Do we have a Frugal February thread yet?

(917 Posts)
MrsDeVere Tue 29-Jan-13 18:49:50

or Frugalbruary if you will?

If there is, point me too it. If not, do you want to join?

I had planned to not spend at all next month. Looks like I will be paying out on two rather big things so its even more important I rein in the wasteful spending.

This is my first frugal fred so I need some help and I know that a lot of you are really good at this sort of thing.

Anyone interested?

northender Thu 21-Feb-13 22:11:06

Tomorrow will be spendy here too. Its dh's birthday next week so have a few bits to buy. Managed to get tickets for a folk gig in Southport (£20) in May (rock and rollgrin grin) and one night in a hotel for £60 B&B. Mum has asked me to buy presents from her too so will go for clothes. Sil is getting something practical he'll like, so a good mix of things all in all.

AdoraBell Thu 21-Feb-13 22:38:39

Rogue I seem to have the same problem with food, my DDs inhale stuff before it's out of the bagsshock

Chasing well done on your shop and decant prior to guests arrivinggrin

I have a confession £30, completely unnecaserly blush OH spotted a book about a famous Chilean boat, historically important, that he was on way back in the 70's, so I've bought it for him. DD1 used some of her credit from Bank of Mum to buy books and DD2 bought a second pair of shoes after OH accidently ruined the ones she bought yesterday (I suspect OH might have paid, didn't see), I'm aiming for an NSD tomorrow.

MavisGrind Fri 22-Feb-13 09:27:34

Hello all! £48 on Aldi shopping yesterday which should last me until mid way through the first week in March so no too bad.

I've noticed just how useful writing down everything spent is - having totted up this months spending so far, I've not done too badly however there's at least £120 I could have not spent. I'm begining to see how I never have any money!

Going to do lots of baking/cooking and freezing this weekend - I have 19 black bananas that I need to turn into something grin

Happy LSD/NSDs all!

naomilpeb Fri 22-Feb-13 10:34:04

Can I join? We've been on just my salary since the summer, and things are tight to say the least. We save on childcare costs as DP is home with the kids, but I earn less than he did so it's a net loss. He's looking for work but nothing yet... We're trying to be very very frugal with food, entertainment etc., but it can be hard. I'm not great with money but learning to budget a bit better since I became the main breadwinner. I mean well but then something happens like yesterday I worked late and was starving so had a £3 sandwich on the train home instead of waiting, and had to get nappies at the expensive corner store as we'd run out... Though on the plus side, we just switched gas & electricity suppliers to get £150 credit, and I've started Ebaying all the children's old clothes - we've done quite well there. Asking for M&S vouchers for my birthday so I can get some bras that actually fit me does feel a bit like a low though sad.

Can I ask a few questions? We've always got Sainsbury's groceries delivered (don't have a car) but do people find Tesco a lot cheaper?

Thanks for the thread, I'm going to try and use you all to keep me on track!

RoseWei Fri 22-Feb-13 12:20:46

Can I recommend a weekly box scheme? I now get an organic veg box from a local supplier - not one of the expensive nationals (done that, it was very expensive) for £11.50. It's called 'medium' but it's really very big - and I'm still using veg from a couple of weeks ago.

Because the produce is fresh and tasty, it gets used up.

I don't need to buy other veg during the week and go to the Saturday market for fruit and groceries and meat as and when I need them. The days of big supermarket shopping are over - with them came too much throwing out (though I'm more cynical about 'use by' dates that I used to be - careful but I don't take treat them as gospel).

economymode Fri 22-Feb-13 14:25:32

Just had some great customer service from Approved Food. I ordered some sunflower seeds (10 packets) for baking bread, but they are inedible. I emailed to let them know I thought they were poor quality and notched it up to experience. My word against theirs etc. Within 5 minutes they'd credited my account for the full amount I spent on them (£9.90). Very impressed.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Fri 22-Feb-13 16:07:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stormforce10 Fri 22-Feb-13 17:59:52

Back from a few days away visiting family. It cost us a couple of meals out and a few bus and train fares plus various little bits so not too bad. Also run out of nappies while we were away so had to get more of those but that would have happened anyway. We spent just under £30 in Aldi on the way home yesterday but that included food for dd's friends who came over for lunch today and some of their parents who stayed so had 7 people plus us to feed in the end so not too bad.

Was going to be a nsd but i agreed with dd that I'd let her have lunch with her friends and watch a film so we rented Hotel Transylvania for £4.99. I didn't mind as she does not ask for much and hasn't been to the cinema since the summer holidays.

