Wednesday, 6 June 2012

No Spend Summer

Last year I mentioned a taboo word.


Yes, I did it again! (sorry)

You see we have been very fortunate. My husband had been in a job that he hated up until a year and a half ago. He didn't mind that he worked in a supermarket. He even got on well with his team he managed. But he was middle management.

He was dumped on by his managers, they took credit for his work, blamed him for their mistakes. He also had to put up with really bad language and crude stories 

I realise he was like many people out there. There are a lot of people who work in an environment like this. 

We were so fortunate that he was not only able to get out of there, but also that he was able to find a job he likes, and one that has great prospects! 

However, those "prospects" will be in a good few years time :)

Which I don't mind! I'm SO happy that he's happy. It makes such a big difference! I'd even said while he was job hunting that if he wanted to train or go back into education I would support him and we would make do on little or no money. 

We are lucky he has a job he loves. We are lucky that he has a good work atmosphere. We are lucky that he has a small(ish) commute and great holidays.

So what's the point of my babble?

We have never been well off, we were married when we were both students and I had Izzy while Andy was still finishing his degree! 

We're used to money being tight. But this year we decided to do something we've only done twice since we were married nearly six years ago.

We're going on holiday! 

But to be able to afford it we have reduced our outgoings. We want to be able to do exciting things while we're away and so we've altered parts of our budget. For example:

Gifts for friends/family = £0
Crafts supplies = £0
Home revamp = £0

(you see where I'm going?)

So I give you!

I'm actually really excited!

Even though I have: 

one wedding (my brother's)
three father's day gifts
four men's birthdays
one child's birthday
one woman's birthday
one new baby gift
activities for my kids over the holidays (before and after going away)
and lots of house projects on my list!

...and that's at the very least. And man do I suck at men gifts!

So for all of these I will be attempting to make gifts with no money spent and only using my stash!I know what you're thinking, but I'm determined that I can do it! :)

And I already have a great new baby idea coming up soon. It includes a gift for the mum too! 

(a sneak peak!)

But in the before then I'd really love to know your thought! Am I crazy? (probably!) Have you done gifts using stash only before? Do you have any ideas? 

But most excitingly...would you like to be featured? During no spend summer I'd love to showcase some of your ideas! If you have a tutorial or some photos and an explanation of something you've made email me! It's

If it's any project that hasn't meant you spent (ooh I like that rhyme! Maybe it should be no spend summer's slogan!) let me know! After all I will have a lot of those going on too! 

I'm so excited! Who's in?!


  1. I really love what your doing Rhiannon :) admire you so so much and I think you CAN do this :D why dont you open an etsy account so you can make money from those cards you make and all the other lovely things?!??!

    1. Thanks Rebecca! I hope so! I opened one just recently actually! :) You can check it out if you want? I'd love any feedback you have:

      I think I still have a lot of work to do!

  2. I liked what you are doing here and thanks for sharing your husbands experiences with us

  3. I LOVE this idea - it is totally up my street! Last summer holidays we had more than a few "no spend" weeks. So, other than the food I didn't spend any extra. I tried to keep the food bill down too but making much more from scratch (more than usual!) I managed to make clothes for the kids of my old clothes and my stash, fun stuff for the house and we had a ball!!!! Good luck, and enjoy :)

    1. Sounds great! I'm actually really enjoying it so far!

  4. We have had many a "No Spend Summer"s. I know I have a million ideas - let me look over your list for a, the men's gifts are tough...because I like to sew gifts when I have no money to spend. Use up all my cute fabric scraps...put my embroidery machine to work and stuff. If I think of men's gifts I will email you. Check on pinterest too!

    1. Sounds like women in your life get some great gifts! I feel the same about women, lots I can make for them but I do struggle with men. Two father's day gifts I though of so far are a leather luggage tag (using scraps!) and a framed quote (costing £1 total). Still got my most difficult man to buy/make for left so any ideas you get would be awesome!

      Thanks for your help and advice!

  5. I've made some men's gifts. If they love their coffee or tea you can make drink sleeves or cozies. I did this last Christmas.

    I've also made survivor bracelets out of paracord. Really great if the guy is ourdoorsy... camper, fisher, hiker, etc. They can be keychains instead if the guy is too macho for a bracelet. Paracord is just a few bucks. You can find a tutorial online pretty easily.

    The other good guy gift is food. If not made than maybe all the dry ingredients for his favorite kind of cookie or something layered in a glass jar and the simple directions.

    Hope those ideas help. :)

  6. I love that idea for bracelets or keychains! My brother would definitely like one of those. Food is always my go to gift too if I can't think of anything! :) I may end up doing that for my husbands brother-in-law.

    Am heading over to check out your projects now!

    Thanks so much for sharing your ideas!