The Farm Animal Sanctuary

The first fund raising event of the year is called `Sing for the Sanctuary’.  The Alcester Male Voice Choir are putting on an evening of entertainment to raise funds for the Sanctuary.  There are a limited number of in person tickets and unlimited virtual event tickets. 

In person tickets are £10.00 for adults and £7.50 for children (The event is being held at Bengeworth Church, Evesham, WR11 3LF).  Virtual tickets are £5.00 and a great idea for anyone who doesn’t live locally – as well as anyone nervous of in person events.   Tickets can be purchased via the event page on their website

Link to Hope

This month’s shoebox theme is `Heat and Light’.   “Items to bring heat and light to people’s lives – candles and holders, Hot water bottles, torches, socks and tights”. 

Last month I bought some candles in glasses from Dunelm for 50p each which have a burn time of up to 30 hours.  My local store no longer has any left for 50p but they do have them for £1.00.  Ikea also have some candles in glasses for £1.00 for the Sinnlig which has a burn time of 25 hours.  (They have larger ones for £1.75 with a 40 hour burn time.   

If you are planning on putting tea lights or candles in your shoe box you do need to put a holder in as well to prevent accidents.  My bargain this month has been nightlight holders from Ikea.  The Finsmak tealight holders are 25p each in the main part of the store, but in the Bargain Corner/ Circular Hub they had trays of 18 for £2.00, which is just over 11p each.  In the main part of the store they still have the classic Galej tealight holders which are £1.00 for 4 and have the advantage of having higher sides so are safer near drafts and can be used for votives as well as tealights. 

You may find that friends and family have lots of glass ramekins which are left over from various puddings – Gu puddings come in glass ramekins, and Pots & Co plant-based desserts come in small glass jars – they are quite narrow but have the advantage of a flat internal base, whereas the ramekins tend to have a slightly domed base so the night lights sit at slight angle.  Either of these would be okay to add some tealights.  Ikea have large packs of tealights – 100 for £3, Wilko and Asda also have some good value plain tealight packs.  I usually add a few scented tealights, but they can be a bit overpowering so I usually just add a few.  (Ikea have packs of 30 scented tealights for £1.50.)

I usually add a hot water bottle or wind-up torch to the elderly boxes.  I haven’t found any wind-up torches for a reasonable price so far this year and the hot water bottles I’ve previously purchased are now 50% more expensive but still cheaper than in other shops.  The best deals I’ve seen are in Bargain Buys/Poundstretcher where you can get a 2 Litre hot water bottle for £2.99.  These don’t come with a cover, but I make simple covers from fleece fabric.  (Their website says they have some red ones for £1.99 but I haven’t seen any in any of my local stores.) (Update 20 Feb 22 – the hot water bottles have gone up to £3.99 in my local Bargain Buys).

Socks are a useful addition and if you shop around, you can get some reasonably priced ones.  I aim for under 50p per pair.  Plain multipack socks are usually a good bet – Asda have multi packs of 10 children’s ankle socks for £3.00 so just 30p a pair – colours white, navy, grey or black.  They have plenty of patterned socks in multi packs that work out 50p- 60p per pair.  Their ladies’ socks vary from 43p – 50p per pair for plain multi pack trainer or ankle socks. The cheapest men’s socks in Asda are £3.00 for 7 pairs which works out at 43p per pair. 

Primark have children’s ankle socks 10 pairs for £2.80, but didn’t seem to have any particularly cheap men’s socks.  Poundstretcher have some men’s sports socks listed as 3 pairs for £1.49 or thin trainer socks 3 pairs for £1.29, but my local stores haven’t had any recently.

Not related to this month’s theme but while in Ikea I bought some wooden spoons for 50p each and also some scissors for 50p a pair, which seem to be the cheapest around at the moment.

If you live in the south west near Bristol or South Wales then What! stores have some good deals.  You can get 8 felt pens for 39p, or 16 felt pens for 69p.  I also bought a couple of adult travel colouring sets which comprise of 2 printed colouring pads and 12 long coloured pencils.

They also have 4 pairs of cotton work gloves for 89p, and 2 packs of playing cards with 5 dice for 97p (I also bought the same card set in Proper Job for £1.00)

What! stores also have various packs of stationary which are ideal if you are just doing one or two boxes.

And finally, also in What! stores is this pack of 36 die cast cars for £6.99 which works out about 20p per car.  I divide them up between boxes adding 3 – 4 cars per box

Further bargains – My local Aldi have reading glasses with a simple carry case reduced to £1.00, and Wilko had some hot water bottles in covers for £4.00 but they don’t appear on their website and seemed to be a special buy as they were in a display box away from the other hot water bottles. Wilko also have wooden spoons for 50p.

If I come across any further bargains, I’ll update this month’s page 😊 

Further bargains!!!  I had a couple of days leave so decided to go to the coast before storm Eunice hit for a brisk walk along the sea front before exploring the shops in the town!  The Poundland in the town had some A5 Spiral notebooks reduced to 50p each.  They have robot covers and inside some stickers, and the first few pages have dots and then the following pages are lined, but not the usual equally spaced lines – but still seem fine for writing and may even help someone improve their hand-writing.  They also had matching pencil cases for 50p.  (It looked as though they may have had matching erasers but there were none on the shelves.)  I also got a pack of 12 cat and dog erasers for 50p.

Home bargains also had some stationery sets which seemed good value at 29p – they included 2 pencils, 1 eraser, 1 pencil sharpener and 1 small ruler.

I heeded the advice and stayed at home during storm Eunice 😊.  The next day I headed to Sainsbury’s and picked up some of their own brand toothpaste which is 44p for 100ml, and a small hot water bottle in a knitted cover for £2.50.

I visited a local Poundland as I wanted to get some pencils while they still had them.  (30 HB pencils with erasers for £1.00 is the cheapest I’ve found, even compared with bulk buys on the internet – I managed to get 4 packs 😊).   As I was heading to the till I spotted a bin with more of the hats I bought in January marked at 50p and they had some boys hats so I picked up a few.  When I got to the till they were reduced to 25p, so I picked up several more including more ladies and girls hats and a couple more boys hats – I can’t knit them for that price!! 

The lady on the till said that they’d had socks reduced to 25p but I missed those ☹ – but I’m still really pleased with the selection of hats.  I guess it pays to visit stores from the same chain as there were no hats in the store I visited on Thursday, but the one on Saturday had none of the notebooks. 

I’m hoping to go to the Christian Resources Exhibition this week as Link to Hope have a stall there, then I can drop off some of the tea light holders I bought in Ikea and maybe a few of the hats I purchased at the weekend.  Till next time – hope everyone is keeping safe.   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *