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    • cw18
    • By cw18 31st Dec 10, 10:49 PM
    • 8,037Posts
    • 85,940Thanks
    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

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

    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.

    (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:


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

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


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

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

    This challenge is about paying for needs so we can afford to live debt free and save for wants. It runs from 1st January to 31st December 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.
Page 1
    • cw18
    • By cw18 31st Dec 10, 10:49 PM
    • 8,037 Posts
    • 85,940 Thanks
    • #2
    • 31st Dec 10, 10:49 PM
    • #2
    • 31st Dec 10, 10:49 PM
    saved to add a 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

    alec eiffel
    dizzy lizzie
    Kerry Woman
    miss empty piggy
    rising from the ashes
    roger ramjet
    Sorting it out

    (currently up to 135 names )
    Last edited by cw18; 31-03-2011 at 5:53 PM.
    • cw18
    • By cw18 31st Dec 10, 10:50 PM
    • 8,037 Posts
    • 85,940 Thanks
    • #3
    • 31st Dec 10, 10:50 PM
    • #3
    • 31st Dec 10, 10:50 PM
    saved for me to add my budget

    want to finalise my 2010 spends first, as I'm using these as a base for my 2011 budgets
    Last edited by cw18; 31-12-2010 at 10:52 PM.
  • shebrett
    • #4
    • 31st Dec 10, 11:00 PM
    • #4
    • 31st Dec 10, 11:00 PM
    Well just in to 2011 and all good so far, no spend as yet!

    Good luck everyone
    • Kerfuffle
    • By Kerfuffle 31st Dec 10, 11:15 PM
    • 1,308 Posts
    • 11,554 Thanks
    • #5
    • 31st Dec 10, 11:15 PM
    • #5
    • 31st Dec 10, 11:15 PM
    Happy welcome to the new thread.

    Good luck everybody.

    No spends here either Shebrett, but then I am still in 2010
    Last edited by Kerfuffle; 31-12-2010 at 11:26 PM. Reason: Typos,cos I'm just so excited to be here.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 12 #58
    2019 - The Year of the Shopping Ban.
    No wants, just needs.
    • mooomin
    • By mooomin 31st Dec 10, 11:20 PM
    • 13,655 Posts
    • 134,514 Thanks
    • #6
    • 31st Dec 10, 11:20 PM
    • #6
    • 31st Dec 10, 11:20 PM
    122 spent on council tax today. Super!

    Total budget for the year is 10,000
    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
    • knithappens
    • By knithappens 31st Dec 10, 11:26 PM
    • 1,785 Posts
    • 9,558 Thanks
    • #7
    • 31st Dec 10, 11:26 PM
    • #7
    • 31st Dec 10, 11:26 PM
    yayyy been waiting for the new thread so i can subscribe - Heres to a frugalicious new year for all of us x
    • redglass
    • By redglass 31st Dec 10, 11:40 PM
    • 771 Posts
    • 8,839 Thanks
    • #8
    • 31st Dec 10, 11:40 PM
    • #8
    • 31st Dec 10, 11:40 PM
    Here we go, here we go, here we go!
    Feeling all excited. I went and put my figures on the 'preparation' thread when they should really have gone on here, but never mind, it adds up to 7,282.18 (so far, with the odd figure still to be added in).

    Must go and gloat over the massive stockpile of oats, pulses, cous-cous, pasta, tinned fish, tinned tomatoes, dried fruit and soap (I could set up shop!).
    'Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin now.' Goethe

    • Blairweech
    • By Blairweech 31st Dec 10, 11:42 PM
    • 1,379 Posts
    • 16,273 Thanks
    • #9
    • 31st Dec 10, 11:42 PM
    • #9
    • 31st Dec 10, 11:42 PM
    Happy New Year/thread everyone! Let the challenge commence
    We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment
  • lingojingo
    Well just in to 2011 and all good so far, no spend as yet!

