I was recently asked by Voucher Codes UK to share some of the ways I save money day-to-day. It was important to me to choose things that I do myself and that I think my readers will find helpful. These won’t necessarily save you a fortune, however I find that’s when your living on a budget luxuries like pampering treats and clothes can be the first thing that we cut out, so I thought some of these would help by offering little treats on a budget as well as a couple that are just plain useful. So here are a few of my favourites…

1. Thrifty Sewing:

Making and altering your own clothes can be easier than you think, and with a little practice the possibilities are endless. One way I have built up my wardrobe is to make my own dresses. I generally use vintage fabrics and trimmings which you can pick up for a steal at car boot sales and charity shops and with a little practice simple dresses are quite easy to put together. A basic sewing machine is fine for dress making so there’s no need to spend a fortune on one, you could even pick one up second-hand on eBay. I love having one-off pieces that fit me perfectly and I can have lot’s of new clothes with no spending guilt.

2. Thrifty Shopping:

If making your own clothes isn’t really your thing then why not buy clothing second-hand, vintage is really popular at the moment and can be picked up online, in charity shops and car boot sales. If you’re looking for bargain vintage check out The Vintage Kilo Sale and The East End Thrift Store who sell vintage by the kilo and by the bag. The great thing about vintage clothing is that if you take care of it, it is unlikely to depreciate in value in the same way new clothes do so it can be treated as an investment. Look out for clothing from pre 1960s if you’re looking for truly collectible items. I love picking up bargains from the 70s and 80s as well as these can be bought for just a few pounds. I also support my vintage buying habit by selling a few items online each week.

4. Thrifty Cleaning:

It’s amazing how many household cleaning products can be replaced with store cupboard items. Not only does replacing chemical cleaners with natural products save you lot’s of money it’s also far better for the environment. My essential cleaning items include: Olive Oil, Salt, White Vinegar, Bicarbonate of Soda, Lemon Juice and Lavender Oil. I also stock up on little spray bottles to mix up cleaners with. I really enjoy making my own cleaning products and it definitely makes cleaning more interesting.

There are loads of great websites with natural cleaning recipes. One I mix up all the time is furniture polish. I mix 2 parts oil to one part lemon juice and one part vinegar to polish wooden furniture. It works a treat. You can also use neat vinegar and newspaper to clean and buff mirrors and glass.

Remember to always test on a small area when using a new cleaning product for the first time.

4. Thrifty Beauty:

I love making my own cosmetics, from body scrubs to bath oils from bath bombs to face masks there are so many great products you can make for yourself at very little cost.

One product I make myself and use all the time is witch hazel and rosewater toner. This is really simple to make and the ingredients can be picked up very cheaply at pharmacies and super markets. All you have to do is mix one part rosewater with one part witch hazel and your good to go. For more oily complexions add slightly more witch hazel which will keep break outs at bay. to use just dab a little onto cotton wool and wipe over your face after cleansing and before moisturiser.

Why not keep your toner in a pretty vintage bottle, and make it a feature on your dressing table.

5. Thrifty Make-up Storage:

I store all my everyday make-up in these cutlery trays from Ikea. They cost just £1.25 each and to brighten them up I lined them with pretty floral paper. You can keep them out or tuck them neatly away in a drawer. I also have one which I use to organise all my hair rollers. They also stack quite well on top of each other so make a great space saver.

I hope you like my suggestions and that you’ll give a few of them a try. What little things do you do to save money?

*This post was brought to you in association with Voucher Codes UK

The North London Vintage Market was started in 2011 by two successful vintage dealers from Spitalfields Antique Market. This regular market feature 23 carefully hand-picked vintage traders selling a wide selection of vintage goods. This one doesn’t focus on fashion but has a great range of mid-century ceramics, vintage fabric, kitchenalia, books and other retro curiosities as well as vintage clothes. It’s a great place to pick up some quirky bits for your home and wardrobe.

Earlier this year The North London Vintage Market, celebrated it’s 3rd birthday. At the time they expanded their normal one day event to a special 2 day one which was a huge success. So this weekend they are returning with a second two-day event in their regular location of St Mary’s Parish Hall in Crouch End.

