Saturday, 2 January 2021

2021 Frugal Living Challenge


2020 is a year that most people, the world over, will be glad to see the back of, mostly because of te Coronavirus pandemic. I won't even attempt to go into details as all the information you need about it can be found on most news pages. All that I will say is please stay safe - follow guidelines and local rules, and most importantly, use your common sense. Health and hygiene are intertwined. Plenty of fresh air is essential, a bit of exercise is ideal and both of these things are totally free... just open up your door and get yourself outdoors. Free, free, free... breath in that freedom.

2021 arrived at Frugaldom as a frosty morning bathed in sunshine. Working outdoors without a jacket at this time of year is becoming more common and up until last week, I was still able to do so in short sleeves. What I need to keep reminding myself, however, is that even the winter sun can burn. 

Our frugal living challenge has begun again and this year has brought more changes. My plan is t chart these changes and, once again, tighten the purse strings to enable further savings for further investment into the Frugaldom project. You can check out Frugaldom on Facebook and Frugaldom on Twitter

My challenges for 2021:

  1. Live on £4,000 for the year
  2. Spend no more than £1 per person per day for all meals (there are 2 of us)
  3. Get a 'tiny house' built
  4. Extend the hay shed
  5. Have a hut (small cabin) built at Frugaldom
  6. Try and post at least 2 mini blogs each week
  7. Finish planting our native woodland
  8. Create a forest garden
  9. Increase the amount of fruit and veg we grow
  10. Zero food waste and recycle everything I can
You can find all the frugal living challenge updates on the forums.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Frugaldom Walkabout #1

This is something new for me, as it has taken me quite some time to get around to mastering a mobile phone and camera. This has mainly been down to the fact that we don't have and signal at home so when it turned out that we could pick up a 3G signal from the Frugaldom project, it made things a whole lot easier. I can now post short video clips and share project progress with you all.

There is no commentary on the videos as we enjoy the peace, tranquility and freedom to be at one with nature while working outdoors at Frugaldom. It's a place where we welcome members, sponsors and volunteers who love nature and who want to be a part of our project.

Frugaldom is not for profit. We operate as a self-funded, voluntary project supported by sponsorships, memberships, donations and visitor contributions. If you would like to support the work we do here, find out how at

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Looking Back

gypsy cobs galloping
4 of the 5 rescued and rehomed ponies at Frugaldom

Hello to all who read these frugal blogs! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas season and that you enjoy Hogmanay and the new year festivities.

I've just been updating the old forums, the ones that go back to 2010, as Ive found it impossible to retrieve the most recent ones that fell out of our reach when the software and operating platform changed. Not to be completely outdone, I succeeded in retrieving these old ones and have now redirected the domain towards them for our 2019 frugal living and working challenges. (Everyone is welcome to join us, it's free!)

Anyway, while unlocking previously archived sections of the forums and updating them as I went along, I stopped at the letter 'B' - it's alphabetical - and began reading about all our ideas and plans for the future. It's where I found this and saw just how far we had come over the past 8 years and showed that my longterm aims hadn't realy changed, apart from the fact that finding several like-minded others has, so far, proven to be impossible.

 Oct 20, 2010 #7
In the wake of today's spending review, a thought struck me when listening to the heated debates about the housing crisis, social housing and council rents. Affordable housing is still absent, in my opinion, for all of those people who don't want or can't get mortgages. If housing associations and others are going to be encouraged to provide more affordable homes, why do we still see so many derelict or crumbling properties? I would love the opportunity to develop a derelict site into a profitable business with the potential to expand on that and bring others into the game plan. All around us are derelict houses - small collapsing cottages  left to rot because owners who have inherited them can't agree how to split any proceeds from sales, or else left to rot in an effort to avoid tax. Removing the roof to avoid the roof tax has long, since, been abolished (as far as I am aware) but we now face the "problem" of these properties costing their owners up to 40% in capital gains tax. I just don't get it! Surely, in this economic climate, 60% of any surplus property sale in the pockets of the owners must be worthwhile. It has to beat zero with a crumbling wreck as your personal responsibility.

One excellent frugal business proposition would be for workers' co-operatives to raise the capital to purchase these unwanted properties to turn them into viable microholdings for those who are prepared to invest in their own futures. The cost of a brick, afterall, is still the cost of a brick. It shouldn't be too adversely affected by where that brick gets laid. Waste land, scrap land, disused sites, abandoned sites... the list goes on and on, yet the right to participate in any such project is curtailed, once again, by finances and the need for ludicrous amounts of cash. A group of like-minded individuals working for the benefit of all could surely earn a living by dividing the spoils, assuming they were able to amass the funds needed to initiate such a project in the first place?

My search continues for that first, elusive piece of land that could start the ball rolling. I don't have 50,000+ in the bank to buy a tiny building plot, nor do I intend borrowing it, but I'd be prepared to invest in a project where nobody squabbled about percentages and hours of work they contributed to the end result. All things being equal, (which they aren't) 1000 man hours equates to almost 6,000 even on minimum wage.

