Five Frugal Things For January

Although my focus for this year is increasing my income I’m still a frugal girl at heart. I won’t be going hardcore frugal but I will still be implementing those little frugal wins in to my month.

In January I find I’m at my most motivated with frugality. After the excess of Christmas and the great declutter that comes afterwards I’m more than ready to scale right back.

 

  • I challenged myself to a no spend month, buying only what was essential or budgeted for. I’m happy to report I’ve stuck to it. I avoided the temptation of all the pretty new season things in the shops. My prize £250 gift card did arrive so I have treated myself a little but I’m not counting that as it didn’t come out of the budget.

 

  • After having a huge declutter I managed to sell some things and make some extra money to put in our holiday pot. I used Zeek to sell some unwanted gift vouchers and Ziffit to get rid of some books and DVD’s. I’ve also sold some little bits on the local Facebook selling pages. I have a few larger more expensive items to sell so I’m trying to figure out the best way to do it.

 

  • My eldest daughter Jess gave me a huge bag of second hand clothing for Jake. There were loads of goodies inside like pyjamas, fleeces and tops which you can never have too many of. Lots are the next size up so I will be storing them for next year.

 

  • As we have had to use the central heating a lot more than we usually do I’ve been busy trying to reduce how much electricity we use. I’ve been running around after Chris and the kids turning lights and sockets off that aren’t in use. Do you live with one of those people who think you need every light on in the house, you have my sympathies.

 

  • I have actually managed to stick to a meal plan and shopping list this month. I’ve gone for simple meals that are quick to prepare and make. This means that I haven’t been tempted to indulge in a take away.

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Five Frugal Things For December

I’ve really had to dig deep and remember what frugal things I have done this month. I always knew that December wouldn’t be the most money saving month but I had a planned for that fact.

I’m constantly having to remind myself that doing something frugal no matter how small does make a difference. I find it’s like a balancing act between knowing where to save and where to spend. Writing these posts every month has helped me to celebrate the little wins and to identify where we need to improve.

Here’s my five frugal things for December.

1. I ordered something and when it arrived it wasn’t what I expected at all. I was really disappointed with the quality and In the past I would have just put up with it. This time I packaged it back up and returned it for a refund. It’s only a small refund but every penny adds up.

2. Thanks to a good stock of meals in the freezer I have been able to miss a whole week of shopping out. We may have eaten some unusual combinations but nobody has gone hungry.

3. Chris and I sat down and planned our financial goals for 2017. It was good to look back on our successes and useful to see what our failings were in 2016. I’ve got lots of new ideas to incorporate next year. What frugal means is a very individual thing for some it’s living to the extreme and for others like myself it’s about small changes that can make a big difference.

4. With the mixture of temperatures in December there have been some days that we haven’t needed to put the heating on at all. This makes my heart very happy although anyone who visits usually remarks on how cold my house is. I say put a jumper on !

I must reassure you that the kids are never cold I like to think I’m contributing to them having a strong disposition.

5. I’ve carefully packed away the unused wrapping paper and gift bags to re-use next year. I’m not ashamed to say that I haven’t had to buy any new wrap for a few years now. I highly recommend buying the 10 metre rolls in the January sales.

Family, Frugal & Home Goals for December 2016

It’s December already and I can’t believe that this will be the last monthly goals post of the year. It’s probably been said every month but where on earth has this year gone. Sharing our goals with you has really helped to keep us on track. It’s definitely something I want to continue with in 2017.

There are lots of celebrations and events in December so we don’t worry too much about the frugal side of things.

Our focus for December is just to enjoy the festive season and not to stress too much if things don’t go to plan.Family

  • Celebrate Daisy’s 5th birthday.
  • Host a little Christmas Eve get together.
  • Carry on with family film night on Saturdays.
  • Make a Winter bucket list.
  • Enjoy Chris having some time off work.

Frugal

  • Freeze and use up all leftovers.
  • Plan a budget for 2017 (didn’t get round to it last month).
  • Use up wrapping paper from last year before buying new.
  • Organise financial files (paper & digital).

Home

  • Sort out toys (store,donate,sell).
  • Wipe down doors and frames upstairs.
  • Keep on top of daily cleaning.

It’s a nice short and achievable list for December. As a planning and organising addict you can imagine how excited I am for a brand new year. I will be back next year with a fresh new list of goals for January.

