Frugal Living 2019 – January Update #1

Happy New Year! This is the beginning of a new series of blog posts on frugal living. We’ve always tried to avoid waste and save, and have to say, we’ve got pretty good at it. We could do better though. For us, the end result of our frugal living goal this year is to dump a lot more money in our savings and pensions and to enjoy a somewhat more simple life. Ditching plastic where we can is also on the cards, as is more recycling. We will be clearing the clutter and looking at ways to save and make more money to add to our various savings pots).

Here is my first proper 2019 frugal living update.

Grocery Spending

We spend too much money on food. I have some rather specific dietary needs however even including that, we overspend. This has been down mostly to a lack of planning on my part. Here’s what I’ve done/am doing to remedy this, and you can to if saving money on your grocery spending is a goal:
 
  • Move to a Cash Budget: Yes, if you withdraw your spending money in cash you are much more reluctant to part with it. I certainly am. I’ve stopped using the grocery account debit card wherever possible and withdraw only what I have budgeted for the week. Anything left over at the end of the week goes into savings.
  • Take Stock: Do you know what food you have in your house? I thought I did until I did a full inventory of my fridge, freezer and cupboards. I really do not need to buy any more pasta or chopped tomatoes! Using my stock list I created a weekly meal plan for this week.
  • Meal Plan: I’m using a fab diary my sister bought me for all things grocery related. I keep my stock lists in there, create my weekly meal plan from it, then write up a shopping list (which I plan to stick to!).
  • Shop Cheap: Aldi and Lidl are my friends. The local butcher can also save you a fortune. Some are put off using a butcher because prices are per weight and so on. If you say you want a pound and a half weight of mince, that’s fine. If you say you need three steaks but don’t want to spend more than £x, they can work with that too.
 

The Car

car, mechanic, frugal living

Our car has been fab for years but in the past 6-7 months or so we’ve come to realise that it is time to let her go and trade her in for a newer (smaller) model. Smaller for fuel efficiency (ours is a 2.0l engine) and smaller because we live in a Victorian terraced street which means parking outside requires excellent timing and a shoe horn.
 
Once we’ve had her **fixed (an engine light has come on and she doesn’t like accelerating  – such a diva) we’re off to the dealership with her. We’ve had a quote for her and plan to trade her in and buy something a little cheaper (save the difference) but we’ll see what’s what on the day.
**We use a local mobile mechanic who is excellent at what he does and has years of experience under his belt. If you are local (Thirsk and surrounding) and want a recommendation, just ask!
 

Something Broke

Last year (September) I bought a halogen cooker. This is a tabletop cooker which replaces your oven and is cheaper to run. My mum has used them for years. I don’t know why it took me so long to get one. They are fantastic! Sadly, just after cooking our New Year Day lunch, the halogen gave up on me. I’ve contacted the company I bought it from and they’ve agreed that is must be faulty and that I need to return it for a refund. I’ll order a new one once that refund hits. The pain of this (other than being without my halogen) is that I have to find suitable packaging and a courier! Any recommendations on a cheap and easy to use courier service?
 

Switching Energy Supplier to Bulb

I moved us over to Bulb Energy 16 months ago and can honestly say that I have been over the moon with the savings and the service. Their commitment to renewable energy also ticks a big box for me. I earned £50 into my Bulb account when I joined as I used someone else’s referral link. A friend later joined through me using mine and we both received £50. If you want a quote (and want to use my referral link) start here: http://bit.ly/nickibulbreferral
 
Bulb, Bulb energy, frugal living
 

Frugal Living 2019

That’s pretty much where we are frugal living and savings wise. It’s only the 2nd January though so we’ve made a good start. Keep reading for further updates as we commit ourselves to spending less, saving more and altogether enjoy a more simple and frugal life.

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1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. Hi Nicki, great post and will look out for updates. So true about parting with cash, I’m sure I saw a moth fly out of my purse once, anyway…
    For postage Mike & I use Parcel2go there you can put in measurement/weight then find a courier to come to you for collection.

    Hope this helps and Happy New Year!

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