Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    • 6,052Posts
    • 52,948Thanks
    Frugaldom
    2018 Frugal Living Challenge
    • #1
    • 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    2018 Frugal Living Challenge 14th Dec 17 at 2:12 AM
    Join us here for year 11 of the Frugaldom challenge on MSE

    The Frugal Living Challenge 2018

    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 this post in full and if you have any questions, feel free to message me or ask in the forum.

    This is an adaptation of the original NYK/Frugaldom 'Living on £4,000 for a Year' challenge. It has been running here on MSE for several years, although these particular money challenges began back in the 90's, elsewhere. We have 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.

    If you would like to use a simple spreadsheet for calculating your annual expenditure, you are welcome to download a free copy of the original one HERE Simply overwrite the initial monthly amounts and the totals will auto-calculate. From then, it is a simple case of deducting (use the minus sign in front of the amounts) all your outgoings as the year progresses. It's worth while playing about with it to alter headings to suit your personal lifestyle. I've included a couple of extra columns for things like rent/mortgage & council tax and misc/debt payments.

    Some have already achieved debt freedom and now follow frugal lifestyles in order to stay debt free. Others are still tackling their debts and living a frugal life in an attempt to reach their debt-free and/or mortgage-free day. Whichever stage you are at, feel free to join us and share your journey.

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

    The 2017 Challenge

    The 2016 Challenge

    The 2015 Challenge

    The 2014 Challenge

    The 2013 Challenge

    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

    How it all began - Saving to buy a house without a mortgage 2007 Challenge

    The original interest beater challenge

    The original £1000 in 100 days challenge

    The original free hobbies thread

    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, sustainable 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 cash back 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
    Recognise the differences between needs from wants

    Spend within your means
    Set a proper budget
    Quit expensive bad habits
    Houseshare
    Get a lodger
    Shop via cash-back sites and always price compare
    Buy reduced items in stores only if you need them
    Stockpile & bulk buy bargains that you use
    Batch cooking
    Make the most of charity shops
    Join freebie or waste awareness and recycling associations
    LETS trading - become active members of trading & exchange groups
    Bartering
    Grow your own herbs, fruit & veg
    Preserving & winemaking
    Breadmaking & home baking
    Card & gift making
    Order splitting/sharng for better discounts & reduced delivery costs
    Landsharing, allotments & frugal garden systems
    Online trading - auctions, stores, social media pages
    etc, etc, etc...

    Monitoring and revising the budget is part of a good frugal living plan. Gifts & cards could all to be homemade, livestock needs to pay its own keep, anything else needs to be cash neutral.

    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/afford wants. It runs from 1st January to 31st December. The links will give you an idea of how previous challenges have gone and these will be updated accordingly.

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!

    GOOD LUCK IN 2018
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 29-12-2017 at 10:54 PM. Reason: updating
    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 48
    • cw18
    • By cw18 10th Apr 18, 5:00 PM
    • 7,981 Posts
    • 85,464 Thanks
    cw18
    I'm trying to decide whether it's time to turn the heating off yet? Has anyone made the big decision?
    Originally posted by FrankieM
    I never turn mine off.
    The system has a thermostat that I leave at a set temperature all year (although I up it once in a while for a short time if I'm feeling cold even in the warmest room whilst well wrapped up and under my 'snuggle rug'). If the natural temp is that or higher the system doesn't kick in, If we get a cold snap it does, and I don't get up / come home to a freezing cold house.
    Cheryl
    Groceries : May £11.97 / £120 Apr £137.78 / £100 Mar £99.55 / £100.Feb £85.02 / £80.Jan £112.15 / £130. Annual £446.47 / £1200

    • frugalish
    • By frugalish 10th Apr 18, 6:53 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 266 Thanks
    frugalish
    FrankieM thank you, it's really hard when the income just isn't there. I hope you find a way to make £300 pm that leaves you with more energy. That's a big chunk of cash to find!

    With the heating, we're the same as cw 18 - we never turn it off, just set the thermostat where we want it. It does sometimes get turned up in the evening if it's chilly, but otherwise it stays at around 18.5 degrees. So when the house is warmer than that, it doesn't come on. We've just had a new super-duper efficient and money-saving boiler installed courtesy of the landlady (very reluctantly - we were 5 weeks without heat or hot water during the coldest winter for years!! ) so we're hoping to have lower gas bills to make up for the extortionate amount we spent on electricity while the boiler was out of action!
    "What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?" - George Eliot

    Grocery Challenge April 18 £183.42 / £250 = £66.58
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    • shish100
    • By shish100 10th Apr 18, 7:03 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 418 Thanks
    shish100
    I'm still participating in the frugal challenge.

