We are sharing these only because we think they can help you to spot ways you can save more money. The savings you make can be put towards paying down on your mortgage or saving for a family treat such as a holiday.
These are some of our money-saving tricks and treats this week
The Humble Penny Money Saving Tricks and Treats
Recently it dawned on us that we made a major blunder during our teaching career! In fact, we are so ashamed about it. It relates to our salary and our mortgage payments. We missed some money-saving tricks and only now realise that we could have paid off our mortgages if we had been making overpayments when we were in a better position to.
Watching Ken from The Humble Penny explaining this has really opened our eyes.
Of course, we have decided that every extra penny we have now goes towards paying down on the mortgages (we have a few!) so that eventually we pay less interest which is a major portion of what we pay.
So this week, I got all the details I needed from my mortgage provider and made an overpayment of £100 on each. My sister did the same and we are hoping, in fact, we have set a target of 5 years maximum to clear the amounts we owe.
Gtech vacuum people show great customer service
We have a Gtech Air Ram vacuum which we paid a ‘pretty penny’ for. It was quite expensive but we really wanted a cordless, bagless vacuum that was lightweight and GTech is a good brand so we thought it would be a good investment. It was bought from Argos although the cost was the same buying it from the manufacturer themselves but we wanted to have it right away so we picked it up rather than waiting for delivery.
We have never been disappointed with the purchase to be fair, that is until three days ago it started to malfunction. I was gutted! I tried everything and just could not get it to work. I went online to look for a replacement (because we had got rid of the old heavy vacuum we had previously.
I was not happy at all to even be considering buying a new one when I had paid so much. I found a ray of sunshine as there was a telephone number under the vacuum with a message to phone if we needed help. I did, so I phoned the number. First things first; did I register the product? No! How long ago did I purchase it? Over a year. Do you have the receipt? No! O wait! Let me check! This is one time I was so happy that at the time of purchase Argos had asked if I wanted the receipt by email, and I had said yes! It was going to be my lucky day! The product was still in warranty by a little under a month!
The GTech customer service rep allowed me to give the details to register the product then and there and right after, she sent me another Gtech Air Ram next day! Now that is what I call service! I saved a lot thereby not having to purchase another vacuum cleaner!
I would recommend that when you purchase new equipment that you wade through the paperwork and register the item whilst it is still new before you forget. Also, if you are offered the opportunity to have your receipt emailed to you, take the offer!
Free gym pass
So we are making another attempt at improving our health but heaven knows, we hate the cold. In the warmer months, we do a 45-minute brisk walk most days but recently, with the colder times, we have done absolutely nothing.
I remember hearing something about a service provided by some GP surgeries where they can refer you to your local gym for a consultation and then free gym passes for 12 weeks.
So this week we took up the offer, had the consultation with a member of staff at the gym. The informal chat regarded things like medical conditions, height and weight checks, goals for weight loss or strengthening, and then a plan as to when we would like to start.
We’ve had our first session yesterday and now have a plan that we hope to be able to stick to it for at least the next 12 weeks. This will no doubt save us hundreds of pounds and see us leaner and happier too.
We do prefer to be out in the sunshine which is also free, but this will have to do for now. Once the 12 weeks are done, we should start to see some sunshine and should be able to continue with our brisk walk, and perhaps some badminton at the park.
Renovating my bedroom
Apart from painting, I actually do enjoy renovating a room.
For a few weeks now we have been watching Your Room or Mine on Channel 4 at 5:30 pm each day. This has given us a boost to give one bedroom a bit of a facelift. We have decided on a colour scheme, collected some matching fabric (colour swatches we got free from our friend Helen), cut out some cushions for sewing today, as well as made two crotchet cushions. We will certainly let you see the make over when it is finished.
Do you like this duvet set from Amazon? Only a tenner but we think it will brighten the room up so much.
Bullring market shopping
We love going to Birmingham city centre when we have some time. When we were teaching and therefore busy every day, we tried to go at least one day out of every half term break and one day at the end of each term.
It’s a nice way to unwind, check out the shops, see what freebies are on hand (there are always lots of brands giving away samples of their new products), and shopping in the outdoor market for foodstuff.
We just love the atmosphere provided by the market traders and we love haggling for bargains. This has always been a good money-saving trick for us that we shared on the Channel 5 show Shop Smart Save Money.
So this week we haggled on and won on prices for fish, Jamaican June plums, meat, and other fruits.
Have you visited the largest Primark store in the world? It’s in our neck of the woods! Right in the city centre of Birmingham. I am so scared to go anywhere apart from the ground floor, lol. This is because it is so easy to get lost! You literally need some type of map to navigate in there!
I love ‘Primani’ and although we don’t shop there regularly, we can definitely recommend them for good casual clothes suitable for the gym. And that’s exactly what we got. I picked out a jogging top and bottom set and also a matching hat and gloves for the winter weather, all for £23.50.
We are proud of our frugal exploits this week and we will endeavour to continue with our exploits. We would encourage you to try. Since resolving to pay more of our mortgages each month from now on, we have also decided that this December will be the last (for a long time at least) that we will be taking an overseas holiday. Domestic holidays will have to be it from now on.
Oh, and here’s our favourite ‘creepy but sweet’ Instagram photo this week.
View this post on Instagram
Hope you have a frugal week. Let us know how your week went and whether you were able to make some savings too.