Is your frugal lifestyle permanent?

(85 Posts)
CatAndFiddle Sun 12-May-13 12:56:07

As the economic crisis/credit crunch enters it's 6th year, I've realised that all the frugal behaviours I've adopted thus far will be a permanent change for me.
As things gradually return to 'normal' over the next few years, credit becomes more readily available, consumer lending rules are relaxed (as they inevitably will be to stimulate 'growth') you think you will return to your previous spending habits?
My Nan never forgot the experience of rationing and the 'make do and mend' mentality of the war and the years that followed (though I don't think this was true of all her generation)and I can honestly say that the experience of the last few years has completely changed my attitude towards money.
Do you feel the same or are you just biding your time and riding out the storm?

happyhorse Sun 12-May-13 13:38:30

I've become really good at being frugal and don't think I'd suddenly start splashing the cash if we suddenly had more. I'd have more clothes but they'd probably still be from supermarkets grin. I'd get a better, more reliable car but it would still be a used car. I'd buy more joints of meat and other costlier things for dinner but would still meal plan. I'd probably still cut my own hair seeing as it looks just the same as it does when the hairdresser does it.

So I think the habit to get the most from my money has become ingrained, but I'd certainly have a bit more fun if I had more.

There is only one area in which I'm frugal - I will never buy full priced clothes, eBay all the way.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 12-May-13 14:26:19

I think I'll always do it, I kick myself when I think of how much I've wasted.

Amilliondifferentpeople Sun 12-May-13 16:16:53

Oh god - my financial circumstances dramatically changed for the better. I'm such a dick though - I went crazy. I've had a few months of not living frugally and feel a bit sick. Back under control now though smile

Lizzabadger Sun 12-May-13 16:57:42

Since the credit crunch I only buy reduced food (or on offer or at the market); buy clothes from charity shops; don't run a car; haven't been on holiday; don't have a TV; have taken in a lodger; never get take-away; have not joined a gym; almost never eat out. I also stopped having my hair highlighted but have recently started again. I will keep some of these habits when I have more money but would dearly like to be able to buy new clothes.

Unfortunately my lodger is moving out next month which will leave me £350 a month worse off. If anyone has any suggestions how I could cut back further (reducing food spending is the obvious one) then I'd be very grateful.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 12-May-13 17:11:48

I've found going veggies helped massively, plus cooking from scratch and freezing things works well.

I do like lentils though so it's easy for me. Are you going to get another lodger?

AnotherFineMess Sun 12-May-13 17:30:41

I think ours will become so, more for ethical reasons than any other. Now I've realised that walking an hour to work is not only possible but preferable, and that charity shop clothes shopping is not only charitable but stylish, I don't want to change back!

moisturiser Sun 12-May-13 17:38:58

I eat much more vegetarian food and I can't see myself stopping. It's a nice feeling seeing my food bills staying low, and I feel healthier for it. I also joined a mending group and have learnt how to darn and I feel so much more eco-friendly for it.

TheSecondComing Sun 12-May-13 17:51:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VerySmallSqueak Sun 12-May-13 18:01:16

I always have been frugal.

Even if I suddenly started getting enough money to not be frugal,I would still be frugal in every day life to save money for fulfilling some dreams of things I'd like to do,and for saving a bit for the DC's.

SEWannabe Sun 12-May-13 18:07:50

Once my financial position improves I'll be planning to end my council property tenancy and rent privately, so that'll be an increase of £200 a month.
I'll also spend a little more on food.

Just got to make sure that i earn a packet!!

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sun 12-May-13 18:08:56

I buy (and throw away) far less food. I only really buy what we need rather than lots of convenience food/enough to fill the fridge; no ready meals/pies etc. Travel costs have been slashed as we've moved and we don't eat out as much as we used to but all of these savings have been absorbed elsewhere.

TheCrackFox Sun 12-May-13 18:21:47

I honestly don't think the credit crunch will ever truly end - this is the new normal.

MorrisZapp Sun 12-May-13 18:24:11

Why are people skint because of the credit crunch? I realise that's a stupid sounding question, but I genuinely don't know, redundancy notwithstanding.

TheSecondComing Sun 12-May-13 18:26:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

expatinscotland Sun 12-May-13 18:26:39

'Why are people skint because of the credit crunch? I realise that's a stupid sounding question, but I genuinely don't know, redundancy notwithstanding.'

