There are all sorts of ways you can frugalise, or simplify your life:
- Cut down on consumption of electricity, gas, water. This can be as simple as turning lights off in rooms you are not in, or hunting down items which are on "standby" and turning them right off. it's cheaper to just put a mobile phone on to charge until the battery is full, and then take it off again, than to leave it on all night, for example. If using the oven put several things in at once. If just reheating something I usually use the Microwave/mini-oven on combination or convection rather than heating the big one. Turn the tap off when cleaning your teeth and if you have to run the water though to heat for face-washing anyway, use that run-through to rinse the brush. If you are on a water meter, and run a dehumidifier, then the water from that can be used for toilet flushing.
|A good example of something best bought seasonally...|
- Frugal Fun - Something Saving For Travel has mentioned is choosing a town or village in your region that you've never been to before and simply going and exploring. Find out what exhibitions or museums there are, many of these have free admission, as do cathedrals and churches. Others simply ask for "A Donation" so you can choose for yourself what you can afford and think it was worth. How about walking a coastal or county path? We fancy The London LOOP and may well make a start on that this year. If you take with you a flask and packed lunch, then it can be done simply for the cost of the fuel to get to your starting point, and, if not doing an "out and back", the cost of travel back to the car. If you have membership to English Heritage, The National Trust or the RSPB, then make the most of them.
- Downshift - if shopping, buy Shops own brand instead of branded or premium, or "economy labels" instead of own brand, and see where you notice the difference. (We hold fast on branded coffee & loo rolls, but are quite happy to buy value fruit and veg, for example). Booking a weekend away? How about a B&B instead of a hotel, or camping rather than a B&B? Primark rather that M&S? Superdrug rather than Clinique? You get the idea....
|'Tis the time of year for tulips...|
- Make small changes - if you buy a coffee every day on the way to work try making it just a friday treat instead. Likewise turn the weekly friday-night takeaway into a payday only treat, or knock them on the head altogether and perhaps go out for a meal once in a while instead - £15 per week on takeaways translates to £180 a quarter, or more than £700 per year - had you realised that? You can Downshift there, too - Chinese usually works out cheaper than Indian, and near us, good quality Fish & chips can be had for even less!
|Who can resist colours like that?|
My "Simplify It" challenge is very much about making my life more streamlined and simple, and to that end I'm dividing it into sections to attach one at a time. Clothes, books, email inboxes, kitchen items, and even the food cupboards - nothing is going to be safe this year! I've already started looking at everything with a mental question-mark - do I need it? Do I use it? Do I have more than one item doing the same job? if the answer to these questions suggests that the thing in question is surplus to requirements then it's leaving my home, and my life! I've realised how much I like having spare space on bookshelves, in fact on ANY shelves! Books that I have had hanging around because I feel I "ought" to read them will be winging their way to the charity shop, and the sort of clutter good for nothing much more than gathering dust will be a thing of the past!