A Thrifty Trip to Copenhagen

One of my 2016 goals was to make our home more cosy. What better way to seek some inspiration than to travel to the home of hygge – Denmark? One of the other 2016 goals was to save for a kitchen, so this had to be a low budget city break. Below are a few tips if you’re thinking of planning a trip to Copenhagen on a budget.


Anyone who has been to Copenhagen will know that it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, but pretty pricey. Not ideal for the thrifty traveller. N flies a lot for work and so we paid for our flights using his Avios points (NB you still need to pay taxes, fees and carrier charges), which was great. There are, however, plenty of cheap flights to CPH around, albeit for us southerners, these are mostly from London Luton Airport, which is not exactly the most convenient place. I usually use skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.

Copenhagen for free

We stayed in Wakeup Copenhagen – a 2 star hotel because it had pretty good reviews (for a budget hotel) on Trip Advisor and it worked out really well. The room was small, but that didn’t matter as we were out having fun and only there to sleep and the location was spot on. I booked through Hotels.com with a discount code sent to their mailing list and cashback through Quidco.

Thrifty Copenhagen

Copenhagen is small enough to walk everywhere; we only caught the metro to and from the airport and out to Frederiksberg, so the transportation costs are minimal. In fact, my favourite time there was spent wandering around the city, enjoying the beautiful architecture, amazing harbour and watching the cyclists go by.

Free Copenhagen

Copenhagen Thriftea Top Ten:

  1.  Watch the changing of the guard at Ameliensborg Palace, daily at 12 noon – free
  2.  Go and see the Little Mermaid (which is as disappointing as everybody says, but is still a must) – free
  3. Visit the Lego Store and see the amazing replica of the guards you saw at Ameliensborg – free, if you can resist the temptation to buy Lego
  4. Spend the evening at Tivoli Gardens with it’s amazing atmosphere, fairground rides, live music and theatre – 110DKK/approx £13 each (entry only, rides additional cost), but definitely worth it
  5. Watch bikes, photograph bikes, ride bikes, go on a bike tour. Whatever floats your boat, but it needs to involve bikes
  6. Drink coffee and eat pastries. Our favourite was Meyers Bageri (there are 5 bakeries) – outrageously expensive for what they are, but filling enough that you can skimp on lunch to make up for it. We liked teberikes and kanelstang
  7. Eat street food on Paper Island – the cheapest way to eat hot and delicious food
  8. Visit the Design Museum Denmark, which has an amazing collection of chairs, amongst many other amazing things – 100DKK/approx £12 each
  9. If your budget doesn’t stretch to the Design Museum, browse amazing Danish design in the shops on Strøget – Illum, Magasin and Hay House – prepare to have your mind boggled by the price tags
  10. Pick your future apartment in Christianshavn and admire the amazing Opera House

Tivoli Gardens

Happy travels!

Anti-cellulite Scrub for under £1

There are lots of lotions and potions promising to banish lumpy legs, but the price tag seems pretty steep and (maybe because I’m in denial) I wasn’t ready to commit!

I came across this scrub recipe and it looked like a good place to start, requiring only 3 ingredients: coffee grounds, coconut oil and salt. We have a coffee machine, so rather than compost the grounds as usual, I saved about 4 day’s worth – 5 tbsps, if you don’t have a coffee machine, most coffee shops give away free bags of grounds, so I’m going to count this ingredient as no cost. I used approx 3 tbsps of this coconut oil from Aldi, which was about 1/3 of the jar, coming in at 83p and finally, a couple of tsps of sea salt at a few pence.

Total cost: approx 90p


Anti cellulite scrub

The ingredients combined easily to form a scrub (although since, the coconut oil has formed a bit of a layer at the bottom of the jar, but this isn’t really a problem), which smells heavenly. It’s just the right amount of coarseness to smooth my skin without irritating it and when combined with dry body-brushing, seems to be firming up my legs a treat.

Coffee scrub

Happy body scrubbing!


Protein Balls

Let’s talk about balls. Specifically protein balls. Ummm £2 for a single ball… who the heck has the money for that?

I searched for a recipe and found that they seemed to contain a multitude of expensive ingredients (flax seeds and chia seeds, anyone?), so I gave up on that and set about creating my own and the results were pretty good, if I say so myself!

Thrifty protein balls

Ingredients (makes 8 balls)

1 scoop (30g) vanilla protein powder
2 scoops (60g) oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp peanut butter (or if you’re allergic to peanuts like I am, then almond butter but be warned, it’s twice the price!)
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp raisins
Approx 1 tbsp cows/soya/almond milk


  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together
  2. Add enough milk to bind the ingredients until the mixture holds together
  3. Roll into balls and pop in the fridge to set

I’ve been enjoying these after the gym for an energy boost. I hope you enjoy them too!

Oatmeal Protein Balls

Kitchen Herb Garden

I’m pretty pleased with these new herbs on my kitchen windowsill:

Herb Garden

The pots are from IKEA’s Socker range. I used a hammer and screw to make some drainage holes in the bottom with the help of my glamorous hand model:

Plant pot drainage

And finally, cute little lolly stick labels, which was obviously my favourite bit as it involved eating ice lollies 🙂

Lolly sticks

How much did it cost?

Painterly Stripe Tray – £5 at Tesco
Herb plants – 79p each at Aldi
Socker Pots – 95p each at IKEA

Total cost: £10.22


Happy growing!

