FRUGAL LIVING CHALLENGE part 3, July - Dec 2010

Frugaldom Forumite Posts: 6,848
Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
edited 2 November 2010 at 10:03AM in How much have you saved?
FRUGAL LIVING CHALLENGE 2010, part 3, July - December 2010.
This is the follow up thread to the 'Living on £4,000 for a Year' challenge. It has been renamed and adapted to allow a more diverse range of budgets, depending on individual circumstances. The following links will take you to all the previous challenge threads.

Introduction to 2010 Frugal Living Challenge
Part 1 - January to March 2010
Part 2 - April to June 2010
Part 3 (The final part) July - December 2010

Part 1 - January to March 2009
Part 2 - April to June 2009
Part 3 - July to September 2009
Part 4 - October to December 2009

Part 1 - January to March 2008
Part 2 - April to June 2008
Part 3 - July to September 2008
Part 4 - October to December 2008

Please respect others' lifestyles and beliefs. We are not here to judge, we are here to support. Thank you

The challenge is about living a frugal lifestyle - establishing your true cost of living, sticking to your budget, clearing any debts and making savings wherever and however you can to enable you to live the life you really want.

Frugal living isn't for everyone, but everyone is welcome to join us. Methods employed by our merry band of frugalers include batch cooking, stockpiling, preserving, foraging, mending, shopping in charity shops, reducing, reusing, recycling, Local Exchange Trading Schemes (LETS), Vegetable & fruit growing, allotments, keeping hens, using cashback sites and earning whatever it takes to become self sufficient in managing the cost of living without incurring debt. For some it is initially about clearing debt, for others it's about increasing savings, buying property, becoming stay at home mums or paying off the mortgage early. Some choose the lifestyle on ethical grounds. Above all, this is a fun and supportive way to manage your budget so you have control of your own cost of living. It's about NEEDS, not WANTS.

Living on a budget = living within our means.
Frugal = thrifty, living without waste

Ideas to help you achieve and/or maintain debt free living
Spend within your means
Set a proper budget
Get a lodger
Shop via cashback sites but always price compare,
Buy reduced items in stores only if you need them,
Stockpile & bulk buy
Batch cooking,
Make the most of charity shops,
Join Freecycle or other similar waste awareness and recycling associations,
LETS trading - become active members of trading & exchange groups
Grow your own herbs, fruit & veg,
Preserving & winemaking
Card & gift making
Order splitting for better discounts & shared postal costs,
Landsharing, allotments & frugal garden systems
Free scratchcards,
Matched betting,
Free online bingo,
eBid and eBay trading
etc, etc, etc...

Sample Budget
Groceries - £1,095.00
Toiletries - £40.00
Cleaning & Laundry products - £10.00
Heat, power & hot water - £1,500.00
Mobiles, Internet & telephone - £400
TV Licence - £145
Clothing & footwear £50
Travel £240
Household Insurance £55
Gifts & everything else - £465

TOTAL £4,000

Monitoring and revising the budget is part of frugal living plan. Gifts & cards could all to be homemade, livestock needs to pay its own keep, anything else needs to be cash neutral. If you live with debt and are serious about clearing it, there's no space in the budget for luxuries.

(I am neither endorsing nor recommending any of the links provided here, members of our extended frugal community have simply found them to contain helpful information.)