    Good luck everyone
    Originally posted by shebrett
    Ha ha, brilliant start to the year! No spends here this decade either


    Decided to try an all-in budget this year, 10500 but this includes mortgage, and hopefully EVERYTHING!!!!!

    • NualaBuala
    • By NualaBuala 31st Dec 10, 11:51 PM
    • 2,495 Posts
    • 24,217 Thanks
    *looks around* ooh, it's nice here on our new thread isn't it?

    Am too tired to do it now but tomorrow I will be finalising my spreadsheet etc. Would love to start off 2011 with a NSD but we'll just have to see!

    Night night everyone and Happy New Year!
    Trying to spend less time on MSE so I can get more done ... it's not going great so far!
    Sorry if I don't reply to posts - I'm having MAJOR trouble keeping up these days!

    Frugal Living Challenge 2011

    Sealed Pot #671 DFW Nerd #1185
    • Floxxie
    • By Floxxie 1st Jan 11, 12:00 AM
    • 2,817 Posts
    • 5,284 Thanks
    I would love to join you please. I haven't yet worked out the breakdown of my finances but it shouldn't be too hard as there is so little

    Will pop back tomorrow, Looking forward to be an active member rather than a part-time lurker!

    Mortgage start September 2015 90000 MFiT #06
    • Erme
    • By Erme 1st Jan 11, 12:26 AM
    • 3,596 Posts
    • 21,542 Thanks
    I'm going to be on 5K this year all in - whoopsies the lot. 4K was impossible for me last year (well over - dread to think by how much by )...

    Got woken up by the fireworks @ 12 ...was having a nice snooze ..but then considering I'd gone to bed in my clothes maybe that wasn't so bad?

    Haven't heard from amazon re e-book sales so will have to check soon.. Though only started selling e-books the other week (about a week ago if not less) and they have no covers so maybe nothing fab but even a few pence would be cool

    Add me to the list please if it's not already done CW. Welcome to all the new members - at least you're all joining now and not like I did last year in FEBRUARY (about the worst month I could join)...don't forget your cashback sites for mobile contracts (has come in sohandy)...get what you need in terms of a contract - you do not NEED the latest fancy phone...just look at posh ppl...they often have fossilized phones and you wonder why? It's cos they know where to put their money..(on the landrover LOL)

    I kind of have a boyfriend Nuala and yes he is new...He made a first attempt @ carrot and coriander soup last night only grated the carrot prior then wondered why it was poor (perfectly edible with a little garlic powder and like a bit of salad whizzed in I got for him for 10p the other night).. He lives 40 mins away on the bus so praise God I have my bus pass...

    Blessings and


    I believe in the power of PAD
    Come and join us on the Payment a Day thread

    • liloandstitch
    • By liloandstitch 1st Jan 11, 2:37 AM
    • 1,318 Posts
    • 8,534 Thanks
    Please include me Cheryl, I am a lurker who rarely contributes to the thread, but I do read, and find it brilliant

    Thanks everyone and heres to 2011

    Live on 4000 a year again for 2011
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 1st Jan 11, 2:56 AM
    • 3,780 Posts
    • 12,931 Thanks
    2011 budget is 5,000 for the year.

    The budget will be broken down as follows:
    • Groceries = 1,100
    • Gas = 0,300
    • Electricity = 0,300
    • Water = 0,120
    • Internet = 0,180
    • Contents insurance = 0,150
    • Bike insurance = 0,390
    • Road tax = 0,015
    • Petrol = 0,300
    • Vets = 0,240
    • Mobiles = 0,500
    • Yule = 0,334 (gifts, all food, treats, drink etc)
    • Birthdays = 0,180
    • Dentist = 0,120
    • Optical = 0,120
    • Entertainment = 0,180
    • TV licence = 0,145.50
    • Bike maintanance = 0,120
    • MOT = 0,030
    Total of above = 4,824.50 but will be rounding it up to 5,000. That means we have 175.50 incase we need it (hoping that is an easy 175.50 into our wedding savings but we'll find out at the end of the year if that is the case!).

