Frugal Friday Five

Frugal Friday Five – Frugal Family Fun – 12th October 2018

Frugal Friday Five – Frugal Family Fun – 12th October 2018

This week I decided to take this weekly post back to basics and just talk about five frugal things I’ve done this week.  We have been bless to have some awesome weather this week and it has meant that we’ve really been able to enjoy the garden and stay playing out there into the evening too.  For us family time is a huge motivator for continuing our frugal ways.  It allows us to work less and spend more time together.  Therefore this week has been big for frugal family fun.

 

Getting on our bikes

As a family we love cycling.  My husband cycles to work and I’m definitely more of a recreational cyclist.  But we love it!  We have bike seats and a trailer for the kids to go in and they love coming along with us as we explore the world.  For us, bikes are an essential item.  They save money, are eco-friendly and keep us healthy.  If you haven’t got a bike, you can pick one up for cheap on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.  I recently sold one on there for a fiver so you can absolutely get yourself a bargain!

 

Art projects in the garden

On Monday I returned home from work to find that my husband had found an old cardboard box (a huge one at that) and had turned it into a canvas for our children.  The kids were plastered in paint but having the best time.  The kids were entertained by this for HOURS over SEVERAL days.  And aside from a few squirts of paint this entertainment cost us nothing.

 

A trip to the park

My eldest reminded me the other day of how easy and cheap entertaining small children can be.  I asked her what she would like to do with her afternoon.  I gave her all sorts of elaborate suggestions and all she wanted to do was go to “the roundabout park.”  Now “the roundabout park” is simply our local park.  It has a slide, some awfully heavy swings and a roundabout.  That’s about it!  However, my eldest wants to go there everyday.  So we do!  It’s completely free and the walk there is reasonable exercise.  We’ve got another park nearby too.  Sometimes we go wild and do both parks in one outing.  Wow!

 

Baking

It was my husband’s birthday at the weekend.  I decided that it would be good fun to make some cakes with the kids and that it would double up as both his birthday cake and a fun activity.  We had most of the ingredients already in the cupboard.  Those we didn’t have, I got fairly cheaply from Aldi anyway.  We spent a good half an hour mixing the cake mix and spooning it into the cases.  Once it they were baked and cooled, we made loads of mess decorating them with the help of Nanny and Grandad.  After that we had the pleasure of singing “Happy Birthday” and eating them all up.

 

Drawing on recycled paper

As a teacher, I do quite a lot of photocopying.  Now either I am a complete idiot who is destined to never fully understand how to use a photocopier or the bloody things are nearly impossible to use.  Whatever the reason, I normally end up with at least one or two unwanted versions before I figure out the right settings to make it do what I want.  Rather than bin these disasters, I bring them home for my children to draw all over.  Both my children love drawing and buying them enough paper to meet their drawing needs would require me to remortgage.  Therefore by rounding up discarded paper, not only do I save the environment a little bit, but also save myself some money.  Plus the kids are happy for a few more minutes.  Win!

 

What have you done?

You’ve heard from me but I’d love to take further inspiration from you.  Let me know what you’ve been up to.  Or, like me, you can link up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

 

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

frugal family fun

Posted by Charlotte Jessop in Frugal Friday Five, Saving Money, 0 comments
Frugal Friday Five – Frugal Food – 5th October 2018

Frugal Friday Five – Frugal Food – 5th October 2018

I love food!  This last week or so I’ve been super hungry all the time.  Not quite figured out why but some how I’ve managed to not putting on any weight so yay!  Perhaps I’m finally having a growth spurt but 20 years too late.  Whatever it is (no I’m not pregnant), it means I’ve been thinking a lot about food this week.  On top of that, it is the husband’s birthday so I’ve been trying to arrange lots of delicious meals for him.  Hence, this week’s theme is going to be “Frugal Food”, and here are all my ideas for frugal living when it comes to your meals:

 

Meal Planning

Every week I publish my meal plans and discuss my choices.  I’ve been meal planning for about 9.5 months now and it has saved us a fortune.  We used to spend £120-140 A WEEK!  This is a ridiculous amount and we have now halved this yet we still eat as well if not better than we did.  Meal planning allows you the space to be creative with your meals whilst picking the best value items and reducing food waste.

If you want to get started with meal planning then I recommend looking at my post “Meal Planning: Top Tips.”

 

Loyalty Cards

I use my Tesco Clubcard nearly as much as I use my credit and debit cards.  This is a) because I don’t buy a lot of stuff and b) because I love loyalty cards.  If a shop has a loyalty card system then sign up to it.  Many supermarkets do and they can give you many off items as well as points to spend on other things.  My feeling is that if you don’t have a loyalty card then you agreeing to pay more for stuff.  I’m not prepared to be that person!

