My Frugal Life: Frugal in England

I live in England. I am classified as disabled and so have a very limited income. I hate wasting money unnecessarily. I never pay the right price and always shop in the sales. I also buy clothing from eBay, looking for new garments with a good label and low price. The same with shoes. My Frugal Life

I am a hoarder and cannot throw anything away. I save the envelopes that come with junk mail and keep them in my hand bag - if I see a ripe seed pod on my travels I will pick it, put it in the envelope and make a few notes on the outside. I grow a lot of plants from seeds. I reuse old milk jugs - the bottom half as a pot and the top handle half cuts up and makes good plant labels. I buy lots of food that is reduced for a quick sale and stock the freezer up cheaply. I reuse jam jars and wine bottles as I make wines, jams, chutneys and pickles. I take cuttings of plants and so propagate new plants for free.

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I knit almost anything and everything and crochet afghan shawls. There was a wool (yarn) shop that closed down - they sold all the yarn off for next to nothing and I bought about 400 balls of yarn which are in the loft and I am working my way through them. I look up Magazine websites online and they usually have a few competitions to enter - I have won several things too and they are always free to enter. I cut out money off vouchers and coupons and use store reward cards. As I am classified disabled I am lucky that many places offer concessions for disabled people. I have sourced the best deals for the phone and internet provider. I do not have ANY credit cards. If I cannot afford it, I cannot have it! If I can I will contact a manufacturer and try to buy items direct from source - even after postage costs you usually save lots of money. I buy whatever newspaper has the best free gift that day.

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I am not frugal due to meanness but due to necessity. If the TV or washing machine breaks, it gets mended rather than replaced. I make compost from kitchen waste, garden waste etc. This I put back onto the soil where I grow fruit vegetables and herbs. I recycle bathwater to water the garden with. I invested in a gadget called a DROUGHT BUSTER (eBay) that siphons off your waste water. If I see something collectible in a charity (thrift) shop I buy it and sell it on eBay. Sometimes you make a good profit. If I have a good success rate with a batch of seeds and manage to rear a lot of plant. I put up a board at my front gate and sell them.

I do look on websites like Thriftyfun as you find some really good ideas and can share them with other likeminded people. I bought my Christmas tree four years ago. It was closing time at the supermarket on Christmas Eve and the tree was reduced to 2.38 (normally they are about 25-30) and it was a potted one. So each year I give it a slightly bigger pot and it stays in the garden till Christmas time when I bring it in and decorate it. In that four years it has grown by about 2 feet. I buy my Christmas decorations after Christmas when the shops sell the leftover for next to nothing. I am happy with cheap and cheerful and I like homemade and improvised.

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Borasic Lint from England, UK

Do you have a frugal story to share with the ThriftyFun community? Submit your essay here: http://www.thriftyfun.com/post_myfrugallife.ldml

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January 4, 20080 found this helpful

I LOVE your story. I am not as frugal as you, but I too hate Waste! I sew & craft & reuse Many things others will toss! I wonder if you & I can chat?? I am on yahoo & just registered here on Thrifty fun. God Bless you. You are clever!

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January 4, 20080 found this helpful

Dear Borasic Lint,

You sound so much like me that I wonder we are half a world apart. I am also thrifty, disabled, and always picking up freebies and cheapies. Our tree is artificial, since we had trouble keeping a potted tree alive. My parents are descended from ancestors in Nottinghamshire: some aunts traced our family line back to the 14th century. I tell people Robin Hood is in my family line -- a flagrant lie but it makes me happy. We recently were able to acquire a copy of the first season of "Robin of Sherwood." Certainly the strangest version I have ever seen. If you would like to correspond, get back to me! Thank you for a lovely "frugall life" report! -- Coreen

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January 4, 20080 found this helpful

You go girl. I pick up freebies everywhere; thrift stores and garage sales are my places to shop.I am a large woman I don't get many clothes thriftily.

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January 4, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you for your story, and your Xmas tree looks just beautiful.

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January 4, 20080 found this helpful

Dear Borasic Lint,

I am in Florida USA, I am not as frugal as you are but I try. I am also trying to teach my grandchildren who live in an electronic throw away world that frugal is not only sensible but it can be fun. The best part of your article was the picture of your tree and the library that I saw with it. I am addicted to books, cookbooks especially but anything will do. Anyway i loved your article, you are a good writer and I will be looking for more articles from you in the future

Karen from florida.

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January 4, 20080 found this helpful

Omg I had no idea you could keep a Christmas tree potted and continue to use it! That's ingenious! Is there a special variety of tree you need to have to keep it potted indoors and outdoors?

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January 4, 20080 found this helpful

I also really enjoyed reading your story Lisa. Paul (hubby) and myself are also hoarders and find these bits and pieces extremely useful over the years. I am often horrified at what some people throw out. I actually love recycling and finding a bargain at op shops or garage sales. That was a fantastic buy from the wool shop. Thanks for sharing Lisa bec it keeps me motivated to keep up the frugal and thrifty way of life.

