New from old

Hello Dear Reader,

Many of my quilts have the addition of thrifted material, where I’ve bought men’s shirts off the £1 rail in the charity shop, cut them up and used the fabric. As well as men’s shirts, I like to buy full, all cotton skirts and dresses and pyjamas and nighties. The nightwear is particularly good if it’s made of flannel or brushed cotton, depending on what you call it.

This is a quick and simple baby quilt and it’s made of entirely thrifted fabric recycled from old clothes. It’s as soft as a cloud and perfect for a baby to roll around on the floor or keep them warm in their cot.

My quilts are never precious, they are meant for life so can be thrown in the washer, drier or get air dried. Another thing I like about making a quilt for a brand new human is that they only take a day.

Most of all, I love upcycling and using something that was discarded and turning it into something brand new and useable. 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs
P.s, I’m always greatful for donations of cotton shirts or clothes to turn into quilts and many thanks to the lovely readers who send me fabric to upcycle. Xxxx

The joy of secondhand


Hello Dear Reader,

Our dishwasher died well before Christmas and I’ve happily washed up by hand since then. I was determined to carry on hand washing and equally determined to keep my eyes peeled for a cheap replacement if I saw one. 

We’d had a clear out and sold items on eBay and had some money on hold in our Paypal account should we see a dishwasher local to us. White goods and large items of furniture are always available cheaply on auction sites as you have to collect them and not everybody can. There weren’t many bids on this dishwasher and I got it very cheaply and the vendor helped us get it into our car.

I always prefer to get household items second hand if I can and as we sold items we didn’t need and equally bought something that wasn’t needed (new kitchen with dishwasher being fitted) then nothing went to scrap or landfill and it was cost neutral to us other than the short distance to collect it.

Over to you, who else loves secondhand? What was your best secondhand bargain? Who else spends ‘eBay money’ to keep costs neutral?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Thrifty dating 

                           
Hello Dear Reader,

If you live in the UK, you’ve probably seen ‘First Dates’. I find it compelling but never understand why they don’t sort out one thing before the first gin and tonic. Who is paying for what? Now, it’s been forever since I went on a date but when DB and I first got together, we took in turns paying, I’d pay on one date and he’d pay on the next. It was just the way we did it. 

In case you’ve never heard of the programme, couples go on a blind date and they hit it off or they don’t. It makes me froth round the edges if one of the datees expects the other to pay for them. So, for what it’s worth here’s my thrifty dating advice. 

If you’re asking some one out, don’t suggest anywhere you can’t afford to pay your share. There’s lots of ideas, a national trust property and coffee, a local cafe for lunch, a budget eatery for supper or somewhere you can talk and get to know each other. Something affordable and fun, like bowling is an idea. 

The next part of affordability is being honest from the start. There’s nothing more off putting if you don’t know someone too well than financial discussions about who can afford what so here’s a hint. Make it an ‘I’ message, here’s an example. “I’ll pay for myself if you don’t mind so I can stick to my own budget, I hope you don’t mind’. In that way, you’ve made it about you and what your date does, is up to them. If they want, three courses and a bottle of burgundy then it’s up to them and you don’t get caught out financially.

We have a joint account now and are both complete tightwads so are well suited and if and when we go out, we both know our budgets before we go. 

I’ll hand this over to you now. Imagine, if you would, the world of dating and the minefield of who’s paying what and what advice you’d give about both money saving and saving each other from those awkward conversations about who is paying for what conversation.

Until tomorrow,

A little bit of Brittany in my kitchen.


Hello Dear Reader,

As daft as it sounds, I’m feeling homesick. It might sound bizarre that a thrifty frugal person, who downsized bought a second home. Once I’d have thought it a crazy idea but in the long term it’s an investment idea for our future. Our home in Brittany is coming along nicely and within a year, it’ll be available for you to rent it for holidays and there’s the thrifty as the rental aspect will offset our running costs. 

