Saturday, 29 September 2012

Frugalling Audit

I need to take stock of where I am up to with the frugalling lifestyle. A piece of paper will get covered in coffee stains or child doodles.

Debt- paying it off from no interest sources.  Check. Nothing on Credit cards that charge interest and it will stay that way. Once 0% credit card is finished then comes the Friends and family debt to which I am making small payments.

Food - bulk buying bargains when seen - cheese under £2.00 I stock up. Do this with Approved food and yellow stickers, BOGOFS etc I keep to way under £30 a week including everything household related this way.  Savings  ie change form £30 go to xmas fund at the moment. Biggest cost is fruit for the weeny and veg. Shes a girl who likes her broccoli, carrots, cabbage and cucumber and apples and grapes and when on special offer strawberries. Garden not under control yet but now I am working four days there is time for next year.Meal plan and eek out dinners for lunch as well. Make more rice and pasta and excess sauce. meat gets eaten for tea time.  All cooked from scratch unless its a 60p Pizza which I fling left overs on. I batch cook certain meals and freeze. Eg Curry - mid week tasty Same with soup. Lots of it and freeze. All left over veg goes in a pot. Pondering a mini oven but am lacking space in the kitchen big time. I freeze bread and take it out when I need it so that it doesn't get wasted. I find naan bread bought cheaply from AP and is vacuum packed works well as a substitute with soups, sauces and you don't need rice or starchy stuff then. Both is silly!

Fuel/car - My biggie I do 48 miles per day minimum and public  transport /car sharing not an option. It is shite in Northumberland. I drive economically and only do essential work journeys.  Fill up in Asda when its cheap.
I go shopping on the way home from work. Never make a specific effort to go shopping - nothing I can't get on line so why go to the shops for a look! Yearly service and maintenance is a pain in the butt but the car is essential. I save to buy full tax not 6 months. Next car will be a no tax car! I hope and in several years time fingers crossed as that will be a big expense. Due to a car crash my insurance premium is silly so I pay monthly. No choice on that one am afraid even though its more expensive.Shopping around in for new one. It will reduce but am not holding my breath as to how much.

Utilities - Down to £50 a month for both gas and leccy. Double curtained for the winter already, extra blankets on beds, warm clothes and blankets downstairs. The heating will only be on at weekends when it is very cold. My aim is not before November! I heat the bedroom with an oil filled radiator and go to bed early with Weeny in my bed. Biggles away during the week. ;-) We share baths - Weeny and I that is lol. Other wise we shower- quickly as its cold. No water meter as madam likes her baths and every night. Its still playtime.  I have no carpet in my bedroom just skanky wooden floor boards not painted. I need to fix this as heat rises. However as I am not heating anywhere but the bedroom it can wait.

Household bills - Phone is never used and if so only at weekends when its free. Mobile used more for texts. My treat is my mobile and my social life lol FB etc and its portable. I read newspapers this way too. never need to buy a magazine again and can price check and take photos so it doubles as my camera. I make sure I use minutes but not go over and also same with  the data package and not go over. Same with home internet. BT vision is an expense but part of the deal I am on and I think it works out cheaper overall for internet package which is not unlimited and phone line etc. I prefer the net to telly and would get rid but we have the small child who likes a bit of telly and its an essential babysitter at times.

Life/House insurance - As Weeny has no one but me and Biggles - ok Aunties and Uncles but htey are older than me I pay £39 for a good policy that covers us both for accidents and illness. I fear for these type of scenarios not being the lucky sort lol Peace of mind  as the pension pot is not great. Basic contents insurance - a saving when you live in social housing and have very little that costs over £300 quid - only the telly and computers.

Clothes - all second hand for me with occasional shoes being the exception. Weeny has some new stuff like shoes. Mostly second hand or bought from sale rails in George and Primarni. Primarni fine for a lot of kids stuff as they never  wear it out.  Free cycle - got a great hoard of 5-6 adn 6-7 years old clothes. Once she is in the next size I stop buying/free cycling and start hunting for the next size up.
Shoes - Clarke's via Ebay or new trainers/sandals from George Asda. We both love hand me downs!

