Five Frugal Things For September

Can you believe we are in the last week of September already ? no, me either but I am happy to say that we have had a fairly productive, frugal and thrifty time this month. Here are our five frugal things for this month.

adventures-in-websterlanf-11. Free books, I can often be found perusing the pages of Freegle and Freecycle on the look out for things we can make use of, things that previous owners have fallen out of love with. I took a chance on asking for what was described as a pile of pre-school books and i’m so glad I did as it turned out to be a huge box of books suitable for both the children with titles that were on my ‘to-buy’ list all in fantastic condition. There was also a little surprise of a Leap Frog write and learn toy which Daisy hasn’t put down. Daisy also brought home a free book from school from BookTrust which was nice.

img_1952 img_19512. Less waste, I really wanted to focus on waste and as Zero Waste Week falls in September I thought it was the perfect time to make a conscious decision to reduce our household waste. I’ve been cooking exactly the right portion sizes, buying the exact amount of fresh produce we need for a week and recycling as much as we possibly can. I used to be guilty of putting gallons of milk on mine and the children’s cereals then tipping it away once the cereal had been eaten, I’ve been using a lot less and it’s saved us money as we don’t need to buy milk as often as we were.

3. Budgeting, we had a lot of events and celebrations to attend this month which could have gotten quite expensive but we sat down at the beginning of September and wrote a budget which I’m delighted to say we have stuck to, sometimes we have even come in under budget which is fantastic.

4. Online Earning, although I’ve not been hammering the surveys as much as I would have liked I still earned a nice little pile of money and vouchers,  which I’ve put towards Birthday and Christmas presents meaning that we don’t have to dip into FrugalMrW’s wages which is always a bonus.

IMG_0887[1]5. Selling Stuff, after having a good old declutter we were left with a few things to sell, we donate most of our unwanted’s to a local charity shop who use the profits to support people back into work which I think is awesome. We sold a couple of things on Facebook selling pages and used the money towards a day out, I’m going to use Gumtree for the things that are yet to sell.

Have you done anything frugal this month ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you. I will be back in October to tell you what frugal things we have been up to.

Angela xx

 

Five Frugal Things For August

Regular readers will have noticed that I have somewhat diversified my blog over this past year,I experimented with with writing solely about being frugal and money saving but I missed sharing posts about our family life and although it is suggested I didn’t want to niche my blog so I decided that refocusing as a family lifestyle blog would cover all of the topics I wanted to talk about and give me the freedom to write about whatever took my fancy.

As I’m frugal at heart I still want to share with you some of the things we do or have done as a family to help us save and make money and I thought a monthly post would be perfect.

Five Frugal Things For August

  1. As British Gas customers we get free electricity on a Sunday between 9am and 5pm and we’ve  been making the most of this offer by getting as many wash loads done as well as charging everything right up, I’m not sure how much money exactly we will save but it sure does feel good knowing that I don’t have to worry about energy costs one day a week.

2. We have packed in lots of fun this Summer holidays and it’s almost all been for free, by making use of local parks, the library and a ton of our own crafts and toys we have kept costs right down.

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3. I always buy the children’s clothes throughout the year to spread the cost, I buy early for each season and also shop the sales. I have just started to buy some Autumn and Winter pieces but I’m glad I didn’t buy too much as we were given two free bags of clothes for Jake which contained everything he will need for the next few seasons ahead.

4. For me being frugal comes hand in hand with being prepared so this month I have stocked up the freezers with enough meals to last us until mid October maybe even longer, by doing this it leaves extra money in our weekly budget to cover birthdays and celebrations which we have a ton of towards the second half of the year and any household maintenance during the colder months.

5. I’ve started the process of decluttering and organising, how is this frugal you may ask, well firstly I found some more items that I could sell one of which already sold and I also found things that I thought I needed to buy, it always pays to check what you already have before buying anything.

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We have lots of plans for September and also a few different events to attend so I’m hoping to cut our costs even further to absorb the extra expenses. I will also be working hard to find new earning opportunities so I can add some extra pounds to our family pot.

I hope you enjoyed reading this frugal update, if you have any money saving tips for me then please leave me a comment I love to hear from you.

Angela xx

Frugal, Financial & Home Goals For July 2016

For the first time since I started posting our goals we didn’t meet a single one of them for June, I’m not going to dwell on it we can’t be perfect all of the time and I’m more motivated than ever to work hard towards getting back on track and smashing our frugal, financial and home goals for July.

Frugal, Financial & Home Goals (1)

The lists for this month are not very long, I thought it would be best to concentrate on just a few goals this month I’m going back to basics starting off slow as I know from experience that small changes everyday really do make all the difference.

