5 Frugal swaps: bath and shower products

IMG_0892Introducing a new mini series here on my blog. Frugal swaps!

I follow a lot of beauty blogs and the term dupe is widespread. The hope of getting a very similar product for a much cheaper price. It’s called a dupe.

Here I’m hoping to showcase some frugal swaps so if your back is up against the wall financially or you’d rather spend your pennies more frugally (are there even levels of frugalness?) then read on. I mean that’s more money for experiences like going to the cinema to see #Dunkirk.

I used to buy Elemis milk bath at £43. It smells gorgeous. It feels gorgeous but it’s still £43. I still love it but I’ve now found some products that nicely and frugally fill that space.

So here’s my 5 Frugal swaps for bath and shower products:

1. Original Source shower gel

You can pick these up for about a £1 for 250ml on offer. My favourites are anything with coconut. I remember my vegan friend talking about this brand years ago. Use with a sponge or exfoliating gloves for maximum suds.

2. Radox bath therapy muscle soak herbal bath salts

Yes I know these sound old fashioned but trust me at just over £1 they are dreamy. If you like Lush bath bombs you’ll like these.

3. Jason lavender body wash

You can buy a huge bottle of this for around £8.50. It’s nearly a litre in size. It’s also free of SLS – Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Something which some sensitive skins prefer to avoid.

4. Boots baby moisturising bath

Why should babies have all the fun and everyone knows how yummy baby products are. This retails at £1.29 for 500 ml. It’s currently on offer for £1. It smells gorgeous and produces lots of suds.

5. Soap

I grew up using soap so in a way this takes me back. You can buy 2 bars of Dove soap for £1. Here in the U.K. you can still buy Shield soap (remember that?) for £1.29 for 4 bars from Wilko. As well as Coal tar soap. Superdrug still sell Imperial Leather too. Maybe time to revisit some old favourites.

So there you go 5 Frugal swaps for bath and shower products. Let me know if you like these kind of posts. This isn’t sponsored. Just my own products and my own reflections.

Have a brilliant day.


Kondo – Phase 3 paperwork

I love the ethos of Marie Kondo. Keep what you love and what brings you joy. While absent from the blog I tackled some paperwork. I reduced it down to just one ottoman and could let one go! I think I was inspired by this video:

Paperwork can be a bit boring but it is really cathartic to see this kind of stuff go. Working on the principle that papers should really only be in one place this week I will target stray unfiled papers in our home.

Don’t look at your hill. Climb it. 



Clearing through a consumerist fog

Hello. Somehow I’ve achieved the classic thing of neglecting my blog. No excuses. Just a busy old time.

Anyway a brief update. Back in January I realised my credit card spending was once again out of control. A habit is so easily created and normalised. But £400 a month on stuff is just a) wrong b) unsustainable and c) kinda embarrassing. Very embarrassing. Also, stupid. Ok enough with the self talk.

So during February I did a cleanse of consumerist spending. It felt like I was in a fog, with my spending out of control. I very quickly realised my weak points. Somehow the weekend was always a trigger. And those damn sales emails. I unsubscribed from so many and suddenly things were quieter. My emails were not filled with attention grabbing headlines. Buy! Buy! Buy!

Since February things have been calmer and more in control. If I need to calm a consumerist itch – I think about if I really need it. If I do buy – it’s either a much smaller scale purchase or very planned. Are there levels of plannedness? Is plannedness a word? I digress.

I’ve had some blips (even this week) but overall I’m in a much, much better place.

I’ve had a few aha moments along the way. That money used right can be spent on other things – not habitual, sleep walking purchases. I’ve been able to pursue things for garden and home projects. All desperately needed (hidden behind that bloody fog) and when I look at those much needed and now achieved projects – I feel more in control.

Ok. Lots more stuff to talk about but I’ve rambled on for nearly thirteen pages (front and back)…..

So tell me. Is your spending under control? What do you do to achieve this? If it isn’t – what can you do today to take a step towards addressing it?

Daunee be ‘fraid o it now.




February 2016: 29 days of muting the power of consumerism

Hi all! A winter of illness brought a stillness to the blog. Despite feeling that a cold is trying to sneak up on me like an inappropriate Uncle at a wedding I am here and talking to you guys!

So with illness came a consumerist slip. I naively (arrogantly) thought my consumerist path was behind me. But no. She was there waiting. Like any addiction excessive anything can be unhealthy. For me it’s shopping.

I knew that when I recently got a pay rise that in my head I’d somehow calculated that I can afford this or that, ooh and that too. So I needed to work out how much I have veered off track. Are you ready? Sitting down? Strong beverage to hand?

So instead of looking at individual monthly spends I added up the last four months of credit card spend and divided by four to get an average. Yes Christmas, yes there’s a couple of days that end in a Y there… But enough with the excuses. How much has my average credit card spend crept up to?

Well £400 a month. I am shocked.


Ah.. ah.. ah.. Stuffocation! Bless you!