 

Yellow Labels

You can get some absolute bargains by shopping yellow labels.  However, you can get ripped off too.  If you want to save money on your shopping then looking for reduced items with short dates is a great way to do it.  But these are my rules:

  1.  Calculate if it is actually a bargain.  A reduced branded item might work out to be more expensive than the unbranded equivalent.  If you are not sure whip your calculator out and do the maths.
  2. Make sure you are going to eat it.  Just because it is a bargain doesn’t mean you are going to eat it.  If it is going to expire before you get chance to eat it then don’t get it.  Likewise, if you don’t really like it then don’t get it.
  3. Remember that it is a form of advertising.  This is a combination of the previous two points.  The shops want you to buy these products and reducing them is the way they do this.  Don’t get sucked in.  Make sure you make an informed choice.

 

Getting more from your food

Every week to two weeks I will buy a whole chicken.  We will have a roast dinner from this, followed by chicken sandwiches for lunch the next day and possibly some sort of chicken fried rice/paella/risotto for dinner.  I will also make stock from the bones and use this in a soup rather stock cubes.  What I am trying to illustrate here is that one item can go a long way.  It doesn’t have to be chicken.  Leftover vegetables can be made into soups, broths and stocks.  Do some research and see what you can do with your leftovers.  See how many meals you can make from one item.

 

Use more veg

In season vegetables are cheap.  I bought a kilo of carrots today for 40p.  I’m going to roast them to have with our roast chicken tonight.  And there will be enough left to make soup next week and bulk up our salads.  We put as much veg into our meals as we can.  The aim of this is not only to keep us healthy but so that we aren’t spending too much on the more expensive elements of our meals, such as meat and cheese.  If you need to make a dish go round another person, buy more veg not more meat.

 

What have you done?

You’ve heard from me but I’d love to take further inspiration from you.  Let me know what you’ve been up to.  Or, like me, you can link up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

 

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

Frugal Friday Five - Frugal Food.   Whether you are looking to make budget meals, start meal planning or just want more ideas on frugal food tips then read on.  #frugalliving #frugal #mealplanning #budgetmeals

Posted by Charlotte Jessop in Frugal Friday Five, Saving Money, 1 comment
Frugal Friday Five – Money Making Apps – 28th September 2018

Frugal Friday Five – Money Making Apps – 28th September 2018

For me, making money is a big part of a frugal lifestyle.  I care about the money that comes my way and I intend to put it to good use.  I am particularly fond of making money on necessities such as food shopping, utility bills or clothes.  In some ways you could consider these money SAVING ideas, but I like to think of them as a bonus as that forces me to get the lowest price in the first place.  With that in mind, I have become keen on money making apps this week.  Both those that are fairly passive and others that require a bit more input.  Therefore, when I was looking for a theme for this week I quickly landed on “money making apps”.  Here are my five favourites:

 

Tesco Clubcard

I have had my Clubcard for years but only recently have I got the app.  For me the app is a bit of a game changer.  It makes keeping track and spending your points so much easier.  Plus, you can get many of the vouchers straight to the app and spend them from there.  Clubcard points have given us so many free days out and meals as a family.  They are so easy to earn, as you just use your card every time you shop in Tesco.  They’ve even introduced a new feature which is called “faster vouchers”.  This means that you no longer have to wait to access your points.  I love this because it means we can get the rewards much sooner.

 

Zeek

Loving the Zeek app this week.  I’ve got a Quidco payout sitting in in my Zeek account waiting to spent.  I’ve been on the look out for really good value voucher so I can get the most for my money.  The Zeek app means that I can check this quickly from my phone and buy as soon as I spot them.  Not sure this one falls under the money making apps category but it does give you some excellent savings.  Have a read of a previous post to see how Zeek works and if you are still to sign up, then you can do so here.

 

Swagbucks

I signed up to Swagbucks a long time ago but two kids, a job and a host of side hustles meant that this one was a bit neglected.  However, this week I have launched myself back into it.  This is mostly thanks to their app.  Swagbucks give you points for answering surveys, watching videos and playing games amongst other things.  These points can then be traded for gift cards (Amazon, M&S etc) or PayPal credit.  I’m yet to receive a payout but accumulating the Swagbucks (SB) is fairly easy.  And I’ll be cashing out the Amazon vouchers at the first opportunity to put towards the kids’ Christmas presents.  You can sign up here and start earning Swagbucks straight away.

 

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

We went for a rare meal out this week.  (Yes, I know that’s not very frugal of me!)  Whenever we go for a meal out I always try to get some money off or some thing for free.  On that day we fancied a burger so I loaded up my GBK app.  On that visit we had qualified for a free side.  Not much but it was enjoyed none the less.  We make sure to use apps like this on all restaurant visits possible.  They make a big difference in the long run.  Not technically making money but making milkshakes??

