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  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 18th Dec 12, 10:36 AM
    • 6,160Posts
    • 54,423Thanks
    Frugaldom
    2013 Frugal Living Challenge
    • #1
    • 18th Dec 12, 10:36 AM
    2013 Frugal Living Challenge 18th Dec 12 at 10:36 AM
    Frugaldom's Frugal Living Challenge

    It's that time of year again, the time when we all need to start thinking ahead into the new year and how we are going to tackle any debts, generate extra income and squirrel away some savings.

    Please take the time to read posts 1 and 2 in full and check out the HANDY LINKS section.

    To help avoid clogging up this very fast-moving thread, please private message Frugaldom to have your name added to the challenger list.

    NB: THIS IS AN ADAPTED VERSION OF THE ORIGINAL CHALLENGE, SPECIFICALLY FOR MSE FORUM USERS

    This is an adaptation of Frugaldom's 'Living on £4,000 for a Year' challenge. It has been running here on MSE for the past 5 years, but the actual challenge began several years previously, elsewhere. It has seen many changes over the years, so this version is a catalogue of diaries charting the progress of 'debt free wannabe' money savers.

    Your budget is personal to you, it should fit with your personal financial situation.

    Some have achieved their debt free status and now follow frugal lifestyles in order to stay debt free. Others are still pursuing that dream. Whichever stage you are at, feel free to join us for 2013 and share your journey as you give debts the heave-ho once and for all.


    Edited in - the MSE version of the 2014 Frugal Living Challenge is HERE

    The following links will take you to previous MSE versions of this challenge:

    The 2013 Challenge - this one

    The 2012 Challenge

    Part 1 - January to March 2011
    Part 2 - April to June 2011
    Part 3 - July to December 2011

    Introduction to the 2010 Challenge
    Part 1 - January to March 2010
    Part 2 - April to June 2010
    Part 3 - July to September 2010
    Part 4 - October to 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


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

    This 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 and 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 - Some amazing bargains if you don't mind short dates or past sell by Ė 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
    Coupon thread on MSE - For coupons, money off and discounts
    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
    FREE Spreadsheet - link to Cheryl's (CW18) budget spreadsheet
    Frugaldom - Home of this challenge
    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
    Homemade Rhubarb Champagne - quick, cheap and easy
    How to make a sealed pot - saving all your spare change in papier mache banks
    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
    ROSSPA - Cheap groceries & fresh produce direct to your door.
    Rural Moneysaving Hunt - official MSE discussion
    Selling on eBid - decluttering and recycling for cash with no listing fees
    Slow Cooker Recipes - on MSE
    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 Ė keep it clean please). Discussion Time is for discussion of current issues (read Martinís description).

    If you post a topic that does not relate to the board itís 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 2013 The links will give you an idea of how previous challenges have gone and these will be updated accordingly.
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 22-12-2013 at 10:23 AM. Reason: Preparing for 2014 challenge
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
Page 4
    • Savvy sewing
    • By Savvy sewing 30th Dec 12, 12:22 PM
    • 10,816 Posts
    • 56,850 Thanks
    Savvy sewing
    Yesterday we went for a walk into Oxford (am staying at a friends) and went around the museum - free entry. When we came out popped into a Mr T express and got 5 rounds of sandwiches normally £1.80 each for 18p each. Plus the milk we went in to get. Cut them into triangles and put on platter along with the left over sausage roll and spring rolls and that was our evening meal for four of us. Although I did pay for our bus tickets back as the walking was too much for me. Had an extremely hot bath to get the joints moving. Home today and will need milk for my house but hoping there will be enough to eat in the freezer and fridge as I don't want to spend anymore then I have too until I can clear the decks.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
  • xnatalie81x
    I made hm gnocchi today with hm pasta sauce - delish! Gnocchi was just potato and plain flour an sauce Italian seasoning, tomato, lazy garlic and walnut oil and sugar.

    Me and 3 kids (2 of whom had thirds!!!!!!) 29p gnocchi and 70p for sauce plus 1/4 lump cathdral city (half price 2.18) 54p so 1.53 in total for all 4 of us or 38.5p each light tea for us after dinner for lunch!
    DFW since JAN 2009 - 2014 will be the year i finally clear debts Just to see which month )))

    One adult + 4 children + dog
  • out of debt at last
    I made hm gnocchi today with hm pasta sauce - delish! Gnocchi was just potato and plain flour an sauce Italian seasoning, tomato, lazy garlic and walnut oil and sugar.

    Me and 3 kids (2 of whom had thirds!!!!!!) 29p gnocchi and 70p for sauce plus 1/4 lump cathdral city (half price 2.18) 54p so 1.53 in total for all 4 of us or 38.5p each light tea for us after dinner for lunch!
    Originally posted by xnatalie81x
    Could i have the measurements for your gnocchi please, how much potato?, how much flour? would love a go of making it!
    Having a Consumer Holiday 2015

    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 30th Dec 12, 7:11 PM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,575 Thanks
    quintwins
    Could i have the measurements for your gnocchi please, how much potato?, how much flour? would love a go of making it!
    Originally posted by out of debt at last

    I really wanna try this aswell after seeing this (theres a recipe in the link)
    http://mortgagefreeinthree.com/2012/11/gnocchi-frugal-italian/
    OCT GC £196.12/£200
  • out of debt at last
    I really wanna try this aswell after seeing this (theres a recipe in the link)
    http://mortgagefreeinthree.com/2012/11/gnocchi-frugal-italian/
    Originally posted by quintwins
    wow, that is sooooo easy, thanks! will be making that in the next week!
    Having a Consumer Holiday 2015

    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 30th Dec 12, 7:47 PM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,575 Thanks
    quintwins
    wow, that is sooooo easy, thanks! will be making that in the next week!
    Originally posted by out of debt at last
    I know i'm waiting for hubby to be away to try it as he doesn't like tomatoes all that much, i love that blogg it's def worth having a wee skim threw if you have time.
    OCT GC £196.12/£200
    • miss empty piggy
    • By miss empty piggy 30th Dec 12, 10:54 PM
    • 645 Posts
    • 6,671 Thanks
    miss empty piggy
    Posted this earlier on last year's challenge, then found this one.

    It's been a tough and roller coaster year here too. With a family doubled in size and newly planned out budget I had motivation and energy to get started to sort out our finances and plan for a happy future. However, 3 tyres slashed last night so having to spend any spare money on that, despite two kids needing new school trousers and shoes! However, I am determined to get through, just hoping the cars will be safe tonight. Just been on frugal queen which helps to think about each day at a time.

    Here's to frugaldom! x
    DFW Nerd No: 600
  • xnatalie81x
    That is where I got the recipe from! I found it looking for frugal gnocchi lol. I peeled and boiled most of a bag of potatoes (2.5kg) but only used half so about a kg potato? Then mashed and left to cool and dry out. Then I just added flour till it "resembled 3 day old playdoh) - boiled in water and voila added to tomato and herby sauce topped with cheese. It was really!!! Filling!!! Use the other Hal boiled potties for dinner and have half the gnocchi dough in fridge for lunch again today! Will prob have marmite and margarine on it today with cheese (got 10 large jars marmite from poundland in aug so vvv cheap marmite pasta etc here often)
    DFW since JAN 2009 - 2014 will be the year i finally clear debts Just to see which month )))

    One adult + 4 children + dog
  • xnatalie81x
    Quintwins someone gave me a lovely non tomato recipe for gnocchi (I have a fb frugal group) she fried bacon in a spoon of butter, added flour till bubbling and then milk slowly to get a sauce then stirre in a handful of cheddar cheese
    Last edited by xnatalie81x; 31-12-2012 at 6:56 AM. Reason: iPhone predictive text duh
    DFW since JAN 2009 - 2014 will be the year i finally clear debts Just to see which month )))

    One adult + 4 children + dog
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 31st Dec 12, 9:32 AM
    • 6,160 Posts
    • 54,423 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Quicky HAPPY HOGMANAY from Frugaldom and a reminder that the blog is at www.frugalblog.co.uk or http://frugaldom.blogspot.com for those of you on blogger.

    I don't often get the chance to post on here, although I do keep the challenger list up to date, as per instructions in posts 1 and 2.

    Good luck to everyone taking part. The names get added to the challenger list as I receive them, so please take the time to read posts one and two before getting started.

    Have a great year in 2013 - Frugal Living Rocks!
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • debbiedeejay
    • By debbiedeejay 31st Dec 12, 12:13 PM
    • 504 Posts
    • 5,182 Thanks
    debbiedeejay
    natalie...i love a gadget as well i have a pasta machine but find the dough gets very sticky and i end up in a mess...on the subject of gadgets what do people think to bread makers...im umming and ahring over one but they seem expensive
    Originally posted by tessie bear
    Have you tried your local fr££gle community?

    You can some times pick them up on there for free when people are downsizing or just had enough. I use my local site regularly to pass on items I no longer need - but you can not be guarantee you will get the item as the person giving may get lots of requests for the item on offer but I find the more polite you are in your ask and being available to collect at a time to suit makes it more probable for you to be picked.

    I have in the past year received

    a nest of tables( now re vamped and very useful)
    a white gorgeous mantle piece and base
    paint
    carpet(off cut brand new perfect for hall way)
    a house phone
    a radio
    and I ,in turn passed on pet items,CD storage solutions,books,clothes,furniture to others.

    It justs stops items going to the tip- I do use CS shops and I take it turns to either send stuff to charity or put on Fr£3gle

    At least if it's free you can see if having a BM works for you and if not put it back on Fr3£le!

    HTH
    Crazy Clothes Challenge 2012 £57.20/£100,CCC 2013 £68.67/£100 ,CCC 2014 £94.32/£100
    *Frugal Living Challenge 2012, 2013, 2014*
    GC 2014 Jan £154.14/£180;Feb £103.49/£180;Mar 117.63/£160
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 31st Dec 12, 12:48 PM
    • 4,368 Posts
    • 30,039 Thanks
    tessie bear
    thanks to everyone for their suggestions re the bread maker..ill have a look on fr$$cycl$ and see whats what....i have spent the day cleaning and thinking about being frugal...i have loads of ideas whizzing in my head and think i will write them down and try a few at a time...too many and i think i might give up

    further to natlaies idea for intros...im tessa 35 mf ex teacher i have a dh and 2 kids one who is asd and can be hard work...i have followed this challenge for a few years and am really interested on living a simple life....we paid off our mortgage about 5 years and have never looked back.Im a catholic and a member of the labour party

    happy new year
    tessa
    Last edited by tessie bear; 31-12-2012 at 1:21 PM.
    onwards and upwards
    • vintagebrighton
    • By vintagebrighton 31st Dec 12, 1:36 PM
    • 566 Posts
    • 1,710 Thanks
    vintagebrighton
    Afternoon all

    Have spent the last couple of days having a financial sort out... not pretty! Our financial month goes from the 20th to the 19th as OH gets paid on the 20th. My income is all weekly... he pays the big bills and I pay the little (but many more) bills. We split the shopping and have a bit left for travel etc.

    I've worked out that due to leaving things what with Christmas etc I have to pay out £724.12 before the 20th but only have £660 coming in

    So, the aim is to get through to the 20th with ALL of these bits paid and then continue to work at being frugal to a proper budget (yet to be worked out) It's gonna be hard but with selling bits and pieces I'm positive I can do it. (I can, I can, I can) .......
    • miss empty piggy
    • By miss empty piggy 31st Dec 12, 2:43 PM
    • 645 Posts
    • 6,671 Thanks
    miss empty piggy
    Thankfully I got the tyres sorted out. One local place quoted £130 for mine alone. We then went somewhere else and got all 3 for £144 so all legal and safe again.

    In my frugal quest today I have used up the last of the curry with some frozen pastry to make curried pasties, mince pie size for DOH to "pop" in in his packed lunch when we return to work. I have also made 6 portions of pizza dough (1 in the fridge for tomorrow, 5 in the freezer for when back at work). Also needed hair dye for me and DD, 2 for £5 in b**ts so got 4 for £10 and DOH's favourite body wash at half price with b**ts points.

    Also DDs school tops have all faded a little so bought a dye instead of buying new ones at £10 each. Cost £6.50. It's a start.
    Last edited by miss empty piggy; 31-12-2012 at 2:47 PM.
    DFW Nerd No: 600
  • xnatalie81x
    Nice to meet you tessie bear I am Natalie. I am in my 30s and a single mum to 4 children 8,6,5,2. I run my own business (swim school) and work fr someone else (bog national
    Swim school co) and our living conditions are quite unique but means our rent is v cheap. 2012 £350 mth but more like £450 mth for 2013 and includes all gas, electric, rent and council tax.

