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Frugal Slow January

(187 Posts)
FrugalFashionista Wed 01-Jan-14 08:54:09

Happy New Year everyone!

As promised, here is a space for anyone who wants to take things more slowly in January. If you like minimalism or want to simplify your life in some way, please do join us! You might, for example, consider decluttering, Project 333 or a shopping-free period. Or you may be focusing on change in one or more areas in your life. Or you might just generally wish to take things more slowly and mindfully. Here is a space where you can share your thoughts and goals with other people.

Did you make any New Year's resolutions? What will be important for you this month?

chanie44 Wed 01-Jan-14 09:33:38

The things I'm doing:

Have a simple skincare regime which consists of cleansing, moisturising and a weekly face mask. This means I don't have to buy too many products.

I am auditing my wardrobe and will be making a list of what I want/need so my purchases are more considered and less impulsive.

Focus on getting more accessories to increase my wardrobe.

Wear my 'naice' clothes more.

Focus my beauty routine on 'free' activities like drinking more water, body brushing, face exfoliating and using my Caroline hirons recommended face massager from the body shop.

WhoNickedMyName Wed 01-Jan-14 10:00:42

I'm starting my new year with a House of Colour day on Saturday. Hoping that spending £100 now will save me a fortune in years to come.

We're moving house in 6 weeks so I'll do a big wardrobe de-clutter and sort out, and like Chanie I'll make a list of what I need so any future purchases are more considered. I'm desperate for new workwear but will buy a few really good quality items rather than a load of cheap stuff that doesn't last.

Whilst packing for the house move I've unearthed loads of really nice toiletries that I'd forgotten about at the back of the bathroom cupboard... Body scrubs, moisturisers, face packs, hair masks, etc... So apart from my usual face products I WILL NOT buy anything else until they're used up.

Oh and not forgetting I will drink more water.

teta Wed 01-Jan-14 10:03:15

Lovely to have you back Frugal.My new years resolution is to get my head round the Fodmap diet.Following really bad food poisoning involving Sushi last summer I have developed IBS.Eating any alliums (onion and garlic) are out as are healthy food like lentils and most beans.Seeing as my dc's have been weaned practically on garlic with everything it means changing my whole way of cooking.
Style and beauty wise I do want to buy a couple of things in the Hush sale funded by the sale of some unworn clothes at my local dress agency.Also to try and wear my skirts and dresses more frequently.Finally to carry on exercising 5 times weekly and start reusing my fitness pal.I've decluttered my wardrobe this year and also sent paintings and antique furniture off to auction and I need to carry this on.

DorrisM Wed 01-Jan-14 10:10:26

I plan to give my wardrobe a good sort out, I haven't put all my summer stuff away and I've put on weight so I'm going to pack up anything that doesn't fit.

This won't leave me with much, but I'm going to low carb which works well for me and couldn't be more simple. I know if I persevere my trouser waistband will stop digging in a month.

I've also sorted out the bathroom and won't be buying any more products (other than toner) until what I have is used up. I'm using my Clarisonic again which was expensive and has been unused for a year.

Lots more water, I'm sick of alcohol.

No spending on clothes, once I've lost a stone I don't need anything.

MotherOfChickens Wed 01-Jan-14 10:49:28

Happy new year, what a great thread thanks for starting it Frugal

Style and beauty wise I plan to continue culling and editing, I also want to develop a personal style rather than following fashion. In all areas of my life I would like to adopt a quality over quantity approach.

Again, more water, less alcohol
Run more
Practise mindfulness and meditate regularly

FrugalFashionista Wed 01-Jan-14 10:52:32

Hi ladies, lovely to have so many of you onboard - and lots of great goals!

Although last year was great, I had a stressful November and December: too much work and travel, too little leisure and relaxation. For me, the overall goal is to take things slower in January and to recharge and to take better care of myself by…

* Rebalancing eating and exercise. More fruit & veg and home-cooked meals (Teta I've been no-FODMAP for at least 5 years, it really works!), less mindless eating and no alcohol in Jan, and aiming for 5K at least five days each week

* Small good things. I'll try to do at least two small good things every day; one of them would be activities that I enjoy and that help me unwind, the other would be small acts of kindness to others (cannot believe I'm linking to shock grin blush ).

