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  • FIRST POST
    • cw18
    • By cw18 31st Dec 10, 10:49 PM
    • 8,077Posts
    • 86,059Thanks
    cw18
    Frugal Living Challenge 2011 - part 1
    • #1
    • 31st Dec 10, 10:49 PM
    Frugal Living Challenge 2011 - part 1 31st Dec 10 at 10:49 PM
    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


    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 - 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
    ====================================

    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.
    ===================================

    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.
    Last edited by cw18; 01-04-2011 at 6:37 PM.
    Cheryl
Page 211
  • enjoyfinancialchallenges
    Hi, I've been away from the computer for a while, ever since I realized I was sort of addicted to seeing what you were all doing. I haven't caught up with all the news as the pages have mounted up whilst I was away and I don't have the time to read them all which irritates me as I must be missing loads of news. I need to find out where the new quarter starts so I will have to look a bit I suppose but am trying not to be tempted to stay up all night in order to keep up. Will post all my news soon and get you up to date with Marmalade Mansion next time I post. Hope all doing well and health staying good to fair for you all . XXX
    Keep to 400 a month on C/C.
    • redglass
    • By redglass 31st Mar 11, 11:15 PM
    • 771 Posts
    • 8,839 Thanks
    redglass
    Thanks Tumpty and Cheryl, I wanted to quote you but something went very weird with my cursor and it wouldn't appear in the quoted messages and I couldn't add any comments, so this will have to do!

    Welcome to all our newbies. :-)

    I was going to watch the scrimping programme but from what other frugalists have said I don't think I'll bother now.
    'Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin now.' Goethe



    • franticflyerSue56
    • By franticflyerSue56 1st Apr 11, 6:11 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 282 Thanks
    franticflyerSue56
    Hi everyone!
    I'm a newbie on here, but would like to join this thread, probably lurking and looking!

    I'm 55 this year, and will be made redundant from my job in the library service. The redundancy package isn't bad, but not enough to live on, and at my age, finding employment might be a bit of a challenge. Therefore, I am taking the opportunity to change my lifestyle one step at a time, and that means living within my means!!

    I've already seen some great ideas, thoughts and plans.

    FFS56
    • cw18
    • By cw18 1st Apr 11, 6:35 AM
    • 8,077 Posts
    • 86,059 Thanks
    cw18
    Quarter 2's thread is now up and running - here
    Cheryl
  • ceridwen
    MINNIE

    You make me feel positively exhausted just looking at your timetable - but you deserve a medal for putting in so much - and with health problems to contend with too.

    Re NMW (ie National Minimum Wage) you might find it useful to have a read of this:

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/TheNationalMinimumWage/DG_10027201
  • LauraM65
    Frugal Living Challenge Day 1
    Hi

    I am posting this, as from tomorrow onwards I am planning on living a frugal life, having a massive debt of 12,000 this needs to be paid off, I have just kind of got a second job as a sessional worker although it will be work on an adhoc basis but this money will certainly be going to pay my debts.

    I am off from work at the moment with a chest infection and have had a great time looking at all the money saving advice. Today I have cleared my storecupboard and made an inventory of what I have, am planning to do the same tomorrow with the freezer and fridge. I have to say I had a huge surprise, not much shopping needed this week or probablly next other than the usual milk, bread, sandwich filler, veg and fruit.

    I am currently making a batch of freezer veg soup up, and am writing this as the veg is cooking, I also added a chicken stock that I made up from an old carcus earlier today, I may even put the small bits of chicken that have come off the carcus and bones in at the end when the veg has cooked and then whizz it all down. I am the planning to freeze once I have taken some out for my lunch tomorrow. Hubby going to work tomorrow with left over chilli from tonights tea.

    I also had a lot of baking stuff in my store cupborad such as dried fruit so am making up 4 tea loaves (yum) great with butter and an afternoon cuppa. Really cheap to make as well.

    Going to keep a diary of my daily spend as well as a monthly one for April and hopefully I will be able to continue on from there. I am also planning to get a Cashbuilder Card in order to put monies on so that I can try and keep to a budget for my shopping and hopefully this will leave me with some money in the bank at the end of the month or to pay off some of my debts.

    Well I am so excited to be taking my frugal living challenge and would welcome any money saving tips, recipes of advice anyone has to offer. Will look forward to hearing from you all.

