A Huge Heartfelt Thank You, Happy New Year & Best Wishes For 2021

My last post of 2020 is somehow upon us! As per usual I’m choosing to look on the brightside of what has been an incredibly tough year. I’m thankful that at least 2020 finally gave me the push towards starting this blog. I’ve loved the experience and am so pleased to feel like I’ve found my voice for this site.

I want to say the biggest of thank yous to all those who have supported my little blogging adventure so far. It honestly does mean so much. Never in a million years did I expect in over 7 months or less to hit over 1,300 Instagram followers or have people from over 92 countries read posts I’ve put out into the big wide world. Some have been me wanting to share thrifty tips and others I realise have been skin related rants I’ve therapeutically shared and clearly had a lot to say about! It’s blown my mind slightly to see the stats of this page and my Instagram grow and I honestly am so grateful.

Highlights for me on my blog have been reading comments from others who mention they can relate to my acne journey as its always lovely to be reminded we aren’t alone, others sharing thrifty tips and so much more. Sharing my first guest post with In My Piggy Bank Blog felt like a real moment of triumph for me as I’ve read so many blogs over the years doing this and it was something I’d always wanted to do. I’ve also connected with some wonderfully supportive accounts on Instagram who are either absolute geniuses at bargain hunting and freebie nabbing or empowering individuals within the acne community who truly have helped me to stop hating my skin after 6 years and enabled me to accept it which has been life changing.

So what does the future hold for Forever Saving For A Rainy Day? I fully intend to keep blogging, expect plenty of skincare reviews as heaven help me I still have quite a hoard to get through from 2020 but fear not of course I didn’t pay full price for any of the products! No doubt January will include some very savvy money saving tips as I appreciate we’ll all be feeling the pinch post Christmas. I’d like to broaden out into sharing more of my preloved finds and tips for saving around the house.

I’m fully aware that this New Years will definitely be one to remember as it is the end of a very strange year as opposed to perhaps the big parties most are used to! I wanted to sign off 2020 wishing anyone who has interacted with Forever Saving For A Rainy Day in anyway and wish you all the very best for the next 12 months. Here’s hoping the new year brings us lots of happiness, togetherness when allowed and no national toilet roll shortages!

In all seriousness thank you for being here.

Happy New Year

Forever Saving For A Rainy Day

Frugal Family Christmas Traditions – You Don’t Have To Spend A Lot Of Money For Festivities To Be Special

I thought this would be the perfect post to share before I take a little break from blogging over the Christmas period. Many of the things which make Christmas for me are old family traditions which for me, the festivities wouldn’t be the same without. None are wildly extravagant and I truly believe the best bits of Christmas are rounding up the family for a nice meal and excuse to take a well earned break at the end of the year. Read on to discover some of our frugal festive traditions proving Christmas really doesn’t have to be about the money to be well loved and memorable.

An Old Artificial Christmas Tree

I’m aware some people love the real thing but we’ve had the same fake Christmas tree my entire life. It has ever so slightly seen better days and does require some conveniently placed tinsel to bulk it out a bit but it’s so central to our family Christmas that I’d honestly be sad to see it go. I have memories of climbing a ladder as a child to put the topper on the tree and now I’m virtually the same height as it. I don’t care that it could be fancier, or that each year it’s lower branches seem to droop that bit more and require supporting with beaded chains, I wouldn’t change it at all.

Homemade Christmas Cake

Again, this one has been around for as long as I can remember. The same recipe is used every year and is generally a team effort. Once I get home I’m in charge of icing it and making it look as pretty as possible. I’m no chef, we’ve had a few questionable decorations over the years and only ever have 2 food colourings and one set of cookie cutters meaning its always quite repetitive but I’d take this over a shop bought version any day. Even though I’m not a huge fan of Christmas cake itself if we were ever to skip a year of making the cake it really wouldn’t feel right.

Free Walks To See Christmas Lights

I love doing this each year as it totally gets me in the Christmas spirit. I’m grateful that even with all the Covid restrictions this year I can still get out and about for a walk to see some glittery Christmas lights and decorations. Pre-Covid I always loved going to the fancy London department stores like Harrods, Liberty and Selfridges just to browse their elaborate and often over the top baubles and decorations. The intention was never to buy, just to soak up the atmosphere.

Christmas lights – 2019

New Decorations… In The New Year

At least 10 years ago we decided to start collecting some nicer decorations to pretty up our Christmas tree. We did so in the January sales picking up around 3 fancier baubles each year to go with our basic plain ones. It became a nice seasonal tradition for a few years and was a nice surprise to rediscover them that December.