Approved Food - amazing bargains if you don't mind short dates or past sell by – save a fortune whilst saving it from landfill!
BigBrandsforless - even more amazing bargains on short or just past sell by dates
Bite Card - 20% off food at train stations (ideal for regular travellers)
Budgetbrain - MSE's free to use budget analysis tool - BRILLIANT!
Carrot recipes - loads of ways to use up those carrots
CASHBACK - The official MSE list of sites offering the best cashback deals
Cheryl's FREE spreadsheet - how to download & use it free
Complete (MSE) cooking collection - Loads and loads and loads of recipes
Cookingbynumbers - using up food you have in stock, free to use
Crafting for Christmas - homemade presents
Eggs, eggs, eggs - My '100 things to do with eggs' list
Electricity & Gas savings - monitor your electricity & gas with the MoneySaving Carbon Club
Flannel Cake making - unusual gifts
Food Bargains - Discounted food, short dated and past 'BBE' dates.
Foraging & Preserving - free foods, when, where, what to do with them
Free 2010 OS MSE calendar - download and print
Free crafts ideas - how to make papier mache banks etc
Freecycle - don't bin it, rehome it.
Freegle - Originally Freecycle in UK
Gift Baskets & Hampers - an index to the MSE relevant threads
Gifts in a jar - you don't need a canner for these
Greenfingered money saving - Gardening & growing your own food
Grocery bargains - Supermarket price reduction times
Hunger Site - Charity site where every click counts
i-Measure - log your meter readings and try to reduce your carbon footprint
Laundry Gloop and loads of other frugal cleaning related 'recipes'
Leftovers - don't bin them, get creative, make another meal.
LETS - Local Exchange Trading Schemes and alternative currencies within communities
Martin's mad moneysaver ads - a surprising new addition to the site - advertising offers!
Martin's current offers & discount codes - updated daily
Menu Planning - hundreds of options and suggestions
Nutrition and diet info, an excellent thread - thanks to Weezl74
Old Style indexed collection - Indexed collection of links, hints and tips for anything old style, moneysaving and frugal.
Preparing for winter the frugal way
Recipes part 1 - thanks to Rosieben on the Grocery Challenge
Recipes part 2 - thanks, again, to Rosieben
Remoska discussion - everything you need to know about Remoska ovens
Rural Moneysaving Hunt - official MSE discussion
Selling on eBid - decluttering and recycling for cash with no listing fees
Snowman Soup - always a favourite with frugallers during the festive season
Soapnuts - The frugal, eco-friendly alternative to soap powder or detergents (free samples)
Soapnuts thread on MSE - discuss, ask questions here
Spending Diary - excellent free resource for recording your spends
Start a cottage industry - the official MSE discussion
Veg Planner - free printable vegetable planting guide/calendar from the RHS
Weezl74's 50p per person per day eating healthily thread
Weezl74's frugal recipe testing thread - Phase 1
Will Power & Billy Can - part 1, part 2, part 3
The bits we need to include to make this work :)

Please read the MSE forum rules and help us to keep this challenge on track, thank you.
If you have any questions about this challenge, feel free to PM me.
The following is taken from the official MSE forum rules section:


Please try not to take threads off-topic. This can be confusing for new users and makes it especially difficult for people ... Where requests from Board Guides for threads to be brought back on track have not been followed off-topic posts may be removed. We encourage community, but not thread derailment.

Please bear in mind the main purpose of the site is to save money. The forum team has therefore been instructed to prioritise its time on the MoneySaving forums.


There are two boards provided for off-topic chat and discussion. The MoneySavers Arms has been set up for fun, more lighter-hearted chat (although do still remember this is a family forum – keep it clean please). Discussion Time is for discussion of current issues (read Martin’s description).

If you post a topic that does not relate to the board it’s posted on it will be moved to a more relevant MoneySaving board or to Discussion Time/The MoneySavers Arms.

This challenge is about paying for needs so we can afford to live debt free and save for wants. It runs from 1st January to 31st December 2010. The links will give you an idea of how previous challenges have gone.
I reserve the right NOT to spend:
The less I spend, the more I can afford!


  • whitewing
    whitewing Forumite Posts: 11,852
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Found you!

    Hello everyone. Good luck for this quarter.
    :heartsmil When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of "Me too!" be sure to cherish them. Because these weirdos are your true family.
  • Frugaldom
    Frugaldom Forumite Posts: 6,848
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Good luck everyone, I'll be back to summarise progress of Frugaldom soon, just not had much time this week to keep up with this forum. :)
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
  • slowlyfading
    slowlyfading Forumite Posts: 13,429
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    :hello: new thread! :j

    here's to the next 3 months :D
    Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
    Personal Finance Blogger + YouTuber / In pursuit of FIRE
  • cw18
    cw18 Forumite Posts: 8,598
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Start of the third quarter, and I fair hammered my 'anything else' category today !!

