Once again this has not been a very thrifty week, and I’m beginning to dread writing up my thrift fails, as often the fails reflect badly on me personally. I’m not great with rules and am very poor at discipline. I am kind of wondering why I set this up for ten weeks at all!
There have been some good things, but I have been self-indulgent and indulged my children too. I have yet to make anything for the slow fashion project I am supposed to be supporting with Eco Thrifty Living. Although I have some sweet bits for the jewellery I am (still) planning to make.
I have found I can buy ham for carbonara, sandwiches and Quiche very cheaply from Iceland. Nice thick end-pieces. Not brilliantly sliced, but that’s why it’s cheap. £1.75 for 400g. It goes a long way.
I didn’t buy too much food for our camp, as I had a lot in the cupboard and freezer anyway. We all like the sausages from Aldi, so took some of those, and some frozen burgers too. We ate bacon and eggs for breakfast, and our eggs are from Macs farm as ever, so super-thrifty.
Less thrifty the gins and vodkas that I bought in cans, so they could be easily stored and kept their fizz. We also abandoned camp on night two, having paid for the night (we were too tired, and Kitty had a marshmallow-skewer injury too, so we came home early).
The 12.5 kilo bag of air-drying clay we took was a big hit, and at under a tenner its a very cheap way to entertain a big bunch of kids.
I managed to throw a reasonably thrifty party for B, who turned six on Tuesday. We had ten kids including our own, a blow-up pool to splash around in, some traditional party games, including an activity sheet/scavenger hunt thingy. I had to buy a new pool (watch out, this is a theme), as our old one was punctured. I also bought a Pinyata (the kids go to the Bilingual Primary School which is Spanish/English, and this is a South American tradition that has become an essential part of everyone’s party). Tesco’s do these for £8, but of course, I could have made it if I had a little more time.
We made ice cream sundaes, for which the ingredients are reasonably cheap anyway. Instead of sprinkles, I look out for mini marshmallows or tiny sweets like own brand mini gems (which are under 40p for a big bag in Tesco’)s. If you can be bothered, make your own grated chocolate, which is cheaper than chips. I didn’t. I used cheap soft scoop Neapolitan ice cream and offered strawberry and chocolate sauce. We also had squirty cream and strawberries and it was messy and fun.
I made a ‘pin the (star) tail on the burro’, and we had musical bumps and all that jazz. The kids are old enough that its drop-off for parties now, which honestly, I find easier. Theres half as many people to cater to.
In a MASSIVE FAIL, I took the kids to ‘Build a Bear Workshop’. It could have been worse. Originally, B wanted a BABW party and I had actually got as far as booking it in. B couldn’t come up with a finite list of invitees due to the limited numbers she was allowed, so we agreed that we would take just our two girls on her actual Birthday.
We banned beating hearts, noises or fragrances. The girls got a bear, an outfit and a pair of shoes each though (I was egged- on by Nana – though to be fair to her, she made a very generous contribution too). B & K loved it, and are thrilled with their bears, but I was pretty disgusted and upset with myself for ever allowing it to happen. We spent £67! I am hanging my head in shame. It makes me feel physically sick. Not just because I could feed my whole family on that for a week, but also because they are FLIPPING CUDDLY TOYS! I could buy two bears in Emmaus for 40p. There are children dying in the world through lack of clean water and food. I am properly ashamed.
In other crap-thrift news, I bought some new knickers from M&S. I cannot continue to fish my pants out of my bum at the bus stop. I have put on a lot of weight and needed knickers that fit. I also needed light, summer clothes and after a weekend of sweating at camp in unsuitable stuff that doesn’t fit, I drove Kitty and I to H&M yesterday and blew £70 on new, cheap, fast fashion.
Then in an orgy of self-indulgence, I spent £18 on a cut and blow dry today. My annual hair-do. I had close to half the length off my hair, and it was worth it. Actually, maybe this is a win. I’m really happy with the cut and that’s cheap!
However, in better news, we are negotiating an August let of our room/house through Airbnb, which will bring in £750 or so and our current student is working out well. We also have a couple of young-uns arriving in ten days, which will pay well. So money-in is good, even though money-out could be lots better.