Welcome to my five frugal achievements round up – my excuse to let you know what we have been up to at Shoestring Cottage this week.
The weather has been weird. We have had some beautiful, sunny spring days, interspersed with wind, rain and sleet. Puppy toilet training in the sun, sitting on the bench with a coffee in hand is a lot more fun than standing freezing in my raincoat, hoping Archie will do his business quickly!
He is such a lovely little creature – naughty though, and everything takes twice as long. Still, we are loving having him in the house. Despite Archie’s best efforts, I did manage five frugal achievements this week.
Five frugal achievements, week ending 6th March
DIY hand gel
The news about how the corona virus is spreading around the world is really worrying. Mostly I guess it is beyond our control, but there are things we can do to minimise the possibility of contracting the disease.
One of the things we can do as individuals is to keep our hands clean and wash them regularly after contact with others. I keep a little bottle of hand gel in my car and another in my handbag for this anyway. However, I was rather concerned to hear that there is currently a shortage of hand sanitizer.
I suppose it is good to know that people are taking their personal hygiene seriously and buying the stuff! However, it got me thinking about what to do if I can’t find any more. I swear the prices have also gone sky high on Amazon!
So, I decided to look online to see if it is possible to make my own and it seems that as it is basically alcohol it is easy to make. After reading this article, I have ordered rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel on Amazon. Hopefully it will work. I will let you know.
(I won’t link to the products I purchased as they have gone up in price even in the last day. Best to do your own research to find the cheapest).
I said on Instagram on my March goals post the other day that I wanted to list 100 new items on eBay. That sounds a lot, but it’s really achievable. I just need to focus and get on with it.
I don’t even have to source anything as I have two bags of spring and summer items that I put away in storage. It’s time to get them out to prep and list them.
So far, I have done 25, so I am on track. I like to watch eBay resellers on You Tube to keep me company and the list of my top ten can be found here.
Growing my own herbs
I grew lots of parsley from seed last summer. In fact, there were a few plants in small pots that I never got round to doing anything with. I thought they would die over the winter, but they have turned out to be really hardy!
I decided to bring some of them in to grow on and benefit from the warmth of the kitchen window sill.
This gave me the chance to use this cute set of ceramic herb planters. I picked them up ages ago for a couple of pounds in a charity shop and think they look really nice with the parsley in them.
Researching keto on a budget
Although I set out to try to do my new keto regime whilst sticking to a low grocery budget, this hasn’t really happened and I am definitely spending more than usual.
I am going to be planning more meals based around canned tuna and sardines, cheese and eggs. Chicken is a pretty cheap type of meat as well.
I am also going to eat more frozen berries, rather than the expensive fresh ones. Frozen is definitely cheaper. I bought raspberries and blackberries from the freezer section in Aldi this week and have been eating those mixed with redcurrants from the garden.
Nuts are very reasonable from Lidl and Aldi, so I stocked up on those. However, I am going to research to see if I can get them cheaper still in bulk online.
As ever, planning our meals keeps my shopping focused and the shopping bill low, as well as cooking from scratch.
Reading – a lot!
I am still really enjoying my Kindle Unlimited subscription from Amazon*. Although it costs me £7.99 a month (after a free trial), I think it is amazing value. I can download and read so many books for this price.
The added advantage of reading from my kindle is that Archie the Shoestring hound doesn’t try to eat it. He loves paper!
The latest one I have downloaded is the Complete Works of Florence Scovel Shin. She was part of the New Thought movement of the early 20th century, and was talking about the Law of Attraction way before The Secret made it fashionable.
I love the way this type of writing encourages positivity. We can all do with a bit of positive thinking. Your thoughts really do create your reality to an extent. Have you noticed how people who are perpetual complainers tend to be presented with more and more things to complain about?
Have you managed five frugal achievements this week? Or even one or two? Let me know in the comments.