Five fabulously frugal things I did this week (12 May)

Picture of two white and yellow wild strawberry flowers in our garden

Strawbery flowers. Keep your fingers crossed for fruit.

 

We’ve had a sociable week, including visiting friends for a barbecue and meeting their new alternative to a lawnmower (sheep), plus a whistle-stop work trip to London.

Without further ado, here’s a round up of our five frugal things this week.

 

Picture of a bowl of salad with wholemeal pitta bread, after a thrifty salad using leftover food to avoid food waste

Salad using up leftovers from the fridge

Made meals out of odds and ends

In my efforts to save money and cut food waste, I try to scan the fridge every few days, to spot what needs to be used up before it goes over.

This week we ate a couple of meals to finish odds and ends, before we do our next big shopping trip.

On Tuesday evening I grilled sausages from the freezer with the last of the broccoli, the last of the mushrooms, the remains of some yellow-stickered tomato salsa and, weirdly, some rice (mainly because I was in a hurry and couldn’t be bothered to peel potatoes).

For Thursday lunch, I swapped a sandwich for salad with pitta bread, mainly so I could use up the remaining Greek salad cheese (aka value range feta) and a tiny tub of mozzarella left from pizza making. I livened up a solitary tomato and the last little gem lettuce by chucking in some beetroot and half an orange, abandoned after making Pimms for bank holiday visitors.

 

Picture of WeightWatchers magazine at the bargain price of £1.75 not £2.50, with a photo of a model in a bra top on the cover.

Ok, so I bought it as inspiration for food, not fitness clothing

Picked up a magazine for less

After posting yesterday about how not to start a diet, I’m still attempting to avoid an emergency trousers situation.

As part of that crusade, I bought the June copy of WeightWatchers magazine. It was on sale at the bargain price of £1.75 rather than the normal £2.50.

In the past I had a serious magazine habit, and have gradually weaned myself off them. Keeping a spending diary really helped me recognise how much cash was consumed by glossy pages.

Fingers crossed this one will provide further inspiration for frugal weight loss! Although I suspect the world is not quite ready for me to go running in a bra top.

 

Signed up for a yard sale

Spending £5 to sign up for a yard sale might not seem totally frugal, but bear with me on this one. I have boxes and drawers crammed with stuff that I always intend to eBay and never do, or take to car boot sale but never get round to.

Instead, I’ve registered for the Hadleigh Yard Sale on 28 May, so people can come to us instead!

The fiver means that Trev the organiser will add us to the map with all the other participating houses in Hadleigh. All I have to do is pitch our unwanted belongings into the garden and hopefully people will show up to buy them.

I’m a bit concerned that there aren’t many yard sales on our road. However, I’ve come up with a cunning plan to lure people along by selling tea and cake too. Anyone for a mini trampoline? Outgrown baby toys? Or any of the other stuff I’ve been ignoring from the drawer at the bottom of the wardrobe?

 

Picture of cream bedside lamp on cream bedside table with carefully arranged books to illustrate switching electricity provider to Octopus energy

Let there be light. And £15 doesn’t go amiss either.

Got a credit for chasing an electricity switch

Sometimes contacting a company really can pay off.

Back at the end of March, I switched to a fixed electricity tariff when our previous company put their prices up. 

The new company said the switch would happen after a few weeks, which seemed super speedy to me. When I got a new bill from the old company, it reminded me that I hadn’t heard anything further, so I emailed Octopus* asking how it was going. Think it was easier because I didn’t have to search around for a customer number or contact email address, but could just email straight to an address on my initial switching details.

Anyway, much to my surprise I got a reply the same day to say they were looking into it, then another one promising further action. Finally after the weekend a third email arrived with an apology for the delay, an explanation, a new date for the switch and the promise of £15 credit to make up for being stuck with a more expensive provider for longer. All without me having to chase at all!

When I think of the hours I’ve wasted on hold to electricity providers in the past, being sent round the houses with people who promise to ring back and never do, I was amazed.

