For the last week or so I have been mostly in survival mode – hence things have been a little quiet over here. My energies have been focused on purely doing what I need to make it through each day, and keeping our home in a clean and liveable state whilst making life normal for my kids! It’s a hard time of year for us and this one has been especially tough for one reason or another, and usually my instinct is to want to hibernate. I have a little, but I have also made the effort to be more sociable with new friends, and make an appearance on the toddler scene here in the village. As a result I have met some wonderful women who have embraced me and made me feel very welcome, and each one has accepted me in my loss without judgement  – it has been a real blessing.

 With each anniversary that passes, I find that I am learning ways to get through it and protect myself and my grief, and only focusing on the day to day essentials. Taking a break from stuff, walking during the day, and watching more TV on a night have certainly been the right decision for me this time round.

With staying more local I haven’t really had a lot of time to scrat around the charity shops and hunt for things, but I did have a lovely shopping trip with my sister yesterday and got some great deals to show you, as well as managing to finally get a pair of kitchen stools for our breakfast bar. There are sales galore starting and deals already on the shelves in preparation for Christmas (WHAAATTTT???!!!) so keep your eyes peeled, but for me in my little corner of the world, here are the frugal things we found this week.

Kitchen stools from Gum tree

When we looked round our house I loved that it had space in the conservatory for a dining table, but also a big enough kitchen to eat at one of the counter tops. I imagined Ethan and Megan eating breakfast together and doing homework whilst I made dinner… it was a lovely space and yet we haven’t been able to use it in that way yet as the previous owners kept the stools.

Thursday however things changed, when I had another scout on gum tree (as I have been doing weekly) and found a lovely pair, originally from Ikea for just 25 quid!

I was so excited (as were the kids), and they already make a huge difference to our morning routine and containing mess to one area. I have enjoyed sitting on them too and they completely transform the kitchen into a more sociable space. Thank goodness again for gum tree and another great bargain.

3 Chocolate Oranges for £2

Oh man I totally went a little nuts inside when I saw this offer the other day with my mum in Tesco but restrained myself. My husband however did not and rocked up after swimming last night with 6! I mean who doesn’t love a good chocolate orange? they are so tasty and a real treat, but 6??? really??? I’ve hidden them in my present box and will monitor their consumption!

So yes – right now (hoping it’s still on) you can buy one and get 2 free at Tesco. They are on at £2 each which is more that they are usually in places like home bargains and even the pound shops, but when you’re getting 3 of them for £2 its a really great deal (just 66.6p each to be exact!). So get down to Tesco quick and stock up for Christmas….if they’ll last that long!

Free Veggies

This week the schools clubs began and Ethan and Megs were both accepted into “Gardening club”! I will probably talk about it more on the blog because I think it’s brilliant, but basically it’s one of many free after school clubs their new school runs, and they were both super enthusiastic to join it and do something they have loved helping their grandma with over the Summer. I think it will be a fantastic experience for them to learn more about plants, nature, growth, harvesting, food, pruning, hard work, and so many other things along the way too.

This week in their little club they were in the school gardens doing harvesting! Each child brought home a bag of goodies for their hard work and I was so excited for some free onions, corn on the cob, cabbage and potatoes – several things for soups and stews for FREEEEE! You can’t really get more frugal than that now can you?? A free club reaping free veggie goodies for the fam – Brilliant!!!

Clearance stores at Princes Quay (Hull)

Hull shopping scene has changed A LOT since being a teenager and is a lot different to the whole host of places I enjoyed in Leeds too. But what it does have that I thoroughly enjoy is a new outlet floor in the Princes Quay shopping centre. Yesterday I went with my sister and bought a £34 jumper in Next clearance for £6 and a £56 Checked shirt in Jack Wills clearance for just £9!!!

The jumper is thick and has cool puff sleeves so will be great for the cooler months ahead, and the shirt is just plain cool. I have never had a rich blue like this one and I love the frill collar too – I am totally wearing it next week for Britmums!!

Okay so way more deals and frugally things than I initially thought, so if you’ve made it this far you deserve a chocolate orange… or 3… for £2!

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After a busy and tiresome trip to Norwich last weekend to see out newest nephew, we welcomed a chilled week staying close to home and lazy mornings! Despite that I have still managed to bag myself a few bargs, and this weeks deals and frugal choices have mostly been with thoughts of our summer holiday and getting prepared…if you are jetting off soon with the fam, you may find it useful!

