Keeping up with the frugal life on the run up to Christmas

frugal life


How is everyone doing with their Christmas preparations? The festive season can be a huge drain on your financial resources. In the past I have blindly spent whilst feeling vaguely anxious the whole time and then dreaded the new year hangover. Because I never want to get like that again, I now put money into a savings account all year. When December hits I transfer it into the main account and can buy whatever we need – within our Christmas budget of course! It might seem impossible to have a frugal life when you are on a spending frenzy but it really isn’t if you are organised.

Avoiding temptation

I saved money by taking bottled water and a flask of coffee into town when I went Christmas shopping so that I didn’t get tempted into the coffee shops (where I would probably also buy a cake!). I do this most of the time – not just at Christmas. It saves a few pounds and probably also stops me putting on pounds round the belly too!

Not buying washing powder

Several months ago I purchased an Ecoegg Laundry Egg from Amazon. You use it instead of washing powder, so it is more eco-friendly. It also saves money. At around £20 for the claimed 720 washes, that is just under 3p a wash.

frugal life

I am pretty happy with the quality of the wash. However, I do currently still use fabric softener so the laundry smells nice. I haven’t found it effective on really dirty clothes, like Mr Shoestring’s work jeans, so keep a small box of powder for those. This is a good purchase for a greener, more frugal lifes I think.


frugal life

Well, acupuncture isn’t frugal in itself. It is my latest attempt to cure the relentless pain of the trapped nerve in my neck. By booking ten sessions ahead I got each session for £23 rather than £30. I think this was a really good deal. I have only had one session so far but came out feeling a little better. I need to wait until after Christmas for the next one though.

The idea of having needles stuck in your back may not appeal to everyone, but it didn’t hurt at all and was actually quite relaxing. There is quite a bit of research on the benefits of acupuncture and in some places it is also offered on the NHS. I am hopeful it may help where everything else has so far failed!

Using up the veg

I have been doing very little cooking – I just haven’t felt up to it. As a result we had a fridge full of veg that needed using. I decided that a nice easy curry was the way to go and made enough for two days, including new potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery and peas. I used a jar of sauce that was lurking in the cupboard so it was super easy and super cheap.

Normally I would have had a nice big glass of white wine with mine. I can’t drink much at the moment though as I am on too many painkillers, so I guess I am saving money on alcohol too!

Home spa

frugal life

Secret Santa gave me a Lush bath bomb. I don’t usually use these as generally take a shower rather than a bath – quicker and cheaper. However, there is nothing like a really hot, deep bath to ease an aching neck and shoulder. I lay in it for 20 minutes, listening to an excellent programme on You Tube. When I got out I moisturised all over, plucked my eyebrows and gave myself a pedicure. It was so relaxing.

The bath bomb was crazily psychedelic though! It was the luxury Lush pud – if you look on the website you can see what happens when you put it in your bath!

A home spa is a cheap way to give yourself a little treat. When you live a frugal life you appreciate these small things.

Are you managing to achieve a few things toward a frugal life in the run up to Christmas? What small, inexpensive treats do you give yourself to keep your spirits up?

As ever, I am linking up with  Cass Emma  and Becky in their Five Frugal Things linky.As ever, I am linking up with  Cass Emma  and Becky in their Five Frugal Things linky.

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10 thoughts on “Keeping up with the frugal life on the run up to Christmas

  1. Hi Jane, hi to your kitty, sweet pic! I was interested to hear how you found the eco ball. I’m going to give it a go in the New Year and keep a little powder for the really dirty laundry like you suggest.
    Sorry to hear you’re still in pain ☹️ I hope the acupuncture helps.
    We’ve stuck to our Christmas budget. We’ve still got a food shop to do tomorrow but hopefully we’ll find some low priced veg etc. Happy Christmas

  2. Tens machines have an acupuncture setting. I use mine on my back when its bad. Our local trust has an arrangement with a company whereby you can have a tens machine on loan for a few weeks to see if it works for you and if you then want to, you can buy it at a vastly reduced rate. Worth checking to see if your trust do the same. Your hospital physio dept should know.

    • I have thought about a tens machine. I used one when I went into labour with my first child but it didn’t seem to help. Is it effective for back pain? I will try anything at this point!

      • I just use a combination of things when my back is really bad: diazempam (valium) to relax the muscle spasms (dancers’ trick, they all do it, professional dancer recommended it to me and GP agreed), ibuprofen and paracetemol combination, hottie plus the TENS on acupuncture every hour for 10 mins. See if your trust is the same as ours and will let you have one on loan. Physiotherapy dept at your local hospital should be able to advise.They’re brand new, boxed up machines, I’m guessing most folks buy them and those that don’t, the machines get deep cleaned and new pads. Not wishing to be rude but they have come on a long way in the last 20 years or so LOL!

  3. Not very Christmassy, but certainly frugal – if I have veggies in the fridge that didn’t get used up for whatever reason, I cut them up and pop them in the freezer in little bags before they go off.

    My frugal “just for me” moments this month have included 2 free guided walks around the Holborn and Farringdon areas (one visiting sites connected with Bleak House (I really must re-watch the 2005 BBC dramatisation that’s been sitting in the recorded box for the past year!) and the other about a 18th century ghost!), genealogy, meditating and a peaceful moment by myself at the top of a hill watching the solstice sunset yesterday and new sunrise this morning. I also used the time before everyone else gets up to just relax.

  4. You are abs right that trying to be frugal makes you more appreciative: when I discovered half-price stollen at Lidl’s this w/end I almost thought I had died & gone to heaven… Christmas Day treat sorted!!

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