My site is dedicated to frugality across the board. Saving money, make do and mend, even making money where you can.
This means taking advantage of any opportunity that comes your way.
I refer here to one particular subject - store cards.
Now, if you fully understand how these work, you can save yourself a small fortune - no kidding. The trouble is, a lot of people, who purport to be frugal by nature, won't use a store card because they (mistakenly) think they have to spend a fortune in order to get anything back. This could not be further from the truth.
My favourite without a doubt is the Sainsbury's Nectar Store card. Now I will say here, I am NOT a big spender, most of my shopping items have a yellow 'reduced' label on them. I still present the card at the checkout however.
There are things we all have to buy which are not reduced, i.e. milk, butter, margarine, pet foods etc. etc., so we have to pay the full price for those, so why not get a little back ?
But what makes Sainsbury's stand out, is that when you pay at the checkout, you get 'vouchers' for money off and/or double/triple Nectar points
I use these often. I have a car to run, and always wait for a Sainsbury's voucher for double or triple points on fuel, they come very often, so no need to wait long.
I have several cats to feed, now cat food can't be got 'reduced', so I use my card to buy that.
When you sign up for a card, you will be asked for your email address, give it willingly ! for here is another source of Nectar points (aka free money !)
You will receive regular emails from Sainsbury's with offers, i.e. if you complete a survey, you will get extra points, sometimes they have offers that you can 'accept' only online. i.e. extra points on fuel, so when you present your card the points will automatically be added to your account.
Also, you will be 'invited' to watch stuff like movie trailers and ads, now the movie trailers are very interesting and no hardship to watch, and you will get extra points for just watching - so instead of watching mind-numbing daytime TV, why not watch a few ads and add to your points total ?
There's loads more ways to earn as well, including Ebay, if you buy anything and have registered your Nectar card, you get points from them as well.
So you see I am a fan. Anyone who refuses a Nectar card, in my opinion, must be a sandwich short of a picnic ! there's money for free here if you play it right.
But, then, perhaps you aren't that frugal after all, and don't need the extra pennies and points, and are just playing at it ?
Incidentally, I'm not affiliated to Sainsbury's or Nectar, just passing on information you may find interesting and useful in order to save and accrue points.
It's hard these days to switch on any news channel and not be confronted by yet another tragedy that has claimed more human life.
From Tsunamis, earthquakes, erupting volcanos, floods, drought, to man made disasters i.e. wars, shooting, killings etc. etc.,
In the wake of the missing Malaysian flight now comes the news of a sunken ferry off the coast of South Korea. Sad and heartbreaking enough, but when the accident has taken away so many young innocent lives, it makes it worse somehow.
Seeing the relatives breaking down when the bodies were wheeled out this morning, must surely affect the coldest of hearts. I for one, was reduced to tears.
I know there's lots of scrapbookers out there, who spend a lot on their cardstock and papers. It can be an expensive hobby if you let it, but just look around your own home and you'll find perfectly acceptable alternatives.
For instance, when I'm making an art journal from recycled items, my basic cardstock comes from here:
This is the cat food I'm using at the moment, yes, it is expensive, but my two eldest are on special diets right now, and they're worth it !
Here they are fighting over who gets the heated bed ! actually I have two, but just like kids, they both want the same one.
Anyway, back to the cat food box, the weight of the card is perfect for 'signatures' in your work and lightweight covers, also tabs and tags. When opened up and cut, this is what you get :
You see it turns into very useable sized pieces. The illustrations are still on the reverse of course, but they are almost always either painted over, or patterned papers stuck onto them.
These sized boxes are very useful too:
These are made of really strong card and are perfect for the covers of your journals. I use these very often for sending things through the post, covered in brown paper of course.
Even the narrow pieces can be used.
Now here is a free supply of good thickness brown paper for your crafts.
This, as you see, is am empty cat litter bag, most of them are double, the inside being plain brown, and very, very strong. Cut away the front layer to leave the inside layer ready.
