Welcome!

Welcome to my second-hand tales blog where I attempt to chronicle my adventures in second-hand shopping, and other greenish ventures.

I also post a weekly list of all my Thrifty Finds (see here) ,  The idea is not to just share any secondhand purchases I may have made, but also list those things I have repaired, recycled, donated, re-used – or just decided not to buy. I would love to hear from you as well so please share your Thrifty Finds every Monday

I hope you enjoy reading my random(ish) posts: please leave a comment on any post that interests you – or you could  follow me on facebook , twitter or instagram

Thrifty Finds

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Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (12-18 February 2018)

 

This Week's Thrifty Finds via secondhandtales.wordpress.com

Last week was half term and, not having a kitchen, meant that we ate out a little more than normal. It wasn’t the thriftiest week but I still managed a few Thrifty Finds:

  1. We took a trip to Ikea. I know this isn’t a money saving activity BUT we hadn’t been for about 3-4 years (even though it’s only 40 minutes’ away). A new kitchen means we need to upgrade a few of our accessories so the Ikea trip was inevitable. We also ate lunch there and I was really impressed with their low waste dining. I paid 85p for a flavoured water served in a glass that could be refilled as many times as you want (my husband paid 95p for a refillable coffee). Real cutlery, plates etc is something I was impressed to find – bearing in mind that most low price cafes tend to use just disposable tableware. I also took my handy water bottle which could be filled up in the canteen too.
  2. The girls and I paid a trip to a local Dorothy House shop in one of Bath’s suburbs. It’s a large shop and we managed to pick up a game, cookery book and skipping rope – to keep them occupied during the holidays:

3. I also picked up a gorgeous Spring coat. Funnily enough, the waterproof coat I bought a few weeks ago here came from the same charity shop chain, but at a different location. That one cost me £15 (and I had to mend a rip), but this former Next coat was just £8. I wonder why there was a difference in pricing?!

charity shop find, Next, Dorothy House shop

4. The kids spent a lot of time stuck on screens last week – it doesn’t help being confined to one room, and the weather wasn’t great. However I made sure we spent some time playing games. We tried out the new (to us) Ghost game (a bit like picture pairs – match the ghost to the correct National Trust house), some other second-hand games and Cludeo (which we borrowed from my parents).

5. I had an eye test, which was free using a voucher from work. I was also able to get some money off my new pair of glasses using another work voucher 🙂

 

I’d love to hear about your Thrifty Finds too! Please  share your Thrifty Finds on my facebook page, or use #thriftyfinds on Twitter or instagram

This week’s Thrifty Finds (5-11 February 2018)

Thrifty Finds

How was your week? Last week we struggled without a kitchen – but received some generous invitations to dinner and the use of friends’ kitchens and homes. I feel very blessed to live in such a caring community 🙂

Last week’s Thrifty Finds included:

  1. It was a busy work week culminating in the launch of the Royal Women exhibition at Fashion Museum Bath.  I really love my job and feel so privileged to get a sneaky peek at exhibitions such as this one. Spanning the last hundred plus years, this exhibition focuses on dresses worn by Queens Alexandra, Mary, Elizabeth The Queen Mother and the very glamorous and beautiful Princess Margaret. I had been binge watching The Crown prior to the exhibition and, for me, Princess Margaret’s dresses were the highlight.

Princess Margaret dresses Fashion Musesum Bath Royal Women The Crown

 

2. On a more down to earth note, work started in earnest on our kitchen. We were able to start some painting work and I was pleased to be able to use some old rollers and brushes I had washed and saved from a couple of years ago. I was also able to use up half a tin of paint that had been lying in the shed for a while 🙂

3. We uncovered some old layers of wallpaper. Despite having lived in our house for 15 years there are still some areas we have never touched before. I was amazed to find the old pieces – we’re hoping to keep some of the wallpaper in situ, and frame another piece. I’d love to know how far back they date….

4. Now that we are cooking and eating in our lounge I’m beginning to understand what a struggle it must have been when families had just one room to do everything in. So it’s quite timely that we’ve started watching the new BBC series Back in Time for Tea, following a family as they struggle through the 1920s and 1930s.

