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A very useful book!

The idea for a page on how to live as thriftily as possible was inspired by a book called The Thrift Book written by India Knight. (published by Penguin). It is crammed full of money-saving ideas and well worth seeking out (available at less than full price if you buy online).

Living within your budget is something most of us, of a certain age, are used to and it is nothing new. I was taught to sew at school and made most of my own clothes for years. Whilst not a favourite pastime, mending was a necessary evil, and the idea of throwing something away because it needed a button replacing or a small hole mended would never have occurred to me. My mother-in-law even used to 'turn' shirt collars which was an appallingly labour-intensive and time-consuming process. However, good shirts in those days were very expensive and I can see the reason for doing it. We all used to get our shoes mended too and took care of our clothes in order to make them last as long as possible.

Then shirts, shoes and just about everything else became much cheaper and the throw-away culture began. Now, the days of making-do and mending are perhaps back so I hope the ideas on this page are helpful!

Buying Sensibly or Swapping

Have you ever thought of swapping unwanted clothes that are in good condition? Or making your own? Or just budgeting better and buying clothes less often i.e. just once or twice a year (for summer or winter) rather than every week?
And don't forget charity shops!
Of course, you can find bargains on eBay - and not just clothes!
If you want to bid for something but cannot be at your computer as the auction ends, you can use this website to monitor the sale and get in at the last minute with a, hopefully, winning bid.
Charity shops usually carry stocks of clothing - well worth a rummage. Click to find a charity shop around Bovington or just pop into any charity shop whenever and wherever you see one!
There are several websites now that have lots of discount vouchers for shopping online at various stores - not only for clothes but just about anything and everything from chocolates to electrical goods. Click for websites.
Website with advice on all aspects of sewing - dressmaking and home furnishings. Guide to buying a sewing machine, advice on use of fabrics.
Website with lots of helpful info from how to hold the needles to the point of casting off! Also info on crochet.
If you can sew, you can save money by making your own clothes, quilts, etc. AND using the lovely things you make as presents for other people - pretty cot quilts make sweet christening presents. Moor Sewing, based in Devon, can mail you the necessary material - click for website.
Swapstyle is an online fashion swap party where you can swap clothes, accessories, cosmetics, shoes and lots more with people from all around the world at any time, day or night.
Party and swap at the same time. Swishing involves getting your friends together to swap clothes and party at the same time. Every lady must bring at least one good quality, clean item of clothing, or an accessory, that she'd feel proud to hand on.
Whatsmineisyours.com rejects the term ‘throw away’ fashion, believing that every item can go on a series of journeys from one loving owner to the next. Founded in 2004 by fashionista, stylist and personal shopper, Judy Berger, whatsmineisyours.com is the original and first British fashion swap website.
There are a lot of these sites offering discount vouchers for masses of shops and restaurants.
Have a look at the website www.seefilmfirst.com - you can register for free and receive email alerts for film previews near you. SeeFilmFirst is a ticketing system, used by the major film companies and the media to supply tickets for previews. For some films they have 1,000s of tickets to offer members, for others they have allocations after offering to a third party promoter so it can be potluck how many tickets are available for each film. All tickets are offered on a first come, first served basis.
If you live in London, you can find free films on the LondonisFree website (click below). You can also find free theatre, concerts, etc. on this site.
Look at the Money Saving Expert website for all sorts of tips and information.

Useful websites for careful shopping and cooking

Check out the websites below for good ideas on how to save money on your food shopping.
This site covers many areas where you can save money but check out special offers and vouchers that you can print off for supermarkets and restaurants.
Fill your online trolley and the site then works out how much four supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsbury, Ocado and Asda) would charge you for that trolley-full. You can then decide where to shop.
Eating foods that are in season can work out cheaper than buying exotic, out of season fruit and veg. This BBC site has seasonal recipes.

House Swaps

Have you ever considered doing a house-swap? This involves literally swapping your house for some other private family home within the UK or overseas. It means that the accommodation part of your holiday is free and you have only to cover travel, food and entertainment costs. Sounds good and it is, BUT it is not hassle-free as obviously you must leave both your own and your swap's house in immaculate order. Well worth a thought though.
Green Theme International Home Exchange agency was established in 1989 just as the debate about consideration for the environment and the need for sustainable tourism was just beginning. GTI suggest you 'protect your environment by using existing resources to the full, thus reducing the ever increasing demand for mass tourism development'.
This is a USA based website but has exchange listings worldwide. Click on a country where you want to go, Click on an interesting Listing and then send a privacy protected email to that Listing directly from the site.
This is a UK based home-swap website.
Homelink is an international house-swap company with local organisers in 27 countries and has been in operation for quite a long time.
Most of the big daily national newspapers (and the Sunday papers) have online sites where you can read the news FOR FREE! The content might be slightly less than in the paper version. Click for list.
Do you belong to your local lending library? If you do, you will know that you can borrow books for three weeks at no charge. If you don't already belong, click for a list of local lending libaries throughout the UK. They cost nothing to join!

Recycle as much as possible!

You can recycle clothes - not just via the clothing bank or charity shops, but at swapping parties or by restyling if your sewing skills are up to that.

You can recycle just about everything by putting it on eBay and wait for somebody to bid for something you no longer want or need.

Don't forget local community jumble sales and bazaars - an excellent way to offload unwanted gifts you may have been given and help a good cause at the same time!

You can also try recycling most items via a website called Freecycle - see below.
A good way to advertise and dispose of any goods you no longer want - the service is free. Somebody will almost certainly want what you what to get rid of, and it saves just throwing away perfectly good and useable things or taking them to landfill.
Click for sites where you can find a possible car share for lifts to work or a local car club which enables you to hire a car for a short time just when you need it, rather than by the day or week.
This site can save you a lot of money IF you can find a megatrain or bus that goes to and from the destinations you have in mind.
Lots of helpful ideas on saving money on your travel costs. Click on the Travel/Transport tab. As well as train and air travel, you can also find information on cheapest petrol/diesel prices, travel money, airport parking, etc.
It's worth getting a UK railcard if you travel a lot. And definitely worth it if you are a student - getting a third off those long journeys to and from college has to be a good idea!
Useful website with masses of information about all forms of travel - might help you save some money.
If you have a car you are not using or can do without, you can save on its tax by filling out a SORN declaration.