Monday, May 28, 2018

Frugal Fun No. 18 - Shopping the sales

Hey friends, I've been doing quite a bit of shopping over the past two weeks, trying to replace lost, broken or worn out items. I stretched my dollars by shopping the sales wherever I could.

First up, L lost her jandals, which was a tragedy because she loves having an easy pair of jandals to slide into whenever we're heading out for a quick trip. I tried finding her a replacement pair at The Warehouse, but seeing as it's nearly winter, didn't have any luck. I decided to make the drive out to DressSmart, since it sells out-of-season gear. Sure enough, we found the last two pairs of jandals selling for just $2 each at Cotton Kids. I bought both pairs, one for now and one for L to grow into. About two days after buying the jandals, L found her old ones at our neighbour's house. Typical.

With S playing netball this year, I wanted to get her decent sports shoes that will hopefully last more than one season. We found a fun pair of Asics at Dresssmart in all the colours she loves, marked down by 50%. Win! She's been bouncing around in them every since, and has even embellished them with smiley faces.  They're already super muddy after she ran her school cross country in them last week. I think they only looked brand new for about half a day.

While at DressSmart, we also visited Typo, where I bought three large scented candles in lidded jars. They were $5 each and I bought them specifically to use when we have power outagess. We've had a couple of outages lately thanks to big storms whizzing through and I found the candles in jars the most practical because they keep all the wax contained, so you can set them anywhere. These ones smell like vanilla, which is one of my favourite scents.

I also bought a three-pack of bags from Typo on a 50% sale. The outer zip bag I'm using to corral all the first aid gear and makeup I carry around in my handbag. I had previously been storing it in a plastic ziploc bag, but the bag kept on popping open and spilling bandaids throughout my handbag. The other two nylon drawstring bags that came in the three-pack are now being used as tog bags for the girls. Somehow L lost her tog bag recently. Gah.

The kids and I took pumpkin soup around to my dear friend, who'd had her wisdom teeth out and wasn't able to eat solid food. We ate the soup with her for lunch and then my friend sent us home with a bag of lemons from her tree and a toy for each of the kids. The lemons came in handy for me, as I've been dealing with a cold all week and been able to use them in hot lemon honey drinks.

I took L to Kathmandu to buy her a winter raincoat last week. All Kathmandu named gear was discounted by 30%, which saved us quite a bit. We managed to nab the last girls' raincoat for L, and I bought it a couple of sizes too big for her so she can wear it for years to come. Her old Kathmandu jacket (which was a hand-me-down from a cousin, but is still in excellent condition and really waterproof), has now been passed down to S, who didn't have a good waterproof jacket before. With the girls playing outdoor netball all winter, they needed good raincoats. I decided to invest in something of good quality that can be passed down from sibling to sibling.

You'll know from my recent post about homeschooling that our dining room was being taken over by homeschool books. It was stressing me out so I went looking for a piece of furniture to organise it all and found this beautiful wooden shelving unit from Bed Bath and Beyond marked down by 50%. It fits perfectly into the space between our dining table and kitchen, and I keep doing double takes whenever I see it, because it's so beautiful.

A few days ago S was adjusting the mirror in our bathroom, when it fell down and broke. I couldn't get used to not having a mirror in our bathroom, so this weekend I went mirror shopping. First I went to Bunnings to check out its bathroom mirror range, thinking I might get a mirrored cabinet, but I didn't see anything I fancied. Next I checked out The Warehouse and happened to hit it at the right time - all the mirrors were reduced to $49 or less. I picked out a beautiful circular mirror that was originally $139, so I saved $90 by getting it on sale. Noice.

J was having the same problem with his wardrobe doors as the girls had with theirs. Since his room is small, we'd put his chest of drawers in the wardrobe, but all the kids like to play Lego directly on the floor in J's room, which meant we had to keep moving it out of the way to get any of his clothes. I went for the easy solution and took his wardrobe doors off, just like I did in the girls room. It has opened his bedroom right up and made it feel so much bigger. Since we store a lot of J's toys in the bottom drawer of his chest of drawers, it also means he's able to play with them more easily now too.

I read several library books over the past fortnight and finished off Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, which has been sitting on our bookshelf for years, but which I'd never read. It was really good. It explained so much about Christianity that I hadn't considered before. Worth a read if you have questions.

