I have this amazing teenager living with us! She came when she was 7 and she is an intricate thread in the fabric of our lives! Yes, she does have her ‘teenage’ moments but they are nothing compared to what some other teenagers get up to. When she first came to me, she had less than 50% attendance at school and I was determined to change that!
Fast forward 9 years later. We went to her awards ceremony at school this week and was pleased as punch as she received award after award, including for 100% attendance at both key stage 3 and 4! I was the proudest parent in the room! I wanted to scream and cheer each time her name was called but she was certain to tell me off for ’embarrassing her’. So I didn’t. I sat beaming with pride and I told her how very proud I was of her. When I said I would reward her with a special treat, her suggestion was a trip to Stratford upon Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare. Game on! I had never been before so I was in for the treat myself. Win-win.
I don’t particularly like driving long distances so the train was our chosen mode of transport. We could both relax and leave transportation up to others. We did not want to risk getting to Stratford too late either and the train is just ideal for this.
We chose to use trainticket.com to purchase our tickets for the trip. It uses a ‘split ticket’ system that allows you to get the best fares. It was pretty straight forward and easy and thankfully we did not have to pay any extra due to purchasing the tickets through this website.
We wanted to be sure to have the tickets before we headed out. I don’t know about you but I hate going to the station to purchase train tickets, only to see the train I want, pulling out of the station. I am glad that we did buy them beforehand. We got to the station just in time to board the train to get to our destination.
Since it was my first time in Stratford Upon Avon, I was eager to soak up the sights but my fellow sightseer wanted to get lunch first, especially as she had not had breakfast due to her excitement. Now I had heard that there was an amazing fish and chips shop. Some of my former students used to harp on about this amazing place which was by the river where there is an amazing promenade where people sit, eat and talk.
So I thought we would eat there. We could not find it initially and as madam was getting rather hungry, we decided on Nando’s for lunch. Well to be fair, I was not too disappointed. We often eat out at Nando’s and we do like their offering. Did you see the Nandos fakeaway meal we cooked up on Shop Smart Save Money?
I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get one of the meals free as I have a Nando’s reward card. So lunch was on the house! With the Nando’s reward card, you are able to amass ‘chilli’ points each time you dine there. The more chilli points you have, the more free food you are entitled to. You can even let the points add up and then take your entire family out. You could possibly not have to pay anything for that dining out experience.
Whilst in Stratford, we were able to use our Debenham’s beauty cards to get the monthly freebie! This month the freebie is a Givenchy mascara! It’s beautiful.
Whilst I was in my local Debenhams store earlier in the week, I used my irresistible charm and asked for and received a lot of free perfume samples. No way am I buying perfume any time soon. You should sign up for a free Debenhams beauty card.
My garden at this time of the year is resplendent with beautiful flowers. I have had some free seeds from Kew. When the season is done and the plants are withered and the seeds are dried, I will continue the gift that keeps on giving by packaging some of the seeds and give them to friends and relatives. That is what I call frugal living!
I was beginning to lose hope of having any real Summer this year as it had been raining so much, but thankfully we are now experiencing glorious sunny days and I am certainly reaping the rewards, from my Summery garden, free Vitamin D and of course the fruits of my garden, blackberries and strawberries which make a welcome appearance to my Summer fruit smoothies.
We reap the fruits, wash and prepare them then add them to other fruits in the freezer. Each time I am ready to make a smoothie, I remove the fruits about an hour before, then blend them with either water or part juice and part water to make the most wonderful thirst quenchers. The kids don’t miss ice lols and they prefer the taste of the smoothies and slurp it up with the free metal straws that we received in the post last week. Bliss!
I am really proud of my frugal prowess. I hope you are inspired to start your frugal journey too and don’t forget to let us know how you are getting on too.