Five More Frugal Things

I decided to link up with up with Cass, Emma and Becky again in their weekly ‘Frugal Friday’ linky. Here are my five frugal things:

Ate frozen pizza when we needed something quickly instead of getting a takeaway. This idea comes from Liz Willard-Thames aka Mrs Frugalwoods. On Wednesday I go to a pilates class and Mr Simple was meant to be cooking dinner, but as the weather was dry he wanted to try to finish pointing the garage wall. Instead of spending money on a takeaway we had a frozen pizza and salad. I always keep a few pizzas in the freezer. At three pizzas for £4 you can’t go wrong and to be honest, they’re okay.

Used a Tesco voucher which was for spend £70 and get £7 off. I painstakingly went around the supermarket with my calculator adding up my groceries until I got to £70, buying toilet rolls to take me over the line, as this is usually more than I spend in a week.

Not everyone will want to do this, but not flushing the toilet will save you money

Didn’t flush the toilet. You may say ugh!, but when there’s only me and Mr Simple looking at each other’s wee isn’t that big a deal. Solids do get flushed though you’ll be glad to know.

Made pesto with basil from the garden. I went a bit overboard a little while ago with sowing some lemon basil seeds. They were out of date and so I thought that they were unlikely to germinate – how wrong I was. Despite having sold two pots (making a grand total of £3) and given some away, we still had loads left, which was starting to flower, so I made some pesto. We had it with some spaghetti, spiralised courgette (to get some extra veg into Mr Simple) and a green salad – delicious.

Make a notepad by reusing the backs of old letters

Cut up letters I received in the post which were blank on one side and used them for note paper. I usually cut the A4 sheets into four pieces and hold them together with a large bulldog clip. Despite many things being electronic now we still get quite a bit of snail mail and so I think that I am unlikely to run out of notepaper anytime soon.

How has your week been? Have you managed to make any savings?

Five Frugal Things

This week I decided to link up with up with Cass, Emma and Becky in their weekly ‘Frugal Friday’ linky. Here are my five frugal things:

Discovered my mysupermarket on moneysavingexpert and signed up for alerts so I know when the groceries that I buy regularly are on sale. I have been having a serious look at our food budget and trying to think of ways of saving money without reducing the quality of the food. I am also trying to save time, so am considering a monthly delivery of non-perishable items and then shopping weekly for the rest. Hopefully that will make the task less arduous and I won’t be lugging so many bags of shopping around every week.

Took my lunch to work with me every day. This is probably easier for me than some people as I work at home a couple of days a week. Therefore I can just walk into the kitchen at lunchtime to make something rather than having to prepare it in the morning or even the night before.

We all need to wrap up in this lovely summer we are having

Put a blanket on the bed over the duvet instead  of putting the heating on. I always have this on over the winter as I feel the cold more than Mr Simple, but like in most parts of the country summer has not arrived. I am trying to resist putting the heating on in June therefore we are sitting with blankets over us or at the weekend lighting the wood burner, which at present is fuelled by trees that we cut down from garden i.e. cost = £0.

Hung clothes up to air after wearing once instead of putting them in the laundry. I always used to sling things on the chair next to my bed and if they stayed there for more than one day, by the time I wanted to wear them next they were so creased I couldn’t go out in public in them. Now I make an effort to put t-shirts and blouses on hangers and leave them hanging on the wardrobe door to remind me that I have worn them before. Trousers and skirts just go back in the wardrobe and only get washed when I have worn them several times – so far, no one has told me that I smell.

Collected rainwater in the butts in the garden to use to water the plants instead of using the hosepipe. Mr Simple installed two water butts next to the greenhouse a few months ago and with all of the rain that we’re having they are full. We could have done with this rain last year when we had the lawn laid and had to spend a fortune on watering it to keep it alive in the heatwave. I am hoping to greatly reduce our water consumption this year.

So how have you saved money this week? Let me know in the comments below and please have a look at the other posts as well.

Twelve Frugal Actions – a day in the life of a frugal person

Put a dressing gown on when I got out of bed

I had woken up in a house where the heating had only just come on. We don’t run it through the night. I am always colder than Mr Simple so I have a blanket on my side of the bed. If it is really cold I wear socks in bed – very sexy I know!

Made a cup of tea using tea leaves in a tea pot

A pack of loose-leaf tea from Tesco’s at £1.29 for 100g lasts for ages.

Read a library book

If you aren’t a member of your local library, you need to join today. Basically, it is free entertainment. There is also internet access, activities for children and they also run courses – all free of charge. You are paying for it through your taxes anyway, so use it.

Reading in bed is a daily treat – even better when it’s a library book

Washed using all Tesco’s own brand toiletries

Facial wash £1.50, shower gel 28p, toothpaste 50p. For some reason I cannot find some of these products on the Tesco website, but came across them on the shelf in the store.

