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Thriftily Frugal June 24, 2009

Posted by beingbeatrice in Uncategorized.
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I am declaring myself, from this day forward, a thrifter.

I am a consumer junkie. I buy magazines as if they were necessary to hold my house up. I buy yarn, fabric & embroidery floss because it’s pretty & I want it. I buy shower gel, shampoo, conditioner & hairspray for me & a whole other load (cheaper versions! tee hee!) for my fella. I used to buy clothes, shoes & books as if they were going out of fashion (some probably were!) but that started to change last year when my boyfriend & I moved into our flat. Back then I still smoked & would go out most weekends. Even now I think nothing about buying a bottle of Coke a day & eating out because i wanted an extra hour in bed and i didn’t have time for breakfast!


I am too broke. It’s crazy. Our flat is roomy, it’s in a lovely area, but it’s expensive. We live in Oxford which is one of the most expensive places to live in the UK. The South East has the highest property prices in England after London. I’ve seen places to rent in Hillingdon (Greater London) cheaper than you can get in Oxford. The cost of eating out & drinks in bars are the same as london. The difference is in London you generally get paid more for the same job. (Not everyone in London is on a good wage I know!) So the reality is that I simply can’t afford to live the way that I have been.

These days we are all more globally & environmentally aware, we are informed consumers, but consumers we still are. More & more people are buying handmade, local, organic, fairtrade and so on. Handmade is great because it gave us Etsy! So with all the environmentally aware information floating about it’s not too difficult to make sensible choices. Given my own financial crisis i’m voting for local where possible, in season for food but not for clothes, and trades, charity shops & handmade for everything else!

I actually bought a tomato plant the other day, my first tentative baby step towards being more sustainable & having tastier tomatoes! I intend to buy pots of herbs too as they are expensive to buy “fresh” from the supermarket & they don’t last very long.

Soon my garden will look a little bit like the one above!

I will no longer buy magazines (apart from Frankie I can’t live without it) but I will reread the ones that I already own. (When we moved house I had 2 boxes filled with magazines!) Vogue, Elle Living, Zest, Giant Robot, Nude… they’re all great to revisit.

Books I will buy from charity shops. You get some amazing bargains that way. Why spend £7.99 on it when you can pick it up for £1.50? And if it’s a gift for somebody else I will slip off to a cool little bookstore I know of in Jericho, Oxford that sells brand new books for £2! Yep, you read that correctly!

Stack of old books

Kitchen stuff will be easy I will just head straight back to those charity shops.. Mr Joaly breaks crockery & glasses as though he were a Greek so its not worth spending much money on mugs & plates anyway!

Clothes… my theory here is to only buy them if I actually need them. I’m going to Mr Joaly’s brothers wedding at the end of August & I have to buy an outfit for that I don’t think baggy skater jeans & a Gremlins t-shirt would be deemed appropiate! That’s pretty much all I need though.

I guess I’ll just have to avoid BleubirdVintage then… 😉

I am also attempting to restrain myself from buying any more materials until I’ve used up the majority of what I have. My crafting hobby is costing a small fortune itself! Speaking of which i finished off my latest piece of embroidery out in the garden this afternoon.. pics to come!

Hope I haven’t bored you all to tears, just wanted to let you know that I’m entering the Thrifty World as my blog may well take a slightly different slant as I become increasingly desperate  inventive! Any great money saving/making tips you guys might have would be much appreciated!

Ciao xoxoxox



1. Black-Eyed Suzie - June 24, 2009

While Montreal is nowhere near as expensive as London or Oxford, I too have recently started major thrifting due to scant income. I rent movies from the library and ride my bike everywhere…to some people, my life must seem very dull, but I find you can find ways to live well on the cheap. Also, investing in a few good cookbooks (or getting them from the library) can save you tons of money by cooking at home. I also now get my guilty pleasure, Vanity Fair, from the library. Finally, when I get bored of the cds / mp3s I already own, I listen to lastfm.com, which has amazing new musicians I’ve never heard before and will play music in continuous stream. I love Coco Rosie radio and Alela Diane is lovely, if you’re into singer-songwriter. Happy thrifting!

2. avengingapril - June 25, 2009

this is why i use cloth nappies now lol! i would be spending about £65pm on nappies otherwise!
Its mad.
I only but when i need to aswell, especially at the mo as im in the process of losing weight.

in reply to your comment:
ooh wicked, I’ll take some off your hands, thankyou xxx

Next monday is good for me hun. Gimme a text or a msg on facebook on what time you’d like to meet and where [im free till 2.30/3pm as gotta pick up the eldest from school] 🙂 xxx

3. bluebicicletta - June 25, 2009

Good luck to you on this new adventure! I also wanted to recommend the public library—don’t know how it is in England, but in the U.S. they have all sorts of current magazines, so I can read what I want for free there without having to buy them. They don’t have really specific topical magazines, but they do have a pretty good collection at my public library. Our library also has book and magazine sales! In addition to the wealth of books you can read FOR FREE, you just can’t beat all of these wonderful things the library has to offer!

4. Sara - June 26, 2009

My job situation has become dicey so I’m in the process of doing the same things… trying to save wherever possible, trying not to waste anything (especially food), shopping at the thrift store, not eating out, and generally making my own fun. At first I was feeling down about it, but now I’m enjoying the challenge. Funny that by buying less lately I’m decluttering more too….less coming in and more going out makes my house happy! 🙂

Congrats on starting a garden!! It’s amazing to watch your plants grow bigger and bigger. I love to look at pictures of the garden in the beginning of spring when it’s the middle of summer- what a huge difference!

Good luck! I can’t wait to see the results of your thriftiness 🙂

5. beingbeatrice - June 27, 2009

Thank you guys for your comments!

The library is a resource that I do always seem to forget about but I did go & get myself a new library card a couple of months ago so its about time I started using it 🙂

Sara – Ive also noticed that i’m decluttering.. thank goodness for ebay!

6. suzie chaney - June 29, 2009

I came over to say hi after reading your encouraging comments on the etsy forum! I have to tell you about my town in France where we have a big warehouse full of gems; clothes (often designer) range from 50 cents to 5 euros, english books for about a euro, all sorts of gorgeous vintage bits and bobs for the home and I even picked up an imac there for 30 euros! It is my biggest treat of the week to go there for a rummage!

Love the blog, you have a great writing style, I shall definitely be back!


7. beingbeatrice - June 29, 2009

Suzie I’m jealous! Your local warehouse sounds awesome 😉 Thanks for dropping by, I read your blog too & I’ll be back for more!

8. Making Strangers - July 22, 2009

Cambridge, like Oxford = very expensive (am unemployed – nightmare!) so am currently living from the veggie patch along with the necessities and reduced groceries. Been wearing 2nd hand for so long now, and even then – the same items of clothing for 10 years! Luckily (or not?) my parents hoarded all their old 70’s clothes so for years I had an attic full of clothes to choose from. Needless to say, it defined my style… I’m wearing this stuff as it goes in-and-out of fashion again and again. 😉
Love handmade but the clothing is (very justifiably) expensive, and can barely sew a button. 2nd hand bookshops are fantastic because you can get the same as new, but also the old poetry and handwritten notes in books (love that). Can’t wait for Cambridge Central Library to re-open… gonna live in that place!

In reply to your comment on my blog, the pub is the King Street Run.. rockers pub. Upstairs the furniture is stuck to the ceiling & it’s a proper dive, all dark and grungy. Just the way I like it!

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