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?

No spend January 

I am avoiding the sales as there is so much I want to buy that I can’t afford. In an ideal world there would be enough left in the pot to take advantage of some bargains but there isn’t. The only exception will be Boots. I have a £25 voucher from Father Christmas so might take a peek at their reduced gift sets before the New Year. If there is nothing I fancy I will save it for toiletries and makeup as I need them. In the past I have bought Christmas cards, wrap and crackers at this time but I still have plenty to use for next year. 

To get the bank balance back in shape I am giving up spending  for a month on anything except food and essentials. No more snacking at work or sneaky coffees in town,  impulse buying books or any of the other things that can catch me out.

I would avoid town all together but have to go in on Friday to see the optician and change a jumper I bought for Mr S that doesn’t quite fit. So it will be in, parked and straight out again 😀.

The other weakness I have is for charity shops. Even if I go in with donated items I often can’t resist coming out with more stuff I probably don’t need. What are your weaknesses when it comes to spending? Anyone care to join me on my no spend month?