Mainly because of inflation, rise in the cost of food and transport and the spikes in the cost of power and gas to eat and heat. In many areas, too, the cost of private renting has risen as fewer and fewer people are able to buy and the demand for private renting has increased.

Amilliondifferentpeople Sun 12-May-13 18:37:30

Benefit cuts
Higher cost of living
Interest rates rising on mortgages
Pay cuts
Wage freezes

Badvoc Sun 12-May-13 18:39:00

Because my food bill is 30% at least higher than it used to be- for the same food.
Fuel prices are high.
Utility costs going up.
Banks won't lend so people are stuck in high price rentals.
Unemployment over 2 million and rising.
And dh has not had a pay rise for 3 years.

Lizzabadger Sun 12-May-13 18:39:07

Thanks fluffycloudland. I am vegetarian already but I'm not sure that saves me money (have no idea how much meat and fish cost though - never bought them). I will get another lodger in a few months but need to have some work done on the roof first (which will be £££).

I can't really see an end in sight to be honest. That sounds maudlin and I don't mean it to, but I just think this 'crunch' is going to be permanent in many ways.

TheSecondComing Sun 12-May-13 18:42:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Badvoc Sun 12-May-13 18:42:46

I have had to cut back on lots of things.
Get the dc clothes from e bay.
Clothes for me and dh come from supermarkets.
Colour my own hair, do my own eyebrows (badly)
Uk holiday for the last 3 years.
No take aways/treats.
We don't go out.
Our one "luxury" is cable tv so we can have film nights.
I can't see things changing for a old while previous years (I remember 89/90 crisis) inflation was very high (15%?) but the govt weren't keeping interest rates artificially low so the market eventually adjusted.
How is that going to happen this time?

Badvoc Sun 12-May-13 18:45:36

Depends what sort of meat you buy can get cheap cuts to use in a slow cooker that are lovely.
We also eat mostly meatballs and goujons so not too pricey.
In fact ATM I can get 12 beef meatballs for £1.25 at my local co op so you do need to shop around.
I use ocado too and have a delivery pass so I pay £6 per month which works out pretty cheap per delivery.
I also find fruit and veg very expensive ATM. My dc eat lots of fruit. It's costs a fortune!

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sun 12-May-13 18:55:46

Food prices are silly, as are transport costs and gas/electricity. Prices go up, incomes go down. Why don't prices every go down? sad

Piemother Sun 12-May-13 18:58:32

We are vegetarian too now. That was easy since dd doesn't really like meat and I'm too lazy to do seperate meals. Also the waste with meat JD we didn't eat it in time vexed me.

It used to be that I'd buy food out and eat out as a treat - now it make me anxious and the forward planning makes me feel organised and safe.

I have lots of examples but I'd sum it up as being frugal makes me feel empowered grin

Thingymajigs Sun 12-May-13 19:00:00

I have learned so much that its unlikely I will forget all of it easily. I've learned how to cook from scratch, where to find the best food for the best price and how to keep tabs on my outgoings.
A lot of it is just common sense so I'm confused as to why I never considered some of them before.
Some frugal ideas are difficult to keep going so I can see a few things being dropped once they aren't needed anymore like selling everything on eBay (such a pain) and only buying things if they are on offer.
The skills I've acquired are invaluable so I'm hopeful it'll stay with me for life.

CatAndFiddle Sun 12-May-13 19:19:24

Totally agree about cooking from scratch thingymajigs. I really enjoy it. I think I am guilty of over analysing the household spreadsheet though!

ElizaDoLots Sun 12-May-13 19:33:51

Have always been quite frugal - no change here.

Lizzabadger Sun 12-May-13 19:40:11

I need to learn to cook from scratch.

Thingymajigs Sun 12-May-13 19:55:15

It's so easy once you get into it lizza, I'm glad I took the time to learn but it is just that- very time consuming at first.
Me too catandfiddle, there's a chance I've gone overboard on the household budget categories and I'm not sure that every penny needs to be accounted for but I'm worried I'll fall back into old habits if I slip even slightly.

