Monthly Round Up – The Best Ways I Made Money, Saved Money & Bargain Finds In September

How we are almost at the end of the month baffles me. I’m sure I say something similar every month but this one has really just shot straight by me. Once again this has been a very busy month with little on the money making clear out front but let’s jump right into the round up!

Made Money

I sold an item I paid 45p for on eBay and made £5 profit unexpectedly. I have been relisting my eBay items but sadly no one seems interested in what I’ve been trying to shift now for a couple of months. This surprises me as I’ve previously had a lot of luck when clearing out my unwanted clothes with one of the brands in particular. It had been on my to do list for a while to delete all my active listings on Marketplace and reupload them as I find the newer something is the more likely it is to shift. I had several time wasters ask if items where available, keep a conversation going for a short while and then poof into the ether. I had about 4 false starts thinking I’d lucked out which is a shame but not the end of the world.

Saved Money

I’ve started keeping a running list of odd bits I need that aren’t desperate and then buying them whenever I see Top Cashback’s £2 bonus offer. This means as well as getting the average % back on my purchase I’ve also effectively saved £2. I managed to line this up with a bank holiday deal in Homebase to save 20% on the item, get free click and collect plus the usual cashback and the extra bonus. This is definitely something I’m going to keep up.

I met up with friends for a scheduled dinner and managed to knock £9 off the bill thanks to using my Tesco Clubcard vouchers.

I also managed to get £4.40 worth of dairy free yoghurt for £1.60 by using coupons in the free Tesco magazine. It’s a real favourite of mine that I only usually buy when its on offer so this made me very happy. Its the Alpro Greek Style Coconut yoghurt and the best way I can praise it is by saying I don’t usually like coconut much but can’t get enough of this.

Bargain Finds

I feel like it’s been a little while since I found a gem on Marketplace but mid way through the month I lucked out by finding a beautiful metal plant stand with two saucer platforms for 8in pots on the app. It is the perfect colour to go in a space I’ve been sprucing up and I paid a whopping £7 for it. I’ve really struggled to find nice plant stands online for a reasonable price, this one is originally from Habitat and should have cost around £40. It’s in really good condition and matches my style perfectly so I’m really pleased.

Don’t hate me but I also started my Christmas shopping. This was accidental. Whilst queuing to pay in a shop I spotted they had reduced wax melt packs on clearance for 62p. A friend of mine loves them so I grabbed one of these to add to a hamper-style present which will have lots of odd bits and bobs in. The packaging makes them look far more expensive than the price I paid which I love.

I managed two beauty purchases this month but both were dramatically lower than the RRP. One was a product I’d tried a free 30ml sample of and fallen in love with and the other was a brand I’ve been really keen to try. First up I got a 50ml bottle of the REN Evercalm Day Cream for £14.99 instead of £38 from TK Maxx. They had two listings on their website which were identical expect for the price, one was £14.99 and the other £24.99. I opened this the moment I got it home and am really happy I got it. I wouldn’t pay £38 for a day cream but love that I’ve been able to use this at a more affordable price. I almost wish I’d got 2.

The second beauty buy was from Ethique. They were offering a free fully size cleanser far with any purchase and I’m really keen to find a plastic free make up removing balm. I’ve also seen this brand on shelves in Holland & Barrett for months now and been so tempted. I bought a soap mini for £2 and got their oil cleansing balm bar worth £14 for free. I did have to pay a fairly high delivery charge but for £5.60 I was really happy to have both of these to test out. Naturally reviews will be coming.

Comments Welcome

Monica Vinader Jewellery- Eco Conscious 100% Recycled Gold Vermeil Silver Earrings Review

I’m a huge magpie. I love delicate, simple, elegant jewellery pieces. My existing jewellery is all very thin, small and either plain or featuring very small gemstones. I like both silver and gold finishes. My fussy skin means that I can only wear precious metals without having a bad, uncomfortable reaction so the lowest I can go on the precious metals scale is 925 sterling silver.

Anyone who has visited my blog before will know that in all areas of my life I’m making a real conscious effort to make better choices for the planet. This started last year with my beauty routine as I switched from bottled hand soaps and shower gels to bar soaps, began investigating more environmentally friendly skincare that still helped my acne prone skin and much more. Around the house I’m starting to go for cleaning products that aren’t harmful to aquatic life that we pop down the drains. In terms of style, my go-to for clothes is to shop second hand. When I had the opportunity to own items from Monica Vinader I was really excited and naturally did my homework on the brand.