    Trying to change some habits and to re-enforce others.
    • datlex
    • By datlex 10th Apr 18, 7:36 PM
    • 1,854 Posts
    • 1,824 Thanks
    datlex
    I love their chicken nuggets and family sized pies, and tend to get some dusted fishes when they're on multi buy - but I always shop in store as I almost never spend more than £8 in a single transaction (and I only spend that much when they're doing a 'spend £x however many times to get £y free). The normal reward for loading the card if £1 for every £20, but they periodically offer an additional £1 per £10 (meaning £3 per £20). When they do that I load a good chunk of money onto my card - show me a bank that pays that kind of interest rate on such a small investment with instant access to it, and I shall let them have my money to look after instead
    Originally posted by cw18
    I find a £35 online shop every few months can really stock up the freezer withthings like chicken mince, fish and veg. I like their ready meals as they actually have options without onions.....
    I never turn mine off.
    The system has a thermostat that I leave at a set temperature all year (although I up it once in a while for a short time if I'm feeling cold even in the warmest room whilst well wrapped up and under my 'snuggle rug'). If the natural temp is that or higher the system doesn't kick in, If we get a cold snap it does, and I don't get up / come home to a freezing cold house.
    Originally posted by cw18
    Personally I have the heating set to come on twice a day, in the morning for half hour whilst getting ready. Then half hour in evening before bed, am usually out in the evenings so don't need it rest of time. On the few days am home all evening I put on if needed.
    I'm still participating in the frugal challenge.

    Trying to change some habits and to re-enforce others.
    Originally posted by shish100
    I know what you mean about trying to change spending habits. Even though I am not in debt and have savings now. I want to try and grow my savings.
    • cw18
    • By cw18 10th Apr 18, 8:14 PM
    • 7,981 Posts
    • 85,464 Thanks
    cw18
    I find a £35 online shop every few months can really stock up the freezer withthings like chicken mince, fish and veg. I like their ready meals as they actually have options without onions.....
    Originally posted by datlex
    They don't actually sell an awful lot I use. I very rarely eat ready meals (not supposed to eat dairy which appears in a surprising number, and one doesn't fill me as I burn a lot of calories at work so they work out expensive), I get most of my meat from Costc0, and most of my fish and frozen veg from A1di - and I also have another freezer centre slightly closer to home which has some fantatic bargains. I find Icel@nd slightly more expensive for most things, but then they surprise me with some special deals I'll go in to pick up. There's no way I could manage to spend £35 (or even £20 if I went into store and picked my own items) on one grocery shop (other than meat stock-ups at Costc0) and I certainly never have freezer space for that much My only regular purchase is the bags of 75 chicken nuggets as I take some to work every day for my lunch, but one bag lasts me almost 2 weeks.
    Last edited by cw18; 10-04-2018 at 8:17 PM.
    Cheryl
    Groceries : May £11.97 / £120 Apr £137.78 / £100 Mar £99.55 / £100.Feb £85.02 / £80.Jan £112.15 / £130. Annual £446.47 / £1200

    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 10th Apr 18, 9:15 PM
    • 15,356 Posts
    • 51,474 Thanks
    Buffythedebtslayer
    I made vegetable soup for dinner, which will also cover me for lunch tomorrow. I used half a pepper, 6 sticks of celery, 1 carrot (!) 3 potatoes and some interesting looking sprouts. Plus three slices of bread (I skipped lunch) I seasoned with dried onion, oregano, black pepper, ooo and added sour cream and some cheese. I am very happy.

    and full. And the kitchen is a mess!

    Also is it cheaper to have the heating on all the time?

    And CW18 - what do you eat with the chicken nuggets? if anything? I need some decent lunches.

    XX
    Pound a Day challenge, Sealed Pot Challenge 12 - 008
    • cw18
    • By cw18 10th Apr 18, 9:32 PM
    • 7,981 Posts
    • 85,464 Thanks
    cw18
    And CW18 - what do you eat with the chicken nuggets? if anything? I need some decent lunches.
    Originally posted by Buffythedebtslayer
    Nothing! I cook up a bag as I buy it, then refreeze in small bags with 7 in each. As I head out to work I pull a bag out of the freezer and pop it in a cool bag. They're normally fully defrosted by the time I get peckish, but sometimes I have to put them in a pocket for 10 mins or so to finish them off. I needed something I could eat whilst walking that didn't make my fingers greasy or leave them with stains that could transfer onto the mail I'm posting at the same time, and also something without a strong smell.
    Cheryl
    Groceries : May £11.97 / £120 Apr £137.78 / £100 Mar £99.55 / £100.Feb £85.02 / £80.Jan £112.15 / £130. Annual £446.47 / £1200