Will try for a NSD tomorrow as still have 3 to go to hit this months target of 10.

Have put £200 in to savings account and hoping to manage on what's left for rest of month. Cutting back is certainly working as I've managed to save £400 so far this year smile

Leilandri Fri 22-Feb-13 19:15:15

Well I was right, today was spendy!

Totals are: £129.51 in Aldi (including all cleaning products, nappies etc)
£46.45 in Morrisons on bits Aldi didn't sell, but this includes 8 loaves of bread, and 16 pts of milk for the freezer. And £3.75 in Sainsbo's on some thermals for DH as he is freezing on cycle to and from work.

Will have to venture out again tomorrow to get vests and slippers for DS's, and fill the car with petrol.
Put £50 in the car last month, but I still have quarter of a tank now, so should hopefully get away with only £35 this time.
I'm also going to check out a new carboot that has opened up that boasts a meatvan, fruit&veg stall and chilled goods van. Will be good to know prices for next month, as that will be a BIG top-up!

I have meal planned for the next 4 weeks, and only bought accordingly, plus the monthly regulars of squash, ketchup, etc etc. I have £30 in cash left, and I hope to be able to get by with that for the month .. should only need fruit&veg and a weekly donut habit grin

Daffyboobface Fri 22-Feb-13 21:23:12

naomilpeb welcome! I've been continuing my experiment of signing up for online supermarket deliveries (to get the first time discount) and tesco is definitely cheaper than ocado and sainsburys. Or has been for me, anyway. I find I spend less online as I have time to make the comparisons and don't go into 'rabbit in headlights' mode that I do in actual shops.

A bit of spending here for DDs bday but lots of it on a credit note from Next. And got lovely micralite pram on eBay which DM is going to pay for as bday present.

Finding the breadmaker and milk delivery really helping to stop unnecessary spending when popping to the shop.

AdoraBell Fri 22-Feb-13 21:27:11

Mavis

Milk shakes/smoothies
Banana loaf cake - bake, cool, slice and freeze on portions
Pancakes, see above (might not need to slice the pancakes thowink)
Muffins
Mash bananas and add to fresh muesli if you eat it.

Economy well done on that refund, very impressive.

Naomiloeb make up small bags/pots with nuts/seeds/crackers/rice cakes/chopped fruit/veg to take with you in case you get stuck at work again. Rinse out any small drink bottles you have and use to take water/fruit juice from home. Next time you see nappies on offer get an extra pack and aim not to use it. Once you open that one replace it in your next shop.

NSD here todaysmile

AdoraBell Fri 22-Feb-13 21:32:43

Storm well done on your savingsgrin, fantastic.

Thingymajigs Sat 23-Feb-13 08:16:28

Haven't posted on here in a while but I've been following. Thanks to this thread and all the great advice I've managed to cut my food costs to £200 a month, down from £700 in January. I'm shocked about how much I must have wasted every day.
Things that made the biggest difference:
Shopping around at Tesco, Aldi, local market, butchers, £1 and 99p shops. Checking online for bulk orders for cat food and litter.
Meal planning. If we want to bake something we have to use what we have and not buy extras.
Not allowing waste. I use up leftover veg for soups and make use of a whole chicken including carcass for stock. Banana bread is now always available in our kitchen.
Making our own bread and cobs has stopped lots of unnecessary top-up shops.
Keeping receipts and logging every single purchase.
Keeping a "price notes" list on my phone which I use to remind me of the cheapest places for certain items.

For the first time in my life I'm actually able to save. I'm out of my overdraft and I've opened a savings account.
I'm really enjoying it now I can see the rewards. Looking forward to continuing next month. smile

naomilpeb Sat 23-Feb-13 08:20:04

Thanks for the advice from everyone. I'll definitely try Tesco online and see how it compares.

Yesterday all we spent was £3.30 on the bus to visit a friend. And that was balanced out rather well by finding £10 in an envelope in a pike if paperwork - from MIL for the kids to spend when we went camping last Spring! Rather shows we need to sort out our paperwork more often...

Today we need to do some food shopping, and have a Tesco voucher that expires on Sunday so I'll use that. Otherwise it's actually snowing again so a day in using up the dregs from old CBeebies magazines is on the cards I think - though buying those magazines is a habit I need to get DP to break, they're not cheap...

