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In an effort to pay off my debt as quickly as possible, I’m looking beyond simply making extra money. I have been assessing all of my spending habits, adopting a more frugal lifestyle wherever I can. Each month I will be sharing Five Frugal Things that I have done to help improve my finances and ensure I can reach my goal of becoming debt free as soon as possible.
Baking instead of giving into the temptation of the shops down the road. We have a very handy corner shop down the street that takes me about a minute to walk to from our front door. It’s so handy to pop down if you’re out of milk or guests come over unexpectidly. It’s also great when you really want a bar of chocolate or a packet of crisps. Ok so I would normally only spend £1 each time, but if I’m going once or twice a week the cost soon adds up.
This month I stopped myself. I had a huge craving for something, anything sweet one day. We had two overripe bananas in the fruit bowl so I took 15 minutes out of my morning and made a banana bread. In fairness I had to pop out and get a stick of butter which cost me 69p, but the loaf I made with it kept my cravings at bay for several days and I still have some butter left to make something else with if I choose to. Some money saved and my sanity remains in tact…for a while at least.
Spending more on clothes. Wait, what?! Hear me out on this one. Since I was a student at university I have been in the habit of only buying clothes from cheaper shops. In particular, I would always get my jeans from either Primark or Asda. They fitted well and only cost about a tenner, to me it was a bargain.
What I have come to notice though, is that the amount I pay is definitely reflected in the quality. After around 6 weeks the threads would start to wear and I’d be replacing them just a couple of months after purchase. I made the decision this month to begin spending more on clothes, buying better quality and therefore having to buy less often. In the long run I’ll actually end up spending a lot less.
We are making our own wedding cake. Well…if all goes well we are making our own wedding cake. After trawling the internet for an affordable cake option, I have come to the conclusion that we either have to pay a high price or make it ourselves. I understand of course that cake makers, along with any other business owners have to pay themselves well for their craft. For us the cake is more of a tick box than a priority and this is why we are looking for a cheap alternative.
This week we did a trial run with a Madeira cake. It tasted great and would be a really sturdy option, but it took almost three hours to bake one layer so I think we need an alternative that will cook faster. The cake will most likely have to be baked the day before the wedding, maybe two at the most, so it needs to be a little more time efficient. Vanilla sponge is up next…watch this space.
Blankets over boilers. For the first time in months I have had the urge to put the heating on. It seems mad considering the summer we have had and the fact that it’s still August, but it has been so cold today. Instead of giving in to the cosy joy of the heating, I opted for my favourite blanket. I am writing this post on a Sunday, so naturally it was only sensible to stay firmly tucked under the blanket on the warm couch…well I didn’t want to catch a chill.
I went to the cinema for less than a pound. Yes, you read that right. You know what’s even better? That bought two tickets. TWO. This isn’t a wind up. Last week my fiance realised he had reward points with Natwest, redeemable at Cineworld. It was Wednesday and we also have access to the 2-4-1 offer thanks to our insurance. Add both offers to the checkout and the total was 70p.
To top it off we already had some snacks in the house in the form of the aforementioned trial wedding cake and we opted for some own brand flavoured water, so drinks came to 74p. We ended up spending £1.44 in total on an evening that could have easily cost £15 or more. We were both very happy with that one!
There they are, my Five Frugal Things for the month of August. As this was my first month of making a real effort to be more frugal it has certainly been a challenge but I have learnt so much in the process!