 

Quidco

I love Quidco!  Hence I couldn’t let this go past without mentioning it.  I’m still waiting on a £30 payout from Quidco so I am checking the app every day.  I haven’t really needed to buy anything recently but with Christmas coming I’m sure that that cashback will start rolling in soon.  If you are still to sign up, you can follow my link and get an extra £10 cashback, or check out my guide to getting started.

 

If you are looking for more ideas, I recommend you check out this article from Grainne at WannaBeDebtFree.

 

What have you done?

You’ve heard from me but I’d love to take further inspiration from you.  Let me know what you’ve been up to.  Or, like me, you can link up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

 

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

Frugal Friday Five - Money Making Apps. This week I have a roundup of all my favourite money making apps. Earning money from your phone is a great way to boost your income and get debt free. #moneymaking #moneysaving #debtfree #budget

Posted by Charlotte Jessop in Frugal Friday Five, Making Money, 3 comments
Frugal Friday Five – Go Green – 21st September 2018

Frugal Friday Five – Go Green – 21st September 2018

Once again the weather seems to be grabbing the headlines.  This time because it is windy!  This year has been quite erratic for weather.  We had lots of snow in March, then beautiful sunshine for about two months in June and July, and now it is hurricanes.  It serves to remind me that I need to push harder to live an eco-friendly life.  But achieving this whilst on a budget isn’t always the easiest.  Therefore the theme for my Frugal Friday Five this week is “Go Green”.  Here are five frugal things I’ve done this week that are also “green”:

 

Ditched the tumble dryer

I love my tumble dryer.  But it is expensive and terrible for the environment.  I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how I had changed my laundry schedule.  We are now three weeks into this schedule and it is working so well.  I’m doing less laundry yet everything is still getting washed.  Plus it is far less stressful!  The washing machine goes on once a day and overnight to get the benefit of cheaper electricity rates.  However the best bit is that I haven’t used my tumble dryer in that time!  Three weeks my tumble dryer has gone untouched and it makes me so happy.  I can’t wait to see the impact it has had on our electricity consumption.

 

Today though it is a bit rainy outside so my own clothes are still sitting in the washing machine whilst I decide what to do with them.  I’m thinking of using my hanging dryer and hanging my underwear of the living room light fitting.  And I’m also having a look at the clothes horses on Amazon.  Think I might invest in one of these:

Ditched the dishwasher too

Our dishwasher broke!  Well maybe!  It is probably just some lump of burnt food stuck in the outlet pipe but it has led to a review of our dish washing practices.  It turns out that we are lazy.  We will happily reach for a new cup rather than reusing the old one or happily use an array of utensils when cooking that far exceeds the amount of utensils that we actually need.  Because my husband and I both hate washing up we have been far more conservative about the stuff we’ve been using to ensure minimal washing up.

 

There’s some debate about whether washing up by hand uses more water than a dishwasher so I have been extra careful to use as little water as possible.  But we are definitely saving on electricity and it is so nice to not have to empty the dishwasher every day and just tidy up as we go.

 

Reusable swimming nappy

Regular readers probably know that we use cloth nappies.  I bought a load of these when my first child was born and we’ve been able to use them for both children now.  Hence we are officially saving small fortune now.  What I haven’t talked about before is the fact that we also use reusable swimming nappies.  Most people I know buy disposable swimming nappies and use a new one every time they go.  As keen swimmers, whose kids have weekly lessons and then will go occasionally at weekends too, this is an expense and a waste that I’m not prepared to make.  These little wraps will go underneath the Happy Nappy that most swimming organisations insist on and then I just shove them in the wash with the rest of the swimming stuff.  Again we have used these for both our children AND I have been selling on the outgrown ones for only £1-2 less than I paid for them.  A definite win on both the frugal and go green fronts!

 

DIY Natural Bath Smellies

This week my family has been hit with the start of term colds.  My youngest got it first and then one by one it has spread through the family.  This has made for some grumpy and tired children as well as a grumpy and tired mummy.  In these times I always remember a saying that someone told me “if your kids are grumpy, take them outside. If you’re already outside, take them inside.  If that doesn’t work, shove them in water!”  This is pretty much my philosophy on parenting.  Hence we have had a lot of baths.  To make bath time more interesting I like to add essential oils.  This not only makes bath time a sensory experience but can also help relieve some of the symptoms of my kids’ colds.  My favourites are these from Neal’s Yard.  I’ve got a small, but well chosen selection in my cupboard.  They are far cheaper that elaborate bubble baths or bath bombs and contain far less chemicals that are harmful to both my children’s skin and the environment.

