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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 3
    • diddly74
    • By diddly74 1st Jan 11, 2:42 PM
    • 800 Posts
    • 4,377 Thanks
    diddly74
    Does it class as a NSD if you have order something but not paid for it yet????
    Donna
    Economy; careful management; providence. Whether you call it thrifty or frugality it all comes down to getting more for your money.
  • LollopyBear
    Happy New Year to all.

    I'd like to join in with this challenge please. I first started doing these challenges in 2008 (made it as far as May), then tried again in 2009 (made it as far as March) and did not sign-up in 2010. 2010 was a bit of a non-year for me as I was so focused on work and girl guides. I let a lot of things slip, resulting in not enough time spent with my husband and no holiday. Due to a promotion at work I broke even on spending by the end of the year, an achievement for me as I normally go into my over-draft about a week before pay-day, however this year I want to do better and save up for a holiday as well as work on the house.

    Looking at my aborted spreadsheets from 2008 and 2009 I think that a realistic monthly budget for me is 500. This doesn't include mortgage/bills/standing orders etc. This should leave me with around 300 a month to put in savings!

    I'm hoping to keep up with this challenge this year. I've missed this site!
    ~ Lexie ~
    The Minimoilist.
    Saving money and the planet at the same time.
    • silvasava
    • By silvasava 1st Jan 11, 3:37 PM
    • 4,240 Posts
    • 67,459 Thanks
    silvasava
    Whoops = originally posted this on the 'preparation' site
    Happy New Year everyone - I'm lurking again! Feeling quite self righteous at the moment as I've just completed my New Year spreadsheet & according to sums we could save about 5K a year! (where is it going???? need to investigate further!) I have managed to get my house insurance cheaper & with a cashback. I also had a chat with Virgin & managed to upgrade our package for less than we are paying already (how does that work then?) so a good start. I've also got to clear out my wardrobe - does anyone have any tips for selling clothes? I must admit I'm not a fan of ebay but if thats the best way to go. I've some lovely suits and separates that I needed for work and its a shame to leave them in the wardrobe getting dated. I'm also going to start clearing the loft as everything that's 'useful' is stored there so maybe Preloved or Freecycle!
    Thank you all for the encouragement and ideas
    Small victories - sometimes they are all you can hope for but sometimes they are all you need - be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 1st Jan 11, 3:47 PM
    • 3,326 Posts
    • 36,405 Thanks
    CRANKY40
    Happy New Year

    I'd like to join please. I've done a total budget, as my income should not vary for 2011. My budget is 12291.86, which for the sake of being picky I will round up to 12300. I know some prices will inevitably rise such as Sky, Council Tax etc, but I am hoping to absorb those costs by not using my entire grocery budget every week.

    TV Licence 145.50
    Phone 240.00
    Mobile 264.00
    Life Ins 222.36
    Car Ins 480.00
    House Ins 350.00
    Pet Ins 120.00
    Gas & Elec 1200.00
    Council Tax 900
    Water Rates 450.00
    Broadband 168.00
    Sky 288.00
    Contact Lenses 150.00
    Boat 300.00
    Petrol 600.00
    Talk talk 60.00 (phone calls abroad to my sister, cheaper than BT)
    Car Misc 300.00
    Birthdays 350.00
    Christmas 350.00
    Groceries 2600.00
    RAC 90.00
    Cash Spends 2080.00
    Milk 500.00
    Weightwatchers online 84.00

    My goals this year are to lose weight and thus fit into clothes I already have rather than buy any new ones, to declutter and sell some of the clutter on Ebay, to use up all the toiletries stockpile before buying more, and to use up the freezer contents ditto.
    • Kerfuffle
    • By Kerfuffle 1st Jan 11, 3:57 PM
    • 1,308 Posts
    • 11,554 Thanks
    Kerfuffle
    *snip

    Feeling smug because I have a super-frugal bean soup on the simmer downstairs.
    Originally posted by redglass
    I'd really appreciate it if you could share your recipe

    Lunch today for us is super-frugal Winter Veg soup which is left-overs from yesterday, which were left-over from the day before, which was made with left-overs from the turkey carcase.

    and later I'm going to make Parsnip soup which will hopefully provide lunches for Monday and Tuesday ( no left-overs in this one ).

    Toodles
    Sealed Pot Challenge 12 #58
    2019 - The Year of the Shopping Ban.
    No wants, just needs.
    24011.00/6484.24
    150lbs/152.6
    • kazire
    • By kazire 1st Jan 11, 4:03 PM
    • 447 Posts
    • 2,268 Thanks
    kazire
    so HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone!
    i dont know at the moment how much my bills will be my ex is leaving the rented home on the 8th so that 1st month will be when i know how much for things i have never paied for anything by DD but looking atthe bills it seems that it is cheaper and quite convieniant to pay by DD is this right?? sp apart from buyin some things i need to replace because hes taking them i really want to keep my spending to a minimum and hoping that everyone can help with this!

    looking forward to the year ahead!
    • JustKeepSwimming
    • By JustKeepSwimming 1st Jan 11, 4:08 PM
    • 801 Posts
    • 3,605 Thanks
    JustKeepSwimming
    Here goes - I've spent ages fannying about with my budget using M*soft Money (which can get quite addictive), but I'll spare you all the detailed budget & just give an outline. I'm not including - mortgage, council tax, water, or TV licence. I am including -

    house insurance - 180 (but will investigate when it is due next month)
    gas/electricity - 720 (my provider usually comes out the best but I'll check this every few months)
    'phone/internet - 240
    mobile - 100
    holiday - 600 (not including food)
    transport - 200 (no car to run thankfully)
    gifts - 150
    charity - 600

    These are the areas I really need to cut down on -

    childcare - 330 (this is to cover me when I have errands/meetings that I don't want to/can't take kids to)
    groceries - 1300 (includes cleaning stuff & toiletries)
    eating out - 400
    days out with kids - 350

    This leaves 2330 for everything else which sounds like lots but I'm sure it'll vanish quite quickly!

    So my grand total is 7500 for 1 adult, 2 children & 1 cat. Bring it on....

    I'm also sadly excited by this challenge & pleased to report my 1st NSD!
    & as for some happy ending I'd rather stay single & thin



    • cw18
    • By cw18 1st Jan 11, 4:09 PM
    • 8,077 Posts
    • 86,059 Thanks
    cw18
    i have never paied for anything by DD but looking atthe bills it seems that it is cheaper and quite convieniant to pay by DD is this right??
    Originally posted by kazire
    I find it more convenient to pay by D/Debit, as it means I can't forget to pay. But you do need to make sure the money for them will always be in your account in time, as the fees for a failed D/Debit can be very high.

    I get a discount on my water and phone bills for paying that way, and am on a cheaper tariff for my gas & electricity for using this method (not available unless you do).
    Cheryl
    • redglass
    • By redglass 1st Jan 11, 4:16 PM
    • 771 Posts
    • 8,839 Thanks
    redglass
    Cranky40, I'm intrigued: why does milk get its own entry in your budget?
    'Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin now.' Goethe



    • JustKeepSwimming
    • By JustKeepSwimming 1st Jan 11, 4:44 PM
    • 801 Posts
    • 3,605 Thanks
    JustKeepSwimming
    hi jo lol ,thanks for this thread my main problem is grocery shop ,i'm aware that as a family we spend way too much and waste too much food ,also money lying about house so going to do sealed pot challenges .
    so my aim this year is to reduce grocery and electriity gas and fuel will work out budget be back tomorrow off to find a thread for weightloss
    Originally posted by elly68
    We spend far to much on food - groceries & eating out, so these are my target areas. I'm going to try & be more organized & take drinks with us when we go out for the day. This is when I really miss having a car though, as having to carry food for 3 all day & on numerous trains/buses isn't that much fun - often dont take food if we need to take coats as my back complains .

