So it’s been quite a while since I shared with you some of the frugal activities in my neck of the woods. It’s about time then that I share with you not only what I have done but also what I have seen and heard that make me think: ‘The frugal train is running alright, and not only that but more and more of my friends are getting on board too!’
Here are some of my frugal exploits this week.
Purely by chance, I came across the work of this organizing guru called Marie Kondo. She has a number of systems in place to help people organize and get rid of stuff they don’t need. She thinks it leads to less stress in your life and I must say I agree! I wouldn’t say I am a hoarder (at least not an extreme one) but when I checked all around me, I came to realize that I do have too much stuff, stuff that I don’t even use at all for anything! I even found boxes and bags of stuff in the storage space under my stairs that we had moved with from the previous house nearly 5 years ago! We had done without them for all that time, so even though they were perfectly good, we boxed and bagged them up and gave them to charity.
In total so far, I have donated about eight bags as well as some furniture and I still think my house is too cluttered. So the decluttering continues. Of course, I still wear my frugal hat, so instead of dumping the stuff, I donate to charity so they can help those who are less fortunate.
I have saved a few items for people I know personally who would love them.
Some things I definitely found hard to get rid of though and I will talk about them in another post.
I went to get toothpaste today. I know what I want. I know where has it the least expensive and all that. As I stood in line waiting to pay, the shop assistant was introducing various perfumes to the lady in front of me. In my estimation, she was a little too pushy! That lady buckled under the pressure. So when it was my turn to pay, the shop assistant tried the same tactic on me. ‘Could I interest you in some of our lovely fragrances especially seeing as tomorrow is Valentines Day? Me: ‘No thank you. These tubes of toothpaste are all I need’. I was so super proud of myself. I don’t need any perfume. I get enough free samples to last me a lifetime and I hope to continue getting them from Magic Freebies UK and Debenhams (I have a Debenhams Beauty Card).
In fact, I got quite a few bottles of perfume over the years for Christmas and birthday (they are only 3 days apart), and I was literally running out of space so I gave away some of those too.
Did I tell you we have become influencers? Well yes! We are influencers for clothes of all things! We are curvy too so clothes for us can sometimes be more expensive. So when we were approached by the first fashion brand and asked if we would like to model their range of clothes. we were delighted to accept. So since then, we have showcased a few pieces and now we have caught the eye of another fashion brand and they too have asked us to feature their clothes. Let me declare right here right now that we are not paid for the service. Instead, we get to keep the clothes. That does allow us some relief from spending on clothes, shoes and other accessories. especially since we have some shoots coming up where we need to be fashionably dressed.
We are well aware that some influencers are paid big bucks to showcase clothes. Sadly, so far, we are not. We tell ourselves that everyone must start somewhere though. So, one day, it will be our turn too.
We tend to buy a lot of certain food items when they are in season and much cheaper than normal. In particular, I think of garlic. Did you know you can make your own garlic oil. Simply get a clean jar, pour olive oil in it, remove the skin of garlic cloves and dunk said garlic in. Keep it in your fridge for when you need garlic at home and have no fresh garlic. The oil itself can be used for stews and to saute vegetables and any other recipe that requires garlic. There you go: savings to be had.
There are many food items that can regrow from cuttings made in your kitchen. Pinterest has a whole host of these. So why not see what you can regrow.
Most supermarkets sell growing herbs in little pots that you can buy and grow at home. In our household, we leave the pots on the window sill in the kitchen until most of the leaves have been used. We then plant them in the back garden and they are resplendent when they grow there. Granted they do die down in the Winter but it is always such a delight when they regrow in Spring and you don’t need to keep paying for fresh herbs.
We love infused mint as a hot beverage. Mint is so easy to grow. In fact, so much mint grows wildly in our garden. So in the Spring and Summer months, we pick a lot of leaves, put them in those mesh bags you get oranges or other fruits in and hang them on the clothesline to dry. After drying, they are good for use during the Winter months when the plants die down.
We do like to use teabags occasionally, and yes we do reuse the teabags. We don’t refrigerate it or any such thing. However, if we have a brew in the morning and feel like another brew later that same day, we will often use the same teabag.
Cutting Out Snacking
We have made, not really a New Year’s resolution but a conscious effort to snack less or to snack on fruits and vegetables whenever we feel inclined rather than the usual cakes and cheesy snacks. Since we were little we have been major snackaholics, sometimes even eating snacks instead of real meals! I know! Abominable!
We are not great at eating up our raw veggies sometimes. What we have been doing recently is to cook them or add them to soups and stews. Better still, the Nutribullet has been working overtime as every day we make and have a green smoothie. It usually consists of spinach, one green apple, and almost any other vegetable in the fridge. They are not the tastiest, but we know we have got our 5 a day in.
Well like I’ve said, we are turning a corner where that is concerned. So since we started in January, we have saved enough money from avoiding snacks to pay a decorator to redecorate the living room. When it is all done, we will share some of the photos with you.
This has been where we have made the biggest savings. Just have a look at how we do it and propose that you do the same. We can’t stress enough how much meal planning has saved us money.
What a lovely array of fresh vegetables! We have this at least three times per week and it makes us feel so much better and lighter too!
We also do a lot of juicing and also making smoothies with whatever we can put our hands on. Sometimes these fruits or vegetables would be in the fridge for too long and then they are thrown out! What a waste we use to have.
Can you see my chia and flax jars? Those are black olive jars that I have repurposed and labelled for use int the kitchen. They are ideal for keeping my smoothie extras handy. Loving the way my sister has labelled them for me too.
These smoothies make a delicious, wholesome meal replacement. Hardly any fat, and because I use one or half of a cooked beetroot from Aldi, I don’t need to add any sugar.
What other frugal savings have you been making? Keep in touch and tell us how you get on.