Five frugal things I did over Christmas and New Year #5frugalthings

As well as telling you all about the savings I make on a weekly basis I also plan to join in with Emma, Cass and Becky’s fab weekly linky: “Five Fabulously Frugal Things I’ve done this week“. It’s a great way of keeping track of all the things that I do that may now just be second nature to me.

This first week back at routine has been a bit of a disjointed one, so I’m concentrating on the fabulously frugal things I did over Christmas and New Year instead.

Hitting the Charity Shops

I have absolutely no problem in people knowing that I buy things in charity shops to then give as gifts. Loads of stuff that you can find in charity shops is in excellent condition and if I can find the things my kids want there then it’s a win win situation as I also save money. Both kids received books and DVDs that were found in charity shops this year.

Planning ahead

Both my boyfriend B and 5 year old Master C are train obsessed so we often find ourselves on eBay looking at various model train related things. Master C was shown a video of an Underground Ernie train set that we saw at a model railway exhibition earlier in the year so we hit eBay straight away to see how much the sets are (as we knew that they were no longer available new). We managed to completely luck out by finding someone selling a huge set (for anyone interested we got the original Circle set with track, controller and train, plus a second train – Jubilee – three track extension packs and the International Station) and it only cost us £60. A complete bargain when you look at the prices of the sets individually online.

Five Frugal Things Underground Ernie Five Frugal Things Underground Ernie

Using cashback sites

I’ve been a huge fan of Topcashback for years now and use it as much as possible. Quite a bit of my Christmas shopping was done online and I used it whenever possible. The one transaction that I’m most pleased about this is when I spotted a special 10% cash back offer for eBay. I’d already planned to buy my boyfriend something that I’d spotted on there so jumped at the change to get 10% cash back on it!

Making my own tea

Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know that I love a cup of tea. My downfall is that I regularly work in cafes and coffeeshops and these cost money. I’m also known to make us stop on a journey somewhere and pick up a cuppa from Starbucks or Costa. Far from cheap.

We had a lot of travelling around the country over Christmas between various family gatherings so I made a real effort to make my own cups of tea before I left and take them with me in a travel cup. Those times I had to stop I made a point of going to McDonalds instead. Not only is their tea far cheaper than other places, but it tastes exactly the same and if you collect the “beans” on the cups you also get your seventh cup for free!

Kicked started my savings for 2018

As I’ve already outlined here on Penny’s Savings, 2018 is the year that I really need to save in. We may only be five days into 2018, but I’m going at it with great enthusiasm and keeping track of everything I spend and save now to make sure I do my absolute best to ensure my goals for the year are met.

So that’s my five frugal things for Christmas and New Year. I hope to be sharing with you every week as to what else I get up to!

Five frugal things

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

Five Frugal Things I’ve Done This Week #5FrugalThings

5FrugalThings Five Frugal Things

Surely one of the best places to start with a new blog about saving money is the fantastic Five Frugal Things linky. It’s a great way of seeing what everyone else is up to when it comes to saving money.

So, as for my five things this week…

1. Starting Penny’s Savings

My biggest thing this week has to be starting this blog. Penny’s Savings is where I’m really hoping to bring together everything I do that is frugal and also use the blog as a way of motivating myself to be more thrifty.

5frugalthings 5 frugal things

2. Sell the children’s possessions

No I’m not really that harsh. but it is what I’ve started doing this half term. My kids are fortunate enough to have a house full of toys and games, with more arriving weekly for me to review with them. What I have started now though is a “one in, at least one out” rule. For every new toy or game that arrives in the house the kids have to choose at least one other to get rid of and I’ve been starting to sell the ones they’re deciding to discard via eBay and the local FB selling sites. It’s not making huge amounts of money, but it is a start.

3. Getting my accounts in order

I’m someone who likes spreadsheets and I generally try to keep on top of all the household finances, but sometimes that does just slip. With it having been the end of the month, and with lots of time at home with the kids I’ve been making a real effort this week to get on top of the various financial spreadsheets that I have and bring them all up to date. It’s not a fun task, but at least means I know how much money we have where.

4. A cheap half term holiday

Holidays are never cheap. That’s just a fact. But some holiday choices are cheaper than others and that’s why as a family we often go on camping holidays. We’re recently back from spending the bank holiday weekend on a campsite in north Norfolk. