Every week I share five frugal things that I’ve done during that week just to show you that the small things you do all add up to a great frugal lifestyle where you can learn to live a fabulously frugal life.
Before I start though, as always feel that I should say that being frugal to me is about getting the best value for our money – it’s not about doing without for us or about not having nice things. We all have different financial situations and we’re all frugal for different reasons. 😉
I feel like this week is the first week this year where life in our house has been calm, or at least calmer than it has been lately and I’m finally starting to get around to some of the things that have been on my to-do list for too long!
1) The first thing I ticked off my to-do list was to join my local Slimming World group which I’ll go into in more detail tomorrow. What I wanted to add into my five frugal things for this week was my restraint in not buying myself a Fitbit. 😉
I really wanted a way to track my activity throughout the week as I’m the sort of person who finds tracking something quite motivating and I was so tempted to buy a Fitbit especially when I found one on Argos that was a cute pink and rose gold colour that had 30% off.
I was literally sitting on my hands to stop myself from adding it to my basket which was harder than you might think as I’d totally justified the purchase in my head as being worth every penny as my health was priceless, I know, how good am I?
But, I managed to restrain and instead, I dug out my old Bellabeat activity tracker which I got for my Birthday off Mr Frugal a couple of years ago but stopped using when the battery died. I managed to get the teeny tiny screws off the back and sent the kids to the shop to buy a replacement battery which, at £4.50, set me back more than I thought but still much less than the cost of a new Fitbit.
If you’ve not seen a BellaBeat before, it’s like a pretty activity tracker that tracks your steps, activity, sleep, meditation and even your monthly cycle if you want it to. It’s worn as a bracelet or a necklace and if you fancy one, I’d definitely recommend having a look on eBay where mine was from as opposed to Amazon as mine was second hand but in ‘as new’ condition and cost less than half of what they sell for on Amazon.
2) Every year for the past three years, I’ve shared my free financial planner with you all to download to help sort your finances out for the year ahead and every year, I’ve printed it out for myself and used it to do the same with my own money.
I’ve been keeping them as a bit of a record of how we did for that year but actually, I realised last weekend that I’ve never even got them out of the cupboard once that particular year was over so rather than have them taking up space in the cupboard, I got them out and recycled all of the paper in there and gave the folders a new use.
The first is a Slimming World recipe folder as I have a stack of Slimming World magazines from over the years and I only keep them for the recipes in there that I want to cook. Rather than have the magazines taking up space, I just cut (ripped) the recipes I liked from the magazines and popped them in the plastic wallets in one of the folders.
The other is similar but has clippings from other magazines for things I want to make, do or just read again.
3) I’ve found a cool site that compares local petrol prices and lets you know where the cheapest one is and although I’ve only used it once, it found a petrol station where the petrol was 113p rather than 120p at the petrol station nearest to me. I worked out that as a very rough cost, the difference on my 80 mile round trip commute each day works out to around 75p difference per day (I used this site to work out my journey costs so if it’s wrong it’s on them :-))
The cheaper petrol station was actually on my route to work too so it wasn’t even like I needed to go out of my way to fill up on the cheaper fuel.
I’m sharing the site with you today but I’ve only used it once so haven’t really been able to check the accuracy on the information other than the one it found for me which was spot on!
In case you’re wondering, my car is a 10 year old Citroen which probably isn’t as economical as a newer car would be but it’s definitely more economical than our family car (which was mine until I swapped with Mr Frugal) and I was considering a new car to save money on my petrol but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I bought it a year ago for £600 ish and it’s been a fab little runner with no issues and I love it!
As tempted as I was to get a newer more economical car, it feels a bit unnecessary when my car is a good little runner and I don’t think a new car would save a HUGE amount per day so is it worth paying out a fortune to get a new one? I’ll reassess in a couple of months but for now, I’m going to stick with my little blue bubble.
4) Because my commute is a little longer, I had a think about how I could use that time a bit more productively than just listening to music. I’ve downloaded some podcasts onto my phone which connects to my car stereo by Bluetooth so I can listen to them on my journey and as well as that, I’ve signed up to a free trial with Audible which meant that I got the new Michelle Obama book for free. That’s a book I wanted to read so now I’ll listen to it instead on my journey.
It’s odd listening to a book rather than reading it but I’m getting used to it. 😉
You can get a free trial here if you want to have a try yourself – just don’t forget to cancel it before the month is up if you con’t want to continue with it. I’m not sure myself but it could be worth it for me as there are lots of books that I have on my must-read list for this year.
5) I’ve been drinking more water this week which is not only good for me but also saves me money as it’s helped me cut down on the cans of Pepsi Max and the cups of tea that I’d drink otherwise.
I’ve been trying to keep track of how much water I’ve been drinking over on my Instagram Stories and so far, I think I’m doing OK.
I drink tap water mainly as I prefer the taste (and price) of tap water to bottled water and when I’m at work, I’ll use the water cooler at work to fill my bottle up.
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