Is your bank account is looking a little empty post Christmas? If you have maxed your credit cards or used all of your savings over the festive period, January can be a good month to cut your spending and get your finances back on track. I asked my Facebook group for the frugal resources they most recommend to help you live a more thrifty lifestyle, and here are some of their suggestions, along with some of my own.
For some people, the idea of frugal living conjures up images of a miserable life of rice and beans, or of poverty and doing without. For me, it means being super creative to make the best use of what you have, living more simply and finding happiness in moments rather than things.
There really are some brilliant frugal resources to inspire and guide you if you want to jump off the consumer treadmill and do things differently. From books, to blogs, You Tube Channels to Instagram accounts, it is easy to find ideas and inspiration when you need them most.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
10 frugal resources to inspire you
As well as her brilliant blog, Ilona pops up on You Tube from time to time. I have been following her frugal journey, which allows her to live a great life on a pension, for many years. She was also recommended by Natasha Jayne and Ross Pilcher on my Facebook group.
She appeared on Channel 4’s Shed of the Year, winning the budget shed category for her home made summer house. It was created almost entirely from discarded materials and looks fabulous.
Frugal living has enabled her to pay off £30k’s worth of debt, which is indisputably good going so worth checking out.
Lesley’s focus is food, giving lots of ideas about how you can feed yourself for £1 a day. If you want to eat healthily and cheaply, she has both a blog and a very active Facebook Group.
There are so many ideas for budget meals on Lesley’s blog, including her ‘rubber chicken’ feature, where she shows how to stretch one medium sized chicken to make 28 portions of food!
A new one to me, suggested my Chris Schollar on my Facebook group, is Fairyland Cottage on You Tube. I am a convert!
Fairyland Cottage features a lady with a beautiful, soft Irish voice. She aims to live a simple and sustainable life and watching her makes you feel that you too could become an earth mother, wafting around your rural idyll.
Although she doesn’t bill herself as a frugal vlogger, this way of living is all about frugality and living on less. You can also find Fairyland Cottage on Instagram.
You get a lot of people on You Tube telling you how to save money, but few are so authentic as Frugal Jo. She and her family live on a very small income, so her frugality is a necessity rather than a hobby.
They are super frugal anyway by most people’s standards, but are embarking on a year of extreme frugality in 2021, in order to save for a house deposit. She offers loads of inspiration and advice, from growing your own to budget food and DIY. This one deserves to be on my list of the best frugal resources.
Frugal Jo herself recommends the Old Style Money Saving forum on the MSE website, as does Elaine Bell from my Facebook group. I used to peruse this constantly when I first became a single mum many years ago (before I met Mr Shoestring).
Most of the categories on the MSE forum are worth reading, especially if you want recommendations. The only thing that puts me off some of them is the sheer size of the community. It’s hard to get to know people as there are so many posting (and there are occasional squabbles). But it is full of useful advice to the wannabe money saver.
A couple of members of my Facebook group recommended Rhonda Herzel’s blog, Down to Earth. Debbie Burnham McDonnell and Susan English both love the blog and accompanying books. Debbie says ‘There’s a wealth of wisdom in the years of posts at Down to Earth. Her books are brilliant too.’
She seems to have written three books of advice on living more simply and frugally. Down to Earth: A Guide to Simple Living*, The Simple Home: A Month-By-Month Guide to Self-Reliance, Productivity and Contentment* and The Simple Life: Penguin Special*.
The Tightwad Gazette*
One book that I return to again and again is the classic Complete Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle. Even though it is from the 1990s, the wisdom within its pages still stands true today. I can’t recommend this enough as one of my top frugal resources.
I wrote a review of this wonderful book here.
Another book that I read last year was Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living*. I had been following the blog for a while anyway, before this super thrifty couple made their escape from the corporate world and bought a homestead in the woods. They achieved financial independence in their early 30’s, which is some achievement.
This is one of the best frugal resources for people who are interested in the FIRE movement.
I was a huge fan of Frugal Queen on her original blog but, I’m not going to lie, I was really put out when she just deleted it and all its content with no explanation. But, she is back, now living in France, and was mentioned by Margaret Thompson, Lynne Bishop and Natasha Jayne from my Facebook group as one of the frugal resources they enjoy.
I shall look forward to catching up with her again – she was always an inspiration.
Which frugal resources do you keep returning to when you need ideas for saving money? Please share in the comments below, or come and join the chat on my Facebook group, My Second Hand Life.
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