Five Frugal Things For November

November has been a bit of an odd month. It started off well and we managed to squirrel away some extra savings. Along came some unexpected expenses that almost depleted what we had saved. I also find it more challenging to be frugal this time of the year with festive temptations but as always I have tried my best.

1. After another price hike and our special discount coming to an end we contacted our broadband supplier to negotiate a better price. Much to our surprise we came away with a brilliant deal. Our bill is now lower than before the price increase. If only all service providers were as generous.

2. There have been a few birthday celebrations and instead of buying new I’ve reused gift bags and wrap. I also made sure to buy cards well in advance to avoid paying over the odds.

3. I think we are doing fairly well with keeping our energy costs low. With the sudden cold snap turning the heating on has been a necessity. Keeping ourselves and the house well insulated helps. stockings-1816094_19204. A meal plan has been formulated and we have a plan of action. Sticking to a plan will mean we can add a few ‘Christmas’ food items to our weekly shopping list. I have found buying little and often is more affordable.

5. I’m not sure if this one counts as a frugal technically. The bedroom that I won from Dreams arrived, it’s absolutely beautiful and the mattress and pillows are heavenly. We would never have been able to afford such luxury. It will last us for years as it’s such good quality. five-frugalthingsforHas November been frugal for you ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

angela

Family, Frugal & Home Goals For November 2016

October was another really busy month and despite the busyness we still managed to meet all of our goals which makes me very happy indeed. I had a little downtime at the beginning of this month so my November goals are a little late which is fine as there is still plenty of time ahead to get working on them.

My focus for November is getting the rest of the house deep cleaned in time for putting up the Christmas tree and making our home all festive and cosy for Winter.

happy-new-year

Family

  • Celebrate my 39th Birthday
  • Celebrate my biggest girls 19th Birthday
  • Have one family film night every week
  • Complete our Autumn Bucket List
  • Wrap up all the Christmas gifts.

Frugal

  • Stick to a meal plan
  • Look for free festive days out & activities
  • Plan a budget for 2017
  • Pay £50 extra towards credit card debt

Home

  • Deep clean bedrooms
  • Recycling centre & charity shop run
  • Deep clean upstairs bathroom
  • Store all garden toys for Winter

I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to our goals for November, what are your goals for this month ? do you like to have a big pre-Christmas deep clean ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

angela

Five Frugal Things For October

This months post will be a little underwhelming as I don’t feel like I’ve done anything spectacularly frugal in October it’s just been a pretty normal money saving month. I’m also posting a little earlier than usual as Daisy is odd school for half-term for the next two weeks so we will be busy having fun together.

This month has been so busy which has meant we have had a few frugal fails but that’s okay we will put those behind us and move ahead. I should start including those fails in this monthly round up so you can see that it’s pretty normal to fall off the wagon every now and again.

five-frugalthingsfor1. Although we did have to turn our heating on yesterday due to having visitors I’m still counting it as a frugal win that we lasted this far when most other people have already relented. As a rule I don’t like to put it on before November but I’m still going to limit use until then, you can read my tips for keeping warm without putting the heating on here.

2. We have been cooking up some delicious filling Autumnal dishes and saving the leftovers for the following day to stretch our pennies a bit further.

3. We sold some more things from around the house using Gumtree and cashed in the spare change tin we had been saving all year and put the money towards Christmas savings and paying extra off our credit card debt.pound-414418_19204. I have been busy making budget friendly plans for the upcoming half-term, we have paint, glue, stickers and activity sheets at the ready. We are having some friends round and plan to meet them on the park as well (weather permitting) and the rest of the time we will watch movies and do some baking.

5. My cousin and I used to go to the cinema a lot together but since the price of tickets become ridiculous we’ve not been able to go as much. Through work she managed to get us a brilliant discount and we ended paying just £5 for us both so I’m counting that as a frugal win. We watched The Girl On The Train which was absolutely fantastic and as we left I picked up some free activity sheets and posters for the kiddo’s, bonus!

What frugal wins have you had in October ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

angela

 

 

Family, Frugal & Home Goals For October 2016

September was an extremely busy month and although we met quite a lot of our goals we still had a few remaining so I’m tagging them on to October. I want to focus on deep cleaning each room one at a time now that I’ve finished decluttering and I also want to concentrate on improving our health.

