Saturday 8 January 2011

New Year Treasures

Well my year of living even more frugally than before has got off to rather a decent start I'm pleased to say. Thank you so much for all your wonderfully encouraging and supportive comments. I've been really overwhelmed and can't explain how much every word has helped me and made me smile. Blogging is truly a wonderful thing and I am especially grateful to be in touch with such special people. Again I'm sorry I takes me an age to get around to saying hello so I hope you'll forgive me and accept this thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Getting back into the office this week wasn't quite as hard as I'm imagined but it has been tinged with sadness with the departure, via redundancy, of some very good colleagues who I've really enjoyed working with over the past couple of years. Things won't be the same without them but fortuntately they have also found new jobs so it could be much, much worse.
At home I have begun to truly practice what I preach. We have cut down our portion sizes (good for the healthy diet too!) with one leg chicken portion, plus plenty of veg stretching, to make our Friday night curry and one for the freezer too. And I managed to bring the weekly shop in for £10 less than usual by really thinking about what we will truly use in 7 days.
But its not all Tom & Barbara self-sufficiency here, try as I might I can't deny myself the odd treat. Even though I rarely bought anything full price anyway, now I'm doing it for even less.
First up is this lovely, lovely dress. I can't describe how skippy my heart goes when I look at it. I almost succumbed and bought it (in a size too small!) in the summer because I loved it so much. But I listended to my purse, put it back and went home.

And now it looks like patience really is a virtue, because there it was on the rail earlier this week, in the actual size I need, for £6! £32 less than the original. It fits like a dream and I already have plenty of cardigans, shoes, beads etc to go with. Oh happy day!
Then second is my new skirt, bought with my Christmas Laura Ashley vouchers kindly given to me by my darling mum-in-law. Now I am rather partial to LA but can never, ever afford anything in there, apart from the odd mug. So imagine my joy, seeing this summery number sitting prettily in my size with £40 off. (£55 for a skirt - really?!). One day this summer I shall be sitting outside the Golden Lion in Port Isaac, sipping something chilled, wearing this with a cosy cardi and my trusty pumps. Can't wait.
On market day I had a little whizz around the charity shops too and turned up some unexpected treasures. A fabulous, puffy, salmon pink eiderdown (just like one my grandma had) for £3, a pretty blue flowered vintage apron to add to my growing collection (£1.20) and the pretty Pyrex dish which is well worth fifty pence of anyone's money.
So I'm rather chuffed and feel a little like these furry pair - literally the cats who got the cream (that we didn't use in the curry!).
 Hope the sun is out for you this weekend. Sxx


Anonymous said...

You really are a top notch bargain hunter!! You've found some lovely things - and I particularly love the dress. Just goes to show that patience is a real virtue!!
Cathy X

Claire said...

Oh Steph you are a bargain magnet this week, attracting them like bees to honey.
That eiderdown looks lovely and cosy and your other charity shop finds are fab.
Love your new dress what a bargains and the LA skirt, Port Isaac is the perfect place to wear them.
When we stop and really think about things, we can all manage to cut back on what we consume and still survive.
Enjoy your weekend.....

Claire X

Unknown said...

These are really lovely finds and you have been very frugal. I love your new dress, the fabric looks lovely with the necklace!

Madelief said...

Hi Steph,

Love your new dress and polka dot skirt!! We only need some more sun and higher temperatures and it's perfect :-)

Happy weekend!

Liev groet, Madelief

periwinkle said...

Looks like you are off to a good start - you can't deny yourself things or it would just be too hard . Nothing wrong with the odd treat .

Naturally Carol said...

You've got some great photos today...those adorable daffodils, the $6 dress...impressive and the aprons hanging them all! I'm glad all your work friends got new jobs, hopefully there will be more work for everybody over there in the near future.

Lyn said...

lovely cheerful post, thank you!
well done on your good start to the year too.

Amanda said...

The bargains have certainly come to you! Just loved the bit where you imagine wearing the skirt, cheers you up thinking of summer. Mind you it helps the sun has come out for real.

