What’s in your pocket? blogger challenge.

So what would you do if you found £20 you didn’t know you had?
Pulling out a coat from the back of the wardrobe you haven’t worn for months and there in the pocket a wrinkled £20 note. You feel the ripple of delight leading to a lovely big smile on your face. Yippee!
Well that is exactly the feeling I got when MoneySupermarket.com kindly invited me to take part in their What’s in your pocket? blogger challenge. The idea behind this challenge is that MoneySupermarket.com want people to celebrate life’s ‘little wins’ such as saving £200 on your car insurance. 
Now, for someone who is watching every penny, £20 is a lot of money to find unexpectedly and I was so thrilled to have this opportunity. But in the spirit of the challenge of letting this ‘little win’ create a feel-good feeling I made the decision not to use it to pay bills, not really a big joy bringer that one? We could have got a take-away but you know what they say “a moment on the lips…” and this ‘little win’ deserved more than a moment to shine. So to enjoy this ‘little win’ for longer, rather than spending the money, I invested in items that would give enjoyment for months & years to come. And to top that, there was more than one item. For £20! I hear you say, really is that possible? Yes it is!
So what did I invest in?
Well I decided to share that feel-good feeling so the first item was something for my daughter. She has been attending a Karate class since November last year and I still hadn’t managed to buy her the uniform, you know the white karate pyjamas! So that was £15 well spent right there. The smile on her face when she first tried them on was priceless (see photo evidence).

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The second item was for me but something that I could use to share the joy even further. Last year I was one of the many throughout the UK bitten by the baking bug and am really enjoying making lovely treats to share with friends and family. So it had to be a cook book ‘A Passion for Baking’ by the lovely Jo Wheatley, that I managed to pick up from Sainsbury on sale at the rock bottom price of £4. (see photo evidence).
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So that left me with a pound! Now at this point I could have just called it a day there and said a job well done but that last pound deserved a better end than to sit in my purse and wait to be used as a shopping trolley token so…I turned to my new cook book for a recipe and then the store cupboard to see what ingredients where there and that last pound bought some caster sugar that was needed for Jo Wheatley’s Victoria Sandwich, which I then delivered to a friend. (see photo evidence).
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So there you have it, a lady well and truly thrilled with her unexpected ‘little win’ and I believe I can say without a shadow of a doubt the feel-good feeling has well and truly been shared. And the best thing of all is that these investments will be with us for a long time to come so value for money too! What more could a Frugal Happy Life ask for!
Thank you MoneySupermarket.com for making this possible. 
 
If you want to see how other people reacted when they were given £20 they didn’t know they had, check out the link below.

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Need a haircut?

Need your haircut but have no money then check with your local hairdressers there’s a chance they have a junior that needs some practise. Don’t worry they will be supervised by a more senior hairdresser so all will be OK.
 
They need to practise different skills at different times so tell them what you’re after i.e. long cut, style change or even a colour.
 
I’ve got my appointment booked for March 7th so I’ll let you know how it goes.
 
 

The little things will make a big difference…I hope!

I find it is very easy to forget the little things that I am doing on a day to day basis that are following my new frugal life ethos.  More importantly things that I wouldn’t have done, and didn’t do, before I started my frugal journey.  So in an effort to appreciate the little things and focus my mind – I’ve made a list!  Hopefully the little things will start to make a big difference.

– Using an old cotton vest of my daughter’s as a dish cloth
 
– Pack snacks and drinks for 8 hour car journey rather than stopping at Roadside Services. Unfortunately we discovered our thermos leaks. Oops!
 
– For a quick supper – homemade pizza, rather than using the pre-made pizza bases I use toasted tortilla wraps that we have in for my daughter’s lunch box.  I know I could make proper pizza bases myself but I’m not there yet and the tortilla wraps are so quick and easy.  As the attached photo demonstrates they make a great light pizza. This one has chicken, tomato, pepper and cheese. A thin spread of tomato purée on the base then pile up the bits, my 5 year old daughter loves doing this step herself and then melt under the grill.
 
– Any stale bread gets made into breadcrumbs and then used to make chicken schnitzel and chicken nuggets. On the look out for other recipes all the time.
 
– Used bicarbonate of soda to clean burnt on grime off oven grill trays instead of the really smelly oven cleaner.
 
– Turned the heat down in the house and kept my jumper and wooly boots on instead.
 
– Gratefully accept hand-me-down clothes for my daughter from friends and family.
 
 
 
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Mending and making good.

I’ve always had the best intentions with regards to using clothing till it’s death and would never throw clothing out simply because it had lost a button or needed mending but inevitably I would put things aside to mend another day. But last weekend I went all about the house finding all the bits that need mending and filled a basket with them. So now, when I have some spare time, I can go to the basket and get to work fixing them. My first fix will have to be the lovely freebie cotton bag I have been using to take my bits to my Zumba class. Apparently 5kgs of weights and a lovely cotton bag don’t mix well. Oops!
Bag needs mending

Old fashion card games with my 5 year old.

Whilst giving my 5 year old’s toys a sort out, selling on those she has grown out of, I came across a set of cards (sea creature theme – not essential information to the point of the post).  Later in the day we sat down and had a great time playing Go Fish, Snap and Pairs.  Great fun while my 5yo wiped the floor with me at pairs!! A reminder that kids are the best at appreciating the simple things in life! 

A bargain isn’t a saving if you don’t need it.

An experienced frugal lifer, Frugal Queen (http://frugalincornwall.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1), has reminded me that you aren’t saving by buying bargains if you don’t really need what you’re buying.  I was gushing about the joy of finding bargains in charity shops but a blog post by the Frugal Queen made me think more about what I was buying.  As part of my frugal living I am doing my best to clear my clutter and “buying bargains” isn’t going to help that side of things is it!!  So I’m still browsing the charity shops but I’m only buying when I really need it.