Thursday, 28 October 2021

Gearing Up for a Challenge


 I have decided that after I have just wiped out a massive proportion of my savings on a humongous purchase that will hopefully provide better for our futures than just money in the bank earning no interest  that I need to ground myself again and start building up the little cash pot that I have left. 

 So next year is going to be a pull in the belt and get back to basics type of year so I can bank a larger proportion of my wages each month.  If it all goes to plan it will be the year of The Teapot Challenge.

Those of you who have been reading along for a while know that I love a Challenge, and indeed I have another blog totally devoted to them although that has unfortunately been a bit neglected this year due to health events overtaking me.  So now I have decided it is time for me to start planning for the year ahead, well you have to have something to look forward to don't you!!


The Sealed Pot story started way back on my old blog Our New Life in the Country in 2011 and we have been using it in one form or another ever since.  My beautiful old enamel teapot took over from the Sealed Pot when the Sealed Pot were using then became too mangled to use.  Each year we would put change and sometimes £2 coins as well into the pot ready to have a grand opening on our anniversary each year, the contents were then used for various things and they have funded quite a few Challenges in the past.

This time whatever I already have in the pot and whatever I can add into it in the run up to and during next year, will be used to fund next years household spending for just me here at Lavender Lodge.  Money going into it will be acquired by selling stuff  that I no longer need or want, and after the move from the house in Wales and then from the flat, the slow filling of the Lodge as I unpack and rediscover stuff  has shown me that I have far too much.

I have been watching some brilliant YouTube videos and films that have inspired me to crack on and get back to a simplicity that I love and that makes me feel so much better.

The bag of coins in the photo above was the change that was in the teapot when we moved, bagged up so they didn't spill everywhere and that have been there since it's opening and counting last year, the notes I have somewhere safe ... I'll find them eventually 😄

The five pound note is from my first sale ... a bag of toiletries that I didn't want ... and the green enamel breadbin is awaiting pick up this morning.  It's only a fiver so you can see a bit of a theme developing here can't you ... virtually everything I sell will be five pounds, I want quick sales to get things out of the way!!  So if I can find twenty items to sell that will be another hundred to add to the teapot.


As one thing goes I add another to my Facebook Marketplace page to keep the numbers of things available manageable.  Just added to replace the breadbin are these jars ... fingers crossed for a sale soon.

I have decided that Facebook Marketplace is the way to go as I don't want to be faffing about posting things off.  This way people come to me to hand over their cash and take away my clutter.  We have also just heard of an indoor table-top sale nearby so we might have a table at that and share the proceeds.


She's just come for the breadbin ... so here's another £5 for the teapot.

It's going well up to now.


Sue xx




29 comments:

  1. Oh man, Sue.... I'd take those glass containers off your hands if we lived close. Those are perfect to store grains & other food items when I bulk-buy.... which is one of the ways I save $$. Rice in one, powdered milk in another, mixed beans in another, and on & on. *lol* Of course maybe not everybody wants their kitchen to look like it belongs in a cabin from the 1800s!! :-) Good luck with your sale & with your saving. By moving to the tiny place, that should automatically be saving you a ton over where you came from, eh? ~Andrea xoxoxo

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    1. I have lots of much bigger jars for my rice, pasta, oats etc. These are small and used to be used to hold tea, coffee and sugar. But as I don't drink tea or use sugar in my drinks I no longer need them now I'm here on my own. If Alan prefers a cup of tea he brings it across with him 😀. My coffee is now in one of my larger storage jars and is the only one left out on the countertop. My kitchen is quite cabin-like with all my food jars and wooden additional cupboards so I have nothing whatsoever against the cabin look.

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  2. Your challenges are always so inspiring Sue so I'm looking forward to this one. I've never used Facebook marketplace but with the cost of postage and the faff of posting parcels now we've moved I might be tempted to try it. There's a lot of craft stuff I need to rehome. Good luck with your challenge. I just know it will be brilliant 👍😊

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    1. It's good in that you can either sell things or give them away free of charge. The cost of postage is just too much these days isn't it.

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  3. My friend here in the village does really well with Facebook Marketplace. She has a big garden so is able to split plants and pot on cuttings to sell. She finds free stuff, furniture mainly, paints it and re upholsters it to sell on. It's the way to go, self sufficiency is coming back into fashion.

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    1. There are a few local people doing furniture renovation like your friend. Some of the old style dark wood furniture looks brilliant once painted and fixed doesn't it. 🙂

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  4. We should take a leaf from your book - no Ebay fees!! Have LOTS to rehome, so I think I shall start listing. I have just found a suitable sideboard (we're looking for two, one for kitchen and a (lighter!!) one for a bedroom to take some of my craft things). May be taking a trip to Dolgellau soon . . . Thanks for the heads up and good luck with all your selling.

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    1. I've not sold on eBay for a long time now, what with the high fees and so many people claiming parcels didn't arrive or were damaged I just gave up on it.

