Link to Hope

The suggested theme for shoebox contents in May is toiletries – Link to Hope suggest – soap/flannel, shampoo, razors, toothbrush and toothpaste, small scissors.  In addition to small scissors I would also suggest emery boards and nail clippers, though they’re not strictly toiletries.  One thing to be aware of is that sanitary products are not allowed in the Link to Hope shoeboxes. 

As previously mentioned, the best deal on toothbrushes has been Tesco where you can get two toothbrushes for 25p – one green and one white.  Asda also have 2 toothbrushes for 25p but they are both white, so I prefer the idea of having different colour toothbrushes, though I usually put 4 in a family box.  Morrisons have 2 white toothbrushes for 30p but Sainsbury’s twin pack of white toothbrushes has gone up to 50p.  If you have a One Below store near you they have packs of 6 toothbrushes for £1.00 so more expensive than Tesco, Asda or Morrisons but cheaper than Sainsburys – and they have 3 different colours in the pack. 

Toothpaste options – Morrisons Essential 49p for 100ml, Tesco Essential 50p for 100ml, Sainsbury’s toothpaste 44p for 100ml,  Asda don’t seem to do an own brand and their cheapest seems to be Colgate for 98p.  Aldi currently 55p for 125ml and Lidl 55p for 125ml.

Face clothes – the cheapest seem to be at Home Bargains for 29p but they are quite thin.  The best value seem to be from John Lewis – 4 white or dark grey Any Day face cloths for £1.50, Ikea also do some thinner ones for the same price.  Dunelm have had good deals in the past but I haven’t seen any so far this year. 

Razors – I haven’t found any particular bargains but Tesco, Asda, and Morrisons all have packs of 10 disposable razors for £1.00 but previously you could get smaller packs for under 50p.  Pound shops also have razors but I haven’t checked how many the packs contain.

Shampoo is a great item to include but the maximum size is 300ml and bizarrely most of the cheaper shampoos are in 500ml bottles.  Personally, I won’t buy shampoo manufactured by companies who test on animals anywhere in the world, and my personal ethics also mean avoiding shampoos that include products derived from animals.  Sainsburys, and Aldi own brand products are cruelty free and vegan friendly.  Aldi’s Lacura shampoo Mighty and Moisture range are both 99p for 300ml.  There are several other types of Lacura shampoo for 85p for 250ml but the cheapest is 69p for 500ml – but that is too large.  Sainsburys and Morrisons have a few own brand 500ml bottles for 75p, and Tesco have some 500ml bottles of own brand shampoo for 80p. (All cruelty free and vegan friendly)  I save empty 200ml bottles during the year and fill them from the cheaper larger bottles.  Last year I purchased some of Waitrose own brand 300ml bottles for 80p but they are now £1.00, but they are the correct size.

Small nail scissors or nail clippers are getting harder to source.  Proper Job sometimes have a pack of 3 pairs of nail clippers for £1.00, and Bargain Buys/Poundstretcher have increased the price of their 5 piece manicure set to £1.50 – it contains one pair of nail scissors, 2 nail clippers, a metal nail file and a pair of tweezers.  With both of these sets I divide them between shoeboxes, but also add some emery boards.

The Farm Animal Sanctuary

The Farm Animal Sanctuary are now open at weekends for visits but you do need to book in advance so they can control the number of people arriving at the same time.  It costs £7.50 per adult and £2.50 per child with the money helping towards the cost of feeding and caring for so many animals.

The sanctuary are also doing two `Sheepovers’ this year.  The first is on Saturday 4th June and the second is on Saturday 23 July.  Cost is £20 per adult and £10 for children under 14.  Please remember, it is a farm so dress appropriately and wear outdoor footwear!
There will be tea and coffee available throughout the event, and food available to purchase on the Saturday evening, and for the first time ever a breakfast option on the Sunday morning. 

The food caterers for the 4th June are Huns Vegan and for 23rd July are The Vegan Street Diner . The image is from their Facebook page, as you can see in previous years some animals have visited the tents 😊 – to book head to

Shopping Bargains this month

My bargain buys this month to help fill my shoeboxes have included -more children’s beanie hats from Poundland, still reduced to 25p, despite the tickets saying a £1.00 and the container they were in still saying 50p!  Good news for me though as it means I’ve got plenty to go in my shoeboxes and some spare if I get any partially completed boxes this year. 

My other bargains are a couple of stationery sets from Home Bargains.  The London pencils and mini ruler are 39p, but the better deal is the Pencil, eraser, sharpener, mini ruler set for 29p – great value especially if you are just doing one or two shoeboxes.  Hobby craft still had some packs of dinosaurs for 50p and I also purchased 6 small jute drawstring bags for 50p, which I’ll either put marbles in, or hair accessories.

The Range have lots of stationery items reduced.  It looked like I’d missed a few bargains as there were empty slots next to quite a few reduced labels.  My bargains included A5 Hard backed note books with a Tetris design for 50p and pink and green spiral long notebooks for 50p,

a pack of 7 mini scented highlighter pens for 32p, a pack of 10 red biros for 25p, 30cm rulers for 7p,

Pack of 10 HB Pencils for 19p, post it pads for 10p, and a fluffy pink pencil case for 24p

Not a bargain but I purchased a wind-up lantern but it was £3.99 so a special purchase for one lucky box 😊- I purchased it from What! stores. 

Update – Dunelm are doing some wash mits for 35p – I haven’t received any yet so can’t comment on the quality. Until next month

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