Hello Dear Reader,
There are loads of ways that I save money every day. I always take my coffee and lunch to work everyday. I shop for groceries with a budget and stick to it. I home cook all our meals. If we go out for the day, we take food with us. Our central heating is set low and on for an hour a day on working days and two hours a day on other days. The thermostat is set to 17 degrees. Our main heat source is our wood burner and we buy wood for £100 a tonne and it’s bought and paid for when we use it. We buy two or three new items of good quality clothing a year and wear it for years.
We had two holidays last year (one was our honeymoon) so we won’t be having one this year. We’ve eaten out once this year and my daughter treated me for Mother’s Day; other than that we don’t eat out. We don’t eat takeaways or ready meals. Christmas and Birthday celebrations are kept to the bare minimum (a nice meal on either occasions and no gifts). Most days are no spend days. A spend day is rare.
You may ask what am I being frugal for? I’m saving for a new car but will admit that prices are rising so fast that I’ll never get there. I’m also using most of our incomes to pay off £18,000 – £20,000 of the capital on our mortgage this year. The amount we will pay back will increase each year as the interest payments decrease. We also save monthly for any additional costs our home might incur such as plumbing repairs or general maintenance.
I don’t save money for the sake of simply saving it; to look at a balance sheet and marvel at the amount. I’m saving and living a simple and frugal life for a reason. If I want a new sofa, then I will have been frugal to save for it. If I want a new car, I’ll have been frugal to save almost half the balance of the new car and I’ll have to be very frugal to make the car payments each month. If I want to buy fabric at a quilting show or plants at a flower show, then I’ve saved the money and hand over cash.
I’m frugal but live in a warm and comfortable home. I’m frugal but eat well and I’m frugal but invest in my health and well being and that includes working towards weight loss. My blog is my online diary where I document my daily comings and goings and that might include trips to Ikea to look at sofas or the local dealerships to look at cars. At some stage, I’m going to spend money on something or other.
To the reader who doesn’t like my choices, feel free not to read my blog. But think of this, every time you come back and comment and keep my visitor numbers high, you make my blog more profitable for me.
Over to you Dear Reader, does anyone want to be a miser? I don’t want to be a miser but live sensibly and carefully and can and will spend if I want to. Who else saves for a reason such as retirement, having holidays, taking their children out and about or living as they choose? I look forward to your comments.
Love Froogs xxxx
Hello Dear Reader,
We made it to Wadebridge and got out on the Camel Trail today. It was bitterly cold and I was half way there before the warmth I’d generated in my body made it to my hands or ears. We also cycled the five and a half miles there in a head wind, so strong we couldn’t talk to each other over the top of it. We don’t bother with the Camel Trail in good weather as it is the M25 of cycle routes and jam full when ever the sun is out. Today, it was blustery, over cast and thankfully quiet.
Padstow was equally quiet. As it was so cold, we went to the pub for a coffee, much cheaper than anything that has the word ‘Stein!’ outside it. The fire was lit, and we sunk into big leather sofas and enjoyed the rare treat of someone else making it and washing up.
Cycling back was easy as the wind was behind us. It took us forty five minutes to get there and only thirty to get back. I now feel rejuvenated and ready to face a busy week. Quite an expensive weekend for us. Paid to park twice and two coffees. Probably the most money I have spent in a very long time. In better weather we usually sit outside on a bench and drink our own coffee.
Anyone else on extreme money saving measures? Everything is so expensive that I’m sure we’re not the only ones counting every penny.
Hello Dear Reader,
Busy day today, lots to do. I’m off to the library in a few minutes and I thought I would share my walk with you. I try to live as simply as I can and take pleasure in simple activities. By 10.15 this morning, we were home again after a five mile walk around Siblyback Lake. We did it at a brisk pace in just over an hour. The dogs loved it and came home splattered in mud and grit. They’re now bathed and blow dried and their usual fluffy gorgeous selves again.
They loved snuffling in the woods.
They sniffed the wool caught on fencing.
They had a good chat with the local.
There is no shortage of water in this reservoir!
Back through the gate at the end and back to the car park. Another simple pleasure of walks like this are the cheery ‘good mornings’ from joggers, ramblers and dog walkers as we went around. There were occasional showers and the simple pleasure of hearing the rain splashing on the lake had a beauty of its own.