Homemade Decorations

Our homemade decorations are quite extensive. One set is pine cones we collected, put white paint on to look like snow and then attached sewing thread to hang from the tree. We used paint we already had and picked up fallen pine cones from a park so this was a particularly cheap one. I’ve also tied ribbon scraps onto branches before and made paper chains using upcycled Christmas cards and coloured paper. It can be a fun activity making these things as well as having them on display. I really like the idea of gifting people a Christmas decoration as they’re lovely memories to rediscover each year.

The Boxing Day Buffet

Which is essentially a giant table full of glorified left overs. It includes anything and everything from meat leftovers from the day before to bread rolls, crackers, vegetable sticks, cheese etc. It isn’t all bought new, a lot of the time it includes supplies of things already open to finish off or heavily reduced items from our Christmas Eve bargain run. It tends to feed us for a few days and again has become such a huge part of our Christmas that I much prefer this to having a normal sit down meal.

With that I want to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and festive period however you may be celebrating. I appreciate that 2020 may not be the same for us all as it’s always been but hope you manage to safely celebrate and spread some cheer.

Comments Welcome – (Scrooges Not)

My Best Acne Related Accomplishments – My Skin Wins Of 2020

What with 2020 being challenging for us all I decided to try and look on the bright side and put together a post of all my skin wins for the year. An accumulation of the little things that I’m really pleased with this year in relation to my ongoing relationship with mild but very persistent acne.

Discovering Differin / Adapalene

In January I had an awful lot of bad luck with prescriptions and their side effects but these led me to discovering this. It’s the only topical medication I’ve ever tried that has made a notable difference for me, there are no nasty side effects and it suits my lifestyle of not wanting to take antibiotics again for a short term fix. My skin may not be clear but I can 100% say this helped make significant improvements to the amount of spots I get and the time it takes to clear them. I wouldn’t want to be without it.

Dietary Changes and Supplements

I decided to experiment with quitting dairy and caffeine earlier this year and can confirm since I’ve done so I’ve had perhaps 2 big painful under the surface cysts in 4 months which is wonderful. I won’t let my skin dictate my life so do eat a very small amount of my favourite cheese once a week but otherwise am totally dairy free. I notice in particular if I have a cup of caffeinated tea or coffee my skin will react so going decaf did make a big difference for me. I’m happy to take multivitamins anyway for my general health and have been taking 2 lots of Nature’s Best supplements for about 5 months now, I pay around £15 for a 2 month supply. I started taking these around the same time as my dietary experiments. I’m happy to keep paying for these as I like taking multivitamins anyway and one way or another have noticed improvements in my skin.

Dairy free, caffeine free, lower sugar options and supplements

Some Serious Skincare Bargains And Discovering A Love For Products Again

I’m talking £16.50 for 3 products worth £17 each, £16.90 for £49+ worth of products and many more. This year I began trying new skincare for the first time in so long and am glad I did as I’ve found some great products and saved a lot of money along the way. Skincare kind of became fun again after feeling for years as though it was a chore to control my acne and that I was scared to experiment with it. I also learnt the importance of wearing SPF daily which I was entirely unaware of before this year!

Discovering Instagram’s Acne Community

I can now whole heartedly vouch for the life changing power of representation. Following individuals posting unfiltered real photos of their bare skin and discussing their acne journeys, many of which I could heavily relate to, changed my relationship with my skin for the better. I learnt acne acceptance. I learnt to stop hating my skin and placing blame on myself for it not being totally clear. I honestly wish I’ve found this incredible community of people sooner because it helped me to feel so much better about my skin and less like it was an endless problem that couldn’t be solved. I encourage anyone struggling with acne or even body confidence of any kind to find these kind of accounts and immerse yourself in them as it helped me to feel like I wasn’t isolated or alone anymore.

Facing More Than Just The Corner Shop Without Make Up On

No foundation, no concealer and masks not worn 24/7 and I did it bare faced. I met a couple of friends back when that was allowed on two separate occasions with no make up on. I learnt to stop apologising for my skin and not to say things like “sorry I look like a troll”. Yes, meeting people I knew barefaced did scared me half to death at first but now it’s not the impossibility I thought it once was. If anyone decides they don’t want to know me because of a few spots and scars then the problem lies with them and not me.

2020 was the year I accepted my skin may not be faultless but heaven knows I’d tried my absolute hardest for so long. I wrapped my head around the idea that if self hatred hadn’t worked for over half a decade perhaps I should just try and accept my skin to save myself the heartache. I didn’t have to love it, just accept it and it’s made such a huge difference.

