Top 20 frugal habits to beat spending fatigue

Does anyone else get spending fatigue at this time of the year? I put money aside all year for Christmas, so I am not worried about going into debt to fund the festivities, food and presents. However, I stick to my frugal habits the rest of the year and spend as little as possible. Dusting off the purse and spending lavishly doesn’t come naturally!

Forward planning

So I am already thinking ahead to 2018 and getting back to my usual careful, frugal habits and lifestyle. We will be commencing (finally) the redecoration of the lounge in the New Year, so will need to focus our spending on that.

Post Christmas sales

I may take advantage of some post-Christmas sales to purchase cards and wrapping paper for next year, and hopefully some soft furnishings for the lounge project. After that I will be starting a no spend month for the whole of January.

I did this last year and found creating a no spend rule for the month was incredibly liberating. Friends asking me to the pub? Sorry, I am on a no spend month – perfect excuse! Shoes wearing out? I have other shoes; I will just wear some of the ones I don’t like so much.

Saving money where you can

During a no spend month, we do, of course, have to pay our bills and purchase food. However, with the latter particularly, creating a no spend ethos means you automatically save money wherever you can.

I will clear out the cupboards, fridge and freezer and start to use up some of those ingredients that sit unused at the back. It makes me more creative and adventurous in my menu planning!

Top frugal habits

A no spend month will help to boost our emergency fund and go into the New Year feeling financially more healthy. It also allows me to remember some of my top frugal habits and make sure I am practising what I preach.

My top 20 frugal habits for life are:

Make a monthly budget and stick to it.

Review your bills at least quarterly and shop around.

Pack a lunch for work or school.

Menu plan.

Make a shopping list.

Buy groceries from the discount supermarkets and look out for yellow stickered bargains.

Repair and maintain items rather than rushing to replace them.

Buy second hand whenever you can.

Where you can’t buy second hand, use cash back sites such as Top Cashback. (This is my referral code. If you sign up using it I will earn a fee and you will get a £5 voucher until 27th December).  You can also try Quidco. (Again, this is my referral code and if you use it we will both earn £5).

Sell your old stuff on eBay or on

Use Approved Food every now and again to buy staples (my affiliate link). They currently have a tin of Christmas chocolates for £1!

Cook from scratch as much as possible and batch cook soups and stews.

Freeze left overs.

Grow some of your fruit and vegetables in the garden.

Avoid takeaways.

Rather than eating out, cook a nice meal for friends at home.

Pack a flask and picnic for days out.

Drink water rather than fizzy stuff, tea or coffee (particularly when out and about).

Take frugal exercise: gardening, walking and running are free.

Cut your TV package to the minimum.

I will revisit these in more detail in the New Year. In the meantime, just typing this list makes me feel better! I can’t kick my frugal habits.

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7 thoughts on “Top 20 frugal habits to beat spending fatigue

  1. All sound advice as ever, Jane. My advice is simply don’t go near shops or even internet shopping unless you actually need something. Also, just going out to the shops for one or two things often results in coming back with a car load of things you never intended buying, so be shopping-aware.
    We haven’t had a takeaway in donkey’s years. The idea of the takeaway has always been better than the reality. We used to have the occasional Chinese takeaway but we were never really happy with them; indeed, having egg and bacon at home would’ve been far less expensive and possibly even better for our health, especially if we grilled the bacon and poached the egg. And coffee whilst we are out is often Waitrose’s free coffee, available to My Waitrose card holders.
    We only buy things in Sales if they are necessary; even Sales’ items are items which cost money, regardless of how inexpensive they are; if we don’t need them, that isn’t money saved, it’s money spent.
    Best of luck, Jane, for a frugal January!
    Margaret P

  2. Hi Jane

    All sound tips and advice that I too do. I’ve not had a takeaway for a while (but only because takeaway has been closed for a long time and the nearest one is some distance away). I have however purchased a second hand copy of The Takeaway Secret …It is basically a book that tells you how to get the same taste of takeaways but at home. I can’t rate the fried rice enough. I’d tried my own version of how I thought it would be, a few years ago and it was dreadful. Now I have the equivalent of a takeaway, at the cost of pence instead of pounds. I even do my own char sui now and my hubby prefers this than the shop.

    I may give a no spend month a go. I do have a few birthdays in Jan and Feb but other than that, this is something I may do.

    Seasons greetings to you and years. X

  3. great advice as usual, Jane. I have had a self-inflicted “buy very little of anything” and “watch the pennies” year, due to a lifestyle choice for this year of cutting back on work, thereby having less funds. But, it is a far nicer way to live when one is more self-sufficient, and going easy on the purse. I like the way that you have researched, so much, how ways of being a shoestring jane. Congratulations!

  4. I tried a no-spend month in January this year after seeing you write about it. I think I found not going to the pub to socialise the hardest thing, but I managed it! I love all the other tips too- I definitely practice a lot of those. Thank you!

    • Oddly, the pub is something I found easy to give up, but then I’m an old fogey. I also resent paying £5 for a glass of wine when I can buy it by the bottle for that price!

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