I regularly browse through frugal blogs. Some I like, some make me shake my head in despair, and some simply seem to be a re-hash of posts that the Blog owner re-writes over and over! The best of them are a fathoms-deep source of inspiration though, from recipes on Jack Monroe to Simple Living on Down To Earth and many, many others in between.
Mine never has been a "Frugal Blog" as such - it's a blog where I talk about frugality from time to time, yes, but it also has photographs, fun and just regular life on it. My "Frugal Friday" posts came about because it felt right to categorise those sorts of posts under one heading - for ease of reference as much as anything, and, yes, because I didn't want it to turn into a "Frugal Blog" only - I've never contained it like that, never applied a heading of that sort, and don't want to restrict it in that way. It evolves where it evolves, and always has. Equally I never wanted the Frugal Friday series to go on so long that I was just doing what I dislike seeing on other blogs and just re-hashing the same old recipes, ideas and thoughts over and over...so as and when the posts didn't start flowing as well, it slowed down to the intermittent "thing" it is now. BUT in answer to the questions...yes we are still attempting to live as frugally as possible. Yes we are still paying down the mortgage - the biggest lump sum we were allowed to was paid at the start of this year and the regular overpayment sums are being stashed away in an ISA for the future. If all continues to go to plan then we have currently set a Mortgage-Free target date of 24th July 2017. Yes we're still using as many electrical items as we can overnight on cheap rate, avoiding food waste, only buying what we need, shopping around for things, earning cashback on purchases where we can and generally squirreling away whatever we can.
Over time doing the frugal thing we've learned a lot - that living life is as important as saving pennies, for a start. We budget for fun as well as food, living and enjoying ourselves is just as important as getting rid of that pesky mortgage debt! Sometimes it's necessary to balance expenditure against quality of life - a takeaway at the end of a busy week when we've both been working long hours and time together is simply more important than cooking from scratch to save the pennies for example. We buy branded coffee and Cornflakes, not value, as MrEH simply prefers the taste, and I point-blank refuse to buy value loo rolls regardless of how cheap they are! Another place where I've just run up against a personal brick wall is home made laundry liquid. In my experience it's a lot of faff to make, and then doesn't give as good a wash as the Bold powder I prefer. Now I KNOW there are a whole heap of you now queuing up to tell me I'm wrong, that it works brilliantly for you, that you make it once every 3 months and it takes ten minutes etc, but that just wasn't my experience I'm afraid, and after a lot of beating myself up and feeling as though I must persevere, I finally realised that no, I mustn't. Stained clothes with a faintly musty odour really don't do it for me - and that, I realised after a relatively short time, was what I was ending up with. Not nice. So I threw the rest away and felt a huge sense of relief. Sure I want to save money where we can - I'm happy to peel my own potatoes, crush my own garlic, use vinegar as fabric softener and colour my own hair - but I don't want it to make me miserable while I'm doing it, thanks! So I will continue to look for special offers on my big boxes of Bold and my clothes will continue to come out of the wash smelling lovely, not vaguely stagnant!
Where have you found your frugal limits are? Are there things you've tried and simply not got on with?