Frugal steps: it’s the little things!

I think to anyone who isn’t into a frugal lifestyle some of the things we do to save money here at Shoestring Cottage must seem like a lot of effort for very little reward. But believe me, they all stack up to make a huge difference to making the books balance at the end of each month. It’s the little things!

I am having to really focus this month so that I only buy absolute  essentials. I have repaired a pair of ankle boots I wear quite a lot. Why throw out a perfectly good pair of boots or shoes because the sole or heel are coming away? It’s easy to repair them with some strong glue. 

As mentioned in previous posts, I am using up as much as I can in the larder to keep the grocery bills low. We will be eating less meat and fish than usual. I have some Quorn in the freezer and some cans of chickpeas that will make several meals. I have been making soup using home grown frozen veg and fruit purée with apples, blackberries and currants that we grew or were given. I have been baking already and will do some more for those moments when we need something sweet – I have flour, sugar,  nuts and dried fruit to use for this. 

When I do go shopping I will take a list and stick to it, unless I spy some good yellow stickered bargains, of course.

I always take a packed lunch, snacks, tea and coffee to work so I don’t need to spend money at the corner shop or in the vending machines.

I am conserving petrol by driving like a granny! Slowly and smoothly – whizzing along and screeching on the brakes at junctions used up a lot of fuel.

DD3 has her birthday next week. We will celebrate with a nice dinner and a home made cake. I am buying her a few small presents and giving her some money as she is saving for a new laptop. I would love to take her out to a posh restaurant but that would bust the budget and none of us are that bothered.

If I get any invitations out I will make my excuses this month. It’s more important to balance the books than socialise right now. 

What little things do you do to save money?

8 thoughts on “Frugal steps: it’s the little things!

  1. Tania,
    I know wouldn,t work for everyone,but I love the co op meal deals!. Prawn salads have lettuce,herbs sweet corn, cucumber, carrot are huge split in 2 add tomatoe onion. the smoothies are strawberry yum split in 2 . Pud I love the jelly n fresh raspberries. Cost £3.25 does 2 days food. Calories 600 split 300 ,just -add boiled egg 2 slices brown bread and banana, crackers , home made soup. Food cost around £2.20 a day, no waste. Being single buying lots of fruit n veg it goes to waste this way I can have a little of everything.

  2. We have one income from hubs plus the tax credits and child benefit and that is it. Won’t say how much but our income is a lot less than a lot of people. I have to say that we are extremely lucky to be mortgage free when both of us are under 50. We didn’t move to Bronllan with any savings. We don’t have a credit card. We try to always use what we have what ever it is. Jon is very handy so can make and do jobs for people but we often take stuff in return and not money. I bake most cakes and biscuits and bread, proving just now as we are having burgers for tea. I always take a list to the shop and plan my meals before I go – today’s job – and keep a list of what is in the freezer so I don’t duplicate – hate wasting money. I bake from scratch most days from pizza to pies, lasagne etc. We rarely buy brand new clothes, charity shops, and they are great places for kids coats as kids grow so quickly and I wear work clothes in the daytime and only change into nice stuff, £10 jeans from Matalan! on a weekend. These are just a few things we do but saving and not wasting money is always in our minds and we are trying our best to teach our boys this too. Ramble over.

  3. One tip that i’ve got used to now is to use cut-up newspapers for cat litter; with 3 cats not going out a lot (too cold!), i was spending almost as much on cat litter as cat food. I tried paper-shredding at first but the strands got caught inbetween their claws. So now i get old newspapers from my neighbours and cut them into ‘bite-size’ pieces – a carrier-bag full does approx 3 trays. The cutting-up takes time (you get quicker with practice), but i do this when watching telly, so no time lost. Saves a fortune.

  4. My little things……..
    1. Removing shelf from airing cupboard and putting up a rail so that I can dry some things on hangers instead of using tumble dryer.
    2. Having a “pick n mix” tea one night a week – this consists of all kind of things from fridge and cupboards that don’t necessarily go together, buffet-like.
    3. Making the bean burgers from Jack Monroes book ‘A girl called Jack’. Makes 4 for less than 60p. One each is enough.
    4. Mending. Small repairs to clothing that others would probably throw away

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