    One pair of running shoes = £53 :eek:

    Then I also got a bra (with straps that detach or cross over or fit as normal, and comes with clear straps as well as bra coloured), 13 T-shirts (though 5 are primarily for under my uniform, so I'm charging them to my work expenses category), 5 pairs of shorts, a pack of 5 pairs of trainer socks, 2 capped sleeve blouses (different colours in a design I already own and love) and 2 dresses :eek:

    Need to tot up the damage yet (and see if I need to transfer anything over from my 'contingency'), but the dresses were both in sales, 4 pairs of the shorts, 4 of the T-shirts and the two blouses were on '2 for' offers, and I did the Mr T clothes shopping in two 'rounds' so I could get (and use) two of their "£5 off a £25 minimum spend" vouchers (I got 9 of the T-shirts - including the ones for work - and the bra from Mr A, but everything else was from Mr T)
  • lyndasharp
    lyndasharp Forumite Posts: 649
    500 Posts
    edited 1 July 2010 at 8:06PM
    Hello again! Just finished my updates and I've got £6561 for the next 6 months, which is a £561 underspend so I'm happy. This month will be a bit pricier as there's 2 nights in the Lake District to pay for, but I will try and stay roughly on budget!

    The garden is now starting to get really productive, lots of salad, HUGE turnips, and courgettes, so that should save on the food budget. Had the first tomatoes last weekend, there's going to be plenty more ready soon, and maybe even potatoes - anyone know when first earlies are supposed to be ready?
    Live on £11k in 2011 :D
  • NualaBuala
    NualaBuala Forumite Posts: 2,507 Forumite
    Hi everyone :wave:

    Hooray for our new thread! :j

    Hope everyone is well and big hugs to those who aren't.

    I'm within budget so far. I've reduced my overall budget a little (needs must and all that) and I've managed to stay in the black. BUT ... on the downside, I've spent way too much money on rubbishy food/takeaways. I've been able to afford it cos I saved on other categories but I'm just not happy to waste money on it so my main goal is to reduce spending there. Also, even though I'm within budget, I really need to be saving money. So I hope I'll do better with these goals this quarter.

    I thought I'd share some frugal pleasures I've had today:
    • Cups of mint tea made with leaves from the plant in my garden (a whoopsied dying mint plant for about 20c which flourished when replanted)
    • Freezer surprise which turned out to be a veggie lasagne made ages ago from veg that needed using up. Surprisingly delicious!
    • Returning unnecessary stuff to Ikea bought ages ago on a splurge (really, how many candles do I need :rotfl:) and using the credit to get a steamer insert for my pots.
    • Being able to donate the rest of the credit to my sister towards a new wardrobe
    • Enjoying the purple flowers that have self-sown in the front garden. They're really pretty and didn't cost a penny! :)
    Trying to spend less time on MSE so I can get more done ... it's not going great so far! :)
    Sorry if I don't reply to posts - I'm having MAJOR trouble keeping up these days!

    Frugal Living Challenge 2011

    Sealed Pot #671 :A DFW Nerd #1185
  • Savvy_sewing
    Savvy_sewing Forumite Posts: 11,574
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Rampant Recycler
    I am hoping to have a better second half to the year, and get back on track. It wont be my £4000 budget as that was when it was just me, and now there is DGD too. I hope that I will be reducing my car costs this second half of the year though.
    I have to confess I need to redo my budget. I have the luxury item of DGD going to Nursery and that is £136 a month, just for one day a week. So I have to rethink the rest. But I need the time off!. At least they give her Breakfast, Dinner and TEa on that day.
    DS is no longer living at home. He only came back for about a month, but he wont stay as the cottage is in the middle of nowhere for him. He wants to be near his friends. But he was eating all the "luxuries" that I get from Dan at App F00d.!
    I shall try and work on a better budget and catch up my bankstatements with my spending/on the computer. Then kick myself for letting the budget go.
    I must remember to follow this thread better this time, as it will probably "shame me" into acting!.
    I have had 5 no spend days this week so far, (from Saturday till today). Only spending on Tuesday. Which is the first time I have had so many in a while. Which to me is a good start.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
  • Frugaldom
    Frugaldom Forumite Posts: 6,848
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Good morning all.

