Link to Hope

The suggested focus on the Link to Hope calendar for June is gifts for the elderly.  Their suggestions are – mug, spoon, cutlery, sensory items, reading glasses or headscarves.  The other optional items on the elderly shoe box contents list include hot water bottles, work gloves, pen and paper, socks/tights, wind up radio/torch, shampoo (300ml max), nail clippers/scissors, or safety razors.

One of the essential items is small games, travel size draughts or dominoes, or playing cards are the suggestions on the form.   To save money I usually opt for a set of playing cards as there are several places you can get two packs for £1.00 including Tesco, Morrisons, One Below, What Stores, Proper Job and Poundland.  If you want to spend a bit more you can get a wooden box of dominoes from Poundland (for £1.00) which makes a good gift.

For the Link to Hope elderly shoe boxes I try to either put a wind up torch or a hot water bottle in the box as a high value item.  Poundstretcher stores currently have an offer that if you spend over £5.00 you get 50% off everything so it’s worth looking at their hot water bottles which are £3.99 but if you buy two or find other items to buy you would get them for £2.00 each.  They are full size hot water bottles so you do need to consider if you can fit them in your shoe box 😊.

Poundstretcher have a wide variety of products so you’re bound to find something else to the value of £1.01 to get your 50% off.  I bought a pack of 3 pairs of men’s sports socks which would have been £1.99, so I got them for £1.00, 3 solar calculators to go in the family boxes– the full price was 69p each so great value anyway, but with 50% off exceptional value at 35p each, and 3 different types of whitening toothpaste each with a free toothbrush which were £1.29 full price, so 65p with the discount. I’ll add an extra toothbrush if I put them in an elderly shoebox or 3 or 4 extra toothbrushes if I put them in a family shoebox.  The felt pens and crayons could be a good option if you don’t have a What Store near you, and for the elderly boxes they have gardening gloves and plastic hand held gardening forks or trowels which could be an option.

There aren’t many deals around for wind up torches.  I purchased a wind up lantern last month from What Stores for £3.99.  The cheapest I’ve found on Amazon is £3.01 for a hand crank torch. They also had a Rolson wind up torch for £3.50, or they have a pack of 10 pig shape hand crank torches more suitable for children for £31.99 for 10 so approximately £3.20 each.  I get frustrated looking on ebay as there are several where it appears you can get a hand crank torch for 99p plus £3.00 postage but when you click on the link the wind up torches are over £3.00 plus £3.00 postage – the 99p is either for a small battery torch or a sample plastic envelope!!  I found one which had a hand crank torch for £3.89 with free postage, or if you purchased 4 they went down to £3.30 each. 

One of the suggestions is a mug and there are often special offers for mugs, but make sure you pack it well.  Asda sell an insulated travel mug for £1.25 which has a nice wide handle making it easier to grip for anyone with arthritis.  Wooden spoons are another suggestion, Ikea, Tesco and Sainsbury’s have them for 50p and Wilko for 55p.  Poundstretcher/Bargain Buys have 16 piece cutlery sets for £3.99 so as above if you spend more than £5.00 you would get them for £2.00 or 50p per place setting. 

My best buys for work gloves are from What! stores where you can purchase 4 pairs for 90p, but I think they only have stores in the south west and south Wales.  They also had some with a rubber coating for 97p or 3 for £2.00. There are some multi deals on ebay and Amazon, and Poundland usually have 1 pair for £1.00.

I always add pens and a notepad to my elderly boxes as well as pencils and a pencil sharpener.  The best value I’ve found for notepads are from Poundland where you can get 4 reporter pads for £1.00 – though in some stores they have moved to 3 reporters pads for £1.00.  Poundland still seem to be the best value for pens – packs of 32 biros for £1.00 and packs of 30 pencils with eraser tops for £1.00.  Tesco had packs of 10 black biros with a metallic exterior reduced to 40p.  Last month I managed to get some items reduced at The Range so your local store may still have some items on offer.

It’s still possible to buy reading glasses for £1.00 from Poundland,  One Below, and Primark – the Primark ones come with case.  Aldi sometimes reduce theirs to £1.00 and they also come with a case.  One Below also have magnifying glasses for £1.00.

I haven’t found any bargains for headscarves so I’m going to try and make some 😊. 

I thought I’d have another go at doing a £10.00 challenge elderly shoebox to see if it’s still possible and it is 😊 – providing you shop around!  See separate entry –

The Farm Animal Sanctuary

They hosted their first Sheepover of the year on 4th June, and there is another one planned for the 23rd July to raise funds towards the upkeep of the animals.  You can also visit the Farm Animal Sanctuary at weekends to see all the animals they care for, but you do need to pre book – to book head to .

Further Bargains

There are still a few bargains at The Range but beware and double check the price label descriptions as I’ve found that most of the reduced labels are sold out and the items near them which appear to be reduced aren’t.  I did manage to get two packs of 10 pencils for 19p each and a packet of football sticky notes for 13p.  Unfortunately all the A5 notebooks I took to the till which appeared to be 50p ranged from £1.79 to £2.49 even though one did exactly match the description on the shelf tag.

Not on offer but Primark have a pack of 5 toothbrushes for 75p.  Not quite as cheap as Tesco but still great value and they are all different colours 😊

Dunelm still have some wash mits for 35p and they are good quality.  My local What! store is now closing down so has 25% off everything.  I’ve bought more felt pens – packs of 16 reduced to 52p,  packs of 2 playing cards with 5 dice reduced to 75p, wind up lantern reduced to £3.00, 6 exercise books for 73p, 6 screwdrivers for 90p, 10 pairs of shoelaces for 60p, 2 mini torches for 73p, XL work gloves 73p, 4 flannels for 75p, various hairbrushes 73p (2 also came with a comb), folding hairbrush and mirror 67p and an extendable back scratcher for 75p.  I also bought some pen and pencil sets which were already reduced to 29p so didn’t attract a further discount.


Ikea have fold up shopping bags reduced to 50p (Red of Green – the white ones are still £1.00)  On line they have 30 scented tea lights reduced to £1.00 but there weren’t any in my local store.  They have pink glass candle jars with a scented candle reduced to 85p, and flannels reduced to 50p each which seemed bigger than some, however I have found though that in Ikea both their wooden spoons and scissors have gone up by 50% from 50p to 75p ☹ The wooden spoons in Wilko are also now 75p.

Poundstretcher no longer have their spend £5.00 and get 50% off offer – but a lot of items are still half price including the hot water bottles (£2.00), and toothpaste with a toothbrush (65p). They also had a set containing 3 pairs of boys gloves for £1.25, and a set of boys gloves with fingerless gloves over the top for 75p, and shampoo for 65p.

If you find any of these tips helpful or have any tips of your own – please leave a message – till next time

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