Here are our goals for October.

cool-ideas-on-celebrating-your-13th-birthday-1

Family

  • Celebrate FrugalMrW’s birthday
  • Have at least two days out as a family.
  • Watch child friendly Halloween films together.
  • Celebrate Halloween.
  • Make an Autumn bucket list.
  • Finish Christmas shopping (gifts).

Frugal

  • Keep the central heating OFF (jumpers, blankets, closing doors, draught proofing).
  • Avoid unnecessary car journeys.
  • Meal plan
  • Pay £70 extra towards the credit card debt.
  • Line dry.
  • Get to cashing out point on survey sites.

Home

  • Paint bathroom radiator
  • Mow & tidy gardens.
  • Deep clean kitchen.
  • Deep clean living room.
  • Deep clean hall.

I’ve kept the lists short and manageable for October as we do have some weekends taken up with events. What are your plans for this month ? do you find it helpful to set yourself goals ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

 

Halloween On A Budget

I love a good old celebration and Halloween is no exception, I’ve mentioned before that I always celebrate little events and occasions as they make life a little more fun and of course it gives me a great opportunity to test out my budgeting skills.

The bargain shops like Poundland, B&M, Poundworld and Home Bargains are chock a block with spooky decorations, scary costumes and delicious sweet treats, I always pick up a few things as soon as the stock hits the shelves as they have a tendency to sell out fast.

img_1763These frightful wooden menu boards were only 79p each from Home Bargains, I’m going to display them in the kitchen but I’m not sure I will have many requests at tea time. I also picked up this sweet smelling Halloween candle for 69p again from Home Bargains.

This year we can get away with not buying a new costume for Daisy, she want’s to dress up as Elsa from Frozen so we are using the costume she already has in her dressing up box, I don’t think Jake would wear a costume for any length of time so I will either pick up a second hand one or use one of the cute spooky tops that came in a bundle of clothes we were given. If you are a creative type you could fashion an awesome costume yourself there are a ton of fantastic ideas on Pinterest.

Speaking of Pinterest I’ve been busy creating a board called Halloween On A Budget that I’ve been pinning lots of ideas to.

As the October half term falls in with Halloween we will be doing lots of Halloween themed crafts, a great way to find ideas to keep the kiddo’s busy is to check out some blogs you can find a ton of great crafts, recipes, activities and facts, here are a few to get you started.

Jessica from Beauties And The Bibs has this great advice ” When ever I used to plan Halloween at work . Poundland would be my go to place they have everything you need . Also I would search Pinterest for activities like unlucky dip . Where the children have to touch horrid things with a blind fold on”

Carly from Mummy and the Chunks made some Halloween decorations using Hama Beads.

Kirsty from My Two Mums shows you how to make spooky finger puppets on a budget.

Sonia from This Mummy Loves shows you how to make budget friendly hand print spiders.

Kelly from nature Mum Blog has written all about the history of pumpkin carving.

Hannah from Cupcake Mumma has some fabulous budget friendly ideas to celebrate Halloween.

Jocelyn from The Reading Residence has some ideas for funny and unusual kids costumes for Halloween.
I hope this post has given you lots of ideas for celebrating Halloween on a budget, if you have any more budget friendly ideas leave me a comment i love hearing from you.

Happy Halloween

Angela xx

Two Tiny Hands

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

 

Family, Frugal & Home Goals For September 2016

August was such a busy month we packed in lots of fun but also met lots of our goals too which makes me very happy. The Summer bucket list isn’t quite complete but we did manage to tick most of it off and we will try and complete the rest of it in the first few weeks of September before the weather turns colder.

We met lots of our frugal goals and got lots of little jobs done around the house, my focus for this month is going to be decluttering, deep cleaning and organising.

Family,Frugal & Home Goals

Family

  • Celebrate our grandsons 2nd birthday.
  • Celebrate our nieces 1st birthday.
  • Complete our bucket list.
  • Celebrate Daisy’s first day of big school.
  • Lose 4 pounds (personal goal)

Frugal

  • Menu plan & stick to a list.
  • Line dry as much as possible.
  • Finish Christmas present shopping on a budget.
  • Pay £50 extra to the credit card debt.
  • Look for new earning opportunities online.

Home

  • Deep clean oven & hob.
  • Declutter every room.
  • Paint bathroom radiator.
  • Tidy garden & put Summer toys in storage.
  • Declutter and organise paperwork.

September is a busy month with lots of celebrations and a few exciting events to attend, I’m also having my haircut (within budget of course) which is such a treat.

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

Angela xx