A weekend of thrifty living and saving money

We have had a good weekend here at Shoestring Cottage. I really feel we have achieved something! We continue with our thrifty living adventures.

A new tenant

One of my aims for this month was to get a new lodger sorted. I paid a few pounds to Spare Room to have a bold advert and I’m glad I did. We have had lots more interest than last time. Yesterday I spoke to a young lady who is studying abroad but is coming to Colchester to do her masters. She seems very nice and has decided to take the room from October. This gives us time to get in once our current lodger has gone and spruce it up a bit.

Free food

thrifty livingWe have been picking blackberries. There are always tons in the car park at our local post office. No one ever seems to harvest them. We checked it was ok to have some and picked 4lbs of lovely ripe fruit.

They are already in the freezer. I will use them puréed in porridge or made into pies and crumbles over the winter.

Yellow stickers

thrifty livingDarling daughter has got lucky a few times hunting for yellow stickered food recently. She arrived just at the right time in Asda on Saturday evening and got loads of items reduced to 10p. I really must make a more concerted effort to hunt out reduced food. This will help my £35 a week grocery challenge!

Home grown

thrifty livingOn the veggie patch, the courgettes have started to slow down but are still arriving. We had our first ripe tomatoes on Saturday and there are still tons of cucumbers. These are so easy to grow if you have a greenhouse. Ours came from eBay a few years ago and cost £85 secondhand. It was a good investment.

We also have tons of runner beans, spinach and chard and some chilli peppers. I am really pleased that our apple trees look like producing their first decent crop this year too. They will go well with our foraged blackberries! We have a young plum tree too but only a couple of plums on there so far.

Seeds for free!

thrfty livinigWe did loads of much needed tidying in the garden yesterday. I am really pleased with how it is looking. It never ends though and there is still plenty to do.

I collected some seed heads from our hollyhocks and foxgloves and put them in an envelope, as instructed by Monty Don on Gardener’s World. Free seeds for next year! I love the cottage garden feel those plants give.

DIY hair cutting: the ultimate in thrifty living

thrifty livingI did some more DIY hair cutting at the weekend, just trimming the fringe and layers. I do still go to the hairdresser but a lot less frequently now that I know I can tidy it up myself between cuts.

It looks pretty ok I reckon. I do need to learn not to cut my layers quite so blunt though. Maybe I will have a look at purchasing some layering scissors with my Boots points.

I am happy with our good weekend of money saving and thrifty living. Was yours a frugal weekend?

14 thoughts on “A weekend of thrifty living and saving money

  1. Well done on all your frugality. My hair is short and wavy, I’d never be able to cut it myself, but yours being lovely and long and straight, perhaps it’s easier to cut?
    Wowzer, what a lot of lovely blackberries! Blackberry pie would be my first choice for some of those! My mother used to put strawberries in a pie (pastry top and bottom) and they always tasted so much nicer hot and in pastry, than cold with cream, the cooking brings out the flavour, believe me.
    Hope your new lodger will be suitable, she certainly sounds it.
    Margaret P

  2. I don’t know if you know this tip, but at the end of the season you can still pick any unripened green tomatoes left, put them in a cardboard box with a lid, and they’ll ripen indoors just fine – even the tiniest ones!

    Always good to know in our unpredictable climate!

    • Hi Julia, yes I have often managed to ripen them just on the window sill. No green tomato chutney here – yuck

  3. Be choosy be really choosyDo not trust anyone who says they want the room until you have got a deposit and a months rent in your hand. Have been.let
    down trusting people, night before, got phone call decided your house is too far away cost me a months lodger rent as I had put other people off. Present
    has been here 1.5 years and will stay until her Aussie visa runs out in April. Be choosy really picky even if it takes longer, a long term lodger is so much better than a short term one . Please always choose a lodger who is on a job that needs them to be police checked.

    • Yes I am getting her to pay me the deposit in the next week to secure the room. People don’t realise how much you rely on this income. If she doesn’t pay the advert will go back on!

  4. We used to rent our spare room to students at the university. Had a Chinese girl come to see the room with a camcorder who wanted to video the house. I didn’t mind presumably was to show her parents. Now my 10yr old daughter had just had a lesson in Chinese from an exchange student teacher which I didn’t know about. She had only remembered one sentence and said this to the girl. It was something basic like “I can speak Chinese how are you” The girl looked horrified and said She can speak Chinese to which my daughter said Yes I do. With that the student said Goodbye and literally ran out of the house. Never did understand why but seemed like she didn’t want to live with anyone who spoke her language so dodgy. Take care who you take in and keep it to a formal business arrangement with rent paid in advance. Good luck with it All the best.

    • How bizarre! Perhaps she wasn’t Chinese at all but a North Korean spy! Yes I bought a tenancy agreement template and insist on a deposit and rent in advance

  5. Hi there! I’ve been doing the diy hair-cutting for roughly 2 years by trying to follow a few vids on yoootooob. To avoid the blunt edges (unless you want them that way), hold your scissors vertically when cutting the ends – this will give you a better layering effect and a softer finish. You do not need to buy special scissors, just make sure that your scissors are sharp.

  6. Cutting your own hair is very brave but looks like you do a fine job! It is so nice to start filling up our plates with home grown. We are having lots of runner beans and rhubarb at the moment. The tomatoes are not ripe yet but they are getting there.
    I bought £4 worth of cherries for 50p in Tesco the other day and, using my apple cake recipe, I made a cherry cake. It was delicious!

  7. Oh Ye gods no !. Person renting your spare room is NOT a tennant!. Is a lodger!. Tennants have rights, lodgers have none apart from what you agree!.. Tennants get rent books, can squat and not be put out of a house in England. Never ever put a lock on a lodgers bedroom, can be regarded as tenancy!.

    • No panic! She is a lodger and has a lodger agreement to sign. I found a lot of information on gov.uk before I took my first lodger which was helpful. I will also do an inventory, which they advise

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