* Tracking my spending with the Toshl app: shopping mindfully, trying to not buy any new clothes, shoes or accessories

Hope I'm not overambitious... grin

QueenCadbury Wed 01-Jan-14 11:14:11

Happy new year all. Thanks for starting the thread frugal.

My plans are to:
Cut down on sugar, especially of the processed variety. Not sure I'm hardcore enough to cut out fruit etc.
Maybe cut out dairy but as a vegetarian I will need to find some other recipes that don't involve cheese.
No alcohol until 18th ( have a dinner party then and won't be able to abstain grin)
No more winter clothes shopping but instead think about what I need to take my wardrobe into spring.
Not be too hard on myself if I fail any of the above smile

Justgowithit Wed 01-Jan-14 11:22:09

I will also be concentrating on the small good things and being more mindful generally, as well as using up all my products before buying new and wearing the clothes I already own!
The fodmap was prescribed by my gastroenterologist for post infection IBS. It is complicated and takes some time to get used to but it's great for IBS and it really works if you do it properly. You also find out what makes you bloated etc. It's been proven to help over 75% of IBS sufferers.

Justgowithit Wed 01-Jan-14 11:23:52

Happy new year to you all!

Ihatemytoes Wed 01-Jan-14 11:25:44

Happy New year, marking my place.

FunkyBoldRibena Wed 01-Jan-14 11:28:58

I spent all year using up and getting rid of all the bath products with SLS in them, so that I could restart just using SLS free stuff; and went and got another 6 bottles of flippin bath stuff with SLS in it [body shop mainly, but still] and I'm too tight to throw them away. Next year I'm pointing people in the direction of Naked bath stuff long before Christmas.

However I am running my wardrobe down to less is more; and have only bought 9 items of clothing [not undies] in 2 years so that's not bad. 4 trousers, 3 tops and 2 dresses.

I don't drink but make gallons of wine each year so that saves us a bomb [OH used to buy 2 bottles a week and it saves us a fortune].

We grow loads of our own food but my main challenge is using up all [and I mean all] of the greens in the garden/allotment at the moment. Cabbages [which I didn't expect to survive but have gone on to make lovely heads], Kale [got enough Kale to feed an army], Swiss Chard [2 armies] and beetroot [still got about 20 of them happily growing away].

OH starts a new job tomorrow, so we are having to put our meals back an hour as he will be getting home much later - and I suspect we will be back to menu planning as I lost it a bit during the latter months of last year.

I want to run down the freezer and cupboards ready for this year's fruit and veg harvest as I don't preserve nearly enough - and to think I teach bloody preserving and jam making.

I got a shredder for Christmad and was already a bit of a fundamentalist composter - so now everything can be hot composted and so I will be turning ALL my heaps [and I have a community garden with about 10 heaps on it] each week. I need to keep a big bag at home for all the browns for when we hot compost at college and I WILL get the students outdoors each week now even if it is just for a walk around the college looking for stuff to chop back.

That's about it I think. I need to make a list and stick it in my notebook from this post. Thanks OP.

PaperBagPrincess Wed 01-Jan-14 11:30:24

Hi all.

I just stocked up on some cheaper skincare products after clocking up roughly what I spent on beauty in 2013 and being very, very shocked (into 4 figures shock). I'm trying out Superdrg's Vitamin E skincare range (instead of my usual mix of Eve Lom, Elemis, YSL and Clinique). Will report back!

I wont be buying any clothes in Jan or Feb. My winter eardrobe will have to last me until March (my birthday month) and hopefully some brighter days.

I'm not going down the route of a huge list of healthy living resolutions, as I never stick to them. Just going to try to be more active and drink more water for January, and see how I get along.

Good luck, all!

teta Wed 01-Jan-14 12:22:55

FunkyboldRibena - wow.I thought I was good recycling the normal bits.You should start a blog.What are shredders and hot composting?
Justgowithit and Frugal can you give me any tips on Fodmap?I am finding some good recipes on pininterest but would love a blog to follow.Also we eat a lot of Asian food,most of which involves onion and garlic hence I need to experiment with substitutes.