    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 11th Apr 18, 7:05 AM
    • 2,124 Posts
    • 19,524 Thanks
    FrankieM
    Morning

    I'm hanging on in there with the NSD's. Though it seems it was a big eat day yesterday. All from the freezer but I still didn't need it..lol

    In regards to the heating: I tried to leave it on all the time and just control by the thermostat but unless the thermostat was on 18 it didn't turn on at all an then it was on all the time. So, I'm guessing that might be a little broken.
    I have it on timer and I'm thinking I could probably drop the morning and just have it come on in the evening and see how I get on. It seems to take a while for the house to heat up so it'd probably only just be getting warm as I get into bed if I turned it on manually. But I'll see. I really want to get the gas/electric DD down as much as I can so I might just bite the bullet, turn it off and see how cold it really feels.

    Another NSD planned here. Breakfast and lunch organised and I'm at my DD's tonight.

    I need to give this laundry gloop a go. I only use Tesco's own for washing powder and softner but a saving is a saving.

    I currently use pantene shampoo and conditioner. I love it but it's one of the more expensive things on my shopping list. I've tried Aldi but not liked it. What does everyone else use?
    Pay off Debt by Christmas 2018 #59
    £13,406.26/ £3,500.00
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    • cw18
    • By cw18 11th Apr 18, 7:37 AM
    • 7,981 Posts
    • 85,464 Thanks
    cw18
    When I say I leave my heating on all the time, I mean that I never turn off the controls. It is on a timer as well as the thermostat, so even in a cold spell it only runs for an hour in the morning and 4 or 5 hours late afternoon to bedtime. (Unless I over-ride it, which I sometimes do on my days off during really cold spells, but when I do that I also tend to drop the thermostat from 18 to 16 then put back to 18 before I turn in for the night).



    Shampoo & Conditioner - my favourites are Tresemme moisture rich, but I only have them at the moment as I stocked up when Costc0 had an offer on them (and I've been switching between those and others I already had in stock - slowly working my way through my personal toiletries mountain!)
    Cheryl
    Groceries : May £11.97 / £120 Apr £137.78 / £100 Mar £99.55 / £100.Feb £85.02 / £80.Jan £112.15 / £130. Annual £446.47 / £1200

    • frugalish
    • By frugalish 11th Apr 18, 6:10 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 266 Thanks
    frugalish
    I've been thinking I need to try the laundry gloop too... Is there a recipe somewhere? I got two YS bottles of Arial gel today for £1.38 each instead of £5.95, then when I got home I realised its biological, so I can't use it on my clothes due to eczema But I can use it for soaking etc, so it won't go to waste.

    cw18 that's what I meant with our heating too - it comes on at 18.5c in the morning, but it's on a timer and drops to 14 while we're out, then back up in the evening for a few hours. But I do turn it up if I'm home all day, as well as wearing all the woollies!

    With Shampoo, I buy the cheapest I can get that doesn't irritate my eczema. At the mo it's Simple shampoo when it's on offer. But with Conditioner I use a good one, because it helps keep my curly hair under control. It's an Argan oil one that usually sells for £7 but I buy it on offer at £5 when I see it. One bottle lasts me ages, and I've found cheap conditioner really doesn't work for me so I don't begrudge the money.
    "What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?" - George Eliot

    Grocery Challenge April 18 £183.42 / £250 = £66.58
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    • datlex
    • By datlex 11th Apr 18, 11:18 PM
    • 1,854 Posts
    • 1,824 Thanks
    datlex
    Re shampoo, I use Boots coconut shampoo and conditioner. It was on a money saving program and was said to be as good as the premium brand person had been using. At 90p a bottle (less with discount for having contacts) it is definitely saving me fortune.
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 12th Apr 18, 1:11 AM
    • 6,052 Posts
    • 52,948 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    .... Copy/pasted from an old post...

    Homemade laundry 'gloop' as it is called, is easy to make. I use the following recipe for my LAUNDRY 'GLOOP' and this gets diluted to between 5 and 7 litres, depending on what's being washed.

