Saturday, 7 December 2013

Christmas thrifty hints

This year we have decided on a budget christmas.

It's an excellent idea for frugal people. We have a budget of £20 per person.

The budget has been really interesting. You have the choice of spending it all on one thing, spreading the budget between multiple items and making things to stretch the budget further. I would tell you what I'm making for people...but I'm not letting any secrets go!

Other members of the family feel that a budget makes you look closer at what you're buying for people. You have to spend more time thinking about the person you're buying for a lot more, really think about something special that they'll like. Making things for people is amazingly personal...and cheap!

Have a think about what your family can do to make 2013 a Thrifty Christmas.

Any suggestions? Comment below.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

What's for Dinner?

Food shopping is an area that the seriously frugal can work on quite easily.
Many places advise menu planning, and for many that works well. For my family we got bored with the same recipes over and over, so we looked at how to plan a menu for the week.

Nik and I came up with themed meal days. It sounds a bit cheesy and school dinnerish, but it does make planning a week's dinners much easier. This is the week of themes that we are currently using:

Monday - Meatless Monday
Tuesday - Pinterest Tuesday
Wednesday - World Food Wednesday
Thursday - Throwback Thursday
Friday - Fishy Friday
Saturday - Speciality Saturday
Sunday - Sunday Roast

We only plan for the main meal of the day and often cook enough so that there are leftovers ready for lunches.

Using themed days means that we explore different food from different places and time periods. It takes some of the familiarity out of eating and allows us to make a weekly shopping list that we can stick to rather than going to the supermarket and picking up random things because we have no idea what to cook. The first few weeks can be based on ingredients already in stock. If you're a bulk buyer (we are - we get great discounts!) You can base much of the menu around your bulk purchases.

Try theming your menu to spice up your eating habits and slim down your spending.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Is your heating on?

One of the biggest expenditures of any household is fuel, whether that be electricity or gas.

We all know to turn lights off when we're not in the room, to not use tumble driers and to put the washing mchine/dishwasher on at night to take advantage of economy prices.

What about the heating? With the recent price increases reported from the big energy companies, it's only going to get more and more expensive.

Join the challenge!

I spent some years living south of the Yangtze river in China. South of the Yangtze there is no central heating. Some houses have air conditioning capable of providing heat, but only usually in one room.

Thinking about this now I'm back in the UK - why do we put the heating on as soon as the temperature drops? Why do people expect to be able to wander round the house in a teeshirt, keeping the summer feeling after the leaves drop? There are so many options that are so much cheaper.

Join the challenge!

We will not turn the heating on until December.
We will wear more layers in the house.
We will invest in onesies or fleece clothing.
We will save money on the heating bills!