I’m looking forward to Easter! Not only does it give us all an opportunity for spiritual revival, growth and extending forgiveness, but there are other little things to look forward to. The cherry blossom trees, the daffodils with their bright glow, longer days, bird songs in the early morning, and also more bearable weather which encourages us to put away some of the thick outer garments for thinner, more relaxed ones.
Pause a second… we are expecting snow on Easter Monday!
Never mind about that as life goes on. Here are some of the frugal things we have done this week. We do these so that we can save money for bigger and better things such as holidays etc. I am also working hard on building my rainy day savings so that I am not bowled over when things like car tyres, boilers and appliances need repairing or replacing.
Getting the ‘new’ wardrobe out
When we first came to live in England, we quickly realised that we would need a different wardrobe to cater for the different seasons. That is something that we weren’t used to, because in Jamaica, it is always hot, so our wardrobe consisted of clothes that were suited to the one weather condition. I never owned a coat, boot, nor even a jumper before we came to live here. But we also notice that lots of people get rid of their clothes for a particular season when that season ends! That was a big shocker to us! That’s wasting money, filling up landfills, and not good for the environment at all.
Each year, we clean the clothes we will no longer wear that year when the season changes, and then we fold and store them away in boxes in the loft. This week, we put away all the very thick coats and take out lighter sweaters, tops and so on. We won’t buy any new clothes this season, but we will get us each a pair of sandals or flats from New Look as they are having a sale on footwear. The money for these will come from ‘selling’ the kids’ clothes that no longer fit. We took them to one of these places that weigh your clothes and pay you based on that. I prefer to know that they will go to third world countries and benefit others rather than ending up in the landfills.
This reminds me, we need to indulge ourselves in another round of foot therapy in preparation.
Plan the meals for the two weeks
Since we started meal planning, we feel that it’s been one of the best things that have happened to us. We actually learnt formally about meal planning when another blogger offered us a guest post about it. It literally changed our lives and we have saved hundreds of pound since then. The main reason is that we only buy the ingredients for the meals we plan to cook. Last week, we were able to ‘shop from the freezer’ as we had so much food already there. There were ready meals, and also raw ingredients in there which were enough for at least two weeks worth of meals.
So, in preparing for Easter, we have got help from the kids to plan the meals that they would love to have. All the shopping has been done and we have even managed to get some of the 20p vegetables at ASDA. Aldi also had some pineapples, oranges, cabbage etc on sale this week so they will feature highly in our meal plans.
Looking for Investment Opportunities
I’m so excited for my ‘news’ that I told you about last time!
Like I said then if you change jobs, it is always worth it to ask the tax office about your new tax code. Chances are, it has changed and may mean a tax refund for you.
Having left teaching to work for myself, I called up to inquire about something totally unrelated and found out that I was due a refund!
In my eyes, the amount is substantial as I didn’t know anything at all about it so would have been just as happy with only £500 back.
So I’ve been looking around for a way to invest my cash. I am a scaredy cat investor, I must admit. I am used to fixed deposit investing where I leave my cash with the bank for a set number of years. I have always made a profit and been happy with my investment. Since I took my deposit back for the deposit on a property, I haven’t ventured back there so I don’t know what’s happening in that scene anymore.
So, over to you. Help me to find a good investment opportunity. What do you think is the best way to invest about £5000? Have you had any recent ‘luck’ with this? I’ve been getting some advice, but I still think I need more before I make the jump.
Getting the kids involved
This week and last, we filled out a two-week calendar of activities as we are getting ready for Easter. This includes sewing, day trips, crafts, sleepovers etc. I am quite looking forward to it and we love getting the kids involved in the planning. You know us though, there has always got to be some informal learning opportunities in there somewhere.
We haven’t yet been to the new savvy Birmingham library yet, so we have planned a trip there for a day. After the tour, we will ensure that all Easter homework is done and put away, ready for back to school.
A barbecue day is in the plan as long as the weather is right. Check back to see how we got on.
This is the dress that the girls and two of their friends will make over the Easter break. We are hoping to complete it in two days. They do have some sewing experience as we always do a bit each half term.
As a result of the awful weather we have been having, we haven’t planted anything yet. But this week, after school, as long as there was a bit of sunshine, we went out the back garden to pull up weeds, rake, turn over, and add to the compost heap, as well as rearrange the flower pots etc. We are also getting the seeds sorted for where we want them to go.
We have some sprouting potatoes and also some pumpkin seeds that we want to try this year. We did really well with those last year.
It is a bit slow going this year. I am almost sure that last year this time we had better weather and had a few flowers blooming. No such luck this year, but we will still do it all ourselves instead of paying others to come in and do it for us. This will give us the vitamin D while we work in the sunshine and relax in it later on too.
I’m linking up with this Cass, Emma and Becky on the frugal things we have done this week. Feel free to join us and share how you are getting on too. I am learning so much from these ladies each week.
Look out as next week we are aiming to do a post every day on how we get on over Easter.
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