I realised yesterday that the kids only had like 3 days and weekend left of the hols, and so I kicked my butt into gear and we had a mega fort building sess on the beach! The weather wasn’t the best we’ve had, but the fun, fresh sea air and calmness of the sea were totally worth it! I will certainly miss these train to beach adventures once Autumn and school kicks in!

This week hasn’t been an easy one for me, which I will try to explain soon, but it meant that we have spent a couple of days hibernating and feeling really naff about life. We’ve watched far too many movies and I don’t think I even got dressed one day, so apologies that my bargs haven’t been that fruitful this week (sorry)!

I guess not going out is frugal, right? (we didn’t spend a penny)! But joking aside, it made my day when I found a great jumper in the charity shop yesterday and we got free subs for lunch – here’s how.


My kids are obsessed with Subway! We love it, and have had it easily on a weekly basis over the holidays! I love it because they pack it full of all of the salad options (their fave been black olives!), and when offered any other “fast food” option, Subway wins hands down (score)!

As a result of this addiction, we have quickly racked up the points on my sub card, and so yesterday we cashed them in and had free subway all round. I always go for the steak & cheese when its a free one, why? yup, because its the most pricey normally!!!!

If you visit Subway frequently it is definitely worth having a card, as it’s surprising how quickly a few £3 lunch deals add up to give you freebies!

TopShop Jumper

I was thinking with the change in cooler weather that it might be nice to get a new jumper or 2 this year to update my Autumn/Winter look! I walked into a charity shop for a browse yesterday, and saw a lovely oversized khaki green number from TopShop – it was sooo nice!

I asked the old lady the price as it had no tag, and she said out of nowhere “£3???” – I saw that all the others said £5, and so snapped it up at the apparent reduced price! I look forward to throwing it on with scarves and over a denim shirt!

Good luck with the last weekend of the summer hols, and getting everything ready for the new term – where has the time gone? I hope you grab a few back to school bargs!


After a lovely trip up to Harrogate on Tuesday with Alice, to speak at a bereavement care training, yesterday left me feeling rather deflated. I realise that as much I love to raise awareness and talk about my baby girl, the emotions it resurfaces are always hard to take on. It isn’t so much as to stop me doing it, I never could I don’t think, but it is something to be aware of…it really takes it out of you.

This week has been very simple and so I have been grateful for the lovely sunshine and evenings hanging at the park with the kids and their school friends.

Harrogate bargs

There is certainly something rather exciting about visiting charity shops in a posh place! I don’t know about you but I always feel (on the whole) that the quality of donations is somehow a little better and it’s a little more exciting. I know the past I have even arranged with friends to do the charity shops in a more upmarket location haha!

In this situation I was there anyway and was done with my duties by 11.30, so figured after a heavy morning I not only deserved a treat (sushi from boots) but a little bit of retail therapy too. I was not disappointed either. I picked up the Lion King and Bambi for £1.50 each, and Ethan an Autumn/Winter coat for this year (aged 7) which was originally from Next and was just £3.50. It’s in excellent condition, thick and cosy, and the ultimate bargain to put away.

Charity Shop Haul

From Harrogate to our local town, I had a another sneaky visit to the charity shops yesterday.  When I’ve little to do and few people to see I often find myself just popping around town and checking things out.

Yesterday I wasn’t on the hunt for anything, it was more just being nosy, passing time and getting Alice to sleep. But it usually in these situations that you find a few Gems. I was pleased to get myself a cool denim dungarees dress for 2.99 and a fab mustard sweatshirt again for only 2.99. Both bargains, my style and just lovely.

Next I got Ethan a couple of pairs of shorts for 1.50 and 1.99, He goes through clothes like no other and as always has had a big growth spurt since last summer. On the way out I spotted for Megs a lovely Russian doll print dress for 1.99 and so snapped that one up too!

Finally I found Ethan a funky red and white striped duvet set in immaculate condition for £3.99. He LOVES the colour red and has high hopes for a red bedroom in the new house. I am not one to buy second hand bedding usually but this one was so good and so him, I couldn’t not at that price.

Spring Onions

This week I saved money on spring onions for our salads by re-sprouting them. It is a really simple way to save some money as the bits with roots that we chopped off were placed in a cup of water and a week later we had new spring onions. FOR FREE!!! I love them at this time of year.

