Conundrum – Price v Usage v Packaging

Originally this week I was planning on posting about one of my sewing makes until on Sunday whilst grocery shopping we were faced with a conundrum which got me thinking.

Trying to be more healthy Mr StitchNSew is making regular salads, we are fussy eaters (no lettuce, carrots, celery) so we are slightly limited as to what can be put in our salads. Capsicum shopping has been easy in the past, I would just grab one small one as we are not big eaters and that was it. Trying to add more variety Mr StitchNSew decided to get different types of capsicum. The individual capsicums were each different prices per kilo due to the different coloured varieties, the 3 pack was different price all together. The capsicums themselves were all larger than we would normally pick too. We found maybe 1 or 2 that were our size but even then they were bigger than we really wanted. It was actually difficult to decide which ones to get. We are trying to avoid plastic packaging but we didn’t want to buy more than what we needed as we would end up wasting it. I didn’t quite get to the stage of adding up the individual prices per kilo and dividing by 3 to work out if the combined pack was cheaper per kilo (given a few more minutes I’m sure I would have) In the end we went the 3 pack as they were the size we wanted.

Sometimes it really hard to decided between options when you have to consider the price v usage v packaging. We are frugal but I don’t mind if I have to pay a bit more for something I know we are going to use. Shamefully putting our hand up to say “Yes we do sometimes toss out food items due to not using them in time” We are being more conscious of it now and are trying to avoid it buy using things up or not buying more than we will use in the time frame. We don’t have access to a greengrocer where we live to buy fresh produce. The farmers market I used to visit has been shut due to Covid, I’m hoping it comes back in the post Covid era. We try and buy unpackaged items but our choices are limited as to what is in the supermarket. We are trying to reduce our packaging but sometimes it’s unavoidable if our only other option is to buy more than we need which will end up as waste. I guess our order of choice is

  1. Size – Pick the size will we actually use
  2. Packaging – Is it avoidable / can it be recycled
  3. Price – Is it the cheapest option in the size we will use

At the supermarket we take our own shopping bags to carry items home. We don’t own a car so get a weekly grocery delivery from the supermarket for our main grocery items. Due to Covid we no longer have the option of getting our order bag less so it arrives in plastic bags. Our supermarket has a soft plastic recycling program. We regularly take in our soft plastics and always have a bag on the go to collect them.

The overall important thing is we are now more mindful in our shopping choices and try to pick the one which will create less waste.

Cassiy

Sewing Bingo 2021

Last year PatsyPoo Makes hosted “Sewing Bngo 2020” as a fun sewing challenge through the year. It was a no stress sewing challenge where you didn’t have any set projects that you picked at the start of the year and needed to complete instead you had 9 sewing themes that you could tick off if your makes fell into the themes. It was a fun challenge. For 2021 Patsy increased the bingo card to 16 themes


The themes are

  • Long Time Coming
  • Something Special
  • More Involved
  • A Repeat
  • Print
  • Quick And Easy
  • A First
  • Fabric From Stash
  • One Piece
  • Everyday Basic
  • A Favourite
  • For Someone Else
  • Pattern From Stash
  • Separates
  • Solid
  • Spur Of The Moment

The overthinker in me really took over and I debated whether to take part this year or not particularly as it is now 16 not 9 items to get through. My only set sewing plans for the year are my charity bags and the gifts I’m making. I’m actually only using about 4 different patterns this year for all of them to keep things simple for myself. Despite the extra themes and limited sewing plans I decided to take part again. I’m not putting pressure on myself to get all the themes ticked off and I’m not going to sew something just to fit a theme.

I should have written this blog post last weekend but I was actually busy sewing! I have managed to tick off one of the themes so far. I won’t go into the project details as I am planning on writing a couple of blog posts later on about it. For the remaining 15 themes the overthinker in me has been at work. I know of a couple I can tick off from the items I plan on making. I’m not sewing just to fit a theme however there are projects in my head I’ve wanted to make which may fit some themes so it might be motivation to finally get in and do them if I have time. Some themes I’m going to have to think outside the box eg One Piece – To me that screams swimsuit but that is not going to happen. Bingo this year is just a bit of fun. If I get things ticked off great if not meh not the end of the world.

Cassiy

2021 Charity Face Washers

 

Last month in the lead up to Christmas Bendigo Woollen Mills released a couple of their face washer patterns as free patterns. You had the choice of either a knitted or crocheted version, I download both but decided on the crocheted version PT 8419 to use for the face washers for this years charity bags. The pattern has 4 patterns within it. Each pattern looks a little different but they are all roughly the same size. The patterns are still available on the website if you click the above link.