Garden Landscaping Splurge

Most things we’re happy to tackle ourselves to save some money, but when it came to landscaping the garden, I decided it was time to get the professionals in. What a revelation!

We got a couple of quotes and went for the guy we felt most comfortable with (who also great online reviews) and in just two days, our garden went from zero to hero! Here are a few before photos:

Garden BeforeThis is how the garden was when we moved in. Fifty shades of brown, anyone?

Old garage

This is just before we took the garage down.

Bare garden

We then lived with it in this bare state for a while, whilst deciding what to do next.

Concrete slab

Oh and then we got a bit carried away and broke up the concrete slab with a sledgehammer (this is when we were still intending to do the paving, turf etc ourselves) which resulted in about 12 trips to the tip and newly acquired biceps.

Sketch Up Garden 1We used Sketch Up to design the layout and initially came up with this, but a we soon realised that running a fence down the side wouldn’t leave enough space to swing the car in (lucky we checked!) I also thought that the curves looked a bit artificial, so we simplified it right down to have a rectangle of paved driveway, a rectangle of grass, a rectangle of gravel and a rectangular planter.


Garden after photo

At the moment, it looks pretty plain, whilst we work out what to plant and how to create some privacy for our seating area, but overall, I’m pleased. These photos were taken the day after it was finished, so the turf is still in squares and the chairs haven’t been put back in place, but the clematis was out then and it looked lovely in the evening sun. The car also gives some context to show the proportions, which are fairly compact, but that suits us just fine.

The table and (missing!) chairs are IKEA’s Angso range, purchased from Gumtree and strapped to the roof of my car for the 2 hour drive home, but so worth it as I paid £100 and this set would retail at £450. They could do with a lick of paint, which is on the to do list.

I will return with an update once we’ve worked out what to plant where and how to shade our table, just in case the sun ever decides to come out again so we can enjoy our garden landscaping splurge, which was totally worth every penny we saved for it!


Stay at Home Brunch

Going out for brunch is all the rage (see here for the best in the Cotswolds), but when you’re trying to save money, brunching at home is the thriftier option.

Griddle pan waffle

My new favourite is Jamie Oliver’s Griddle Pan Waffles (ignore the 3 star rating – just cook half of the batter at a time or it becomes impossibly unwieldy).

Serve with some fresh fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup, put on the Jazz Brunch Playlist on Spotify and brew some coffee. Best of all, you don’t even need to change out of your pyjamas 😉

PS If you’re feeling flush and want to go out for your waffles, I highly recommend He Says She Waffles – not only for the amazing selection, but also the hilarious name!

Last Week (ever!) of Clubcard Boost

So this week is the final week of Clubcard Boost. There’s lot to choose from to spend your Clubcard points on, so be sure to make the most of it.

The Clubcard website tells us that changes are being made to get ‘more value out of Clubcard all year round’ and there’s still plenty of choice to spend with a Boost Partner (which often equates to better value) so there’s no need to panic just yet 😉

I’m braving Kayla Itsine’s BBG programme to get into shape, so I’ve used Clubcard Boost to buy a few bits of equipment I’m going to need – this step (not pictured), a kettle bell and a pretty new water bottle.

Clubcard Double

Clubcard Boost is a great way to treat yourself without spending any real money. You can browse all of the items included in the promotion here.

Birthday Card Recycling

Before I recycle my Birthday cards (and maybe keep a sentimental few) I pick out those that can be re-purposed into gift cards like this pretty one from my lovely friend Julia:I used my mini guillotine to chop it down to gift card size (or if I wasn’t feeling so fancy, I could just have used scissors):And finally a little hole to thread the ribbon through:Et voila, now I just need to find a present to attach it to:

Happy making 🙂

Late Luxury Holiday

Anything that includes the word ‘luxury’ is unlikely to be super thrifty, but I’m sat on a sun lounger in Croatia with a good friend, courtesy of a last minute deal found on lateluxury.com and we are getting a great deal for the money paid.

To keep the cost down:

– We flew Easy Jet from Bristol. The same flight from Gatwick or Heathrow was £50 more expensive. We kept to hand luggage only meaning no extra fees and booked parking in advance with cashback. You can also use Nectar points to pay for Easy Jet flights (although we didn’t this time around)

– We’re staying two nights at the super fancy Le Meridien and then one night at a cheaper hotel to balance the costs. As we’re only away for 3 nights, that keeps the overall budget down

– We don’t have children so we’ve gone outside of peak season (which has also made it very peaceful here)

– Use of the hotel facilities and a buffet breakfast is included so we’re making the most of these to reduce additional spending

– We’re asking locals for restaurant recommendations to avoid pricier tourist options

I already feel well rested, relaxed and ready to tackle any challenge when I get home, which makes this holiday well worth a little splurge in my book!

I hope you all have some luxury to look forward to this summer.

Tag Your Bag

Do you Tag Your Bag? If you donate goods to Oxfam, sign up to the Tag Your Bag scheme to earn Nectar points on every donation.

Tag Your Bag

Tag Your Bag also means that Oxfam can earn 25% in Gift Aid, so it’s a win win. You get a lovely email every 6 months to tell you how much your items sold for and as your Nectar points add up, you can spend them on all sorts of fun things like meals at Pizza Express, watching films at Vue Cinema or even Eurostar tickets and EasyJet flights.

I’m stickering up lots of bags to go to Oxfam this weekend, as I delve deeper into a Marie Kondo style clear out.

Sign up here and get tagging!