Thursday, 20 March 2014

How will the Budget Affect Frugalers and Frugaleurs?

Let's Make a Point of Looking at the Budget

Here in the UK, we were treated to the latest Chancellor's speech by way of yesterday's budget. I will hold up my hands now and state that I did not listen to it all live, so I am still trying to find anything relevant to frugal living households with less than national minimum wage incomes... still looking!

Basic Income Tax thresholds, UK

As you'll can see by the above, the threshold for income tax is still climbing, apparently taking a further 288,000 out of the 'tax-payer' category. Personally, I can't imagine ever earning sufficient income to pay income tax if I pursue my current lifestyle. But how much of my £5,000 household budget actually goes to the Government?

Council Tax - £1,000
General shopping - £25
Heating & lighting the house - £60
Telephone & Internet - £80
Television - £145.50
Travel/Deliveries - £48
Gifts - £70
Clothing & Footwear - £20
Everything else - £75
National Insurance (Class 2) - £140

Estimated total = £1,663.50 

In REAL terms, if I was earning £5,000 per year, as per my challenge budget for running a household that feeds 2 people, that would equate to almost a third of my income going to the Government in assorted taxes! Moving swiftly on... I'm leaving the budget to those who have pension funds and the financial capacity to aim for £15,000 saved into their ISAs.

Growing My Own Investments

 As previously discussed, I decided to try and save some of the damp, mouldy peas I rescued from the greenhouse a couple of weeks ago. They were planted into recycled tin cans and sat in the window to try and get whatever little heat they could from any brief glimmers of sunshine reached them - it hasn't been much! Still, 3 of the 4 tins containing peas now have little plants growing from them. Nothing to be seen from the beans but I won't give up hope just yet.

Red Cabbage
 Here is an up to date look at my cabbage experiment - I remembered to change the water and checked the base while doing so. As you can see, we now have some good strong roots and those are definitely cabbage leaves growing from the sliced off top.

Using up the Eggs
We now have 2 of the 3 ducks laying and 2 of the bantams, so eggs aplenty. I'll be sharing the surplus eggs with friends and neighbours who are kind enough to barter. This afternoon, I made a tray of sponges to use up the bantam eggs but today seems to have been one of those 'oops' days... those aren't chocolate sponges! Never mind, they'll taste just fine in trifle, under custard or even just scoffed with a cup of coffee. No point icing them for visitors, is there? Guess I'll need to make a lemon drizzle cake this weekend. :)

Being 20 days into 'Making it in March', I thought readers may like to see what a gew of the others have been making. My 'makes' have been restricted to the normal daily domestic stuff recently owing to the amount of work involved in resuscitating and rejuvenating my frugal business empire.

Making it in March

Visit the forums at to find out what others are making in March.


  1. Nothing in the budget to help our pension go a little further, maybe a few pennies less income tax but that will be swallowed up by another increase in something else... We never win! Those little pea plants look really healthy, I hope they survive and provide a few tasty pods for you. Good to see the girls are providing you with lots if lovely fresh eggs, I can see lots of eggy dishes and yummy baking appearing on your menu over the coming weeks, although its good if you can do swaps with the neighbours. Thank you for adding a snapshot of my patchwork bag to your blog, there are some amazing makes on the forum, we have some very talented people all willing to share ideas, including yourself, with your fabulous blankets and recycled goodies.

    1. Hi Karen, I was hoping nobody would mind and it's always good to show readers what's going on in the forums. I love seeing photos of what others are doing, so other folks must, too. :) Patchwork and quilting are things I don't do, but grand daughter is learning it in her junior sewing classes just now.

  2. I love pea shoots in a mixed salad. I like to grow my own lettuce leaves in a big pot outside the back door so that I don't have far to go to get some, even in the rain. Some of your baby cabbage leaves would probably end up shredded in my mixed salad too : )

    1. I have planted the other peas just outside the door on the patio garden but it faces west, so a few weeks to go before and sunshine reaches there. So cold just now, beginning to wonder if we're going to have a repeat of last March. Good luck with your 2014 growing. I like my cabbage shredded and mixed with carrots as frugal coleslaw. :)

  3. those cabbages are coming along nicely. I guess you could split them and make a couple of plants from them?

    1. I hadn't thought of that, do you think it could work? Not sure I could bring myself to splitting it at this stage, it's like one of my babies. LOL I'll keep you posted.


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