Originally I thought I might try doing 3 of the 4 patterns. Urchin was the first I tried. It is really simple to remember and really mindless crochet. I tried a couple of the others but I didn’t feel the same rhythm as I was making them. My tension didn’t feel right so I decided to just stick the Urchin pattern for all 3. They are each made in the recommended 8ply cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills that I had in my stash. I still have some of the pink but I have now used nearly all of the blue and lilac in various projects over the years.

These took no time to make. As I mentioned the patterns are easy to follow, even the others that I didn’t try this time. Each pattern only has 2 rows, a set up row then the row which you continue on for the rest of the face washer. These are really good waiting time patterns, patterns you can make whilst you’re waiting at the doctors or waiting for a train. You can just put them down when you need to and pick them up again to do a few stitches. I’m always thinking ahead so I might make these again next year or even to add to gifts this year. I know how quickly I can make them so they are good last minutes gifts.

Cassiy

2020 Thoughts And Reflections

Two things before I start this blog post which as the name suggests are my general thoughts and reflections about 2020. Firstly I don’t think anyone should compare their year to another persons. The global pandemic impacted everyone worldwide. Each country, each city faced their battles with it. I don’t think you should feel guilty or lucky because your experience during it wasn’t the same as someone living in another country or even living across the road. Each household, each person had different experiences and issues they dealt with. I’m sure one day someone will write a book about 2020 and interview people from across the globe. Each persons story will be different and it would be an interesting book. Secondly during this post I’m not going to keep saying I’m grateful. Believe me I’m grateful for a lot of things that happened, a lot of people this year.

Discarded face mask an all too common scene in 2020

 

2020 was always going to be a big year in the house of StitchNSew. At the start of the year we knew we would be moving, Mr StitchNSew would have his surgery at some point and I was turning 40 (which is just another number to me) A lot of big milestones in the year. What no one knew was the global pandemic which would impact us all. I work in a hospital which I think made understanding how serious the virus was easier. Australia hasn’t had the high numbers of infections as other countries. In Sydney the outbreak that is currently going on is the worse we’ve had. Some people are taking the risk of infection seriously and are doing what they can to prevent it but its frustrating seeing others that don’t take it seriously. Part of Sydney is in lockdown at the moment due to the outbreak but we did have wider lockdown which lasted a couple of months earlier this year. Even after lockdown restrictions were lifted we continued living our lives in pretty much the same fashion. We only leave the house to go to the shops if we need something. We don’t go out socialising, go to cafes or just go to the shops for something to do. It just isn’t worth the risk. Working in a hospital I’m around a lot of people and I don’t want to be the asymptomatic person who unknowingly passes things on to other people if that was the case. Daily temperature checks and wearing face masks has just become part of my normal routine in 2020. One thing I did discover is that I always have a low body temperature, one day I had 3 thermometer guns fail on me and the last one was after 3 cups of coffee! Now I can give a reason for always wearing a jacket indoors even in summer (I also hate air con) I’m clearly always cold. Mr StitchNSew and I are both introverts and prefer to be at home. Living like we are at present doesn’t make us feel like we are missing out on anything.

Like a lot of people we used Zoom for the first time this year. I’ve used a similar program at work the last few years so the concept wasn’t completely foreign to me. Thanks to Zoom I attended more of my knitting group meetings this year than I had in previous years. It was nice to catch up with people and chat all things yarn. I liked that from the comfort of my loungeroom I could login on meeting days at the time I wanted too and stay for as long as I feel comfortable for. I didn’t have the travel time or need to carry my projects with me I just turned the laptop on. Zoom also gave us the opportunity to listen to author talks hosted by different libraries. If the talk had been at an actual library we wouldn’t have gone due to the timing and the need to travel. Online we were able to sit in our loungeroom and hear the author speak no matter how tired we were or what the weather was like. One talk I attended was hosted by a library in Victoria (another state within Australia) and people were logged in from around the world to hear the talk. That’s a positive that came out of this year as if it hadn’t been hosted on Zoom a lot of us couldn’t have attended.