 

Switched to a safety razor

I wrote a whole post about this called “Should You Switch To A Safety Razor?”  And the short answer is yes you should!  I bought one a couple of months back and I just love it.  It is the perfect ladies’razor.  I shaved on Sunday and only now am I starting to get that fluffy regrowth which from a hairy woman means that is a really close shave.  The safety razor is the perfect replacement for disposable razors that save both money and the planet.  Take a read of the post if you want to know more.

 

What have you done?

You’ve heard from me but I’d love to take further inspiration from you.  Let me know what you’ve been up to.  Or, like me, you can link up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

 

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

Frugal Friday Five - Go Green! Five frugal living and eco-friendly ideas to save money and remain environmentally conscious. #saving money #frugalliving

Posted by Charlotte Jessop in Eco-Friendly Living, Frugal Friday Five, 14 comments
Frugal Five Five – The Best Frugal Ideas So Far – 14th September

Frugal Five Five – The Best Frugal Ideas So Far – 14th September

As the title says I’ve decided to make this week’s post a bit of a roundup  from my Frugal Friday Five posts so far.  Although I think I have done many good things each week the following are, in my opinion,  the best frugal ideas I have had so far.

 

Packing a picnic – 3rd August

As I have a lovely(!) selection of dietary requirements I’m quite used to packing a picnic whenever we head off on family adventures. Today, however, it was a bit of a mad rush to get out of the door to go fruit picking with some friends. The temptation was certainly there to make the decision to go the farm cafe but I chose to make some cheese twists at the last minute. Although this added to the last minute panic I did enjoy packing up our U Konserve tins and Klean Kanteen bottles. No waste from us, thank you!

 

Packing a picnic is a go-to money saver for me!  We take picnics everywhere and this always prevents the temptation to eat out.

 

Signed up to Shoppix – 17th August

After posting on Instagram that I was completing all the surveys on the bottom of my receipts, someone asked if I had signed up to Shoppix.  I hadn’t!  But I have now.  Shoppix is an app where you upload your receipts for market research purposes and in exchange they give you points back.  Once you have enough points you can get Amazon vouchers or PayPal etc.  Yes it isn’t big money but you can do it quickly after each shop and let the points build slowly.  If you fancy it, you can sign up here and use my referral code (2T28CJN4) and we will both get an extra 200 points.

 

Since I wrote this I have received my first payout.  It took me less than a month to earn my first £5 and I now have that money sitting in my Amazon account waiting to be spent.

 

Job Spotter by Indeed – 24th August

This is another great app find.  The way it works is you take pictures of job adverts that you see in shop windows.  You snap a picture of the advert and a picture of the shop front.  Both of these are uploaded and you receive points based on various criteria.  For example, those adverts from independent shop windows will get you more points than from a chain.  These points convert into money which you can withdraw as Amazon vouchers.  There are no minimum withdrawal limits so I withdraw ASAP and add them to my Amazon account immediately.  I’ve been using this app a lot this week and am saving the vouchers for Christmas.

 

I’ve snapped a few job adverts over the last couple of weeks and have made about £4-5 in Amazon vouchers.  I’ve not been paying much attention to this one recently.  But if you live or work in big city I reckon there’s good money to be had here.

 

Ziffit – 31st August

I have spent this summer trying to sell old academic textbooks.  These were leftover from my studying days and I’ve moved them from classroom to classroom with the view that I might use them again.  Well, I’m not!  I stuck them on eBay to start with.  Some sold and I made about £40.  But these, they’ve been relisting for weeks so I decided to find a new way to move them on.  That’s when I decided to see how much they’d be worth on the Ziffit app.  You basically scan in your books, they tell you how much they will give you and then you box them up and take them to a collection point.  I did this for three books and they’ve offered me about £8.  That’s three more books that I don’t have to dust.

 

After I wrote this it took about a week for my books to be checked and payment to come through.  That money is now sitting in my savings account.  I much prefer looking at that than some old uni textbooks.

 

YouGov Surveys – 7th September

I started doing surveys with YouGov ages ago.  I did them all the time for a while but then things got busy at home so I eased off.  But recently I’ve got back into them.  The way it works is that you get points for completing a survey.  Once you get to 5000 points you get £50.  From my experience you can get between 25-200 points per survey but the average (mode to be precise) is 50 points for each one.  So it’s not a lot of money but I’m not far off my payout now so it’s getting a little exciting.  If you fancy having a go you can sign up here.

 

I’m still going strong with this one.  And I’m getting closer and closer to my pay out.  

 

What have you done?