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Sun 12-May-13 20:01:17

I was brought up frugal. Even when I had a large salary I drove a cheap 2nd hand car, shopped wisely for food/clothes etc. So when my salary decreased by about 60% in my first year of my new career, I was still able to live quite happily.
That was just before the hideous leccy/gas/petrol increases began though - it would be much harder to take that level of cut now as you can't save much on the absolute essentials of heating and travel.

unlucky83 Sun 12-May-13 20:08:14

I think once you have got used to it - as long as it isn't too painful -you never go back...
I used to be really really skint...then learnt how to live with it...(took 3 months to save up for a £12 kettle!). Then I started earning decent money and frittered it away ...
Then became a mature student -back to being skint and watching every penny -that went on for a while cos then DP started his own business and we had to be ready for it all to go wrong...everything DD1 had was secondhand/ given to us ...
Now DP & I don't earn a lot of money - but we have money in the bank (earning rubbish interest - 2% -so income has gone down), no mortgage, and have another house we are refurbishing...we don't have to 'worry' about money...
But I still think about what I spend - don't waste money - buy supermarket clothes, do my own hair etc etc - just booked a UK caravan holiday (probably why we do have money in the bank!)...although I do spend more than I did before (eg bought a £100 camera because it was the model I wanted when my old one died - but I could have got an ok one for £50...and when our old big tv dies we will get a flat screen...)
Yesterday I was having a panic attack about the amount of money I was spending - car repair bill, deposit for hol, car insurance, 2 lots of council tax, insulation for new house - I had to move money from my instant access savings account (in general we try and live on what we earn) - and had to keep telling myself it was ok but still I found it really really difficult...frightening....

I'm self employed, just done tax return for 2012-13 and my self-employed income has gone down by £2000 compared to last year, mainly because of the crappy state of the Eurozone. Combine that with rising utilities, rising fuel, rising food prices, then throw having to replace all my windows into the mix dammit and think we'll be skint for ever some time to come.

apatchylass Sun 12-May-13 20:22:11

Really? I think I can't wait not to have to count every penny. Though I quite enjoy it, and am glad not to waste food, I'd just like to buy a few more expensive items each week - more lamb, loads more fish, loads more naice veg (pea shoots, sweetfire peppers, purple sprouting broccoli etc.) instead of endless carrots and greens.

And I long to go on a wilder holiday than camping in France, (appreciate that's a very first world problem). But I've never been high maintenance on style and beauty. Hair cut twice a year, do my own brows and nails, don't have facials or expensive products and prefer cheap clothes to designer stuff which looks the same to me, with a 0 or two on the price tag.

Anyway, no chance yet. DH down to last three in a job interview then didn't get it. Second near miss this year. But also only second job interview this year. And very very little contract work around for him either. So it's back to basics range and special offers for now. We are far better off than lots of people - our house is safe and so's my work.

wonderstuff Sun 12-May-13 20:28:38

Cooking from scratch is the best thing I've done and never want to change that. We have just taken on an allotment and I hope that will reduce our food bills a little over time.

lizzabadger my two top cook books are Jamie Oliver Ministry of Food is fantastic, loads of straight forward, inexpensive eats. How to feed your whole family is also good, has shopping lists and lots of basic recipes, but occasionally, misses a key instruction or amount of ingredient, you need a little common sense.

I'm crap at being frugal though, I always seem to live to my means, find saving so hard, my pay went up recently and I find myself frittering it when I should be saving. Fell in love with a painting last week, I really need to save rather than spend, but it's so lovely.

noisytoys Sun 12-May-13 20:34:09

I have learnt that I'm too poor to buy cheap clothes and shoes. A good outfit and shoes will last well, wear well and fit well and will be an investment rather than cheap fast fashion that falls apart and needs replacing over and over again. Pretty much everything I own is now Next because it is still high street, but far better quality smile

Amilliondifferentpeople Sun 12-May-13 20:40:15

Really noisytoys? I always loved next but my few extravagant purchases from there this ŷear have really let me down. Shit quality.

poachedeggs Sun 12-May-13 20:41:35

Well I've never had much cash to splash really, thanks to a huge student overdraft, then a mortgage, two maternity leaves and now part-time work. It's just normal.

I'm hoping to look forward to an increase in income in a couple of years, when our DC are both at school and, if all goes well, a business partnership.

Once the debts are cleared I'll prioritise savings, mortgage overpayment and sorting out maintenance/home stuff we've been unable to afford so far. So it'll be a long time until any cash will be mine to play with and I envisage the tight food budgets and small-ad scouring to be an ongoing part of life.