Unknown said...

Happy New Year Steph! I have just caught up with your last two posts, and wish you all the best with the changes you are ringing in 2011. So many chime with me - thoughtful spending, more cooking and baking, time with the children, simple pleasures....

We have 4 kids, so any top tips for making the portions go further is of great interest to me! xx

Reginas Cottage said...

hi steph,
wonderful treasures have you found.i like your new polka dot skirt and your new dress.oh ...... the aprons
very cut.
have a wonderful week,

Lynn said...

You know you are going to have this frugal thing well sorted :)
Actually, when I had to give up work I found I had time to think frugally and make more stuff and we managed ok :)

Rubyred said...

Well done on the bargain front! Such super finds!The dress and skirt are gorgeous!
We are shopping with 7 days of meals in mind this year, not that I waste much but it does save pounds and I just haven't got the storage space for huge supermarket shopping!

KC'sCourt! said...

Love your finds especially the eiderdown
Julie xxxxxx

Frances said...

It's fun to discover that frugality need not be grey and gloomy!

I was raised by parents who grew up during the great Depression of the 1930's. They impressed lots of their values on me, and so I have always sort of lived below my actual means. By now, it sort of comes naturally.

Wishing you a very happy 2011. xo

Bobo Bun said...

Catching up with you here Steph. I'm sorry to hear about your job. Although you're keeping some of your hours it still means major re-thinking doesn't it. I completely empathise as my contract ends on March 31st. Something I've always known, hoping more funding comes up to re-employ me. Scary days. Like you I'd rather find the cheery bits to keep me sane. What better than some great bargains. Love your buys. Daffodils definately do it with a promise of spring and who can't fall in love with cats who've grown so big they fill up a basket.

Have a great weekend won't you.

Lisa x

Celia Hart said...

Happy New Year!

What lovely new clothes - even nicer when you know what a bargain they were ;-)


VintageVicki said...

That dress is utterly gorgeous - what a great bargain :)

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Good work with the thrifting, the dress was absolutely meant to be!What a brilliant feeling! Loving the cat pics, heavenly moggies, made me smile,

Sarah x

Design Elements said...

so many treasures...happy weekend!

Gill said...

You're off to a great start at being a Nifty Thrifty! It doesn't have to be a miserable time and it's amazing how much we 'buy' into what the shops and companies tell us we need. Of course you'll have those moments of want (I speak from experience) but it's amazing how many things I find turning up in the charity shops etc for the daftest of prices! Have fun and keep those piccies coming (loving the mogs)

Love and stuff

melanie said...

Wow, you have got some brilliant bargains!!! I love to get a good bargain, so satisfying I find :) Love the eiderdown :) xxx

Joanne said...

Beautiful photos to share once again. The bright yellow daffodils just lift my spirits!
I adore all that vintage goodness!
I also have a collection of vintage aprons, although I usually find myself wearing my Cath kidston with the roses.
I posted an apron poem at my blog recently that you might like:

Thank you for sharing your loveliness with us!
Joanne at Seasonal Hearth

Cissie said...

What a super uplifting post. Well done with being ultra thrifty.

topchelseagirl said...

Love the skirt and dress. Brilliant bargains, they were obviously destined to be yours.

bellaboo said...

So pleased that you have had some lovely buys to start the New Year! That dress is indeed are your dear pusscats. :0)

Alison said...

What a lovely, positive post and wonderful pictures. I'm loving the dress, you are a professional bargain hunter - I just don't seem to have the gift of finding bargains when it comes to clothes so I tend to make do and mend most of the time! I must try harder :-)

Victoria said...

Really enjoyed reading thise :) Such pretty clothes - love the prints.

Unknown said...

Love your charity shop finds! I just adore going to the second hand stores and finding lovely things that people have "thrown away."

Sandra said...

Such a lovely blog, I do love your "finds" :)

Anja said...

So many great bargains! Great photos, beautiful cats :-)

June said...

What wonderful finds. What wonderful cats. I think it's you that got the cream!