So, how is it an investment when property prices stagnate? You might have money to invest in stocks and share with investment advisors like Glanmore investment or you might like us, buy another property. I must add to this that our dinky Cornish cottage and low cost Breton maison totals in value the price of a terraced house in Plymouth. Once we’re retired, Brittany will be our home and our Cornish cottage will be rented to a local family. 
So gettin back to feeling homesick for a bit of Brittany is to make galettes that I haven’t been able to buy ready made here in Cornwall. Here’s the recipe

250g of Buckwheat flour

Good sprinkle of salt

500ml of water with 2 beaten eggs

50g of melted butter

Blend together with an electric mixer or blender and leave to rest for an hour.

Get a pan really hot and add a tiny amount of butter, add the batter with a ladle and rotate the pan to cover the pan very thinly. You won’t get it right the first time but your dog will enjoy them!

You may never get to Brittany but you can have a taste of it in your own kitchen. With the thought of Breton food, have any of you bought any reasonably priced mussels? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xx
This was a sponsored post. 

Married with children and skint?

money
Hello Dear Reader,
That was us! Two children, two low wages and utterly skint! We had just enough money to feed and clothe the children, keep a roof over our heads and that was utterly it! On top of that I was at university and trying to keep going with about 25 paid hours work a week on minimum wage and DB working in a low paid job. God knows we tried!
It’s more and more the case that families are really struggling and the figures
(see here ) on the BBC today from the Minimum income standard are quite sobering.
You see we had a tomorrow, we had hope and there was work on the horizon when I got qualified. It took us a few years to get straight and then have savings but what if you don’t have decent qualifications, job skills or experience? Are you expected to live on the edge of poverty for years on end?
Is this going to be the new normal, the type of normal we saw when there was mass poverty? I know as a teacher, thousands of children have no access to any hobbies, activities, clubs, days out, regular clean clothes and have prepayment meters so if there’s no money for the electricity card or gas card then there’s often no hot water or cooked food. Is this going to be the new normal?
I think the figures below are a bit far fetched, I mean £80 a week on alcohol is a drink problem as far as I’m concerned! Personal services, like what? A window cleaner? Any who one earth can rent anywhere for £91 a week! I’ve looked up rents around here and they are on average £750 a month! As for buying a home? That’s a dream millions will now never aspire to achieve. Wages are frozen, a permanent contract is a dream and every month families are worse off than ever.
So, here’s my question, for millions of people, is living on the edges of poverty the new normal? Should it be the norm now for people to expect less? Are some of us the last generation to afford our own homes?
I’m interested in what you think and how people are faring in your neck of the world.
Until tomorrow,
Love Froogs
Your household – if you had two adult and two preschool children.

AdultAdultAdultAdult

For a basic standard of living,
you and your partner each need to earn:

£21,055 per year (£42,109 per year between you),
giving a net income of £843.39 per week

So that your income, after tax and benefits adjustments, is enough to cover what the public think is needed for a minimum acceptable standard of living.

These calculations assume the household is eligible for benefits and tax credits, depending on its income.

Show outgoings breakdown

Weekly outgoings(?)

£843.39

Food
94.54
Alcohol
9.01
Clothing
44.66
Water rates
9.87
Council Tax
23.62
Household Insurances
1.99
Gas, electricity, etc
17.67
Other housing costs
1.92
Household goods
25.10
Household services
12.45
Childcare
308.86
Personal goods and services
42.08
Travel costs and motoring
78.18
Social and cultural activities
81.47
Rent
91.97
Mortgage
0.00

Show income breakdown

Weekly Income(?)

£843.39

Your Pre-tax Earnings
403.79
Your Income Tax
38.57
Your National Insurance
29.85
Partner’s Pre-tax Earnings
403.79
Partner’s Income Tax
38.57
Partner’s National Insurance
29.85
After Tax Earnings
670.74
Working Tax Credits
0.00
Child Benefit
34.40
Child Tax Credit
117.18
Childcare Tax Credit
21.07
Housing Benefit
0.00
Council Tax Support
0.00
Income Support / Jobseeker’s Allowance
0.00

Thrifty food on Tuesday


Hello Dear Reader,

We hoped to have got out and about today but the rain just beat me inside. I’ve sewn and mostly unpicked today but that’s quilting. Some days your points like up and some days, they just don’t. I’ve also deconstructed and defluffed the sewing machine as it kept snagging up. My advice on a bad sewing day is to walk away and leave it until tomorrow.