WaitingForMe Sun 12-May-13 20:58:34

No (just me then?).

DH and I got together in 2009. He had recently left his ex and I was a student so we were probably as poor as we were going to be. It never "hit" us in that sense. We moved in together and got richer (30% reduction in total household running costs). We had a frugal month when buying our house then reverted.

He just started working for me (I'm self-employed) and we're being super careful as we've only a few months living costs saved but I doubt we'll change. If our plans take off I'll still make falafel (30p per serving) but we wouldn't have just that and salad (home grown) for tea. There'd be less falafel and some lamb.

I'm brilliant at being careful and can have some fun with it but have no interest in scrimping when I don't need to. For the record, I've lived in a bedsit and sat with my tiny pile of £1 coins trying to work out when to use them for the heating that week and whether to buy milk or save the coin for the meter.

missorinoco Sun 12-May-13 21:20:37

We had our first take away in three years last night. It hit me how expensive it was, and we used to pay that amount weekly without blinking.

I would like to think my frugal habits will not change, but I expect I will gradually relax my tight fist on spending as our finances improve. I don't think I will go back to the state of casual spending I did have though; I am just so aware of what things cost now, and also so much more expensive they are than they were.

kikid Sun 12-May-13 21:31:48

I don't rate next either, last pair of boots I bought there were not even leather & did not last the winter. clarks generally last me 2-3 winters! I will not buy next again.

Mirage Sun 12-May-13 21:44:51

We have always been frugal.I was bought up like it and it is just a way of life.I'm self employed so income can be very variable,the bad winter meant 6 months with 2 days work a week if I was lucky and I ended up overdrawn for the 2nd time in my life.We are lucky that DH has a good income,but even so,we don't splash it about,the dds and I have nearly all 2nd hand clothes,I grow our veg and cook from scratch,don't buy coffees,magazines or papers,don't go to the hairdressers unless I have to.I think that even if our income dramatically increased,I'd still be the same.

Lizzabadger Sun 12-May-13 22:10:55

Thanks for the tips Wonderstuff and Thingymajigs.

Triumphoveradversity Sun 12-May-13 22:35:22

I have always been frugal but was bought up by a Mother who lived through WWII. She was almost as old as my friends Grandmothers.

It's just second nature so no hardship.

mathanxiety Sun 12-May-13 22:42:59

I've always been frugal and that won't change. Have always bought clothes second hand and am constantly coaxing life out of my really old car. One thing that has got me looking at even more frugality is joining Pinterest -- I no longer buy household cleaners (make my own and save a lot) and am looking afresh at items I had just lying around or being stored that could be repurposed. No need for 'retail therapy' when you can redo what you have and end up with new looking decor.

ChocChipCookieMuncher Sun 12-May-13 23:00:15

To make the most of food you buy and save a few £ try this

runningforme Sun 12-May-13 23:12:40

I think I will always be aware of the price of things, and there are just some things that I will never pay above a certain price for, but like another poster said, I would buy more 'chef-fy' (is that even a word?) ingredients, like organic meat (only do free range, natural raised right now), more wild fish, fancy oils etc. I would also go out to eat a bit more and travel LOTS more. So I think that my spending would (and has) increase(d) in line with our income.

BoffinMum Mon 13-May-13 10:42:34

Well, I set up my Austerity blog and wrote my ebook on it, and I suppose that must mean that it's pretty embedded now. TBH I was always a bit that way inclined though.

Waitingforme, I have known people take a little milk from the help yourself bit of Starbucks in extremis. wink

flanbase Mon 13-May-13 11:03:08

Have always used things until they fell to bits and couldn't be repaired.

Quenelle Mon 13-May-13 11:12:19

We have more money to spend since we moved DS from the childminder to preschool so I have let go of the purse strings a bit.

I bought a magazine subscription for the first time in ten years (but I doubt if I will renew it after the six months are up), and we have splashed out on some good camping equipment.

We will mostly keep to our frugal spending habits though. There are things I prefer to buy: rather than clothes or 'Stuff' I would rather spend money on making the most of our hobbies and leisure time. And our retirement, of course, which isn't that far away in the scheme of things.

