Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Frugal Living, the September Challenge and a Country Cottage to Let. Wow!

Almost 50 Challengers Signed up Already!

What a great start we have had to our September money-saver challenge - Septimus Frugalus is proud to have each and every one of you on board for the trip.
This is also our very first free giveaway, so all challengers who participate will be short-listed for entry into the free draw to win their very own Ventus Twister. For anyone who hasn't entered, the company has provided us with a special half price discount code - simply include the word 'laundry' in the code box, recalculate and your washer/spinner will become half price in the Ventus Free Energy* shop.
For me, this September challenge is a chance to refresh and rejuvenate my money-saving habits and
give myself a few reminders about how not to slip into old habits. With all the helpful hints shared, we soon realise how easily money, energy and food savings can be increased. Something as simple as bulking out the leftover stew and gravy with sausages and herby dumplings to create not two, but four more meals can save you from wasting even the last of the gravy.

Stir frying any leftover vegetables, including cabbage, makes a highly nutritious addition to any meal, assuming you haven't drowned it all in oil or fat, and by cooking on my hot plate, I'm finding it more economical than using the mains electric cooker.

Reminding myself to run the laptops on battery power until they absolutely must get recharged helps save a few pennies extra in electricity, especially with two of us working  from home fulltime. My Ventus Twister has saved me the expense of buying a new washing machine - giving me time to both save and to look out for the best available deal. Who knows how long I'll rely on the little 'Twister', as it's even coping with jeans!

Out in the garden, when I'm looking about the place as I hang out the washing, I see potential everywhere for improving my money-saving. Since the massacre of the potato beds, we now have enough potatoes to last some weeks but we also have the knowledge that potato growing in this manner, for us, just isn't economically viable. We now have the area cleared and prepared for relocating the mini poly-tunnel. I am sure that the 6m x 2m space will be far more productive as covered growing space and the potatoes, if we decide to do any more, can be done in the tubs.

The greenhouse is producing well - so well, in fact, that I am overrun with cucumbers. I also have plenty of tomatoes, if the sun keeps shining and they all ripen.

Mealtimes are healthy and frugal at the moment.

Porridge for breakfast, eggs for lunch and then dinner cooked from whatever is available. I restocked the freezer last month and I have been using up old flour stocks baking bread. The ends of the loaves are ideal for creating frugal pizzas or else something served with eggs and/or salad.

So what tasty lunchtime snacks have I incorporated into the first three days of this frugal September challenge?

Pan fried bread in egg with chopped tomato, spring onions and cheese

Cucumber and mint sorbet

Open sandwiches with quail eggs and garden salad
I also made mini-scotch eggs and served these with salad, but I forgot to photograph them - you can tell I'm not strictly a food blogger! :)
Regardless of how frugal we are, there still needs to be spending - we simply cannot live without spending cash on some things, postage being one of them. So, I packaged up some rooted cuttings from my herbs and these got posted off to a couple of fellow frugalers as part of our trading system. I have already received an assortment of plants and flower seeds, including my comfrey that is now looking fantastic in its corner of the garden. I'm simply paying the favours forward, as so many other bloggers do, and loving this fantastic system that really only came to the fore, for me, when I was 'love bombed' last Christmas by Frugal Queen and her readers. Oh, and I also ordered a super bargain DVD box set - pointed out to us all by Aril,thank you for that - with a saving of almost £15 on RRP.
Now for the exciting news!
To Let - Country Cottage for your Dream Lifestyle
Frugal living is good. Rural living is good. The whole waste not, want not, make do and mend, reduce, reuse, recycle ethos in life is good. So, dear frugal friends, it is with the greatest of pleasure that I can offer you this world on a 6 month trial basis, if necessary.
This cottage belongs to a friend and fellow frugaler who is currently looking for a good, reliable tenant and is hoping to find a like-minded follower of the frugal living ilk. Here's what they have to say about this charming cottage, which sits within a few miles of all amenities despite being in a rural location.
This is what said friend had to say:
Our cottage is about to come up for rent. I wondered if you would mind promoting it amongst your frugal community as it is on its way to being a self sufficient haven.

It is a two bedroom, farm workers cottage, gorgeous views of the estuary and hills. Solar panels, all appliances electric, shower, electric under-sink hot water systems, efficient storage heaters. Thanks to the log burner downstairs the heaters only have to be on low in other rooms when it's very cold. Really well insulated, recently decorated throughout and re carpeted. Double glazed, 11mm thick carpet underlay to reduce cold rising.

Outside: greenhouse, large cold frames, wood shed, compost bins, patio area and lots of room to grow vegetables, keep chickens etc. We left quinces, rhubarb and raspberries in the garden.

We are looking for £375 a month rent, £375 deposit. We are flexible on length of agreement, minimum 6 months. (Normal tenancy agreement conditions would apply.) We are happy if people want to change garden around etc., and would love it to go to a self sufficient type couple/family.
So there you have it, lovely frugal friends and readers, an invite to come and live the good life in rural southwest Scotland is a home that is already on its way to becoming someone's dream. The owners are frugal forum members and they do still live locally, so your landlords (fully registered) would be within easy contact distance, but have now moved on to a slightly bigger project.
If anyone is interested in this property, please get in contact. This cottage isn't on a bus route, nor is it an easy walk to shops, so having a car would be an advantage. (Cycling could be an option, we have some fabulous cycle routes in the area, as well as the Galloway Hills, the Forest Park and not forgetting the Dark Sky Park status.)  All amenities are within a few miles and it's only five minutes' drive off the main A75, close to Scotland's national book town of Wigtown. In the nearby town of Newton Stewart, there are supermarkets, cinema, swimming pool, banks etc, plus two coaches each day running between Belfast and London, so access to Carlisle, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and London are all fairly simple.
This could be a dream come true for someone. Is that someone YOU?


  1. A fantastic opportunity for someone, this looks a perfect stepping stone for starting out on a frugal self sufficient journey.

    What a wonderful opportunity :-)

  2. That sounds like a reasonable rent and in a lovely part of the country. Hope someone from the forums takes them up on it.


  3. Oh my, what a fabulous opportunity! It sounds like a dream to me but unfortunately I'm not in a position to relocate - whoever moves in will be a very lucky person! x

  4. Oh My, if we were not set on Wales next year this would be a dream come true.

  5. That makes me want to sell up, take the cash and disappear to Scotland to really live the good life.

  6. Would love this but OH would hate it.

  7. Rural living isn't for everyone and frugal rural living is something else entirely, if it involves sticking to a very tight budget, but this cottage is within 5 minutes of town, so not remote in the least, unless you're wanting to walk to the pub or chippy of an evening. No street lighting, take a torch and don't fall down any ditches. LOL

  8. Good luck with the challenge! Your food always looks so delicious.

    Sft x

  9. i would love to live there as im looking at moving, but I don't drive. such a shame as I have to girls so couldn't get them to a school. good luck to who ever moves there. x


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