Hello again lovelies,
so, here's my latest monthly update on my attempts to make this family more thrifty and build our savings. Because everybody needs something put by for a rainy day (or a major purchase or for Christmas...or just to cover regular big expenses) and we were sadly lacking in that department.
This month our house insurance came up for renewal and that was a big expense last year. I'm happy to say I managed to make a good saving. For the same sort of cover we already had I found lots of cheaper offers on one of the price comparison web sites. I didn't choose the cheapest but went with a well established company and the difference was still over £400!
When I called my existing provider to let them know I wanted to cancel they almost immediately told me they had a "new product" I could change to. The cost of it was about the same as the deal I had found. This made me a bit cross really...but it just goes to show challenging a renewal quote is always a good idea.
In other areas I've continued to try and cut back on day to day spending.
I'm still finding using cash is an effective way to control this. It does mean there's less chance of treating myself to flowers, but happily the garden can provide those again now spring is here.
I did break my rule of not buying any more plants this year...to buy this raspberry bush. I'm hoping the fruit it produces will save us money...that's the theory anyway.
I'm still attempting grocery shopping savings. We have found some value lines are great...like Morrisons spaghetti and Bran Flakes...but Aldi's Bran flakes are not so good (in my opinion).
I've stocked up when I've seen items on offer that have a long shelf life that I know we will use. I even bought some Brandy Sauce for next Christmas!.....any body else started their Christmas shopping yet? :0)
I've tried to some buy local , seasonal produce too. I loved finding these leeks from my home county in the supermarket. They made great Leek and Potato soup.
Yes my old veg. peeler is held together with tape, but it works. I'm in no hurry to buy a new one.
I took the next picture last week when I had just had my hair cut. In the distant past I have paid a lot of money to hairdressers and still not been that happy with the results.
When I was pregnant with my twins I asked the midwife to recommend a local hairdresser as I knew I wouldn't have time to travel to my old one.
When the boys were about a month old I had a "wet trim" as I was breast feeding and couldn't be way for long. It was a bit of an "old lady salon" but the hairdresser was lovely and did a great job for a fraction of the cost I had been paying.
16 years later I'm still going and still not paying for a blow dry...yes I have the time to have one now...but I don't really see the point. I can do it myself for almost nothing.
Also on the subject of personal grooming, I saw Aldi's face cream recommended on a few blogs and decided to give it a try. After using it for about six weeks I am happy to agree that it is as effective as my previous product.
I was also using cleansing wipes to remove make up but I didn't like the cost or the amount of waste they created. I bought this cleansing water in Home Bargains for 99p. It does a better job. A small amount on a cotton wool pad easily removes waterproof mascara.
Next up, how do you like my attempts to make soap last longer?
Hubby likes to use bar soap but it often turned into "soap soup" in the dish. Storing it on a dry sponge lets in dry out between uses.
Another thing hubby likes is to have a go on the Lottery. In fact he spent about £10 a week on it until recently. His excuse was he doesn't smoke or go out drinking. I'm glad about that, but I still felt it was a waste of money. He very rarely won anything. The odds of winning are staggeringly bad.
Happily now he only occasionally has a Lucky Dip. I don't begrudge him that.
Staying away from the shops has got to be a good way of saving money. I'm lucky my favourite pastime is very frugal. Spending one of my days off walking brings me so much happiness and health benefits...as well as keeping me away from temptation.
The membership fee is £5 a year...how great is that.
One of my goals for March was to avoid using the tumble drier now the weather is getting better.
I didn't manage to stop using it altogether but it was only single figures as I kept an eye on the weather forecast and took advantage of every dry day, finishing the drying on an airer indoors if needed.
Phew, this is turning into another long post. Hope you don't mind. Shall we talk mobile phones now?
I have a contract phone that is coming up for renewal in a couple of months. My provider is already calling me offering a "free upgrade" I've politely turned then down. While the handset I have still works it makes economical and environmental sense to me to keep it. I will also try and get a cheaper deal for the calls.
I have a contract that covers much more data and minutes than I actually use but in the past I've still paid extra for some strange reason.
I've finally worked out it was multimedia messages that were the culprits. No more adding photos or even those harmless seeming Emojis to texts messages for me. The most you will get is this :) or this X .
I save my emoji fix for Instagram...and only use that via wi-fi :0)
I've continued to enjoy baking simple, frugal cakes .
Old favourites I know will go down well with the family, like this Lemon Drizzle.
Here I was baking cup cakes and I came across some chocolate chips at the back of the cupboard. Yes they were out of date by a few months...but it's only a guide. They smelt fine, and tasted fine. They went in the mix :0)
I'm old enough to remember when lots of food items didn't have any "use by" or "best before" guide. I use my own judgement to decide what's safe to eat...but I'm always cautious with meat. I don't use that after the advised date.
When Youngest ripped his blazer I looked for black thread in my messy sewing box but couldn't find any so I bought more. When I got around to tidying up the chaos...you guessed it..there was black thread there all along.
It's just a small example of me needing to be more organised so I know what we already have and therefore avoid unnecessary purchases.
I like the Make do and Mend mentality for it's environmental and money saving benefits.
Another saying I'm trying to keep in mind is Reduce, Reuse , Recycle. The words are in that order for a reason. The most environmental benefit comes from reducing your usage, then reusing something, with recycling as the third option. I do try to reuse some things and have started to look at more items I can apply this to. Aluminium foil flan cases are quiet robust, so I've saved some of these to make and freeze home made quiche. I also rinse out the plastic bags cereal comes in these days. They make great bags for all sorts of things.
Of course you may be reading this and thinking that it all seems a bit weird. That's OK. If some people think I've turned into a bit of a nutcase that's their prerogative. It all makes sense to me though. Lots of small saving will help my purse and our planet.
You can read my previous thrifty posts HERE and HERE. Do take a look at the comments as there is some wonderful advise within them too.
Thank you for joining me on this thrifty journey.