Wednesday, 29 June 2011

FREE FESTIVALS THIS SUMMER

If, like me, you've looked at the ticket prices of even small festivals, with absolute horror, then this is one for you. Granted, you won't see those headlining bands, but you'll probably still have a good time - and for free!
Those clever people over at MSE have got together a guide to all free festivals - just search for one wherever you'd like to go!

FREE FRUGAL OLD STYLE GARDENING RESOURCE!

The people at Earthly Pursuits have found and published for us the Ministry for Agriculture Allotment and Garden Guides from 1945! This free, fabulously frugal, resource has been scanned in and published on their website.
Each month gives you a guide to what you should be doing in the garden and allotment in straightforward English and with loads of tips.
In addition, there is even the No.1 Dig for Victory leaflet with colour plans to give you vegetables all the year round - just great!
Whether you're a newbie gardener or quite an expert, everyone will find something useful in these leaflets.

HALF PRICE FLOWER AND VEGETABLE SEEDS

I've just this morning received a card from my local garden centre chain, The Garden Centre Group (used to be Wyevale) to say that all their flower and vegetable seeds are now half price. This is how I bought all my veg seeds last year and I have had no problems with germination at all as I believe they were all still in date when I planted them.
I may even have a few left over to use
next year, and I will sow them as "back up", for example I always find salad leaves germinate well even when out of date and we do eat a lot of these in the warm weather. I try never to buy lettuce from the supermarket in the summer!
Happy frugal gardening!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

TRAVEL ANYWHERE BY NATIONAL EXPRESS COACH FOR JUST £9

National Express has an offer for coach travel this summer. Book 14 days in advance and you can travel anywhere for just £9. Terms and conditions apply and the offer excludes airports and venues.
There are also other moneysaving offers on the site, such as 2 for 1 entry to some attractions in London, Bristol & Birmingham and travel passes for a longer length of time:
Hobo:
7 days for £79

Footloose: 14 days for £139

Rolling Stone: 28 days for £219

Happy frugal travelling!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

TESCO PRICE CHECK - ARE THEY LYING TO US?

Tesco Price Check seems to be someone's good idea that's come back to bite them on the bum! First they have withdrawn their offer of doubling any price difference on refunding - now they appear to be using another tactic to avoid paying out the "difference".
Many Tesco customers are now getting a response from Tesco Price Check that says, "Sorry, unfortunately we have been unable to find your receipt details, so we cannot show you price check results for your shopping." This really is unbelievable - the receipt details show date, time, branch ID and some other numbers which I assume are checkout/staff ID and transaction ID - do they really believe we are stupid enough to swallow their excuse that they can't find our receipt details?
The receipt is essentially a printout from a database - they've got real problems in their IT system if they've "lost" so many of these details! Tesco treats its customers as if they are idiots.
Many people are now finding that they are getting this message, as have I - three times in the last couple of weeks - annoyingly enough, on three VERY big bills.
Some Tesco customers have been told by Tesco staff that the scheme is coming to an end - so it would seem they are keen not to pay out any more.
Perhaps we should all stop wasting our time entering receipt details into their Tesco Price Check website - and go straight to Asda to do our shopping!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

CLEANING STAINLESS STEEL THE FRUGAL WAY

If you're anything like me, you probably have numerous kitchen appliances that are stainless steel - we sort of can't help it can we? Someone decides it's fashionable to have a steel fridge, freezer, sink, hob, toaster- whatever- and then it's almost impossible to buy anything else!
And the word "stainless" seems to be a bit inaccurate to me- all my "stainless" steel has finger marks and smears all over it! Wiping it with water doesn't always get it shiny again and I'm definitely NOT buying the stainless steel cleaning spray I've just seen in the supermarket for £4.06! Eeeek! What do they think we're made of? Money?
I have just discovered the ideal thing to clean stainless steel- white vinegar on a soft cloth. It's cheap, it sanitizes, has no dangerous chemicals, cuts through grease and doesn't scratch.
If you wanted to get a bit more posh- you could buy a spray bottle to fill with white vinegar and then spray it on and wipe off- but I wouldn't bother - it's just more expense!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

