Five Frugal things

I have been struggling to think of five frugal things this week. It feels as if I have been so tired I have barely done anything apart from go to work. With a bit of consideration though, I found some!

As featured on…

This is maybe not frugal in itself, but I shall include it as on of my five frugal things anyway! Have any of my UK readers been watching Shop Smart Save Money on Channel 5? I had a few chats with one of their researchers and they ended up using one of my ideas. You can see me on Twitter giving my wisdom regarding saving money on beauty treatments. It is quite funny – they have given me a musical backing as I dispense my wisdom on eyebrows! If you have Twitter you can have a laugh at my expense here. Please follow me – @shoestringjane!

The programme is really enjoyable. UK Money Blogger Andy, from Be Clever with your Cash, is the programme’s money expert. Other great bloggers featured include Jo and Leisha from and Kelly from Reduced Grub.

Keeping food bills low

five frugal things

We have had a very low spend week generally. I haven’t done a proper shop for ages and have just been using what we have and topping up here and there. Am I alone in generally disliking food shopping?

Anyway, I will have to do a proper one this week as I also need washing powder and some cleaning items. I will continue to keep food bills low by meal planning and by writing a shopping list. This week’s meal plan will feature on the blog tomorrow! A quick and easy budget dinner that my daughter makes herself at uni is eggs Benedict. She cheats by using a packet hollandaise sauce. I can never eat too many eggs  – I love them – so this will be on the menu at some point.

Fantastic finds

five frugal things

I drove down to collect my daughter from university last weekend. She is home for the summer and has already managed to pick up a summer job in a pub up the road.  She understands the value of money and doesn’t assume she will get any handouts from us.

Her university friends, however, don’t appear to be of a similar mind set. They had left piles of unwanted ‘stuff’ in the corridors that we could help ourselves to. Anything left would be donated to charity. We had a look through one bag and found one brand new dress and 2 pairs of designer jeans, all with their tags on! I thought students were supposed to be poor, but clearly  not all of them.

We also found a full bottle of perfume – still in its box – and several almost full bottles of shower gel! More like five free things than five frugal things…

Still decluttering

I listed a load of stuff on Facebook a while back. It has been selling slowly but this week I suddenly had loads of enquiries. I have managed to sell two things this week and hope to offload a few more.

I do find people incredibly inconsiderate and rude, however, constantly changing times, not turning up or deciding they don’t want items at the last minute. They do this even if you are giving things away for free!

Cheap plants

My friend sent me a link to Sarah Raven’s website the other day with plants she would love to put in her dream garden. The prices! I am incredibly fortunate that our cleaner at work grows masses of plants and sells them to us all for around 50p each. This week I have bought geraniums, cornflowers, mint and some little flowering shrubs.

I know I could grown them from seed or cuttings myself but it is so easy and cheap to buy them from her! Gardening doesn’t need to be expensive, as I explained in this post.

So these are my five frugal things for this week. What have you achieved?

As ever, I am linking up with  Cass Emma  and Becky in this week’s Five Frugal Things I have done this Week linky.

20 thoughts on “Five Frugal things

  1. That ‘s a lovely freebie dress, Jane. Yes, I thought students were supposed to be poor, too!
    I confess I’ve bought tulip and jonquil bulbs from Sarah Raven, but I just love our annual show of tulips and jonquils/narcissi, and budget for these each year. Sarah has the most unusual tulips in wonderful colours, so I don’t begrudge the money spent on this, perhaps the cost of one meal out for two in a restaurant, or take-away pizzas for the family, when our garden looks wonderful for a couple of months, as I buy early through to late bulbs. So for me it’s a thumbs up for Sarah and her plants. Which doesn’t mean you can’t get good bulbs elsewhere, only I like the range she offers.
    Oh, I love food shopping – we are what we eat. Mind you, I have my organized list and stick to it. Indeed, husband wasn’t well today and so we didn’t go shopping and so I got out all that was in the fridge veggie box and made from it a lovely vat of veggie soup, a cauliflower and blue cheese soup (as I had half a cauli left and some of the better leaves from it which I’d saved for soup), a lime and pear jelly (I love fruit jellies), and a creme caramel (well, the cheat’s version, using a packet of Green’s Carmelle, which is the closest I get to ‘convenience’ food.) Using what you have in the fridge is a very frugal way of living, is it not? And squeezing the very last of the tomato puree from the tube until my fingers complain! Ditto the last of the toothpaste, standing the rapeseed oil bottle upside down to get the last drop out, etc.
    Although we have a lot of things in our home, I wouldn’t call it cluttered, so there is little we can do in the way of de-cluttering. Yes, I have a lot of books, but books aren’t clutter … or are they? What I have is a library, but I do part with paperbacks that I know I shan’t read again – these go to our local hospice charity shop. However, I have begun to part with my vast collection of magazines! It hurts, hurts to do so, but space is finite. These, again, go to the hospice charity shop. I know you don’t buy magazines, but I was brought up in a newsagent’s shop and have written for magazines for years, so I guess I’m just addicted to them, Jane!
    Margaret P

