the skinflint philosopher

Attempting to thrift our way to a better life, with a toddler in tow!


20 penny pinching purchases

As you know, our general policy is one of ‘not spending’ (on our crusade to both stop working this summer for a year or two for our grown up ‘gap year’), so I don’t often get to celebrate the frugal purchases I’ve made, as on the whole, I haven’t actually brought anything new into the house.

I spend regularly (I’ve checked my bank statement to be sure I’m not missing anything) on rent, electricity, gas, wifi, phone credit, childcare, car and petrol, union membership, food/drink, and swimming, and anything else is a bit of a treat. A few pound here and there for activities out for Tiddler, this month a posh tea and cake out with the other mums for some ‘me-time’, a couple of birthday gifts and the rest goes into the savings pot.

So sorry if the title of this post is a little misleading, as I’ve not bought 20 things, but rather I bought some things this week for 20p (or less). For my dear readers across the pond, that’s roughly 33 cents.

Here goes:


I’m pretty sure this is my first item of clothing I have purchased for myself since I was buying maternity clothes (approx 3 years ago). This photo doesn’t do it justice- it is the most beautiful vivid peacock blue. I feel I’ve jumped into some surreal Mediterranean alternative life when I put it on. Second hand and a cost to me of 20p, as it was purchased at a ‘pop-up’ shop in our village raising funds for a cancer charity.


Also from the pop-up shop and so 20p each, the beginnings of Tiddler’s rock star lifestyle- an inflatable chair and guitar. Ironically I was hoping the guitar was broken and for my 20p it wouldn’t actually work and she could just use it for dressing up, but turns out with a couple of batteries it is as good as new and we have now been introduced to all manner of random rhythm and beat tracks while she waltzes around the front room.  This has therefore been added to her rather eclectic basket of musical toys that have found their way to us.


Neither Digger or I can claim to be particularly musical, but the benefits of song and sound, music and rhythm on children is well documented,whether you believe in the specific ‘ Mozart effect’ or not, and therefore definitely money well spent (or not spent very much at all in our case). Be it relaxation, social skills, or even balance, agility and the fine wirings of the brain, I’ll be sure to remember that as I listen to the high volume dulcet tones being hammered out from that pink plastic guitar. Those little old-ladies at the pop-up shop saw me coming that was for sure. They looked so innocent.


On the ‘free’ list of new things this week is a changeable calendar for Tiddler, to start thinking about weeks, months, weather (basically rain and wind every day so far- not sure quite when I’m going to be able to use the sunshine logo) which was a free print off  from the internet. We then put together some yesterday/today/tomorrow cards for points relevant to us. Again, I’m not so great in the ‘crafting’ area, so please look away if you are easily shocked all you real art and crafters out there, but it does the trick for us.

Photo on 09-02-2017 at 15.20 #3.jpg

Tiddler themed again I’m afraid, but an old sheet and a clothes stand have become a major asset in the sense of general well-being for the entire family. Let me introduce you to Tiddler’s fantastically floral toilet tent. A little bit of privacy, the ability to sit and read a book with the ‘door’ pegged closed if she wishes, her selection of marbles to drop into her ‘rattle’ tin every time she is successful- this freebie creation has done wonders.

Anyone else had some real bargain or free things this month?