    Cheers
    Originally posted by LauraM65
    Well here's to day one, have got up early as my chest was tight from my chest infection, so not feeling too great anyway, good job I got organised with food yesterday for today. Have decided to send letters out to credit card companies to try and claim charges back, this will then hopefully go to paying off a bit of my debt. Been looking at other ways on here of raising some cash, especially been looking at raising 11,000 Challenge thread for some inspiration and tips. Also going to apply for a Cashbuilder card in order to try and budget more for my shopping which may leave me with a little bit more cash in the bank at the end of the month. It will also help me build my credit scoring as mine is pretty bad.

    So any advice, tips or help would be most welcome, thanks to a couple of people already who have welcomed me and given me a great recipe to try to use up all my beans that I have in my storecupboard. (Done a storecupboard inventory yesterday so amazed at what I had, no expensive shop this week).

    • redglass
    • By redglass 1st Apr 11, 12:22 PM
    • 771 Posts
    • 8,839 Thanks
    redglass
    Welcome, FFS56!

    So any advice, tips or help would be most welcome, thanks to a couple of people already who have welcomed me and given me a great recipe to try to use up all my beans that I have in my storecupboard. (Done a storecupboard inventory yesterday so amazed at what I had, no expensive shop this week).
    Originally posted by LauraM65
    You don't need this one yet, if your cupboards are full, but Approved Foods (they do other stuff besides food, but not a lot) is one of my favourite moneysavers. You have to be disciplined and only buy stuff you know you'll use, and also maximise your purchase to offset the delivery cost, but it has saved me a fortune over the years.

    I always do the homework on gas, electricity, insurance etc and try to get the best deal. Boring but worth it. And I keep the house cool, not tropical, and just wear an extra layer or two instead. I can honestly say that you do acclimatise and that most people's houses are too hot for me now.

    Topcashback and Quidco and the Nectar site come next (I don't use any others but I expect other moneysavers have got good suggestions besides these three).

    Lots of batch cooking (mine is mostly soups and stews whereas a lot of people do baking too).

    I have an allotment but by the time I've purchased bits'n'bobs I'm not sure how much cheaper it is, really, but it's nice to do.

    On the subject of growing your own food: I've got some chitting potatoes and have bought some potato bags to put in my back yard. They are cylindrical, 45cm deep and 35cm round the top rim. Are these supposed to hold one plant each, or can you put more than one in? The picture on the package is clearly fake, with about 5 big plants all throttling each other! Has anyone used them?
    'Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin now.' Goethe



    • 23rdspiral
    • By 23rdspiral 1st Apr 11, 4:17 PM
    • 1,927 Posts
    • 12,619 Thanks
    23rdspiral
    woops, it looks like the new thread is up and running away with itself. i'm going to repost and delete my last message over there if no- one minds? see you there...
    Relax, Breathe, Love 2014 Challenges:Cross Stitch Cafe Challenger 23. Frugal Living Challenger. No buying cleaning products. I used MSE advice to reduce my car insurance from 550 to 325!! & paid it off in full!!!
  • LauraM65
    Welcome, FFS56!



    You don't need this one yet, if your cupboards are full, but Approved Foods (they do other stuff besides food, but not a lot) is one of my favourite moneysavers. You have to be disciplined and only buy stuff you know you'll use, and also maximise your purchase to offset the delivery cost, but it has saved me a fortune over the years.

    I always do the homework on gas, electricity, insurance etc and try to get the best deal. Boring but worth it. And I keep the house cool, not tropical, and just wear an extra layer or two instead. I can honestly say that you do acclimatise and that most people's houses are too hot for me now.

    Topcashback and Quidco and the Nectar site come next (I don't use any others but I expect other moneysavers have got good suggestions besides these three).

    Lots of batch cooking (mine is mostly soups and stews whereas a lot of people do baking too).

    I have an allotment but by the time I've purchased bits'n'bobs I'm not sure how much cheaper it is, really, but it's nice to do.

    On the subject of growing your own food: I've got some chitting potatoes and have bought some potato bags to put in my back yard. They are cylindrical, 45cm deep and 35cm round the top rim. Are these supposed to hold one plant each, or can you put more than one in? The picture on the package is clearly fake, with about 5 big plants all throttling each other! Has anyone used them?
    Originally posted by redglass
    Thanks for the advice, I already use Quidco and will probablly need to be looking at my gas and electric now as well.