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January 4, 20080 found this helpful

Hi, Borasic Lint:

I loved reading about how you live. I too enjoy saving, reusing, using what money I have for things I can't get any other way. I'm so glad there are so many of us!

Please keep telling us about how you lead your Frugal Life. I wish we lived closer -- I know you'd make a great friend!

Nancy in Florida

(I'm curious about your name -- will you tell us how you came up with it and what it means to you?)

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January 4, 20080 found this helpful

You are so resourceful and upbeat. I truly enjoyed reading about how well you manage your life. Super good ideas and what a green thumb you must have. The photo is great. l. Thank you for posting.

Cheap and Cheerful in Alaska,

Kelly

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January 5, 20080 found this helpful

Borasic Lint, you are a very good writer and a smart, resourceful person. You say you are "classified disabled" - I think you're doing a great job of dealing with your inconvenience.

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January 5, 20080 found this helpful

I've heard about DROUGHT BUSTERs before, but didn't know what they were called. I tried to find one on ebay, but it came up zero. Could you help me find a place that has a picture of one -- I'd love to see one before I buy it. I too purposely wash dishes by hand just to save the water for my garden and houseplants. This would help me a lot with saving bathwater (yes, I'm disabled too). THANKS!

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January 5, 20080 found this helpful

Hey B welcome! I too am very thrifty I am called the trashy diva or the thrift queen by my family. We have an old farmhouse. I have collected and decorated with many antiques all free either curbside or from the thrift shop mainly thrift. We do garage sales and we do dollar stores a lot. I don't buy anything full price ever! It isn't even because we have to. I like to because a while back I was a stay home mom for 8 yrs and learned when we were struggling back then it was easier to get nice things and do it frugally! Now it is financially easier for us but ya know old habits, can't break them. I call it treasure hunting both my kids bedroom sets have antique dressers and bed headboards etc from garbage. I just repainted and distressed added glass knobs to daughter and sports knobs to sons. I got my shabby chic couch from thrift like new for 24 dollars and my dining room table was free. Do you have freecycle in the uk? We get a lot of great stuff there! I would love to correspond with you anytime here's my email KimmyLynn2u2 AT aol.com

KIM

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January 5, 20080 found this helpful

Is your name really Borasic Lint? Sorry, names just fascinate me and I've seen yours on here a number of times and I'm just dying of curiousity.

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January 5, 20080 found this helpful

Hello from North America! I read your wonderful post & thought "There's one of those rare gems, A person who values life & people above "Things". I've been collecting wool yarn too! I buy it at second-hand stores. I've recently started working on a wool rug, made with my wool yarn. As you already know, a wool rug will last for 100 years or more. So it'll be there long after we are gone! I have many web sites I'd like to share with you about Rug Making with Wool Yarn if you're interested, just drop me a note here on ThriftyFun.

---> Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story!

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January 6, 20080 found this helpful

Nice one, Borasic. Best of luck to you.

Clever name. It looks like many of your readers don't know cockney rhyming slang: borasic lint = skint (broke)

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January 6, 20080 found this helpful

I am age 75 and am a fixed income. Believe me they fixed it good. I get things that are repairable repaired. A couple of weeks ago my dish washer went out. I called out a repairman in the neighborhood. His estimate was $250. He asked if I wanted to spent thay much. $250 compared to the cost of a new dish washer? Your kidding rigjht? I had it repaired working great.

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January 8, 20080 found this helpful

My kind of person! I live similarly, except haven't sold on ebay yet. We just did all those things when I grew up, making things out of things around the house. If I'd asked my parents to go to the store for something to buy, in order to have something to do, they just would have said, look around the house. And almost always you could find something to do, if you used your imagination. Now, it's for necessity..and to add to the variety in life. Rarely bored. in which case I'll usually cook something for family to nibble, or start a knitting project.

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January 8, 20080 found this helpful

I really enjoyed reading your ideas. I especially like the "happy and cheap" line because that is me! God bless you

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January 8, 20080 found this helpful

All of my family thinks I am weird because I try to be very frugal. I have been saving our dish water for the yard and plants. I, too, am disabled and get hubby or visiting grandsons to carry it out to the plants in the greenhouse for me. (I got a tomato from the greenhouse this week!) Thank you for your ideas. I'm learning to knit in my old age and the wool rug sounds marvelous!!! Blessings all.

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January 10, 20080 found this helpful

Hi

I'm also in England and am aghast at the waste I see all around plus the fact that so many folk never look at the prices of items in shops - they just throw them in their baskets without looking! I have to check all items in order to try and cut costs and am always trying to improvise or buy from charity shops when we need something which isn't food. I knit my husband's socks and darn them when they get small holes in them - not many people do that now! I'd like to correspond with you if that is possible?

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November 14, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Borasic Lint,

I enjoyed your story very much & I really admire your determination. My maiden name was Lint. It is a very uncommon name in the USA. My family is from PA. You are the first Lint I have ever been in touch with. Keep up the great work.

Sandy (Lint) W.

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