Good luck to everyone with their frugal weekends.

naomilpeb Sat 23-Feb-13 08:21:42

Thingymajigs that's brilliant, congratulations! Quite inspiring frankly!

takeaway2 Sat 23-Feb-13 08:43:06

Well done thingy!! Wow. smile

It's a spendy day today again. Because I'm getting my hair done. Having said that I've not had a cut or colour in 5 months... Having relied on home colour kits!

I've just listed some stuff on eBay having read so much here about people making quite a few quid on there. I have a question though... How exactly do you make the money if one lists things at 99p and then postage as £2?? Surely the final profit is 99p at best or less if the post costs more??

MavisGrind Sat 23-Feb-13 09:18:20

Morning all!

Thingy well done! Are you saving for anything in particular or just rainy day money? I'd like to be in the position of having a few months worth of income stashed away but I'm also saving for a holiday for myself and the dcs.

Adora - thanks for the banana ideas. Have found a yummy looking banana and choc loaf recipe which I think the dcs will like so will give that a go.

Should be a nsd here as it's freezing and snowing so I have no inclination of going out to spend anything. Thinking a head to March, I've already taken money out to cover childcare and petrol and put it into envelopes. I'll take out my food budget at the end of next week and I'm going to attempt to have a cash only month. Anything that goes on a card will be extra and therefore to be avoided!

Daffy please don't tell me you've just bought a Micralite fastfold - I have one that I haven't got round to listing on ebay..! grin

chasingtail Sat 23-Feb-13 09:45:06

takeaway you've got me thinking.

I have long hair which I have highlighted (blonde) approx every 5 months. I alternate between full head (£85) and half head (£60). My hair desperately needs doing now and my excellent hairdresser is quite reasonably priced for round here. but cannot bring myself to shell out that kind of money at the mo.

Wondering if any of you lovely Frugaleers use off the shelf colouring products and if any are actually any good?? I'd rather live with horrific dark roots than send my hair orange blonde but am thinking there must be a half decent wash in product that will do as a temp measure?

Can anyone recommend any colouring products?

BoffinMum Sat 23-Feb-13 10:04:18

I am actually growing my highlights out. You can use a vegetable colouring to take it darker while you do that.

Thingymajigs Sat 23-Feb-13 11:17:12

Thanks everyone, this thread was really helpful to me.
mavisgrind, I saved so much that I paid off half of our caravan holiday for August (£250). I also need to put £200 away for birthdays this year and save for Christmas. On top of that I'd also like to have a 6 month emergency fund like you and eventually to start a long-term retirement fund. If I keep on track then I could have saved a 2-3 month emergency fund by the end of the year which would be an achievement on just my carers allowance.
I'm trying to think how to broach the subject of banning Christmas present exchanges for the adults this year. The gifts are often a waste but I don't know if everyone will be on board with it. Maybe everyone will get the hint when they receive homemade birthday gifts with a declaration of: "it's the thought that counts, honest!" wink
Well done to all the frugaleers, we've had a really successful month.

economymode Sat 23-Feb-13 11:27:52

Thingy, just make sure you charge enough postage on eBay listings, so that doesn't offset any earnings. Or try listing on gumtree locally to avoid posting at all.

Thingymajigs Sat 23-Feb-13 11:55:23

I think that was for takeaway but its good advice for me too. I sold some skylanders on ebay last month and barely made any profit as I underestimated p&p.

BornToFolk Sat 23-Feb-13 13:26:20

Really not a NSD yesterday. I took DS shopping for new clothes. He really needed them as he's grown loads and is actually wearing out clothes (holes in his jumper etc!) so we went to H&M and he chose two pairs of trousers, three t-shirts, a fleece and a hooded sweatshirt for £41! Not bad really but then I treated myself to a couple of new t-shirts too. blush

Anyway, I've decided to get rid of the baby stuff that I've been hoarding. It's a of an emotional wrench really as I always wanted another baby but that doesn't look very likely now as I'm single and fast approaching 36 so I thought I'd get rid of some stuff and put the money away for DS.

Daffyboobface Sat 23-Feb-13 13:38:39

Mavis noooo! Took me bloody ages to get one, too. Although they do seem to sell fast, which is good news for you.

What time do people put their listings on? I thought 830 ish on Sunday got the most traffic, but I only got 99p for DDs (quite expensive) steriliser and was quite peeved.

Thingy that is truly inspirational. I'm making progress but still struggle to get my head into the mindset that money saved day to day is to be put aside rather than splashed out on ahem carefully considered purchases.

Right. I will pay off my overdraft. That is my aim. That is why I am doing this.

BoffinMum Sat 23-Feb-13 14:20:26

Thingy I am impressed.

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