This week I am sharing 5 thriftyish things I’ve done to save money. Here are our ideas from Halloween to show that small changes really do make a big difference!
An eight-week term at school is just a little too long! All four children have been totally exhausted and very ready for the half-term break. Our washing machine decided it wanted a break too… It sounded exactly like a jet plane on the spin cycle since we came back from holiday in August. We begrudgingly guessed it needed replacing, but hoped it would hold out until January. It decided to make an unbearable grating noise when on a wash cycle, and it was time to send it off to the washing machine graveyard.
Having now done some reading up on washing machine sizes, it seems a 6kg machine is ideal for a couple. Not a couple with 4 children – so we have been overworking our poor washing machine all its life. Hopefully, a larger capacity machine, with a better energy rating will mean more economical washing.
We replaced our kitchen last April and decided against replacing the washing machine even though the rest of the kitchen is now integrated. So its actually a nice opportunity to integrate our washing machine as we bought all the extra fixings to do this back in April 2018. On that note, anything integrated is not thrifty at all, we could have paid a lot less for standard appliances!
A THRIFTYISH WEEK
These are some of the thriftyish things we have done this week.
We love Halloween but it has become expensive and oh-so-plastic. So in our quest to become a little more eco-friendly as well as thrifty, we decided to make some of our own decorations this year, to add to our collection of Halloween decorations that we reuse every year.
We have been dotty about our homemade halloween garland, that is so simple to make! We also designed these printables, which you can print here too.
HOMEMADE NAAN BREAD
We decided to make our own Naan bread and it was absolutely delicious. I have to confess I hadn’t even thought to make our own naan bread at home, but not only is it simple, but it also tastes better than shop- bought naan bread. – They vanished so fast we didn’t even manage a photograph!
We decided that we wanted to paint our faces for Halloween, but our old face paints weren’t great quality and were running out. I decided to invest in some snazaroo face paints, and although expensive they are really great quality, and will probably last us for a good few years.
I think these are good value in the long run, especially for larger families, we will probably use at least 6/7 times a year for events. The last event we went to cost between £1.50 and £2.50 for each child to have their face painted, and with four children that could be £10! So for the cost of face painting at 2 events, we have purchased a kit we can use over and over again. My four children are just as happy if I paint their faces before we set off – and that way we save money and they are ready to enjoy whatever else is happening.
It’s worth planning ahead when buying things like this, we bought our set for £17.21 at the beginning of October, and now they are priced at £22.92 – over £5 more expensive!
Now I just need a bit more practice!
We decided to try making breakfast pancakes, as an alternative to cereal. Pancakes are a real hit with all the family, and the cost 8p per serving, or 48p for the whole family, which is less than half the price of the children’s other favourite breakfast – cereal! We doubled the batch on Sunday so we had enough for breakfast on Monday morning too! They aren’t the healthiest breakfast, especially when topped with golden syrup or sugar, but they are a delicious treat.
We also attempted to make milk free pancakes recently, when we ran out of milk, and although edible they definitely weren’t a patch on our favourite pancake recipe.
The last time I bought burgers, I needed two packs of four to feed our family of six. I decided to see if I could make our own homemade version and this was the result.
My recipe made 9 burgers, for approximately £3.20, and at the shop bought burgers cost £4 for 8. We definitely had bigger burgers for our money too. We froze the 3 extra burgers so it worked out at £2.18 for six burgers to feed our family, and it was nice to know exactly what is in them!
AND THE NOT-SO-THRIFTY
I quite like making breadcakes, so I thought I would make a batch to go with our homemade burgers. They were delicious and the house smelled amazing but they worked out at 9p per breadcake for ingredients. Usually, you can buy shop-bought breadcakes on offer at 6 breadcakes for 50p, which works out at around 8p each. This means that sadly homemade bread rolls cost slightly more than shop bought ones. I am planning to see if I can buy in the flour bulk to save money, ideas welcome! (These calculations are based on buying strong flour at £1 for 1.5kg)