    Kids go to school about 20-30 min drive away which is why my petrol costs are so high and makes car a necessity (work and school)

    Anything you wanna know - ask

    Looking forward to another year of frugalness with a bit more support here )
    DFW since JAN 2009 - 2014 will be the year i finally clear debts Just to see which month )))

    One adult + 4 children + dog
    • slowlyfading
    • By slowlyfading 31st Dec 12, 3:59 PM
    • 13,041 Posts
    • 75,262 Thanks
    slowlyfading
    Just popping in to wish everyone a happy new year, and here's to 2013 being great!
    Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind - Dr Seuss
    Personal Finance Blogger / In pursuit of FIRE
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 31st Dec 12, 4:21 PM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,575 Thanks
    quintwins
    Quintwins someone gave me a lovely non tomato recipe for gnocchi (I have a fb frugal group) she fried bacon in a spoon of butter, added flour till bubbling and then milk slowly to get a sauce then stirre in a handful of cheddar cheese
    Originally posted by xnatalie81x
    I'd be interested in a link to that group.

    I'm sian,26 married with 3 kids, 6 yr old twins and a 3 year old all boys, twins get free school dinner but both has suspected autism one being tested after xmas as a result there really fussy about school dinners and it's not uncommon for them to eat again when they get home, also as a result of this i have high fuel costs from all different therapys i drive them to, i'm in theory a sahm and i often wonder how parents of kids that require extra attention like mine cope with appointments and things, i do work 1 hr a week and 1 hr every other weekend but it's very good pay. I have been married now for 6 years to a lovely hardworking man he works in the family business with his parents and brother, he also does some web design and system programming in the evening to help top up the savings fund, he'll turn his hand to anything.

    I also have strange living arrangements, i live in a converted farm building it's very small like grany flat size we went it hubbys uncle and it only costs us £150 a month, this is temo tho as it's in his garden he lived here when he was building, it's very comftable tho now im in i prob would stay for years if i could, so easy to heat and all our bills have dropped since moving here.

    MY overall plan is to buy a plot of land and build my own house.....without borrowing a single penny, big goal for a family of 5 living off £25k a year all in but since moving here 7 months ago we've saves £11k so i'm hoping we can do it.

    frugalwise today i got a bag of free clothes off a local facebook page, and i did very well with whoospies, and i told hubby off for suggesting going out for lunch, and finally i filled up my soap dispenser wuth some basic baby bath which must be about 2 years old i only paid 9p for it
    Last edited by quintwins; 31-12-2012 at 4:24 PM.
    OCT GC £196.12/£200
  • xnatalie81x
    The fb group is called frugal family life so you just put that in the search box and you should be able to get in x

    Officially 2013 we went to bed early (9.30) so I saw the new year for the first time at 5am when the 5yr old woke up cup of tea once the 2 yr old finishes his morning boo boo
    DFW since JAN 2009 - 2014 will be the year i finally clear debts Just to see which month )))

    One adult + 4 children + dog
  • xnatalie81x
    Quaint wins - how do you get free school meals for the boys? I pay £6 a day for my 3 eldest but I'm killing myself working and running around so for pure convenience and my sanity they are having dinners lol. Also means I know they get a v healthy meal (salad bar to accompany meals and milk) - although I don't actually get anything currently the csa should be getting £5 a week from my ex which doesnt even cover lunch for one day!! He also hasn't seen the eldest 18mths and never met the 2 yr old.

    My job is relatively well paid and means I can also pay my mum to have some of the kids while I work (I also take them with me to my swim school)
    DFW since JAN 2009 - 2014 will be the year i finally clear debts Just to see which month )))

    One adult + 4 children + dog
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 1st Jan 13, 7:00 AM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    He also hasn't seen the eldest 18mths and never met the 2 yr old.
    Originally posted by xnatalie81x
    Ohhhh, that's so sad it's his loss tho'

    Re school lunches, I'm not sure if you get them if you get a certain benefit or if it's solely income related - if you're on a good income, then it's unlikely you'd get them but have a look at your local council's website as there will be more info on there.

    Pack ups will be significantly cheaper than £6 / day and you can make these really healthily - quite a few threads about this on the OS board. HTH
    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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