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Frugal Living Challenge 2011 - part 2

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Frugal Living Challenge 2011 - part 2

edited 2 April 2011 at 8:11AM in How much have you saved?
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cw18cw18 Forumite
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edited 2 April 2011 at 8:11AM in How much have you saved?
The following has been lifted from the first thread of the 2010 challenge - I felt that what Frugaldom (the originator of this challenge) had said covered everything I needed to cover as the current caretaker of the challenge :)


The following links will take you to all the previous challenge threads

Part 1 - January to March 2011

Introduction to 2010 Frugal Living Challenge
Part 1 - January to March 2010
Part 2 - April to June 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


IMPORTANT
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 and 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
Houseshare
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
bartering
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...

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.
HANDY LINKS
(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!
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
Complete (MSE) cooking collection - Loads and loads and loads of recipes
Crafting for Christmas - homemade presents
Eggs, eggs, eggs - Frugaldom's '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 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
My FREE spreadsheet (aka the SoW / Spreadsheet of Wonder) - where to download from
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 :)
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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:


KEEPING THREADS ON-TOPIC

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.

KEEPING TOPICS RELEVANT TO THE BOARD

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.
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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 2011. The links will give you an idea of how previous challenges have gone.
Cheryl
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Replies

  • edited 26 June 2011 at 2:42PM
    cw18cw18 Forumite
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    edited 26 June 2011 at 2:42PM
    list of those taking part - I'll add names when people post on here, but if you're still missing after a couple of days please let me know

    Lurkers are also more than welcome to say hello and be added - it's always nice to know who's following us :)

    23rdspiral
    2wildthing2
    alec eiffel
    angelaf
    Annie56
    apple_mint
    Aril
    artichoke
    Barros
    Blairweech
    BlinkyTheHorse
    cake21
    ceridwen
    cha97michelle
    Cheapskate
    chika
    Chipps
    cloud_cuckoo_land
    CRANKY40
    cw18
    Dawning
    Decluttering
    diddly74
    dizzy lizzie
    Doom_and_Gloom
    Ellidee
    elly68
    enjoyfinancialchallenges
    Erme
    gelmc
    Georgiegirl2012
    gien
    gillst
    glendam
    grandma247
    Green_Queen
    fingersxed
    Fishcake_Random
    fizz
    Floxxie
    flying_fresian
    franby64
    franticflyerSue56
    freedom2011
    frizz2
    frugalbrunette
    Frugaldom
    frugaliciousness
    Fruittea
    goldrush1984
    heather2409
    HelenPie
    inspirespirit
    itsallinthemind
    jade86123
    jammydodgersandrhl
    jayII
    JayneC
    jess444
    jo70mo
    JustKeepSwimming
    kayharcombe
    kazire
    keenan1
    Kerfuffle
    Kerry Woman
    kezlou
    kittiej
    Kiwisaver
    knithappens
    l.m.hart
    Lady Lesley
    landregistrylass
    LauraM65
    Laushappy
    liloandstitch
    lily288
    Lily_The_Legend
    lingojingo
    LittleMissHappy
    LJC79
    loislane999
    LolaLemon
    LollopyBear
    lowspend2011
    lynzpower
    maccanut
    Marru
    midwinter
    minnie2
    miss empty piggy
    mogan6
    mommyof4
    mongmoney
    Mooloo
    mummroysof3
    Nancy888
    nannyboo1
    natnat13
    Nichelette
    NualaBuala
    OCD
    oldestgnome
    Optimisticpair
    pagangirl
    paidinchickens
    patentgirl
    Paulgonnabedebtfree
    pink_numbers
    pipersky
    Puddleglum
    rainbowcattail
    redglass
    rising from the ashes
    roger ramjet
    romylou
    rozeepozee
    rubytuesday
    salski
    SandraScarlett
    saorsie
    sarah0404
    savingforarainyday
    seriouslyfrugal
    shebrett
    silvasava
    skint_chick
    slowlyfading
    slscarborough
    Sorting it out
    sparkle76
    steerpiker
    summertea
    the_cat
    thrifty
    thriftylass
    tumptyteapot
    twiglet98
    viv0147
    xnatalie81x
    youngmummy
    weesmiler
    Winchelsea
    Winnie in Pooh
    WonderfulLife
    wornoutmumoftwo


    (currently up to 145 names :D)
    Cheryl
  • cw18cw18 Forumite
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    and for my budget spreadsheet - which I really must get posted soon ;)
    Cheryl
  • cw18cw18 Forumite
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    Just wanted to wish everyone well for Quarter 2 - and to say how well I think everyone's been doing in Quarter 1 :T

    Even if you've only shaved a few quid off here and there and/or stopped having the odd coffee when in town, then it's still an improvement to your income versus outgoing balancing act :)
    Cheryl
  • mooominmooomin Forumite
    13.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
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    Morning all :D

    *bookmarks*
    Comping again :D


    Wins this year: - two night trip to Belgium, £100 Gett taxi credit, tickets to Newcastle game, FIFA 2016 for PS4, stitch markers, Cumberstitching book
  • ohh, the March figures on the SOW have faded out now it is April, very classy and very clever! And I notice that I am under my budget on petrol which means I can have a nice weekend without feeling terrible!
    Tumptyteapot

  • apple_mintapple_mint Forumite
    1.1K posts
    Good morning everyone :wave: A nice shiny new thread to bookmark and a sign of the first quarter of the year completed.

