Free or virtually free treats-any suggestions, pl?(25 Posts)
I'm three weeks into tackling spending issues and two of those weeks were on holiday. I'm now feeling pleased that I'm doing well but know I'm going to miss my frequent, small treats. My downfalls are coffee shop coffees and magazines.
Those of you being frugal, what do you do that feels nice but is pretty much no spend?
Do you have a dobbies near you. You can get a membership for £4 Tesco vouchers which gives you 2 free teas or coffees a month. You can use it for their hot chocolate too. Ds3 (8) and I go there for our treat.
You might have to go cold turkey on magazines (but perhaps if you say which ones you like people will be able to suggest websites which will give a similar content fix).
Can you buy good coffee and make it at home? The outlay on a cafetiere and an insulated mug (so you can drink it out and about) could pay for itself quite quickly.
You get free coffee in Waitrose if you become a member, which is free. Also you can get a weekend paper (usually good for magazines) free if you spend £10. The £10 also includes the cost of the paper (about £2.50) and the coffee (about £2), so you just need to spend £5.50 on food.
Waitrose is my saviour! As long as I don't take the dc because then there's an expectation of cake! John Lewis is good-you get free coffee and cake there once a month. Trouble is, it's far enough away that I might as well buy local coffee and cake because of the petrol. I do love my coffee at home-I have an aero latte whisk that does a good froth for a latte and I bought an Italian style espresso maker for a fiver at asda.
I think another, more sensible question would be "how long will it take me to get used to not having treats?" I crave them at the moment but it has to get better.
Almost all mags have a free website you can browse, but if you absolutely HAVE to have a paper version ask for a suscription as a birthday or Christmas gift, or look at the subscriptions yourself as there are often special offers eg, send a gift sub to a friend & get one half price for yourself.
If you've got a Kindle or have the free Kindle App there are free and very cheap treats every day.
As to craving treats, when you are poor you have to reset your treatometer, enjoy a glass of wine where once you drank a bottle, a single vividly coloured gerbera in a pretty jar where once you would have had two dozen roses.
It isn't difficult, you just have to open your eyes and your soul.
I have a sealable thermal mug, one of these for £5.79, that I fill with tea and take with me when I go out. Then I can have a nice cuppa later free of charge.
I just had some 3 months no ties magazine deals - 3 issues for £1 each, then cancelled the direct debit before it went out for full price. I think it was Immediate media. Might be a cheap way to get your fix. Or I newspaper is a good cheap daily fix
Daily mail website.
Check out your local library as ours has lite of mag subscriptions.
I used to be a spender, but I don't have the same disposable income since having children.
Moneysavingexpert has a snowball calculator which works out how much you spend over a year on stuff like that and it really puts it into perspective, so £2 coffee is £10 a week, £40 a month, £400+ a year!!!
Find alternatives to the things you enjoy:
Coffee - you can get free coffee with a waitrose card, buy a nice travel mug and make coffee at home.
Magazines - ask friends/family to save their old versions, read a book, go online.
Magazines are just shyte imho now.
I have a subscription to RED and honestly I can't see why I bothered. My Mum gives me her magazine cast offs like Good Housekeeping/Women and Home. It's just the same old crap:
Woman sets up soap/cupcake/jewellery making business from home. Wafts about said home showing off 'pieces' (furniture).
Nobody mentions rich husband funding the whole enterprise.
Lose 10lbs in 2 weeks.
Stop drinking wine and eating chocolate.
detox your soul
Stop reading said magazines
Are you cured yet?
I have been trying to find ways to have free/cheap treats too. I have got a John Lewis card (free drink and scrummy cake once a month) which is fab. Just got a Waitrose card, but haven't used it yet.
I often take a flask on days out instead of buying a drink out.
Things that feel like a treat to me and feel good are finding bargain lovely clothes for next to nothing on ebay/charity shops, walks, gardening (on the cheap - lots of cuttings, growing from seeds etc).
Free/cheap things that cheer me up:
- Library books/books from charity shops
- Finding nice things in the about-to-go-off section of the supermarket and then freezing them to feel smug about later
- The aforementioned v cheap magazine subscriptions - I got a very good deal for the Jamie magazine, which is sort of very annoying but I enjoy it anyway. Having said that, the Waitrose kitchen magazine is free if you're a member.
- Wandering round Farmers Markets/food markets and getting tasting samples
- Getting your free coffee after filling your loyalty card at M&S, or your free greetings card at same
- Swapping clothes I no longer want with friends of a similar size
- Buying cheap kids clothes in the sales online and saving them for my boy to grow in to
- Getting money off via Quidco (I LOVE Quidco) or googling for a voucher code before buying something online and finding a great one
- Smuggling our own homemade cake into our lovely local little cinema
Good grief I've turned into my mother.
Thanks all! It's a process of readjustment I think. Great suggestions. I already
abuse use waitrose's free coffee regularly and, thinking about it, I now resent paying for coffee! I just have to stop the cake that automatically seems to go with it. I've found two five for £5 subscriptions for some magazines I like to I think I'm going to sign up. And stop walking down the magazine aisle of the supermarket. I've got a kobo so I'm going to investigate library books on that. And make sure my home is a nice environment to be in so I'm less tempted to go out for a treat. And taking a flask and a book to a park would be good.
I'm breaking the paid treat habit, bit by bit.
My local library has free subscriptions to approx 50 magazines online. E.g. Cosmo, reveal, gardeners world, marie Claire. Loads more. Look into that.
Hi I would definitely recommend joining your local library & drop the magazines you'll find loads of crafting books or anything that you are interested in to pour over - cooking etc
A rummage in a charity shop can be very therapeutic esp if you find something & up cycle it you will feel like Kirstie Allsop
Get a John Lewis card. Free hot drink and cake once a month!
A few close friends and I take it in turns to host a cake morning every month or so . It's good fun doing all the baking and much cheaper than meeting somewhere for coffee.
Amazon local often has good deals for restaurants, days out etc too.
That's it-grab a coffee from waitrose, hot foot it off to the library to read magazines or even novels! I'll have to be super disciplined in waitrose because I slipped into buying stuff from there too.
If you enjoy a coffee in coffee shops (as I do) keep an eye out on Groupon, Wowcher etc. It is sold out now, but a couple of weeks ago I got a £10 gift card for Starbucks for £5. And you even accrue loyalty points whilst using this
Have you checked the library for magazines? Ours have loads. I haven't bought a magazine in years.
My local library stocks Vogue and Cosmo
For a free luxury bath experience... when I once happened to pass a Lush store I went in and explained I had extremely sensitive skin and would need to try a small sample of every product I intended to buy... which they gave me
John Lewis give a voucher for free coffee and cake when you start a wedding gift list with them I've done that a few times
We have just got a new flask (from Aldi or Lidl I seem to recall) and it has saved us pounds over the summer holidays. It's been great to take a flask of rest to the park or on a walk which saves us spending £2 a go on buying be from a cafe. I'm planning to get a smaller one for my 11 year olds birthday so she can have a hot drunk too while we're out. I was also thinking of putting a pot noodle in a flask for when the days get colder.
I agree with the other comments on magazines. Why not try your fave mag's online site instead of the paper version, which could be free and give you the same sort of articles and photos. Pinterest is great and I much prefer it to magazines. Our library also now offers free mag subscriptions so it's a good idea to check if yours does too.
Things I do that are nice but very cheap are
Long bubble baths and have a pamper session using any toiletries I can get my hands on.
Have girl friends over
Paint my nails
Light lots of tea lights in the evening.
Re the magazines I buy The Times on a Sunday and read a section of it each day during the week. DH does this too so it's good value for us.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.