There is no shame in bagging a bargain!

From time to time I  see acquaintances when I am shopping in one of the discount shops I like to use. Some of them look embarrassed and make silly comments. Yesterday morning a work colleague I saw in Lidl looked sheepish and said, ‘Let’s pretend this is Waitrose.’ I said ‘No – all the clever people shop in here now!’ I could have said, ‘You’re kidding – I wouldn’t be seen dead wasting my hard earned cash with their prices!’ I will save that for next time 😀.

Why are people embarrassed about shopping smart and bagging a good deal? There is no shame in being sensible with your money, even if you are loaded.

If people compliment me on something I am wearing and it was secondhand on eBay or from a boot sale, I tell them. If I can get a really nice work outfit for £8 in decent condition instead of £40 new, why wouldn’t I?

I love getting a bargain. I got quite excited when I found big blocks of cheddar on offer in Lidl for £1.99 yesterday. I bought two as they have a use by date in May. If you are passing, pop in and grab some! 

I have a plan for my money which means squeezing every bit of value out of what I have. So I will do my shopping wherever I get get best value cheapest. 

If you are a bargain hunter, and carefully watching your bank balance (however large or small that might be), don’t be ashamed – be proud! 

Boot sale bonanza and some charity shop bargains too

wigwam

Weed free bed and wigwam

Thanks to everyone who has clicked through to Approved Food from my link the other day – I have had nearly 100 clicks! No orders yet though.

As it was a glorious morning on Sunday I decided to go to a boot sale. I really needed some new (to me) clothes, so I went with a bit of money and an eye for a bargain.  The weather had brought out the genuine boot-salers so it wasn’t just traders – this always means there is hope of finding some good stuff and I wasn’t disappointed. I found several nice tops, a couple of cardigans, a summer skirt, a gorgeous long Monsoon dress for £2, some extremely comfortable leather sandals and a nice pair of jeans that fitted perfectly. The lady who sold me these for £2 told me she had paid £200 for them originally. “What? £200 for a pair of jeans????”, I said,  although I resisted the urge to tell her she was stark raving mad. Apparently they are a brand called Seven which is a famous designer brand. Famous designer con more like….still, I don’t mind, they are nice jeans and well worth 200 pennies 🙂 .

I spent even more time in the garden when I got back – there is so much to do at this time of year. I love pottering though. It is quite annoying how work gets in the way of my gardening, even if it is mainly weeding at the moment!

sofa

Bargain second-hand sofa

I managed to get some more bargains on the way back from work yesterday. As I was passing the hospice shop I saw what looked like a wooden garden table and chairs – so I did a swift U-turn and went in. They were a bit disappointing as two of the chairs were a bit cracked and they were asking £80 which I thought was way too much. Whilst I was there I went to look at the sofas. I have been on the look out for a decent 3-seater for ages and they had a nice comfy cream one for £75, which I decided to buy. I mentioned to the lady serving me about the table and she came out to have a look with me, then said I could have the lot for £30. I thought this was reasonable and I am sure Mr S will be able to patch them up.

Rubbed down, primed and ready for some colour...

Rubbed down, primed and ready for some colour…

I have spent lots of money this week but I have some put by, and these were things I really needed so it isn’t a problem. If I think about how much my purchases would have been new….well, I wouldn’t have been able to afford many of them at all. I love second-hand!

I have been working on the collapsed bench we found outside our neighbour’s house. It has been repaired by Mr S, and I have rubbed it down and primed it. Now I just need to decide on the colour and find paint at a decent price and it will be ready for the next lot of sunshine.

 

The thrift style challenge

Once again I looked at my outfit today and smiled when I worked out how much it cost. Long black M&S skirt, secondhand on eBay for £3; indigo blue Tu cardigan, 99p in the charity shop, long sleeved crossover Monsoon top, £2.95 in the charity shop.  Total cost: £6.94. My shoes were new: £8 from New Look.  Yesterday I had on a pair of jeans, £1 from the boot sale; plain black top, 99p charity shop; long turquoise M&S cardigan, £2 boot sale; leather boots, a cast off from my daughter. Total cost: £3.99. Some people pay more than that on a pair of pants!

 

Some recent bargains, total cost £5.50!

 I am not suggesting I am any kind of style queen, but I manage to look quite respectable most of the time. I rarely wear anything new these days – usually it is just my footwear and undies. Once you realise what you can get for a few pounds you resent paying lots of money for anything! This is why being thrifty becomes a kind of hobby after a while. It is incredibly satisfying.

It seems I am not alone in my thrift obsession. Instagram is awash with frugal fashionistas displaying their quirky and stylish secondhand bargains: check out thrify_meg, michellerosborough and hellathrifty for starters, but there are loads more.

If I ever come into money I am quite sure I will go on a wild spree and buy as many beautiful new clothes as I want. Until then I am happy with my frugal bargain wardrobe. 

How much did you spend on today’s outfit? 

Second Hand Rose

I found myself looking at my outfit this morning and humming this to myself….I was wearing a skirt from a boot sale (£1), a top from Ebay (£2.50), a pair of boots, again fittingly from a boot sale (£3), a cardigan from the charity shop (£2) and my daughter’s old black coat (not trendy enough for her!!). My underwear was new to me once. I draw the line at second hand knickers, but would wear a second hand bra if it was in good condition. So, for the princely sum of £8.50 I was ready for the office, and I really don’t think my colleagues would have guessed (in fact I got 4 compliments on the top!).

When you know you can buy decent quality clothes in pretty good condition for a few pounds, it becomes difficult to justify £20 or £30 on a single new item, especially when you are strapped for cash.

Dress 2

The pix don’t really do it justice…it is a fab deep blue long velvet dress with a cowl neck

DressI think it is in my genes, as my mother is Queen of the Boot Sale and, as a pensioner, rarely buys any clothing from new. It becomes an adventure to see what you can find. I regularly come across great quality brands in the styles I like for just a few pounds – Per Una, Laura Ashley and Monsoon, to name a few.

By buying second-hand clothes, not only do you kit yourself and your kids out for next to nothing, you are recycling, supporting charities, or helping other cash strapped people by buying their unwanted stuff. Everyone’s a winner.

I would rather wear rags than rack up more debt, but fortunately I don’t have to. I am committed to being as frugal as possible in order to pay off my credit card and make my mortgage payments every month, so buying lots of new clothes is out of the question.

My most recent bargain was a beautiful blue velvet cowl necked dress, originally from Dorothy Perkins. I got it in the local hospice shop, reduced from £6.75 to £3.50. I am hoping for some invitations to a few Christmas parties to give me the opportunity to wear it now – what do you think? What have been your best clothing bargains?