Beauty - am not that fussed by all the pullarva really. the hair dye is from the pound shop and is used twice yearly - I can get away with it at the moment not that much grey yet! I wash it twice a week with cheapest shampoo and conditioner. Moisturiser is from Aldi! Thanks FQ Lacura is very good! No bath bubbles as weeny whom I share my bath with has eczema. makeup lasts an eternity. I don't put on slap every day. I try to get freebies from various freebie sights as well. This does me. I use college hair salon for cheap cuts . Takes longer but same result for only £8. Weeny costs more as they don't do kids.

Household items - nothing new all charity or Freecycle or skips lol

Bootsales - first year I have not done a bootsale! We are stocking up for next year when I will get rid of some toys she has grown out of. Hopefully share with a friend who has stuff but not enough to cover the charges of selling. There are some free ones but they are pretty quiet.

Ebay - if it doesn't get sold on Ebay then its a bootsale. I have a stock to get rid off for xmas

Surveys - I only do one but save the vouchers for Xmas.  Have made about £50 this year.

Freecycle - also good for toys! Bratz Cache, new curtains, clothes etc etc

2nd hand books - We have Barter books here so we can recycle our books and get a credit note and then buy more books. its a treat and experience for Weeny. We have also used the library but its not very accessible even on Fridays.

Outings - free ones with a picnic, all travel we take a picnic and flask. Cinema - only during school hols on cheap days!

No spend days - typically all weekdays for me!

Clothes bank company.- I sell on my rags! I find that I do wear out clothes. Weeny may also ruin clothes. There is a company that will take you crap and give you a few quid for it. We do this. If its decent I try to give them away to friends kids. They also take bags, shoes, belts etc, bedding but not duvets, towels etc  over summer we made £25 quid and had a day out with it.

I do donate to charity shops as well. Have cleared out some CD's and DVDs and some oddments of toys. Most of its third hand by then lol

Leisure - we are happy with walking and camping which is cheap. You can always find cheap places to visit - standing stones and woods are free! 


  1. When you add up the sum of all your efforts, you can see how well you are doing and that you are in control of your own life and making it better for your little family. You are doing a wonderful job xxxx Froogs xxxx

  2. Thank You

    By cost cutting and being canny withthe pennies Weeny eats well and doesn't go without at all. We can afford the swimming lessons and other stuff which is important to me.


  3. Hello there - I've just found your blog - its great and I agree with Froogs, you are doing a wonderful job. I am a single parent of two little girls and I live on Orkney where I am trying to be as frugal as possible - looking for as much inspiration as I can from blogs like yours. Thank you. Amanda

  4. I was going to say 'make yourself a rag rug' (can be knitted on very big needles as well), for beside your bed, or under your feet somewhere but then came to the bit which says you sell your clothes and any other material which helps your funds. Darn! We too are hoping to not have our wood burner on until absolutely necessary. We have bean bags (long and thin neck ones) which we microwave to warm us up. That helps us to not have heating on as well. Once winter gets here, we only have the heating on for 1/2 an hour each morning to take off the chill, then light the wood burner. There again, we are lucky to have that. Sorry can't be of any more help at the moment.

  5. Looks like you have everything under control. I stopped paying for contents insurance some years ago. The money I have saved is enough to cover the cost of replacing anything stolen, not that I have anything worth stealing mind you.

  6. Thank You all.

    Orkney ! Wow and I thought I was North lol! The Northern Reaches of Scotland well thats very North!

    I was an inch away from flooding so its probably a good idea to keep the contents insurance lol My neighbours were flooded.

    I will use the Oil filled radiator to heat the bedroom up in the mornings and go without when we get in. The kitchen is warm when you cook so we will manage. Teh heater is fantastic in an enclosed space. My living room is rubbish and has an open staircase in it. Heating it with the rediator is futile and of no impact on cold!

    Wood burners are fantastic! I like the idea of making rag rugs however so may start a pile of scrap just for that purpose.


  7. Well done you. Thats a great list of achievements. They all add up don't they? I like to look at what we have achieved rather than beating yourself up about how much we have left to do.

    X x