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My quest to be thrifty seems to be continuously thwarted by my non thrifty dreams.

Plus my eternal love of holidays.

But I do try to be thrifty on holiday, does that count?

We have just finished a very sensible, thrift led week in Cornwall, where dinner was eaten by sundown fresh from the BBQ and days out included many soggy sandwiches on the beach.

But I have just booked an extravagant stay!  My daughters have both been through the mill this year.  My eldest was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Halloween 2013, and my youngest is currently undergoing tests and MRI’s to ascertain the reason why she suffers from hypoglycemia.

As a family we need a break from the white walls of hospital and EuroDisney seems to be an ideal destination.

Ok – it is not thrifty – but I think the girls (plus my son) deserve a massive treat.

But I am going to do my best to visit France without spending a fortune.

We are not staying on Disney and have saved a fortune by booking a hotel close by that doesn’t have Mickey Mouse in residence.  For travel, I have secured a car, cheap car hire in France is nice and easy to arrange. It means we can get off the plane and drive straight to the hotel without any fuss.  As we are staying for five days we plan to spend 2-3 in Disney.  Then we plan on hopping in the car and spending some time sight-seeing around France.

Picnics are the plan for food in the day, plus a good breakfast to set us up for the day.  Tea will be planned and budgeted – if I give up wine we could save serious funds on the evening meal bill.

Lets not try to run before we can walk!

We will spend the anniversary of my daughters diagnosis in the Magic Kingdom.

I can’t think of a better place to be!

Living thrifty doesn’t always mean you have to give up everything you love.  Paying attention to sales, looking in second hand stores and using the internet to compare deals are great ways to cut down on your spending.

Here are a couple of deals that have caught my eye this week!

BrandAlley’s Original Penguin Kids sale is underway and finishes on July 28th – so hurry on and check out some of the beautiful items on offer (maybe it is time to start squirreling away stuff for Christmas?)  Find them at www.brandalley.co.uk

Want a free holiday?

Well, you can get one if you gave birth on the same day as the Wills and Kate.  The fab folks down at our favourite holiday park in Cornwall, Trevella, are offering a free stay to be taken in September or October 2013 or in April, May and June 2014.  Find out more at www.trevella.co.uk.

My favourite dress shop, Curvety.com, have a great sale on at the moment, so much so that my other half has banned me from looking!

Check out Debenhams for the last two days of 20% off and H&M have up to a whopping 70% off at the moment!

For more in depth retail sale details have a look here.  May not be as thrifty as second hand shopping, but sale shopping is at least making an effort!

Happy half price spending.

 

 

 

In our quest to put some money in the bank and eventually rejoin the home owners party we have made some tough decisions.

One of those decisions is to not buy new stuff.

I miss new stuff….

I visit friend’s homes and am struck with the green eyed monster when I see furniture without biro on it, and furniture that still has its original varnish on it.

So I live in fantasy land.

I dream of  luxury sofas from John Lewis that sit next to a  brand new coffee table.  I ignore the discomfort in my bottom from the collapsed springs in the sofa we own and let my imagination place me on my new one with a soft chenille throw covering my toes.

My imagination is pretty good!

In my mind’s eye, my dining room has a large luxury oak table, with silk covered chairs.  My kitchen is top of the range with remote controlled sensors.  In my head, my microwave is sparkling and new.

My dreams don’t end in the home, they stretch to the garden.  Outside I have a luxury hammock, a deluxe garden set with sofa style chairs for all the family.  A large, top of the range BBQ grills my favourite steak as I do a few laps in the pool.

As I said, my imagination is pretty awesome.

I may need to work harder at settling into thrifty living!

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The summer holidays are approaching.  I have heard on the grapevine that gin is disappearing off the supermarket shelves like brandy at Christmas.

It can be an expensive time.

Fear not.

I have compiled a list of ways to survive the summer with the kids without spending a fortune, or at least more than the cost of a couple of bottles of gin.

Rubbish

Save it – I am told that keeping your rubbish can be a great way to entertain the kids.  My friend Maggie, over at RedTedArt, can make a masterpiece from loo rolls.

My approach is a little different…

When I say save your rubbish, I mean save your egg cartons.  If you focus, start early and beg from friends, by the time the holidays roll around you will be able to cover your bedroom wall in egg cartons, creating a sound proof haven.

When the holidays hit hard, grab a glass of Gordon’s, hit your inner sanctuary and stay hidden until you feel calm once more.

It is thrifty because it doesn’t cost a penny!

Get active.

Fields are free.  Find one, pop the kids at one end, and leg it to the other end.  Take a hip-flask, some tonic and a slice and wait to be found.  Once found, take them back to the top and start again.

Join the library.

Reading is good, but they also have films.  TV for kids is like funny cigarettes for students.  It creates a zombie like focus with sudden bursts of giggles.  One and a half hours of quiet for them and sheer peace for you.  Gin is optional, but I recommend it.

Go see the family.

Relatives make super babysitters.

Go for walks.

Leave the kids with relatives.

Encourage playdates.

At other peoples houses.

Play at being a Victorian Household.

Make them the maids.

Teach them a form of cooking.

Try make your own beer – fun for all the family.

Enjoy your thrifty summer

For possibly more serious ideas check out the lovely Becky and Cass – they will help you through…

Or you can just buy more gin.