Poor health has no doubt played a part. I need to stop the credit card spend – the only exceptions are repairs for health, home or car. My action plan for February is to get back on track. To spend more wisely. Particularly on experiences not stuff. I’ve decided to do some groundwork to support this:

  1. Unsubscribe from sales emails telling me I only have a few hours to save money or get a free gift.
  2. Unfollow consumerist stuff based blogs/vlogs. They use the most powerful form of marketing, word of mouth.
  3. Give myself permission to spend (real money) on experiences, not things. Stuffocation by James Wallman will be my inspiration for this.

So I’m back. I’m in a pickle but the ground rules are simple. No credit card spend. Instead spend real money on experiences not stuff.

Have a brilliant day,


What to do if you stall at Kondo phase 3 – paperwork – enjoy a slight detour

I have been in a bit of a pickle and although I sorted the vast storage facility that is my work bag and a few more bits I haven’t done much else in sorting my paperwork but I did do this:


I sorted through my travel toiletries and filled three ziplock bags with stuff I’m not using, are duplicates or are getting in the bloody way… A friend mentioned that she collects toiletries to donate to a local women’s refuge. Isn’t it so much better to share what we own?

Enough is as good as a feast.


Kondo phase 3 – paperwork and doing more crafts

Lots of videos on YouTube but this is closest to my paperwork…

Burn baby burn

Each evening this week I’ve sorted some papers or have been burning papers. My first plan of attack was looking at the overfilled ottoman of papers. In particular at anything not filed. And there was a lot. There were also a range of things that shouldn’t have been in there. Clutter attracts clutter… After a week of tackling a bit each day I didn’t think I had made much of an impact. I opened the ottoman with the aim of completing emptying it and tackling the loose papers first. To my surprise I had made good progress. The satisfaction of burning the papers is so great.

Don’t sweat the really horrible stuff… Burn it

Reading all this so far.. The question is – is this an easy stage? Hell. No. I am frustrated at the age of some of the papers I’m finding. I’m really frustrated at the upsetting things I’ve kept. Horrible notes from an old boss being just one example. Give me joy? Hell no! So as they burnt in the fire I felt relieved and felt the pain of this time in my life go. Sorry if this seems a bit heavy but these letters were just awful.

Getting rid of storage, creating space

The more I use the Marie Kondo process the more I can see the rhyme and reason of it. You sort by category not by room. So no cleaning a room by heaving stuff from one room to another for ‘temporary storage’ and a false impression of progress. More than anything I can see a clear link between you sorting X category and then only when complete it do you find a home for the remaining X category that you will keep. I’m hopeful that I can get rid of this ottoman and instead file papers in a more compact area. This will free up a bit of floor space which is great.

Next up I need to declutter my work bag and then hunt out papers in sporadic areas of the house. They are everywhere but I have a list to hunt ’em down. I’m aiming to finish paperwork by the end of October. Wish me luck!

Don’t look at your hill. Climb it.


PS: I’ve been SO inspired seeing the beautiful things other bloggers are making. Working on my stuff and reducing what I own I see as a stepping stone to doing more fun stuff. I’m definitely a work in progress but I’m going to commit here to doing some crafts and hobbies more but most importantly blogging about it too. Such fun ☺️

Kondo phase 2 – books, magazines, craft books, notebooks… complete!

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Marie Kondo = have things in your home that give you joy

Marie Kondo = have things in your home that give you joy

But… Oh my. Applying the Kondo method to magazines felt like asking me to choose my favourite pet, or ice cream. It felt weirdly finite. I mean they are just glossy paper. And not so glossy paper. I guess I shouldn’t wrestle with this too much. It’s just part of the process (perhaps toughening me up for the momentoes phase).

What I have realised is that some magazines are so visual, colourful and appealing is part of the reason. For instance, Oprah and Psychologies magazines are perfect fodder for vision boards. So I have extracted the best bits, nay curated, ready for vision boarding. I’m also trying to eat better. And Waitrose give away a lovely weekly paper called Weekend. I find the recipes inspiring. So I’ve grabbed just these recipes and will make it a weekly habit to look through these for ideas, even photograph the keepers.

Magazines aka my nemesis

Magazines aka my nemesis

So far so good…

I’ve made good progress in September in applying the Marie Kondo method of decluttering / tidying to my home. My clothes are much simpler, I love what I own. For instance, where I had kept hold of uncomfortable boots I let these go and then replaced them with new ones, a pair of which I already had. But overall reducing the volume of what I own. So much so four clear plastic former shoe boxes now house craft stuff. My book collection has also been thinned out. The books now all fit perfectly on a shelf. Before they hid in an inaccessible cubby hole. The magazines have been read and the visual bits ready for a vision board. That last stage was much harder than predicted!

To complete phase 2 of the Marie Kondo method I looked at craft and note books. Luckily not too many. Also my bookshelf has a natural limit on what I can keep. This is good. It reminds me that if I really want to keep a new addition another that I’m not  enJOYing has to go. Remember, Marie Kondo = joy.

Paperwork next…

Next up… it is paperwork! I’m excited to be curating my home like this. My health is a bit rubbish at the moment but I’ll do this. May take a while but I will get this done by focusing on each step only. There are bills and papers everywhere as well as some (many) in my bills box. To help me I have an inspiring piece of pottery which simply reads:

Don’t look at your hill. Climb it.