So, as part of my super-frugal January (like Frugalwoods ‘uber-frugal-January’ except not as hard-core!) I have been extra careful this month with my spending:
- Cleaned and packed my thermos flask and took it to work, so that I could fill it with coffee I made there, just before I left to drive to my moms. Didn’t buy coffee at the service station when I stopped for a break. No horrible disposable coffee cups!
- Packed extra food (partly thanks to my lovely partner who had bought me something special when they had been food shopping) and made sure I didn’t buy any food at the service station. Less rubbish, and some home-made food using up things from the cupboard.
- Repeated the whole thing early in the morning on Monday, to make sure I didn’t buy anything on the way back from moms, even though a lovely sweet milky coffee would have been rather enjoyable! Again, no disposable cups or fast-food rubbish.
- Drove carefully and kept my speed under control, so I managed to make it to moms and back on a single tank of petrol – good for my pocket and the environment.
- Taken all lunches, breakfasts, snacks to work, made coffee at work, avoided buying any food at all. Used tupperware or old jamjars, and totally saved on waste packaging!
- Managed to realise I needed to cancel my gym class booking early enough that I avoided paying the late-cancellation fee! This is all new to me, so I feel like I did damn well on that one!
- Sorted through one of the coin pots to pull out the pound coins into a separate jar. We’ll need to get these changed once the new coin comes to the UK in March, or we’ll run the risk of losing the cash completely! Only one jar left to sort…but it is the biggest
After a weekend away, I’m really looking forward to being at home this weekend, and getting on with some gentle decluttering. I also really want to start running down the outrageous overstock of food we currently have in the cupboard, which means I need some time at home to think through our pantry contents…preferably not when I’m starving to death after having been to the gym! Hopefully I’ll have a successful and completely frugal weekend; I wish the same to you!
As ever, this post inspired by Katy’s lovely community.
Oh god! My stomach is groaning. What a week.
- We manage to eat almost all of the Christmas leftovers within the alloted time! The only thing we didn’t mange was the packed sage-and-onion stuffing. I think I’ll cut it from next year’s menu: my partner normally insisted on it, but didn’t really eat any of it this year. I made and froze amazing soup from the roast potatoes and parsnips, froze the special gravy, used the left-over yorkshire pudding batter to make pancakes, fried the leftover cinammon rolls in butter and syrup, and generally ploughed through everything else. I’m pleased we wasted so little.
- Repaired another pair of jeans, this time for my partner, using the method I’ve discovered.
- Made curtains for the white room using predominantly leftover fabric from the stash. I had to buy some lining, but everything else came from things I’d kept from previous projects.
- Had a lovely meal out with family that was paid by someone else.
- My mum bought gave me exactly what I asked for, for Christmas! I’d asked for a new electric toothbrush, and sent a link to the model I wanted at the cheapest price. I opened it with family at the above lunch, and I’m at the age when everyone was fascinated and impressed by it! I will use it so often, and I really appreciate it, particularly as January will be short on cash following the bacchanalian excesses of Christmas.
I hope you all got what you wanted to for Christmas, and hope your coming New Year is full of satisfaction and frugal achievements!
Almost there! Christmas is just around the corner, I’ve seen all the people I’m going to see, the fridge is groaning under the weight of food, and there is finally the promise of peace and quiet. Hell yeah!
- I ordered a DVD for my mom, and when Amazon told me it wouldn’t get there in time for Christmas if I picked free delivery, I just thought fuck it and ordered it with free delivery anyway. It got there five days before Christmas! In your face evil corporation, you wouldn’t get that £1.80 for standard delivery from me!
- The person I work most directly for gave me a Christmas present…and it was a £20 amazon voucher! Get in! So much better than a bottle of wine, no matter how good the wine is.
- Used my Network Railcard to buy a travelcard to London to meet my mum for our Christmas lunch. Due to the restrictions I had to hang out for a few hours, as I couldn’t travel 4:00-7:30pm, but I just enjoyed some time browsing books at Foyles. It halved the cost of my train ticket.
- I picked up bacon for my partner and a massive variety of cheeses ultra-cheap (e.g. more than half regular price) at the town market. I need to try and remember to go there every time I need eggs/cheese/bacon etc (rarely, but still).
- Although I’m off work, I drove back over in order to use the gym. I paid for membership for a year, so I’m rinsing everything I can from it. I took a Yoga class this week too, and I didn’t completely suck! Amazing. Surprising tough on my crappy hands.
Happy Christmas, one and all 🙂 As ever, this post is inspired by Katy’s lovely community.
Argh! It feels like there is not much frugality to celebrate recently, as the force of Christmas gathers momentum. I’ve been buying gifts for my parents (and even my partner), which even though not particularly extravagant all add up. I’ve also paid for a year’s gym membership at my work place. Again, not particularly expensive compared to others, and necessary now that I’ve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis (very motivating at my young age!), but ouch. Add to that raised costs in eating out, booking events for next year, and let’s not even talk about the groceries and damn, this month is going to sting!