FunkyBoldRibena Wed 01-Jan-14 12:34:36

I do have a gardening and seed saving blog - it's had 57,000 hits so far. It's been tweeted by Alys Fowler and others...

I have given it a rest though last year as was doing my DTLLS [Diploma in teaching] last year and that was a bugger to keep up with - and am starting a Diploma in teaching disabled people in a week's time. Meep. Will get back into it in March I expect.

Shredder - just a paper shredder as I cut up all my paper and cardboard for hot composting. Which can take a fair amount of time. My students also cut or tear up all the waste paper at college for hot composting. They love that part of the lesson. Not so much the collecting greens bit during the winter though.

Hot composting is where you pile up your compost in layers of greens [freshly chopped] and then browns [paper, cardboard, straw etc] and damp it down with each layer. Then leave it for a few days and turn it every other day [or every time you can]. I've made compost that is useable in 31 days this way. But you can do it less often and still make a decent amount of compost if you keep turning it. As I said, I'm a fundamentalist for compost. It's a good way of making free compost from waste materials. I buy no seed compost as that all comes from leaf mould, and no potting compost as that all comes from my own home made stuff.

Justgowithit Wed 01-Jan-14 12:42:38

Teta you can use garlic oil and green spring onion tops which you can grow by putting them in a couple of inches of water. I just buy a bunch and put them in a jar. You can also use asafoetida powder though its quite potent. I can't do links on my phone but
Is a good blog to follow
Good luck!

chanie44 Wed 01-Jan-14 13:34:24

Following on from what whonickedmyname said, I spent last year using up all of my toiletries gift sets.

Two things put me off using them:
OH has sensitive skin (according to him) so I would have to still buy body wash etc
Secondly, I would put them away again and forget I had them. Now, they live on my dresser so I have to use them.

Instead of seeing them as an unwanted gift, I think 'great, I don't have to buy soap for the next 2 months, so that's £5 extra is my pocket for something else.'

Justgowithit Wed 01-Jan-14 13:57:50

I've used body and face wash I don't like as hand wash and body or face moisturisers as hand cream just to use them up as I hate throwing them away.

FrugalFashionista Wed 01-Jan-14 14:17:14

Pavlova and bacon omelette for breakfast wink - party leftovers. Compensated with a long walk in the forest with my daughter and a salad for lunch (wilting, more party leftovers).

DorrisM your approach sounds great! I'm also going to watch my eating and have decided to be alcohol free now despite lots of post-party half empty wine bottles everywhere - I did an alcohol-free month last year and it was brilliant. Giving up wine is hard, but I want to feel less bloated and more present and focused. QC keep us company for a few weeks! I actually made a special alcohol free drink for my party, drinking it most of the time, although I had a few glasses of champagne at midnight...

Chanie, FBR and PaperBag, I'm streamlining my beauty routines because something in my daily care products triggers an ugly rash around my mouth. Most likely triggered by foundation, moisturizer, or toothpaste. And I thought I was taking good care of my skin and teeth sad In any case, I've just phased out my old SLS (very hard in Italy). I just hope lipstick isn't one of the triggers <addict>

WhoNicked I did the clearout you are planning right now last spring - it was fantastic but using up old stuff takes forever. Good luck anyhow and please keep updating how it goes!

MotherofChickens I love your mindfulness goals! I need to set aside some time to meditate - doing it regularly is for some reason really hard for me, so please share how you do it!

FBR your quick composting sounds fascinating, I might give it a try, what type of container / enclosure do you use for it?

