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Hello again, I am back to let you know what I have been up to lately to try and save some pennies - after all, in the UK we say "look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves". Well I have been at my new job (after being made redundant) for 4 months now and I have had my days reduced to 3 days a week from 5. I am not a happy bunny but as the job is pants, its forcing me to look for something else, which is good. But jobs are difficult to come by, so extra determination will be required.
I've been using my breadmaker every day and brown bagging lunches for darling husband (DH) and me. When I go out, my choice of refreshment is a bottle of water and quosh for db. We have stopped going out for the occasional beer and meal (saving us £25pw) and using our garden more to eat our meal in, as the summer is so good this year in the UK. Instead of going out with all my mates as a group twice a month, I only go once with one of them. Saves me shedloads. My friends are coming round for home made pizza next week, and someone is bring the starter, another the pudding. Seems it's more fun this way! That's what everyone tells me!
I recently broke a bench in the garden, so I flipped it over and saw it only needed a support piece of wood, easy peasy! I am going to have a go at getting that mended. I have the three screws, the shape of the wood and will try and cut this myself. I am busy painting the benches for my garden, as dh and myself like to sit and watch the wildlife. Have now lagged all my heating pipes indoors, new heating jacket on the hot water cylinder to keep hot water hot, installed the heat reflector plates behind the radiators so heat is pushed back into the room, and also installed the chimney balloon so none of the heat is lost up our chimney, as it is not in use anymore. My third watebutt is being installed by dh, and we should be self sufficient in watering the garden. These items were very kindly supplied by my local council to help make your house greener and cheaper to run.
I have two bags of old clothes waiting to go the the thrift store, but I will look through them again and see if I can reutilize them. I am thinking of rug making and possible card making. The yogurt making is going well, and cooking from scratch? I have been doing this all my life. I recently met a girl in the UK who spent nearly £1600 having her hair, nails, and beauty treatment per year. So far this year, I have spent £12 on one haircut and I do my own trims. I guess you could say that I have a low maintenance hair style!
We're coming to the end of our frozen apples, blackberries, loganberries etc. The apples came from our neighbours trees which I picked as they didn't want them, and the berries grew wild, so foraging is free. I have now found walnut and cherry trees for foraging, and cherries will be ready soon. Yippee! The sloes are looking to be a bumper crop this year so a large store of sloe gin will be waiting to be enjoyed, another foraging delight. I can't be perfect in all aspects of frugal living, I admit to ordering a new book on amazon last night although it was half price and free delivery - my one fall down, books. Yes, I belong to the library, what would I do without it, and I also get my books from charity/thrift shops, but occasionally, the smell, feel, and look of a new reading book is a crave I have to supplement.
Well time for me to close now. I could go on and on, but I will leave it till my next post. Take care, good bye and smile, cos the world smiles back at a smiler. M
By meshelle from Haverhill, Suffolk
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I used to think that frugal living centered around clipping coupons and buying items on sale. I have come to realize that frugal living is a lifestyle that can be developed by adopting specific money-saving habits. Based on my experience, practicing good organizational skills plays a significant role in the development of a frugal lifestyle. Getting and staying organized can be the foundation upon which the many other frugal living habits such as simplifying, scheduling and budgeting, can be successfully implemented.
A frugal lifestyle focuses on saving money. Disorganization can result in spending money unnecessarily. If your closets, cabinets, and drawers are stuffed and cluttered, you may find yourself buying items that you already had but had forgotten about or simply couldn't find. When items get pushed to the back of a disorganized refrigerator, they may spoil before you find them again. Food waste is not conducive to frugal living. If disorganization is a personal habit, you might find yourself missing appointments because you forgot to put them on your calendar. If fees are applied to those missed appointments, you've once again wasted money unnecessarily.
Not only does disorganization cost you financially, it can take up time that could have been spent in a more profitable or enjoyable way. You can waste a lot of time searching for keys, phones, homework and other essentials when they get lost among the clutter. You can prepare a grocery list, using weekly sale ads and coupons, much faster if your pantry and refrigerator are organized. Youll be able to see at a glance what you need. You can plan your meals according to the items you have on hand and their expiration dates. Once you experience the benefits organization provides, youll see how well it fits into your frugal lifestyle.
Organizational habits support a frugal lifestyle in many ways. As you organize your home, youll probably discover you have items taking up space that you havent used in a long time and very likely will not need in the future. Reduce your clutter by donating those items. In the future, when youre tempted to make impulsive purchases remember how many of those previous impulse buys were a waste of money and a contributor to your clutter. A simple lifestyle is complementary to a frugal lifestyle. Clearing the clutter and organizing your possessions can give you a greater sense of appreciation for simple living. It can also motivate you to be more reserved in your spending. When you focus on buying what you need instead of things you want or things that are trendy, you will find it easier to stay within a budget.
Setting up a schedule to perform home maintenance tasks such as changing furnace filters, vacuuming around and under appliances, checking for leaks under the sink and in the basement and doing a visual inspection of the exterior of your home can help prevent an expensive repair. Typically, its easier to budget in a service check on your heating and cooling system than to wait until you need a major repair. The same concept applies to repairing gutters, the roof or addressing small plumbing problems before they become big problems. Taking time to prepare a detailed budget is always a good way to save money. Seeing where your money goes and finding ways to reduce expenses is one of the most important aspects of a frugal lifestyle.
There are many benefits to adopting a frugal lifestyle. First, there are the money saving benefit which can reduce the stress that comes with trying to live paycheck to paycheck. Pairing frugality with simplicity can free up some of your time. That time can be used for personal relaxation, family activities or to participate in free or nearly free community events. Living a frugal lifestyle gives you opportunities to expand your creativity and increase your appreciation for simplicity.
I am frugal and learning every day. I budget every cent I have on pen and paper. When I spend it, I keep my receipt and log in down. I pay a little more on each bill as often as possible.