We haven’t shared any of the frugal things we have been getting up to for a long time! Except for sharing on our Instagram and on Whatsapp status (did you even know that Whatsapp status is a thing?), we have just been plodding on. But this week we have some good ones to share with you. Our summer lockdown is not going to be wasted at all.
As usual, our aim is to inspire you to do some frugal things too. The money that you save by being frugal can actually be saved for bigger things such as mortgage payments, holidays (when those are possible again), or even for a deposit on a house.
It is definitely good to get out and about and do stuff. We have found a lot of lovely Youtube videos that have inspired us to get on with some little projects too. Here are some of what we have been up to.
Two ways with mint during this summer lockdown
We have noticed that our mint plants have been doing wondrously well as if the recent weather has just been perfect for them! So Leisa thought we should cut them back and dry them for use in the winter when they don’t do so well outdoors.
We love mint tea so we thought this was a good idea and I gave it a go.
To dry the mint, I cut them right back leaving the lowest leaves. Then I took them into the kitchen and gave them a good wash in some slightly salty water to get rid of any insects that might be there. I didn’t actually see any insects but I thought to do it just because.
I then washed the salty water off and left them to drain in the colander for a bit. Later in the day, after we finished using the oven and switched it off, we placed the mint on a baking tray and popped it in the oven with the fan on. By the next morning, we had perfectly dried mint leaves and stems ready to be stored for the winter.
Not only that, but the house had an amazing aroma of minty heaven. That made us feel so homesick too!
I reckon this has saved us at least a tenner when I looked for mint tea bags on Amazon. Are you a mint tea lover?
We had some photo frames that we thought needed a new look. So we gave them what they were looking for. The smallest one that says HOME, was actually a gold frame that didn’t have anything displayed in it.
To update it, I removed the glass and took it outside and gave it some silver spray paint from our stash. It didn’t take long to dry at all so after an hour or so, I took it back inside and inerted a piece of grey cardstock paper. Leisa created the HOME letters using our cutting machine. We are happy with it.
The one with the scrabble letters was made years ago and the frame was also gold. So it too got silver spray paint. We then styled it with a little vase of flowers and one of Leisa’a other frames. This added a nice cosy home feeling to the living room and we are very happy with them.
Almost dumpster diving
A lot of the lifestyle videos that we love watching on Youtube show some really good finds that people make. It’s true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
So we have been on the lookout for anything that someone else has put out that we could use. We haven’t been brave enough to actually look into someone’s skip, yet!
But recently on the way from the post office, Leisa spotted this old rusty table base by the side of the road. She thought it was perfect for a project so she reversed her car and picked it up! That’s brave, innit?
Leisa’s thinking is that this could be cleaned up and used in our outdoor lounge area.
So she got researching to find out how to deal with the rust and she settled with using some coco-cola and steel wool. It didn’t look too bad after that stage so she washed and dried it and spray painted it matte black to match the lounge chairs and parasol.
You might be wondering about the top. Well, she has a perfect idea. When the backsplash in the kitchen broke some years ago, she ordered a new one online. Fortunately or unfortunately her daughter (interior designer in the making) didn’t fancy it for the kitchen because of the colours.
Well, that same backsplash is going to be the new top for this gorgeous table. It will no doubt come in handy for putting our food and drinks when we do a Jamaican style barbecue this summer lockdown. Here is a video of the finished table. Wow is an understatement!
This turned out so well and now we are now eyeing a wooden pallet that’s been sitting on our neighbour’s drive for a few days now. Send us ideas, please!
And if you love these ideas so far, please click the image below to save it to Pinterest for others to see.
Surveys and more surveys
You must know by now that we love completing surveys in our downtime or when we have to be waiting somewhere. These are paid surveys and, although some only pay a small amount, every little adds up. We each have made almost £500 now on Prolific and almost £100 on YouGov. These days the QMEE surveys don’t pay very well but there are some really interesting ones which sometimes gives us an insight into new products and movies etc. So, it’s all good. If you haven’t yet, we would strongly recommend signing up for an account on the ones we suggest here, and in no time you will find your money adding up too.
Using our skills
God bless the days when we learned how to use a sewing machine! Recently a friend asked us to help with some sewing for her new home. We were really happy to help since we had not been able to help her at all due to the lockdown. She was very pleased with the finished products and gave us a little thank you in the form of some crisp banknotes.
Well, another friend found out about it and also asked us to do the same for her. Her banknotes came in handy too, and we used a part of it to get some supplies for an elderly lady who lives alone. We love passing the love on.
Well, we are hearing about a so-called spike in the Coronavirus cases and this sounds really scary. This means that we might still be holed up at home for a long time still to come.
Whatever the situation, we hope you can manage well to keep yourself and your family members safe. We would love to hear how you are getting on during the summer months and especially how you are managing to make or save money to make it go even farther.