I’ve stopped living the American/English dream! You read that right! No longer am I content to work long, hard hours every day, go home exhausted, frustrated and burnt out, only to do it again the next day!
I’ve finally convinced myself that this is not what quality life should be about and so I am living as frugally as possible. This does mean cutting back on stuff. And you know what, I had too much stuff! I enjoy living this way and this has now become a lifestyle. I will share with you 5 frugal things I did this week, in the hope that it will inspire you to adopt a more frugal lifestyle too.
Mini Meal Planning
I planned out all the meals I could make with the food I already had in the fridge and cupboards for this week. It was quite easy really. All I needed to do was to make one breakfast and one dinner that would last for 2 days. If I didn’t think about it, I would have bought more groceries and then eventually some of the food would have gone off, forcing me to bin them. Here’s a gist of what my mini planning looked like:
- Sunday-Monday: Oatmeal porridge with chia seeds and dried fruits
- Tuesday-Wednesday: Boiled eggs, tomato slices and toast
- Thursday-Friday: Cereal, chia and flax seeds with Almond milk
- Saturday- Omelette
- Monday-Tuesday: Chicken (leftover) and veg stir fry
- Wednesday-Thursday: Vegetable soup with toast
- Friday-Saturday: Steamed Fish with quinoa and mixed vegetable salad
- Sunday: Baked chicken, oven cooked spicy potatoes and coleslaw
Have you noticed anything with my mini meal planning? I don’t cook every day so that does save on fuel. Also, when I use the oven, I make sure to use it for more than one item, rather than using the oven and the hob to make one meal. Also, If I have leftover chicken from one meal, it is properly cooled down and chilled in the refrigerator for another meal. Freezing foods like soup is also a Godsend for me, especially in the cold wintry days.
Bring out the Winter Clothes!
No, I don’t mean to go shopping for new clothes. In fact, did you read my no clothes post?
What I mean is that I carefully wash and put away all the summer clothes, and unpack my winter stuff for use now. No, I don’t have any ancient clothes and as far as I see so far, what was being worn last winter, are still quite in vogue now. Do you blame me for not throwing out my last year’s winter stuff? My boots are still looking good, I have enough varieties of scarves, and the tops will do just fine under any of my coats.
In my former life, I would have chucked most things and gone shopping for brand new clothes! I don’t miss that lifestyle at all! In fact, I think it is quite wasteful (the landfill sites are bursting) and pretentious!
Close the Blinds!
I figured out that as it was getting really cold here, and the days are dark anyway, it would make sense to close the blinds at the back of the house. This is in an attempt to save energy and keep the cold out. I find that the rooms stay warmer than if the blinds were left open. I am making a definite attempt this year to save on electricity and gas. I have definitely begun to see an impact. I was given £55 back by my energy suppliers NPower. It’s a good feeling to actually get money back for cutting down on energy use and protecting the environment. What have I done to cut down? Well, meal planning and cooking for several meals in one go, wearing warm layers rather than putting the heating on, except when it is really very cold, unplugging every electrical item that is not being used, switching off room lights when they are not being used, and taking quick showers. Try it and see if it pays off for you too.
Walking for Errands
I hate the cold and I don’t go out in it unless I have to. This week though, I realise that I am sometimes fooled by how it looks outside. I sometimes think that it ‘looks cold’ without even venturing outside to check. I was pleasantly surprised one day this week when I ventured out to put the rubbish out. The air was nice and fresh, inviting even. So I donned my jacket and went on a short, brisk walk to pick up a few items that I needed from the shop. This has saved the wear on the car, as well as the money I would have spent on petrol. This activity could also be the thirty-minute exercise I keep promising my body. Do you walk a lot? You could save some money this way.
In this post, I’ve told you about how composting is saving me money. Although it is winter now, I still put food peel, paper and cardboard into the compost bin. I don’t have to do anything else to it. Come Spring and Summer, I have this awesome, light compost exactly the same as that sold in stores. My flowers and vegetable plants benefit greatly and make me a proud gardener. Why not give it a go? It’s never too late to start a compost heap. Sign up here to get your free flower seeds and be the envy of some of your neighbours.
I find that you sometimes don’t need to go too far out on a limb to keep up with a frugal lifestyle. The fun part is to sit and check up how much money you are actually saving by enjoying this lifestyle. Share with us anything you do that will help us to enjoy this even more.