Frugal & Financial Goals

  • Line dry as much as possible
  • Meal plan & use up stock
  • Check online earning opportunities every day
  • Free days out
  • Put £100 in Christmas savings account
  • Buy only what we need

Home Goals

  • Keep on top of clutter creep
  • Deep clean kitchen & bathroom
  • Keep up weeding & mowing in the garden

I’m going to add in two personal goals for myself this month, I had an appointment with my diabetic nurse who has advised me to try and lose 2 pounds a month so that’s what I’m aiming for.

  • Lose 2 pounds
  • Read 3 books

I’m feeling very motivated for the month ahead and I’m also feeling positive about meeting all the goals we have set for ourselves.

What are your goals for July ? leave me a comment below I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

How I’m Getting Back To Basics With Frugality

This post is a little bit of a confessional, for the past few months despite trying my hardest I just can’t get fully back on board with frugal lifestyle I’ve even considered changing my social media name from FrugalMrsW to SpendyMrsW so I thought I would tell you how I’m going to turn this around by going back to basics.

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I spent a lot of time over the weekend looking back on past posts and journal entries to see what I was doing this time last year to both save and make money and I’m feeling motivated and determined to achieve the success I’ve had previously although in a much smaller time frame as I only have six months of the year left to do it. There have of course been some really good progress this year we bought, taxed and insured a car with FrugalMrW’s matched betting winnings and we also reduced our fuel bills  but I feel that I’m letting little things slide so it’s time to climb back on that frugal horse and ride towards the sunset once again.

Here’s the plan

Meal Plan

Planning our meals is now more important than ever not only for our finances but for our health I was recently diagnosed as diabetic and have many changes to make. On a Sunday night I will sit check what we have in stock and plan every meal for the week ahead this will also include the sides to go with the meals I’m hoping sticking to a plan will help us to cut unnecessary spending.

Needs vs Wants

I’ve fallen into really bad habits lately, the spending bug has bitten me and although it’s not high priced items I’m buying the little purchases are all adding up. FrugalMrW and I have a set amount of fun money each month but we have both been guilty of going over this amount we are both aware of this and are taking steps to prevent this by questioning our needs verses our wants.

Free Entertainment

Despite the fact that we have a good amount of vouchers stashed away for free days out we have been choosing to spend our weekends shopping instead and this definitely needs to stop. I’m going to spend lots of time looking for fun and free events that we can all enjoy and when we do have a day out we are going to take plenty of food and drinks with us so no need to spend whilst we are there.

Check Daily

As you know I work from home so finding lots of different sources of income is really important for me, I have all the tools, knowledge and skills but they are no good if I’m not checking daily for opportunities. I get a little time in throughout the day to work and I spend most evenings working too but have found myself forgetting to check some of the websites I should be checking so I’m going to create a bookmark of all the sites I need to visit daily as well as setting up some google alerts.

I’m hoping that following the steps above throughout July will help me to get back on track and I’m going to revisit this list at the end of the month and see what else I can start doing to move us towards our goals rather than further away like we to have done just lately.

I know this is a wordy post but I hope it’s helped some of you who are perhaps feeling the same as me, thank you if you made it to the end. If you are feeling like me or if you have any more suggestions for me please leave me a comment below as I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

How I’ve Saved Money By Switching To Vaping by FrugalMrW

Hello it’s FrugalMrW here again and this time I am going to talk about how much money you can save by Vaping.

Over the years I have tried several times to give up smoking and failed, at one point I gave up smoking for 18 months and then one day stress got the better of me and I started again. The trouble was, I enjoyed smoking as much as I was addicted to it, when I had stopped for 18 months I missed smoking every single day and it was a battle. That was until my Brother-In-Law introduced me to vaping and I am glad to say that last November I smoked my last ever cigarette and switched to vaping.

First let me say a few things about vaping that I think are very important, I do not recommend vaping to anyone who doesn’t smoke already but I do believe that it is a safer alternative to smoking in every respect, the reasons for which I will explain a little further on in this post. I do believe that it has the potential to be a very successful method of smoking cessation.

Over recent months there have been several high profile endorsements for vaping as a safe method of smoking cessation such as the recent findings of the Royal College of Physicians stating that while vaping is possibly more harmful that other available types of NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) but that the harm is unlikely to exceed 5% of the risk of smoking actual tobacco.


The Numbers.

The reason I am writing about this is not just that I believe its one of the best ways to move away from tobacco but also that it is SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive than smoking tobacco.

Cigarettes

An average 20/day smoker pays approx £8 for 20 cigarettes, over the course of a year that’s a massive £2920 per year on cigarettes alone!

Hand rolled Cigarettes

I used to smoke a 50g pouch of hand rolling tobacco per week and pay approx £15.50 per pouch plus approx £3 per week on filter tips, rolling papers etc. So an average of £18/week translates into £936 per year!

