Friday 1 December 2017

What do I mean by frugal?

When I first started this particular blog, I called it 'My 30-30 Challenge' because I was aiming for a pound a day, to go with the Facebook group I help to admin, Feed Yourself for a Pound a Day.
(take a look - you might like to join and see what it's all about)

For several months I kept this going, managing to stay under a pound a day with the use of garden produce, savers brands, yellow stickers (not too much though) and making it myself.

However, after a few name changes and changes in 'style', Real Life got in the way, not financial but other stuff and then I developed (unrelated) health issues.  As well as that, I had a loaded freezer that I wasn't making inroads into in any great way because it would break the £1 bank.  THis was, obviously, rather silly!.

So, out of all that, The Frugal Factor was born.  I didn't want to move too far away from the roots of this blog but it's a bit more complicated now.

So - what do I mean by frugal?
  • I mean making the very best of what I already have and not buying food for the sake of buying food - and that includes yellow sticker food.  If I don't need it, it is a waste of cash, whether it costs £10 or 10p
  • I mean minimising waste.  Using leftovers creatively, cooking sensible portions, freezing things in single portions or free flow in bags - they all help to reduce waste.
  • I mean looking around for new ideas and recipes - making things from scratch, reading frugal blogs, contributing to running our frugal Facebook groups . . .
  • I mean keeping the two smaller meals vary low cost (usually).  Porridge costs pennies so I can add a bit of fruit and not feel I'm being too spendy.  Home made bread, home made soup, home made egg based meals - they're all great value and delicious too.
  • I mean cutting unnecessary snacks to an absolute minimum.  Yes, I know I plan two snacks a day but I would usually have them with a meal; now I have split them off from meals to have between times.  Better for my health at the moment as I find too much food at one go = ouch!  

What I don't mean.
  • I don't necessarily mean the cheapest.  For example, the cheapest sausages are high in fat and low in meat.  Not great.
  • I don't mean skimping and scraping.  Goodness knows, some do have to and it's hard, very hard, but I am fortunate enough not to need to.
  • I only count food in this blog, not other expenses.  However, I have found that by focusing on this element of my spending, I am automatically becoming much more careful in all other areas too which really can't be a bad thing.

Each day I roughly cost out my planned meals in my head and if it comes to between £1.50 and £2.00, I'm happy.  Even £2 is only £14 a week, around £60 a month and £730 for the whole year.  If I generally stick to that, then the occasions when I do go over will be more than balanced by the times when I go under.

So that's what I mean by frugal.
What do you think?


  1. That makes it sound do-able. I like your explanation. I will try to follow while I am away - free WiFi permitting!(also frugal!) And come January I will try much harder to follow your example, to empty the freezer, cut spending, use allotment produce, and be healthier.

  2. If you manage to empty your freezer, you will be doing an awful lot better than I! :-) Have a great time away!
    J x