Friday, 21 October 2016

Every Day Money Saving - Part Two

Here are some more things I do to save money.

Composting - we have had quite a few lots out of the compost bin here, and I have to say the Tomatoes which where planted using that compost in pots in the greenhouse actually produced nicer Toms.

Soap Dispensers are used for the Shampoo and Conditioner - ensuring we don't use too much.

If I can't find a really good deal on hand wash I fill the dispensers with foam bath.

The supermarket value bleach gets decanted into smaller bottles.
Laundry Liquids - always use less then stated.

Dishwasher Tablets- Once upon a time I bought the two well known branded ones but now I buy these from Home Bargains for £1.69 and they work just as well.

I heard some people only use half a tablet, so I have just experimented on the last two lots of dishes and I have to say it they came out just as clean & sparkly as usual. So now I can do 60 washes for £1.69. Brilliant.

Free samples - there are several freebie sites out there, this is just some of my samples I have collected in 12 months. Certainly worth doing.

Magazines - Well I don't buy them anymore unless they are from the Car boot sale for 20p/30p, there are also two free local magazines delivered every month, and another two free local ones which are in the Supermarket , and then there are Supermarket free magazines, when I have finished with the magazines before they are taken to the recycling, I cut out any nice images and use for card making.

I reuse gift bags, keep any ribbons etc.

The charity bags which come through the door and they never come back to collect get used in the recycling bin. Any bags from fruit and veg get used in the bathroom pedal bin. Bread bags, trays, packaging get kept for using for the freezer.

Any jars are kept for so then I can always make some preserves and chutneys out of the yellow sticker bargains I find.

We have a greenhouse and small area for growing, and managed to produce a nice little daily harvest.

I don't buy supermarket herbs, I grow my own in pots and take cuttings as well.

I have harvested seeds this year as well.

One the best ways to save is at the Supermarket.

When there is a good deal on a regular purchase I make the most of it.

Yellow sticker shopping is saving us so much.

I am using coupons, and shopping apps more and combining with the supermarket 
deals this is saving so much.

This is what I got today.
It only cost me a grand total of £2.00

Old cloths & flannels are kept for cleaning cloths.

Make up remover wipes are torn in half.

I have started using baking tray liners, which saves on parchment and foils, they only cost a few pounds each and some can last up to 1000 uses.

I start buying gifts in January in the sales, and also buy from carboots and charity shops, you can find lots of "new" items .

This years Christmas wrap was bought in January for 20p a roll.

So there are a few more ideas for anyone who is starting on their  "Frugal Living" or Money Saving journey.

I still have several more of these posts to do when I get time.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

A Shopping Spree

A shopping spree .... what's she doing having a shopping spree after the last few thrifty /frugal posts I here you say.

Well our son wanted to have a hair cut yesterday afternoon, we hardly ever go up to the town so despite being laid up on the sofa for a while before lunch, ( I have the lurgy - cough cough splutter.) I thought I would pull myself together and get out into the fresh air.

Cheltenham has the high street like any other town, but then it has the posher areas, with lovely shops and boutiques. 

So where did I go...

To good old Poundland, I always pop in when we are up there to see if there is anything I fancy, well with all this being a tightwad most of the time a girl does deserve a little treat now and then.

These were a real bargain, very pretty colours.

 You can pick up some good end of line/range cosmetics.

I found a nice Maybelline silver liquid eyeliner and two max factor eyeshadows.

Oops see the black plastic bits I wrecked it a bit on the way back home.

A few other things caught my eye.

A Jane Asher Pink Sieve and an  Icing Bag Set.

Purple Metallic Paint my favourite colour I have something in mind for that.

If any one can buy Tea Lights cheaper than this or in bulk anywhere please let me know.

After tea the men had to go to B & Q so I thought I would tag along and pop into Home Bargains which is next door.

Beautiful Butterflies for my cardmaking 59p each

This was a bargain, I am hopping they will get some different sets in.

And still on the Christmas theme a little cookie cutter 39p.

So apart from the £7 on make-up the rest of the items where useful and practical.

So a nice little shop which did not break the bank.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Welcome to my new follower Sarah.

The time had arrived...

Time to bottle up the Damson Gin & Blackberry Vodka.

A little tot or two will keep me warm whilst watching the Bake Off this evening.

Have you made any Winter Warmers?

