Frugal budgetting and shopping

I grew up in a house, where mum used to warn us that ‘when it’s gone it’s gone’ and I live by that principal. We get paid and then we do the following: buy train passes for the month, buy the bulk of our food shopping for the month including toiletries and sundries, pay any due bills then we equate what we have left after direct debits and impending expenses and savings and that’s what we have left for the month.

Today was the turn of my big shop where I make sure I have enough of the basics to last me a month and then I eek everything out to make sure it lasts a month – I know we can use two loo rolls a week in the upstairs bathroom and one a week in the downstairs! To me frugality is the lost art of making the little bit you have go a long way and thus ensuring we tread very lightly on the planet as we do so. I used to thing being green meant spending more money on eco-products but actually it can be about just consuming as little as possible

My dry goods cupboard is well stocked enough to see me into next month and probably beyond. It may seem a parsimonious way to live but it sharpens my ability to live as simply as possible even though I have a small budget; I always have a varied and healthy diet and I can always share my table with passing friends. I also make really good use of my deep freeze and have almost a month’s supply of meat, fish, some frozen veg and milk to keep us going. I carefully divide things up as I buy the cheaper bulk packs of meat and then spilt then into ‘couple’ size portions to make them last.

It means that by the time the banks equate the balance, after shopping and direct debits and standing orders, there is very little left. But I will have paid for everything, be able to get to work all month, have enough food, toiletries, cleaning and laundry supplies to last well into June and we never run short. Necessity is the most incredible teacher and I have been well taught.


8 thoughts on “Frugal budgetting and shopping

  1. I really should make a list of what we do use in a month – I seam to be forever buying milk – I can't beleive we get though so much, plan meals better so we don't throw anything away, and sort out my freezer that has a turkey leg in it that must have been there for YEARS!!!

    I am so glad I found your blog!



  2. You are indeed well taught and organized. Shame, our kids don`t get lessons of this sort at school. I always thought that they never truely teach anything relevent to life, when my kids went to school. How to budget, how to look after your finances, and to insure that you deal with your important bills before you spend your earnings on other things; these are the life lessons nobody will teach at school, but I see as totally important for our youngsters. Unfortunately, not everyone has parents that are willing or able to teach their kids about that at home. I would like it to be compulsary lessons in school. Wonder what your thoughts are on this, seeing that you represent the teaching profession.


  3. you are extremely organised, lady! I have just done a massive shop, and it would be interesting to find out when we do actually run out of, soap, or washing powder etc again. I don't actually know what we use a week or a month…


  4. Hi Sarina, we do teach budgetting in schools – it's called maths. If you can do maths – you can budget. i.e – how much money do I have minus what I have to pay out for bills divide by four equals the money I have left each month. It's so easy that I don't understand why people can't do it.


  5. I teach in an inner city school ( nothign wrong with them i went to one too) but the kids i teach dont see the relation to the maths they learn and the real world. I also teach prep for workign life, and have taught budgeting to my year 11 in PSE for years ( have a great PSE dept a lot better than most schools) and it is not until then that the penny drops with them lol, This year I am teachign enterprise and employabilty, abotu mortgages APR's credit etc and their littl efaces drop when they realise the ins and outs of it all especially tax and national insurance hehe. These skills are dieing out, when my mum was at school( she was born in 1934) before they left ( at 14) the girls where taken on aresidential course tolearn to be housewives – a little extreme now i think but the same principle shoudl be used for all kids.


  6. Hi knit happens – I went to secondary school from 77 – 82 and no one taught me any life skills, life taught me that. When your mum and my mum went to school and learnt home economics, they were expected to be house wives – we are educating students to be intelligent, which is random but they then have to learn themselves how to apply it. I'm afraid parents want us to teach them to wipe their bottoms as they can't be bothered to do it themselves. My kids can cook, budget, shop, find work, etc because I would make them do it.


  7. I too adopt a similar strategy of paying bills, direct debits, savings, big shop once a month and I also have a bank account with different pots so that I can put money aside for various bills such as car tax etc.

    Now loo roll in my home is a bit of a sore subject as my husband and I purchase 24 a month and I must say we use well I use most of it. What can I do to stop using too much I have done so all my life – I know you will say just stop using so much but I can't!

    I also have a well stocked food cupboard but I notice that now and again I miss something and it passes its date as does food in the freezer that I may have bought in bulk and not used.

    Keep these posts coming they are very interesting.


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