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By the time you read this, we should have a pretty good idea which party has won the UK general election. It has kept me busy this week and given me the opportunity for making extra money. I have been counting postal votes for the local council.
I have been a polling clerk before, but never been involved in the count. It is very interesting to see the democratic process in action and how meticulous and fair it is. I was hoping for three full days work but it ended up only being three mornings, so I put my hand up to do a bit more yesterday evening. It will be a handy extra bit of money in the run up to Christmas.
I wasn’t sure what food and drink would be available on site and didn’t want to spend lots of money in MacDonald’s or the nearby café. As you would expect from frugal and thrifty person, I decided to take my own!
I took water, a flask and a packed lunch each day, then last night a load of snacks in case I got the midnight munchies. The hall was a bit cool even in the daytime, so I wore lots of layers last night.
We tend to take our own food and drink to everything whenever possible. Not only does it save money, it saves the hassle of queuing up for food and drink and means less plastic packaging.
Christmas wrapped up
I have mentioned on a number of occasions that I am joining in with Zoe from Ecothrifty’s #cutthewrap campaign. This means I am trying to avoid using any single use Christmas wrapping paper.
I have been collecting colour fabric scraps and old scarves and it’s remarkably easy to tie them. This saves on sticky tape too.
Yesterday, I found this lovely, old-fashioned Christmas table cloth. Someone on my Instagram account (come follow me!) said it reminded her of the ones her Austrian mum used to have. I had thought of cutting it up to make wrappings, but everyone agreed it is too nice to destroy. It will be going on the table!
We need to get the decorations out and up this week. I don’t feel at all Christmassy yet. Maybe I will once they are up, and perhaps then I will find the motivation to wrap the rest of the presents!
Still trying to make a bit of extra money for Christmas, I have been busy listing on eBay. I have focused on anything I have in the way of clothing that has a bit of sparkle or could be worn for a party, winter coats, boots and things that might be given as presents.
In fact, sales have slowed down a bit this month. November was very busy. Maybe everyone spent all their money on Black Friday (which definitely went on for at least a week, if not two)?
Anyway, eBay is ticking along nicely, adding to my income.
It has felt very wintry here this week. I don’t want to run the heating all day long now that I am working from home, although sometimes I need to.
My office is the coldest room in the house, so I have moved my laptop into the sitting room, where we have our wood burner. If I am home alone, as is often the case, I will pile on the layers first, including a granny shawl and cosy slippers.
If I am still cold, I will light the fire and cosy up with the cats. Lots of hot drinks help as well. When my lodger is home I will give the house blasts for an hour every now and again rather than having it on constantly.
I don’t want to get a mega shock in the spring when the heating bills suddenly go through the roof!
Drying laundry in winter
For some reason we seem to have a lot of washing this week! I am managing to stay on top of it because I have a few bits of kit to help with the drying.
I haven’t had a tumble dryer for years. They are expensive to buy, cost a lot to run and use a lot of energy too.
However, when the weather is wet and wintry, the only option without one is to dry laundry is on racks indoors. We have three, one of which is heated.
I got our heated one from Aldi a few years ago. However, if I was to buy another, I would get a bigger one with a cover, maybe something like this Dry:Soon one from Amazon*. I have read that they dry things more evenly and quickly, plus this one costs just 6p an hour to run. They are a bit of an investment at £160 though, so not for everyone.
My preference is our dehumidifier, which we didn’t buy to dry the washing, but it does an amazing job at doing so! It is a Meaco one and actually has a laundry mode. It is even cheaper to run – less than 3p an hour, in fact.
We bought it because we had a problem with condensation in the house. It has lasted about 6 years so far and is still going strong. The condensation problem is pretty much sorted, so now it is just used to deal with wet laundry.
The model we have isn’t available now, but there is a similar, sleeker looking MeacoDry one* on Amazon with a laundry mode for £140.
If you fight with wet laundry in the winter, these are definitely options worth considering.
How are you getting on with your Christmas preparations this week, and have you bust the budget yet? If you are trying to have a leaner Christmas, check out my ideas for Christmas gifts that actually save the recipient money here.
If you are looking for ways of making extra money, check out my side hustle section.
I am going to do my usual no spend January in 2020, so if you are feeling the pinch watch out for some posts on this subject at some point. Have a great weekend!