Purchases and savings

I am ressurecting this much neglected page in an attempt to keep a tally on how much money (if any) we are saving for the second half of our Make Do and Mend Year!

So I will write down everything we buy (not food etc, that would just be dull…), how much we paid for it, and what it might have cost if we had bought it new. I will put the savings in red and the running total in brackets afterwards.

Here goes:


Brown leather mid-calf boots-Vintage shop in Devizes-£15. I have been eyeing up boots in Clarks for a while, and there are some lovely ones for about £80 BUT given the whole sorry boot fiasco, I have already spent £35 on the rubbish E-bay boots, and about £20 on the Caterpillar boots (when you add in the cost of the dye), so total secondhand boot costs so far this year are £70. Still £10 up, but haven’t actually found a pair that are 100% what I am looking for yet either….
Saving £10


Jumper for me, walking talking robot for BigSmall, 2 toy cars for SmallSmall and a glass jar. All FREE from the Give and Take Day in Trowbridge! I am not going to count the robot and the toy cars, as we wouldn’t really have gone out and bought these, but even so, I reckon I could have spent £10 on a jumper in Sainsbury’s while doing a spot of shopping, and glass jars are probably about £2?
Saving £12 (£22)


I made a gorgeous brooch from upcycled felted sweaters at one of the workshops at the Oxfam Craft Tea Party.


Cost me a £5 donation to Oxfam. Would easily pay £10 for something similar in a chi-chi little gift shop
Saving £5 (£27)


Mothers Day. I made a couple of batches of shortbread, and we made cards from bits we had ‘in stock’. I would usually have got my mum some flowers and/or chocolates. Last year I got some daffodils and tulips, and re-wrapped them in brown paper so they looked a bit posher (!), so 2 lots of these (one for my mother-in-law too) + 2 cards would have been £10. And I think the spend on me was pretty much zero for my lovely homemade flowers…! I guess the boys could have spent another £10 on bits for me.
Saving £20 (£47)


Ice Lolly Moulds-£1.99-charity shop. I found some IKEA one’s online for £2.99
Saving £1 (£48)
Gingerbread man cookie cutter-£0.49-charity shop-Cheapeast one I could find in a brief search on Amazon was £2.25
Saving £1.76 (£49.76)
Marbles-approximately 50-£1.50-charity shop-I found 50 for £0.84 on Amazon BUT with £0.99 P+P so £1.83
Saving £0.33 (£50.09)


Birthday party-4 year old boy-drawstring bag containing half of marbles above, + print out of some games to play. Cost £0.75 (for half the marbles).

I struggle to know how much we would have spent on birthday presents like this, but I reckon with a card and wrapping paper, it could easily be £10
Saving £9.25 (£59.34)


Headscarf for a friend having chemo – charity shop-£2. I have no idea headscarves are in ‘real life’ £10?
Saving £8 (£67.34)


Birthday party-another 4 year old-girl this time. I made a hair grip tidy, from bits in stock, so cost me £0!!

Lily hair grip1
Saving £10 (£77.34)


Easter-amongst the usual chocolate overload, we the Easter Bunny secreted a some little bits for the Smalls around the garden.
Large plastic Lightning McQueen toy car in Dinoco colours, with wings that pop out (exciting if you are a Small boy)-I think I paid £3 at a table top sale for this before Christmas. Can’t find it online-I am guessing at least £10
Saving £7 (£83.34)
4 small die cast Lightning McQueen cars-bought as parts of bundles of cars on E-aby (hubby is becoming a little obsessed..)-probably cost about £10 altogether. They are about £3.50 each on Amazon, so would have cost £14
Saving £4 (£87.34)
Handmade cards for Easter x4 -£0. Could easily pay £2.50 in the shops-£10
Saving £10 (£97.34)

Flea Market
Wicker basket-£12.50-They are about this much online-so not much of a saving here, but I think my basket is much nicer!
Saving £0 (£97.34)
Retro 70’s alarm clock-£10-Looked on the John Lewis website and found some for about £20 (there are some cheaper on Amazon, but in reality, Amazon would not have been my first port of call for an alarm clock, and we would have more than likely picked one in John Lewis or similar)
Saving £10 (£107.34)
Retro magazine rack-£8-Something vaguely similar online is about £30
Saving £22 (£129.34)
Sack-cloth potato bag-for making bags/cushions-£2. No idea how to compare this!
Saving £0 (£129.34)
Vintage 1950’s women’s home magazines £7.50-Wouldn’t have found these new!
Saving £0 (£129.34)

