7 random money saving tips for autumn

an office chairHere’s another collection of 7 completely random money saving ideas for the autumn.

DIY anti-ageing cream test continued

First, the latest report on my anti-ageing cream tests.

I’ve been testing Avon’s ANEW Clinical Themafirm face lifting cream on one side of my face, which I got free with an order, using cheap moisturiser on the other half.

This morning, two weeks into the test, I took a mirror outside into the unforgiving morning sunshine and scrutinised my skin closely and mercilessly. And there’s absolutely no difference.

You’re supposed to see a change from 3 days onwards, so I’ll keep going but I don’t hold out much hope at this stage! Watch this space for more feedback…

1. Friends of the Earth water saving tips

The Friends of the Earth website includes 10 cool water-saving tips

2. Stick to second hand CDs, DVDs and video games

Apparently there’s a quiet revolution going on, with more of us buying CDs and DVDs because we enjoy the feeling of ownership you just don’t get from downloads. Vinyl is enjoying a resurgence too. Luckily there’s no need to buy new. Amazon marketplace is the best place to buy used CDs and DVDs and they’re madly cheap.

The same goes for kids’ video games. Either swap with friends or buy second hand instead of paying tens of pounds each.

3. Party season clothes

If you’re dubious about charity shop party gear, why not try your nearest Dress Agency? They’re one step up from charity shops and usually focus on big brands and designer clothing, with some seriously good bargains to be found.

How many times have you worn that party frock? We often only wear them once, for a special occasion. If you have a wardrobe full of unworn posh threads, you can sell or exchange them at the same time.

4. Used jewellery

Say you want to buy your loved one a good piece of jewellery or a watch for Christmas. Jewellery is one of those things where you can almost always get much more for your money if you buy used.  And it’s especially true for diamonds, which have a surprisingly low resale price. You can buy your bird a whopper of a diamond for a bargain price second hand. Go on… she’s worth it! Pawn shops are an especially good source.

5. Kids’ toys

With Xmas on the far horizon, it’s time to have a toy clear-out. Can you sell them on Ebay and make a few quid?

Younger children and toddlers soon get bored of their toys, they grow up so fast, so do any of your friends with children have good quality items your own children would love? How about swapping?

Charity shops are excellent sources of used toys, as are boot fairs.

6.  Rent musical instruments

Your child is suddenly desperate to learn the trombone. But next week they might be desperate to learn to ride a horse, already bored silly with the brand new, expensive trombone you bought. New instruments cost a bomb and it’s much better to practice on a decent instrument rather than something a bit rubbish. Save by buying a good second hand model, or rent one from your nearest music store instead of laying out lashings of cash.

7. Ergonomic office chairs

Perhaps you have teens who need somewhere to do their homework in comfort. Maybe you’ve been inspired to set up a small business or work from home. Either way you need a comfy office chair that supports your back properly, otherwise you’ll soon end up with aches and pains. I know it from experience! You can spend anything from hundreds to thousands on an ergonomic office chair, but luckily there are loads of second hand bargains to be had. Find your nearest used furniture shop and hunt down the bargain of the century.

P.S. We got a dark green leather retro Chesterfield settee and a matching chair from a second hand furniture place in Hove a couple of months ago for just £120 – they delivered it and also took our two old settees away. Bargain!  All I had to do with our fab new settee was clean it up and replace one sagging piece of foam in one of the cushions.