    My goals this year are to lose weight and thus fit into clothes I already have rather than buy any new ones, to declutter and sell some of the clutter on Ebay, to use up all the toiletries stockpile before buying more, and to use up the freezer contents ditto.
    Originally posted by CRANKY40
    Snap - apart from the selling on Ebay as I just can't get into it & I doubt anyone would want to buy any of my old clothes anyway .
    & as for some happy ending I'd rather stay single & thin



    • Blairweech
    • By Blairweech 1st Jan 11, 4:49 PM
    • 1,379 Posts
    • 16,273 Thanks
    Blairweech
    Well, I have started my new year by acquiring more stuff - only coathangers from Freecycle though, as I have taken all mine to uni and now have none left here. Of course, when I come back from uni in the summer I will have an abundance but oh well, at least I did not pay for them!

    I also didn't even manage one day of New Years Resolution no.1: Stick to a routine for bedtime (11pm) and waking up (8am). I woke up at 11 ...must have got confused I think! Try again tomorrow
    We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment
    • redglass
    • By redglass 1st Jan 11, 4:53 PM
    • 771 Posts
    • 8,839 Thanks
    redglass
    I'd really appreciate it if you could share your recipe
    With pleasure, only there wasn't really a recipe! Usually for soups and stews I just make it up as I go (I live alone so nobody has to know if I make a mess of things).

    I softened an onion in a small amount of cheapo cooking oil
    Then I added some Marigold stock,
    + a dried green pepper that I grew last summer (ground up in mortar and pestle - knew I'd find a use for that mortar one day)
    + the secret ingredien
    t - a couple of tinned anchovies, rinsed and snipped into pieces before being thrown into the pot.
    Then I added:
    plenty of butter beans (bought as dry beans for a few pence from Approved Fo
    ods and cooked last night, the rest of them will make butter bean hummus),
    + mixed herbs - mediterranean types like rosemary and thyme
    + economy chopped tomatoes. I gave it a long slow simmer and it made a thick soothing satisfying broth.

    You could add small pasta shapes and/or grated cheese if you wanted but it's quite filling as it is. Also, I didn't need to add any salt because of the anchovies but you might like more salt in your food.
    Why anchovies? Well, I had an open tin needing to be finished off, plus I knew a recipe for chick pea soup in which anchovies were put in to give a richer flavour, 'like cooking in beef stock' said the recipe. I thought I'd try a couple in with the butter beans and see if they had the same effect. The recipe turns out to be right, they disappear from the cooked dish and there is no fishiness, but they do add a bit more depth to the flavour.
    'Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin now.' Goethe



  • Marru
    Happy New Year everyone!!

    My budget for one adult and one 6 year old is 4000.- However this doesn't include: rent, council tax, study costs, car costs, school clubs and other school costs, loan payments nor pension payments.

    Yes it would be tempting to sneak things from my challenge budget into the excluded budgets but every time any of those budgets gets exceeded it means that it comes out from how much I can put towards my debt. So that is my intiative not to smuggle things over there.
    "Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end."


    • Kerfuffle
    • By Kerfuffle 1st Jan 11, 6:03 PM
    • 1,308 Posts
    • 11,554 Thanks
    Kerfuffle
    With pleasure, only there wasn't really a recipe! Usually for soups and stews I just make it up as I go (I live alone so nobody has to know if I make a mess of things).

    I softened an onion in a small amount of cheapo cooking oil
    Then I added some Marigold stock,
    + a dried green pepper that I grew last summer (ground up in mortar and pestle - knew I'd find a use for that mortar one day)
    + the secret ingredien
    t - a couple of tinned anchovies, rinsed and snipped into pieces before being thrown into the pot.
    Then I added:
    plenty of butter beans (bought as dry beans for a few pence from Approved Fo
    ods and cooked last night, the rest of them will make butter bean hummus),
    + mixed herbs - mediterranean types like rosemary and thyme
    + economy chopped tomatoes. I gave it a long slow simmer and it made a thick soothing satisfying broth.

