Sunday, 5 October 2014

Cheaper than Chips.

After my bargain trip to the pictures I decided to take myself off to the boot sale at Carmarthen Show Ground, Oops. Big mistake, I can honestly say that I have never seen so much rubbish in one place before. I was hoping to find some plants but nothing but plastic flowers, moth-eaten clothes and piles of sorry looking toys, games and books. The stalls were so tatty looking that I would not touch the books. There was a burger stall that smelled of burnt stale grease and a doughnut stall that would not have tempted me at any price.
That may sound harsh but it is true, I have been to better jumble sales, far better.
To try and gain something from the day I went to B&Q and hit a small jackpot.

Two sorry looking chrysanthemums, potted on they will make good plants next year.

Three primroses, again a bit scraggy but all have lots of new healthy growth in the middle.

A pink vinca, once in the ground this will go doolally, in as little as 3 years it will cover a large area. Just what I need at the very top of the garden, it only needs dappled light as it is a woodland plant.

I wanted to get 1 of these from Lidl this week but there were none at my 2 local branches, I am so pleased at that, these cost me £5 for the 3 and they have a good root system, once potted on they will romp away.

I picked these up to fill an empty bit of ground behind the greenhouse, they will not be in the ground too long as I will start to use them green once they are a reasonable size.

I spent a total of £8.50 and saved £11.08, I am happy with that. 

I was looking for some fairly large water butts and walked my feet off looking to no avail. There is a place on the way to Ponty that has blue bins for £8, I have already earmarked at least 2 of these to be cut in half for large planters, I may have some for water as well.

After all that walking I could not get home quickly enough, Michael unloaded the car while I got the kettle on and made us a fast lunch. 
4 slices of wholemeal bread from Lidl.  15p
1/3 pack of minced beef from Lidl, salt and pepper.  60p
A sprinkle of grated cheese from Lidl.  20p

2 thin burger style sandwiches, yum.

A huge, filling lunch for 2 at 95p, less than the smallest bag of chips from anywhere round here.

Once satiated we headed off to B&Q in Neath, took Ben for a long walk along the canal and then picked up the bark that I want for the garden, 8 bags for £40, a saving of £24. Nice.
I saved a total of £35. 08 today and bought nothing that I did not have on my garden list. It was interesting to see that the reduced plant section at Neath branch of B&Q was considerably more expensive than Carmarthen, who incidentally did not have the bark in stock.

Reasons to be grateful.

1.  A big saving made today.

2.  Most of my gardens needs are now met.

3.  Ben is sleeping happily after his walk along the canal.

4.  Michael is spreading bark.

5.  We stopped off at Many Tears on the way back and dropped of a stack of dog beds.

That is my supply of pillowcases used up. I need to plan a trip round the charity shops quite soon.
I nearly forgot that I did slip into Dunelm and stocked up on ball point needles for my sewing machines and a new fabric marker pen. While walking through I saw some big fleece blankets and snapped up 2, they were a very good price and I will use them to back 2 of the quilt tops that I have pieced, at £14.99 they work out cheaper than wadding and fabric and give a warm snugly quilt with a lovely drape. There should also be enough off cuts to make a few little dog beds.
 I hope that the new needles will help with the quilting, if not I have resigned myself to some hours of hand quilting.

I am of to make a start on dinner now, Pork Shanks in gravy with a tray of roasted vegetables. That will be more than enough after my lunch, I had planned a pudding but will not have room. Perhaps tomorrow will be soup and pudding, I haven't done that for ages.

Today started of grey,cold and damp but soon changed to bright sun and is still very bright although the wind has an edge to it.

                         TTFN                                              Pam 


  1. Ive been lucky a few times at b &Q especially after a long dry spell , the staff cant keep up with the watering , All they need most of the time is cutting right back a good water and feed and they come up beautiful xxx

    1. I always keep my eyes open for neglected plants, I have taken a tray into the shop and offered a small sum, some I have won, some not. My latest haul all have healthy roots and shoots.

  2. Most of our garden was planted with cheap plants from carboots or the bargain bit in the garden centre or B&Q, like you say they will come again.

    1. Every bargain plant that flourishes is a nice little pat on the back, this lot will help to fill some gaps.

  3. I love the pink vinca - I've never seen a pink one before. I used a large fleece blanket from Dunelm to back the quilt I made as a Christmas present for my younger daughter last year. She loves it,it was cheaper than buying wadding, and I found it much easier than messing about with wadding and a backing( I'm a novice where quilt making is concerned). I made the quilt top to fit the blanket.

    1. I was hoping to find some standard Vinca and was thrilled to get the pink, I have only seen it once before. I already have my quilt tops made but in the past have sewn them to fit my backing. I am hoping to get a few dog beds from my 2, I may nip back for 2 more next weekend.

  4. Carmarthen boot sale is best in the summer. It can be quite dire this time of year! Last time we went there were an awful lot of clothes, childrens' toys, and I agree, scruffy paperbacks that look as if they have been stored in the garage for years, and general tat. Sometimes I wonder why people bother to try and sell it! Having said that, we have had some good bargains there down the years - it's good for cheap seedlings and plants in the spring and summer.

    I'm glad you got some good buys anyway, and it sounds like you are going to be a busy bee with your sewing machine next week.

    1. I intend to try again in the spring, I am off to find the wholesale fruit and veg on Tuesday I think. Before I touch my machine I have a date in the garden, my onions must go in and my plants. I am going to risk sowing a row of spinach in the greenhouse, I hope to get some young leaves before the weather turns and then an early crop next spring.

  5. What lovely bargain plants! I like the 3 little pepper plants. I bought some struggling plants from my local Homebase shop once, but sadly had no success in reviving them, so I don`t bother now.
    (written this from sunny Marrakech where we are on holiday at the moment)

    1. I have had a few failures but not enough to deter me, I always tip the plants out and check the root system and check the middle to see of there are new shoots. written from rainy Wales with a dollop of jealousy.

  6. Those plants were an absolute bargain.. Only plants I buy nowadays are markdown ones from Bunnings, in the nearly dead section! But a bit of love and fertiliser they come good. Your meals sound delicious.

    1. I have been to Bunnings, in Perth, when I stayed at my Brothers. He is a big fan and gets just about all his DIY stuff from there and i had a lovely time rummaging about. I also liked Spotlight for crafting supplies, on my first visit I had to squeeze a cutting board and quite a lot of fabric into my case.


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