This post contains affiliate links, marked with *. If you click through and make a purchase it won’t cost you anything but I will earn a small commission.
Another week has flown by! We are well into frugal February.
Although I have slightly eased my purse strings after my no spend January, I am still being very careful with my pennies. I am saving for a holiday and also for some things that need to be done around the house.
Not major home improvements, but we haven’t done any decorating for some time and some areas are looking a bit down at heel. But even minor DIY efforts cost money, and I want to budget for them.
As I type this, although it is a freezing cold day, it is bright and sunny. This has lifted my mood no end, thinking that spring will soon be on the way.
I am yearning to get out in the garden and get started on our vegetable patch. We also need a general tidy up. Hopefully the nicer weather will continue and I will show you some of our efforts.
If not, it’s definitely time to do some indoor home improvements!
Anyhow, here is my five frugal things round up for the first week of frugal February.
Frugal February giveaway
I have mentioned a few times that I have been trying a few recipes from a promising sounding cook book, Feed Your Family For £20 a Week: 100 Delicious Budget-Friendly Meals You’ll All Enjoy*, by Lorna Cooper.
Each week I spend about 15 minutes going through our food stores and writing a meal plan and shopping list based on that. I have just been doing that and this week I am going to try her Spanish chicken and her cheesy lentil bake on next week’s meal plan.
The recipes seem cheap and cheerful, family friendly cooking. The publishers have very kindly given me a copy to review and two copies as prizes. So – I am running another giveaway on Instagram! To enter, all you have to do it follow me on Instagram and write a comment on my post.
The deadline for entry is midnight on Wednesday 12th February. This one is only open to my UK readers for now.
Once I have had time to try a few more recipes, I will write a proper review and let you know if this book is as good as its title claims!
A trip to London
I dragged myself out of bed really early last Sunday to travel to a workshop hosted by Mediavine, the company that organises the adverts on my blog. I had a carriage to myself for the first leg! It’s actually quite relaxing commuting to London on a Sunday :).
I had to pay for the rail fare, so I booked that in advance to get a bit of a discount. Now that my daughter lives next door to the station, I didn’t have to pay for parking all day. This saved £9.
I took water and an apple on the train, then resisted buying a take out coffee at Liverpool Street. Frugal February in mind, I knew coffee and lunch were provided at the workshop so waited until I got there.
It was such a positive day and I had the chance to meet and chat to a lot of other bloggers in different genres. It was well worth going.
I used to read constantly when I was younger. My mum says if I went quiet she knew I would have my nose in a book somewhere.
But life gets so busy, I don’t read nearly enough as I would like to these days. If I’m not careful, I can end up with shelves full of books that I never get round to reading. That’s not frugal!
I have found that taking out my trial with Amazon Kindle Unlimited has made a big difference. For example, I read a book I absolutely loved, Meet the Frugalwoods*, on the train. My Kindle is so small and light I didn’t have to lug a physical book in my bag.
(I will definitely be reviewing this book, by the way. It is brilliantly written and so inspiring!)
I have downloaded quite a few titles that have been on my list for a while. Some I haven’t enjoyed, so I just gave them back and got a different title for free!
My y trial period is up now, but I am enjoying it so I am going to carry on with it for a while. I am loving getting back into the reading habit. At £7.99 a month it won’t break the bank. Neither will I fill the house with yet more paper books. We have enough clutter as it is!
If you want a free 30-day trial to Kindle Unlimited, you can sign up using my affiliate code here*. It will be really good when we go on holiday as it means I can travel light.
Charity shop finds
As I have dusted off my wallet and started to allow myself a little spending, I popped into my favourite charity shop in the week.
It is an out of town one, and a bit of a secret! Because it’s convenient to drop off, they seem to get lots of donations. I rarely leave without some good bargains.
This time I came away with a cute little cat cardigan (you know I love cats!), a vintage St Michael jumper, which I am in the process of debobbling and a Hornsea tea, coffee and sugar set straight out of the seventies! In fact, I would swear we had this very one when I was a kid. It even came with a matching coffee pot.
The jumpers cost £1 and the vintage ceramics cost £3. I am the last of the big spenders I reckon.
I just love charity shops and might even try a jumble sale at the weekend.
When I was going through the larder to sort out next week’s meal plan, I realised there was quite a lot of dried fruit in bags that needed using.
As I have been eating low fat and healthy since I did Slimming World last year, I haven’t done a lot of baking. Too much temptation!
However, we both love a fruit cake, so I made my favourite recipe. It is all in one, fail safe fruit cake and really delicious. You can find how to make it here.
A word about ads
It’s a tricky balance writing a blog about frugality and running adverts. However, my blog is now my chief form of income. Since taking redundancy last summer, I have had to become more business minded about it in order to make a living.
For a long time I wrote the blog just for fun with no ads, no sponsorship and no affiliate links. It is still fun, but my circumstances are a bit different now.
I know some readers don’t appreciate the ads, and I toned down the number because of feedback. However, I really hope those of you who read regularly understand why I run them. It means I can justify the time it takes to sit and write the blog instead of doing other things to bring in money instead.
One final thing on the subject of ads. If you absolutely hate them, you can always install an ad blocker :).
How has your week been? Are you going for a frugal February?