You’ve heard from me but I’d love to take further inspiration from you.  Let me know what you’ve been up to.  Or, like me, you can link up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

 

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

 

Frugal Friday Five - My Best Frugal Ideas So Far! Take a look at my favourites from the series. #frugalliving #moneysaving

Posted by Charlotte Jessop in Frugal Friday Five, Saving Money, 21 comments
Frugal Friday Five – First Week Back – 7th September 2018

Frugal Friday Five – First Week Back – 7th September 2018

First week back at work for me this week!  For the first time since I was at university, I am part time again.  It makes me so happy to have the extra time at home with my family but when we made this choice we knew that it would leave things a little tight money wise.  However, I have repeatedly crunched the numbers and know that we can make it work.  But it does give me that extra push to be super frugal.

 

Luckily, with the return of routine and everyone busy with work and school, it gives us less time to get bored.  Boredom often leads us to start spending cash on things we don’t really need.  Therefore, this week has been a fairly cheap one naturally.  These are my frugal highlights:

 

Packed lunches

You know I’m a fan of meal planning.  You can see my latest meal plan post here.  This in itself saves us lots of money, mostly because I enjoy trying to buy all our food as cheaply as possible.  But the other great thing about a meal plan is that once you have made it you feel kind of compelled to stick to it.  This works wonderfully when it comes to packed lunches.  My husband, my eldest and I all take a packed lunch when we go to work or nursery.  It’s written in the meal plan.  I spend less than £10 a day on food and drink for my whole family and packed lunches are a big part of that.

 

KidStart app

I’ve talked about Quidco before in a previous post.  It is all about getting cashback on your purchases.  Quidco has lots of retailers on there but the one that it doesn’t have is Amazon.  I quite like Amazon!  They aren’t always the cheapest but they are so easy to use.  Plus I can earn vouchers from all sorts of places to use on their website.  But, I also like cashback.

 

This lead me on a hunt to find a cashback site that does offer cashback on Amazon purchases, and this is when I found Kidstart.  They give you Amazon cashback, however they operate a little differently to the others.  They give you cashback but pay it into your children’s savings accounts.  This system also allows friends and family to connect their accounts so that they can save for your children too.  And I think it is brilliant!  I’ll be using Amazon a lot in the run up to Christmas so I’m looking forward to that extra cash making its way back to my kids.  If you want to sign up and get Nanny and Grandad and all your mates to sign up you can do so here.

 

Wombling

OK, I’m not completely committed to this one, but I did it so I thought I would mention it.  Wombling is when you look for other people’s receipts and claim any unclaimed loyalty points from them.  Now some people will scour car parks hunting for such receipts.  I’m a bit more casual and will just look for those receipts that happen to be at the till I was using or left in my trolley.  Normally it is only a couple of points so I don’t feel too bad about it, but every now and then I feel like I’m doing something really naughty and stop.  What do you think?  Cheeky?

 

New laundry schedule

Last week I received an email from our energy company saying that they were going to increase our monthly payments by 50%!!!  Outraged, I did what I always do in these situations and did the maths.  I worked out that we were actually in credit AND we had probably gotten a bit lazy and there was definitely room for improvement.  After I’d phoned my energy company and told them to put it back to what it was, thank you very much, I went on a rampage around the home looking for solutions.  A few chargers were unplugged, the hot water schedule was reviewed and then I looked at the washing machine and tumble dryer.

 

We love our washing machine and our tumble dryer!  I wouldn’t be without either but I am completely aware of how much energy they both use.  We do a lot of washing with two kids in the house and being a generally ourdoorsy family.  But I decided we probably over do it.  So I sat down with a pen and drafted a schedule that meant one load a night.  This also means we can take advantage of cheaper energy at night (we’re on Economy 7) and then we can use the washing line to dry everything the following day.  We are about a week in and it is working really well so far.  I’m even tempted to start spacing out the loads even more.  Watch this space eh?

 

YouGov Surveys

I started doing surveys with YouGov ages ago.  I did them all the time for a while but then things got busy at home so I eased off.  But recently I’ve got back into them.  The way it works is that you get points for completing a survey.  Once you get to 5000 points you get £50.  From my experience you can get between 25-200 points per survey but the average (mode to be precise) is 50 points for each one.  So it’s not a lot of money but I’m not far off my payout now so it’s getting a little exciting.  If you fancy having a go you can sign up here.

 

What have you done?

