Monday, 16 February 2015

Chinese New Year


What a busy month February is!

Frugaldom's 28-day 'fight the flab' challenge, Valentine's Day, Pancake Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Chinese New Year - the year of the sheep, or year of the ram - and several others that have come along more recently, like Harry Potter Day, on February 20th! Frugal living can be fun for everyone, so celebrate in affordable style!

Valentine's Day is the midway point for our Frugal February Fitness Challenge. The sun shone, so it seemed like a good idea to get back in the saddle again... by giving the bike its first short trip of the year. I didn't go far, but stopped for photos along the way, regardless.

As you can see, the sky was blue and the loch was calm. There was a huge flock of migratory geese grazing noisily on the far shore and a number of ducks and other waterfowl on the water.

Snowdrops in sunshine

All along the lochside, through the surrounding woodlands, there were snowdrops flowering. By my front door, I have crocuses, snowdrops and a profusion of miniature irises in full bloom, adding a splash of colour to an otherwise dreary time of year.

Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday, is tomorrow, 17th February 2015, and we're all set to have a super frugal use-it-up day from dawn until dusk. As February represents the first 28 days of our annual 'get fitter, not fatter' challenge, it is also fitting that this year's grocery challenge has been reduced to £5 per person per week for all meals, so zero tolerance on food waste means everything gets used up as normal, not just on Shrove Tuesdays. (This challenge is being recorded on a daily basis at to include some recipes.) I will continue the pancake blog tomorrow. In the meantime, I have my flour, eggs and milk at the ready, along with the usual lemon and sugar or syrup toppings.

Willow sheep for the Frugaldom eco arts garden

Chinese New Year begins Thursday 17th February and this year is the year of the sheep, or ram. Having seen a lovely example of a willow woven sheep in a garden by the abbey on the island of Iona, I had shown the photos to resident artist. This is the result - his first willow sheep, woven from willow grown in the Thrift Cottage garden! It is very fitting that it was finished this week, just in time for the Chinese year of the sheep beginning on Thursday. Who knows how many may have joined our Frugaldom flock by this time next year. You can see how this sheep was made on our designated eco arts photo blog at

Red leather fashion watch

As time marches on, taking February through to March, we have been having fun finding out how far a fiver can stretch, while measuring how many pounds can be lost during this 28-day kickstart to the 'Get Fitter, Not Fatter' challenge. This fabulous little fashion watch, which is available in an assortment of colours, cost just £2.60 including postage and packaging, after using a 10% discount code on our all time favourite fashion site. Better still, you can collect loyalty points as you shop and the company ships globally.To find out more about this and thousands of other bargains that we'll be researching and reviewing, you can visit It is from there that we will be featuring all the offers, discounts, voucher codes, products and services that help to finance the running of the Frugaldom Project, along with the supporting web sites, blogs, forums and chat room.

Our next live chat will be scheduled soon, so don't forget to register a username and password via www.frugalforums so you can take part. This week, we will be discussing the 2015 monthly moneysaving challenges plus offering support to those taking part in the fitness challenge. We'll also be mapping out the other monthly challenges that will be set throughout the coming year.

Chinese New Year


  1. saw the sheep and thought how neat it was.

    1. It would be nice to see it covered with snow, so I'm still hopeful. (But preferably not as much snow as you have! LOL)


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