Friday, June 26, 2015

Charity shop shopping - be in it for the long haul

Today I popped to a local charity shop. It's one I've identified as a good place to buy school uniform. They have two big boxes in there at the back all year round and I've discovered it's worth having a look every few weeks. This time last week I managed to pick up several school dresses for soph, and several skirts. I had to buy her school grey pinafore dresses new from Tesco (but I used club card vouchers, which were on a double up scheme, as I used ten quid worth, doubled up to twenty, and got three dresses), but I didn't buy any of the skirts or summer dresses or the tshirts new, but got them all at fifty pence each mostly from that charity shop.

There's a drawer under my bed which is where I store out of season uniform (so currently, grey dresses and skirts, grey tights, and the cardigans which go with those dresses. Sophia has one drawer in her room for uniform, so currently she's got the summer dresses, lighter weight cardigans and white socks in there.  Additionally in my under bed drawer I have summer dresses in a bigger size, and some skirts in a bigger size, as well as the tshirts which are in a variety of sizes, and extra PE kit, all purchased in charity shops at fifty pence each.

Today I bought six items in the charity shop, one is a pair of shorts that will fit jj now, two pairs of bigger shorts, two trousers for JJ and a skirt that will fit soph in a couple of years. Because I'm willing to store some things,  and spend a little now, I am able to plan ahead and avoid big spends when my kids get bigger and need new clothes. I can shop in my drawer rather than the high street!

I'd really encourage you to do this if you can. (happy to share my shop location with local folk!). This principle can be applied to all children's clothing really, but school uniform is a biggy, in my opinion, cos they have to wear it. My other tip would be to buy the more expensive brands. Most all of JJ's trousers are from M&S or next, Soph has clothes from M&S too. I also made sure that I check the, over for wear - particularly at the crotch and knees for boys! And, I'd advise keeping a running list of what you've got already, so you don't end up with too much in one size. Final tip, if you do have too much, or your child outgrows an item before it's worn out, consider gifting to a friend with smaller children (not necessarily younger!), passing on to the school as spare stuff, which is particularly in demand in the younger years, or selling on your local Facebook group to make back your money.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I want to blog about some of the ways I save our family's money and some of the ways I spend it, but I don't want to come across as presumptuous or preaching. Knowing what you know about me (many of you will have seen my reduced meat and veg hauls on Facebook) what would you like me to write about? Give me some questions to answer to get me started!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Where we are

Life in our house is noisy. Soph is five now, obsessed with school and writing and cutting and drawing and generally covering six million pieces of paper in mostly unintelligible scribbles. Actually, to be fair to her, they are becoming more comprehensible, as she puts her knowledge of phonics and blends to piece together words and sentences, although she hasn't really mastered the art of putting spaces inbetween words.

JJ is all boy, climbing, running, jumping and generally doing all the things you never even thought of banning them from doing, until he had done them. He's three, and goes to the school nursery at soph's school, he's ever so proud that he has a big boy uniform to wear too.

I am still being a stay at home mummy. Enjoying my time with the kids (mostly!) but also my time without them - oh how I love my time in the morning without them, although it gets rapidly filled with all the usual mummy stuff, volunteering in soph's class, and church stuff.

M is still around too, working all the crazy shifts his job throws at him, meaning sometimes the kids and I have to do weekends without him, but other times we have to put up with him around the place for several days on end. We mostly survive both. He's also really getting involved in church stuff, which is great, as that's exactly why we moved here about 14 months ago.

We've settled in well, more than well, and really enjoying being a part of this community.