ShadeofViolet Mon 13-May-13 11:46:07

I wont go back to buying the kids clothes from Next etc. I still use H&M but its mainly ASDA or ebay.
I will food plan, and continue baking twice a week. I enjoy it and it saves money on biscuits and cakes.
I am obsessed with how much water and electric we use and that probably wont change either.

It would be nice to have some extra cash though. I am going to be 30 soon and I wanted to book theatre tickets. Have done the sums and realised its impossible, because it would mean we wouldnt have any holiday spending money. But we are going away so thats a massive bonus (with the help of a big savings tin)

missedmebythatmuch Mon 13-May-13 13:03:41

Yes, I can't see myself ever going back to spunking money about. I will spend selectively on things like brilliant holidays, but there are a lot of things (toys, children's clothing, furniture) I'd never buy retail ever again, even though I earn good money.

I have also got into selling things I no longer need, and am surprised at how much money I've been making.

These are practices I'm teaching my DC too. I want them to be financially smart from the first pound they earn.

boxershorts Mon 13-May-13 13:04:07

I have always been fairly frugal even when I have the dosh. But I dont have young children so frugality is easy; but you do have to pay the bills

LaQueen Mon 13-May-13 13:45:38

Hmmm...we used to let money run through our hands like water.

I will carry on buying my cleaning products from Home Bargins, it's all branded stuff and it's impossible to spend more than £10 in there.

I won't go back to blowing £16 per month on glossy magazines, only to briefly flick through and bin them.

I will continue to really shop around for DDs school shoes - used to blow £45-£, I always wait for the sales, and buy ahead (have just bought DD2 a pair of Startrite's at half price, but they won't fit her probably until Sept/Oct time).

I will continue to buy our fruit and veg from our village grocer - half the price of Sainsburys, and better quality.

Thinkingof4 Mon 13-May-13 14:37:31

Interesting thread. I'm frugal in some ways eg cook for scratch, no beauty treatments, don't drink alcohol, meal plan, uk only holidays. In other ways though I think it's better to spend a little more for something that lasts eg shoes and clothes. I have 3 ds and dc4 on the way so I tend to buy better quality clothes for ds1 (and sometimes ds 2) as I know they will last better and can be worn by 3 or 4 children. Maybe more expensive up front but seems to work so far. I also find if I buy cheap shoes they just fall apart and I end up replacing them, so I go for better quality stuff. I don't mean designer btw but things like el naturalista. I always shop around and research carefully before buying more expensive stuff though, there are so many bargains out there if you look for them. The boots I'm wearing today cost me about £40 3 or 4 years ago and are still going strong (on sale when I bought them and I've worn them loads)

I might change a bit if we had more money eg buy all meat from butcher, eat more fish, nicer veg etc. But I really enjoy cooking from scratch so that wouldn't stop, and I like our uk holidays too.
I really recommend Hugh fearnley wittingstal's Veg cookbook btw. We are not veggie but eat quite a lot of vegetarian meals now and even my carnivorous dh enjoys his stuff

ChocolateCakePlease Mon 13-May-13 15:55:20

I grew up having to be frugal and i am not sure if it something that will ever leave me.

I don't know if food is really more expensive nowadays in real terms. I mean the percentage is much smaller from a weekly wage now then it was 30/40 years spent on food. Alot of things are the same price or even cheaper now then they were 20 years ago thanks to supermarket influence.

We have always been a bit slipshod with money. It tended to disappear alarmingly quickly so one good thing about the recent economic crisis is that we have taken a good look at our money.

We have stopped the drip drip drip of ready meals, treat foods, magazines, dvds... And abracadabra, we have savings grin

I like it. We eat better and use what we have already got, more. I don't shop for fun anymore and when I do go, I take a list.

DH is finding it harder, tbh, so I am budgeting for him. I even give him pocket money now grin

AlvinHallsGroupie Mon 13-May-13 18:39:17

Its a way of life for me but not in a "superscrimper" silly tips way ie lets make a necklace out of paperclips hmm
I save money by not wasting money on utilities,ready meals,impulse buys,takeaway coffee but always buy good quality clothes and food .
Im always ready to renegotiate on insurance,utilities etc because they rely on you not getting round to it.
I read the crap glossy mags at work paid for by someone else grin

LaQueen Mon 13-May-13 21:02:43

It's really not in either mine, or DH's nature, to be frugal. We're very open-handed, and in years gone past were used to living the high-life.