French Knots said...

I have bargain envy!! The eiderdown is so lovely, and so cheap! I take a few quid to the weekly Coffee and Jumble to 'treat' myself, thrift and frugal but I don't feel deprived.

Posy said...

All very yummy Steph! Happy New Year to you

Garden Girl said...

LOVE the new frock! (but then you knew I would...!)
Glad the thrifty-ness is keeping you entertained x

Karen said...

Love that pretty dress, Steph and what a bargain. Our two little cats are curled together in a basket on the chest of drawers in the kitchen - so cute till they argue! Hope you have had a lovely weekend. We have had warm sun in Sussex and the snowdrops are coming up. Karen X

blueberry hill said...

Found your blog this week - it's lovely! I am on a frugal month so I'm interested to follow how you get on! We have a matching pyrex to yours - my husband had it from someone in his family! Lovely clothes shopping nice to think about summertime. Annie

Casey said...

just found you lovely blog....can't wait to come back and read more.

Victoria, Bellingham, WA

Anonymous said...

Nothing quite like a bargain!
What beautiful cats you have. :)
Lovely post!
Vivienne x

Attic24 said...

Your blog is such a complete pleasure to visit Steph, it gives me the Feel-Good every time ((thank you)).
I am so inspired by your new year alterations and looking forward to following you along...such a beautiful start too! I shop for ALL my clothes from charity shops without a word of a lie. Everything. Although I did splash out adn treat myself to a Cath Kidston apron in the sale at the wkend, I had wanted one for ages.
Your new clothes are soooo pretty! Love them, you haev great style me thinks.
right-o, got to go, I can hear Little B has just woken from his nap

Anonymous said...

I love all your new things - your flower dress is so pretty and what amazing bargains too! Your patience was well rewarded. Money is a very odd thing - it can stretch and stretch or it can go ping and be out of your hands in seconds with little to show for it. Thinking about what you need - so you don't waste stuff, really can help keep costs down; as well as remembering what you already have in the fridge and cupboards at home. Sometimes great bargains are to be found everywhere and at other times they are thin on the ground. Charity shops are Aladin's caves for so many things. Your two little cats are adorable - I have my own little black cat and yours reminds me of him.

A Thrifty Mrs said...

Really lovely post. We're cutting back this year too and really trying to live up to my thrifty name. Making use of what we've got and stretching food whilst trying out new dishes.
We're hoping it will be a fun challenge as well as a money saving tactic.

LinenandRoses said...

Ooh I LOVE that dress. So pretty. Clever you for managing to get it at such a bargain price. Makes me feel guilty because I am so rubbish a finding bargains. Sounds like you're doing so well with the new year thrifyness. Looking forward to reading more.

DEBBIE said...

HAPPY 2011


salty pebble said...

love the pussy cat on the table with your lovely flowers and all the pretty back ground SPRING BRIGHTS in your images- sooo precious and beautiful...lovely treasures ;0)x

Vintage Noli said...

i passed a beautiful award on to your blog!!! :D
go along here:

best wishes

Fixing My Thoughts said...

Just caught up with this post. So many good photos and helpful words in it! Your kitties are very sweet. I mostly shop at thrift shops, too, and even then not very often. (And I'm grateful to the people who donate/sell their nice clothes to such places.) Congratulations on saving so much on your grocery bill. It all adds up! Bess

Coco Rose Diaries said...

Wow, some brilliantly fab finds!

Have a super weekend!

Vanessa x

- said...

Such pretty fabrics and great finds. Your cats are so cute!

Anonymous said...

I am trying to live frugally too, but am not as successful as you. This month it's largely because I bought next year's Christmas presents in the Boots 50% off sale (although it saves money in the long run, it's still £200 out of my rapidly depleting kitty in the short term). I also bought some Roman blind kits for my dining room that I've been promising myself for a long time.

By the way that little pyrex bowl with the rose on just took me back to my childhood like that - whoosh! It's amazing what you apparently forget, and how quickly it can be so unexpectedly recalled. Thank you.