Packing and moving house did open up my eyes to what we actually own and use. I’m glad I spent the couple of years prior to it slowing starting to declutter beforehand because we had accumulated a lot of stuff that we weren’t using. As we packed over a number of months seeing what left to the final stages of packing as that was what we were using every day there really wasn’t a lot of stuff. In your mind you think you use more things than you do. We’re not perfect and yes we still do have items that we kept that we really don’t need. We will get rid of them eventually. I still do like the minimalism concept. We’re still trying to work out what our level of minimalism is. Each person has their own level, ours is still a work in progress. Decluttering continues, as I come across things I often stop and think do really do we need this or have we been using something else in its place the last 6 – 12 months. Importantly we are watching what we are bringing into the house so the cycle of clutter doesn’t continue.

Waste Not by Erin Rhoads

We have always been pretty environmentally conscious and done what we could in terms of recycling. This year we’ve changed our behavior in terms of our choices for items. We are making conscious decisions trying to use more sustainable item, moving away from single use plastics if we can and using what we’ve already got. Some things have been easy like reusable kitchen towels or using a piece of newspaper to wipe any remaining grease out of a frying pan. I am struggling in terms of using zip lock bags. I have OCD and a big part of it revolves around food. If I’m not at home I can’t touch my food whilst I’m eating. I can’t eat my sandwich unless I’m holding it in a bag. I know there are beeswax wraps but I haven’t tried one yet to see if it will still keep my sandwich fresh in the fridge if it gets made the day before. I do recommend reading Erin’s book Waste Not as she has a lot of tips in it, she was actually the author I heard from Victoria speak. We still have a long way to go to being more sustainable but the important thing is we are conscious of what we are doing and we are trying. In my previous post I mentioned not buying fabric, that’s one of the conscious decisions I’m making to use what I already have first. I have decided I’m no longer going to get an acrylic yarn I like as I get it posted from the UK, I’m conscious of the carbon footprint of having it flown by air. At the shops I can get some nice yarns which come to Australia via sea rather then air mail so in future if I need to purchase any I will do it that way, that’s of course after I have checked my yarn stash first.

In 2019 I lost of heaps weight, 2020 not so good. It has been a culmination of not having 40+ steps to walk up each day anymore, stress and the hecticness of 2020. I trained on the day of my 40th and I told my trainer “I’m 40 and fat and I don’t want to be like this at 41” Bad habits have crept in which I need to break. I’m not beating myself up over what has happened. I never had to be conscious before as to what I ate but now I do. I will kick myself back into gear, I need to focus on me a little which I haven’t done in 2020.

2020 wasn’t the disastrous year for us. We had a lot of good moments. Yes the global pandemic made things difficult at times but you just had a deal with things and take each day as it came.

I don’t make new years resolutions or set myself goals, I believe if you want to change something you start now and not wait for some magic date on the calendar. We have no big events in 2021 so we’ll just keep doing what we are doing.

Cassiy

2020 Sewing Wrap Up

Despite having a lot of my fabric still in boxes I’ve actually managed to do a lot of sewing this year which has surprised me. All my dressmaking fabrics have been unpacked its all just my general crafting fabrics that are still in about 10 boxes but that hasn’t stopped me going through them to find fabrics, although as I shove fabric back in boxes it isn’t as neat as I originally packed it.

Even though I have access to my dressmaking fabrics I haven’t made a lot of clothing this year just 2 skirts and a pinafore. Last year I culled a lot of my me made and ready to wear clothing as I wasn’t wearing them. I need to sit and do an inventory of what key pieces are missing. I have started working on another pinafore which has hand embroidery on it but I haven’t finished that yet. I have patterns in my stash I want to try, some old some new.

Apart from making masks which no one could have predicted in 2019 most of my making this year has been for items around the house or gifts. I’ve enjoyed making practical items for around the house like bags or pillows. Even fixing the mattress protectors didn’t seem like a chore. I like the concept of facing a problem and coming up with a practical solution using my skills in the process. Although I have mentioned mask sewing isn’t my favourite task I’m still proud that I have the ability to sew them, I’m helping to protect us and others in a year that is easy to feel helpless.

My favourite sewn item for the year are a couple of baby toys I only finished this month and I will blog about next year. As the kids I make for now are a bit older I tend not to make the toys I used too and during the making of these I realised I missed it. I might have to still throw in a few toys from time to time if anything just for my fun. Toy making is what I did when I first started sewing and I find them a lot easier to do than clothing. If you have never done it I urge you to give it try.