But, 5 years of a recession...when you run your own company...eventhough DH has successfully steered his way through these last few years, we've had to tighten our belts and learn to be frugal.

And, it was a good, and very valuable lesson to learn, and one that needed learning. When I look back now, at how we used to squander money...stupid amounts, on pretty pointless stuff blush

So, I'm not intending changing my ageing, little VW Polo anytime soon - why would I? I only do about 50 miles per week, so don't need a new, flash car to do that. And, DD2 is perfectly used to wearing lots of DD1's hand-me-downs.

We do still eat out a lot, though. It's what we like to do - and as neither of us smoke, do drugs, or even drink at home...we reckon it's okay.

And, I have to confess - after a year or two, of trying to be frugal, and using little, cheap local salons and average stylists...with the end result that my hair just looked crap all the time, and was a peculiar shade of rusty yellow...I have returned, whole heartedly, to an expensive, city salon with excellent stylists and proper colour technicians - and I have good hair, again [cries a little bit with joy]

ElizaDoLots Mon 13-May-13 22:36:24


God, no, you can't go through life being miserable about your hair shock

Life is truly too short to have crap hair.

MERLYPUSS Tue 14-May-13 08:44:35

I've always been frugal (tight as banjo strings). My maternal GMum was widowed during WW2 with 7 kids. She was Jewish and disowned by her family for marrying out so had no fall back. She worked full time in Woolwich Barracks in the kitchen feeding the 'lads' so the head chef would let her take the scraps home 'for the kids Winny'. She could make a 1lb of mince last a week!
Dad served in WW2 and has to have a food stock as a fall back, I'm sure in case rationing comes back! He is always trying to feed my 2 up when we are there.
Mum, in turn, learnt GM's ways, and when dad was on limited income she would often not eat so the older 2 girls and dad could. (she would wash up and have a piece of toast instead of a meal). When I came along some 8 years later it was a way of life by then. I had hand me downs, hand made clothes and market stuff. No Primark then.
My OH was born in Sri Lanka. His family were not on the poverty line but often did not know when they would next eat meat so lived on a lot of lentil/bread and rice combos. Very healthy but he is a meat freak now. Comodoties like plastic stuff were non existant so never a marg box was thrown away in MIL's house when they came here. Everything was used until it wore out. And they saw no point in having 'stuff' for the sake of it.
I scratch cook 90% of the time. Bulk buy and would rather shop around and save 50p than pay M&S prices. It is just ingrained. I get all my clothes form Primark, Asda or bootsales. Same for the kids.
We now have quite a healthy income but I cant justify not having savings or spending £30 on a pair of kids shoes when Sainsburys do them for £15. I do treat them on extortionately expensive things like a tree house that cost nearly £800 because I know they will get play value from it for years to come. I can rationalise that.
I don't think Iwill ever change. It is just how I am

AdoraBell Tue 14-May-13 18:55:28

I was brought up to be frugal, my parents were born between WW1 and WW2 and had 6 kids. Now I need my kitchen cupboards to be full but don't need to go to a hairdresser - not judging anyone who does- but where I live it's not easy to be frugal in everything.

We're in South America and I can get fresh veg etc really cheap locally but if I want meat or fish, or even dairy, that is actually fresh and has been kept refrigerated I have to do an 80 km round trip. There are butchers, you find them by sense of smell, and fish isn't kept on ice other than in the supermarket.

I can't get DDs shoes from supermarkets as they both have inherent problems that make fecking expensive well structured shoes, a la Clarks, a necessity.

We also spend an absolute fecking fortune on health insurance which is a constant source of stress. We pay to see a Dr, DDs pay (or we do) for dentist and prescriptions. If we can sell the house before we lose it we'll be lucky. A part of me yearns to move back and stop spending all this money.

So yes, I will continue being frugal if I can actually get back to being frugal.

StuffezLaYoni Tue 14-May-13 18:59:11

Over the last five years I've adopted as many frugal habits as I can. I won't be stopping if I ever become rich! Some are great, like meal
?planning to avoid food wastage, but some depress me. For instance, I don't think I will ever be able to go on a warm summer's drive without worrying about the wasted petrol again. sad

I've got a lodger moving in next month and am doing as much private tuition as I can, so hopefully thing should be less tight soon.