Holiday Extras

We fly to Italy on Wednesday where the baraginous Summer holiday we have been so very much looking forward to will become a reality! All of us have holiday clothes, or at least a summer wardrobe that is sufficient for the Italian weather….Alice however does not!

Being only a baby last year her newborn summer style is long gone and her 12m one is lacking and all a bit random! She has a few dresses, shorts, tops and leggings, but not really enough of things that would be suitable and comfortable for her in 34 degree weather!

Its a real random mix of handmedowns and the odd thing iv’e picked up in sales and charity shops that need a few extras to boost it and make it enough!

With this as my priority I popped into H&M yesterday (it really is my fave for kids) and managed to get her a hat, 2 rompers (one of which was a gorgeous lace number), a pair of shorts and a dress for 11.99!! They were all (minus the hat for £2.99) on sale and then with the added bonus that all sale in store is on 3 for 2!  I easily saved about £15 and she has some lovely extras to make up outfits, and make it up to enough outfits, for our holiday next week!

Hand Luggage and toiletries

Our latest thing when flying is we NEVER check any luggage. To us we think its a waste of money when you can fit all you need in hand luggage cases, so we easily save some £’s by doing this!

We realised a couple of years ago that we can make do with the hand luggage only and so we mix and match our outfits, or only take what we need instead of like 10 extra’s, and it works great! If someone has more stuff than another we squish into someone elses case, but between 4 little cases there is plenty of space for the whole fam for a week!

The only down side to travelling this way however is our toiletries and sun cream – of course you can only take 100ml on flights and I find that the travel size ones are both too small and expensive with all of us using them for a week (we’d need quite a few)! Instead I buy the cheap clear bottles from the pound shop and fill them with our sun cream, and then just buy our shower gel, shampoo and conditioner from Lidl when I buy the food on day 1. It only costs about 3 euros and saves faffing and big spending on the travel size ones!

M&S Final Clearance

I know I am getting old purely by the fact I am loving a lot of things each season from M&S! What I didn’t realise though was that their final clearance in store is reduced to a whopping 90% off!!!! I’m talking £45 dresses for £4.99, £40 trousers for £3.99 and shoes for £4.99!!

I went into the Beverly store yesterday with my sister in laws and we were all going a little nuts about it so I decided to check out the Bridlington one today – I came away with a Zebra print skirt for £3.99 from £35 and a wicked shirt dress for £3.99 from £39.50!!! I was actually going nuts in the shop and was delighted. My only sadness came when I saw an amazing striped top down to £1.29 and they only had a size 16 or 20 🙁 

Be sure to check out those final clearances whilst you are out and about this weekend – let me know what you get!

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What a crazy 7 days we’ve had over here! Whilst Nathan and I are still living with various boxes piled around our room and our bed not yet put up (not to mention the several other corners of the house filled with stuff to be sorted), we are (at last) in our new house and it feels so lovely.  Last weekend was nuts! But with lots of hard work and resilience, its feeling a lot like a home and we are certainly at home here in our new village surrounded by beautiful scenery and people.

All of my bargains this week are home stuff (of course), and were all found on Gumtree. They have completely lifted the lounge and I couldn’t be more pleased with each of them and their price tags!

Sofa’s x2

My plan for the new lounge was to have 2 different coloured sofas that were equally colourful and yet very different too. I am a lover of colour and patterns in my life and decor, and felt that in this house, especially in places like the lounge, I wanted this to come out more so in the furnishings with plainer walls (though I might still crack out a wild wallpaper in the lounge!), so I have specifically spent the last couple of weeks looking for my sofa’s that would fit the bill.
My favourite style of sofa is definitely “Chesterfield” – I love the vintage, grand and stylish look and just find them so cool. With limited budget I never expected to even have a secondhand one for a few more years, however much to my delight I found a gorgeous pistachio green one in mint condition for just £180!! Every time I see it I feel soooo happy!! It seats at least 3 and just looks perfection.

In contrast to it is a lovely purple number (again in mint condish) that I found for only £70 – it has the bonus feature of being a sofa bed too which I feel like is a double bargain! My colours for the lounge are going to be based around an awesome parrot cushion I found recently in Next Home. I want it mainly pinks and greens, and so these sofa’s most definitely fit into it rather perfectly.