I can proudly say I haven’t purchased any dressmaking fabric in over 12 months. The only 2 fabrics I have purchased this year were for a gift and some chiffon to make some produce bags which I am yet to start. I did have to restock my zipper stash this month for gifts I’m making next year plus zips are something I use a lot of. I will be honest and say I have only been in a physical fabric shop 3 times this year. I didn’t put myself on a fabric buying ban I’m just aware of the amount of fabric I have in my stash and I want to use that first if it is possible. I will never get to stash 0 where you have no fabric at all in your stash but I don’t want to add to it if I don’t need to. This year there has been plenty of times when I have been online shopping and added fabric to my cart I just always removed it at checkout. I like “shopping” my stash. I still get to touch fabrics and think of the possibilities I could make with them. I will never get all the patterns I have in my head made. I’m not imposing a fabric ban moving forward I just want to keep sewing my through my stash. There is no point having fabric in my stash if I don’t use it. I am being more realistic with my stash now. Even though I culled lots of it last year I still have fabrics that in reality I will never do anything with. Earlier this week as I was going through my boxes of fabrics I pulled out all my Christmas themed prints and gave them to a friend at work who sews. I don’t do Christmas themed sewing anymore so there is no point of keeping on to fabrics I won’t use.

For 2021 I have most of my gifts planned out. I’m going to do a lot of bag making but simple bags. I do have a couple projects for around the house that I need to finish. I want to work more on my quilt as you go quilt/bedspread This year I managed to do a lot sewing mid week after work. I’m going to try and continue that next year. Even if it just one seam or tracing/cutting a pattern out every little step helps. Rubyjam has a great sewing planner so I might print out pages from that and use it as a guide to help me stay on track with my sewing or at least stay organised. Most importantly I want to keep having fun with my sewing.

Cassiy

2020 Yarn Wrap Up

I seemed to have spent more times knitting and crocheting this year which really is no surprise given that knitting and crochet is more portable and easy to pick up and do a bit when you can. I have really enjoyed my yarn projects this year. It has helped calm during stressful times such as the house move and Mr StitchNSew’s hospital admission. Yarn in my hands made me feel more at ease.

This year my knitting skills developed a little more. On basic garter stitch knitting I learnt how to pick up dropped stitches, in previous years I would pull the project off my needles and start again. I never posted it on here but I knit a face cloth following a printed colour chart. I did it as a test knit of the chart to see if I can use it in a double knitting project. I’m going to play around with the chart a bit before I use it in the project I have in mind. I set myself the challenge of working my way through all the editions of the Better Homes & Gardens Knitting and Crochet collection magazines I have in my magazine stash. I’ve actually now made 2 items (yet to share my second project here) Knitting the baby vest was another way of how my knitting skills have increased this year. Understanding the pattern and adapting it to be knit as one piece is something I’ve never done before, I’m slightly proud of that. With setting myself the challenge I found I am looking at the magazines more as I’m going to them first when looking for ideas on items to make.

My yarn tastes became more apparent this year as I took notice of the knitted and crocheted items I chose to wear and when. For items close to my skin like cowls and shawls that go directly near my neck I need to have cotton or silk yarns. There are some amazing wool and acrylic yarns out there but I can’t wear them due to my sensitivity issues. I do have a lot of lovely yarns in my stash which I don’t want to get rid of but I will have to really think about the project first before I use them. Future yarn purchases will be of those I can wear at any time. I did acquire yarn this year (birthday gift from Mr StitchNSew) but for the most part I’m working my way through my stash. I’ve got tubs of yarn to get through so it will keep my busy for some time yet.

Charity making was again something I did this year. With the exception of the nest I finished off for our overnight guest my focus this year was making items for my charity bags. I’ve already started on making items for my 2021 bags. Using yarns from my stash I’m sticking to simple patterns, I’m hoping to add in a couple of other knitted or crocheted items that I didn’t add in this year. Next year I’m hoping to get more items done for WIRES as I miss making items for wildlife rescue.

If I had to pick one favourite project it would be my Purl Crush shawl. It seemed to fly off my needles quickly. The colours I picked on a whim looking through my stash one day, together they look so bright and cheery. It was my project to focus on whilst I was packing. They day I finished it was a bittersweet moment. I was so happy that it was finished but I enjoyed knitting it so much I didn’t actually want it to end.

Looking ahead to 2021 I only have 1 toy I want to crochet apart from that I have no set yarn plans. I’m just going to go with the flow and see what projects I feel like trying. Even if I don’t get to make all the ideas I’m thinking of for my charity bags isn’t a big deal. I still want knitting and crochet to be my relaxing moments.