Vaping

I consider myself to be a heavy vaper, which means that on an average week I can use up to 60ml of e liquid. Depending on the brand of e liquid and the vendor you use, e liquid can cost between £10-15 per 30ml bottle, which if I bought my liquid from a vendor then it would be costing me more than smoking.

This is the reason I mix my own e-liquids. Doing so has brought my costs down to less than £3 per week to vape, bringing my yearly costs down to about £160 which you can see is a massive saving.


Getting set up

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Admittedly getting set up to switch to vaping can seem a little expensive, but it really isn’t in the long run, you are probably looking between £30-60 for your initial set-up including the actual hardware to vape on and your first bottle of e liquid, but once you have those you really are just buying your e liquid each week, and if you make your own E-Liquid like I do that’s where the real savings are made.

Looking at what it costs to smoke real cigarettes per week, the savings made in the first week alone will pay for your initial set-up.

It is very easy to go in to a vape shop and be intimidated by all the different kinds of products on offer but my advice would be to start off small and within a budget you are comfortable with, the savings will begin to accrue within a few weeks and if its something you feel suits you then you can upgrade and grow the way you vape.


Final Word

As I said at the start of this post I DO NOT advocate vaping for anyone who is not already a smoker of tobacco and is looking for a way to move away from it. While the long term effects of vaping are not yet known, my research has shown me that the signs are consistently pointing towards vaping as a MUCH safer alternative to smoking tobacco, and it has helped me to move away from tobacco completely without any of the withdrawal symptoms and I personally feel a whole bunch of health benefits, but most of all FrugalMrsW doesn’t grumble about me smelling bad any more!

FrugalMrW

Frugal, Financial & Home Goals For June 2016

May turned out to be quite a spend heavy month for us with one thing and another but we still managed to meet a lot of our frugal and financial goal regardless, we also met all our home goals which makes me really happy.

Now we are half way through the year our thoughts turn to saving and preparing for Christmas, you might think we are crazy but we have six children between us and one grandchild so we like to spread out the cost so it’s not overwhelming, last year I had sorted all of the children by the end of July which felt amazing and I’m gearing up to work my socks off to do the same this year.

Anyway here are out goals for June and I’m determined to smash them all.

Frugal, Financial & Home Goals

Frugal & Financial Goals

  • Check survey sites & earning apps daily.
  • Check for focus group opportunities.
  • Line dry as much as possible.
  • Have a very low spend month/cut unnecessary spending.
  • No Takeaways or meals out.
  • Have free days out.
  • Put £100 in Christmas savings.

Home Goals

  • Paint Daisy’s bedroom.
  • Paint bathroom radiator & replace shower curtain.
  • Re-pot sunflowers and plants.
  • Trim hedges.
  • Clean inside windows.
  • Power wash back patio.

I’ve got lots of fun and free things planned for the June half term and we have some free tickets for local attractions and I’m determined to have a super money saving month.

What are your goals for the month ahead ? leave me a comment below I love to hear from you.

Angela xx

Money Monday – How Being Disorganised Can Cost You Money

Being disorganised isn’t just about your house being a little untidy, forgetting a birthday or missing a dentist appointment, being disorganised can cost you money as well. In this weeks Money Monday post I’m going to share with you some ways being disorganised has cost our household money and the tips we’ve implemented to stop it happening again.

how being disorganised can cost you money

  • Buying Duplicates

This can apply to so many areas of your life from buying groceries, tools, clothes or toiletries if you don’t know what you own then you will waste money buying duplicates. I’ve lost count of the times we have ended up with 3 bottles of sauce or 6 shower gels all because I didn’t check my stock before making a shopping list. I have even bought a whole new wardrobe of Summer clothes for Daisy before finding a box full of things from the previous year that I had stored away for her to grow into.

Nowadays I combat this by simply checking what we have before I go shopping for anything, it really is that simple by taking a few minutes to check you can save yourself a ton of money.

  • Check That Balance

Have you ever gone to check your bank balance and noticed that you haven’t got as much money in there as you thought you had ? being disorganised with your finances can cost you so much money, you need to know how much your household bills actually are and also check that you are not paying for anything extra you didn’t know about like a long forgotten subscription or that you’ve been charged twice for something.

I recommend you give yourself a financial check up every 6 months at least, keep a spreadsheet of your outgoings and cancel anything you are no longer using, also check your bank statement regularly for an discrepancies. You might also want to keep a spending diary if your outgoings have gotten a little disorganised so you can see where your money is going.

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  • Missing Deadlines

I profess to be a pretty organised person but I don’t want to embarrass myself by admitting how many times I have missed a deadline and it has ended up costing me money, signing up to free trials and offers is great but when you forget the deadline for cancelling and end up paying for an extra month of the product or service then it really defeats the object. I have also missed deadlines on earning opportunities when I haven’t checked what date they had to be completed by.

