Ways we keep things frugal

It may not be easy being green, but its a breeze being frugal if you know where you need to save and how.

  1. Meal plans – They dont just save because you now know whats for dinner (“whats for dinner maaaaaam”), but they save because you now have a list of items you need to shop for… a pre-made shopping list and no deviation (“maaaaaam can wee have…”) is a BIG money saver. Also… this way you can plan the weeks meals around any leftovers (NO MORE WASTE), half eaten sauces and fruit/ veg near its sell by date. One BIG shop per week is better than many tiny top ups…. it reduces the risk of overspending and buying things you dont need, want and will have to throw away in a weeks time. Oh… and while I remember… NEVER SHOP WHILE HUNGRY!
  2. Make your own – Not just food, many beauty products and cleaning products can easily be made at home, with fairly ordinary kitchen cupboard staples. For example, most of us will have heard that vinegar and a sheet of newspaper is probably the cheapest and best way to clean your windows, bicarbonate of soda is also an awesome and cheap cleaning product as well as useful for baking. When little miss E was potty training, and occasionally wet the bed, the first thing I did after removing the sheets was to scatter bicarb over the ‘puddle’. The soda would absorb the smell as well as liquid….. and only had to be vacuumed up afterwards. Mattress saved! [LINK to 10 home made natural beauty products]
  3. Review your services – Okay, by now everyone knows it pays (or rather saves) to do your research when it comes to your utilities. But those arent the only services we have now a days. If you employ a gardener, window cleaner or dog walker, or use a car wash, for example, consider whether you’re paying for a service you don’t actually need. In many cases, you can probably do it yourself. If you haven’t already done this, it’s a sure-fire way to make some savings…. or even get some extra steps (calorie burning) into your day.
  4. Swap it! – We recently sold a large collection of un-used computer games (I was a big Sims collector in my youth)…. and from 25 titles made just under £100. I sold them on www.play.com which, is where I bought them in the first place. I had tried some of those online companies before that you can sell old CDs and phones to but they dont usually give you much for what youre selling. That £100 worth of games….. I was told was only worth £20 to £30. On play.com I sold each CD for what people were willing to pay for it. Including some rather Limited edition titles not available now in the UK. Im not plugging play, but they are great for cheap books, DVDs and CDs (no delivery charge AT ALL)… and selling them back again… well worth a lookie.
  5. Carpooling – Now a great note on carpooling is due here…. and its a great idea, for school runs and work… however walking is better for your health and saves you a frotune. We’re lucky where we live that everything is pretty central. The junior school all 3 of our kiddies go to is only about 2 miles away from our houses…. which is a nice lil walk on a morning.
  6. Grow your own…… ummmm we’re working on that one [blooming clay soil ARG!] , BUT YES! growing your own is not only cheap fun but cheap eats.
  7. Own brands – can be cheaper but not always better… some own brand products are great….. but with some items, you get what you pay for. For example: a tin of chopped tomatoes is a tin of chopped tomatoes….. does it REALLY matter what sort of tin its in.
  8. Entertain at home – why not invite your friends over for dinner instead of going out? If youre strapped for cash why not make 1 course of the meal yourself and ask each guests to bring another course each. i.e. You do dinner , guest 1 brings pudding, guest 2 brings a bittle of wine and so on.
  9. Now I wouldnt be a good ‘rationer’ if I didnt get a quick plug in about good ol wartime logic when it came to make do and mend…… making do can mean getting creative and experimenting in the kitchen…. it can also mean getting creative with wardrobe staples and doing a little customising yourself….. get the old sewing machine out!!!
  10. THE SUPERMARKET IS NOT YOUR FRIEND!!! – dont be loyal to just one shop….. Im not being paranoid but they are all businesses, make use of their competitiveness and shop around…. you’ll save a fortune! Bulk buy items and BOGOF items are only a deal if you ACTUALLY NEED the item your buying…. if not youve wasted the money. Bigger packet does not necessarily mean better value. Most of us know you can save money by going later in the day… buy fruit/ veg later in the day, items that are reduced due to them getting closer to their use by date… and freeze them. When asda drops wholemeal bread (usually just under £1) to 15p I buy a few loaves and freeze them. Buy fruit/ veg in season…. local strawberries in summer are cheaper (fewer stamps on their passport) than strawberries in winter flown to your local superstore via chile and new mexico. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL GROCER! KEEP IT SUSTAINABLE>>>>KEEP IT LOCAL!
  11. A lot of online clothing store will deliver your order to your local branch for free…. for example dorothy perkins!
  12. LINK > 10 ways to reduce your winter wardrobe cost

3 responses to “Ways we keep things frugal

  1. All good advice – thanks. Btw, I tried one big monthly shop and a weekly top up of fresh produce and dairy. It didn’t work as I ate more because I had such big quantities in the house. Also, the idea of making lots of meals on a cooking night at the beginning of the month and freezing them wasn’t too reliable as I’d put it off too long and the veg wouldn’t be fresh enough. Weekly works best I find.

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