I guess I need to focus on the good things, even if they are tiny.
- The car only needed a replacement battery! The lovely independent garage I’ve been using for almost ten years checked everything, fitted a new battery, and it all came to under £80. Phew.
- Repaired a much loved pair of jeans, so I won’t have to fruitlessly hunt for a new pair. So happy with this – I love those jeans!
- Didn’t drink much at the work Christmas party, keeping down the costs (and avoiding drunkenly saying anything regrettable!)
- I didn’t buy any new Christmas decorations. My kitchen-diner is done up beautifully, including with an ancient string of lights that are probably c.20 years old, and there’s a wreath on my door and it cost me nothing. I had a lovely time decorating on a Sunday, culminating in mulled wine (a gift from last year) and mincepies (made with leftover frozen pastry from a workshop months ago). Perfectly festive.
- I deep cleaned the kitchen, and my partner altered the worksurface and plumbing in order to fit our dishwasher – zero installation costs.
I’m not sure how the coming week is going to offer any opportunities for frugality…but I will keep trying!
As ever, this post was inspired by Katy’s lovely blog and lovely commentors.
The problem with November is that it’s the month where you have to pay for all the things you are planning to do in December for Christmas (book tickets to events, dinners, trains, transport etc etc). And joy-o-joy, my car has just refused to start and will likely need towing to the garage this week. And the cat got attacked by another cat and needed £90 of vet treatment last week. Ahhh…. the winter.
At times like this, I am deeply grateful that we are frugal, and save, and that I know we can afford these surprise costs without anything bad happening. And it makes me want to celebrate the few frugal things I have managed this week…
- The NHS got me covered, with a free consultant appointment just ten days after being referred. Couldn’t imagine life without the NHS.
- Treated to a free dinner in the city. Had to pay transport to get there…but made people happy and the wine was very, very nice!
- Treated to lunch and the cinema in the city by my mom, which was absolutely lovely. Bumped into some old friends (recognised their voices when we say down next to them in the cinema!) and went back to theirs for tea and a catch up, all free and wonderfully serendipitous.
- The car may have broken down, but we just did a big food shop, and there’s plenty in the cupboard, fridge and freezer that will keep us going quite a while without feeling too desperate to buy the more expensive local groceries.
- Fanfiction. It’s endlessly inventive, fascinating, and easy to read. When I just want to unwind for an hour in the evening, it’s free and easy and I just don’t have to think too hard. Honestly, totally great right now.
As always, inspired by Katy’s posts on the Non-Consumer Advocate.
I’m on holiday! An actual holiday, amazing. It’s inside the UK, which I adore far more than foreign travel, and I’m going to see all the crinkly frankly coastline, ruinous castles and tasty food I can possibly cram into one week. So with that in mind:
- Travelled off peak on the trains. I couldn’t get a good advance deal, so still paid frankly extortionate prices for crap, ancient, late trains, but at least I travelled before rush hour.
- Packed lunches for work. Boring, but I did it.
- Ate leftovers my partner didn’t want. Also boring.
- Didn’t put a fan on or give into seasonal but brief desires for an air conditioner. Instead, I dragged my partner out to the beach, to paddle in cold water and lie on cool pebbles watching the sun go down and the stars come out. Free, and unexpectedly romantic. We even walked home.
- Did not buy the new rucksack I wanted for my holiday. Making do with an ancient shoulder bag that is now about fifteen years old.
Well, I’m currently not feeling great, but at least the sun is shining and the U.K. is enjoying some good summer weather. It is also excellent washing-drying weather too, and that’s good for saving energy and money!
- I have finished therapy! I have never regretted paying for it, but it is very nice to be able to reclaim that £40 a week. It’s going straight into savings, but I did use it as an excellent excuse for lunch out on Wednesday.
- I visited all of our local charity shops (and that’s a lot!) and didn’t find anything I needed. I have to admit to being diassapointed, but that is how it goes sometimes. Charity shopping is a bit hit and miss. I am pleased I didn’t bring any impulse buys I didn’t need home.
- I have nothing planned this weekend but a few hours at my voluntary job. This should mean that I don’t spend very much (if anything).
- Letter from the water company came this week, telling us they need to reduce our monthly payment by £10 due to our low consumption. We have built up £230 in credit with them! Our four person household consumes just two litres a day more than the average two person household.
- Even though I have been forgetting to make my breakfasts the night before, I have made sure we have bread in the cupboard and I’ve been making jam sandwiches in the mornings. I have had a couple of lunches out, and bought one breakfast, but it wasn’t a total disaster. Gotta keep working on this, as packing lunches and breakfasts is such a relatively easy way to save money.
As ever, this post is inspired by Katy’s blog and readers.