Nowadays if I take out a free trial I work out the date I need to cancel it by and write it down in my diary (bullet journal)  where I know I will see it in plenty of time.

To stop me missing deadlines for earning ops I keep a separate journal where I note down the date something has to be completed by, I’m also really careful now not to take too much on so I can easily meet those deadlines.

I hope this has been helpful for some of you, by taking simple preventative steps and making little changes you really can save yourself some unnecessary spending.

Have you ever wasted money through being disorganised ? leave me a comment below I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

When Being Frugal Really Pays Off

 

Since the start of this year we I have been trying to be extra frugal when it comes to how much gas and electricity we are using and when I checked our bank account last week I was in for a nice surprise in the form of a refund for being in credit with both accounts, I finally had proof that being frugal really does pay off.

2019

The good news didn’t stop there, as we are always in credit on both accounts our overall monthly payments have been reduced as well, with the cuts we have already made this year to our outgoing expenses this gives us so much more wiggle room to grow our savings and pay down our debt.

Sometimes it’s hard to see an overall result when you are doing very small things frugally everyday, I’ve felt like some of the choices we have made this year about where and how to spend our money have been leading us off the path from our goals but I’ve realised that the small changes I make everyday mean that we can make some mistakes and be a little frivolous every now and again.

Here are the things we have done so far this year that have made a huge difference

  • Only used the central heating when absolutely necessary.
  • Hung washing out to dry at every chance even in Winter.
  • Been a stickler for switching lights and plugs off when not in use.
  • Reduced washing loads by checking if clothes are really dirty.
  • Cancelled Sky TV.
  • Cancelled Netflix.

I know there is so much more we could do but for now I’m happy with the changes we have made, I don’t want to live an extremely frugal life I’m just happy to save my family some money so we can enjoy little treats and days out throughout the year and eventually be totally debt free.

What have you done this year so far to save money ? let me know if you have any hints or tips on living a more frugal lifestyle I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

 

 

Frugal, Financial & Home Goals For May 2016

Last month we did really well in meeting our financial and frugal goals, I found a few new earning opportunities and I definitely saved on our electricity bill by line drying as much as possible, we didn’t quite meet the home goals we had set for ourselves so I’m tagging a few of last months goals on to the list for May.

At the end of every month FrugalMrW and I have a meeting to discuss what we have achieved and what we want to achieve in the coming month, we take a look at our finances, talk about how we can save or make more money and also look at anything that needs doing around our home it really helps to keep us motivated to reach our long-term goals.

Writing our goals down and sharing them with you helps to keep us accountable and we hope that they inspire you to create your own goals too.

Frugal, Financial & Home

Frugal & Financial Goals

  • Check all online earning streams daily for new opportunities.
  • Apply for focus groups.
  • Cut unnecessary spending from grocery budget.
  • Stay on top of meal & veg prep.
  • Eat from our stores.
  • Put £50 in the Christmas saving account.
  • Have free local days out.
  • Pay an extra £50 off credit card debt.

Home Goals

  • Keep gardens tidy, trim hedges, mowing & sweeping leaves.
  • Sort out storage room (again).
  • Deep clean kitchen.
  • Stay on top of clutter creep.

May looks to be a busy month for us with lots of appointments and events going on so I’ve left our goals to a minimum to accommodate.

Does having goals keep your finances and home on track ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

 

Save Money On Your Shopping With Shopmium

I’m a bit late off the mark with Shopmium the new money saving shopping app, I saw a few people mention over last few weeks but with all the apps I have on my phone already I didn’t really take an interest and I feel like a bit of a wally now because it’s the easiest and best one I’ve used so far.

Shopmium has virtual coupons on the app that save you money on featured products, you can also bag yourself some great freebies, the app works in the same way as other cash back apps do, you buy the featured product scan it and upload a photo of your receipt and they reimbursed you within 2 days straight into your Paypal or bank account.

The offers available are exclusive to Shopmium so you won’t find them on any other app, there is also no minimum cash out and no fees for receiving you payment through Paypal.

I downloaded the app on Tuesday, redeemed two free offers and received the payment into my Paypal account the following day which is super speedy.

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If you download the app, register and enter my referral code which is KMFEUAMT you will get a free 100g Green & Black’s organic chocolate bar, there are lots of flavours to choose from so something for everyone. Make sure you register on the app and not the website or you won’t be able to claim the free chocolate.

If you join the app today not only can you claim the chocolate but you also get a bag of POP Chips, a HiPP Organic pouch and a bag of Nakd Nibbles as well as money off some other great products, using the app is simple and you can check if you have the right product by scanning it while you are in the store.

You can download Shopmium for free  for iPhone from the app store  or for android from Google Play  .

If you do register come back and tell me what savings you made I love to hear from you.

Angela xx

*I will get a referral fee if you use my code to register*