I do enjoy having a look back over the year to see what happened – what we got up to, our small achievements, what has changed and which blog posts got the best reception. So, without further ado, here are the ten most popular posts from Shoestring Cottage 2018!
The ten most popular posts from Shoestring Cottage 2018
On the Money
I began a new series of interviews with other bloggers who write on the subject of personal finance in some way. It has turned out to be an interesting series with a lot of common themes. 80% of the bloggers featured wish that they had started saving and investing earlier. Of course, most of us are too busy being young and foolhardy in our teens and early twenties and are full of optimism that the future will somehow sort itself out. This serie has definitely affected my views on money. I am trying to persuade my daughters to realise that sensible financial decisions made now will give them so much more freedom and flexibility later. On the Money with the wonderful Ilona from Mean Queen was my most popular post in this series. I have so much respect for this lady – she is a real inspiration to me.
A new way of cooking with an air fryer
I got a new air fryer a few months ago and was surprised at how much interest my initial post on this, Meal Planning and Using my New Air Fryer, got! I haven’t experimented with it much and mainly use it for chips and roast potatoes, although I did have a go at breaded courgettes too. My attempt at baked eggs did not go well…
Tightwad Gazette remembered
Complete Tightwad Gazette was the first book on frugality I ever read. I still refer to it regularly if I want some money saving inspiration. This review was actually written in 2017 yet remains one of my most popular posts. Even 25 years after publication people are still searching for information on this book because there is a hunger for sound advice on good, old fashioned thrift. It fits well with the current concerns of many people about the rampant over consumption of our society and the resulting environmental damage too, I believe. You can read my review here.
Prepare for a no spend January
I am about to prepare for my next no spend January. Last year’s post on this subject was extremely popular as readers struggled to make the household finances balance after the excesses of the Christmas period. I will publish a new post in the next week as no doubt many people will be looking for inspiration to save money and get back on track in 2019. A no spend January is a great way to see the new year in and start the way you mean to go on.
Eight ways frugality will ruin your life
Well, this post outlining eight ways frugality will ruin your life was a bit tongue in cheek. As a writer on thrift and frugality, I truly believe that, for most people, frugality will actually enrich and improve their lives in ways that they don’t even consider until they start. Most people just want to take control and worry less about money, but a frugal lifestyle makes you appreciate the things that really matter, like relationships, experiences and your environment. It may sound like a cliché but it’s true! Being in control of your money, spending less and buying fewer pointless items gives you more time, and no amount of dosh will buy you that.
Top 20 frugal habits to beat spending fatigue
This one came just before Christmas last year. I don’t spend much all year and soon get sick of seeing all of my hard earned cash disappearing in the run up to Christmas. This post whizzed through my top 20 ways to save money. It’s all pretty timeless and relevant.
A budget lounge revamp
We don’t do DIY very often. It’s so disruptive, time consuming and expensive! However, we didn’t spend a lot revamping our lounge and were hugely pleased with the result of our labours. New wallpaper, a lick of paint and some fancy fireplace tiles transformed the room.
In search of a simple life
It seems a lot of people are searching for a simpler, happier existence. In my post In Search of a Simple Life: How to live more and stress less, I explored how decluttering, saving time, buying less stuff and learning to appreciate life’s simple pleasures might lead to more contentment. I am not there yet, but I am on the journey.
Most popular veggie recipes
At the end of 2017 I decided to go back to a mostly vegetarian diet, for both health and moral reasons. I do eat a bit of fish still, but have cut out the meat completely. As part of my meal planning series, I have published two recipes from the Sarah Brown classic, the Vegetarian Kitchen, which have been amongst my most popular posts of 2018. Number one is Red Dragon pie, a really delicious and healthy alternative to shepherd’s pie. Number two is Layered Mushroom and Cashew Nut Roast – pretty much the best nut roast recipe I have ever come across.
This is a really good vegetarian cookbook and you can still pick it up second hand on Amazon if you keep your eyes open.
Reducing our plastic
Like many people, we are really concerned about reducing our waste – particularly our plastic waste – for the good of our beautiful planet. In 10 easy ways to reduce plastic waste and save money too, I aimed to show that frugality and living an eco-friendly existence go hand in hand. It’s really very easy to take a few simple steps to reduce your plastic rubbish, mostly involving avoiding it in the first place!
I hope you enjoyed revisiting the ten most popular posts from Shoestring Cottage from the last year. I have lots of exciting plans for money saving and eco-friendly posts in the New Year, so come back soon!
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