TV Stand

In our old house we had 2 of the white Ikea 4 square units in the lounge, and the Tv lived on top. It was a lovely fit, but I had already decided that they would move into the girls room for extra storage, leaving me with needing a new TV stand for the lounge.I sourced a lovely white Ikea one (6 months old) on Gumtree last Friday for £25! Absolute bargain and fits in well with my plans. I picked it up on Tuesday evening and it is a great fit in our home.

Tomorrow we are picking up a table & chairs (again Gumtree – haha) and have our bed to make up and a few more walls to paint. I am so happy to be in our new home and life is feeling lovely!

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Trains are officially my mode of transport now it would seem, and as a result I think most people assume I can’t drive here. For someone who has driven since 17 and hot on cars, it’s been so weird to be asked on several occasions this week if I have a licence or thought about getting one, because “It would save a lot on train fairs”! It’s quite funny really but does make me miss having the car on a regular basis. I am looking forward to having daily life in the village and only needing the train for a day out, which won’t be long now. We are on the final count down with the last leg of the move, and this time next week we will have exchanged and completed and preparing to move into our village pad!

This week has been bursting at the seams with deals and bargains; not only have we have had a date out (bonus), but we have booked our summer holiday, and Alice and I have found some freebie things for the Summer Hols in a couple of weeks.

Sand Pit at Princes Quay

Its been ages since I went to Hull and walked around the City, and doing so yesterday brought back many memories of my teen years shopping there with friends! Alice and I caught the train a little further after the school run and met up with one of my very good friends here (who is also Nath’s cousin) and her kids, and spent the day playing in Hull.

We went to Princes Quay which now has an outlet floor (bargains) and seems very much geared towards entertainment. It was a lot quieter in the city than I remember, but it meant it added to a feeling of being more relaxing.

We sat for a good while chatting next to this cute sand pit they have there on the 2nd floor whist both her eldest and Alice had a fab time digging and playing in the sand. After lunch we headed outside, where across the road they have some lovely new fountains where the kids flock to and play in for ages too. It was gorgeous and all very chilled.

I’ve never thought much of Hull but being there reminded me of some great things the kids would love which are all Free, and I know that come the Summer Holidays Ethan & Megan will be super excited to go check out the fountains!

Summer Holiday

If you missed my most recent post, it was all about our Bargainous Summer Holiday in August! In a nut shell its 7 nights, mid August, family of 5 to Pisa/Tuscany for £630 (total NOT each).  You can read how I did it here.

Pizza Express Voucher

Last Saturday and all rather last minute, Nathan and I decided to go out for dinner whilst the kids were asleep. My sister in law was kind enough to listen out for them, and we found ourselves enjoying a gorgeous meal at Pizza Express. I don’t know about you, but I feel like Pizza Express has gotten rather pricey these days? (They have also stopped making my fave pasta dish and the Bosco salad – gutted!).

I, in true thrifty style, found a voucher for us to have a 3 course meal for £12.95 each! It was delicious and a lot easier on the ol purse strings!

Check out Voucher Codes to see if they have anything you can use this weekend, that’s where I found this one!

Little Bargs in the Charity Shop

I haven’t particularly been looking for much in the charity shops this week as I have been pretty busy. Here and there though I have called in to the odd one just for a quick nosy.

On Saturday I bought an amazing African looking dress for a fiver, a cushion for the new house for £2, and the ultimate bargain on Monday in Brid – some brand new sandals for Ethan for £1.49!

Pack up for Swimming

Finally last Friday we went swimming after school. I learnt from last time that they come out of swimming absolutely ravenous and so to save stress, tears and money, I made them a pack up and they sat in the boot of the car after swimming and enjoyed it. Ham sandwiches, crisps and fruit – it went down a treat!

We have discovered a negative to living in the country during summer time, in the form of  “Harvest bugs”! In our hair, all over our clothes, on our arms and in our stuff. They are everywhere! As soon as we step off the train into the village we are greeted with mini beetle type black bugs and thin minute wiggly sorts and they’re blumming annoying!

Today is our school’s Summer fair, which we are a little too excited for I think, and then we shall be on the countdown to moving day… Those bugs better do one by then! The long standing residents of the village assure me we will get used to them (in about 4 years!), but they are most certainly a negative to the dream of country living…

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