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Ask and you shall receive…

So another week has gone by, which means I am one third of the way through my austerity experiment. What can I tell you so far?

  1. It was tough as I thought it would be, at the start.
  2. I’m getting obsessed with bargains and freebies.
  3. I’ve saved a lot of money.

When I say I’m getting obsessed with freebies, I really do mean it as this week has been witness to yet another one of my amazing Gumtree finds. Let me explain.

Before Christmas, when I was deciding to do this, I started thinking about any last minute purchases that might be useful for a less wasteful new year. They weren’t small ones either; top of my list was an enormous chest freezer. We already had a small one that was more than adequate for some frozen bits and pieces and our pooches food to go into, but I was already thinking ahead to reduced veg at the supermarket that could be prepped and frozen. Stews for 20p!

Having reasoned with myself that a chest freezer would in fact be an INVESTMENT into this experiment, I happily started looking around online for the festive season bargains. I found the one I liked, didn’t think anything of the £200 price tag and went to click ‘confirm purchase’, when my finger stopped, mid-air. What the hell was I doing? This was the austerity version of eating all the junk food in the house the night before you start a diet. You know it will impact on your first weigh in, but you tell yourself it’s so there’s nothing to tempt you in the house and you go ahead. Well I didn’t.

Having spoken to my partner, we agreed that if it was meant to be, we’d stumble upon one for “super cheaps” on Gumtree or somewhere later. No other extraneous shopping was done that week either, to ease myself in; the Boxing Day sales most definitely missed my presence and I was half expecting a call from my bank’s fraud team to ask if my card had been stolen, because there was no activity.

Fast forward to three days ago and while taking one of my daily strolls through the Gumtree freebies section, there it was! An enormous chest freezer, barely used, which had been very well cleaned (unprecedented for Gumtree!) and was just 13 miles away. I don’t think I could have emailed any quicker than I did, but I tried not to get excited; it was bound to have gone. When I had an email back saying that I was the first person to take the time to be polite in my initial enquiry and as such, if I wanted it, it was mine, I audibly squeaked. Seriously, the noises that are now coming out of me when I find a bargain are ridiculous. Within an hour we were in the van and out on the road and within two, we had the freezer back at home, pride of place in the utility room. This is a £300 freezer. FOR FREE.

I pinged my generous benefactor (who was wearing an amazing cravat when we rocked up) a quick email to say thank you again and that he had absolutely made my year and that’s when he typed the words that will stay with me forever…

“You’re very welcome Amy. I love the sound of this austerity experiment and I really think self-sufficiency will be for you. I saw a bit of Barbara Good in you…if you know who I’m talking about…”

Oh Brian. If only you knew how much this reignited my passion for all things self-sufficient and exciting. Here I was thinking I had asked the universe to send me a chest freezer and all along, I had asked for a Brian…

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