Katy Wolk-Stanley, who blogs at The Non-Consumer Advocate has an oft repeated format, where she posts Five Frugal Things. I really enjoy reading her posts, and have probably read her whole archive now. Initially I wasn’t that fond of the frugal list, but as a long-time reader I’m really getting into them. I think they are a little impenetrable on their own, but after a while you have the context to see them as part of her life, little snap shots of what’s going on. I find them fascinating now, and I’ve been making similar lists in my head for some time.
The Five Frugal Things are lists about things she has done, and choices she has made, which contribute to saving money. As these often involve mending things, avoiding buying new things, or making do with what she has, they are often good for the environment as well. I think they are quite inspirational, in a low-level, every-day kinda way. Unsurprisingly, I’ve wanted to add my own lists here, but I’m going to make the focus more explicitly on environmentally friendly things, as well as frugal things. Saving money is important to me, as is reducing the amount of new things I buy, but probably because I’m concerned about the overall environmental impact of consumption and materialism. I hope you enjoy these little glimpses into my own life.
This week’s Frugal and Green Five:
- We remembered to take the tetrapaks to the recycling point at the supermarket, and recycled the plastic bag they were in. Our doorstep recycling collection is pretty pathetic around here, so we’ve been washing, squashing and bagging our tetrapaks, and taking them to the supermarket recycling points, for a while. It’s a small thing, but it does help reduce the rubbish.
- I’m painting a banner at the moment, and I’ve managed to get everything I need from my stash of fabric. The c.8 year old fabric paints even seem to be usable, so no need to spend any money on new things, and the project does something useful with fabric that’s just been sitting in storage for who-knows-how-long.
- I’ve been making a bunch of meals from scratch this week, in order to start putting a dent in our rather large storage box of dried beans and pulses. I suspect it’s going to take a long time to clear it all out, but it’s frugal and healthy, and somehow not as hard as I remember it being, which has been a welcome relief.
- We went to see The Martian at the cinema this week, and not only used the ‘2-for-1 tickets every week’ offer I got from switching the car insurance using Compare the Market, but went in the early afternoon so got an additional discount. Two adult tickets for c.£8.50 actually makes going to the cinema not feel like a massive expense!
- We dropped off a large bin bag full of clothing and assorted stuff at a local charity shop, and remembered to leave a gift-aid form with it. This week my partner had an impressive clear out of old unwanted clothes, and it’s really nice knowing that not only will they find another home, but that a charity will make a few pounds off them.
Any suggestions of better things to do with this stuff, or better ways to save money on these things?
Take a look at Katy Wolk-Stanley’s most recent Five Frugal Things for some more inspiration, particularly if you’re US-based.