I waited with bated breath to see what might go wrong – but no, later I got a request for a meter reading and this week an email confirmed the switch had gone through. Strikes me that good customer service is demonstrated by how companies deal with mistakes, and this was a great example by Octopus*.

 

Picture of a four pack of Belgian beer Leffe Blond on my windowsill, after I got money off using Shopmium, the supermarket cashback app.

Belgian beer for less. Bonus.

Snaffled some beer from Shopmium

I know I’ve banged on about Shopmium, the supermarket cashback app in the past. It’s a high tech version of money off vouchers, so if you’re shoppingon a budget, you can sample some extras for less. Buy a product, snap a pic of the receipt on your smartphone and bingo get money back. (Post with top tips on cashback apps here)

Anyway this week I said “yes please” to a four pack of Leffe Blond for £3 instead of £5.50 in our local Co-op. Should help drown my sorrows after any dieting disasters. Took me right back to when I was first started work, drinking Belgian beer with mountains of mussels and frites on beat the clock offers at Belgos. I bought the bottles and bunged in my receipt last Friday, and the £2.50 money off was back in my account by Wednesday.

Even better, if you’re new to Shopmium and download the app (iphone or Android) using the code KFKKAMKL, you can get the money refunded for a four pack of classic Cornettos. Beer AND ice cream? Hurrah for healthy eating.

 

So now over to you – any frugal success to celebrate? Tips for losing weight on a budget? Do share your ideas in the comments, as I’d love to hear!

 

I’m linking up with Cass, Emma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five fabulously frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

*indicates an affiliate link, so anything you buy through it will help support the blog, as I will get a small commission at no cost to you. Many thanks!

 

11 Comments

  1. Alice
    May 14, 2017 / 1:13 pm

    Wish we could come to the yard sale!

    • Faith
      May 14, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      Surely nipping down from Edinburgh would be no trouble at all?

  2. May 14, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    I really love the random meals that come from using up odds and sods in my fridge, I need to get back into it! I think my most random one was fish fingers, half and avocado and some yellow label beetroot salad from m&s

    Charlotte | http://www.shoestringchic.co.uk

    • Faith
      May 14, 2017 / 9:05 pm

      Sounds like a trendy hipster meal to me! Hope you got a pic onto Instagram…

  3. May 14, 2017 / 1:39 pm

    I love the idea of a yard sale – I’d visit one of these in my area!!

    • Faith
      May 14, 2017 / 9:06 pm

      Fingers crossed it goes well – have a bunch of stuff I’d dearly like to shift. Love the idea of minimalism, but am not very good at putting it into practice…

  4. May 14, 2017 / 7:51 pm

    The yard sale organisation thing is a good idea. My road has 100 houses..it would be rather fabulous if everyone did this!! I might see if my neighbours are up for it

    • Faith
      May 14, 2017 / 9:06 pm

      Go for it! Will let you know how the Hadleigh version works. Trev organised one previously, but we were away that weekend.

  5. May 16, 2017 / 10:37 am

    The yard sale is a brilliant idea – I remember when I lived in a small village a few years ago that put one on – it was fantastic for picking up vintage bits and pieces! Hope it all goes well. Well done for chasing the switch as well, it’s so easy to let things like that slide as we’re all so busy elsewhere.

  6. thisissixty.blog
    May 17, 2017 / 2:52 pm

    I specially like your meals out of odds and ends. I am currently having a frugal month in terms of food shopping whilst I concentrate of reducing the contents of my vastly over-stuffed freezer and cupboards. I have stocked up far too much and am hoping that this exercise will ‘teach me a lesson’ on how to shop more mindfully. Problem is, I think, I still shop for five when there are now only two of us at home.
    Eloise at thisissixty.blog

  7. May 17, 2017 / 7:48 pm

    I’m going to try to get Mr S along to the yard sale. The cakes might help…

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