Lunch was a simple cauliflower cheese with gluten free croutons dusted with smoked paprika. Really filling and our main meal of the day.

Breakfast was a bit of a treat and a real bargain of a pack of oranges for 15p and some lovely freshly squeezed juice with some toast for breakfast. Our Morrisons has really cheap fruit and veg at the end of the day,

I’ll get back to wrestling with the gift quilt tomorrow. 

Over to you Dear Reader, can you top my 15p orange juice? Have any of you found some lovely bargains recently? What about your sewing, any snags? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

He’ll always be my Valentine


Hello Dear Reader,

I cannot abide the cynical hype that retailers pump out for any occasion they can wring money out of us. Those miserable greedy shysters can ruin anything sometimes by making people feel compromised in their own lives in as much that they might compare it to others. For example, the gift? The meal? The trip? The night out? That must be tough for some people. Luckily, I don’t give a toot what anyone else has, does or thinks. That not giving a feathered doohdah has saved us a fortune!

Tomorrow, like everyday, I’ll spend with my valentine and as normal, we won’t spend a penny any differently. Why would we? I could write about cheap days out, money saving vouchers for restaurants, two for one offers but they are not for us. 

So, to answer the question, how do you save money for Valentine’s Day, then my advice is just to ignore the hype, ignore the date, ignore the supermarket displays and get on with just loving each other. There is no price ticket for that.

As for DB, he’s my valentine every day.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Grey hair progress


Hello Dear Reader,

I stopped dying my hair in July, it was costing me £45 a month at the hairdressers. I wasn’t any good at doing my own hair and mostly got it in my eyes and up the walls. So, I’ve saved £225 already……no, before you ask, I didn’t spend it on a rabbit. Instead, we’ll spend it on an extra trip to France. 

I don’t know why some people are frugal but we’re frugalish and thrifty so we can do the things we love which is pop off to France when ever we can. We will go again at Easter, when the weather is hopefully warmer. 

This wee creature came to visit me today, on a lead. I’ve never seen anyone take a rabbit walkies before and this amused me no end.

Anyway, humour me as I’m feeling nosey, why are you thrifty? What’s your financial priority and does anyone else walk their rabbit? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xx

Keeping busy 


Hello Dear Reader,

It actually tried to snow here today, which is really unusual for Cornwall. I’ve kept myself busy today with my biggest UFO to date. I’ve put this off for so very long as I made this for DB’s fiftieth birthday, which was last December! Anyways, I got it basted yesterday and today I’ve almost finished quilting it. Getting a king sized quilt through a regular sewing machine is like wrestling an anaconda and a really good workout.

It’s been a good way to spend a day off seeing as it’s so cold outside. I’ll show you the finished quilt tomorrow…….I have so much other sewing to do.

How about you, any fellow sewers with a job unfinished that’s just begging for you to get on with it.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx

Frugal Friday


Hello Dear Reader,

We both have a weeks leave from work and have planned to do some house maintenance, weather permitting some garden tidying, catch up on some sewing and trying to keep warm. 

It’s been our normal thrifty week this week but not a no spend week. I buy my toiletries from Poundland and save money by the fact that I don’t use many. Good old fashioned Vosene now I don’t have to preserve hair colouring. I’ve used the same soap and brand of toothpaste all my life and it’s great to get three bars of soap for a pound and toothpaste for the same price. 

Toiletries are something that we can so easily overspend on and yet we really don’t need a lot. I wash my face with soap and use Aldi Lacura moisturiser for £1.69, shower gel and a squirt of anti perspirant and that’s me done. 

I’ll turn this over to you now, do we need to spend much on toiletries?  Are you a thrifty abluter too? Do you have any great deals on toiletries to share? Do you have a version of Poundland in which ever country you live in! 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs