I know that there are loads of fabulous blogs out there on the internet about frugal living and how to be economical and I am an avid follower of several of them. I find them fascinating and would love to be as dedicated to frugal blogging as some of my fellow bloggers but personally, I find that writing about lots of different things on my blog keeps it fun for me to write. However, I saw this wonderful idea on one the blogs that I read recently called "A Cheerful Living Adventure". It's called Frugal Friday ..... where each week, the blogger shares a frugal tip or idea with her blog followers. I think this is such a good idea that I'm going to give it a go.
Now, that's not to say that I don't live frugally anyway. I do. Mostly out of necessity, but I thought that I might start sharing some of the things I do to keep the cost of living down. Most of the things I do are second nature to me and I don't consider them frugal, just prudent. In fact, I don't really like the word "frugal". I think it's quite a negative work. I much prefer thrifty (maybe I should do a (Thrifty Thursday instead of Frugal Friday) frugal, to me, sounds like a very mean word. As I said, there are lots of little things that I do to make the most of my money and make it stretch just that little bit further. For example, as I expect many of us do, I buy extra items of things that I use all the time, like toothpaste and washing powder, when they are on special offer, and store them for when I need them. At the start of the month, I buy all the cat, dog and llama food I will need for the whole month. That way I know that there is always plenty for them to eat if money gets a bit tight. I also buy things like loo roll and store cupboard items like stock cubes, tinned tomatoes, pesto, pasta and rice and whole host of other items at the start of the month so that they can be stored in the cupboard and used throughout the month. I then only need to buy fresh fruit and veg and butter and milk each week.
I bake my own bread every other day and I bake all the biscuits and cakes that we eat (not that we eat them all the time). I recently started to grow some of my own veg, with mixed results, something that I am hoping to do a lot more of in the coming years and I am also considering getting some chickens next year. I hardly ever buy ready meals, maybe once in a blue moon. They are far too expensive and I prefer to cook from scratch. It tastes much better and I know exactly what has gone into my food. I also make sure that every single bit of food that I buy is used and that none is wasted. There is nothing I hate more than wasted food. It irritates me beyond belief. I find it a challenge to come up with delicious meals from left-overs, I find it oddly satisfying. The delicious cake below, a sort of fruity, tea bread type of thing, is made using Allbran and is fabulous for using up any that has gone soft and lost it's crunch because it gets soaked in milk and goes soggy anyway.
Anyway, here is my first Frugal Friday tip. It's not rocket science and it's not life changing but it's quite a good tip if you have an open fire and don't want to buy fire lighters. I save all the insides of the toilet rolls, the cardboard middle bits ..... and then I stuff them with newspaper until they are almost solid. If I don't have any newspaper, I use old envelopes or letters that I don't need any more and any junk mail I get (although some junk mail is no good for this because it doesn't burn). Then, when I need to light a fire, I just use two or three of these and a small handful of sticks and I have a lovely roaring fire in no time at all. Ta daaa! Like I said, not life changing but useful nevertheless, and also free. I promise to try and make my next Frugal Friday tip a bit more dynamic.
Loo rolls stuffed with old envelopes in my log basket waiting to be turned into this.