    With regard to growing your own food, we do this and also have potatoes chitting but ours will go directly into the veg patch. Hubby says that you should probablly put 4 or 5 plants in each sac as that will be fine. Am also growing runner beans, onions, garlic, beetroot and a range of other bits and bots. Keep me posted on your growing and good luck.
  • cake21
    Reporting in for the end of Quarter 1...overall result is that I'm 32% over budget which looks bad and is, but I'm underbudget for gas/electric after winter which I'm really happy about. Probably won't make it back but if the food/gas/electric/books/newspapers & magazines/snacks are right down then I'll be very happy at the end of the year. Hope everyone is ok, can't keep up with the thread unfortunately but my monthly post along with the SoW does keep me going
    • redglass
    • By redglass 1st Apr 11, 7:24 PM
    • 771 Posts
    • 8,839 Thanks
    redglass
    Hubby says that you should probablly put 4 or 5 plants in each sac as that will be fine. Am also growing runner beans, onions, garlic, beetroot and a range of other bits and bots. Keep me posted on your growing and good luck.
    Originally posted by LauraM65
    Thank you! My allotment plot is very small so i keep it for the more expensive stuff. Good luck with yours, too!

    I'm off to the exciting world of the New Thread now...see y'all over there...
    'Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin now.' Goethe



  • LauraM65
    Well here's to day one, have got up early as my chest was tight from my chest infection, so not feeling too great anyway, good job I got organised with food yesterday for today. Have decided to send letters out to credit card companies to try and claim charges back, this will then hopefully go to paying off a bit of my debt. Been looking at other ways on here of raising some cash, especially been looking at raising 11,000 Challenge thread for some inspiration and tips. Also going to apply for a Cashbuilder card in order to try and budget more for my shopping which may leave me with a little bit more cash in the bank at the end of the month. It will also help me build my credit scoring as mine is pretty bad.

    So any advice, tips or help would be most welcome, thanks to a couple of people already who have welcomed me and given me a great recipe to try to use up all my beans that I have in my storecupboard. (Done a storecupboard inventory yesterday so amazed at what I had, no expensive shop this week).

    Originally posted by LauraM65
    Well quite a successful day, no spend not even anything going out of the bank. Did not do my allotted goal like applying for the cashbuilder card and writing to credit card companies to get my charges back, will have to settle down tomorrow and do this. Although I did my freezer inventory and entered a couple of cash for free sites on quidco which should total up to 2.14. So all in all really please with myself after day one.
    Last edited by LauraM65; 02-04-2011 at 8:45 AM.
  • LauraM65
    Frugal Living Challenge
    Day Two - Hubby just gone to buy milk for porridge, spending money already but it has to be done today, will be shopping later for essentials and mothers day presents. Chest infection feeling better today although did not get a great deal of sleep again.
    • mooomin
    • By mooomin 2nd Apr 11, 7:19 AM
    • 13,655 Posts
    • 134,514 Thanks
    mooomin
    Hi Laura,

    We have a new thread every quarter so come and join us in thread 2:

    Here!
    Comping again


    Wins this year: - two night trip to Belgium, 100 Gett taxi credit, tickets to Newcastle game, FIFA 2016 for PS4, stitch markers, Cumberstitching book
  • LauraM65
    Day Two - Hubby just gone to buy milk for porridge, spending money already but it has to be done today, will be shopping later for essentials and mothers day presents. Chest infection feeling better today although did not get a great deal of sleep again.
    Originally posted by LauraM65
    Shopped today supposedly for essentials ended up spending too much of course although I did have to buy mothers day presents.

    Total spend
    Home Bargains 11.99
    Tesco 27.92
    Wilkinsons 11.38
    Asda 52.56
    Farm Foods 14.00
    Owed Son 40.00
    Local Garage 2.75

    Total 160.60

    So too much money spend will have to tighten belt for the rest of the week and the week after, need to be more savy when shopping for fruit and veg. Never mind had a lovely afternoon digging in the garden on the second veg patch, so will soon be eating my own veg saving money.
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 2nd Apr 11, 7:14 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    minnie2
    wow minnie! you're doing amazingly. health issues and a broken foot but still working so much! paying off debts, working overtime to do so. i'm so very impressed with your efforts and attitude. thank you for the inspiration.


    thanks for the heads up. i'll go look in co-op when i can. also for the idea of putting loo roll in the attic, the new house's upstairs showerroom thing is very small and i wondered where on earth to keep such things. we havent braved the attic yet but fingers crossed it's dry!


    woop! woop! bravo on keeping your OD below your target!! good luck with hopefully keeping it there and lowering it as you can.



