Monday, 6 July 2009

A Simple Living/Aim Update and a Bit of Thrifting

On Saturday I went to my monthly quilting club day where we were given the kind opportunity to benefit from the sad death of one of the former members by buying fabric from her stash that had been donated to the club. I didn't know the lady but I'm grateful to the family for thinking of us. I was lucky enough to acquire the pile above for £1.

This pile was vey kindly given to me by my daughter's boyfriend's mother after she heard that I was trying to quilt without buying new fabric and I'm very grateful to her too. I was also fortunate to find a very large piece of plain cream fabric (not pictured) in a charity shop for £3 that will be useful for backing/sashing etc. The browns and beiges will be added to the pile for my quilt-as you-go quilt and the rest will go to good use.

I've had a few lucky finds in charity shops over the last couple of weeks. This lovely skirt with appliqued flowers cost me £4. One of the leaves needs a bit of mending but apart from that it's perfect. I don't know where it was from originally because the label was cut out but could have been M&S.

This colourful dress which is from BHS was also £4 and will be ideal for taking on holiday. The shoes that can just be seen were £4.25 and are from Next. They'll also get plenty of use on holiday and through the summer.

Over the month of June I've been quite good in keeping my spending record up to date. I'm afraid it was a month with some unusual one-offs which made it much higher than it would normally be (that's what I'm hoping anyway). It was difficult to tell with it being my first go.

General summary of monthly efforts at simple living

- Grocery shopping. Generally 20% down on previous costs on average over the month
- Eating out. Ate out 3 times this month which is a bit more than average
- Lunches bought instead of making own - 1 (pretty good effort)
- Magazines bought. 1 (on top of 1 subscription)
- Home grown produce. Froze quite a lot of strawberries (may make jam with them). Used salad leaves a few times (unfortunately going to seed now - could have made better use of them)
- Baking/food from scratch. Potato salad, coleslaw and scones to take to daughters for BBQ.
- Throwing away less. Stopped using kitchen roll and started making recycled cloths to use instead.

Non-spending earnings
I've been trying to find ways of earning a little extra without spending much. This month I joined 'yougov' which is a site which collects statistics for various markets. You register your details and they send you surveys to complete now and then which you could earn money from. At the moment I've only accrued £1 for joining and entered one competition.

- Credit card cashback. £3.95 (I never pay any interest, only pay off balance each month)
- Competiion win. £50 voucher for clothes.

This has been a useful exercise for me and hopefully will get more helpful as I continue. I can then compare months and eventually years.

We're getting a shed/summer house for the garden this week and hopfully it'll be where all my sewing paraphenalia will go. It will be lovely to have it in one place and de-clutter the house a bit. More news and photos on that to come.

Bye for now
Teresa x

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