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Everyday Money Saving - Part One

So we now live a much more simple and frugal life style. We try and cut back the cost of every day living and still maintain a decent lifestyle.

If you think saving a few pence here and there isn't going to make a difference  then think again, do you have a goal like saving for a deposit, saving for a holiday or car etc or do you have a debt you need to clear?

A few cut backs here and there can make all the difference, anything you save can go right into the savings pot.

We have all heard the saying take care of the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.

If you choose not to work long hours to bring more money in you need to look at reducing your expenditure in order to save.

Here are things we do to reduce our outgoings.

Starting with the Utilities.

Some things may not be to every ones taste or liking, and may seem a bit like desperate measures,  but that's fine, each to there own, the things we do are second nature to us now.

Hopefully the ideas and tips may help someone who is looking to save or someone starting out on the frugal journey.

We have a prepayment meter for the gas & electric, (this was already here when we moved in ) we actually prefer this, better than having a big bill land on the door mat, we can see and monitor just how much we are using. We do lots of things to save on the utilities.

Unless there is a severe dry spell we always have plenty of water for the garden we had one water butt before but have now acquired another three from Freecycle, so there is plenty of water for the vegetable and plants, and cleaning the patio, washing the car that sort of thing.

Houseplants are watered with water from the garden.

Or if I boil some eggs I use that water.

As it takes a while for the boiler to kick in here and takes a while for the  hot water to come through, when the shower is turned on a bucket is placed underneath . It is the same with the bathroom sink & kitchen sink we don't just run the water down the drain we use a plastic jug and then pour it into a bucket, also if i have for example just put some water into the sink just to wash my face I will scoop as much of the water out as I can before pulling the plug.The same with any water used for cleaning in the kitchen.

I wash certain things on a longer & higher temperature, but everyday clothes, just go on a short quick wash , which saves electric and water.

If anything is stained it gets soaked overnight in a bucket, and the water is kept after.

All this saved water gets used for flushing the toilet.

I have a tumble dryer , but it doesn't get used much, mostly for drying towels and sheets in the winter. 

Most of the time I plan the washing around the forecast, even if I can get it half dry it gets finished off on the clothes airer.

I use the slow cooker quite a lot in the winter months, they are extremely cheap to run.

I only have a three drawer freezer, so have to confess I don't really "batch cook" but If whilst cooking the tea in the oven there is a spare shelf, I will pop in some cakes, biscuits or maybe a few quiches for the freezer.

We have a small dishwasher here which gets used daily, it goes on the shortest cycle and lowest temperature 30 degrees, and it gets everything washed and dried within 20 mins.

In the Winter months we use the gas sparingly, when it gets cold it usually goes on just in the morning whilst we are getting up, and maybe in the evening, but saying that if there is a really cold snap the timer is set so that if the temperature really drops it will come on. In the day we are usually busy so don't really get that cold. 

At the moment we have only had it on about 4 times in the morning whilst we have been getting up and if it gets a bit chilly in the evening we have a throw to snuggle up with on the sofa. We have also had a new roof in the last week so the place should be warmer, it is not really a "cold" bungalow.

Everything when not being used is switched off nothing is left on standby.

We charge the mobile phones by plugging them into the computer whilst we are using it. 

We use energy efficient light bulbs.

Only the right amount of water gets put into the kettle.

Water from steaming the veg will get used for making the gravy.

There are many ways to save a few pennies, most of these things are nothing new to most of us, but if it helps someone on their frugal journey all well and good.
 I will be doing some more posts again soon about my thrifty goings on around the home.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Welcome to my new follower Tania, I can't believe I have had four new followers in 2 days, brilliant !

Well we have been warned about the "Brexit" food price rises, I have noticed several things in the last few days that have gone up not by just a couple of pence,  I have noticed some of my regular buys have gone up one by 32p and one by 35p, it is shocking.

So for all us folks on a budget or living on a small income, we need to shop smarter. 

I am doing very well with the "yellow sticker" shopping, but yellow stickers are mostly on fresh foods.

So when I spot an offer on something we regularly use I have to make the most of it.

250g jars of Marmite are on offer for £2.00 in Asda (usually £2.35) and I printed off some 40p off coupons. So with the offer and my coupons I saved 75p a jar.

So as well as "yellow sticker" shopping, I am going to concentrate more on making the most of deals which when you use a coupon makes it even better.