Ice creams at the park

The only down side to sunny days and after school park hangouts is that the kids whine like no other for an ice cream – Every.Single.Time.  The ice cream van sits there tempting them, and annoying me, and so to avoid spending at least a fiver on tacky Ice Creams, I took them an Ice cream out of the freezer from home to cut back on the pounds. They scoffed it coming out of school and loved it… Tasty and cheap, and eliminated the whines!

I believe as is true with England, the weather is set to rain this weekend, which is a bit of a let down with the lovely sunshine! Have a great weekend and enjoy it – whatever the weather chooses to do!


Well what a lovely week we have enjoyed with World Book Day yesterday, Pancake Day Tuesday, and Alice’s first proper hang out at the soft play (steady on)! Its certainly been another busy one but filled with lovely moments, accomplishments, and Kids bossing it this morning in assembly with awards and mega house points! Big time proud mama and exhausted with our antics.

At the start of this week, I was unbelievably excited to turn the calendar to March, the reason being for the sheer fact I felt it acceptable to rotate my wardrobe to a more spring feel and put away my dark Wintry look. But after the crazy showers of today, I am very much second guessing that choice.

I feel like I fell into a bit of a rut over Winter and it just generally feels like it has gone on for so long. I am craving colour and more patterns in my life, no more thermal socks and a new pair of shades! I hate how safe I play it in my style and Winter makes it easy to wear anything under a fat coat! I guess if anything its turned out to be a good lesson for this years Winter – maybe spice it up with a few more colourful knits or layers, but for now I welcome in my long forgotten Spring wardrobe and hope to build up a fresher look too over coming weeks.

This leads nicely into my main frugal thing of the week – Purging my clothes! I tend to hang onto things “just in case” but with our impending move it was refreshing to be strict and have a really good clear out.

Purging my wardrobe

Last week I went to a great bloggers meet up with local bloggers where we had the opportunity to listen to Sara from Me and Orla.  I had little expectations, just rocked up to be sociable and with an open mind to see what discoveries I would make to aid my blogging life, and in fact came away completely inspired. One of the main things I took was summing up my style in 3 words, and since I spent a good few days analysing this, I was excited to completely rid my wardrobe of anything that didn’t fit into at least one of those words.

Rotation from Winter to Spring seemed the perfect opportunity and so I spent most of Wednesday afternoon wading through my entire wardrobe deciding if it was a keeper or purge! In all honestly I have been left with a rather sparse everyday wardrobe for this season…a load of skirts I failed to see, and a lot more confidence in the direction I am headed.

I realised in all of this that money can be saved in only buying things I truly love and feel are me, instead of being tempted because its cheap or on sale. Why buy 3 tops for £4 in the charity shop that are okay for a few months, when I can invest in one nicer top new elsewhere that id wear way more? Or maybe it is charity still but I just need to be more selective, really love it and have it fit into my “me words”! And then I actually need to be bothered to style my look better… I hate feeling drab but being a stay at home mum with a snotty baby sometimes is the only excuse I need to not be bothered.

We often think frugal and thrifty are not spending money, but I think  its finally clicked that sometimes it’s more about how we spend the money. As a result I am starting a new goal to be way more selective!

Cute Baby Extras

In one breath I am saying goodbye to half of my wardrobe to the charity shop or a clothes swap (fingers crossed I get some me things!), and in the next I welcoming in more to boost the babies! Well it was just 2 items this week and I love them both. I find this age (6-9 months) gets so easily stained and worn that I am always looking for extra little tops and stuff, and these were just £1.25 in our local British Heart Foundation. The cardi is from gap, the top from Next.

Its so hard when their age crosses seasons, and the lovely dresses she has had seem to not be working anymore. As long as there are charity shops its not an issue over here! £2.50 for 2 tops – Barg!

Well I wish you all a lovely weekend (of frugal choices), we are looking forward to having a free day out to the forest 🙂 will let you know how it goes next week!



