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As it’s my no spend January and I am avoiding spending on all but essentials, I am on a mission to waste nothing. Making best use of everything we already have is the best way to avoid more purchases!
I mentioned in last week’s frugal Friday round up that I was reading a book called The No-Spend Challenge Guide: How to Stop Spending Money Impulsively, Pay off Debt Fast, & Make Your Finances Fit Your Dreams*. I haven’t finished it yet (I’m a slow reader these days), but I spotted this brilliant quote from it.
This is exactly how I feel about doing a no spend challenge. When the rule is absolute and you have decided to spend only on essentials, it really does give your brain space to be more creative. It also reduces stress as you are taking such a big, positive step to take control of your finances.
It’s the same as cutting back on smoking. If you want to quit you need to just stop. Cutting back is too hazy and vague a goal to be successful.
With my mission to waste nothing in mind, here are this week’s five frugal things.
Saving soap to waste nothing
Regular readers will know that I prefer old-fashioned, solid soap to the liquid stuff. It’s cheaper, it means there is little or no plastic waste and there are so many lovely soaps available nowadays.
For a while now I have been saving up the small ends of bars of soap with a view to reusing them in some form. You can just dry them out, wrap them in a piece of cloth and use them to make your underwear drawer smell nice. However, I decide to make more soap!
It’s just a bit of fun really, not a huge money saver. I broke the bits up a bit, covered them with cold water and left them to soak for a few hours to soften. (I had about a US cupful of soap bits.) Then I brought the liquid to the boil and simmered it gently to melt the pieces. At this point, I wished I had chopped them up a bit as the larger pieces took ages to melt.
Once the soap was liquid, I added a tablespoon of olive oil plus a few drops of essential oil. You could add food colouring at this point, but as mine had become a nice Angel Delight shade of pink, I didn’t bother.
You can use any type of mould to pour the soap in. I decided on cupcake cases, since that is what I had to hand and I thought the mixture looked like icing! This is what they look like now, still setting, so I will leave them for several hours before I attempt to take the cases off.
I will let you know how they are to use. Has anyone else done this?
Cash back and a free £5
I know I am on a no spend month, but I promised my daughter a new mattress as a moving in present for her flat. This had already been budgeted for back in December.
As I always do, I checked for deals on Top Cash Back* and found an online mattress retailer giving 12% cash back on my purchase. That’s a really good deal!
If you don’t use cash back sites when you buy things online, you are missing a trick. If you want to sign up, you can get a £5 bonus by using my referral code here*. Be quick though as the £5 bonus offer expires at 10 am on 20th January 2020.
Another way to know what you already own and use it, is to have a good tidy and declutter. One of my goals for the year is to do a cupboard or set of drawers each week. It doesn’t take as long as you think it will and is very therapeutic.
Yesterday I pulled out all the cleaning stuff under the kitchen sink and had a clean and sort out. It hadn’t been done for ages and was minging!
I did find products that had been pushed to the back and forgotten about. Some of them aren’t very eco-friendly and not the sort of items I want to buy going forward. However, as I am on a bid to waste nothing and spend little, I have moved them to the front to use up first. Then hopefully this cupboard will get a little emptier and be easier to keep tidy in the future.
Putting money by
Last week I mentioned that I had signed up to Chip* to help me put some money on a regular basis into my holiday fund. Because my income is all over the place at the moment, being self-employed, it is a brilliant little app for me.
So far, the Chip bot has put away £35. Not a fortune, but a nice chunk towards my £300 holiday spending money goal.
If you want to sign up to Chip try to do it before 22rd January with my referral link to get yourself a free £10 welcome bonus. The code to input to get the £10 is SHOESTRING10. You can read a bit more about how it works in this post.
Free contact lens trial
I am wearing my glasses more and more, so I thought I would take Specsavers up on their offer of a free two week contact lens trial. Sometimes it’s nice not to have to wear glasses or to have them hanging on a chain around my neck!
I had an appointment yesterday and came away with my freebies. Getting them out is easy enough, but I am struggling a bit to get them in! My eyes feel a little gritty, but I am told that’s normal until I get used to them.
I have the multi-focal ones. Lord knows how they work, but they really do! I am very pleased with them, although I doubt I will wear them every day when I am working at home.
So that’s me for this week. Have you managed any frugality or, like me, are you on a bid to waste nothing?