Frugaldom, as a complete microholding package, is a viable business proposition. We aren't setting out to become millionaires, we're setting out as frugal entrepreneurs in the hope of realising dreams. For me, money in the banks just won't pay in the long run, not with inflation running at more than twice the BoE base rate.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Preparing for our Frugal Living Challenge in 2019


This is just a mini-blog to welcome new challengers to the concept of frugaldom and our likewise named Frugaldom project, which is based in Dumfries and Galloway region of SW Scotland.

Frugal living is about a waste not, want no lifestyle of minimising the spending to primarily clear debt and then to maximise the savings.

If you would like to find out more about frugaldom and our frugal living challenges, which have been running for over 20 years, simply visit any of the following:

We also have our Frugal Living Challenge 2019 on the website forums.

See you there. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

10 Small Business Ideas for People Who Love Nature

Almost anyone can be an entrepreneur; the only thing missing for many is a great idea. The best place to find a great business idea is to look into something about which you are passionate, for example, if you’re passionate about nature, there are plenty of business ideas with which you can run!

1. Adventure Club

A great idea for those who know the area around them and aren’t afraid of a little excitement is an adventure club!

These clubs usually consist of a leader (that’s you!) taking members on outdoor adventures. The element of excitement is really up to you and your adventure-seeking customers. These adventures could be as simple as hiking an easy trail together or as exciting as white water rafting, depending on your expertise. 

Your profits will be even higher if you are teaching your club members something they don’t know. For example, teaching people how to rock climb might come with a higher charge than group hikes.

2. Outdoor Cleaning Service

You probably already know that cleaning service businesses are profitable.

While it might take a little more time than cleaning a bathroom, you can also take a cleaning service outdoors. You can keep your services as simple as cleaning up litter in a backyard to as involved as construction clean up or even graffiti removal. Depending on the area in which you serve, one type of cleaning service might be more popular than the other.

3. Landscaping

If you love the outdoors and have a bit of a green thumb, consider starting a landscaping business. A landscaping business helps people transform their yards, gardens, or other sites into something they love and even boost kerb appeal.

It’s important to note that a landscaping business typically requires some level of education. After all, you have to know how to analyze a site, plan out a landscaping blueprint, and become familiar with local and national building codes and ordinances. It’s also important to know how to not only make a site attractive, but also how to make it safe and effective. For instance, you will need to consider factors such as stormwater management.

4. Run a Horse Stable

If you love horses, you could always make a living working with them. Simply owning horses won’t really earn you a living, but if you have land and farm buildings, then you could offer a boarding service for other people with horses. 

Alternatively, you could also teach riding, subject to the appropriate qualifications, licensing and insurances. This will give you the opportunity not only to spend time outside with your favorite animals but to share that love with others as well.

5. Small-Scale Farming

If you want to make a name for yourself at your local farmers' market, you don’t have to turn around acres of crops. Instead, you can turn your garden into a space for growing some veggies and maybe even fruits. You can earn extra by offering products as well as raw crops. For instance, if you know how to make jam, you can sell this for a higher price - again, subject to the necessary certification.

6. Dog Care

Maybe you still want to take care of animals but large animals are a little too much; maybe they aren’t your preference or maybe you don’t have enough land. However, there are plenty of animals that you can take care of while living a smaller, more frugal lifestyle.

To spend time outdoors, you can start a dog-walking business. This is a great option because there are many people who can’t take time in the middle of the day to come home and walk their dogs.

If you want to push this business to a more profitable level, you can board dogs as well. You can be selective in the dog breeds you choose to board to ensure you don’t end up with an untrained dog in your house for a weekend.

7. Start Your Own “Green” Shop

If opening a retail shop or purchasing a franchise is a bit too much, you can easily start small by opening an online store. You can also sell products that you make to a small following. You can link up with sites like Giving Assistant to help earn you a following and boost sales.

Your love of nature comes in with what you make. Maybe you want to make your own, homemade tea blends or make everyday products through a greener process. This is your chance to use your love of nature to create something of which you can be proud.

8. Open a Beauty Salon

Creating your own beauty salon doesn’t quite sound linked to nature, but it can be, with a little creativity. Think about it this way: When you visit the beauty salon, how many chemicals and ingredients damaging to the environment do you see?

As an alternative to this, you can start your own beauty salon that uses safer products. There are plenty of hair products and skin care products that you can make with completely eco-friendly, vegan ingredients.

9. Eco-Consulting

Do you already dedicate your life to green living? Is recycling and composting a part of your daily routine? Are you greener than the average person? If so, then you might be the perfect person to start an eco-consulting business!

Many people don’t live or operate their offices in the most eco-friendly ways. In many cases, these people simply aren’t sure of where to start and where to go. This is where you step in: Your business would be to help these clients transition to more eco-friendly businesses, operations and lifestyles.

10. Green Housekeeping

As we pointed out earlier, many people are willing to pay for cleaning services—inside and out. However, much like we mentioned with beauty salons, these services usually include an alarming amount of harmful ingredients to nature—and humans!

Regardless of the type of “nature” business you choose to start, there are plenty of options available. With a little creativity and hard work, you can turn your love for nature into a healthy living—in more ways than one. 

You should always check that you have any essential qualifications, permissions and/or insurances necessary for carrying out your chosen business ventures but there is bound to be something you can do that combines your love of nature with income generation.