I don't just go out and buy something just because there is a coupon, I check out all the supermarkets and see if there are any offers.

Another thing which I am loving are shopping apps, sometimes you can get things completely free, sometimes you can claim more than once, myself, husband and son are all registered with a few companies, the favourite and the one which has the best deals is  and there are also a few others companies which are not so good which we occasionally use.

If you haven't tried them it is worth looking into it. You simply purchase the product  and then upload your receipt , and the money gets paid back to you through Paypal.

You must remember if you are claiming on more than one account, put the item through as a seperate transaction.

I spotted a new offer today.

So today I picked up these.

Usually £2.00 a pack. 

But using checkout smart, they are completely free.

So unless money is no object we all need to be more savvy shoppers.

So have you noticed any big prices rises in the supermarket ?

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Wow yesterdays post was very popular, thankyou for all your comments, it is interesting to hear your stories as well.

Also I have three new followers, so a big hello and welcome to Mr Homemaker, Julie and Knitty Nutter.

I will be doing more money saving posts in the future.

I tried to run two blogs before but I still think it will be to much, after Christmas I am thinking of starting a challenge. But it will be included on this blog.

Here is a clue...

All of the above were today's yellow sticker shop.

The next few years we want to reduce the shopping and bills even more, so I am going to set a challenge and this time stick to it. It will be tough, but I just have an image in my head and it will soon be in our reach.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Are you leading the life you want?

Welcome to my new follower Elaine.

How times have changed.

Back in the early 90's we bought a house the first one on the new estate, we had a new car every year, had numerous catalogues, credit cards and loans.

Were we happy? well yes we were in a way but not like we are now. It is good to feel relaxed and not get stressed and working just to pay the bills, we don't feel like we have to "keep up with the joneses" any more.

We sold our house  to pay off all our cards and loans and clear the mortgage. We bought an American RV and lived in it for over a year whilst looking for a cheap bit of land, but that wasn't happening for us, then we went back to renting so we didn't make any hasty decisions, which we are still doing now until our son finishes off his education. Renting is a complete waste of money but it has been "catered" for and isn't tying us up with a property to sell again in a few years.

When we find the next home hopefully that will be it, we have moved four times since we sold our house.

It will be mortgage free with the funds from our house sale and my husbands pension. When reading this it might sound like we have plenty of money stashed away, this is definitely not the case, it will be a humble abode maybe in Wales where you get a lot for your money or possibly an auction / fix me up property. Who knows.

So my husband is in his second year of retirement, me well I am 49 next month and still able to work, but after my health issues a few years back and with my husband retiring,we made a choice , I gave up my job so we could live a more simple/frugal life style.

We no longer have to work just to live.

Living simply and frugally comes naturally to us now and is a 'lifestyle' that we love.
We don't go without anything we are just very careful and stretch the money as far as we can.

So if you are not happy with your current 'lifestyle' you have to be bold and change it.

So what are the different lifestyles.

Self sufficiency - this is a big lifestyle change, there are many aspects to it .

 Growing  your own food, rearing  animals to eat, keeping bees, reducing your bills with solar power, harvesting rain water, keeping chickens, making clothes the list just goes on and on. This choice involves an awful lot of hard work, but if it's how you want to live , go for it.

Then there is Self Reliance - where you can meet some of the above needs whilst still keeping a job, this is a lot easier to fulfil than self sufficiency.

Frugal Living - which means not depriving yourself, just being careful with your money so you can afford the things you want like a holiday or a day out, cutting every day expenses by doing things like saving money on the utilities, batch cooking, yellow sticker shopping, using coupons, looking for freebies that sort of thing the list goes on and on.

Anti Consumerism -  you only pay for your needs and forget about your wants.

Simple Living - Looking for ways to simplify your life , appreciating the things you have like having a roof over your head, eating good food, taking time to stop and breathe, avoiding stress and clutter being organised. Slowing down and enjoying the moment more.

The list of life style choices is a long one I would be here all day if I mentioned them all.

I would describe our life as a combination of Frugal & Simple living.

There is life after money, you don't need money to be happy. Are you happy ? Are you leading the life you desire? Are you looking to change your life style?

If you are afraid of change be bold and just go for it, what have you got to loose.

We did and we are much happier.

We all have choices.