Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Thrift By Stealth - Part 2

Let's have another one of those posts about penny pinching under the radar shall we?  Shhhh!  No-one will ever know.  I thought that I'd make this a three part series.  This is the second of two posts will about some of the practical steps that I take to keep my spending down and stay within budgt without appearing like a skinflint.   Here's the first if you missed it last week.


It doesn't pay to be a fashion victim as far as making a house a home goes.   I've aimed to kit out my living space only once in this lifetime.  Honestly some people seem to change their sofa as often as their knickers! I'm wondering if there's something here about not trying to achieve a certain 'look' that's in vogue.  An eclectic mix of stuff from all different periods seems to laugh in the face of time.  Ha!   Ebay and again, the charity shops were my friends when I've sourced stuff.  This link gives a little reminder of my personal style when it comes to interior decor.

I eschew the cheap and cheerful in favour of more lasting items.  Sometimes that can be expensive but it isn't nearly always isn't the case. I wouldn't part with the eye test lamp rescued from the hospital where I work even if it was a freebie.  The retro chair swapped for a pile of wood is a keeper too.  

So what else?  Well there's the boring stuff about doing maintenance when it's needed - a stitch in time and all that.  There's also something about preventing the need to declutter in the first place by controlling what comes into the house in the first place.  Duh!  Aside from a few frames for pictures and a wardrobe for the spare room I've reached the point where there's little else I want or need.


Important principles here save me a fortune without any outlay at all. Yay!  I have become comfortable with who I am and what I look like.  'Bien dans ma peau' as the French say.    Yes,  I have a big tummy, wrinkly bits and grey hair that I know a few hairdressers out there would like to cover up. I'm over fifty for goodness sake!  There's also a lot to be said for cultivating beauty that goes beyond skin deep.  At the end of the day what I do, say and think is more important than appearance.  That means that there'll be no botox or expensive surgical procedure.  I'll grow old with grace.

My main money saving tip is that I buy very few toiletries and beauty products.  I'm not tempted by all those rows of lotions and potions. Apart from  a penchant for posh soaps and expensive perfume, I stick to the basics.  Cruelty free has become an important mantra but this does not have to be expensive.  The Lacura eyebrow pencil and concealer that are intermittently stocked by Aldi have not been tested on unsuspecting bunnies and are £2.99 apiece.  Oh and I give myself home haircuts and even do the back myself these days. That saves a pretty penny.


Freakin' expensive little buggers who frequently lack impulse control when it comes to spending. Fear not! The stealthy parent can cut costs.   Keeping to a budget at Christmas and birthdays,  seeking out free activities rather than forking out on expensive attractions,  eschewing designer clothes and fuelling excitement in finding a secondhand bargain at an early stage all help.   Most importantly I habitually  say 'no' and 'we can't afford this'.


I shop around, get new quotes regularly, make sure that I know what I'm buying by reading the small print and use credit wisely.  I try not to waste fuel or water and even make a bit of a game of finding ways of cutting consumption further - without anyone noticing a thing.  Last week's chimney stuffing exercise brought joy to my heart.


Most of the things that I love to do are free or cheap.  They do not demand constant outlay.  Books come from the library, are swapped with friends or gleaned from cheap secondhand sources.  I prefer to walk, run, cycle and swim  in nature rather than in an expensive health club.  Writing costs nothing and my other creative outlets do not require shedloads of expensive materials that need topping up all the time.  I love to forage, beachcomb  and litter pick.  The search for that elusive sea urchin shell is still on.  Are you getting the idea?

In my final post I'll move away from the practicalities of stealthy thrifting and think about the personal philosophy that guides my saving and spending.


  1. My home looks rather eclectic too, I have things that I need and not many of them came to me 'as new'. I am not one to bother with fashion!