You’ve heard from me but I’d love to take further inspiration from you.  Let me know what you’ve been up to.  Or, like me, you can link up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

 

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

After my first week back at work I've had time to review my frugal habits. Here is this week's Frugal Friday Five with ideas and tips on how to boost your budget, save money and enjoy frugal living. #frugal #saving money #lookingafteryourpennies

Posted by Charlotte Jessop in Frugal Friday Five, Saving Money, 2 comments
Frugal Friday Five – Preparing for Work – 31st August 2018

Frugal Friday Five – Preparing for Work – 31st August 2018

It has been a beautiful summer holiday!  I’ve had an amazing six weeks off and have spent lots of time with my family.  We have had plenty of days out and seen lots of friends but I think I have kept a good grip on the spending.  With the new academic year starting, I needed to start preparing for work by getting clothes and supplies.  I’ve barely worked over the last three years, what with two years of maternity leave and feeling rather sick whilst pregnant in between.  This meant that many clothes were past their best and some things were just far too big for me now.

 

Therefore I went out shopping this week for new things.  This always makes me nervous.  I don’t want to overspend but I do want to get products that are going to last me and make me look suitably professional.  All-in-all I think I did a good job and kept the spending in check.  The things I bought should do me for at least a couple of years of winters.

 

To counteract all that expenditure I need to be extra frugal this week so here’s this week’s top five:

 

Using Facebook Marketplace

I talked last week about how I had been selling things on eBay and Facebook.  (You can see that post here.)  But I need to mention Facebook Marketplace again because I love it!  I’ve never not sold something on there.  And I have sold all sorts of things.  This week I advertised a pair of winter boots that I bought last year and they didn’t fit well.  I decided that rather than keep them for another year just to collect dust in my wardrobe I should sell them.  I advertised them Wednesday evening and they were sold and collected the next morning.  This is fairly typical of my experiences with this platform.  If you haven’t used it before, you should!  Get selling!

 

Leftover lunches

Last autumn I got really into cooking double/triple portions of food and eating what was left for lunch the next day.  It seems that I had fallen out of habit of this over the summer.  Anyway the cooler weather reminded me how great it is to eat a warm meal at lunch time.  Therefore, this week we have been having leftover lunches.  You can see what we have been having on this week’s meal plan.  But honestly, it makes for very easy lunchtimes.  Particularly when you’ve got small children or you are working the next day.

 

Receipt Hog

I mentioned Shoppix a couple of weeks back (see here) and Receipt Hog is very similar.  You scan in your receipts and get “coins” for doing this.  I make a habit of scanning my receipts in as soon as I get them.  It is quick and easy and I can then forget about them.  Yesterday I was able to trade my coins for a £3 Amazon voucher!  Yes, it isn’t going to change my life.  But I basically got paid for my receipts.  I don’t know many other people who get paid for that.  I’m collecting up Amazon vouchers and intend to use them to help with my Christmas shopping.

 

Ziffit

I have spent this summer trying to sell old academic textbooks.  These were leftover from my studying days and I’ve moved them from classroom to classroom with the view that I might use them again.  Well, I’m not!  I stuck them on eBay to start with.  Some sold and I made about £40.  But these, they’ve been relisting for weeks so I decided to find a new way to move them on.  That’s when I decided to see how much they’d be worth on the Ziffit app.  You basically scan in your books, they tell you how much they will give you and then you box them up and take them to a collection point.  I did this for three books and they’ve offered me about £8.  That’s three more books that I don’t have to dust.

 

Frugal Choices

For this last one I asked my husband what frugal things I had done this week.  His response was “you didn’t go to GBK for dinner today.”  I laughed at first but then we discussed it and he is right.  Frugality is about the choices we make everyday.  Choosing the road less travelled.  We could so easily have gone out for dinner yesterday but instead we ate a beautiful meal at home in the garden.  We saved ourselves £20-30 and it wasn’t even that much of a sacrifice.  My husband was so right!  The most frugal thing I have done this week is not spend money when I most wanted too.

 

What have you done?

You’ve heard from me but I’d love to take further inspiration from you.  Let me know what you’ve been up to.  Or, like me, you can link up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

 

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

Want a snapshot of frugal living in the UK? Well this is it! Check out my tips and ideas on how you can save money, make money and become debt free with these frugal hacks. #frugalliving #savingmoney#frugalfridayfive #lookingafteryourpennies

 

Posted by Charlotte Jessop in Frugal Friday Five, Saving Money, 14 comments
Frugal Friday Five – Enjoying the Outdoors – 24th August 2018

Frugal Friday Five – Enjoying the Outdoors – 24th August 2018

After an expensive week last week,  I have settled down again this week.  Nicer weather has returned and my family and I have been enjoying some lovely time outside.  We are privileged to have a good garden.  It is not massive but it does everything we need.  We have a herb garden, fruit and vegetable patch, wendy house, sandpit, shed, patio, table and chairs, BBQ and firepit.  We get a lot from our garden.  It is the perfect place for enjoying the outdoors without spending any money.

