Loving that frugal feeling

books

I love the word thrifty and am a big fan of Mrs Thrifty’s blog: she offers top tips on saving money and spending wisely. This is not something, until recently, that hubby and I have been good at.

We’ve always chosen the quick/easy/lazy option and that often means waste and expense. Take, for example, the amount of food we throw away because it rots before we get around to eating it. Then we complain we have nothing much to eat and splurge on a take-away. Lose-lose.

I’m not keen on clutter either, although it always seems to gather somewhere – why do men open letters then put them back in the envelope before sticking them in a drawer!! – and I probably have hundreds of tealight holders thanks to my addiction to GU puddings that come in those little glass dishes.

Usually we’d take the quick route and stick our clutter a bin bag every once in a while and leave it for the binmen to deal with. But on discovering our more frugal side, we’ve discovered a better way.

People shop in the dark at 5am – can you believe it!

A few weeks ago I did a car boot sale. Yes, it meant getting up at 4.30am – why the hell to they start at 5am when it’s pitch black!? – and standing in the cold for a good seven hours, but me and my mate Angie (hubby point blank refused to help on this one) had a laugh and made almost £200 between us. Mostly for selling junk! And can you believe people shop at car boots at 5am with torches on their heads!? That’s dedicated bargain hunting for ya.

So, yes, I had to deal with people complaining that a sports watch didn’t have a battery in it – well Mr, that’s why I’m offering to sell it to you for 50p!!! – and letting go of once-loved shoes and boots for just £2 a pair. But these items went to good homes, I no longer used or needed them, and pence makes pounds. And trust me, with a baby on the way (turns out little people need a lot of stuff), that money comes in handy. I earned almost £100 for a morning hanging out with my mate when usually I’d have dumped everything in a bin bag for speed. Well worth doing!

We also have lots of items at home that we don’t use, want or need any longer. Car booters aren’t willing to pay much for anything so things like Uggs, electrical items, designer handbags and dresses were whacked on eBay. Yes, there’s an investment of time here, loading the items on and having to package and send them somewhere, but I still made money – £50 for a pair of Uggs that sat gathering dust in the bottom of the wardrobe, and £50 for a stack of DVDs that did little more than take up much-needed storage space. Again, well worth doing.

No more shopping with our stomachs

Then there are items of furniture. With a house move on the horizon, I’m keen not to transport furniture we don’t need or want to the new place. And the garage has been home to a table and chairs, a TV stand and other items for well over a year now. They’re no good to anyone in there! So I whacked them up on the intranet noticeboard at work, offered up at cheapo prices and made in excess of £250 for selling unused bikes, unwanted dining furniture, chests of drawers and a dog crate. The double whammy here is that the people buying them get decent products for a much reduced rate, so it’s win win. And I earn money while clearing out clutter. Yet again, well worth doing.

Don’t get me wrong, hubby and I still have a long way to go but we’re making much more of our money. We plan meals and food shop accordingly – getting it delivered to save us from shopping with our stomachs or getting distracted by the clothes and DVD aisles. And when we indulge in take-aways or meals out we try and look for voucher codes. I also jump on two-for-one offers, stock up on cut-price products we use regularly and use my Boots card to collect points when I buy essentials like shampoo and conditioner. And it feels much better to be doing it this way, rather than hurredly picking something off a shelf and then cringing when they put it through the till.

I’m also being more charitable. I’ve had a few clothes clear outs of late and bundle unwanted, unworn or don’t fit items into two bags – one for friends of a smiliar size who are grateful for good condition seconds, and another for the charity shops. If you’re going to throw things out, someone somewhere should benefit.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

4 Comments

  • Reply Jonathan F Vernon November 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Good timing! I’m learning to live on thin air. I exaggerate, though it is less expensive and healthier to be a vegatarian teatotaller … next to cut out the coffee 🙁 Does shopping online work? My wife’s solution is to ban me from the shop as I never stick to the list. When I do it takes hours as everything is weighed, good are put back and for sure there are capers or olives at different prices in different tins and jars in different parts of the store. As for letters, I am a man, clearly – they are read and binned as they fall on the floor – the rest of the family open, read and discard wherever they happen to be. Has clutter got something to do with being frugal though? As for waste – compost just about everything in three bins and turn the garden into an allotment. Did this a few years ago and it kept us going on salad and pumpkins for a least … mmmm, a few weeks. Happy Blogging. My OU Student Blog reached 250,000 views yesterday which says something on how often I post. P.S. Soup and lentils. There can be side effects but its cheap. DIdn’t Steve Jobs try to live on thin air?

  • Reply Jonathan F Vernon November 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Good timing! I’m learning to live on thin air. I exaggerate, though it is less expensive and healthier to be a vegatarian teatotaller … next to cut out the coffee 🙁 Does shopping online work? My wife’s solution is to ban me from the shop as I never stick to the list. When I do it takes hours as everything is weighed, good are put back and for sure there are capers or olives at different prices in different tins and jars in different parts of the store. As for letters, I am a man, clearly – they are read and binned as they fall on the floor – the rest of the family open, read and discard wherever they happen to be. Has clutter got something to do with being frugal though? As for waste – compost just about everything in three bins and turn the garden into an allotment. Did this a few years ago and it kept us going on salad and pumpkins for a least … mmmm, a few weeks. Happy Blogging. My OU Student Blog reached 250,000 views yesterday which says something on how often I post. P.S. Soup and lentils. There can be side effects but its cheap. DIdn’t Steve Jobs try to live on thin air?

  • Reply robynbateman November 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Thanks for your comment Jonathan – and yes, online food shopping works a treat for us, we spend much less. Good luck with the living on thin air thang :0)

  • Reply robynbateman November 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Thanks for your comment Jonathan – and yes, online food shopping works a treat for us, we spend much less. Good luck with the living on thin air thang :0)

  • Leave a Reply