    I've been updating my spreadsheets and looking at how I've been doing.

    I went over on my food budget by £2.99. I would have been under but I went into the C**p and picked up a reduced stickered chicken and a couple of boxes of Tracker bars on offer at £1 a box. (for OH's lunch box). However, a big chunk of the food budget has been on stocking up on offers last month (e.g. 4 large jars coffee, large bag of pasta, 2 large bags of rice plus a few other bits and bobs).

    Fuel budget is well under. I've not been in work this week and that has created a saving here. I'll be moving the underspend into my savings account. My pay day is mid-month (although I track calendar monthly for this challenge) and I move savings then.

    We've spent £244 on 'bits 'n' bobs' - restocking or spaving. I'm trying not to be too :eek: about this though as they are things we needed in case of power cuts (a regular occurrence), restocking the first aid kit (DH has used up the TCP, finger bandages, tape etc. this week - :cool:) and tools, sandpaper etc. for DH. This came from the 'council tax free' element of the budget in February / March. We have also had some DVD purchases as we have given up going to the cinema (and ultimately plan to give up the TV licence). I'm thinking of creating a small set budget for DVDs then we won't feel guilty about these purchases (even though they tend to come out of my pocket money allowance).

    Yesterday I went through one of my kitchen cupboards and sorted out all the part opened packets of food in there with the aim to use them up (and to see how many more glass storage jars I need to find :o). It's amazing how many bags I had sealed with klip-it clips. I'm now in use up mode :D I worry the DH when I do this. Last night he was presented with a rhubarb crumble topped with left over muesli, brown sugar and some bits of bobs of dried fruit. He never said a word - which means it wasn't stunning as he always lets me know if something is particularly tasty. I haven't told him yet that I've got another lock 'n' lock box of this 'mixture' to use up :D

    I have some pasta, macaroni, lentils and some spit peas to work my way through which should be quite easy - I'm planning on some lunchtime packed lunches based on these. I'll hunt out some glass jars (charity shops) and all the new packet starts will go into containers with labels on so that it's easier to see just what I have and the use by dates.

    I'm loving this challenge and its starting to give us a feel for where the 'expense spikes' are. We are taking the electricity metre readings and keeping a spreadsheet. I also go round the house every morning before I leave for work to make sure nothing has been left on standby etc. So we are gradually seeing the number of units used going down.

    So bring on April :D
    Enjoying an MSE OS life :D
  • WinchelseaWinchelsea Forumite
    693 posts
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    Thanks for the new thread Cheryl.

    Did my March adding up last night and seem to have done quite well, coming in under budget. I don't use the SoW as such, but have my own system. The only thing I've not done yet is to stick a couple of cards in a cashpoint to see exactly what their balances are. I do a 'snapshot' of all balances on 1st of month - have done the two online accounts already.

    Will update my sig in a minute.

    I'm a bit like enjoyfinancialchallenges - prone to spending too much time on here - but you're all so interesting! Resolution for the month is to set my kitchen timer when I come on - can't decide how much time to allow myself though.

    Have a good frugal month everyone.

    (Off topic - but am listening to R4, all about early British rock'n'roll - my youth! - brilliant!)
    Keeping three cats, the car and myself on a small budget, and enjoying life while we're at it!
  • cw18cw18 Forumite
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    Winchelsea wrote: »
    Resolution for the month is to set my kitchen timer when I come on - can't decide how much time to allow myself though.
    A couple of hours will probably cover it :rotfl:
    Cheryl
  • saorsiesaorsie Forumite
    1.9K posts
    Aaaaaah lovely new thread :j
    Can't believe the first 3 months have passed already ~ whooooosh there they go :eek:

    The fantastic SoW is looking fairly healthy, apart from motoring costs and house costs however these are both explained by car and buildings and contents insurance both being due in February I had the money saved so paid them both as one offs however it has upset the spreadsheet a bit, though it will recover as the months go on.

    Health costs are also looking a bit depleted due to a new pair of glasses in March (frugally sourced frames from e*bay and lenses from gl*sses d*rect but still an expense) but again barring any emergencies, this will also recover.

    Have made a decision to cancel my gym memebership which after a 3 month termination period will save me £62.50 a month :eek: :eek: ~ I'm not using it enough to justify that monthly cost and am incorporating walking and cycling into my daily routine rather than using the car so healthy and frugal.

    Every thing else is on track so pleased with the progress that's been made ~ here's to quarter 2 :beer: my fellow frugalistas

    -s-
    Frugal living challenge 2012 live on £8500 ~ £7725.87 remaining
    Make £5/day in 2012 ~ £482.24/£1830 ~ 22.52%
    Proud Member of PAD since January 2010 ~ Total paid to date £11386.64
    Savings Pot for 2012 ~ £772.60/£3000 ~ 23.38%
    Lose 19lbs / Save £2k by 30/04/12 *5/19lbs* £158.72/£2000
  • alec_eiffelalec_eiffel Forumite
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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for starting the new thread. I know everyone says this, but I can't believe it's April already. Had the budget meeting last night and we had £4 of our spends budget left, £10 from the grocery and £170 to save from general "stuff". Nearly fell off the chair. Here's to a good quarter for everyone.
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