Total savings for March £129.34

Jigsaw for a friend-from my mother in law’s ‘stock’ for her charity stall-50p. How much are new jigsaws? £5?
Saving £4.50 (£133.84)


Vinyl LP-E-bay-for a 50th birthday present. Cost £3.49. Made into a record clock for present, which we wold probably have spent about £20 on.
Saving £16.50  (£150.34)

Large picture frame from the Rec Yard-£10. Made into a magnetic memo board for my Mum’s birthday using bits we had already at home. Would usually have spent about £25 on pressie
Saving £15 (£165.34)


‘Swished’ some clothes. Got a 3 new tops-made a donation of £5 on the door, and de-cluttered some bits out of my wardrobe! If I had bought 3 new tops, even if just from the supermarket, would have been at least £30
Saving £25 (£190.34)


SmallSmall’s birthday. We spent a grand total of £0.45 on his presents… Reckon we would have spent about £50?
Saving £49.55 (£239.89)


Duvet and 2 pillowcases-loved the fabric, and will use the pillowcases for making pillowcase dresses at our Dress A Girl Around the World sewing day. £3.99 in a charity shop. Not sure I have really saved anything here..!

I am still a fabric addict at heart...

I am still a fabric addict at heart…


One of hubby’s work colleagues was having a garage sale. On behalf of my Dad, we bought a secondhand petrol powered strimmer, and a hedge trimmer, and because of that, we got this lot for FREE!!
garage sale1

I have no idea really what the big thing is-hubby tells me it is for cutting things at angles. Why that is important, again, I have no idea, but hubby was quite excited by it… There is also some steel wool, some small forcepy things, and a magnifier….
No idea how to quanitfy that lot-£30?
Saving £30 (£269.89)


We lost the charger for our old laptop, which is not a complete disaster as we no longer really use it, BUT the other day we wanted it for something, and obviously it wouldn’t start. Another of hubby’s work colleagues had a spare brand new one, and GAVE it to us (they really are a very generous lot at hubby’s work..!)
On Amazon, they are about £20.
Saving £20 (£289.89)


I saw a sign for a garage sale driving along the other day, so HAD to go and check it out! It was a real eclectic mix of stuff. I cam e away with 5 washing up brushes, 5 small rolls of sellotape, a packet of bamboo BBQ skewers (no idea why, they looked useful) and a pack of colouring books/pens etc for the Smalls-£3 Maybe saved a couple of pounds?
Saving £2 (£291.89)


Car Booty-a wicker basket for transporting and displaying wool for the Upcycle Exchange-£2-£10 for similar on Amazon
A galvanised steel tub-large baby bath size! £15-maybe saved £5?
A ‘Tin-Top’ from Roary talking car for SmallSmall-50p-£14.99 on Amazon
A DK Dinosaurs sticker book with only a few of the stickers done for BigSmall-30p-RRP £3.99. I know a few have been done, but BigSmall is chuffed to bits!
Saving £31.18 (£323.07)


Another wicker basket for the Upcycle Exchange-£10-I said earlier they were about £12.50 online, so saved £2.50
A retro 1970’s biscuit tin-again for the Upcycle Exchange-£10-guess I could have used any old biscuit tin, so not really saving much here!
Mini retro thermos flask-£1-average about £10 on Amazon-saving £9
Saving £11.50 (£334.57)


A new charity shop has opened up in town (the excitement!) and all the clothes are 99p. Yay! I went in for a mooch about the other day and came out with a pure wool jumper which I plan to felt, and a Postman Pat duvet cover for SmallSmall!
Saving at least £10 (£344.57)


Roary the Racing Car book-75p.
RRP £3.99
Saving £3.24 (£347.81)
Micro scooter thing for the Smalls £3.99 Similar ones are about £33 on Amazon.
Saving £30 (£377.81)


Fleece blanket/throw. Will cut this up to make liners for SmallSmall’s nappies. Charity Shop £2. We usually buy the cheap Ikea ones which I think are £3
Saving £1 (£378.81)
Crocs for the Smalls. Hugely lucky find-one pair for each Small! £1.25 each
Not sure how much we would have paid had we bought these new. One of the pairs was from JoJo Maman Bebe, so wouldn’t have been cheap, but then I don’t think we would have bought them from there!
Maybe saved £10 altogether? (£388.81)
Size 11 wellies for BigSmall. I know it’s Summer. I am learning to grab things as I see them! £1.50
Saving about £8.50? (£397.31)


5 thoughts on “Purchases and savings

  1. Pingback: Budget Day | My Make Do and Mend Year

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