5. Our Book Group was discussing The Golden Compass and I was delighted to be re-reading the copy I had first bought 16 years ago. I try to borrow the books for our Book Group, rather than buying a new one each time. It’s a real bonus when I already have the book on my shelf 🙂

I’d love to hear about your Thrifty Finds too! What have been your bargain purchases this week – or did you donate/recycle/repair something? Or did you decide not to buy something?

Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (29 January – 4 February 2018)

 

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At the weekend I had a trip away with my university friends. This meant a little bit of planning and plastic-free packing – and a second-hand purchase to keep me warm on our city break.

  1. I was in need of a second winter coat. Although I have my gorgeous second-hand orange coat it is not waterproof or really, really warm. I do have a waterproof Seasalt coat (once again bought from a charity shop) but it is now too small for me 😦    So this past week I have been trawling Bath’s shops on the hunt for a second-hand winter coat. I found the perfect one in the Dorothy House charity shop for £15. It’s really, really warm, has a detachable hood and is a longer length than my other coats. Despite being one size too big for me, it fits well over bulky jumpers and layers. It proved the perfect coat for our trip to Birmingham.
  2. I also got my warm, fur lined boots re-soled. I have had these boots for years and they are so warm and cosy. However they were worn and starting to leak. I paid a fairly hefty sum to get them re-soled but feel pleased because a) I wouldn’t find a replacement for the cost of the repair and b) I’ve extended their life a little.
  3. While packing for my trip away I made sure to add my reusable straw, spork and reusable coffee cup. However I forgot my water bottle and had to buy a single use one. I also forgot to ask for a no straw when I ordered a drink (why do all drinks have to come with straws?) but did manage to ask for ‘no straw’ when I ordered a cocktail.

4. We are now without a kitchen for the next three weeks while we have building work done. So I have cancelled our veg box delivery as there is no room to store the veg. I’m afraid we will be living off pub meals, toasted sandwiches, microwave meals and some slow cooker meals  – however a friend has offered to feed us on Saturday night and another friend has offered the use of their house next week during the school hols if the building work gets too much!!

 

 

I’d love to hear about your Thrifty Finds too! Please  share your Thrifty Finds on my facebook page, or use #thriftyfinds on Twitter or instagram

Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (21-28 January 2018)

 

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Welcome to another week chronicling my Thrifty Finds.

  1. I picked up three jars of Nutella spread for just £1 each! Debenhams had been selling them for Christmas and had reduced their stock from £2.50. My kids love Nutella but I don’t always buy it because of the cost (they had some small jars in their Christmas stockings which have now become drinking glasses- one of the advantages of Nutella is that it comes in glass jars). This new supply should keep us going for a few weeks!

recyled Nutella jars via secondhandtales.wordpress.com

2. We are still sorting our kitchen out and donated another bag to charity.

3. In preparation for being without a cooker and oven for the next three weeks I undertook a mammoth baking session. I have frozen lots of cupcakes which we put in packed lunches.

4. A friend picked up more than 40 vinyl albums for £40. We split the collection with him and paid £20 for about 25 albums. Some of them aren’t so great but we did find some classics, including U2’s Rattle and Hum (I’d forgotten what a great album that was!)

5. I finally booked a free eye test through work. I know I need new glasses for work and should have done this about six months ago. Still better late than never…..

 

I’d love to hear about your Thrifty Finds too! Please  share your Thrifty Finds on my facebook page, or use #thriftyfinds on Twitter or instagram

Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (15-21 January 2018)

 

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Well another week has rolled past and the days are – slowly – getting longer. I have to say, though, January does seem to be going on forever..