As we are well and truly in to January now, and I am mostly organised with life again (I use the term “mostly” quite loosely here), I decided it was time to begin writing my weekly post about ways I’ve saved money this week; basically the tricks to cut costs, lived a little more frugally and the general bargs that grace my life! It’s been on my mind a lot towards the end of last year that I need a weekly round up of sorts just to collate things a little more from my personal faves in life and the things I love and make me happy. As I’m known amongst friends and family as a bargain hunter and cost cutter, why not make more of that and my loves on my blog?

I did start my thrifty wife posts last year, as well as introducing a “My life and loves” section, and they have been received well. I also love doing my 5 under £5 each month (which will remain), but I just feel my bargains and frugal posts have been rather sporadic and I need to consolidate them into one feature. I decided I wanted to make it more of a thing…more of a weekly thing that shows several elements to this love I have of bargain hunting and cutting the costs of living. Basically it will be a weekly round up of how this thrifty wife is making a Hearty life with frugal choices big and small…though Mr Smith would tell you spending nothing would certainly accomplish this, but lets face it, it would also make for a boring post, so cutting costs where I can and being frugal is my approach to a happy life.

 I was so delighted to see a few weeks ago that fellow bloggers Emma from Emma’s savvy savings, Cass from The Diary of a Frugal Family and Becky from Family Budgeting run a weekly link up all about what I have been pondering…it gives me a place to connect with like minded bloggers as well as sharing my weekly bargs and tips with you gorgeous lot, and I couldn’t be happier. So yeah, I’m hoping that frugal Friday will be a weekly “thing” here at the hearty life, and an opportunity for me to share my bargains, sales, vouchers, tried and tested ideas and recipes with you on a regular basis and all in one place. I hope you are as excited as me!!

1. Bought some heavily discounted toys in the wilkos 75% off sale to put away for Birthdays

If you are a regular reader then you will have already shared in my excitement earlier this week with this one. If not you can read it here – I basically bought 7 different toys to put away for my kids birthdays (including palace pets and a guitar) and spent under a tenner. I will be most grateful for this choice when the birthdays roll around!

 2. Swapped one item for 2 in the Zara sale

I think I have mentioned on a few occasions my love for ZARA and battle to find it at affordable (cheap) prices. It is quite easily my fave place to shop (or just browse) and Sale time there is just fabulous time to me. On this sale occasion Mr Smith had bought me a lovely grey jumper but when it arrived it just didn’t fit or look right, and so I took it back to exchange for something else – since the purchase everything had been reduced again and with such a great sale on I was able to get a posh looking hoody (if you know what I mean) and a chilled jumpsuit for the same price along with a £1.01 refund! Bargain.

I must say I am pretty excited about their presence in my wardrobe.

 3. 2 for £1 in the charity shop

 I am no stranger to the second hand shop scene, it is one of my favourite past times when I visit any town! There is one here in our town here though that occasionally puts kids clothes on 2 for £1 and I love it when they have stuff I need. We had a spare 10 minutes on Wednesday before street dance, and so had a little look for girls 6-9m for Alice and was delighted to get her a denim dress and cute collard vest for £1!

4. Made my own baby food

This goes with out saying that it’s both the cheaper option and better too. It was simply sweet potato, broccoli and carrots from our midweek roast with some water from the broccoli and whizzed up with the hand blender.  Quantities were all guess work but I got 5 pots out of it to keep us going for a few days. It was no extra cost to our weekly shop as the stuff was from dinner ingredients already purchased, as oppose to the 80p – £1 I could have easily spent per jar or pouch! I popped it in jars I have saved and mini pots and it seems to be going down well too.

5. Bought food in “Fultons”

Is this a Northern shop (was Jack Fultons)? I feel like it is, and that we are the kind of folk who enjoy a shop jam packed with heavily discounted almost out of date foods? Either way it’s a place I love to buy “branded goods”. I don’t shop there on a regular basis, more of a pop in and see type place, but I am rarely disappointed because they can be ridiculously cheap and always have the most random of things in there.

This week I got innocent smoothie (big family bottle) for 69p…it was on 2 for £1 but there was only one on the shelf which made me feel pretty annoyed as it was good till February, so quite easily could have stocked up on the good stuff! I also bought 2 Old El Paso stand and stuff taco kits for £1 (cheap weekly dinners) and some almond milk for 49p!