Sensitive Comments Welcome

Rate or Hate? Reviews Of Moisturisers I Tried In 2020 For Acne Prone Skin – La Roche Posay Effaclar, Avene Cleanance Comedomed, Cerave SA, Cetaphil, Bioderma.

In the mini series of posts rounding up all the products I tried this year we have moisturisers next! I have to be honest this one was a pretty easy one for me as I’ve been using and loving the same daily moisturiser for about 4 years and am really impressed with it. This review includes some samples I received but ultimately I don’t plan to experiment with new moisturisers for my skin as I’ve already found what works for me.

Avene Cleanance Comedomed

Likes: lightweight, hydrating, helped clear blemishes somewhat, suitable for sensitive skin

Dislikes: strong artificial smell, didn’t help with hyperpigmentation at all, price and the bottle made it impossible to know when the product would run out leaving me caught short without a moisturiser one morning!

Rate or Hate? I wouldn’t buy this again as I didn’t notice enough positive benefits for the price and found a product that works better for me.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+

Likes: lightweight, hydrates well, no smell, brilliant at fading hyperpigmentation, never stings, really gentle formula, it’s super easy to get all the product out the tube by cutting it open. I really like the packaging of this for easy use and it’s also regularly on offer making it more affordable.

Dislikes: it claims to “unclog” skin and improve blackheads / texture which I’ve never noticed

Rate or Hate? RATE! This has been my go-to moisturiser for over 4 years and I will continue to purchase this without a doubt. Whenever I try any other moisturisers I’m always reminded of why I love this so much for helping to fade post spot marks gently.

Cerave SA Smoothing Cream

Likes: was great for tiny under the skin bumps on my shoulders

Dislikes: 100% no good for my face, it stung so much that I had to wash it off.

Rate or Hate? I was lucky to try around 15ml worth of this product via free samples to test it out but personally wouldn’t go out and buy this. I probably would if body acne was a bigger issue for me as it worked so well on tiny pin prick spots on my shoulders.

Cetaphil Rich Night Cream

Likes: Thick soothing formula, fantastic at combatting drying side effects of prescriptions, doesn’t clog pores, suitable for sensitive skin, incredible value for money

Dislikes: I have none?!

Rate or Hate? RATE! I’ve bought this at least 3 times since discovering it, I’m so grateful to the pharmacist who recommended it. It’s so reasonable, I’ve paid around £5 for this when on promotion. Does the exact job I need it to without costing a fortune so I love this!

Bioderma Sebium Hydra

Likes: lightweight feel, non greasy, very hydrating

Dislikes: this product made my face SO shiny in ways I’ve never experienced before. It wasn’t remotely mattifying and I swear it got progressively worse throughout the day.

Rate or Hate? Borderline hate… I’d use this at night if I didn’t love the Cetaphil product so much. I tried a 5ml sample of this throughout a week and will not be buying it.

The Final Word

This is the easiest one so far for me – hands down – the day cream winner is, and I think always will be, La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Duo+. The Cetaphil Rich Night Cream is a product I’ve probably bought about 3 or 4 times already and I wouldn’t want to be without it, it’s so effective for the price and it doesn’t break me out. I don’t plan to experiment with new moisturisers in 2021 as these tick the boxes for me.

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Comments Welcome

A Festive Ridiculously Frugal Family Tradition For Christmas Eve

How this became our family tradition I honestly don’t know but it equally doesn’t surprise me. If you’ve ever wondered if frugal runs in the family I can confirm in my case it certainly does. For at least the last 7 or so years we’ve had an escalating Christmas tradition of going yellow sticker food shopping on Christmas Eve. We don’t go for the Christmas dinner, although every year question risking the chances of their being a yellow stickered turkey for the year after as we always see them! We go to stock the freezer and for a good laugh of who can find the best bargains.

We go to more than one supermarket and generally ones more posh than we’d typically visit such as Waitrose and Marks and Spencer. Once in the store its every family member for themselves generally targeting the fish and meat sections, bakery and fresh delicatessen counters. Generally our haul feed us for dinner that evening, often provides breakfast for Christmas day and contributes to a buffet on Boxing Day. Anything else goes in my family’s freezer.

It’s brilliant fun, over the years we’ve honed the best time to go and always have such a laugh. There are others who do this but take it far more seriously than us which almost becomes entertaining in itself.

With the uncertainties Covid has brought us all our Christmas Eve yellow sticker haul won’t be happening this year but I wanted to share this post as a lovely, if somewhat silly, example of how Christmas doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to be memorable and special. I’m honestly quite disappointed that we won’t be having Christmas Eve bargain run but we’ll still have the homemade Christmas cake to fall back on for family food traditions.

Comments Welcome