Simple solutions to living cheaply


Hello Dear Reader,

I can only guess that some of you are new to all of ‘this’…………….you know, frugality! (Visitor stats have shot up) It may be forced on you or you may have woken up to the realities, as we all have, that life if much more expensive and salaries remain the same. I’m used to this now and many of you who read are on the same journey as myself and Dearly Beloved. We want a simpler life. We don’t want to keep up with Jones. We don’t want a new sofa from DFS, we don’t want kitsch Kitson dripping off our walls and we don’t need to primp our appearances and know we are good enough as we are…………..wobbly bit n’all!

In the style of my recent resolutions, I thought I would share the simple solutions to living cheaply, one by one. It gives me time to think of them and you time to digest and wonder if maybe it might work? For you, it may not, for others, it might.

1. Change your priorities. 

Like so many people, I wanted my life to be organic, free range and fair trade, you know……all a bit Totnes and yogic, with a bit of Riverford on the side, a sprinkling of Seasalt, a dash of French lessons all tossed in a Volvo and served on a south facing patio. I wanted the hunter wellies, a frock like Kirsty and a bum that never sagged. Reality isn’t like that! 

Real life doesn’t come with bunting (who ever thought of that stupid chaff!) and doesn’t get served on a polka dot  wipe clean oil cloth! It goes out to work, comes home creased (and sagging) and never has time to peel a celeriac! 


I’m not digressing and I am getting to the point. Make it your priority to serve simple home made food. It doesn’t need to be organic just the veg you can afford. Here is my home made veggie lasagne, with veg from Lidl, Tesco value mature cheddar and lasagne sheets, Tesco value UHT skimmed milk, Lidl strong white bread flour and Lidl sun dried tomatoes in the bread. All served on my thrifted world war two plates.

I  make my cheese sauce in the microwave, I don’t precook the lasagne sheets. I make my bread in a bread machine. I don’t have posh ingredients, I just do the best I can with the ingredients I have. I can’t afford meat every day, so we have it two or three times a week. 

My priority is to get a meal on the table when we get in from work, for it to be wholesome, filling and tasty. We have piles of veg and nothing’s posh. Learn a few recipes and get them right and then move on to a few more. When was the last time you just made soup, or a stew, or a cottage pie and yes, you can  just use veg if that’s all you have. 

Our menus are very simple, not exotic and repeat themselves every so many weeks. There’s no take aways or ready meals, just simple home cooked food. I make it my priority to just feed us simply and I don’t care if it’s plain and simple. We eat well enough for us.

So, if all of this is new to you, a first priority is to just eat simply, without the fuss and don’t worry if it’s what you can afford. 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

63 thoughts on “Simple solutions to living cheaply

  1. I keep my menu plans on an Excel spreadsheet and it's a doddle to copy over onto a new page. I have a basic plan – Sunday roast, Monday leftovers or storecupboard, Tuesday sausages or mince, Wednesday eggs/cheese, Thursday Chicken, Friday fish and Saturday something a bit more elaborate – not necessarily expensive but something I wouldn't cook on a week night. I've got another spreadsheet with basic recipes organised under these headings so when I do my meal plan I can vary the meals while sticking to the basic outline even when I totally lack inspiration. There are times when I wish they would invent another (cheap) animal when they roll their eyes at chicken again and lamb or beef is too expensive, they don't like pork or ham very often but they still want a roast

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  2. Judy I feel for you. Everyday I am anxious about the heat and humidity and to my surprise it was so very hot in cool places like Hobart today. Keep safe and don't over do a thing.

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  3. 'I wanted my life to be organic, free range and fair trade, you know……all a bit Totnes and yogic, with a bit of Riverford on the side, a sprinkling of Seasalt, a dash of French lessons all tossed in a Volvo and served on a south facing patio. I wanted the hunter wellies, a frock like Kirsty and a bum that never sagged'

    People who APPEAR to have that kind of life usually have a rather lucrative income stream (media contract, husband in banking) and wouldn't last a week on minimum wage let alone manage it in “style”!

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  4. reduced food is perfectly fine. I went stalking those yellow labels after Christmas and snaffled some marvellous bargains including 3 gammon steaks for 35p, a heap of pastrami for 50p and a heap of ox tongue for 50p. Your reduced chicken is not a cause for guilt, but for celebration as it shows that you are managing your money well. I cook a lot of 'bitsa' meals e.g. risotto, stew, frittata, where you can include all those odds and ends that lurk in the back of the fridge or in the freezer. I freeze any leftovers, no matter how small the amount, that I know I won't use within the next day or two.

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  5. Happy New Year Frugal queen and all, I've been reading your posts for a while now, i love the fact that from reading your posts i can see how contended you are and finally I've taken the big step of becoming a little more Frugal myself. i've seen it coming for a while. But was always to frightened…as i'm hopeless at writing lists and keeping to them. But i'm like bring it on 2013…i've armed myself with a bread machine, plastic containers note pad and pens.
    Keep up the amazing posts frugal Queen you are a great inspiration. x

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  6. We do something similar. DH cooks on Sundays so we usually have pasta, Monday is usually a stewy thing with potatoes, tuesday rice/quinoa, Wednesday spicy something, Thursday clear out the fridge, Friday curry, Saturday pizza/stirfry/ something quick and yum!

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  7. I have been out for a cyle ride this afternoon after working this morning. Ive made some choc chip muffin type cakes so we can have a treat while out cycling tomorrow. DH makes all our bread rolls and they are frozen but if I see wholemeal bread in Lidl or Aldi with 50% off I buy a loaf and stick that in the freezer too. Tomorrow will take sandwiches in toaster bags and a tiny gas powered stove so they can be toasted in the frying pan. We know all the good busstops LOL and sit in one for our lunch break. We have a lovely time ( unless the weather is awful) and it is frugal and helps keep us it as well.

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  8. I would be proud to feed my children reduced chicken as it shows you are feeding your children cheaply but healthily. We quite often eat reduced chicken and use the leftovers for pies and curries.

    Well done you for finding a bargain!

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  9. Often worry about not wanting to give my girls named brands and to make them follow the crowd, or not dishing up fancy meals but your so totally right they have a simple meal and very happy with it! Thank you

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