Link to Hope

Link to Hope are planning to post some photos of the delivery of the shoe boxes to Eastern Europe on the Link to Hope website in mid January 2023.  There are a few photos on there already.

With the rising cost of living, if you are planning to fill any shoeboxes, I would suggest spreading the cost over the year and the January sales is a great place to start.  Link to Hope have a useful calendar on their website with suggested items to focus on each month.

The suggestion for January is Warm Items – to keep people warm when temperatures can drop as low as -25C.   Of course if you see any other bargains then please feel free to share the ideas and it’s worth seeing if family, friends, or work colleagues have had any Christmas gifts they won’t use that would be suitable to use in your shoebox. 

The obvious items that fit the theme would be hats, scarves and gloves.  Socks would also be suitable (which also fit in with February’s theme).  Hats, scarves, gloves and socks/tights are the only clothing items that should be put in a shoebox.  Novelty socks are sometimes unwanted Christmas gifts that get donated to me😊. 

There are some easy patterns on Pinterest or other sites to knit simple Beanie Hats on straight needles.  The hats below are ones I knitted last year. Scarves are also relatively easy to knit but take longer to make – maybe try some squares first to check your chosen stitch doesn’t curly inwards and to get a feel for how many stitches to use.

My best buys to fit in with the theme have been from Primark.  Two pairs of knitted gloves for £1.00 which is the standard price, but they didn’t have many left – I was hoping to wait to see if they were reduced at the end of January but as they didn’t have many left I bought a couple of packs.  They also had men’s fleece gloves – 2 pairs for £2.00 .  One item that was reduced were men’s scarves reduced from £3.00 to £1.00.  In the past I’ve purchased scarves from Poundland but as some of their items now cost more than a pound I decided to buy some from Primark – they also had some dark green ones not just the usual black. (They are darker than they appear in the photo.) Primark still had pack of 5 toothbrushes for 75p, so although not the cheapest they are still much cheaper than buying individual toothbrushes and have the advantage that they are all different colours.

The Farm Animal Sanctuary

They are still fundraising to raise the money to buy the land the sanctuary is based on, but they still have a lot of money to raise – so if you can help support them please donate via their website or via their just giving page.

They also have to fundraise to cover the food and medical costs of the animals they rescue – they have over 600 animals to take care of and are the oldest farm animal rescue in the UK. 

The sanctuary doesn’t open to visitors until the spring.

Bargain Buys

The 3 pack of scissors I mentioned in my December blog from Dunelm have now been reduced further and are now 62p !!!!  Dunelm also have 8 metres of wrapping paper reduce to 50p. 

Aldi have some candles in glass containers for 79p, and some Ikea  stores (sadly not my local store) have candles in glass containers for 50p and 30 scented night lights for £1.00.

The Works have 8 metres of wrapping paper for 50p, and I found one pen with a furry topper reduced to 10p from £2.00.  Not reduced but seem to be good options are packs of notecards – buy one get one free (£2.00) and colour in children’s bags with 5 felt pens for £1.00

My local One Below/One Beyond still had a few packs of 8 toothbrushes for £1.00 so 13p per toothbrush.  They also had 3 nail brushes for £1.00 and 2 nail clippers for £1.00.  Their packs of 10 small cars have gone up by 50% but still only work out at 15p per car.

Home bargains have some fidget spinners for 49p each.  Razors have gone up but are currently 59p for 5 bic razors or £1.00 for 10 generic razors.

My best buys have been from Tesco.  They have some of their Christmas craft kits reduced.  Make your own Tree decoration 25p, make your own garland 60p.  Bouncy ball 13p, fluffy chick 25p, furry penguin 30p, 2 pencil cases 63p each, long ruler 13p.

Their Keep it Handy range have increased in price but at the moment club card holders can buy 2 items for £2.00.  Their 2 pack of toothbrushes have gone back down to 25p but their soap has gone up from 15p to 20p but it still seems to be the cheapest soap, and has a pleasant smell and is cruelty free 😊.

I hope you can all still find ways of supporting these charities. 

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