The Money Saving List

1. Try cleaning with Bicarbonate of Soda, lemons and good old vinegar. They’re all free of unnecessary chemicals and are items you’re likely to already have in your house.

2. If you shop somewhere regularly and they offer a loyalty/rewards card then it’s worth getting it. You usually incur points for every pound you spend and you’ll get money off vouchers and loyalty offers.

3. Join your local library. Who can say no to free books, CDs and DVDs? A lot of libraries are struggling to stay open so you’ll be doing yourself and your community a favour by using one.

4. Buy secondhand. You really can get good quality clothing and homeware through charity shops and Ebay. If you’re worried about buying second hand clothing make sure you check the quality carefully. Check the seams and for any stains that may not come out. 

5. If you do have a carrier bag stash then make sure you reuse them. take them with you when you go shopping. Many shops charge you for carrier bags now.

6. Bulk up meals with rice, lentils and pasta. These are cheap staple items that go along way.

7. If you have a garden or patio try collecting rain water to use to water your plants with. And try growing your own herbs and salad leaves!

8. If you’re a proud mum to a wee one try using cloth nappies instead of disposable ones.

9. Join Freecycle. It’s a great way to get furniture, white goods and stuff for children for free.

10. Check out sites such as Groupon for 2 for 1 deals at your favourite local restaurants.

I hope that some of these are helpful to you… I’ll do another ten at some point so keep your eyes open!

Hugs, Caz x

Frugal Beauty

Do you, like me, have a large collection of beauty products? I spend approximately £80 every month on toiletries. According to Google in the UK most women spend between £50-100 each month. I have to confess that I almost have a heart attack when I’m doing my shopping in Boots & the cashier cheerfully says “That’ll be £83.72 then please.” I finally got a Boots Advantage card a few months back which has come in handy upon occasion. Need some Iburofen but you’re completely broke? Use the points on your Advantage card, yay! Also they send you out vouchers which are obviously useful. However I feel that I really need to bring that average monthly spend back down.

I’m a sucker for a deal as much as the next person (read: woman) so sometimes I end up buying more than I intended. Buy one Body Wash & get the second half price? Awesome! Except.. why am I buying Body Wash in the first place? What’s wrong with good old fashioned soap? It costs less, lasts longer & is naturally    antibactericidal to boot. Basically soap just isn’t fashionable! Body wash, bubble bath, shower gel, make-up remover, cleansers & toners are. The honest truth is that these overpriced & over packaged products just aren’t all necessary. 

I know that some women choose to spend their money on beauty products as their luxury. I’ve had my moments of coveting beautifully packaged and smelling products but I can’t afford them. For me money is tight and I’ve set myself on a path to living a more sustainable lifestyle so spending money on toiletries is something that I need to think about.

Going back to basics doesn’t have to mean completely missing out on luxury though.The variety of beautiful handmade soaps you can get these days is astounding. I’ll wait until my three (yep, three!) bottles of shower gels & creams run out and then I’ll replace them with soap. I’m already out of bubble bath so I’m now using sea salt and essential oils such as lavender or lemongrass. Yes these can be expensive but as you only need to add a couple of drops to running water they last for ages.

I have a few other tricks up my sleeve for my product declutter including using body oil as moisturiser (it lasts forever and leaves your skin silky and soft) and make-up remover and a flannel instead of disposable wipes. 

How about you? Are you a Luxury Beauty Junkie, a Green Bathing Queen or somewhere in between like me?

Wedding Wednesday…

(All images from Favim)
No matter what type of wedding you’re planning… large or small, traditional or not, at home or abroad, you’ve still got to pay for it! I remember reading that the average wedding in the UK costs around £15k although it could be more than that now. This post over on Offbeat Bride made me laugh but it’s a pretty good money-saving idea!

Money, money, money.

Or lack thereof. I have just taken a rather large wage drop & am already feeling the effects & it’ll probably get worse from September when I start college as I’ll probably have to cut back on my hours. However I am not disheartened by this as it means I can cut back on the mindless I-want-consumerism that I have allowed to slip back into my life since here

So… that means staff food at work (it’s free & ok as long as the veggies aren’t green beans… ick!), buying a monthly bus pass next pay day (a saving of at least £40), remembering to use my (newly obtained!) Boots Advantage card to get millions of points, not buying a magazine just for the sake of it when the one I want isn’t there… & maybe subscribing to the one I do want as it works out cheaper in the long run & cuts back on temptation!

I haven’t had a haircut in seven months & I trim my own fringe (fear not I am a connesieur!) as well as dying my own hair (£6 vs £40) & i’ve decided not to go to the hairdressers until December just in time for my birthday 🙂 I am quite intrigued by the idea of washing my hair au natural a la And Then There Were Four but I don’t think I’m brave enough!

I’m planning an Ebay sale for some of the stuff stashed in my room, including two gorgeous dresses (both approx £100 new but now too big) so I’ll give you a heads up when I open up shop! A friend of mine told me about musicmagpie so I’m going to gather up all my old CD’s & DVD’s & send them off. I’ve also banned myself from buying any nice new shiny things (read ‘materials’) for my jewellery making until I’ve used the massive stash I’ve already got sitting at home!

I’m feeling quite inspired by Buying Nothing New For A Year although I’d have to really think about what my parameters would be having tried to do a similar thing with clothing here. Anybody out there got any money saving/money making tips they want to share?

Have a peep here for money saving ideas x

(All pictures from Favim