We’re half way through 2017, and as I am also half way through my buying nothing new challenge, I thought it was probably time for another update.
So, how has it been going?
First of all, I should ‘fess up to my tumble off the wagon. I bought a new tablecloth. I am weak. A local friend runs a wonderful textile business, Etoile Home, and sadly she is closing it down. That meant piles upon piles of delicious bargains popping up in my Facebook and Instagram feeds, and in the end it turns out that, like Oscar Wilde, I can resist everything except temptation. The tablecloth I bought is yellow, which always gets a massive tick from me, and stain-resistant (another tick), and was reduced to £10. And I’m not even remotely sorry, because I love it so much!
In other new purchases, both children have had (yet more) new shoes, and I also acquired a bright red Ariel wig as Anna was jointly playing the lead role (not-so-stealth boast) in her school’s production of The Little Mermaid. And then last week, when the thermometer in Sophia’s bedroom was reading 28 degrees, but she was still refusing to go to bed without her sleeping bag, there was an emergency purchase of a JoJo Maman Bebe muslin sleeping bag. I even forked out for next day delivery. I’m pretty sure anyone parenting a toddler during a heatwave would agree that your night’s sleep being (further) compromised is an emergency, and anything which mitigates this is totally justified.
Luckily, it was the Walthamstow Village Jumble Trail – one of the highlights of my calendar – the weekend the heatwave descended, and I managed to get a really good quality John Lewis fan for Anna’s bedroom there. Along with a barely worn Joules skirt for me for 50p, a beach ball for the paddling pool for 50p, a pop-up fairy castle tent for £2, a Zara dress for Anna for 50p and 4 pairs of pyjamas for the children (3 of them brand-new with tags) for £5.
This was the same weekend that husband and I had managed a sneaky night away together in Amersham, and I hit charity shop gold.
Amersham is a very well-heeled, well-to-do little town on the edge of the Chilterns, and I bagged a duck-egg blue Hobbs cashmere sweater for £7, some ultra-comfy animal print trousers for £7, and the star of the show, a brand-new-with-tags Toast dress, for just £25. I know this adds up to nearly £40 of spend, but the items would come to almost £300 new. And whereas I’m not averse to the odd Primark bargain, I do think that one thing this year has taught me is that it is better value to scour charity shops or jumble sales, or stalk eBay, for really amazing clothes from more expensive brands you love, rather than spend the equivalent money on cheap treats.
We’ve had a few Sell or Swap delights as well – a lovely framed vintage-style alphabet poster for Sophia’s room, and a pile of gorgeous age 3-4 Mini Boden clothing for me to stash away for next year.
Seeing everyone’s sales bargains on Instagram is tough at the moment, not to mention the emails continually popping up offering discounts of 40%/50%/60%. We won’t even get started on the fact that I’m missing out on the Boden sale! However, I can’t really complain. Thanks to charity shopping and jumble trailing we have all enjoyed plenty of treats recently, spent a lot less money, and had the satisfaction of supporting good causes or making a little extra money for friends and neighbours with the purchases we have made.