Five Fabulously Frugal Things I have Done this Week: 19th May 2017

As mentioned, we are on holiday in Mallorca this week and having a lovely time on this beautiful, sunny little gem of an island. Going on holiday isn’t a fabulously frugal thing to do in itself, of course. We could have stayed at home and had a staycation, but this blog isn’t about never spending any money, it’s about having the best life you can with what you’ve got. We love a holiday and it’s Mr S’s big 5-0, so we put money aside to allow us to come away.

However, just because we are spending money it doesn’t mean we are wasting it. The first fabulously frugal thing we have done is to make the most of the all-inclusive facilities here. So far we have had all of our meals at the hotel, taken advantage of the free bottles of water to carry out with us and made full use of the free bar (hic!).

Today we are off to visit the Caves of Drach in Puerto Cristo. To save money we have found out about public buses to get to there rather than paying for an excursion. This will cost us 14 Euros each for the bus and entrance instead of 30 Euros each. 

I have saved money using Boots three for two offers on sunscreen and fake tan, as explained here.

We were fabulously frugal on the plane here, Packing up sandwiches, fruit and snacks rather than purchasing expensive airport food. We found cheap bottles of water in the duty free section to keep us hydrated, which meant we only bought one cup of tea each during the flight. 

We will take some fruit and water from the restaurant on our trip today plus Aldi’s version of Nakd bars – raw fruit bars – to give us energy whilst we are out and about.

We have bought spending money with us, of course, but so far we have barely touched it and will be taking a lot of it home with us I think!

I’m linking up with Cass,  Emma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.  Check out their frugal achievements this week!

Frugal Inspiration!!!

booksAs penny pinchers, we all need a hefty dose of reality and a bit of inspiration from time to time to keep us on track. There’s plenty on-line – I regularly use the Money Saving Expert mantra, ‘Do I really want it? Do I really need it? Can I afford it?’. However, when I hear of other people’s amazing holiday plans and start to think, maybe I could afford just a week in Ibiza, or I covet a beautiful pair of leather boots at £120, I love to sit with an inspirational book and retrain my thoughts. I have a perfectly good pair of boots that cost me £3 at, of all things, a boot sale. A holiday would be fantastic, but so would paying off my credit card – if I want a holiday I will need to save for it, and we always have the tents and camping gear, and can head off the Rendlesham Forest for the weekend in the summer.

So where do I find my inspiration? I have several books that I come back to again and again. You might pick them up second-hand on Amazon or, if you are really lucky, GreenMetropolis.com. Failing that, most library services will let you order a book if you can’t find it on the shelf.

So, my favourites:

The Tightwad Gazette
Amy Dacyczyn
An absolute classic. Dacyczyn was the first frugal blogger (well, she would have been, but the Internet was in its infancy when she was writing). It started life as a newsletter, and finally became a book in the early 1990s. She had the dream of a large family and a rural New England farmhouse, but wanted to achieve this without having two incomes and having to put her children into daycare.  The newsletter became a two way communication, with her many readers writing in to give their feedback and their frugal ideas. Still absolutely relevant.

The Penny Pincher’s Book
John and Irma Mustoe

Another classic of moneysaving, this was originally published in the late 1980s. It is to the point and often witty – “Double saving: say no to children whining for sweets – save money on sweets and even more money on dentistry”.

The Money-Less Man: A year of Freeconomic Living
Mark Boyle

More recent, and not really geared up for family money-saving, this is nonetheless a really interesting read. Boyle decided to experiment for a year to see if he could live on no money. This involved living in a caravan off-grid, foraging and growing food, making toiletries and toothpaste from natural wild ingredients and more. He even scavenged food from bins – perfectly edible but thrown away by the supermarkets.
This is quite a political book. Boyle’s message is that we crave money at the expense of communities, relationships and the environment, and that we need to realise that we cannot consume all of the world’s resources in the pursuit of things.

How I Lived a Year on Just a Pound a Day
Kath Kelly
This is a similar theme to Mark Boyle’s book, told in a really entertaining way with loads of ideas on how you can live on very little money if you really have to. Kelly wanted to save for her brother’s wedding, so resolved to live on much, much less than most of us can ever imagine doing. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and she is certainly creative in her approach. It even has a fairy tale happy ending. A nice read!

I would love to hear your recommendations for great and inspiring books. I have more on the bookshelf so part 2 might follow!