Thursday, 11 July 2013

Have You Got a Frugal EEK?

Frugaldom's 'Everything Else Kitty'.

As you know, my annual household budget challenge for all things household is £4,000, but I also have a very interesting revolving budget challenge known as my 'EEK' - the 'Everything Else Kitty'.
The household budget includes groceries, toiletries, laundry and cleaning products, electricity, heating, clothing, utilities bills and the general needs of a frugal household, excluding Council Tax, which is simply non-negotiable and has to be paid. We have no rent or mortgage, we live in the fixy-up while it's being, err... fixy-upped.
The EEK literally needs to account for everything else - including feeding the livestock that are part of the microholding project (It's a bit like smallholding but on a much smaller scale) and creating that microholding in the first place.
Everything Else Kitty has some huge responsibilities - if I want a holiday, the money has to come from somewhere. Entertainment and socialising costs cash, so that has to come from somewhere. That somewhere can be from a variety of sources - selling surplus eggs, cash back, vouchers, gifts, refunds, surplus plant sales or even when they invite you to take part in one of their competitions. I do love to grasp any opportunities that come my way.
So, when the opportunity arose to take part in the Charcoal Challenge, I leapt at it! The first thing I had to do was look at what was or wasn't already available - plenty of charcoal but we've no barbecue! It's on the list of 'things to make'. 
"Show us how you’d throw the ultimate summer barbecue for £50!" they said. "Show us how creative you can be!" And, lest we forget, there's a prize of £250 cash to be won by one of the lucky bloggers taking part in this challenge!
My £50 has been received and is now in the safekeeping of 'Everything Else Kitty', all barring £5.85 + £2.80 delivery that I have just spent buying a very frugal barbecue!

Now all I need to do is get planning the best BBQ ever on the remaining budget of £41.35 and make sure there's something extra special about it. That takes care of July's socialising!

Today is a great day! Not only am I getting the fun of planning a frugal (read that as paid for by

someone else) BBQ party, but the new poly tunnel arrived yesterday and has now been built! It's looking great and the temperature inside it is definitely tropical.

A seat and a refreshing drink of lemon balm tea whilst nibbling on freshly picked strawberries provided suitable reminder that life in Frugaldom is good. Then the postman arrived!

My mini tunnels and mini potting greenhouses are here! (See earlier post for details and get later posts for updates).

Frugal living means making hay while the sun shines, so it's blackcurrant picking for me this afternoon before I can begin playing with any of my new toys! The 'Everything Else Kitty' won't feed itself and it has been getting slightly over-worked recently and I really don't want to have to dip into the household budget for anything garden-related. Bad enough I had my frugal trip up Ben Nevis in May, never mind overspend on plastic! ;)

You can follow the frugal living challenge updates on Twitter @Frugaldom or on Facebook at There are also forums where you are free to join and participate in any of the challenges.


  1. Picking blackcurrants already, mind are still green and hard as a bullet. Just about finished our strawberries even though we have 6 varieties meant to take us through early summer to early autumn.

    1. I need to start picking them to keep up with them, as there seems to be a whole load of them this year. The ripest ones are already beginning to fall off the bushes. Strawberries still doing not too badly but I don't have as many of those. Next year should see an improvement on those, once I have a proper strawberry bed. :) Such a pity the strawberries don't freeze well enough to eat them fresh all year.


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