    Hi Laura, welcome to the thread. you've certainly been putting being ill to good use! good luck with your personal challenge, it sounds like you're heading in the right direction to make the changes you want to make.
    ~ i pride myself in getting all the meat off the chicken, even bits it didnt know it had! personally, i add these little bits after i've blitzed the soup as i prefer the texture that way, and so my OH knows there is at least a bit of meat in there!
    Originally posted by 23rdspiral
    MINNIE

    You make me feel positively exhausted just looking at your timetable - but you deserve a medal for putting in so much - and with health problems to contend with too.

    Re NMW (ie National Minimum Wage) you might find it useful to have a read of this:

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/TheNationalMinimumWage/DG_10027201
    Originally posted by ceridwen

    Well sometimes I have trouble keeping track!!!! Had a review and the specialist is very pleased with my progress and the drugs are obviously working their magic on the tumour - so positive there.Nice to have a clearer head!! With all my brains I was surprised there was enough room for a tumour in there in the first place!!! hehe!!

    Just hoping all the work will be worth it!!!! it nice to now see progress and our money changing!! what i still struggle with is not to spend money when we have it!!! its ok whe we are short and get paid late as then we are frugal but we both get paid for main job at same time which is not good - i struggle to remmber that that money has already been spent on bills when its sitting there!!

    Hey ho!!! i am currently working on ways to get round this - such as not carrying cards and just having a set amount of cash etc.I dont know it seems to be my big downfall - its affecting us this month as weve had money and i cant spend it but i have eek!!!
    Frugal living challenge - need to revisit its been.a while !! Need to reduce our debts!!
    • tumptyteapot
    • By tumptyteapot 7th Apr 11, 6:41 PM
    • 670 Posts
    • 7,038 Thanks
    tumptyteapot
    Lady Lesley Superscrimpers

    Im a little unsure if I am too frugal and therefore off putting or own too much land and how dare I so I thought Id come and ask.

    To be fair I run an animal sanctuary which is something Channel 4 didnt really put in despite two whole days of filming us so I have the land but I truly do have to be a Dougal Frugal to survive.
    I cant put the link as Im new here but its Trallwm Farm Sanctuary

    Im just strating to put all my recipes and home made stuff on a blog

    Lady Lesley at word press



    Im doing it bit by bit as some recipes will be on Channel 4 still.
    I do a mean line in japanese knot weed wine for the lady who has an interest in wine making. Most of my recipes go back a good 100 years and are frugal as life was then.
    I look forward to chatting with you all.
    Lesley
    Originally posted by Trallwm Farm
    we've all moved to the next quarter of this thread now -http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3146548&page=10 be good to see you there
    Tumptyteapot


  • 123budget
    Hi, not sure if this is the right place to post but wonder if anyone can help me with some ideas??
    It is my big sis's 50th birthday soon and I have been trying to rack my brains as to what to get her to make it a bit special.
    I have come up with the idea of getting a box and decorating it and then wrapping 50 individual items in the box - they don't have to be mega expensive - just wondering if anyone has any ideas if they were getting a box like this what they would want in it??
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2011 / no. 1205 110 made]Sealed Pot Challenge 2012/no 1205 target 300
    Jan g/c 355.83/450
    g/c Feb487.66/400
    March 411.03/450
    To feed 5 adults and 2 dogs includes toiletries & cleanining
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 7th May 11, 4:25 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    Hi 123, a new thread was started at the beginning of April (new ones every quarter to keep the number of posts from getting to big).

    Pop in and join us, you'll be more than welcome and I'm sure you'll get some tips.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3146548&page=32
    Grocery Challenge 211/455 (01/01-31/03)
    2016 Sell: 125/250
    1,000 Emergency Fund Challenge #78 3.96 / 1,000
    Vet Fund: 410.93 / 1,000
    Debt free & determined to stay that way!
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