Sunday, 7 February 2016

The thrifty weekender.

The thrifty weekender, slightly less raucous than its Magaluf counterpart but no less enjoyable...

As I'm writing this, I'm three out of four days into a long weekend. I'm trying to apply a more strategic approach to my annual leave allowance this year as in the past, I've taken odd hours or half days here and there which means I was never able to fully relax and get away from work. By October, I was completely run down and the final couple of months of the year were pretty hard-going! This year, I'm carefully planning a long weekend every month and then having a week in summer some time around my birthday.

On Saturday I met up with Donna, Rachelle and Jenni for a long overdue catch up and of course some charity shopping. Following a successful excursion to Ormskirk last year, we decided on Preston this time around. As you may know, Preston's my home town so it meant I could also spend some time with my parents and I had some idea of where we might find the best bargains, though we have Rachelle to thank for the itinerary!

For those of you who are familiar with Preston, our first stop was Lane Ends. Barnardo's and a huge Sue Ryder unit are next to each other with three more charity shops as you walk down Blackpool Road towards Ashton. I was the only one to have no luck in Barnardo's but Sue Ryder yielded this super cute door mat for £1, super glittery brand new Autograph make up bag for £1.25 and super sparkly necklace also £1.25.
I was really sad to discover one of the cheaper shops had closed down completely and two of the remaining ones weren't open. This struck us all as a bit strange as Saturday is usually the best day for trading, is it not? Rachelle suggested it might be more difficult to find people to volunteer on a Saturday as it's a day people normally spend with their family and friends - I'd never really thought of it like that (probably because Saturday is my Friday!) but I suppose that might be true. I was so disappointed that the Samaritans shop wasn't open as I always walk away from there with a purchase, having given money to a charity I feel really passionately about.

After an argument with a disgruntled taxi driver, half a cider and a quick look at the disappointing City score we were back on the road to Plungington (terrible name, amazing place). Unfortunately, my favourite shop there was also closed but I managed to pick up this lovely Hearts and Bows jumper for £3 and two pairs of jeans from H&M and Miss Selfridge for £2.50 each.
Jeans haven't been a staple in my wardrobe since I was about seventeen and seven and a half stone. I just couldn't get them to fit! However, since taking up ice skating at the beginning of the year, I've had to vary my skirts and dresses diet for fear of flashing everyone when falling over and they've come back into life.

With a fair few items each, we decided to go and get some food at The Ferret. I ordered a spicy beetroot and five bean burger which was an absolute challenge to eat, especially as pieces kept trying to escape onto Jenni's plate. I've also got to commend The Ferret on having Midori behind the bar and on their amazing vintage wallpapered toilets!
I'm wearing a fluffy black jacket from British Red Cross in Eccles, necklace from the RSPCA shop in Shaw and the mustard jumper is also a charity shop find but I can't for the life of me remember which shop!
Bag is a charity shop one but ages old and the pom pom is from one of my favourite places on earth, Cedar Farm. The toilets were also home to some excellent graffiti...
Cats! Who doesn't love cats?
 (Who are these people who take black marker pens on nights out with them?!)

I'd like to thank Jenni, Rachelle and Donna for a lovely day and hopefully there will be more to come!

Saturday really gave me charity shop fever so after my ice skating lesson in Altrincham this morning, I decided to pay Manchester charity shop favourites Didsbury and Chorlton a visit.
I wore bright blue charity shop skinny jeans, a Fat Face coat I picked up in Scope in Sale for £8, another mustard top (loving mustard at the moment) and my beloved leopard Adidas ZX flux trainers. Unfortunately I wasn't lucky enough to find them in a charity shop but they are on sale at the moment here. They're my favourite thing in the world at the moment!
First purchase was this black skirt from Mind in Didsbury for £2.50, closely followed by this cream skirt from Shelter at £3.
Next stop was Sue Ryder in Chorlton where I spotted these super cute little gold charms in the cabinet. I've been after a wishbone necklace for ages as me and my dad always used to split the wishbone when we had a roast chicken Sunday dinner when I was a child and in my meat-eating days. It's a memory that's always stuck with me. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find one I like as the wishbone is always too big or too small but this is just perfect so I'm going to take a trip to The Bead Shop in Afflecks tomorrow and pick up a chain to make my own!
There were so many similar little charms in the case so I also got this little pearl with the hope of making a bracelet. I bought a little gold peace dove too but it's got lost in transit which I'm devastated about. I can only hope it's been picked up and taken to a loving home.
I also got this book for £1.70 - I was mainly just interested in its ridiculous title and really odd cover.
From Oxfam Books in Chorlton I got 'All the Bright Places' by Jennifer Niven. Now, we all know my feelings on overpriced charity shop books and this certainly fell into that bracket at £2.99 BUT I was about to buy it on Amazon new last night so I'm taking that as a bargain still...
I think I've left the best until last. These AMAZING Topshop boots were just £4.99 from Oxfam. They're just everything I could want in a boot - black, pointy, heel but just a little, buckle - ah, I just love them! Thanks Oxfam for pricing them reasonably so I didn't have to live without them!
Total spend - a not so thrifty £29.68 but I love what I got for that and it did come out of some share dividend money I was lucky enough to receive on Monday (thanks Grandma).

How's your charity shop 2016 going? I think I'm off to a flyer!

Char x


  1. I can't believe you're a fellow Cedar Farm fan, or that we've never spoken about it before. They used to do vintage fairs there too! You found some great things today too! I love that nude skirt! I'm wearing my stripe dress today that I bought from Sue Ryder. SO comfy! And yes, the wallpaper in the Ferret was immense!

    1. I can't believe you know of it! I've been going for about 22 years or something ridiculous like that...
      That dress was a bargain at £1! :)

  2. I totally need to find myself some Charity Shopping buddies as it can be a lonely old life haha

    I am loving mustard too at the moment, and I am also loving those boots! What a bargain!!

  3. Awesome finds! It always bugs me when charity shops aren't open at the weekends too - so many people work at the weekends now that it shouldn't really be seen as unsociable hours any more. Also, as you pointed out, it's prime trading time! :)

  4. It's a shame about the charity shops closing- you really expect that's when they'd do some sterling business, but that is a good point about family time! You did well on the boots, they are great and how nice to find the wishbone charm! I bought a few good charity shop items this previous month but I'm struggling to think what- Ooooh, I know!!! I was in Hexham and I found a beautiful metal leaf brooch- I'd seen ones like them in Spitalfields market for £35 and they were metal that has been laid like gold leaf over real leaves and then had a brooch attached. I loved them but thought £35 was too much but got one in the charity shop for £1.50! It really looks like a real Autumn leaf but with a slight shimmer of the metal like a leaf in the rain!
    I saw Donna's brilliant shoes as well, she did well!
    I also bought a cute pale blue Topshop jumper with tiny Intarsia hearts all over it for £2.50 and some kiddies books brand new, 4 for a pound for school!x