Cassiy

Sewing Bingo 2020 Wrap Up

In January I decided to join in on the Instagram challenge Sewing Bingo 2020. The challenge was created by PatsyMoo Makes. She came up with 9 sewing themes which she turned into a bingo card, throughout the year as you made projects that fitted the theme you ticked them off your bingo card. The themes were

  • Pattern From Stash
  • More Involved
  • Print
  • A First
  • Fabric From Stash
  • Quick And Easy
  • Solid
  • A repeat
  • Long Time Coming

I started strongly early in the year whilst I still had my sewing stuff out before it was all packed away. It took me until last month to tick off the final theme on my card. The items I made were

  • Pattern From Stash – Overlocker Cover
  • More Involved – Upcycled Polo Shirt Pillow
  • Print – Toiletry Bag
  • A First – Bat Wraps
  • Fabric From Stash – Shape Pillows
  • Quick And Easy – Overlocker Accessories Bag
  • Solid – Mattress Protector Repair 
  • A repeat – Velvet Turner Skirt
  • Long Time Coming – Ironing Board Cover

Until it came to writing this I hadn’t realised that 2 of the projects I never actually got around to blogging about which were the cover for my overlocker and a pouch I made to keep all my overlocker accessories in. They were made in January when things were really busy packing wise and I was trying to get any last minute sewing done before I had to pack all that up. I didn’t deliberately make projects just to tick off a theme. As I was sewing projects throughout the year I’d check my bingo card to see if they would fit within the themes. I made a range of things – gift, for charity, household items, clothing. It was good that I could incorporate all of theses items to tick off the various themes. I must admit the hardest theme I found was Solid, it turns out I don’t use a single solid colour much in my projects. Looking back all the fabrics and notions came from my stash so I did a bit of decluttering too along the way. I’m really trying to use my stash.

I enjoyed the challenge this year. Having the sewing themes rather than set projects made it more flexible and more achievable. My sewing mood can change very quickly. Years ago I was routinely posting my “to sew” list (I do love a good list) Often I would loose interest in a pattern or run out of time to make it. New patterns come out and old patterns are forgotten. If Patsy runs this again next year I’ll consider joining in again if I like the themes. Over the holiday period I might look at creating another “to sew” list at the start of the year but use it as a guide rather than a must do list.

Cassiy

Mattress Protector Repair

Problem – Trace and Toile like backing on mattress protectors shredding in washing machine resulting in pieces of textiles littering the house and polluting the waste water
Solution – Add a fabric backing to each protector

Now in all honesty I should have done this years ago as this isn’t a new problem. We have 2 mattress protectors (one on, one in the wash) that we put under our sheet on the bed. The protector has a pillow top layer with a backing which is very similar to trace and toile and then has a cotton knit skirt which covers the sides of the mattress and holds the protector into place. They are machine washable but to be honest I don’t know how you are to meant to stop the backing fabric from shredding in the machine. I do use my giant laundry bag to wash it in which contains the problem to pieces coming off whilst it is in the machine however small fragments would still end up polluting the water I’m sure. When it comes to drying the protector pieces fall on to the floor and get on other items hanging on the clothes airer. At our old place I had the airer set up indoors in the spare room so it was easy to vacuum up the pieces. At the new place the clothes airer is set up on the balcony so pieces fly off all over our balcony and possibly on to other balconies if it is windy. The shredding was really becoming an issue now. Plus I want to preserve our items so I can get the most use out of them.

In my stash I had a roll of calico so I used it up on the protectors. The calico wasn’t wide enough to cover the width of the mattress so I joined 2 pieces up the centre and top stitched the seam open so it would stay flat. Around the edges I folded the calico over so the excess fabric would lay against the backing of the protector and stitched it into place in the existing seam allowance. On the first one I had stitched the edges using a thick cotton and did back stitches. I wasn’t sure if I could get the stitches within the existing seam on the machine so that is why I did it by hand. It was a week of hand stitching at my craft table after work. When it came to doing the second protector after one afternoon of hand stitching I was over it which is saying something as I enjoy hand stitching. I ended up stitching on the sewing machine and removing the section of hand stitching I’d already done. It was easier to maneuver than I expected although I did do it over 2 days doing half at a time. I managed to keep within the existing seam.

Yes I should have done this years ago but job done now. It will prolong the life of the protectors and stop the fragments from littering everywhere so it was worth the effort. I shouldn’t have to replace these anytime soon but if I ever do I will add the backing on before I first use them. At the protector has pillow top you can’t feel the calico fabric at all so it doesn’t matter that it isn’t a soft fabric. With the stitches within the existing seam you can still easily pull the knit sides down over the sides of the mattress too.

