Welcome to my weekly round up from Shoestring Cottage, where I look at what we have been up to and five frugal things I have achieved.
Being frugal isn’t about being mean. It is about saving money on the small things so that we can afford the things that are important to us. We don’t live a miserable existence. Far from it! In fact, I think frugality enriches our lives in so many ways.
As I have said many times, frugality also goes hand in hand with sustainability. We are trying to tread more gently on the earth and being frugal often means being greener too.
As I write this, the winter weather is coming in here in Essex. There is a lot of snow! Hopefully it’s not settling.
I am cuddled up with the dog under a throw. The heating will no doubt go on at some point, but I try not blast it out all the time, partly to save money and also to try to keep our CO2 emissions down.
I have several layers of clothing on. This week I spotted some ladies vests in Lidl for £2.99 each so invested in a couple. In the summer I wear them as tops and in the winter as vests to stay warm.
Cosy socks are another must have when it’s this chilly. I always think if your feet feel cold the rest of you does too.
A cat or a dog on your lap is also pretty handy for keeping warm! Archie the cockerpoo, the new addition to our family, is like a little hot water bottle.
Stocking up the gift box
As I said on Instagram the other day, a gift box is something I have been keeping for years.
When I see little potential gifts on sale, or when we are given presents that we know we won’t use, they go in the gift box. Then, when we need a present for someone, we often find we already have something suitable. They are also good as stocking fillers come Christmas.
At this time of year, I often pick up suitable items in the charity shops. It seems other people like to donate their unwanted gifts. I found this Soap and Glory gift set for £2!
This idea was a godsend when my kids were small. There was always a birthday party or a raffle prize needed for a school event. We were always prepared.
Topping up the emergency stores
I mentioned a while ago that I have a good store cupboard in case Brexit were to cause any food shortages. Now the terrible corona virus situation seems to be an more imminent and frightening threat.
I don’t like scaremongering but, having seen the lock downs in some parts of Italy, I thought it would be prudent to stock up on some more tins.
I wrote a post here about the types of things to put in a stockpile. When I did my usual weekly shop in Lidl, I got a carrier bag of bits. I bought tuna, sardines, tinned veg, olives, past, rice, baked beans and gherkins. Canned and pickled veg is a must!
Buying at places like Aldi and Lidl does make stockpiling more affordable.
Pancake day bargain
Regular readers will know that I am currently on a keto diet, which means not eating carbs. However, Mr S LOVES his pancakes so we decided to make some anyway.
Whilst I was in Lidl I spotted this pancake pan for £2.99. At that price, I thought it was worth a go.
I have never had or used a special pancake before and I have to say I am very impressed. It made a really large pancake which cooked quickly and evenly. If you see any more in there, I can recommend buying one.
I had intended to make myself some keto pancakes too, but when it came to it and wasn’t hungry enough to be bothered. This diet definitely makes me eat less! I might make them for breakfast over the weekend.
Buying second hand
Since I started working from home, I have lived in casual, comfy clothes. I love it!
However, that does mean I need more of them and seem to wear them out more quickly. I decided to get a couple of pairs of second hand trousers on eBay and I love both pairs! I spent a grand total of £12 and got a pair of navy cotton trousers by Nomads – a quite expensive brand, plus some black yoga pants from M&S.
I like to buy second hand clothing pretty much all the time, for the reasons I mentioned in my post Why buying second hand clothes is good for your wallet and the planet.
So that’s the weekly round up for this time. I hope you have had a good week. Let me know what you have been doing in the comments. I always like to hear!