Anyway, back to the development of my mean streak. After I graduated I decided to move to London and lived there for 14 years. The first years I didn't have much money, but managed to save. Eight years later the savings joined a mortgage in the purchase of a Victorian terraced house that needed refurbishing.
Around two years later I met my current partner, sold the house and we bought a house together, our combined savings financing a step up on the ladder and getting us a Victorian semi. When we decided to move out of London in 2008, we sold the house and lived in rental. When the credit crunch cornered us, our savings became both a lifeline and a future deposit on our next house.
It's safe to say that I have been penny-pinch for years for a reason or another. Having already done the renovation on a budget thing, in 2007 I was ripe for the next challenge: budget parenting. This (ironically) was easier in London, where there are plenty of places where you can buy things second hand. I did a lot of freecycling too, which worked out very well as I disposed of things I didn't need anymore and acquired items I needed. This continued in Rugby, where there were plenty of shopping bargain to be had (I became quite fond of charity bazaars and school fetes). And let's not forget the NCT Nearly New Sales, which have been great everywhere I have been. I have been singing their praises in NCT newsletters and online.
So what about Cambridge, my new ciy? There is an NCT sale coming up on 28 March, which I'm very excited about and there are plenty of charity shops (Burleigh Street is a great place for bargains). Freecycle is present here and there are plenty of shopping opportunities, especially with the sales, which have been lasting longer this year. We have been to a few charity bazaars, too. I'm a sucker for homemade jams made by sweet old ladies.
Of course shopping at different shops, chasing bargains and comparing prices require time and effort. So I was particularly excited about John Lewis's new value range as it's one of my favourite department stores. I have already bought three lovely pans for £12 and two really good paring knifes at £1 each. I'm quite tempted by their bedlinen and other bits and pieces below...
John Lewis Value Plain Polyester Cotton Duvet Cover Sets, Blue
John Lewis Value Toaster, 2-Slice, White
John Lewis Pancake Pans (complete with free online recipe for Pancakes to celebrate Shrove Tuesday)
And this is an article for baby on a budget with lots of ideas for new parents