This week the weather has been warm and sunny here in Essex, despite the forecast being for heavy rain. Actually, I hope we get some soon as the garden needs it. We have been making the most of the garden this week, with some home produce and a couple of investments to help us enjoy it.
Without further ado, here are this week’s five frugal things.
Growing our own herbs and flowers
The garden is looking lovely at the moment. Mr Shoestring has done most of it and has been working so hard. As well as the fruit I mentioned in last week’s post about Plastic Free July, our little herb area is doing well. We have rosemary, mint, thyme, parsley, chives and oregano. I love fresh herbs in pretty much any dish.
The sweet peas are ready and we have started picking them. They look and smell glorious! We did bring this little chap in with one bunch. Apparently, he is a Goldenrod Crab Spider. Funny looking creature. At one point in my life I would have run for the hills screaming. Now I do the garden I seem to have got over my fear of creepy crawlies.
We have also spotted some stag beetles, as we usually do. Always pleased to see them as they are quite rare in some areas, but Colchester is a stag beetle hot spot!
I went with my eldest daughter to meet my mum in Halstead and have a root round the charity shops in the week. My favourite one had its usual £1 rail at the front, but in addition all skirts were £2.50 that day. I bought loads of stuff, some for me and some to resell on eBay.
Another shop had everything for £3 so we got some nice things in there as well. I found two really lovely ethnic tops which are very cool and comfortable. Now that I work at home, I no longer need all the smart clothes I wore to the office. I have gradually been building up some more casual things. Never anything new, though. I love buying second hand, both for my bank balance and the environment.
A trip to London
I had a rare trip to London this week, partly to meet my daughter and her partner for lunch, and partly because I had an invitation to the Wilko Christmas Show. ‘Christmas?’, I hear you gasp. Don’t worry, even I’m not that well prepared. But the big retailers are, and they all hold events this month to showcase their Christmas stock.
I am a big fan of Wilko, especially their eco-friendly cleaning range, so I decided to go along. They had some extremely nicely designed rooms decorated for Christmas. I particularly liked their glass and wooden baubles (since I am aiming to get away from plastic as much as possible. It was also interesting to have a long chat with their garden quality manager. I think the quality and price of their gardening range is really good.
I booked my ticket well in advance to get a halfway decent price. It’s so expensive to travel by train! I also took my reusable coffee cup and water bottle. Most coffee outlets give you money off if you have your own cup so I got 25p off my cup of tea on the train. Every little helps!
Slimming World on a Budget
I let my Slimming World regime go over lunch in London and had a wrap with loads of garlic mayo on it. You have to relax a little sometimes. Generally, though, I have been sticking to plan and find that it is very easy to do Slimming World on a budget. I lost another 2lb last week so am edging towards my 1 stone target.
Every year we say we must find some decent garden furniture in the sales and every year we leave it too late! As we have family coming over at the weekend we thought it was a good time to actually do it.
We have a lovely old bench that Mr S renovated, which is still going strong. However, the wooden table and chairs we picked up from a charity shop a few years ago is quite literally on its last legs. I had a good look around online and in the end decided on a set with a glass topped table, four chairs and a parasol from Homebase. The chairs are really comfortable and seem pretty sturdy too.
We also found a little bench in the sale at Homebase. Quite pleased with them all and we saved around £90 overall on the original prices.
We are so lucky to have some outside space and the weather has been perfect for making the most of the garden. What have you been up to this week, and have you had any frugal wins?