Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Free clothes! (Well, kind of)

I'd become bored with the contents of my wardrobe and wanted to revitalise it but, like most of us who are trying to cut spending, an overhaul was totally out of the question.  Deciding that a change is as good as a rest I pulled a pile of tops out of my wardrobe yesterday and paired them up with a plain skirt and tried different accessories to see if I could come up with new outfits.

After 15 minutes of swapping and changing I came up with three new outfits using the same skirt as a 'base' and spotted 'gaps'; a couple of basics that I need to replace because they're either worn out or fit badly. So, three new outfits for free;  not bad seeing as I was uninspired by what I had before I started.

As well as coming up with new combinations it helped me to weed out all the clothes I like but which are so unflattering that I rarely or never wear them and, worse, the ones that I don't like much but which are convenient.   You know the kind of things you hang onto because even though they make you look/feel crap you can't afford to replace them?  That can't be healthy!  When I think of all the times I go out wearing something that crushes little shoots of self-esteem when I see myself in a full-length mirror, just because it's there in my wardrobe and I can't think what else to put on...ugh, not worth it.  

Say no to unnecessary trips to the shops and shop your clothes stash!  Chances are you've got some lovely accessories you never wear and pairings of clothes that unexpectedly work together in a way that's truly 'you'.  Get into that wardrobe and prepare to be surprised*.

(*Or find Narnia, whichever comes first)

Monday, 22 July 2013

Back on the wagon

I've been away from Blogsville for over a month.  In that time I've finished some crocheted blankets, poked about a little hopelessly on the allotment, written daily and turned thirty (more on that some other time).  What I've also done in June and July is Spend Too Much Money.  My savings look crap and whilst I enjoyed splurging on some nights away, meals out and nice new things, I'm looking forward to getting back on the thrifty wagon again.

Isn't it strange that you can come to miss something that should be a pain in the arse?  When I started this moderately frugal lifestyle it wasn't fun, it was out of necessity.  It's still a necessity but it's become one that I enjoy the challenge of and which has led me to discover a whole host of new, fun things; days out for free, making my own bread, fixing things and learning how to get a bargain.  So here I am, all puffed up and ready to save.

Today I've got things off to a good start by looking up how to have an almost free hair treatment instead of buying my usual deep conditioner.  I Googled 'home made hot oil hair treatment' and stumbled across Crunchy Betty, a treasure trove of recipes and how-to's for home made cosmetics and household products, written with a silly sense of humor that had me guffawing.  Here's part one and part two of how to give yourself an effective hot oil treatment using oil from your kitchen.  I used olive oil and lavender oil as it's what I already had and my hair feels beautiful, but there's lots of information on what different oils and blends can do for your hair.  Do have a look at the site, there's everything from natural cat care to homemade vapor rub for poorly kids and adults, and masses of skin and hair care recipes.

On the cosmetics theme, I conducted a quick inventory of the cupboard I keep all my spares in.  Lots of most things in there, which was a pleasant surprise; enough shampoo etc to last a couple of months, it was all just shoved to the back.  Next stop food cupboards, but that's a daunting prospect.  I also jotted down the meals we already have ingredients for and we've got enough for at least a week, which was another surprise.  

Next stop is cutting down our gas and electricity bill.  I found out it cost us over £100 more this year than last year despite being on a fixed tariff, so I want to nibble that down so it's less of a leap up in direct debit payments when the fix ends in 2014.  Any ideas will be welcome and if I find any good ones I'll be sure to share.

(Thanks Lucy P, if you're reading this, for reminding me to get started on my blog again; you're inspiring as always x)

Bye for now,

Laura