Why we’re really doing the experiment?

US… our story

As stated on the ABOUT US page, you’ll have guessed that at some point we were a family in debt… £7500 more or less…. which we got through and paid off in 2 years of frugality. Just in case you’re reaching out for the calculator… that’s a repayment of just over £78 per week. A lot, but necessary… and worth it!

This £78 + surplus of £££ was achieved by re-assessing what we ACTUALLY needed. Everything from switching utility suppliers, cancelling our high end broadband/ TV/ land line telephone package (which came in at a disgusting £250+ per month), cutting our groceries down to what we ACTUALLY ATE (cut down the £150 per week bill and saved a shed load of waste food) and of course the necessary spending… you know the DVD or two here, the clothes for the kids (that they don’t need) there, presents for other peoples kids on their birthday parties because you don’t want to be out done, not going out on the lash (pub booze costs a fortune) … etc

Being sensible is another money saver… like turning the thermostat down (instead of racking it up to 24degrees) and putting on a jumper. Sealing any gaps round windows/ doors, curtains to cut out drafts over doors as well as windows. Cooking in tiered steamers is another energy saver. Logically you’re using 1 hob/ burner instead of 3 or 4.

We downsized and cut the branded products and saved a fortune….. We switched stores and cut our bills in half again. We cancelled our mobile phones and got rid of the car we couldn’t afford (and didn’t really need).

Kids gifts were a hard one…. but we were lucky with the kids being young (miss E being a bump/ new baby). Some times we had to be inventive and over enthusiastic about the things we bought. It was a BIG step down from going shopping with the kids in November/December in ToysRUs  with two trollies and a looooong wish list. Now we took the penny bottle and went on a blitz through pound world and alike in the last week before Christmas.

We’re SO much better off now. But only because we realised we had to think long term. Doing without the bells and whistles a few years ago means we are financially better off now. We have NO DEBTS and can afford some modern luxuries with out the fear of the bills piling up.

The idea for the experiment came from a conversation while watching a program on TV. People on benefits/ low incomes complaining they didnt have enough to feed their children. What annoyed us was a young woman with 2 children (complaining) sat in her living room that looked like it fell out of the NEXT/ Habitat show room. Her hair was Amy Winehoused up to the hilt, her skin was the colour of a road cone and could she have opened tins with her nails… had they not had diamante all over them.

We sat, mouths gaping, in our humble but nicely furnished Ikea inspired lounge… disgusted by what we had seen. From personal experience, with 3 children… benefits are about £15,5 thousand a year (not including your rent and council tax which are paid).

Thats £300 per week. And on that we started our frugal lifestyle and cleared our debt, which as you know set us back £78+ per week.

That televisual experience started conversations like “Wonder what they would have made on rations”, “I wonder what it was like living on rations” and so on.

And so Rationing Revisited was born. Months into the experiment we’re STILL debt free, MrC is working and we’re saving for a holiday in August 2013. We started by squirrelling away £55 per week and now can afford to save £100 per week. Come January 2013 we plan to double that again.



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