Wore clothes I wore yesterday (and maybe the day before as well)

This follows the recommendation of Laura Vanderkam, the time management queen, who says that to save time cut down on washing and wear things more often. At nights I usually put my blouse or t-shirt on a hanger and my jeans on the chair next to the bed. I wear things more than once and jeans I might wear for several days.

Save time and money on laundry by wearing clothes more than once

Put a handkerchief in my pocket

Instead of tissues I have cotton handkerchiefs that you can wash and keep using for years.

Served breakfast on ‘heirloom’ crockery

Some of it is from our parents and grandparents, some from a charity shop when I was a student 30 years ago. Breakfast is not so frugal as it includes avocados – if anyone has any tips about buying avocados cheaply I’d be grateful to know. If I could grow them I would.

Prepared food and drink to take with me for the day

Made a flask of coffee, filled my water bottle and put last night’s dinner in a Tupperware box to reheat in the office for lunch.

Drove my nine-year-old car to the office

It has nearly 100,000 miles on the clock, but fingers-crossed I can keep it going for a little while yet.

Bought petrol whilst I was in the vicinity of the cheapest petrol station

As I was passing Tesco’s petrol station on the way home, although the tank wasn’t completely empty I still filled up as otherwise I could end up having to buy petrol somewhere more expensive.

Ate a home-cooked meal

Mr Simple made a meal from scratch for us. We eat mainly vegetarian food which is cheap and good for you.

Watched Freeview TV

We have never had cable, so have not had to ‘cut the cord’. If there’s nothing on we just turn it off and do something else.

So what does your typical day look like? How do you incorporate frugality into your daily habits? I would love to hear.

Habits That I Hope Will Help Me Achieve FIRE

Began taking anything that I want to eat or drink during the day, with me

This is a common one that anybody who wants to save money can easily do. I am not one for a Starbucks everyday, but occasionally I would get myself a coffee on the way to work or stop for a sandwich if I couldn’t be bothered to make one that morning. Now I make myself a flask of coffee for the day and try to take something to eat. As it’s winter it tends to be a flask of soup, but when it gets warmer it will be salad, usually including some left over veggies from dinner the night before.

Looking at the price of petrol at every petrol station that I pass

Having done this for a while I have realised that Tesco is always the cheapest and recently it has been going down by a penny a litre every time that I visit.

Got a Tesco Credit Card

Apparently Tesco has one of the most generous points systems – one point for every £1 spent in the store, two points for every £1 spent on petrol and when buying something from another shop, you get one point for every £8 you spend. One point is approximately one penny. I have 0% interest for 20 months on the card and so I can make the minimum payments for 18 months, put all the money that I would have spent in a savings account, earn some interest and then pay off the balance next year. Hey presto, free money!

Wearing more clothes when working at home

Some days I just sit at my computer and type, other days I am out and about. When I am at home I have taken to wearing thick socks and putting a blanket over my knees so that I don’t have to put the heating on. I have been lucky in that our winter has been quite mild until now, but over the past couple of days it has dropped and I may end up having to put the heating on for an hour or so. Working at home saves me money on petrol as I would have a round trip of 70 miles, but I am not sure money wise how that equates with two hours of central heating.

Opened a stocks and shares ISA

I have had money in premium bonds for a few years. It felt a safe way to save money with the exciting possibility of becoming a millionaire. Although I think that that is more likely with premium bonds than when buying a lottery ticket, surprise surprise it didn’t happen. Occasionally I won £25, but I think I would have earnt more through interest in savings account. I therefore took the plunge and opened a stocks and shares ISA with Vanguard. Unfortunately so far I am down nearly £100, but it is very early days and all the advice that I have read says that you have to play the long game. Don’t lose your nerve when the stock market dips, but in fact invest more money, as what you buy today is cheaper than it was yesterday. When the stock market rises again, as it inevitably will, your investment will go up.

Started eating more vegetables and less fish

I was a vegetarian for a lot of years, but when I met my partner, who is a meat eater, the compromise was to start eating fish and I do actually enjoy it. The difficulty is that fish is expensive and with the meagre budget that I have set for our food shopping I can’t afford it every week. Therefore it is now an occasional treat and we are back to eating mostly veggies, which consists of a lot of Indian food as you can put almost any vegetable in a curry.

Making double the quantity of dinner and freezing it

I’ve read a lot about batch cooking – spending most of Sunday cooking and putting it all in the freezer in nice little plastic tubs. I just find the thought of spending the whole day in the kitchen unattractive so instead I try to cook double or triple the quantity for dinner and freeze the surplus. In this way I am not doing any extra cooking, but we still have meals in the freezer which we can eat if we don’t have a lot of time for cooking on a weekday evening.