Teta my main IBS triggers are alliums, apples and pears, pulses and the cabbage family. Fresh rye bread and many wholegrain products (including muesli) also trigger symptoms. I've found that I do really well if I eradicate onions, leeks and shallots completely from my diet. My symptoms (stomach pain, cramps and extreme gassiness) increase as a function of quantity eaten. I can eat small amounts of garlic (1-3 cloves per a family meal) without major consequences, but a whole onion is totally out of question. In Brazil, we had spring onions (the green parts) in most dishes and I could live with that. So I actually do low-FODMAP instead of no-FODMAP. I don't eat onion at all if I can help it (difficult in cafeteria settings, onion powder is everywhere). With other symptom-triggering foods, my avoidance is relative: for example, today I chose to ate apple cubes in the salad and we have lentils about once a week. My IBS is almost analogous to lactase deficiency (= lactose intolerance) certainly a deficiency of one or more enzymes that break down the short sugars found in plants (oligosaccharides, oligofructans). How do I know this? Alpha galactosidase (an enzyme that breaks down one of these sugars) tablets alleviate my symptoms. They are very effective when I eat pulses and cabbage, but less effective with onions. I rarely take them at home, but often take them along when I go to dinners (I hate being fussy about food).

Having to do low-FODMAP has made me a much better home cook. I routinely leave out onion or substitute with a clove of garlic - many, though not all recipes still work, and I've learned to use herbs and other flavor enhancers much more. One more tip - everything Justgo suggests would work for me too - when you need onion for consistency, not taste, grated fennel bulb is sometimes a good substitute.

FrugalFashionista Wed 01-Jan-14 14:21:55

Sorry about sentences that don't make sense - too ADHD to proofread properly - didn't get much sleep last night grin

teta Wed 01-Jan-14 14:23:02

What a brilliant blog. Thank you Justgowithit.I've bookmarked several recipes.I have also surprisingly just found out that Splenda wasn't advised in a low fodmap diet as I was told by a dietician a few years ago that it was the safest sweetener around.

MotherOfChickens Wed 01-Jan-14 15:09:12

Frugal Last year I followed a 21 days of meditation plan guided by Deepak Chopra which was useful to install a habit of daily meditation. Unfortunately with the madness of Christmas my daily practise has seriously lapsed.

Funky your post struck a chord, only my DH is starting his new job the following Monday and I only got 4 bottles of SLS packed bath stuff!
One of my New Years resolutions is to grow more and to make what we grow work better for us. Somehow I never seem to get the quantities of fruit and veg right so it's usually a case of feast or famine grin

QueenofWhatever Wed 01-Jan-14 15:16:53

Ah, there you all are!

My main goal for this year is to focus on my house and career.

Also I want to keep working on improving my health, as I've been really quite unwell in the last few months. This has led to me losing weight and I didn't have much to lose. My BMI is now 18.7, which is borderline underweight. I'd like to put on a good half stone, ideally as muscle.

I'm also getting back to eating strictly paleo because it makes me feel so much better. Once I'm on track with that, I want to cut out nightshades as a lot of my symptoms are found in people with nightshades allergy.

I also want to get back into some of the primal living habits that Mark Sissons, one of the main figures in the paleo world is passionate about. The aims are to spend time outside, connect with others, reduce screen time, reduce stress and have plenty of fun.

Not obviously frugal, but I want to buy more clothes. Because of my fussiness and hatred of shops, I find it quite difficult. But I spent a lot of my time in 2013 reducing my wardrobe and working out how I wanted to dress, and now I'd like to expand on it a bit more.

Justgowithit Wed 01-Jan-14 15:24:12

Frugal fennel is a good idea but I can't tolerate it so I use a small amount of grated celery instead. Onions are really bad for me too and some recipes just aren't the same with the substitutions. Onion powder is in so many things its hard to avoid. There is only one type of stock cube I can use so I sometimes make my own then use it in soup and stew. I also make spelt and oat bread, pancakes, cake and biscuits which I can have in small amounts.

I thought Splenda was ok on fodmap diet but I hate all artificial sweetener taste so I just have maple syrup or a small amount of sugar instead. It is complicated and new updates on fodmaps are changing things all the time.

FunkyBoldRibena Wed 01-Jan-14 15:25:41

Somehow I never seem to get the quantities of fruit and veg right so it's usually a case of feast or famine

Yeah that can happen. My main recommendation would be to sow little and often. I do a half tray of mix seeds each fortnight for all the things that are regular like lettuce, spring onions, beetroots, radishes yada yada yada. In fact, you can pop a mix of the quick growing stuff into a jam jar and just sprinkle a pinch each time into a row in the garden if you haven't got a greenhouse. Make life easy for yourself.

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