    1 bar of soap, grated
    1 cup of washing soda (or Soda crystals)
    1 litre water
    A few drops of essential oil (if required)
    Originally posted by Frugaldom
    Laundry 'gloop' - the above, once dissolved, gets watered down to between 5 and 7 litres, depending on how you want to store it, but use a wide mouth tub or a bucket as it can set.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 12th Apr 18, 7:04 AM
    • 2,124 Posts
    • 19,524 Thanks
    FrankieM
    Morning

    Thanks for the laundry gloop recipe frugaldom I've saved it to my desk top and will go hunting for the ingredients and give it a go. I may go for a quarter portion though cause I'm not sure where I'll store it.
    Howe much do you then use in a wash and does it need to be dissolved before putting it in? I'm sure you've said before but I'm a bit more focused on the answer this time. Sorry

    Thanks also for the shampoo and conditioner info. I'm going to give the stuff in Boots a try [COLOR="darkred"]datlex[COLOR="darkred"]. 90p sounds like a bargain.

    Coffee is also a big spend here. I currently guy Nescafe Gold. I've started getting the refils which brings the cost down but I could save more by getting Aldi coffee, which I know I also like, so that's another saving I'm going to incorporate.

    I've had my water bill in today. It's over 8 months though so I'm going to ring up and see if I can get that changed to 10 or 12 months instead to make budgeting easier.

    Still on the NSD, though I did end up paying off my cc that I'd bought fuel on the other other week. I had intended to pay it off when I got paid at the end of the month but then thought actually I'd rather start with a clean slate. So, my £70 budget is now £56. I need to get fuel today and a few salad things and some toothpaste but I'm going to Aldi so it shouldn't be too much.
    Pay off Debt by Christmas 2018 #59
    £13,406.26/ £3,500.00
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    • stoozie1
    • By stoozie1 12th Apr 18, 7:20 AM
    • 613 Posts
    • 571 Thanks
    stoozie1
    Just delurking to ask DawnW how far apart to put the Olbas oil teabags?

    Hello all. You are very inspiring.

    P.s we are a family of 6 (children are 9, 8, 5 and 3) and laundry gloop has saved us a fortune over the years.
    Save 12 k in 2018 challenge member #79
    Target 2018: 24k Jan 2018- £560 April £2670
    • Flo61
    • By Flo61 12th Apr 18, 8:37 AM
    • 55 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    Flo61
    Hi, following thread and picking up some good ideas. Due to ill health I am unable to work and my income is very low. It's so Frustrating. It must feel similar for those of you who are working flat out but still not earning enough. In that situation I think i would be looking at a way to increase my hourly rate eg. Does accounts admin pay more than general admin? If so then it might be worth investment of evening class.
    • lindez
    • By lindez 12th Apr 18, 8:58 AM
    • 406 Posts
    • 1,632 Thanks
    lindez
    Great question how much gloop is used per wash. I will try and make some thank you
    • lindez
    • By lindez 12th Apr 18, 8:59 AM
    • 406 Posts
    • 1,632 Thanks
    lindez
    Laundry 'gloop' - the above, once dissolved, gets watered down to between 5 and 7 litres, depending on how you want to store it, but use a wide mouth tub or a bucket as it can set.
    Originally posted by Frugaldom
    how much do you use in a wash please, and how do i dilute it thank you so much
    • stoozie1
    • By stoozie1 12th Apr 18, 9:36 AM
    • 613 Posts
    • 571 Thanks
    stoozie1
    lindez, I use about a tablespoon, plus a little more to 'scrunge' onto a tough stain a few mins before running the load.
    Save 12 k in 2018 challenge member #79
    Target 2018: 24k Jan 2018- £560 April £2670
    • CosmicZebra
    • By CosmicZebra 12th Apr 18, 11:30 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 328 Thanks
    CosmicZebra
    Frankie M- I use almond oil from H&B. Tiny amount from mid to end, then put shampoo on then rinse. My hairdresser recommended it instead of Pantene and it's sorted my head-straw problems. V cheap- one bottle lasts a year!
    Savings from frugal & simple living:
    Jan ISA& Save Acc £1600 Mort o/paid £250
    Feb ISA&save acc £1330.89 Mort o/paid£500
    March ISA&save ac£811.35 mort o/paid £250
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 12th Apr 18, 2:59 PM
    • 5,358 Posts
    • 42,373 Thanks
    DawnW
    Just delurking to ask DawnW how far apart to put the Olbas oil teabags?
    Originally posted by stoozie1
    I don't measure to be honest, just scatter them about a bit - they don't really cost anything, but they aren't particularly attractive either....

Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

409Posts Today

3,292Users online

Martin's Twitter