We came back, emptied the washing machine, hung the washing in the breeze, bathed the dogs and sat and enjoyed a coffee whilst sitting on the chilly but sunny patio.
Love Froogs xxx
Reminding myself that I have to keep a grip! I used to have fat days and thin days, now I just have fat days and sexy days. It’ll have to do. I almost lost my grip today and looked else where for an answer. I bought a local paper (first waste of money and I mustn’t do it again!) Secondly I read the rubbish and thirdly I reacted to an advert and contacted a health and fitness club and almost thought of going! It would have cost me £5.80 a week and I would have used it as a crutch for my own lack of will power. I have to sort out will power myself. I have it and I know when I use it, things go right, for example, I’m paying back debts. Weight loss is the same. I have all the old ‘diet club’ advice, I followed it before and I lost three stone. Going to the class did not make me lose the weight, I did! I need to sort out the rest of my self control. I need to follow the programme I did before and just stick to it!
Well, I am doing just that and it’s left me feeling that stupid guilt that I feel about money, by huge weight gain and not doing things for myself. Only I have the answer.
It’s amazing what blogs can do to remind you that you have the answers yourself! Firstly, I read Ilona’s blog at ‘Life after money ‘. I’ve met Ilona, she stayed with us last summer and she says it, lives and reaps the rewards of her frugal life. She travels, raises money for an animal charity, rambles, walks miles in the peace of her own company and is an all round positive person. Her blog today, reminded me, that it isn’t easy and that self discipline has its own rewards and they are sometimes delayed and they are never instant. Saving a few pennies here, there and anywhere will eventually pay off my debts.
I then read the fantastic blog Mennonite Girls can cook and their Sunday message of ‘bread for the journey’. There was the message I needed today and it said –
Hebrews 12:11 NIV
” No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have trained by it.” No recipe today, but certainly the nutrition I needed today.
My harvest and my peace will come, it’s in the distance and there’s a slow journey. I just need to make sure it’s a low calorie portion controlled one, which is also low in cost and can be batch cooked to make sure when I get there, I’m not dragging myself there but springing energetically!
I have been looking, as I often do, at Frugal Websites. I do this when I feel as if I’m doing what I do when no one elses bothers. I feel a bit isolated at the moment because, in a management meeting at school, they were discussing rewards for students and mentioned a chain of restaurants,where the reward was a family voucher, so the winning student could take their family for supper. I had never heard of it. It was then I realised how far out of the social loop I am, as I haven’t eaten out since 2008, when I went cold turkey and stopped spending money.
Every now and then, I miss money. Once, if I needed clothes, I went to a shop and bought them. Now, I have to scour eBay and charity shops and keep a constant eye open. I can’t buy what I need when I need it, but have to pre-empt that if I see something in my size. If I see a pair of long legged size 16 jeans, I buy them! If I see something smart for work. I buy it. If something comes up on Freecycle that I could need, then I ask for it and sometimes get it. I now have a £20 a month budget for shoes and all clothing………..and I stick to it.
Today, I was reading various posts and articles on the Economides family website, that you can visit by clicking here . I do a lot of the things they do:
I stock take at home every week – I don’t buy what I already have
I stock up if something is stupidly cheap and it will keep. Loo rolls, soap powder, shampoo or pet food.
I only buy what’s on the list and I only shop with a debit card.
I menu plan and shop for the menu, including packed lunches, snacks and drinks
I take a flask with me when we go out – there is no way I will pay for a coffee/.
I never carry cash and I leave my debit card at home – I can not impulse buy.
If I go charity shopping, I allow myself £10 and I allow myself to do this once a fortnight.
I bulk cook and freeze meals.
I ration diesel and use of my car to make what fuel I have last a week.
I use freecycle to give things away and sometimes to get things.
I ask the school canteen if I can recycle their plastic containers for plant pots or to use in the home (cat litter, dog biscuits, a bin in each room).
Their website was brilliant and I enjoyed reading it. I am not alone, and I wish I had always lived this way. I soon found out who my friends were when I couldn’t any longer take part in activities that cost money as I now don’t have any. The real friends are just that and have stuck with me.