Cassiy

Peppermint Pocket Skirt V1

Every sew often a pattern comes out and it seems everyone on Instagram is making yet. Yep I threw in a dorky sewing pun 😉 That is the case with the Pocket Skirt which is a free pattern from Peppermint magazine. A skirt with pockets and it is free what more can a girl ask for.

 

I raided my stash for some light weight denim, printed the pattern and set to work on it. You know you really want to make it when there is no procrastination involved you just jump straight into it. I made the size 24 and I’ll admit to my bad habit of adding in extra seam allowance which I know I shouldn’t do but is habit of always thinking I need to make things bigger than the pattern piece says. So this I would say is more a size 26.

This is a really quick skirt to make even though it does involve a lot of pressing between steps. I’m known to be a bit lazy or skimpy on pressing but it is worth it in this skirt. The skirt is made up of a front and back panel and 2 side panels which are made up of 2 pieces each. Sorry that the skirt looks a bit crumpled. I’m a bad blogger I didn’t get photos as soon as I finished it and I actually wore it a couple of times before these photos were taken. Unless my skirts get obvious dirt on them I tend to wear them a few times over a number of weeks before I wash them. This hasn’t made the wash yet since I finished it.

Will I make this again? I think I will. Next time I won’t add the extra seam allowance and I might take a bit off the length. I don’t want to criticize a free pattern as I think it more in the sewer not the designer but the pockets do sit a little bit low. For the side panels you join the 2 pieces and then fold them up to form the pocket. You end up with 2 folds, one on the bottom of the pocket which you can see on the inside of the skirt and the other fold is the top of the pocket which you see on the outside. The pattern is marked where to fold it but I may of gotten confused if that was the inside fold line or the outside. I raised the pockets higher than what I thought the pattern meant to but next time I will raise them even higher. My hands just reach the top of the pockets and that is with me wearing my skirts higher than most people. There is a chance with this one I might actually try folding over the waistband once and seeing what it looks like if I stitched it down. That will raise the pockets slightly and I have enough fabric and elastic in the skirt to try it. Even if I don’t play around with it this is still a really comfortable skirt which I will wear as I have done already.

I tried a new pattern, decluttered fabric from my stash and have a new skirt for this summer. That equals a winning project to me.

Cassiy

2020 Charity Bags

Last weekend I dropped off my Share The Dignity charity bags at our local Bunnings which is a collection point up until November 29. If you’re not aware of the charity or the annual bag donation drive the charity askes people to donate a bag full of essential items. The bags are collected then distributed out to homeless woman or those in crisis accommodation.

I start collecting and planning items for my bags from the moment I drop off my bags each year. I have a storage box under the bed that I put all the items in as I get them. In previous years most of the contents came from hotel stays throughout the year. With us moving, Mr StitchNSew’s surgery and getting the mortgage I knew in 2020 we wouldn’t be staying in as many hotels as much so I set myself the challenge of spending $20 per bag to fill them. In previous years I never kept to a budget as I never really had too but I was mostly getting a lot of stuff for free anyway to fill them. I ended up being $5.20 over my total of $60 (I always make up 3 bags) This didn’t include the card I purchased to write a note in for each bag. Please don’t think I sound petty for adding up how much I spend for charity. Share The Dignity is a wonderful cause that I want to keep supporting each year I just need to find the most frugal way to do so without cutting back on the number of bags I make up. Due to Covid this year which wasn’t anticipated when I set myself the challenge last November I’m not that worried I failed my frugal challenge. I wasn’t at the shops looking for bargains all the time, we did stalk our local supermarket most weeks looking for discounted or sale items. To be honest I didn’t know the price of a lot of items as a lot of the items in the bags we don’t use/buy as we use other items eg a 3in1 kids shampoo/conditioner/bodywash or reusable cloth pads. In 2021 I’m setting myself the same frugal challenge of $60 for the 3 bags. I’m going to look in a couple of other shops that I didn’t this year to see their products and prices so perhaps I can stretch my budget that way.

Once again this year besides making the bags I added in a few handmade items. Each bag got a shawl, facecloth and 2 face masks as I consider face masks as an essential item in the current climate. I have already started knitting scarves for my 2021 bags. Besides face cloths I’m not sure yet what other items I will make.

I was worried my bags would feel empty this year but they were fully packed. The pocket on the front of bag fitted the card nicely without it falling out so I will be doing that pocket again next year. I have my fabric picked out for the bags so will start working on them earlier in the year like I did this year so I don’t feel rushed to get them finished. I want to keep supporting this charity each year I just need to find the most frugal way to do so.

Cassiy