BackforGood Tue 14-May-13 19:14:50

I've always been tight frugal. My 'skint' days were 18 - 25 yrs ago, not in the last 5 or 6 years. I can't bring myself to "waste money" on things I know I can get off Freegle or from charity shops, or paying for a brand name at the supermarket when I know I can get far cheaper without, even though we are considerably more 'comfortable' than we were when we first got together.

expatinscotland Tue 14-May-13 19:29:23

How do those glossy mags stay in business? I picked up one the other day and it was £4! WTAF? I can get a good book for that and/or share a book on Kindle for that.

AdoraBell Wed 15-May-13 04:00:04

It's all the advertising revenue that keeps the magazines afloat. The big fashion houses spend obscene amounts of money on pushing their products. Doesn't work on me thoughgrin

spidersandslugs Sat 18-May-13 15:41:26

I borrow glossy mags from my local library. They loan them out for a week at a time & you can't renew. It's free as long as you remember to return on time.
& yes, I think I'll stick with the frugal lifestyle, I can't bear wasting money.

Soditall Wed 12-Jun-13 20:34:10

The stress that has gone since we have become more frugal there is no way I'll ever go back to the way we were.

I enjoy making meal planners,I love baking and making everything from scratch.

I Love using my creative side to create the things I want and need for my home and I get so much more enjoyment making and up cycling things than I ever did just buying them ready made from a shop.

And I love that are money now feels like it's working for us rather than us just always working for the money.

Iwantmybed Wed 12-Jun-13 20:38:38

Hmm good question. We've been fairly frugal since 2006 so its second nature not to waste money. However we are now pretty liquid and built up a small pot of savings we are now investing in the house but will happily scrimp elsewhere.

Jellybeanz1 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:14:18

I tried growing our own food in the garden but with the rubbish summer last year I honestly think I wasted a lot of money for almost no return. I hate slugs sad

Lovetoknit Wed 17-Jul-13 17:19:04

I usually try to save where I can so we can afford occasional treat for our 3 kids e.g local vintage rally and steam fair.
I love cooking from scratch and baking, I shop around for best offers and often by in bulk and then separate meat into portions. I always use up any leftovers and with 2 cats, dog and chickens (they not only provide us with eggs but also lots of entertainment for all the family) there is always somebody to finish any meals off.
Our vegetable garden seems to be doing great and since it's next to the house now it's lot easier then the allotment we had with our previous house. We are planning to make more room to grow even more next year. Kids love to help and definitely know where our food comes from.
It was kind of funny when even my Mum noticed when she came to visit that my youngest daughter was wearing a coat both her older brother and sister used to wear. I make, mend, upcycle and recycle things and even kids are learning along the way.
I just wish I could lower the cost of the fuel, energy and water.

Abra1d Wed 17-Jul-13 17:21:04

Into our third year of my husband's unemployment and I think frugality now seems natural to us. We have managed to draw down some pension money, though, which is helping fund our two teenagers.

nkf Wed 17-Jul-13 17:30:00

The credit crunch has taught me to recognise what I really value. I will be better off when my childcare costs end. I will out money aside to help my children through university and go to the theatre more often. U will still buy reduced croissants and cheap clothes (apart from coats.)

Bluecarrot Wed 17-Jul-13 17:36:05

I've always been frugal but really only saw it as sensible til I saw how many folk live.

I look for good value rather than cheap and do tend to spend to get quality items ( ideally from a charity shop, but sometimes new) rather than replace cheap items regularly.

I could be more frugal but it would compromise too much on comfort level and is, at the moment, unnecessary. ( we already usually spend below what is considered to be the poverty line, the rest of income is saved)

celticclan Wed 17-Jul-13 18:04:13

I've become incredibly anxious about money and I can't imagine that I would ever go back to how I was before the recession. Times have changed and everyone has had to reassess how they manage their finances.

BiddyPop Fri 26-Jul-13 12:58:05

Some will, some I was doing before the crisis, but others I will let slide.

I had an allotment for 5 years that I let go in January, as I was too stressed not getting to it (20 min drive and then 15 min walk carrying all my tools) and not getting enough time meant it was getting overgrown too easily. But having HAD the allotment means I am a lot better at growing veg and have learned a lot more about how to squeeze more into my pocket hankerchief garden. So I will be continuing growing at least some veg myself. (But I do miss the loads of fresh raspberries and making my own blackcurrant jam).

