Thursday, 14 March 2013

£5 Charity Shop Challenge

While enjoying a Starbucks with my bestie this afternoon and discussing all the lovely ideas she & her partner have for their lovely new home I had a bit of a brainwave. The £5 charity shop challenge! After all, being the budget bride and loving anything that saves me money it seemed time to pass on a few tricks to saving pennies to help out a friend... and maybe a little bit for my own amusement as well!

I challenged the lovely Donna to purchase something she needed or wanted for her house, totalling no more than £5, it couldn't be any old rubbish and it had to be something she would buy if she saw in a normal shop. You can't buy much for £5 these days, but being the good sport she is it was Challenge accepted! So off we set to the shops! We started off in a Barnados charity shop, they had lots of lovely glass vases, vintage tea sets, tea pots, trinket boxes, cake stands etc. Unfortunately a lot of it was either outside of the budget, slightly damaged or it was very pretty but not needed however, after a bit of digging around Donna found herself a little gem! 

There were four of these lovely crescent moon shaped, white side plates. Which I was assured would be lovely for the hors d'oeuvres she will be serving & for onion bahji's. £3.99 for the four.

Next we went to PDSA which had a lot of lovely signs for the kitchen, draft excluders etc. but I didn't hold up much hope that any of these would fit in to the remaining £1.01 of her budget. We looked at more crockery, trinkets etc. but nothing really grabbed her fancy. Until we found another little gem hiding behind glass vases.

A lovely vintage green glass bottle with a cork. She decided the cork will probably be binned and replaced with a wine stopper or a drizzle pouring top (which you can pick up for about £3 for a two pack online). As you may be able to see it was only £0.99. Which means Donna managed to buy 5 items (4 plates, 1 bottle) for £4.98 coming in at £0.02 under the budget!!

I was going to insert a picture of the receipts here but I seem to have lost them in pile of receipts in my handbag, I really need to sort my bag out. But I assure you she did stick to the budget!

Challenge Completed!

I have to say that this was great fun, and I recommend you try this with a friend. Along with racks of clothes, the glass, crockery, picture frames, toys etc I also noticed a lot of really cool vintage jewellery, some very pretty bangles & lots of scarfs (which would be good to make head bands with!)

There are so many things you can do with these items even if you don't use them for their original/intended purpose.

  • For example we came across old LP's being sold for £0.99. You could either frame them as they come, or spray paint them gold or silver & then frame them.
  • Tea sets, if you don't think you'd use them for tea no problem. You can put tea lights in them, or oasis & flowers. Use them in the house or for parties/weddings.
  • Necklaces/bracelets - the charms or beads can be used to make your own unique jewellery or some of the larger beads can be used in bowls, instead of pot pourri or expensive glass beads, as a decoration.
  • Picture Canvas' - these can be picked up for as little as £0.50. Even if you hate the design pick them up and transform them with left over wallpaper or decorative gift wrap.
  • Picture frames - once again you can pick them up cheap & fill them with post cards for a vintage decoration.
  • Large vases - I don't do flowers, but a big pillar candle in a large vase can be just as pretty in my opinion. 
Keep your eye out for a bargain & keep an open mind. If you or a friend has a party, a new house or are just looking for something new to decorate your home or bedroom then set yourself the £5 challenge and see what you can find in your local charity shop. 

We enjoyed this so much that we aim to do a few of these challenges and will both partake in the next £5 challenge when we have a good few hours to explore the charity shops in town. If anyone wants to set Donna & I a budget/shopping challenge please feel free to leave it in the comments below or email me at with your suggestions! 

I will leave you with a picture of the lovely Donna taking our shopping trip very seriously and As Always Thanks for Reading! xxx

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