Another week has swept past, and I am struggling to think what I have done! We seem to have achieved five frugal things at Shoestring Cottage, but it’s a bit of a blur.
I have been working quite a lot. Just want to put that out there, since I had a rather acerbic comment from a reader who suggested that, if I needed to live so frugally, maybe I should get a job!
I have several streams of income, thanks. I work a lot of hours and don’t actually just sit on Instagram all day. My frugal lifestyle was borne from necessity when I was working full time for a not very generous salary and trying to support three children. Now the pressure is off a bit, but we choose to continue to live this way to keep ourselves financially solvent whilst being able to afford to do the things we enjoy doing.
Other people might prefer to work long hours for an employer and to buy stuff on credit. We don’t and it’s our choice how we live. If you don’t like it, no one is making you read this stuff….
Fortunately, I find most readers are on the same wavelength as me and leave really nice comments.
Rant over, and on to this week’s frugal achievements.
A cleaning frenzy
I seem to have been doing a lot of deep cleaning – moving furniture and hoovering underneath, cleaning windows and upholstery and generally having a good sort out. A spring clean, but in the autumn.
There is always so much to do! I have been whizzing through my stocks of cleaning stuff, so need to order some more. I don’t ever spend much on cleaning supplies. I try to avoid harsh chemicals and too many plastic bottles, so keep it simple with cheap and effective products such as soda crystals, bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and citric acid.
I wrote a post on my plastic free cleaning routine here.
I was perusing the charity shop, as I do, when I came across a pair of brown flat leather pumps for a princely sum of £3.50. You can’t go wrong with shoes at that price, and they seem to have been worn very little.
Because I now work from home, I do spend quite a lot of time in my slippers! However, I need to get dressed occasionally and these will go with pretty much anything.
I think I already mentioned buying a pair of cosy granny boots recently – I think they were only a couple of pounds at a boot sale. Now that the weather has got so much colder I am wearing these quite a lot with jeans. Not glamourous but warm and practical.
It is most definitely soup weather anyway. Actually, I love the stuff and eat it all year round, but there is something particularly comforting about a nice bowl of soup and some crusty bread on a chilly, dark day.
I collect chicken carcasses up in the freezer and make home made stock every time I have two or three of them. They make such a flavoursome and nutritious base to any meal where you require stock, not just soup.
This week I made chicken stock, but also collect up odds and ends of vegetables and peelings and make a veggie version from time to time.
We went for a lovely long walk in the woods last Sunday. It was a proper, sunny Autumn day but, even so, we were surprised at how many people were out and about.
We were on the look out for sweet chestnuts as we went, but other folk (and the squirrels) had obviously had the same idea and there weren’t many to be found. They also seemed much smaller than usual – maybe it wasn’t the best summer for them? I honestly don’t know, but we managed to find some eventually anyway.
I want to make a nice chestnut stuffing for Christmas so I hope we manage to find a few more. If not, I will have to buy some. The bigger ones from the supermarket never seem as sweet though.
Reviewing the budget
I have been through all of our bills to make sure we aren’t over paying for anything and to see if there are any tweaks to by made. This is done periodically, and I check through all the bank statements too, just in case there are any off or unexplained payments.
It’s a job I never look forward to, but actually it takes no time and has probably saved us a fortune over the years. I think it’s really important to know where your money is going.
Some fun stuff
So that’s my week in a nutshell and our five frugal things at Shoestring Cottage. Not the most riveting of weeks! Although, Mr S got another free pass at the gym and spa he has joined so I spent the day there on Wednesday with him, his mum and sister. It’s a lovely place to chill, but I wouldn’t want to do it that often. I am also off out tonight to the pub with my old work colleagues for a catch up. So it’s not all sitting at the laptop and cleaning.
What have you been up to this week and have you managed to avoid spending lots of money?
As I have mentioned previously, I am doing a daily frugal tips post for the whole of October on Instagram. Come over and take a look!