So, how did my frugal October go? The clocks went back, it has got a bit cooler, the fire has been lit and I have been cosying up in the evenings under a throw.
I always have mixed emotions about moving into Autumn. There’s no doubt that long, sunny days make me feel better and more productive, but when it has stopped raining (and it has rained here in the UK a lot this month!) we have had some beautiful Autumn days full of colour.
I’m looking out onto a clear sunny morning as I type this, so it looks to be another fine Autumn day.
A frugal October
Snuggling up with a good book
I don’t get through books like I used to, but I definitely read more in the autumn and winter. My daughter passed on a book that she picked up at the charity shop or somewhere and I am really enjoying it. It’s called The Couple Next Door and it is totally gripping! I will look out for more books by this author when it is finished.
I read a lot of non-fiction, so the other book I am reading at the moment is by Darren Cockburn, who was the mindfulness workshop tutor. It is called Living a Life of Harmony: Seven Guidelines for Cultivating Peace and Kindness. Who wouldn’t want that? It is very interesting and I think I might send Donald Trump a copy for Christmas…
Neglecting the garden
I am feeling guilty about having done absolutely NOTHING in the garden. The veg patch needs clearing and digging over and the greenhouse needs clearing out and cleaning. My energy levels have been a bit on the low side plus Mr S was away for part of the month so wasn’t around to help.
But enough of the excuses. This is a job that needs doing at the weekend! I will enjoy it once I get out to do it and will bully Mr S into coming out too.
Getting prepared for Christmas
I have had some thoughts about Christmas but refuse to stress about it or spend too much money. It’s only a couple of days after all. But my kids are all adults now – it’s different if you have a younger family I think, and I know it can prove a source of financial stress. I published a post this month, Is it too late to save for Christmas? There are ways to cut back to fund Christmas, as long as you don’t think you have to remortgage to pay for it and keep things simple.
Years ago I would have done all my gift buying by now, having purchased things in the January sales and throughout the year. These days, I have much less to buy and budget all year, so can afford to take a more relaxed approach. I do have some presents already and some treats that I have been picking up for a few weeks from Lidl and Aldi, so I am getting organised.
I am hosting a boxing day dinner for all of my family, and my daughter’s vegan boyfriend will be making an appearance at some point over Christmas, so I have started planning the food.
I will do some kind of buffet, so that it’s easy to prepare and we don’t have to sit around a table. We don’t have a table big enough anyway. I have a big family and a small house! Still, it will be cosy and we will manage by bringing up some chairs from the shed and rearranging the furniture a bit .
Christmas dinner might just be me and Mr S, although the girls will be around for breakfast and tea, so I don’t think we will have time to get lonely.
Our decorations are ancient but I don’t plan on buying anything new. They will be vintage in a few years and worth a fortune :). We will be keeping the decorations fairly simple, although probably not tasteful!
So what have we done this month? I managed two free spa days, which was nice. This is because Mr S joined a health club. He is a keen swimmer and only interested in the pool really. The place he has been going to for years as a swimming member has put their prices up and up whilst allowing the pool to get a little shabby so he decided enough was enough.
I did consider joining too but I know I won’t use it enough to justify the expense. Because I am a trained yoga teacher I practice that every morning for free. It would be interesting to go to the odd class, but I can do that anyway with other yoga teachers I know and trust.
In fact, I had a lovely day learning about mindfulness and meditation through the British Wheel of Yoga this month, which I really enjoyed. I have been taking some time to do a 10-15 minute meditation practice most days since and feel better for it.
I haven’t bought much other than the essentials during October. I mentioned in my Frugal Friday round up that I had found some bargain footwear though. A pair of leather flats for £3.50, some cosy granny boots, which I think were £1 o £2 and then I was looking on Vinted and found a pair of long black M&S boots for £6 plus £4 postage. I thought this was too good a bargain to pass up, so I grabbed them. Let’s hope they fit. If not, I will just sell them on eBay – I will probably make a profit on red that price!
I have also been making an effort to find discounts on food, with some yellow sticker hunting. My local Coops are always good for these so I pop in often to see what’s in there. I mentioned this haul on my Instagram feed, which cost just over £10 instead of £25!
Lost in Instagram
Talking of Instagram, I have finally had a go at a couple of Instagram stories. I didn’t really know where to start, but my daughter persuaded me into it.
I featured a story about looking for a new car, which is something I am seriously considering. My old one still runs well but needs some work that is going to be expensive, so it’s really not worth spending the money. I have my eye on one in particular and have been checking out how much it is likely to cost to insure. Watch this space as I may soon have a new Shoestring vehicle!
I have also completed almost a whole month of frugal living tips on there. It has been fun, although I have to make sure I don’t get lost on there and spend too much time scrolling through looking at all the snapshots of other people’s lives. I thing it’s fascinating!
If you don’t yet follow me, come and take a look here for a day by day account of my frugal October.
One thing about moving towards winter, is that I start thinking about next year’s holidays. It is nice to have something to look forward to and gives us time to budget for whatever we decide to do.
We have been talking about going to Scotland for a few years, but still haven’t made it. Maybe 2020 will be the year. I spotted a photo of a place called Oban. Having looked on the internet a little more, it looks amazing and completely beautiful. I really want to visit, so will be doing a bit more research to see what our accommodation options would be and the best way to get there.
If anyone knows the area, please let me have your thoughts in the comments.
So that’s just about it for my frugal October. Is anyone else planning ahead for Christmas or holidays next year?
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