I am also really lucky that I am not in the depths, there are many people a lot worse off than me - but we've recently had another round of paycuts so I am having to remember some of the lessons I learned before and put them back into practise.

We have freesat on the tv rather than a satellite package, so it only costs us the tv licence yearly (and even if I gave that up, there are plans to make all households pay regardless of tv in the next couple of years here).

I still buy quality clothes as I need to be well dressed, but I tend to buy fewer of them and make sure they are really perfect now, and look at the end of the sales in the high end stores (70% off a really good classic suit like Jaegar means it's the same price as a regular Next or M&S suit and I'll get WAY more wear out of it). I get my old shoes re-heeled and re-soled as needed, which is a lot cheaper than buying a new pair. And I also tend to look for new shoes in the high end sales again as much as possible as the quality of those lasts better.

I am getting back to more cooking from scratch (I like it and used to do a lot more but longer working hours and dealing with DD SN's and DH working overseas 50% of the time, meant I had dropped back). I always did double batches of dinners to freeze 1 (better than takeaway on frantic nights - microwave defrost and oven heating is as fast as takeaway, cheaper and better nutrition). I've changed a lot of food shopping habits, doing a lot more shopping around and getting some things in 1 store and others elsewhere - using our F&V shop, butcher, fishmonger etc more too. And I get all my spices and lots of ingredients (tins coconut milk, rice, noodles etc) in the Asian supermarket too. And I am more rigid again about menu-planning and making a list before I go shopping. So while it can change if the offers are good, I am buying to a plan rather than at random and throwing out loads at the end of the week.

We sometimes get 1 takeaway per week - but it wouldn't be 4 per month. Often Fridays, but I have more fast and easy options for Friday dinners now that I've learned.

Seabright Thu 01-Aug-13 08:28:34

We are frugal by nature, me more than DP, but are about to return to the UK and will need to step it up.

I am going to try growing some of of my own veg/fruit next year, I think things like salad leaves that are pricy to buy and will look nice in the garden, tomatoes and courgettes to begin with. I already grow herbs.

In the UK I do a twice-yearly trip to Costco and Wing Yip in Croydon & really fill freezers and store cupboards. We eat a lot of Asian/Oriental food so save a lot going there and it's better quality too.

I love reading other people's tips and ideas. Always something new to try!

500internalerror Thu 01-Aug-13 08:39:58

I've always been frugal - if I hadn't saved right from childhood, I wouldn't have had the deposit for my first flat , & therefore wouldn't have a house now! I had a couple of splash-outs before having kids - 2 x £1k holidays, which I don't regret at all smile

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 01-Aug-13 08:45:25

I don't think it would be sustainable to be permanent for us tbh, there is only so little money you can clothe and feed a growing family for. But we have reasonable hope of our income going up over the next five years or so, thankfully.

I don't think we've often 'wasted' money but we are more cautious and inclined to overbudget to cover contingencies which I expect we will hold onto.

If we get to the point of being debt free and able to afford a holiday, we absolutely will go, for example. Although we can't afford that now.

princesscupcakemummyb Sun 18-Aug-13 20:41:20

our frugal lifestyle has def changed us for the better we will be keeping it even if we came into money i cant say id go mad or anything we try keep the cost of everything to a min we dont have luxurys but we def make our money go a bit further because we have to allways shopping around also allways try buy in sales for xmas birthdays our food is budget branded i think our shopping would def be alot cheaper if it wasent for us buying meat but saying that we only really meat once or twice a week for like a roast on sundays and chicken and dumplings or something similar during the week the cost of things have def got high and they are climbing higher as we know it sad

Chottie Tue 20-Aug-13 04:47:29

I will not change either, it's scary how quickly life can change. I am another one who could kick herself for getting suckered in to buying so many things I did not need.

I have down graded on lots of things and to be honest I haven't noticed the difference.

moggiek Fri 23-Aug-13 20:40:39

I agree, Chottie. I do feel like an idiot for being suckered into the whole 'must have' culture for most of my life. It's nonsense.

MissBli55 Sat 24-Aug-13 12:56:45

I love lentils! I buy bags of red, green, and split yellow peas, use third of a bag of each and soak over night and rinse, - cheap piece of gammon, throw in a chopped onion, spud, carrot simmer away, makes pea and ham soup for my work lunch for a fortnight. Sorry to throw in a quick recipe!

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