Our Frugal Lifestyle

My photo
Passionate about eco-frugality. I used to party hard, clubbing my way from pay-packet to pay-packet. Never getting ahead, just getting by. Then came our much wanted baby with no savings in the bank - only an old car. Changes were made to our lifestyle and we didn't turn back. In the past 6yrs we purchased a flat, found employment, lived below our means, built an emergency fund, purchased a reliable car and saw the financial benefits of our frugal lifestyle. Our only debt is our mortgage. Our aim is to manage our cash flow wisely, pay off our home quickly and eventually work for pleasure, not necessity. Join us on our journey, share insights, tips and tricks to help us and others to get ahead while having a good time.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Op Shopping (Thrifting) for Party Goodies

As many of my readers already know I am preparing for my 4 year olds move into big girl-hood as she reaches 5! We are currently preparing for her party which is in 6 weeks time. I know... I'm getting in early... being organised and early on this one means having time to search for great items at prices I can afford. And it also allows me time to make things such as her invites, party bags, decorations and also turn to op shop shops (thrift stores/charity shops) and Freecycle for items I may want.

I'm aiming for a $80 party which will included food, decorations, crafts, pass-the-parcel and goodies. However I don't want the usual prominent stuff from the party area of Coles. And If I do get some of that stuff, I want it to be second hand and maybe upcycled.

This being my last week of the holidays, I popped in to my local op shop (only 5 minute walk from my home) to search for toys or trinkets for pass-the-parcel. I spent a whopping $22 from my $80 budget, but I did well. Take a look...

Op Shop Finds

I purchased 2 candle calabra's to decorate the table for $3 each, quality glass bead necklaces, bracelets and other lovelies for pass-the-parcel. Flower, sandalwood fan and 1 necklace are Dolly's, as part of her costume.

Here are close ups of the great items.

Quality Trinkets for Party Favours

Silver - Yes silver! With tiny animal charms.

Pretty in Pink Glass Beads.

Zebra Beads to Die For. 5 Of Them. I'm Dancing The Happy Dance.

Heavy Glass, Stone and Silver Beads.

Mini Guitar - We Have a Couple of Boys Invited. 

I am upcycling some items and re-threading beads.

The elastic on the zebra bracelet was damaged, it was also too big for small wrists. The Glass, stone and silver beaded bracelet was also far to big for little girls. I cut them and turned them into 4 bracelets fit for Queens with a few additions of spare beads from home.

2 Bracelets Re-threaded to Perfection.

As for the guitar, I made it a bit more fancy to be fit for a royal king. I just need to layer a little more gold glitter and maybe some ribbon.

Royal Music.
If you have any party ideas - let me know...

Have you been op shopping, thrifting, charity shopping?


  1. What a fantastic loot! We have been ops hopping for wedding centerpieces, scavenging in backyards for bits and pieces to make some signs and selling things, to make money to buy the specific bit we want new. I'm loving this new philosophy, all thanks to you!

  2. Oh man, I love that zebra bracelet! They really are awesome party favours! Mini guitar was a good idea - I would find it much harder to think of boy-gifts!

    Excellent finds and creativity, as usual!

  3. I went yesterday to my usual Sunday carboot sale. My best buy was 30 balls of wool for £2.

  4. Brilliant buys! I'm getting really excited about her party now!

    Sft x

  5. this is just a brilliant idea! Can't wait to see what other great party ideas you come up with

  6. oh there are going to be some very happy little boys and girls at that party....

  7. Now, I want a zebra bracelet. Cute stuff you have. I love the way you are fixing it all. Is Dolly seeing this, or are you keeping it all a secret?

  8. Lasy week I picked up 3 target brand dresses for my little girl, $15 for 3. They RRP $30-$40 each!
    I also got 2 pumpkin patch skirts for $1 each.
    I love thrift shops, they have amazing quality for tiny prices!!

    I love that you are using these bargains as gifts for the kids, they are simply gorgeous and far cheaper than coles stuff that get tossed away quickly.

    What are you doing food wise? I always found fruit is great for tummies and budget, soda water mixed with cordial as drinks. Create your own cupcakes are fantastic too if you bake ahead and pick up some cheap colours, 100s&1000s and icing sugar.

    Decorations wise, painted balloons, crepe paper,and home made confetti.

    Let us know how you go!!

  9. Hi Clareewell, Thank you for popping in. The blog world is full of inspiration. Due to reading about frugality, thrifting and eco-ism I have changed my outlook on the things around me greatly in the past couple of years and am having fun with my new found way of life.

    Hi Bryallen, I do have 1 more boy gift to find. I may go back to the op shop today. When I was there yesterday people were giving boxes full of quality stuff. So I may find that 1 more gift I need.

    Scarlet, I don't knit so wool is a mystery to me. I did knit a scarf once when I travelled from Paris to Pakistan by local buses in 1978. It was long and multicolour and a travelling hippie (as they all were back then) bought it of me in Afghanistan. My 1st business deal :-)

    SFT, I'm getting excited too but still don't know where to hold it as it's monsoonal here. The Botanical Gardens or our very small backyard? Our flat is too small for 8 to 10 children and we will have dress ups, pass-the-parcel, 1 or 2 craft activities and food.

    Rhianna, I've gathered some more frugal ideas yesterday. I saw something that inspired me and will work on it in the next few weeks. Turning trash into decorations.

    Hi African Aussie, I was thinking of you the other day. It's been a long time since I've seen your face here. Nice to see you again. Hope you are well.

    Ozzie Thriftmumma, Target dresses are usually very cute, so great score! Food wise I'm sticking to my usual; cake, sandwiches, fairy bread and lots of fruit. Pink coloured cordial to look like Royal Wine and water. The fruit I want to present in a luxurious manner as in old royal movies. Many decorations will be made from rubbish, as I have an idea...

  10. You won you won!!

  11. Thanks Ozzie Thriftmumma - I will link up soon.

  12. NICE effort!! I've done the 'op shop goodies for prizes & treasure hunt before -- so much nicer than some $2 shop plastic rubbish. Our local Savers used to do bags of small toys for about $3 which were fabulous party favours but don't have those mess bins any more. :o( My girls are 9 and almost 7 so the treasure hunt idea might only been good for Miss 7's party in August. I love your repurposed jewellery idea and will definitely try it myself. That guitar is an amazing find, too! Thanks.


Thanks for commenting - I love getting feedback, sharing experiences and learning from you.