Furnishing on a (very) low budget

Last week I said I would write a post about furnishing a flat on a budget and I though I would put that out for you now!

When Greg and I got this flat in July, most of our savings was used on the deposit and we had little left over for furnishing.
We got the place unfurnished and therefore needed basic furniture such as a sofa and a bed in order to move in.DSCF1074

We still have a lot of furniture to buy to make it a cozy home, but by now we have the basics in place that we need to live here.

Here is my tips for you if you are furnishing your flat on a low budget.

Some of the stuff we got we bought new, and some stuff we got used.

The bed:

With our bed we decided that we would prefer a new bed over a used one. This was mostly because we did not want to risk getting bedbugs, especially where we sleep. Also I felt that I would be more comfortable with a bed I know no one has used before, after all it is where we sleep every night and I wanted to know that I would feel comfortable.
Most beds that you can buy at department stores end up getting quite expensive, especially with delivery. We searched for online stores and found our bed at Sofaworld for £120. For that we got a new double bed delivered to our house the same day we ordered it. It is a comfortable bed with two drawers in it, and although it is not a luxury bed at all it is a bed we can sleep well in.
DSCF1059Our bed was only furniture we got (except for the TV) that we spent more that £100 on, but for a bed £100 is really not very much especially considering it is new.

Buying Second Hand:

If you are looking for second hand furniture, there is a lot to find online. We found Gumtree to be a very good page to get second hand stuff and we got both our sofa and our closet from there. In addition to Gumtree, there are plenty of facebook pages where people sell their furniture. There might even be a group for the area you live in, so I would recommend searching for not only your city, but also your area.

We got our sofa from Gumtree for £35 with free delivery, and we bought a canvas wardrobe for £5 also on Gumtree.DSCF1225DSCF1226DSCF1062

Both the sofa and the wardrobe we will probably look to replace when we can, but it was a great solution to get the basics so we could live here and it works perfectly for now.

Two things to keep in mind:

1. Staying safe whilst paying for your purchase
One important thing though to keep in mind when buying through Gumtree or any online page where people can post privately is to make sure you pay when you receive the purchase, as you cannot be sure who you are buying from over the internet. Some of the ads can be a scam, even if they look legit.

2. Can you pick it up?
Another thing to consider when using these pages is if you have a vehicle to pick the furniture up. We saw so many amazing deals that we could not get, simply because we dont have a car. Neither Greg or I have a car and as we live in London were everyone uses public transport we have no one that can help us pick the furniture up. Some things are small enough that it can be brought on the tube or fit in an uber, but for larger furniture this can create a problem.
Our solution to this was to look for ads that said free delivery, or that delivers for a small extra price.

Buying from Department Stores:

I have got two places that I have gone to for cheap new furniture and that is IKEA and Poundstretcher.

Ikea is such a great store with heaps of affordable and good furniture. Not to mention it is a very fun store to go shopping in with its showroom displays and their restaurant that serves delicious foods!

From IKEA I got our little coffee table for £5, which was way cheaper than anything I could find online.DSCF1216
The table is tiny, and after a while we will probably want a better one, but for £5 it is a great deal!

We also got our dining table and chairs from IKEA. We was originally not supposed to get a dining table for a while, because we felt it was not a necessity as we could eat on the sofa and dining tables are quite expensive. However I really dislike having all our meals on the sofa and I got a bit creative so we could have a table to eat at.
At IKEA I found a white desk for £15 and folding chairs for £5 each so I bought that to use as a dining table. And when putting a tablecloth over it, it does not look half bad!DSCF1154DSCF1048
And for the time being it operates as a desk when it is not being used for a dining table.

IKEA is also great for buying what you need for the kitchen, they have super cheap quality dining wear and kitchen utensils!

Poundstretcher is another great store that have great furniture for very little.

As we do not have to much space to put our stuff yet I went out and got some cheap plastic drawers and containers from there!

I got some plastic drawers, a clothes rack and some extra boxes. I got the plastic drawers for £12, the rack for £7 and I got a hanging mirror for £6! Bargain! DSCF1068DSCF1060DSCF1005

Of course over time we want some proper furniture and not having to resort to plastic drawers and canvas wardrobes, but this really is a great way to buy furniture if you find yourself in a need to get a place furnished to live in, but dont have the money to get it all done in one go!

We still have heaps to do here, it still has a bit of an empty feel to it, as you can see in the pictures, but it will come with time. For now we can relax with what we have, and slowly fill in what is missing, knowing we have the essentials in place.

I hope this post gave some inspiration of how to get furniture way under budget, and even if you do not have a whole place to fill from scratch with minimum of spending money, there are little tricks you can do to get your basics without paying too much.

Now I am of to work, before going to meet my mum at the station later!
Wishing you all a very good day!

– Camilla





Bread Fiasko

Hello and happy Easter!

I am currently at home, waiting for Greg to come home from his last day at work before the Easter weekend. In Norway holidays have already begun, but here in England only the Friday and Monday are days of for Easter. Tomorrow we are going up to Stoke-On-Trent to visit Greg’s family. Greg has not seen them wince he was a child, so that will be fun!

I am looking forward to getting out of the city especially since this week has been so hectic and a week where everything has just not gone my way.

The biggest fiasko of the week was yesterday when I attempted to make a homemade bread. I was so excited to show of my skills to Greg, and show him what a homemade Norwegian bread is like. I always complain about the bread here and about that I miss my favorite bread from Norway and therefore I thought that I would bake it myself – t should be easy right? Well, it wasn’t..

I followed the recipe and enthusiastically started working on it. I measured up the correct amount of ingredients, made sure it had the right temperature, worked on getting the dough as smooth and lump free as I could. Everything was going perfectly, and I was on top of the world. I felt so clever and creative standing there baking my own bread, I kept thinking of how impressed everyone would be when I sent them snaps of the ready bread and Greg’s face when he would tell me it was the best bread he had ever tasted. Like a propper 50’s housewife.

Well after having it sit for about 7 hours in a bowl for it to rise, it was time to bake it in the evening. I preheated the oven and put the bread in for 45 minutes. When checking on it when it was supposed to be ready the middle was still really doughy. I let it stand a little longer and constantly went to check. It wasn’t before two hours later when I realized  I must have made a mistake when it still was nowhere near ready. And that’s when I saw it.. I had put the bread on fan oven and not the normal oven on, so the bread was not getting properly done…. grrr…. As it was by now already after 11 at night I though that I would just have to remove it and hope it wasn’t to doughy..
201511_1355_eceaf_sm….And that’s when I realized the biggest mistake I had done.. I had as a way to save time and the bread pan, put aluminium foil in the bottom and side of the pan to keep it the bread from sticking to the pan. But when I took the bread out the aluminium foil and stuck to the bread and it was nearly impossible to get off. I ended up spending 30 minutes trying to get it of, it wasn’t until I tried to cut myself a piece and realized the bread was far to hard on the outside and doughy on the inside and basically tasted awful that I gave up and had to through the whole thing away! arhhh…20160322_23185020160322_232524Clearly I have my flaws as a baker.. I am getting a second chance today though as I plan on making bread buns for our trip tomorrow. Since the bread went so horrible, I thought I would start with buns instead and perhaps eventually graduate to bread if I am successful.

Well, wish me luck!

– Camilla