    Frugaldom updates for end of June, the halfway mark, are as follows:

    Groceries - £391.68
    Toiletries - £14.42
    Cleaning - £1.12
    Eletricity - £490
    Coal - £69
    Logs - £120
    Internet - £106.18
    Mobile - £10
    Landline - £67.61
    TV - £145
    Clothing & Footwear - £34.96
    Gifts - £208
    Misc - £189.62
    Travel - £237.50
    Insurance - £50
    Other Stuff - £160

    Total -£2,295.09

    The amounts are what I have left out of each category for the year from a starting budget of £4,000. They'll get jubbled about to adapt to any eventuality but, on the whole, I don't intend the year to cost me any more than £4,000. Everything else is being paid for through what I call my 'EEK' challenge, which is a challenge to keep the 'Everything Else Kitty' topped up with enough to cover all other expenditure relating to the garden, livestock and non-household expenditure. At 30th June 2010, I was £130.88 in credit, so it's doing not too badly. :D

    Sorry I'm never here to chat but time is precious when relying on home and garden for your income. Latest additions to the Frugaldom household include 'Floppity', my baby German Lop rabbit. :D I've uploaded piccies here.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
  • NualaBuala
    NualaBuala Forumite Posts: 2,507 Forumite
    Oh your lop rabbit is gorgeous Frugaldom! And your budget is looking great too - well done! When I see what can be done, I feel a big guilty :o

    Today WILL be frugal I hope. If nothing else, I'm not going out so that makes it easier not to spend any money. :)

    I got a new huge plant pot with my Ikea credit so I might sow seeds in that today.
    Dinner will be leftover veggie lasagne and lunch is discount quiche.

    Hope you all have a good day and hugs to anyone who'd like one! :)
    Trying to spend less time on MSE so I can get more done ... it's not going great so far! :)
    Sorry if I don't reply to posts - I'm having MAJOR trouble keeping up these days!

    Frugal Living Challenge 2011

    Sealed Pot #671 :A DFW Nerd #1185
  • Blairweech
    Blairweech Forumite Posts: 1,379
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    :beer: Hello everybody :money:

    ChinaTea - Your home sounds lovely - I love it when people make a home out of 'repurposed' things, so much nicer than one thats picked out of an Argos catalogue :D

    SF - Eeee, how exciting that you and bf are looking to rent together! :j Hope you enjoyed your last days of being a student and BIG well done on getting your qualification

    Frugaldom - Pleased that you have finally got your woodburner, here's hoping to a lower electricity bill for you

    Erme - Well done on passing ECDL module first time. My ex and his Dad were on Champix when they quit smoking and it worked very well for them (although every time they talked about it I thought they said Tampax and was most confused)

    Top Drawer - ((((Hugs))). Hope things perk up and you get a new job soon x I understand how you feel, I get so agitated at myself when I make a mistake and its awful when people are not understanding about it.

    Kiwisaver - So pleased to hear you enjoyed your time in the UK and that you didn't spend as much as you expected. Glad the weather was nice - I tried to arrange it specially for you ;)

    Mooloo - How lovely to hear from you, and good that you are being assessed to have DGD permanently. Hopefully you will make some progress.

    Well I am back from holiday, had the most fantastic time. Wish I could go back already :cool: Had my bag searched 3 times on the way back, as the security staff could not equate the 'battery terminals' on their screen with my hair straighteners. They were most reluctant to let me through but saw sense in the end. I'm really getting the travel bug since getting my passport, if only I had the funds for it!

    Speaking of funds, I have not updated my diary since June 5th :( Someone please give me a kicking. I've ramped my o/d back up again now, so that is not good. Garden is growing well, we had some delicious strawberries - well, Mum did as they ripened just as I left for holiday so she got to eat them all. Tomatoes, sweetcorn and beans are all doing well, although some pest is shredding the leaves on my corn - any ideas?
    Apart from that there is not much going on. Sent my Student Finance form off but not heard anything back yet - do they email you or something to acknowledge receipt of the form? OH is coming over this weekend, and we are going to a local fete and a motor show (free entry) which should be nice.

    Right, off to watch the Wimbledon semi and more ebayage. Have fun! :T
    We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment
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