This past week my Thrifty Finds were:

  1. We held a 70s/80s party at the weekend. We went as Tom and Barbara Good (from The Good Life) and friends went as Jerry and Margot. It was probably the least I had ever spent on an outfit: just a £4 shirt from a charity shop. And I think it’s the first time I’ve ever been to a party wearing dungarees and wellies!
  2. We ordered a new bed as our old one was in need of replacing. Using the sales discounts we were able to buy it within budget (I hadn’t realised how expensive beds are!) I also resisted paying the extra £9 to guarantee a morning or afternoon slot as I was in all day anyway. We also found a cheaper way to dispose of our old mattress and bed.
  3. I was very disciplined and, as soon as our veg box arrived, I cooked a couple of meals to use the veg – our last veg box wasn’t so successful and I ended up throwing out some old broccoli 😦

 

4. We’re still sorting through our kitchen. I have some old unpackaged puzzles which I tried to donate on the local Facbook free site but with no luck. However I have a colleague who may take the puzzles for her little boy. If the worst happens I could recycle them as they are all made of cardboard.

5. Not quite a Thrifty Find but I have huge pile of books from my birthday and Christmas which I really need to tackle. I’m trying to find time during the day to read – and am determined to read more on my morning commute, rather than aimlessly scrolling through my phone!

 

 

 

 

I’d love to hear about your Thrifty Finds too! Please  share your Thrifty Finds on my facebook page, or use #thriftyfinds on Twitter or instagram

Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (8-14 January 2018)

This Week's Thrifty Finds via secondhandtales.wordpress.comHope you had a good week. Last week we started back at school and work and it’s amazing how quickly we all got back into the swing of things (even though it’s hard getting up in the dark)

  1. I spent the last of my Christmas gift money on some amazing sales-priced clothing at Marks and Spencer. I bought a jumper, shirt, top and pair of trousers for under £25. If you get to M&S at the right time their reductions are amazing – I picked up some gorgeous trousers reduced to just £7!

2. We cleared out a lot of drawers and cupboards in the kitchen (in a couple of weeks’ time the kitchen is being ripped out and we are having some damp proofing work done, then a new kitchen installed). We donated quite a few bags to local charity shops as a result.

3. We also sold some unwanted DVDs to the local CEX shop and received a voucher.

4. I finally cancelled our Amazon Prime subscription. I don’t know why we still had it as it was something I accidentally signed up for. We don’t use Amazon enough for it to be worth £80 for the free postage, and the Amazon/LoveFilm channel isn’t that good, either.

5. My middle daughter is learning to play tennis and I picked up a  racquet for her for half price in the sales.

I’d love to hear about your Thrifty Finds too! Please  share your Thrifty Finds on my facebook page, or use #thriftyfinds on Twitter or instagram

Thrifty Finds

This week’s Thrifty Finds (1-7 January 2018)

 

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Welcome to the first full week of Thrifty Finds in 2018!

This past week my Thrifty Finds were:

  1. My biggest ever Thrifty Find was to spend just £1 in Debenhams and buy the following:

x2 single duvet sets

x 1 double duvet set plus fitted sheet

x 2 pillows

x 1 bathmat

x 4 towels

For the past couple of years I have used the cashback site Quidco when making purchases online. For every purchase you make you get a little cash back. This can range from a few pence to up to £50 (!). The money takes a few months to reach your account so it’s not a quick fix solution. However as I’m going to make the purchase anyway it makes sense to use the site and earn a little more. Last Christmas I used the money earned to buy Christmas presents from Amazon. This year, however, I decided to convert the rewards into a Debenhams voucher (for a higher rate) and buy some much needed bedding and towels at the value of £132 🙂

2. I also had a good sort out and donated some clothing and household items to a local charity shop. I still need to sort through our linen cupboard and my own clothes as part of a New Year declutter.

3. I also finally got round to mending a couple of items of clothing 🙂

4. We’ve been eating the last of the Christmas food and trying to put off a supermarket shop. I managed to make three extra meals from what we had left in the freezer and food cupboard.

5. With regards to Christmas food waste, so far we had to throw away:

1 lime

2 satsumas

1/2 a red cabbage

one portion of Brie (that had gone mouldy).

We still have a portion of turkey in the freezer and the Brandy Butter is floating around the fridge (I suspect it will have to be thrown out soon). I also have 1 1/2 jars of mincemeat to use up and some very brown bananas.

I need to make some banana cake with leftover bananas

How did you get on with Christmas leftovers?

 

 

 

I’d love to hear about your Thrifty Finds too! Please  share your Thrifty Finds on my facebook page, or use #thriftyfinds on Twitter or instagram