      • You would like this soup, Jane, quick and easy to make … simply saute a large chopped onion (or shallots), add the cauli in pieces, boiling water to cover, add a couple of veggie Oxo cubes and a small piece of blue cheese – I go easy on that at first as it can be strong (I use St Agur), you an always add more later – and simmer for about 15 minutes.
        Then remove from the heat, add a dollop of milk or crème fraiche or cream (it can be made without, but tastes better with) and blitz with hand-held electric blender.
        Purists might then like to put the soup through a sieve to remove any pieces which have escaped the blender, but we don’t mind a few ‘bits’. Lovely also with homemade croutons. And when I serve it, I add some chopped parsley to the top and serve in a coloured bowl as the soup is a dirty-white colour and while it tastes good, in a white bowl it don’t look appetizing! However, it tastes delicious!
        Margaret P

    • I am learning so much too from ShopSmartSaveMoney, especially from the resident money expert Andy Webb.
      I love your frugal finds from the Uni kids. I’m glad your daughter was ok with you ‘collecting’ the stuff. My son would so be the opposite.
      I love this post.

  2. I shopped in my house for a solution to a leaking water feature. Turns out I had a perfectly good can of sealer to fix the issue! Nothing spent!
    I have been living in my new place for nearly 3 years now and I still hadn’t made it my own…for a number of reasons…my Dad left a lot of stuff in the appartment (my Dad was a HUGE collector), after we finally finished moving most of his stuff downstairs…he passed, so I now had to deal with his stuff downstairs and some upstairs (where I live). I suffered from depression and anxiety, my SO broke an ankle, had a heart attack late last year….It feels I am just surfacing from this whole mess….so I am spending some money to make the place mine, and renovating some things that had to be addressed that my Dad ignored becausehe felt was too expensive but it needed to be fixed.

  3. I’ve been good about lunches at work. Only caved in on a miserable day and bought soup because my sald from home just wasn’t warming enough!

  4. I can’t think for one moment that you are alone in disliking food shopping Jane, but I love it! I wish I didn’t – I’m sure I’d spend less and weigh less too!

  5. As a recent mature student, I found that other students generally fell into one of two categories: those who were genuinely poor and struggled, and those who had wealthy parents, like the 21 year old who drove a brand new BMW!

      • I so agree with you Jane. Teaching children that someone else will always provide for them, doesn’t prepare them for life, I feel. The feelings that our children get from having their own successes are immeasurable. I caved and shouted a friend and myself designer burgers. Expensive? Yes. Delicious and fulfilling? Yes. Last time that I had one? Over 6 months ago. I’ve been using whatever food that I have. Just living The Simple Life aka The Good Life.

  6. You’re famous!!! I’ve not seen that show but I’ll definitely check it out now!

    I can’t believe I’ve never had eggs Benedict I’m always trying to use up eggs! I’ll have to try that too.
    Thanks for some great ideas…

  7. Have you thought about making your own cleaning products. Washing powder is very easy and myself and numerous others have been using for years. My washing machine likes it too. 15 years and going strong.

    • I have made cleaning products and always use vinegar and bicarb for cleaning. Never made washing powder but that’s a great idea! The last lot was a huge box from Lidl on offer which has lasted ages but Home made would be more eco friendly I am sure

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