winging it mum

Thrifty Thursday #2

Being thrifty can sometimes be risky. There is no guarantee of success and often no money back option. We were stung twice this week! Surely you have been stung too?

Last weekend, we were invited to our friends wedding. After a busy morning, we set off to buy some snacks for the kids to eat during the wedding (as we knew the ceremony would go into lunchtime). Ah the things we need to think of as parents! During the dash to the shops, Brett and I realized that none of his suitable shirts were ready to be worn to our friends big day. Knowing we were strapped for time, I looked at Brett and said you go to the bakery and I’ll slip into the op shop and see if they have a shirt! To my surprise, there was a nice shirt there. A white shirt in good condition, with a nice pale purple pinstripe. Brett tried it on quickly and we thought it was a little snug but it should be ok. After paying out a massive $3 we rushed home to throw on our wedding clothes. As we were about to leave, Brett went to pick up Jasmine and ………wait for it …………we heard a rip!!! Afraid to see where; I scanned him to see that there was a rip on his elbow. We had to leave! So on went his jacket. Our secret was safe……… until now;) Yes, this was a thrifty purchase worthy of a Thrifty Thursday mention, but an honest mention, describing that the shirt served the purpose but only just. Needless to say Brett changed his shirt for the reception.

Then I fell victim too! Whilst at the Camberwell market on Sunday (a quick visit) I saw a shirt. A thrifty $5 shirt! I thought this looks cute. Only to get it home and try it on and well… guessed it! It’s not cute! So I may try to rescue it with my sewing skills, another risky step! You win some, you lose some!

What are some of your thrifty disasters? Share them with us:)

Em xx


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Thrifty Thursday #1

I am a shopper, hunter of bargains, garage sale gal and op shop junkie! There it’s out there and I feel the better for it. I love sales! When I purchase something on sale I actually “make money”. I take the full price of the item purchased and subtract the sale price from that. This glorious figure that I am left with is the money that I have made, my salary for bargain hunting I guess:). Op shopping and garage sales excite me. As you enter them you never know what you will find. Sometimes you leave empty handed and other times someone has to help you carry your loot to the car! Thrifty Thursday posts will pop up to share some “money making” successes I’ve had recently or ideas on ways we can “make money” whilst having fun with our family and friends. I would love to hear some of your success stories too!

1. Friends of the zoo membership

For Christmas mum gave us as a family friends of the zoo yearly passes. We tried and tested them for the first time today. It worked a treat! We walked straight in, after flashing the card and the zoo was ours. This membership entitles you to unlimited entry into Melbourne zoo, Healesville sanctuary and Werribee open range zoo.We only saw a small section of the zoo today but it didn’t matter because well we could go back again soon. If the kids were playing up you could leave and not feel bad about wasting all that money! I’m looking forward to lots of visits now! You only need to go 4 times to “make money”;) haha

2. Amazing toy find!

At a local op shop, we were lucky enough to stumble onto some awesome toys yesterday. When I saw them I actually got excited and wanted to play with them myself. We bought an airplane, fire truck and crane, I decided to leave the garbage truck behind. The level of detail in these toys and their mint condition alluded to one thing – these must have been Grandma’s house toys!!! All up the set cost $11. After showing Brett this set it was decided that we needed to return and get the garbage truck too! Total set now $15!!! I will be putting away the fire truck and crane as they have so many small pieces not ideal to have around a 16 month old.

Bargain hint: For kids toys, I have found that just after Christmas there are amazing toys, books and games that appear in the op shop. My theory is people look at culling their existing toys to make way for all the new toys. Or perhaps it’s a good school holiday activity? Try for yourself, get out there and see what you can find.

How have you “made money” this week?

Em xx20120119-203929.jpg


Cringe – with a capital C!

Have you ever seen someone at the shops that you were sure you knew? Their face was familiar but you just couldn’t place them. What brain games do you do to try to figure out who they are or  to place them in your world?

For me I go through my main networks; groups I belong to, friendship circles, my hobbies, Brett’s peps and then do the same process but for my past connections. My mum goes through the alphabet and thinks of names starting with each letter until she can remember the person’s name. What works for you?

As I was shopping at our local shops the other day I saw someone who seemed familiar to me but struggled to place. Luckily in a supermarket you go up and down aisles. She was doing the same aisles as us but coming from the opposite end, so I got plenty of ponder time and regularly refreshed her image in my mind. But still nothing!

Then Jasmine turned to me and said ” Mum there is one of my kinder teachers”. She seemed excited she had either just had success with her mind game of placement or she had remembered she was about to start 3 year old kinder. I sighed with relief; placement of this familiar face had been achieved!

Jasmine turned back to me and went on to say in her normal loud voice “where is the other FAT one?” ( those of you that have known me for sometime would know I hate the word “fat”, it is overused and not a nice describing word). I was shocked and said “what!”, to which Jasmine said even louder “where is the FAT one?”. I nearly died. I knew we were close enough and she was loud enough to be heard! For the whole next aisle I explained to my darling daughter that is not a nice way to talk about people etc etc; whilst walking ever so slowly, hoping not to come face to face again with my freshly placed kindergarten teacher! Luckily we didn’t meet up again:)

Or was it? As now I am unsure if her remark had been heard? Or if we were placed in her mind now as the rude family? And whether I had handled it appropriately? Surely kindergarten teachers are frequently hit with childlike innocent brutality?

Am I alone or have you to had a similar incident with a huge cringe factor? Please share it with me so I don’t feel such a failure:) haha

Em xx


Op shop tribute

Today it is 3 years since my father died of cancer. At the time of his death Jasmine was only 6 months old. Gratefully we have some photos of the two of them together and some photos of Dad around the place. We often talk about him to her and some days she gets in moods where she wants me to tell her all about him.

Last night I had a bright idea that I could take my mum and the kids op shopping as a tribute to him. Dad a true Scotsman liked to keep a close rein on his money, well that’s a polite way of saying it. Really he just hated to see good things go to waste. He volunteered at a local op shop we think so that he could get mates rates and first dibs on things that came in! I remember over the years I didn’t really get his fascination with buying second hand items. But he saw treasure where others saw junk. Over the last few years I have seen the light!

I get it!!!! It’s the thrill of the chase, finding something special amongst the moth ball smell, it’s looking at the price tag and deciding whether it’s over priced or a steal. It’s finding something from a different era and loving it for its quirkiness. I also think; as did Dad that our society produces more than we need. We are wasteful and irresponsible consumers. Op shopping is a sustainable habit and one that I have fallen victim too now!

Before setting off I reminded Jasmine where we were off too and why. I warned her that Grandma Frog (her grandma that collects frogs) might be sad today. She saw on the table in front of her some coins. She grabbed two coins and put them in a nearby box and said she was going to give it to Grandma Frog. She had $2.10 in there. I said lets change the 10 cent piece for a $1 coin. This meant Grandma had a dollar for every year that Grandpa had been in heaven. Jasmine was excited that Grandma Frog could buy something special with this money.

On presenting the box, jasmine was bubbling with excitement. Grandma Frog loved the gift and was touched by Jas’ gift. After regrouping we set off. We made some great purchases; binoculars and a miniature cow bell for Jas, a skirt for me, a wooden crane for Elijah, and skirt and top for Mum.

A fitting tribute to a wise and thrifty man! And a fun way to celebrate one aspect of his life. Love that through this tribute Jas showed her love for Grandma Frog and enjoyed looking for treasure like her Grandpa did!

What are some creative or fun ways that you have celebrated or paid tribute to a lost loved one? I’d love to hear!

Em xx