    We won't be including rent or council tax. This is to cover my fiance, me and our 2 chinchillas . All things related to my disability are not on this budget as they should be covered by my DLA (note the word should, lol).

    We are trying to spend as little as possible as we want to save for our wedding (looks like it will be in 2013 but we still have quite a lot to save so we shall see). We refuse to get a loan to get married so we need to save for it.
    I am a vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
    • patentgirl
    • By patentgirl 1st Jan 11, 8:43 AM
    • 886 Posts
    • 12,311 Thanks
    Happy New year to everyone

    Please count me in Cheryl still have to finalise my figures definatly going to lower my food total as got some brillaint whoospies yesterday which if i could manage every week would make total much more managable!
    First day of New year NSD as been invited out for meal by SIL
    February grocery challenge 200
  • pink_numbers
    Happy new year to everyone I really hope that this year brings many many joys to everyone.

    Please count me in, my budget is 10k all in for the two of us It will be great if I can get that down to 9K, but I am not going to kill myself over it this year.

  • enjoyfinancialchallenges
    The excitement on this thread is palpable, well done all those who so far have managed a NSD including myself, only 364 days more to go until 2012. I'm still very determined to achieve my decluttering and only essential spending for this year, I go to bed grinning about the challenge ahead.......and thats on my own.

    Good luck one and all in 2011.
    Keep to 400 a month on C/C.
    • the_cat
    • By the_cat 1st Jan 11, 9:33 AM
    • 2,075 Posts
    • 11,317 Thanks
    Well a NSD day so far.... but only because Lidl was shut!

    Went to get a stock of their half price dishwasher tablets. Will have to go back tomorrow and get my years worth (84p for 40 is cheaper than I have seen anywhere all last year so worth it. They clean pretty well too) This weekend only though so go quick if you want some

    Will also need to fill up with petrol. Forgot yesterday about the first of the increases but want to get sorted before the VAT rise

    Other than that don't need to spend until Tuesday at the earliest.
    • diddly74
    • By diddly74 1st Jan 11, 9:42 AM
    • 800 Posts
    • 4,377 Thanks
    Yes another NSD for me - 2010 ended with one and 2011 will start with one!

    I would like to lower our living expenses, but not sure how successful I will be. There are 4 of us, me OH and 2 daughters (11 and 8) plus 2 dogs and 2 cats and maybe later in the year some chickens (depends on what the LL says). Last year it cost us 15,698.52 to live - that was not including bills like electricity and gas or the rent. Which compared to a lot of you is a HUGE amount.

    I have worked out - based on costs and DDs from last year that including the bills and mortgage our living costs will be/allowed for are approximately 20,000 (24,120 with savings included for holidays, presents, emergencies, etc.)

    Looking at my spreadsheet from last year and graphs I can see that I did not keep within my food/household budget any month from May onwards - I wonder if that is because prices were rising and I did not change my shopping habits or because I shopped recklessly. Travel costs (petrol) also broke the ceiling of the budget every month bar one! From anything from 20 to almost 100 in July 2010!!!!

    Now I cannot control how much it costs for us (hubby and I) to travel to work and daily commitments (I am a Student Nurse so have University to attend and work placements in hospitals) But shall endeavour to walk more where possible instead of popping into the car for a quick trip to the shops.

    Food budget should fall! As I am on a diet from Monday! I will not be buying all the nice goodies for the family as this is much too much of a temptation for me to divert myself from the diet!!! Thats my excuse and I am sticking to it!

    My biggest challenge (apart from shedding the lbs from my body) will be to save money - I am a terrible saver - money sings to me when I have it. I hope to have a pot of 4 - 5k in the bank by next christmas, along with the sealed pots/saving challenges I hope to join on here. That will be a major achivement for me as I have never been able to save before!

    Good luck to all with their personal challenges I hope that I can help support you all during 2011.
    Economy; careful management; providence. Whether you call it thrifty or frugality it all comes down to getting more for your money.
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