Monday 12 November 2018

Frugal tips

2024 edited to say this popular post was written in 2018.  I've now been living a frugal life for almost 14 years and some of the things no longer apply as I'm now retired.  But these are still good tips!

When I first started this frugal lifestyle 8 years ago there were loads of blogs that inspired and helped me on my journey.  For various reasons many of these blogs no longer exist.  3 of the best were Mortgage Free in Three (Elaine inspired my 40k in 4 years), Frugal Queen and Our New Life in the Country. I know Elaine and Jane had technical issues so maybe that's why their blogs are gone.  Sue over at Our New Life in The Country also had fab ideas but she kindly left her blogs up for people to read. 

So when Mrs Frugal left a comment on yesterday's post it got me thinking.  What advice could I give to someone starting their frugal journey?

1.  Live beneath your means.

I live on less than half my salary.  The other half is saved.  In the last few years we've bought (and sold) a campervan.  We've been on 2 major family trips to Singapore for a wedding and to Australia to visit my middle son.  Plus I was able to buy a flat for my oldest son.

2.  Cut your food budget.  

Cook from scratch.  If you can't cook, learn!
Look for yellow stickers.
Eat more veggie meals.
Look at budget ranges in supermarkets.  Work out what can be substituted eg Basics ketchup v Heinz ketchup and what can't eg my Percol coffee is non negotiable! (2024 edit - I now drink Tesco's own brand coffee!)
Use up every single bit of food you buy.

3.  Research every single major purchase

Shop around for the best price.  Consider second hand options.

4.  Cut your clothing budget

If you don't have a budget make one.  Mine is £500 a year for everything.  Buy from Ebay and charity shops.  I get a lot of new stuff with the tags still on

5.  Just stop buying stuff

Only buy stuff you 'need' not what you 'want'

6.  Teach yourself new skills

Why pay someone else to do something if you can DIY?  OH and I will have a go at most things before considering getting someone else in to do it.  Yep you'll make mistakes but you get better every time.  OH is a pro at tiling now 👍

These are my main ones but maybe you could add to the list.  I did write an article with my tips for a US blog a few years ago.  You can still read it HERE

I had 3 wrinkly peppers left over from last week's shop.  So I mixed some onion, rice, black beans, salsa and fajita seasoning together, stuffed the peppers and topped them with goats cheese.  They were very tasty and cheap!


  1. Hi Ali - Frugal Queen has a facebook page - Frugal Queen in France. I think she uses Twitter with the same name as well. From the quick look I've given the fbook page it seems as though she's now in France full time? (it was a very quick look, though, so I may be wrong)

    Sue has a couple of new blogs, too. No idea about Elaine

  2. Yes I've been following Frugal Queen on FB but she has deliberately deleted her blog and all links back to it. Shame really as it was full of really useful tips. Her FB page has different stuff now.

    It was only recently I discovered Sue had a new blog :-)

  3. I too found Sue's new blog and was so pleased!

  4. I would suggest learn to budget as a skill to learn to be more frugal. I think now that people use cards for almost everything its easy to lose track of spending. I now check my account weekly (sometimes more) rather than the random times I used to when we had an overdraft. Now I watch my account like a hawk! Sue has two new accounts although she's taking a break from one while she's doing her food challenge. I also saw Frugal Queen on Facebook and thought the same, it looks like she's in France now as I'm sure she's a teacher and wouldn't be on holiday now.

    1. ps, the peppers look tasty, I will steal this recipe if you don't mind!

    2. Steal away!!

      Last post on FQ's blog was a normal one, then I think she got hacked. Next I knew a few months later she was living in France (it was to be their retirement home) and the blog was deleted. People have asked her what happened and she's politely said mind your own business. Her blog was fab!

  5. Thankyou for the inspiration, that is very thoughtful of you to write this post. I am going to really get down to the nitty and gritty, and crack on with it, I bought some yellow stickers today.

  6. FQ is in France as others have said. She's sold the first home they renovated and is working on another. She has some sort of paid employment and her husband is doing all the construction work from the sounds of it.

    I didn't realize her blog was supposed to have been hacked. It was there one day and gone the next. But prior to deleting it, there was a massive cull of her posts. Some of her earlier stuff was removed and then some of her "rants" about the commercialism of Christmas.

    There was also fall outs with other bloggers who had been her friends.

    She used to rant about people who owned holiday homes and people who came into her village in the UK and priced young locals out of the housing market. Yet she seems to be doing the same.

    The original house purchase in France was brought about by her husband receiving an inheritance.

    I think there was a lot of good in her blog when it started, crafting tips, recipes, finance tips. But in an North American saying she jumped the shark.


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