The kids and I have been listening to Little Women in the car as we've driven around to various activities. I downloaded it for free from the library using the Overdrive app.
I took advantage of the free shipping offered by World Organics two weekends ago and ordered a new product, The Good Oil, which I've heard amazing things about. I also ordered the Everyday Evening Primrose Moisturizer, because my skin has started to get dry with the changing weather and I wanted something rich and nourishing to combat that. I made sure my order came to more than $99 so I would qualify for May's free gift of the Pomegranate and Shea Hand Cream, which will be a welcome relief on my dry hands. Note #1: I'm a sales consultant for World Organics, so if you order through my webstore:, I will earn a commission. Note #2: I'm only a sales consultant for World Organics because I love and use their products. I also respect the ethical and environmental approach of the company. I'd recommend World Organics even if I didn't earn anything by doing so.

A few months back, I did a big Trim Health Mama order and bought the Integral Collagen. I added a scoop of it to all my smoothies and noticed a massive improvement in my thumb joint, which had been getting stiff and giving me pain after multiple sports injuries over the years. It has been a few weeks since we ran out of the collagen, but it's pretty pricy so I waited to reorder until last weekend. This time I ordered through the Lenabosa Farm website, which ships directly from New Zealand. I also ordered one of the Trim Health Mama Hippy Stick deodorants, which works really well for me and has a lovely scent. Note #3: I don't earn a commission by recommending these THM products to you.

Our cat disappeared for more than 24 hours, in the middle of a huge storm last week. He has never disappeared before and I was so worried. I had pretty much given up hope of ever seeing him again, when he came wandering in. It was such a relief to have him back, but then I noticed one of his eyes wasn't closing properly. He was only using his inner lids, not his outer ones. Paul took him to the vet, who checked him over and said we didn't need to do anything for his eye. It should come right in time. Paul paid the consultancy fee and bought flea and worm tablets while he was there. Our cat has been getting lots of extra cuddles since he reappeared.

This weekend was dedicated to S's birthday. On Saturday, S invited a school friend over for a special birthday play date party. Paul face-painted the two girls before they sat down to a a yummy morning tea with L and J. I had baked a banana cake and decorated it with MnMs, mini Flakes and Freddos for an easy and fun look, since I'm no cake artist.

For her special birthday activity, I took S and her friend to Rainbow's End for the day. It had been stormy all week, so I was nervous about what the weather would be like, but we had a beautiful day and stayed right until closing time. I made use of our almost-expired Entertainment Guide to get one of the girls' tickets for free, saving us $49. In the photo above, you can just see S's feet disappearing up the Tower of Terror at Rainbow's End. She was the only one of us brave enough to go on it, and she absolutely loved it. No fear, that girl.

On Sunday afternoon, Paul took S out for her Daddy-Daughter Dressy Day, which is an annual tradition in our family where Paul takes the birthday girl dress shopping for her birthday. Sadly, S vomited on her way home from the expedition, having caught the vomiting bug her brother had the week before. She was up late into the night vomiting, and my wonderful husband took care of her so I could sleep, since I still haven't shaken the cold that's been plaguing me for a week.

For S's birthday presents, Paul and I have been slowly accumulating items we knew she wanted, as we've seen them go on sale. Paul bought S a Lego Elves set at a Toyworld sale and I managed to find the item she's been asking for for the past two Christmases and birthdays - a Hatchimal - on sale at Kmart for $60. I had been hesitant to get her one initially because it was so expensive and I thought it was just a popular craze item, but she's been dreaming of one for so long that I thought she must actually want to take care of one. I bought one for her and stashed it away in my wardrobe until this weekend. She was so delighted with it, and it really helped cheer her up in the midst of her vomiting bug.

Right now the sun is shining, so I've opened up most of the windows in the house to air it out while I can. It's been raining so much so lately that I haven't been able to do that, and it feels like all the sickness bugs are just circulating and recirculating through the house. I've been running the dehumidifier almost constantly to try and remove whatever moisture and germs I could that way. It helps to keep the house drier, which makes it easier to warm too, but nothing beats fresh air and sunshine.

And that's all my money-saving news for the past fortnight. Although, to be honest, it feels like all I've done for the past two weeks is spend money. Hopefully that's an end to all the spending for a while.  Nobody break or lose anything, please!

What have you done to save money lately?

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