      This way isn't perfect, about 1 in 5 turn out to be a bit of a time waster, or say they 'forgot' to come, but on the whole nice people come to your door, give you money and take away things you no longer want. 😃

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  5. What a great plan. I have been selling on eBay but you are quite right about the faff of posting and dealing with any breakages etc. I have only given away free stuff on Facebook Marketplace but may have a go at selling. I shall follow your challenge with interest.

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    1. It seems to be working well for me, I added £15 to the teapot by teatime yesterday 😀

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  6. I sell on ebay and my daughter does Facebook Marketplace and both work well for us - though she says people can mess about not turning up. I probably tend to do higher cost items than she does and so always pass the postage on to the buyer for whatever I am selling on eBay and it doesn't seem to deter anyone buying. I also take advantage of all eBays reduced selling fees offers they send me each month to get the maximum profit from selling an item. There is no longer a listing fee or any paypal fees as eBay do their own payment side now. With postage I offer the cheaper price option using eBay's own parcel delivery service which I just drop off at Londis on the way into town with a pre-printed label other than that I offer 2nd class signed for and insured so no comeback on anyone saying they didn't receive it - but that has not happened yet.
    Over the past year I have sold a load of good condition clothes for my daughter, an old phone bought in 1992 that we took off the kitchen wall and cleaned up and sold it for almost the same price as we had bought it and 2 cribs (for local collection). I like the fact that with eBay the buyer has to pay before collection and can't then haggle on the doorstep which a number of my friends have had!
    Our local paper used to run a very popular classified page where people could advertise free anything for under a fiver and is where I both bought and sold quite frequently and great for getting rid of low cost unwanted items.
    I shall be watching your challenge to see how it goes but if I have any low cost or fragile items I think the marketplace sounds like a good bet - having said that I might just pass them on to my daughter to do for me or even pass them onto the village charity shop as the money goes back into the village for the villagers.
    Are you posting about the challenge on this site?
    PS: Sorry - I seem to have written an essay.

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    1. And the award for the longest comment of the year goes to .... haha ;-)

      Although the newer eBay postal system sounds much better, I think I'll just keep letting people come to me to pick up their things. No charges at all and no, I never haggle. If someone asks either as a comment or at the door for a reduction I just say no, sorry THAT is the price and let them know that there are others wanting the item if they don't take it. That usually works to get them to pay my prices. Which are ridiculously low anyway.

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    2. Sounds like you have it all sussed out - I might have a go myself as somethings just don't post well like very fragile or heavy items.
      Ha ha - I look forward to that award!!

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  7. Good luck Sue, I remember your teapot challenges, just love the enamel teapot. x

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    1. I've had it for a few years now but it still brings a smile to my face.

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  8. I will not use FB as you know, but Management does, and in the last month or so we have rehomed the big trailer which we never used, and two large & cumbersome pieces of outdoor equipment which I did not want any more.

    Like you, we list at a low price to ensure things sell, and sell quickly. Win for us, win for the buyers.

    I just wish I could do the same for half the contents of the house . . . sigh 👀 🙄 😆

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    1. Yes, it was great for selling a lot of our bigger items before we left the smallholding. The Ifor Williams trailers all sold from there as did the touring caravan and all sorts of bits and bobs from the tunnels and man shed.

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  9. It's always good to take stock of what we have and what we use and need. Our lives change and so do our needs and wants. I'm sorting out things at the moment that I haven't used in a long while and selling or gifting them. It also means items are given a new lease of life and don't end up in landfill. Good luck with the teapot challenge. Jean

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    1. That's the main thing isn't it to keep things out of landfill. As I whittle away at things some might find a new home for free if I don't need them.

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  10. I was wondering when you would begin a new challenge. Looking forward to seeing how well you do with this one.

    God bless.

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    1. I've just not been able to recently, I can't get to the shops very often for a start, but I have missed my Challenges.

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  11. It is a good feeling to unload, isn't it? When you are done decluttering there, have I got a job for you!

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  12. I remember your sealed pot challenges. It's wonderful to see you do another one and this time with the teapot! Since you are selling items the balance should grow nicely!

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    1. The balance will shoot up if I can find the little stash of notes that came out of it last year and we're never spent!! I will add them back in. 🙂

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  13. Good luck with your latest challenge! I still live in the home where my kids grew up so I have a lot of everyone's crap stored in my basement! I keep thinking...one of these days...but I would need a huge dumpster for a lot of it! :)

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    1. My boys didn't have that much really, they were always good at car-booting old toys to buy new ones and then not acquiring too much when they got older. Of course my eldest left to join the army at 18 and my younger son went off to Uni taking most things with him.

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  14. I remember SFT's blog which I really enjoyed. I think SFT was short for Saving for Travel? I've been saving $2 coins for months now and boy they soon add up:) Great idea to sell items for five pounds and you've already made a good start:) I've just read Australia is predicted to be a cashless society by 2024:( I'm hoping it's not that soon as I love cash but I understand the reasons for it. Happy selling Sue:)

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    1. Yes, that's right. 🙂. Ooh I'd hate not to have cash, card payments are just not the same.

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