    You could add small pasta shapes and/or grated cheese if you wanted but it's quite filling as it is. Also, I didn't need to add any salt because of the anchovies but you might like more salt in your food.
    Why anchovies? Well, I had an open tin needing to be finished off, plus I knew a recipe for chick pea soup in which anchovies were put in to give a richer flavour, 'like cooking in beef stock' said the recipe. I thought I'd try a couple in with the butter beans and see if they had the same effect. The recipe turns out to be right, they disappear from the cooked dish and there is no fishiness, but they do add a bit more depth to the flavour.
    Originally posted by redglass
    Thanks for this

    I've never actually bought anchovies before so I'm not sure of the costs so it's something I'll look out for in the future. I tried to buy some one time from a farmers market to use in a Jamie Oliver recipe but when I got them home it turned out to a tuna. Which wasn't very funny really as it turned out to be an expensive tin of tuna

    Toodles
    Sealed Pot Challenge 12 #58
    2019 - The Year of the Shopping Ban.
    No wants, just needs.
    24011.00/6484.24
    150lbs/152.6
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 1st Jan 11, 6:14 PM
    • 3,326 Posts
    • 36,405 Thanks
    CRANKY40
    Cranky40, I'm intrigued: why does milk get its own entry in your budget?
    Originally posted by redglass
    I have a milkman, and the child drinks so much we probably need our own cow. The milkman is good as having milk delivered stops me "just popping in" to asda several times a week (haven't been near since 17th December) and spending 20 a go on things that aren't essential.
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 1st Jan 11, 6:16 PM
    • 3,326 Posts
    • 36,405 Thanks
    CRANKY40
    Snap - apart from the selling on Ebay as I just can't get into it & I doubt anyone would want to buy any of my old clothes anyway .
    Originally posted by JustKeepSwimming
    I still have a lot of "stuff" in the house that belonged to my late husband, but doesn't have any sentimental value. Dvds, old cameras, books etc. If it has any cash value I would rather sell it then bin it.
    • miss empty piggy
    • By miss empty piggy 1st Jan 11, 6:20 PM
    • 645 Posts
    • 6,668 Thanks
    miss empty piggy
    I'd like to join please. Haven't done budget just yet (still shattered from last night!) but will get organised in the next few days. Really thinking that I should give these soap nuts a try, are they really worth the money? x
    DFW Nerd No: 600
    • diddly74
    • By diddly74 1st Jan 11, 6:28 PM
    • 800 Posts
    • 4,377 Thanks
    diddly74
    We have a milkman too. Price is actually less what the supermarkets charge and I am supporting a local person.

    I pay 1.40 per 4 pinter against 1.52 in the supermarket and thru all this bad weather he hasn't let me down once.
    Donna
    Economy; careful management; providence. Whether you call it thrifty or frugality it all comes down to getting more for your money.
    • redglass
    • By redglass 1st Jan 11, 6:33 PM
    • 771 Posts
    • 8,839 Thanks
    redglass
    Thanks for this

    I've never actually bought anchovies before so I'm not sure of the costs so it's something I'll look out for in the future. I tried to buy some one time from a farmers market to use in a Jamie Oliver recipe but when I got them home it turned out to a tuna. Which wasn't very funny really as it turned out to be an expensive tin of tuna

    Toodles
    Originally posted by Kerfuffle
    I wouldn't go to that market stall again!!!!!!!

    There's a very good 70s recipe called Janssens Temptation which is mostly potatoes and onions with a slosh of cream and...some anchovies, which is why I bought the things in the first place. Worth googling for.
    'Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin now.' Goethe



    • fingersxed
    • By fingersxed 1st Jan 11, 6:58 PM
    • 265 Posts
    • 2,664 Thanks
    fingersxed
    Hi Cheryl

    Please count me in. I'm becoming hooked on this site. Hopefully some gd things will rub off/sink in and i will become much better off. Not actually setting a budget as never done this before but when i wrote out monthly expenses I did go rather HOT N SHAKY!!!!!

    Good Luck everybody and Happy New Year
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