Things I Like About The Brand

Their jewellery is made with 100% recycled precious metals. Their packaging is 100% recyclable made using FSC certified cardboard and their deliveries are carbon neutral meaning they’re having no negative impact with CO2 emissions. Their head office and stores are all powered with renewable energy sources. Their diamonds are all sourced ethically and their jewellery, along with their suppliers, is registered with the Responsible Jewellery Council. They also have a jewellery recycling programme where you can send old, broken, unworn items to avoid them going to landfill. Pieces come with a 5 year replace warranty and lifetime repair service.

The more I read the more “green” MV seemed to become which I was really happy to see. They’ve also partnered with charities on several occasions in fundraising efforts for causes such as the NHS amongst the mayhem of Covid-19 last year.

Many of their styles are very simple without being boring, they’re understated, very classy and look modern. Think simple chain bracelets, textured metal hoops etc. They’re right up my street in terms of style.

My kindly gifted Monica Vinader jewellery items

My Thoughts On The 2 Items

I am now the happy owner of 2 pairs of MV earrings which were kindly gifted. I have some small rectangular hoops and tiny textured huggie hoops. Their catches don’t feel remotely flimsy, the pieces feel sturdy, well made and I know that once they’re in I don’t have to worry about losing an earring. Both pairs clip securely into place but are still easy to remove without having to yank out of my ear.

Dangly earrings and particularly those with fish hooks freak me out, I can’t wear them as they make me feel so uncomfortable. I love that the larger rectangle hoops stay put so unless I shake my head very quickly from side to side I’d never even know I had them in. I can’t feel them move which is a huge win for me.

The rectangular hoops are my favourites. I wear them in my second lobe piercings and have worn these, along with the huggie hoops, in rotation almost every day since I got them. Prior to this I was really lazy with changing my earrings. I love that these are easy to grab and make me feel that bit shinier every day. This is especially lovely given that I can’t really wear bracelets for work.

The Final Word

I have a code which will save 20% on purchases: MVINSIDER18-507B

Or you can shop directly through this *affiliate* link : https://family.monicavinader.com/s/rainy.day

Comments Welcome

Easy Eco Friendly Beauty Swaps I’ve Made – Many Of Which Are Cheap or Low Cost

I decided to write this post after having a shower the other day using bar soap instead of bottled shower gel, realising I was shaving with a zero waste razor then getting out to apply zero waste deodorant and realised I’d come a long way with positive changes.

I’m fully aware that I still have along way to go when it comes to making my beauty routine or bathroom more environmentally friendly. Below are just some of the ways I’ve started to make improvements. It’s worth noting that as a frugal bargain hunter I’ve accumulated a stash of products I trust and essentials meaning I’ve got to work my way through these before making eco switches. I have many more swaps in the pipeline which I intend to make beyond the few examples listed below.

Giving Up Bottles of Hand Soap & Shower Gel For Paper Wrapped Soap or Packaging Free Alternatives

I’ve swapped to bars of soap which come wrapped in fully recyclable or biodegradable packaging like paper. This was an easy swap and I’m fully converted to life with bar soaps now. It’s easy to find paper wrapped bar soaps in general shops like Boots, Superdrug, Tesco and more making this swap budget friendly and accessible. I’ve bought 1 large bar and used a sharp knife to chop it in two pieces to use one lump at the sink and the rest in my shower. I’ve picked up branded bars in paper packaging for as little as 49p. I thought using bar soap would get horribly messy or be annoying as I wear rings but it’s been no bother. I keep my bar in the shower in an empty hair conditioner tub which saved me buying a special container, keeps it from being washed away excessively in the shower and means a tub is being reused so it’s win win all round from me.

I recently picked up a large bag of unwanted Lush products from someone local via Olio. They were advertised as soap but turned out to be bubble bath bars. I wouldn’t normally buy bubble bath at all but like that I’m able to try these zero waste ones and save them from being thrown out. I wouldn’t buy bottled bubble bath.

