Thursday, 26 February 2015

Frugal Living Blog

Frugal living blog about how to do some money saving and cost cutting in an effort to live a good life, free from debt, without having to live in self-imposed poverty. You won't find us running for awards or seeking fame, fortune or even national recognition because we live the life we write - it is as simple as that.

Money Saving

The Frugal Blog is linked to and supported by the frugal forums, frugal shop, NYK's chat room and the land of Frugaldom, which came about as a direct result of having stuck with my frugal living, moneysaving challenge unfalteringly until the point of attaining debt freedom, and then for the next 7 years thereafter. This is now year 8 of my debt free challenge and almost all of it has been documented online as a frugal blog with forum posts.

Frugal Living Challenge

This is an adaptation of the original 'Living on £4,000 for a Year' challenge, which has been running online since 2007. Some of the NYK challenges date back to the late 1990's, so I do have a considerable amount of experience in balancing my own books, while living within my own means, always done on a budget that some consider to be impossible. Utter nonsense! It is entirely possible and is an achievement of which I am particularly proud. I can say with confidence that frugal living, free from debt, on a small income is 100% possible. You do, however, need to exercise will power and keep yourself focussed on your plans in order to achieve these otherwise impossible goals.

We have seen many changes over the years, so each stage in the development of our frugal living and working plans takes us a step closer to the good life and beyond. Your budget is personal to you, it should fit with your personal financial situation and it should be something you are happy to achieve. If you can achieve a point at which you spend less than you have coming in, then you are halfway there. Getting to the point that you are spending less than you are earning while also absolutely free from debt is the ultimate goal. You just need to believe it is possible and stick to your plan, no matter what.

You can join our quest for financial freedom by visiting us in our members only frugal living forums.

My frugal living challenge is not about self-deprivation or self-imposed poverty just for the sake of it, it is about providing genuine support for those who are prepared to try making a real difference to their own lives while sorting out their difficult financial situations. Once the debts are gone and you are in full command of your own spending (or not spending, as the case may be), the world is your oyster. Whether you choose to invest, explore, plant a forest, see the world or lead a comfortable life knowing you are financially secure is entirely up to you.

Many former and current challengers have achieved debt freedom and now follow frugal lifestyles in order to stay free from debt while pursuing better lives without the entrapment of credit. Others are tackling debts, including mortgages, while following a frugal lifestyle in an attempt to reach their debt-free or mortgage-free day. Whichever stage you are at, feel free to join us and share your journey.

2015 saw the return of the live NYK Chat room, complete with scheduled chats for the purposes of additional support, plus live question time. The new platform has been tested over the past few months and it is hoped that the increased potential for even more real time interactivity can help many more people who want to embark on their own money saving journeys to financial freedom.

This challenge is about establishing your true cost of living, sticking to your budget, clearing debts (if you have any) and making savings wherever and however you can to enable you to live the life you really want.

Frugal living isn't for everyone, but everyone is welcome to join us. Methods employed by frugalers include batch cooking, stockpiling useful bargains, preserving, foraging, mending, shopping in charity shops, reducing, reusing, recycling, Local Exchange Trading Schemes (LETS), vegetable and fruit growing, allotments, keeping hens, using cash-back sites and doing whatever it takes to become self sufficient in managing the cost of living without incurring debt.

For some it is about clearing debt, for others it's about increasing savings, buying property, becoming stay at home parents or paying off the mortgage early. Some choose the lifestyle on ethical grounds, others seek early retirement or self-sustainability. Above all, this is meant to be a fun and supportive way to manage a minimal budget so you have control of your own money.

  • It's about NEEDS and not WANTS
  • Living on a budget = living within our means
  • Frugal = thrifty, living without waste

Fifty Shades of Money Saving

  1. Recognise the differences between needs from wants
  2. Spend within your means
  3. Set a proper budget
  4. Quit expensive habits
  5. Houseshare or get a lodger
  6. Shop via cashback sites
  7. Always price compare
  8. Buy reduced items in stores only if you need them
  9. Stockpile & bulk buy long shelf life groceries that you will use
  10. Batch cook
  11. Make the most of charity shops
  12. Join Freecycle or other similar waste awareness and recycling groups
  13. LETS trading - become active members of trading & exchange groups
  14. Barter
  15. Grow herbs, fruit & vegetables
  16. Preserving - jams, jellies, cordials, pickles, relishes & wine
  17. Bake your own bread using cheap flour
  18. Learn easy bake biscuit, cake and pastry recipes
  19. Make your own greetings cards
  20. Give homemade gifts
  21. Share orders with friends, colleagues and family for better discounts & reduced delivery costs
  22. Landshare, garden share or apply for an allotment if you have no growing space
  23. Make the most of all freebies
  24. Develop your own home-based business
  25. Sell your surplus through the likes of eBid and eBay trading
  26. Do a kitchen cupboard inventory of foodstuffs
  27. Use lists for grocery shopping
  28. Know exactly what is in your freezer
  29. Use up everything in your fridge
  30. Learn how to make soups, stews and casseroles
  31. Make the most of your slow cooker, if you have one
  32. Learn how to knit, crochet and/or sew
  33. Make do and mend rather than buy new
  34. Engage in clothes swaps and accessorise your outfits rather than have to buy new
  35. Learn to make your own laundry cleaner
  36. Make your own household cleaning agents:  invest in soda crystals or sodium bicarbonate,
  37. Get inventive in the kitchen with herbs and spices to use up all leftovers
  38. Use the free gym whenever you like - just open your door and step outside
  39. Use housework as an exercise routine
  40. Dry flowers so they last forever
  41. Collect seeds for sowing
  42. Go foraging for free wild foods
  43. Trim your own hair or ask a friend to do it for you
  44. Turn down the thermostat if you have central heating - wear an extra layer of clothing instead
  45. Early to bed, early to rise - based on daylight, it can save on lighting
  46. Collect fallen sticks, twigs, dry leaves and fir cones for kindling if you have an open fire or stove
  47. Save all suitable containers for freezing or preserving food
  48. Eat a sensible diet: over-eating is one of the costliest mistakes you can make, along with wasting food
  49. Food is NOT bad just because it has passed its 'Best Before' date. Undamaged tins and properly stored dried goods can last for years beyond that
  50. Stay focussed and stay strong - debts have to be paid before saving for rainy days and luxuries

By basing your frugal lifestyle around a combination of the above suggestions, you will soon begin to recognise many more ways of saving money but the easiest way to get started is simply to quit spending it until you have assessed your real cost of living. Monitoring and revising a budget is part of any frugal living plan.


Please respect others' lifestyles and beliefs. We are not here to judge, we are here to support. Feel free to join us by following the frugal blog, registering for our free forums or joining us in the chat room sometime soon. We aren't here to score points or win prizes, we are here to show how simple life can be and then the fun can begin.

Frugal Living Blog


  1. Thank you. I do think it is good to remind ourselves of the basics every so often, just to keep the lifestyle fun. :)


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