A frugal lifestyle: taking care of the pennies

I am going for super frugal at the moment. As the saying goes, take care of the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. This is a good enough motto when you are going for a frugal lifestyle.

Our frugal lifestyle will ensure we have enough money to pay for Christmas. It’s not about being tight or stingy; rather it’s about saving money to spend on the things that really matter.


This week I was determined to use some of the large pack of couscous that has been lurking at the bag of the cupboard for ages. It is so quick and easy I will definitely use it more often.

We had it instead of rice or noodles with a vegetable stir fry one night and had the leftovers for lunch the following day. I had soaked another lot, which I made into a salad with some chopped veg and raisins the day after as well. It makes a great, cheap packed lunch. A nice change from soup or sandwiches.

Food bank update

Couscous would be a good item to include in your food bank collection if you are doing one. It requires no cooking, just soaking in hot water or stock, is incredibly versatile and very filling. You can see my post about the reverse advent collection and how you can take part here. We already have lots of items in our box and many of my colleagues have chosen to take part with their own teams.

A frugal mushroom dinner

frugal lifestyleI had a craving for mushrooms the other day! Luckily I had a pack from Lidl. I made a very simple and delicious mushroom chasseur using the recipe in A Girl Called Jack*. We had this with rice. As Mr S is a meat fan I cooked a couple of chicken drumsticks to accompany it. (This is my affiliate link to Amazon and if you purchase anything by clicking on it I will earn a small commission.)

This book remains one of my favourites. I do wish Jack would get on with publishing the new one, Cooking on a Bootstrap.

Super Savvy Me

frugal lifestyleI have mentioned that I am a member of the Savvy Circle before. I tested some Pantene Micellar water a few weeks ago and today I received some Bold 2in1 washing capsules to try and to share amongst family and friends. This smells really nice and much posher than the supermarket own brand I usually use. In return I need to give feedback a few times on the Savvy Circle website – not too onerous!

Survey loot helping my frugal lifestyle

I have been doing the odd survey here and there for Prolific Academic and cashed £20 in today. Not a fortune I know, but every little helps. I do the odd survey in my lunch break and each one takes just a few minutes.

Online surveys can be a bit hit and miss I have found, but I like this company. They pre-screen you so you know that you are accepted for the surveys on offer.

I miss quite a few so they would be ideal for retired folk, part time workers, stay at home parents or students with more time to check what is on offer.

My money saving efforts and frugal lifestyle mean I feel in control of my finances. I would hate to be in debt again!

How about you? What are your top tips for a frugal lifestyle?


7 thoughts on “A frugal lifestyle: taking care of the pennies

  1. I love reading about money-saving tips, Jane; helping keep money in our purses rather than flying out of them is always welcome, regardless of how much we have or haven’t got.
    For me (the tip, I mean) it’s Always Shopping With A List. Supermarkets hate shoppers like me, with a written List – or being me, printed! When did I do anything by halves – no scrappy bit of paper, but a Proper List – OK, I’ve wasted a sheet of A4 and some printer ink, but it looks The Business! I lead the way, husband follows (a bit like Prince Philip but with a trolley) and I take the things from the shelves and plop them into the trolley, unless they are on high or low shelves whereupon he gets them for me. Shopping with A List means I can miss several aisles in which we might be tempted to chuck in the odd packet of biscuits or bottle of enticing soft drink, made in a pretty colour and put into a pretty bottle but really tasting of ordinary lemonade but oddles more money. And, if I’ve actually forgotten to put something on the List, such as loo rolls, I will buy those, but there will be no random “I fancy this” or “let’s try that” buys. We still spend quite a lot for two people, but there are no impulse purchases. We sometimes make savings where there are offers, but only if the offers are on things we’d be buying anyway, such as yesterday, I bought two white grapefruit for £1 when pink and red ones were approaching 70p each. They taste much the same to me, anyway, regardless of colour. So, I say Always Shop With A List.
    My next tip is not to be seduced by all the Christmas hype. It’s for one day. Yes, plan and buy cards and presents, but there is no need to buy the latest type of fairy lights, the latest garland, the large artificial wreath for the door (you plan to re-use it over and over again, but by next year you will be fed up with it and it will have cost loads-a-money), to colour-theme everything. Make everything as simple as possible.
    Margaret P

    • I have one beautiful (v large) wreath that I rescued in january- thrown out in the rubbish by its owner after Christmas – mainly pine with red ribbons,gold ribbons, baubles &pine cones. I am going to spray the pine foliage and add some fresh foraged holly. Should do the trick and much cheaper than buying one from the florist!

  2. today will be refrigerator cleaning and looking at what we have. Other than milk, bread, perhaps some more fruit, we should not need anything this week for groceries. using up, and I need to do a better job of that, and not buying more than we need, is my best penny saving tool-so those pennies grow to dollars.

  3. My frugal tips:

    1. I am overweight and so I am currently losing weight. Extra weight costs more in food and health expenses. Get healthy!!
    2. Shop with a menu plan/list and stick to a diet. I have cut my grocery bill in half. See above.
    3. Stay out of restaurants. See above.
    4. Cull the clothing closet, get rid of the crap, keep the best stuff and WEAR IT. I can fit into clothes I could never before wear because I am losing pounds. See above.
    5. Eat every item of food that is purchased. I used to waste a lot. Now? Zero food waste.
    6. Do not use the air conditioning or heating unless absolutely necessary. Dress warmly and cuddle under blankets. Wear socks and warm slippers. Put flannel sheets and winter duvets on the bed.
    7. Become a minimalist. Only buy what is needed and what will be used. Get rid of excess.
    8. Stay out of Sephora LOL Stop buying make up, perfume, etc until what is already at hand has been used up.
    9. Turn off regular network TV so that exposure to crappy advertising and programming is reduced to zero. Watch DVDs, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube….. ANYTHING but cable.
    10. Go out and exercise for an hour. Over time, it definitely helps with depression and boredom and the need to spend.

    • Fantastic tips and good luck with the weight loss. You are so right about keeping healthy

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