 

When I reflected on the past week, I felt like I hadn’t been particularly frugal.  Not because I had spent loads of money, but just because we hadn’t really done anything.  So I had a REALLY good think and this is what I have come up with.  I surprise myself every week with my own frugality!

 

Using the library

Whenever I am in the city with the kids, we always take a trip to the library.  It is a little bit of quiet in an otherwise busy place and it gives the children a safe place to explore.  Every trip we return the 20 or so books we have borrowed last time and pick out new ones.  There is always a good mix of stories, board books and non-fiction.  However, this library is not our local library.  On Tuesday, when I could think of nothing else to do, I decided to take the kids to our neighbourhood library.  It was great!  I had forgotten how good it was.  We picked up a whole load more books to take home and all in all it has given us hours of entertainment.  And it cost us nothing!

 

Online selling

About 18 months ago, I Konmari’ed my life.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you need to read this book.  As a result of this I do my best to remove clutter from my house at the earliest opportunity.  This week it was more books and an old bike.  The books went on eBay and the bike went on Facebook marketplace.  A few of the books sold this week and the bike went hours after it was advertised.  Now, I’m looking around my living room wondering what else I can sell.  Unfortunately, I don’t think the husband is worth much!

 

Job Spotter by Indeed

This is another great app find.  The way it works is you take pictures of job adverts that you see in shop windows.  You snap a picture of the advert and a picture of the shop front.  Both of these are uploaded and you receive points based on various criteria.  For example, those adverts from independent shop windows will get you more points than from a chain.  These points convert into money which you can withdraw as Amazon vouchers.  There are no minimum withdrawal limits so I withdraw ASAP and add them to my Amazon account immediately.  I’ve been using this app a lot this week and am saving the vouchers for Christmas.

 

Picnic at the beach

We made another trip to the beach this week.  Last time we went to the beach it turned into an expensive day, involving chips, ice creams and cake.  I wasn’t prepared to do that again so stuck to my meal plan (you can see this here) and made a picnic.  The picnic worked out perfectly as we were all starving when we arrived and were able to tuck in straight away.  Yes, we still had to buy an ice cream, but overall the spend this time was much less.

 

Frugal DIY

At any one time I have a list of DIY jobs for my house as long as my arm.  This week, I felt the need to make some progress on this.  I have been meaning to complete the finishing touches to my daughter’s room for a few weeks or so now and decided to just get on with it.  Using some cheap fabrics from our local haberdashery shop, I covered her black Kallax boxes so that they are now in keeping with the rest of the room.  I also painted some old photo frames ready to make a photo wall.  (Check out my Instagram for pictures so far.)  All of these were cheap projects but have made a big difference.

 

What have you done?

You’ve heard from me but I’d love to take further inspiration from you.  Let me know what you’ve been up to.  Or, like me, you can link up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

 

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

 

When you are busy enjoying the outdoors, you don't need to be frugal. But I managed it anyway. Check out this wee's Frugal Friday Five. #savingmoney #frugal #lookingafteryourpennies

Posted by Charlotte Jessop in Frugal Friday Five, Saving Money, 10 comments
Frugal Friday Five – Sorting the Money – 17th August 2018

Frugal Friday Five – Sorting the Money – 17th August 2018

It’s week three for my Frugal Friday Five and at first I did not think that this was going to be a frugal week.  After dropping and breaking one of our three remaining dinner plates, I kind of snapped.  This resulted in spending spree replacing all the things that we have been “coping” with for a while.  Well I didn’t replace ALL the things but I did spend some money trying to make myself feel better, but luckily I stopped myself and reverted back to my default frugal state.  The latter part of this week turned out to be awesomely frugal.  Here’s what happened:

 

Made our own popcorn

As the weather continued to stay well, British!  I decided to look for indoor activities to entertain the kiddies this week.  These usually turn into expensive affairs involving some sort of soft play hell, but on Tuesday I remembered that our local cinema offers a toddler session for £3.  Bargain!  To make things even cheaper I dug out our popcorn kernels and made some sweet popcorn to take with us.  I completely overestimated the amount we needed and there is now enough popcorn to take to every cinema trip until my youngest goes to uni (she’s 1!).

 

Fuel voucher

Tesco gave us a voucher for 10p off each litre of fuel with our shopping delivery last week.  Usually I am terrible at remembering to use these and they sit in my purse until they expire.  This week however, the fuel light came on not far from our Tesco filling station so I got the chance to use my voucher.  I think I saved about £6.  As they say, every little helps!