Giving Up Buying Some Items Altogether

  • Plastic shower scrubbies
  • Unnecessary extra products
  • Plastic cotton buds

Last year I stopped buying those plastic shower puffs or scrubbies and realised I could make do perfectly fine without them. I don’t buy plastic cotton buds and am now aware that if I decided I needed cotton buds reusable silicone swabs exist as well as bamboo ones which are biodegradable. I discovered via Holland and Barrett’s website and Home Bargains that even bamboo interdental tooth picks now exist which is great if anyone is seeking a plastic free alternative.

Goodbye Toilet Paper Wrapped In Plastic

I’ve always lived in places without much storage so never been able to give companies like Who Gives A Crap a go as I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere to keep the giant boxes of loo roll. Last year I discovered Tesco sell 9 rolls of 3 ply toilet roll make entirely from recycled sources wrapped in paper which is also recyclable. The quality is fine and since buying my first pack I haven’t looked back. I’ve seen via Instagram that Aldi now offer toilet paper wrapped in paper packaging too and love that this is becoming more accessible.

Looking For More Eco Friendly Skincare Suitable For Acne Prone Skin

My skin is very fussy and breaks out at the drop of a hat so finding effective formulas that are also less damaging for the planet hasn’t been the easiest. I’ve been hunting for companies which use more eco friendly packaging such as biodegradable or fully recyclable made from recycled plastic. I’ve equally been trying to find products with packaging I feel I can reuse and upcycle as well. Below are some of the brands or products I’ve tried and some others I love:

  • The Body Shop – Himalayan Charcoal Mask – Love
  • REN – Ready Steady Glow AHA / BHA Toner – Love
  • Bolt Beauty – I tried their Vitamin A Game capsules and have added these to my skincare wishlist to buy a large pack of in the future as I liked them lots from first impressions.

Eco Friendly Skincare – Bolt Beauty Stackable Review – Filthy Clean Cleanser, Glow Don’t Shine + Vitamin A Game Serums & Mad About Moisture Used On Acne Prone Skin

Being Far More Mindful Of What I’m Buying

I have quite a hoard of beauty products that I’ve either picked up when deals have been too good to resist, or that I’ve received for birthday or Christmas presents in the last 12 months. I’ve made a list of all of these to work my way through to not only save me money but also to make me more mindful of what I’ve buying. I fully intend to replace items with more environmentally friendly alternatives once I’ve gone through the products I have. For example I’m keen to find a more planet friendly body lotion that doesn’t come in a single use plastic bottle once mine are empty.

Wild Refill Deodorant

I was very fortunate to be gifted a Wild Refill case and a sample of their new upcoming sensitive skin zero-waste deodorant. It mentioned that it may take up to two weeks for your body to adjust to using a natural formula but I found this an easy transition. I love the ethos of this company, the packaging for the deodorant’s is compostable, the cases can even be recycled with Terracycle for free if you don’t get on with the product. I have since bought one block in their orange scent from Sainsbury and will continue to work my way through the flavours as I trust this product to keep me smelling fresh whilst being better for the environment!

Each refill works out at £5 which is pricier than deodorants I’d buy previously which cost £1. They offer 10% off for new customers and 15% student discount. Individual bars can be bought in Sainsbury. I messaged Wild and they kindly gave me a discount code for my readers and Instagram followers to use – this isn’t affiliate so I won’t earn anything from this – FSFARD20

Friction Free Shaving Razors

I wish I’d found these razors sooner as I haven’t had any awkward shaving cuts since this swap. I’m really grateful to FFS for gifting me this starter set to try and will be purchasing blades in the near future. I won’t be going back to single use razors again. They have a blade recycling scheme and the handles are made from aluminium which feels far more slick than any plastic handle I’ve ever held. Huge fan. The (affiliate) code: BLG_RAINYDAY saves £3 on subscription sets. You can also follow this link.

Refillable Glasses Cleaner

My local optician offers a spray bottle of glass cleanser which they refill for free after you purchase it once or spend over a certain amount on glasses. I’m really pleased with this refillable bottle option as it is far better for the planet than using disposable wipes and accumulating all the packaging they come in. I’m unsure if large optician chains offer services like this but it can’t hurt to ask.

With every product I use up I try to purchase a more eco alternative that is of a similar cost to my previous product. I’m always open to suggestions.

Comments Welcome