About Me: My life as a frugal blogger


That light bulb moment….when you can finally give up waking in the night worrying about money, when you realise that you can take control of your finances, pay off your debts, save for the future. You can live a good and happy life on less than you think, you can get off the consumer treadmill and you can live more simply and healthily and not feel deprived. So how did I get to blogging about it? What makes someone become a frugal blogger?

Save money, frugal living, shoestring cottageI spent many years in a state of some anxiety about my finances, just about scraping by. Then I decided to get a grip, to embrace and enjoy a more frugal lifestyle, wasting nothing, making do and mending, growing my own food,, cooking healthy and nutritious meals for less, buying second-hand and making the most of every penny I have. There are so many ways to save money once you start:  we save in the garden (here and here), when buying clothing  (I am a veritable second hand Rose and proud of it!), when motoring, when travelling, eating out and for family entertainment.

This blog began life as a kind of public diary and a way to keep me on track. Now I hope it will be a resource for others looking to save money and live a more frugal life. It’s not about living an austere and joyless existence. More about making the most of what we have day to day so that we can afford to do the things we really enjoy, like holidays!

I have also explored ideas to make extra money. Read about how I have done this generally here and on eBay here.  I have even explored more extreme money saving recently, cutting my own hair and my brave daughter’s!


I don’t need a millionaire’s bank balance and I don’t want a high stress city slicker lifestyle. But I do want my own house, to eat well, to have days out and to provide for my family. Living a frugal lifestyle helps me to achieve this because it is like giving yourself a pay rise. There are more money saving ideas here and throughout my blog.

So, where to start if you need to make some changes and improve your bank balance? Find out first if you are a Frugal Fran or a Spendthrift Sue, then read Fifty Ways to Save Money Now to get the basics.

More about my life as a frugal blogger

I am a full-time working mum of three daughters – just one still at home and she will soon be off to university. I hope my frugality and penny-pinching ways have rubbed off on her so that she survives on her student loan! My frugal partner in crime is handyman extraordinaire, Mr Shoestring. We have three cats and live in an ex local authority semi in Essex, Shoestring Cottage – not really a cottage, but we have a large garden and nice neighbours and we love it.

I am fortunate to have a job that I mostly enjoy, and I also teach yoga in my spare time (not that I have much of that!). I wish it all paid more but that’s life. So, until that elusive lottery win arrives, we will carry on doing what we do.

Whether you are trying to clear debts, struggling to get by or saving for a particular reason, I hope this blog provides some inspiration!

23 thoughts on “About Me: My life as a frugal blogger

  1. jane

    just happened to find this blog…by accident. glad i.did its excellent! I am really enjoying reading through your.old posts. : )

  2. Michelle

    I am reading your blog today and enjoying it very much. I am from the United States, so it seems like a bit of a vacation to the UK reading what you write! I, too, love to make soup. I’m making squash soup today. I see that you sell things on Ebay. I wonder why you don’t try to get some advertising on your blog to bring in money?

    1. ChickenladyJane Post author

      WordPress doesn’t allow advertising as far as I can tell unless I upgrade which is too expensive. It’s just a fun hobby really so not too worried about making money

  3. Dee

    Hi, just found you today (how did I miss this blog?) and really enjoying it. Lots to catch up on!
    Very inspirational – thank you!

  4. Mrs. Frugalista

    I like to read about people taking charge of their financial lives and respect every penny earned! Love your blog. I also love to see how people in other countries live. I live frugally in the United States despite the fact that we earn a decent salary. We live frugally to enjoy the things that are important to our family and that is the blessing of a nice and tidy home paid out right and funding a college education for our sons (which is extremely costly here). I live in a suburb an hour away from New York City and wish I can have a garden like yours. Next summer, we are planning on having a small garden to see where this takes us. Meanwhile, during the harvest, I enjoy picking apples and pumpkins in near by farms and I just learned how to can fruit. I came across your blog through a google search (frugal living). Look forward to reading more on your blog.

  5. carolinehounsell

    Nice blog! I found it on my list when WordPress finally decided I was me and let me back in again and remembered you from Four or More. It will be good to catch up with your doings 🙂 Carrie h

  6. Kay Leeser

    Just realised that I work in the same building and recognised you ” from somewhere” as we passed in the entrance one day. It was from the photo on your blog. It is nice to read nice things about Essex…..I read several frugal blogs and find yours to be one of the most inspiring.

  7. Klaas Sikkema

    Hello Jane,
    Is it possible that we met years ago (5 or 6 years ago) in Tenerife while hiking somewhere on the island? I remember you and your partner having 3 childeren. You spoke about your blog and the word shoestring has been lingering in my head ever since. We are a couple from Brussels.

    Merry Christmas to you.

    Klaas Sikkema

  8. JontyJay

    Just found your blog via Ilona’s website. Very excited to learn even more about living frugally. at the age of 45 I’m just really starting on my frugal change so everything I learn will be really useful.


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