 

Additional reward points

With this quarter’s Clubcard statement I received some coupons for extra Clubcard points.  Normally, I find these are for things that I bought once for a recipe that I have since decided I don’t like and I never intend to purchase those ingredients again.  This time they were for useful stuff, like cucumber.  In total I added an extra 125 Clubcard points to our statement with this week’s shop and nothing was an “off-the-list” purchase.

 

Signed up to Shoppix

After posting on Instagram that I was completing all the surveys on the bottom of my receipts, someone asked if I had signed up to Shoppix.  I hadn’t!  But I have now.  Shoppix is an app where you upload your receipts for market research purposes and in exchange they give you points back.  Once you have enough points you can get Amazon vouchers or PayPal etc.  Yes it isn’t big money but you can do it quickly after each shop and let the points build slowly.  If you fancy it, you can sign up here and use my referral code (2T28CJN4) and we will both get an extra 200 points.

 

Cancelled TV licence

This is the big one for me this week.  We pay annually and it was coming up for renewal, so I had a good long think about whether we needed it.  With some gentle nudging from my husband and with the advice from Katykicker’s post, I took the plunge and it is gone.  AND I sacked off Netflix in the process too.  That is a saving of approximately £250 this year.  I’m currently very happy with this decision.  (Although I might change my mind when the new season of The Apprentice starts.  I really don’t know why I like that programme so much.)

 

What have you done?

You’ve heard from me but I’d love to take further inspiration from you.  Let me know what you’ve been up to.  Or, like me, you can link up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

 

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

 

It's time for my Frugal Friday Five again. This week inclded a big sort out of money and we removed some big expenses from the budget. #budget #frugal #savingmoney #lookingafteryourpennies

Posted by Charlotte Jessop in Frugal Friday Five, Saving Money, 14 comments
Frugal Friday Five – And it’s raining! – 10th August 2018

Frugal Friday Five – And it’s raining! – 10th August 2018

The rain has finally caught up with us!  We have had weeks and weeks and months and months without rain here.  There was a thunderstorm a couple of weeks ago but that was short-lived.  Finally we have decent amount of rain and the grass has a slight green tint to it.  However, wet weather generally leads to an uptick in spending on my part.  In an attempt to keep the kids happy and entertained I normally start splashing the cash, but I have managed to be fairly frugal this week.  On that note, here are my Frugal Friday Five:

 

Shopping the yellow labels

I love a reduced item.  But online shopping means that you miss out on these bargains.  Therefore, I was so excited when I had to pop to Tesco the other day and get some extra milk (my parents were coming and they love tea) and saw some great bargains.  I stocked up and used them to inform my meal planning for this week.  Check out this week’s meal planning post here.

 

Cleaning the car

Before the rain set in, we were still lucky enough to have a few sunny days.  Therefore, I suggested that my husband and eldest child clean the car.  They did a great job and it came up super shiny.  All they needed was a bucket and sponge.  It doubled up as a great way to keep cool too as they had good fun splashing each other with the water.  I’ve only ever paid to have my car cleaned once and that was by a couple of kids from over the road who amazed me with the entrepreneurial spirit (they had business cards!!).

 

Bulk buying

I made a rare visit to Aldi this week whilst on the hunt for clothes pegs.  They unfortunately did not have any so I will have to continue with my rather elaborate pegging skills until the ones I ordered from eBay show up.  However, the plus side to this little visit was that I got to check out all the bargains and stock up on a few things.  We now have a lot of maple syrup and toilet roll but we should be good for a few weeks now.

 

Shopping surveys

A clear out of my purse prompted a bit of a survey binge this week.  My favourites are the Tesco surveys because you get 25 clubcard points for each one.  Given that you can triple up, this is effectively 75p for each one.  Plus you get entered into a competition to win a £1000 gift card.  This was what I did every time my youngest wanted breastfeeding for a couple of days.  Also did a few from other shops too, but those were purely for the competitions.

 

Secondhand shopping

With the arrival of the rain we realised that our youngest had outgrown her rain suit and that we should probably get her a new one.  I strongly object to overpaying for kids clothes, especially when they are little and need new ones every couple of months.  Luckily, we have an excellent nearly new shop just down the road and even better was that all the summer stock was half price.  This included a rain suit that fits my daughter perfectly.  I also treated us to an Orchard Toys game which gave me a total spend of £3.  Happy with that!

 

What have you done?

You’ve heard from me but I’d love to take further inspiration from you.  Let me know what you’ve been up to.  Or, like me, you can link up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

 

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

The rain is here and that always causes my spending to go up. Therefore, it is particularly important for me to reflect on my frugal habits, so check out this week's Frugal Friday Five. #frugal #savingmoney #budgeting #lookingafteryourpennies

Posted by Charlotte Jessop in Frugal Friday Five, Saving Money, 2 comments