SAVE WATER - SAVE MONEY

If, like me, you have a water meter then watering your garden can be expensive - and it doesn't seem to be raining much nowadays! My frugal tips for keeping the garden going are:
  • Have water barrels to collect the rainwater off your roof if you can, so that when it does rain you will get them filled and have some standby water for the dry times. We have two huge ones that fill in a few hours rain.
  • Leave your watering cans out in an unsheltered position- if it does rain then they'll catch some for you as well.
  • Don't water your lawn- grass is tough and it'll survive and green up when we next get rain.
  • Don't water flower beds - just check individual plants for signs that they are drooping, then water each plant at night.
  • Water your fruit and vegetable plants regularly- particularly salad - it's worth it.
  • Keep a washing up bowl in your sink to catch the water when you "just rinse" your hands for any reason, or wash fruit, salad or vegetables. You'll be surprised at how quickly the bowl fills up in a day. Use it to water those water hungry plants like runner beans or rhubarb or tip it into your watering can for later.
  • If you can, always water at night to prevent evaporation.
  • Always water at ground level around the base of plants - never from above and never over the leaf canopy - you want those precious drops of water to go where they'll do most good.
Happy Frugal gardening!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

WE HAVE 50 BILLION POUNDS WORTH OF JUNK IN OUR HOMES!

Yes, you read it right - according to recent research by LV=, we in the UK have £50 billion poundsworth of junk in our homes!
Sporting equipment, clothes and books that haven't been used for over a year, make up the bulk of this "junk" and 10% of households say they probably have more than £1000 poundsworth of various bits and pieces they no longer use.
It appears that quite a few people are even storing junk for friends or family and 5% admit to paying for storage of their "junk".
This is madness. I have a tried and tested method of dealing with junk in my house:
  • If it's actually rubbish (empty boxes, paper, bottles, cans etc) then out it goes to the recycling or the bin.
  • If it belongs to someone else and I've had it more than 6 months - then it goes back to them - no arguments.
  • When did I last wear/use it? More than a year and it goes on Ebay (first choice) or to the charity shop, on Freegle, to a friend or relative, to the recycling bins - or last resort - the rubbish bin.
  • But before it goes to the bin I decide if it can be used made into or used as something else, e.g. old threadbare towels, sheets etc. are either made up into smaller towels/pillowcases, face cloths or torn up for cleaning rags.
I don't like filling up landfill with my rubbish, but I don't want it in my house either!
I know it's sometimes overwhelming when there's "junk" in every drawer, cupboard or on every shelf, but the answer really is - small steps, a little at a time, clear one drawer, or one shelf or one cupboard.
You will feel so much better - and if you manage to sell some stuff (and get back your share of that £50 billion!) then so will your bank account!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

MILLETS UP TO 50% OFF SALE!

Millets have an "up to 50% off" sale across their store (online and in store). If you need cheaper camping equipment for your summer holidays or festivals it may be worth a look. They are also offering free delivery for online purchases over £20.
And if you find something you really need, then don't forget to go through a cashback website like Topcashback
who are currently offering 6.06% cashback on your purchases from Millets - all helps!
Remember to join up HERE and then go to Millets website through the Topcashback website to get your 6.06% cashback!

Friday, 3 June 2011

20% OFF SCHOOL UNIFORMS AT MARKS & SPENCERS!

This does seem awfully early to be advertising school uniform deals- we haven't even got to the summer holidays yet! It gets earlier and earlier every year!

Marks & Spencers are probably a bit more expensive than some other places that sell school uniform - I suppose it's just a case of deciding whether the quality is better and worth the extra.

Anyway, if you want to get in early ready for September - (and can guestimate what size your kids will be then!) this is the deal for you.

Not only is there 20% schoolwear, but they are offering free delivery too - just use the code
UNIFORMS at the checkout. Free standard UK delivery applies from 2 June 2011 – 13 Sept 2011.
Happy frugal spending!