All the stock at the market dates from the 1800s to the 1970s so there’s bound to be something for every vintage taste. I’m always particularly on the lookout for great things for my kitchen.

As I’m away in Birmingham all weekend I sadly won’t be able to attend this time, but if your nearby then I’d definitely pay this one a visit. Looking at the pictures from their last event I spotted lot’s of vintage tins and enamel kitchen ware which are things I can never resist, also look out for some fabulous retro tea sets and gorgeous glass cake stands.

Visit the fair at –

St Mary’s Parish Hall, Cranley Gardens, Crouch End, London, N10 3AH

March 1st 10-5pm, March 2nd 1-5pm

Find out more on their website.

Have you been to the market before? Did you get anything nice?

Since moving to our new house nearly two years ago and doing a full restoration, we’ve filled the house with beautiful furniture and decorated every room. However so far we have neglected to really put anything up on our walls.

I had started to frame a few of my favourite things and put them on the wall in our living room a few weeks ago, but the wall was definitely lacking something dramatic to set it of.

So when I was contacted by online interior store Out There Interiors and asked if I wanted to review something from their shop, I couldn’t resist this painted resin stag head.

The rest of the wall features a vintage sewing pattern, some vintage fabric, a vintage handkerchief, some 1950s sheet music, some antique haberdashery items and some pretty paper all in plain white frames. The stag’s head is a fabulous modern take on an old-fashioned interior item and I think it looks great with the vintage things I decided to frame.

I absolutely love my new stags head, and the way it contrasts with the other things on the wall. It also ties in the rest of my living room which mostly has cream accessories. The quality is fantastic and as it fastens to the hall with a simple picture hook it was easy peasy to put up too. I’d really like to get some tiny fairy lights to hang round the antlers, to finish off the look.

You could easily recreate this look by gathering bits and bobs and a stag head of your own, and create something very individual.

I was really impressed by the selection of vintage style home wares available at Out There Interiors, and spotted lot’s of other items which would look great on a vintage inspired feature wall. I have put together a few of my favourite statement pieces which would look great in any vintage lovers home…

Row 1 

Vegas Alphabet Lights (all letters available) – £285,

How amazing would it be to have your name up in lights?

Distressed Coat Hooks – £19,

These would look great with vintage decorations of jewellery hanging on them.

Antique Finish Combination Frame – £105

I’d love to use this to display old family photos.

Row 2

Large Red Wooden Wall Clock – £265, 

I just love this, a big clock is a great wall feature.

Multi Coloured Combination Frame – £149,

This would look really cute filled with vintage seaside postcards.

Raw Metal Industrial Cabinet – £145

I’d love this on a prominent wall in my kitchen to display vintage pirex and pans.

Row 3

Narrow Distressed Plate Rack – £75,  

This could be filled with pretty miss-matched vintage china to make a wall really stand out.

Large Wooden Jewellery Cabinet – £59, 

I would mount this on the wall and fill it with vintage pearls.

Distressed Magnetic Display Board – £85

This is great for displaying little notes, pictures and postcards.

 They also sell a fantastic range of furniture and other fabulous home accessories. Check out their website here.

So you’ve found a fabulous vintage garment and you can’t wait to wear it. But wait, it has a funny musty smell and 50 years worth of dirt sitting on it! Todays video should help you with the basics of getting your vintage dress all clean and smelling fresh.

Before you clean your dress it’s really important to check it over for any holes or tears. Washing may make these worse so make sure you repair them first. Generally hand washing is the best way to get your dress clean, however certain fabrics such as crepe do not respond well to water and may need to be dry cleaned. I put this one in the machine as it was in perfect condition and the fabric had been fine when hand washed. If you do choose to machine wash vintage clothes always use a pillowcase or laundry bag and a very gentle wash.

If your unsure of what your fabric is, you may want to research it. One of the best places to do this is the Vintage Fashion Guild’s Fabric Resource.

It’s always best to be very careful when cleaning vintage garments, especially very old ones so please be very cautious before washing a fragile item or a fabric you are not familiar with.

The dress in the video is a 1950s dress which I bought on eBay.