Thrifty Friday

I know we’re all a bit skint, but there are still things you can do for little or next to nothing in this gorgeous city of ours to keep you going over the next week or so.

With my training causing me to spend far more than I wanted to, Christmas – which is always expensive – and those (naming no names but looking at some of my favourite people) who have birthdays in January. And then someone else decides to have a hen do.

Despite a whole host of budgeting and being careful, I’m still praying for payday. And I know some of you are in the same boat. So, for your delectation:


The Festival of Imagination

First up is this collaboration between Maria Balshaw, Director of Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth Art Gallery, and Selfridges. This began on Thursday 16 January and runs through to 20 February. Some events are completely free, like the Imaginative Lunchtime events (I’ll be going on one of these and writing about it next week) and others are for the princely sum of £10. Well worth it given you can see events featuring people like Maxine Peake, Dave Haslam and Caryn Franklin.

Festival of Imagination Manchester Exchange[1]

Coral: Something Rich and Strange

Crafty? Artistic? Or maybe intrigued by the ocean? Then this might be something perfect for you. Looking at the the enduring fascination with coral this exhibition has lots of free events on, and the exhition includes installations by Mark Dion and textile artist Karen Casper.


This is a fascinating exhibition on it’s own, coupled with free events on for toddlers, children and adults. And if you can crochet, you can get in on the act, as there’s a growing installation of crochet coral created by members of the public.


Food and Drink

You’d struggle to find a bar or restaurant not doing an offer for January. Allstar Lanes are offering 50% off both dining and bowling. 24 Bar & Grill are offering 50% off too (A la carte menu, Sunday to Thursday), The Living Room are too (Sunday to Friday), as is Room (via it’s Winter Cards offer, please pop online first). And Living Ventures is doing 50% in most (if not all) of their venues. Also see 50% off deals from Al Bacio, Lucha Libre and newbie Volta in Didsbury


And a host of other places like The Beagle, Rosylee Tea Rooms, Montpeliers, The Whiskey Jar, all of the Chop Houses and  are doing various deals on two and three course meals.


Everything Else

One of my favourite vintage collectives is back at the King’s Arms in Salford on 18th January. And for this month, it’s a vintage swap shop. So you can bring up to 5 vintage pieces (20+ years old) and swap them for something ‘new’ for your wardrobe.


My Craftea Day has also started a sewing bee, every Thursday in Chorlton (6:30 pm to 8:30pm) at the Craftelicious Cafe. At £5 to attend (covering venue hire) there is also hire of sewing machines and an overlocker, as well as help on hand. Perfect for anyone who (like me) needs that kick up the backside to get projects finished.

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These are just a few things out and about that are cheap and cheerful and won’t break the bank. Of course, there’s something to be said for a packet of digestives and a box set of Mad Men, but if you’re getting cabin fever, maybe these will get you out of the house….


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