Open up the seam, you can cut it if you like, but I don't like to waste anything ! This gives a piece approx. 28" x 15" - depending on what cat litter you use it's perfectly clean by the way.
Use it as it is, or I like this effect, scrunched up, ready for you to paint, print, stamp or draw on it, it's also strong enough to have small embellishment glued onto it.
The cat likes it too !
So before you go rushing off to your nearest hobby shop for materials for your next project, just look around at what you've got at home first, you can save a lot of money.
If you don't have pets, you must know someone who has, just ask them to save one or two boxes for you, and some litter bags. The large sized paper bags for dog food would be great too.
I've been busy making short length cowls/collars. Spring may have sprung, but it's still a bit chilly in the mornings and evenings, so these are perfect when it's not cold enough for a heavy cowl or long scarf. All are washable, and are one-off designs.
In keeping with my beliefs, all are made with either vintage, retro or upcycled materials.
If you want to read about them individually, please click on the picture on the left in the Etsy shop. I have introduced a new 'page' here on the blog, it's my 'Shop', these items will be going in later when I have a little more time, but the purpose of this is to allow those of you to buy who do not have an Etsy account.
I'm a bit busy at the moment, so I'm just putting up a handmade bagI made from crocheted fabric strips. The full details together with more photographs are in Etsy, click on the picture on left hand side of this blog.
It's machine washable and fully lined in powder blue fabric. Trimmed with pretty toning ribbons, hand made flower and vintage buttons. One-off, exclusive item.
I'll be back later hopefully with more stuff for the shop. Must dash now. Have a good day.
OK, I know most of you who visit here are fully paid up members of the 'Frugal Club', i.e. you won't spend anything if you don't have too, you make do and mend, stretch your cash to infinity and beyond, make your own clothes, cook from scratch etc. etc., so how about taking the 'Pledge' - ?
If you want to include the 'Pledge' on your blog, just scroll down to the link on the right hand side of this page and click on the picture to find out more. This is from 'The Citizen Rosebud' please link with her and a mention for me wouldn't go amiss either !
Honeysuckle cuttings can be notoriously difficult to take, or so 'the books' would have us believe. I've been taking honeysuckle cuttings for years with 100% success.
The glorious perfume from these beautiful climbers make it well worth the effort to propagate them for free.
We are often told that if we want one cutting to root, then take 10/12. If I want one cutting to root, I 'take' one. You could be told to keep them in a propagator at a certain temperature, keeping them misted all through the winter, or put a plastic bag over them in a pot, don't let them get too wet, don't let them dry out, put some rooting powder in a glass of water and stand them in it until they root, etc. etc., - it's too much bother, and then you probably won't have any success. This is the way that works.
You can do this anytime the plants are not flowering, but after Autumn and just before Winter is best. If you are propagating from a plant in your garden, choose a long stem with plenty of shoots on it, lay it across the soil (don't detach it from the parent plant) and peg it down where there is growth shooting off it. If you haven't any pegs, a piece of wire curled into a 'U' shape will do, as will a rock or large stone. Don't go to any unnecessary expense. If you've ever potted up strawberry runners, you can do this.
This can be done in pots too, but during the bad winter weather, the pots can be knocked over and the 'rooting' cutting will be pulled out of the pot.
When you've done this, leave it, leave it, and leave it some more, then in the Springtime (about now) when you check you will see that you have loads of tiny rooted plants. I wouldn't detach them straight away, give them chance to put down deeper roots before moving them, or potting them up.
And there you have it - Honeysuckle plants for free without the hassle.
A picture frame with a picture of Itty (the Kitty) and a mug - which is very appropriate as I can drink tea for England !
A pretty little 'hanger' matches the encylopaedias perfectly !
While Leah has been poorly I've been sitting by her most of the time and catching up with my Etsy stock. Here are three collars/neckwarmers that I designed and knitted. They will be going in the Etsy shop later with full descriptions.