present! Forgot to say . I love Netflix but really enjoy Scandi- noir. The Bridge is superb.

      • Maybe I’m just too picky re films, Jane! I loved the Merchant Ivory films such as A Room with a View and Howards End, but have seen those over and over again, also The Enchanted April and The Holiday are a couple of favourites, and 84 Charing Cross Road I’ve watched many times, but I just don’t know now what to watch, so many of them seem just silly (well, to me I mean!) I need to try something new but don’t know where to start. I like a good storyline, good acting and good cinematography. Any recommendations?

  2. Loving the new page. It has a vintage feel about it I think. What an eye for a bargain you have. Long may it continue.

  3. Wow you have been busy!
    Site looks lovely, bargains galore and a near disaster averted!
    And you still have a jolly to look forward to as well! 🙂

  4. Loving the new page and enjoy your frugal tips. A friend has kindly given me vegetables from her allotment as they had a bumper crop so have frozen some for autumn and winter.

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