Category Archives: Charity

Shopping with little (or no) money!

I have been thinking about this lately! Winter is here and a girl needs to up her wardrobe!

Challenge is…there is never enough money to buy whatever I like. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t lack anything…in fact my wardrobe is running over.  Just with outdated apparels!

So the other day I run off to the store…just needed some retail therapy.  Shopping is so therapeutic sometimes…even if I buy for someone else…it still does wonders! 🙂

Got me thinking…how do you shop with little or no money?  Trust me…it is possible!  First of all, buy clever.  Buy classic items that will never date.

1. Wear comfortable shoes and easy on/off clothes the morning of your designated shopping trip(as you will be trying on things), and also do your hair and makeup like you would normally do when going out (so when you try on things you’ll look your best in them) and don’t bring your life savings.

 2. Bring the minimal money (just enough for food or gas is good) and MAYBE enough for that perfect dress. If you have no money whatsoever, eat at home, bring snacks and water, or stay home. And pack your self-control.

 3. Make a mental or physical list of stores you want to go to and things you want to buy.

 4. Go directly to the stores you want to when you get to the mall/shopping center. Pick up whatever you like and try it on. Pick up things you weren’t sure would look good on you, or things you normally think are too expensive. Choose whatever! and try it on!

 5. Try to make outfits in the fitting room or as you shop.

 6. Tell the lady in the fitting room that you didn’t like anything (or if you have a lot and are too embarrassed, leave some with her and take some with you, then as you continue to “look around” the store casually hang up the rest).

 7. Repeat those steps for the rest of the stores you want to go to.

 8. Stop for food/water at some point since you may want to rest a bit.


(tips courtesy of:

According to my experience…you don’t have to have loads of money to look good.  All it takes is some clever planning and a little cheating!

  • Patience is a virtue!  Wait for sales…you will be surprised at how much you save!
  • Buy seasonal clothes and boots after the season is passed.  Usually they are marked down quite a bit.
  • Buy from charity shops.  You are bound to find a bargain here and there.  Read the article below on buying at charity shops.  When we visited the UK a while back, I unintentionally visited a charity shop and found a designer shirt for 12 pounds (sadly, after two babes it doesn’t fit me any longer!)
  • Window shop on the High Street for ideas and go tho cheaper shops to actually buy a similar item.  Above picture shows me window shopping on the High Street in Milan.

Also check out this article:

Charity Shop Secrets |

This article was just a frivolous conversation starter.  Do you have any tips on how to shop clever?

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Charity sometimes comes with its own set of problems

Yes it does. It is very rewarding but also very frustrating many times.

As mentioned previously, we live in Naturena on charity grounds.  Ashley and I share the responsibility of taking care of the day to day running of the Breakthrough Centre.  The last few weeks has particularly been challenging.  We had a burglary, electricity black-outs and vandalism.

Firstly, about 2 months ago a group of kids from the neighbourhood broke the windows of the ablution block next to the creche.

Broken windows

We have identified the children and they literally live around the corner.  Our idea is to meet with their parents to try and find a solution to this challenge.  Hopefully we will do it soon.

Cable theft is a very popular crime in South Africa.  “Copper cable theft, which is estimated to cost the South African economy about R5-billion a year, has been declared a high-priority crime, “says Advocate Simi Pillay-van Graan, a Business Against Crime South Africa executive.

Last week the charity fell victim when a very expensive electric cable was stolen.  This happened during the wee hours of the morning after it was planted underground.  It appears the thieves dug it up and ripped it out.

Where the cable was stolen

The value was roughly R1250,00.  That is nothing compared to the loss the Gautrain suffered earlier this year when thieves stole cables to the value of around R45million.  Really disheartening when you consider that they won’t nearly get that amount back in selling it.

Then we had a few black-outs.  Some of them were related to the work the electrician was doing connecting the out-buildings. Then we had problems that we had to log with Johannesburg City Power.  I remember one call we logged at 01h00 am.

City Power truck

In total I think we were without electricity for about 48 hours.  Sjoe, reading this article back to myself is really exhausting.  I am not complaining, in fact I welcome these challenges.  It builds my character. It also teaches me patience and how to work under pressure.

On a more positive note, our neighbour who gave us problems earlier this year came around and made peace.  This time around he asked to chop down the weeds and bushes that grew since the last time he came to cut.  According to him it attracts more izinyoka’s (snakes) to his house.

Just a little update.

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I should be grateful…

Dry riverbed

Source: The Sacramento BEE


The worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa has put more than 12 million people in need of immediate assistance in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. Crops have failed and livestock have died after decreased rainfall in two consecutive rainy seasons.


The drought and famine in Somalia have killed more than 29,000 children under age 5 in the last 100 days in southern Somalia, according to U.S. estimates. The United Nations says 640,000 Somali children are acutely malnourished, suggesting the death toll of small children will rise.

Somalia drought

A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region. Although droughts can persist for several years, even a short, intense drought can cause significant damage and harm the local economy.

Wow…I have realised how ungrateful I am sometimes.  I forget how blessed I am.  Yes, I have problems…lots of problems. But I also have a lot to be thankful for.  I am healthy, alive and have a family that loves me.  Imagine not having running water at your disposal.  Imagine not having eaten in weeks/months.  Imagine watching your children die of hunger.

Forgive me Lord for being so ungrateful.  I thank You for being my Provider.  I will stop being selfish and forget about what I need and want.  My mind has been altered into living with more gratitude and making a difference in other’s lives.

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Our Daily Bread

This week sees a really exciting time in the life of the charity 1in1out.  As you might know, we stay on the charity’s property as the site managers.


This is the bakery the charity acquired about a year ago.  It is fully fitted with 2 industrial ovens and a bread mixer.  This week we started training to start operating as a fully fledged bakery.

Cold weather

So training kicked off yesterday on what seemed like the coldest day in Joburg this year.  The bakery is a shipping container that has not been insulated like the container house on site.  It was so cold inside, we decided to move into the main house for the theory part of the course.

Doing sums

I thought baking bread was simple!  We had to learn how to do costing so you get maximum profit from your yield.

Today was more exciting.  We got to get our hands dirty and actually started baking!

Kneading the dough

Baking bread is hard work!!!  Hygiene comes first so I had to step aside as I have a deep cut in my right thumb.  I suppose it comes with the territory of being a DIY-er!

After about 2 hours of mixing, resting, proofing and baking this was the yield we delivered…

1st yield of Our Daily Bread!

I haven’t felt this proud in a while!  Our first yield of the Our Daily Bread concept!  The bakery will primarily operate as a non-profit business.  We will supply schools and communities that are in dire need with loaves of bread on a daily basis. Then whatever is left over will be sold to the local spaza shops to make up for some funds.

This is a great project.  The aim is to also bake pastries which will be sold to make some profit to fund the distribution of the bread to the schools etc.  We hope to officially open the bakery at the end of September.

Every morning before we start we pray and this morning’s scripture reading was taken from Mark 6.  I will only quote verses 39-43.

39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.”

Wow…this is so prophetic for what we are trying to achieve.  With the little we have we are aiming to feed thousands and with God’s help we know we will!  If you want to get involved, drop us a line. Every little bit helps!

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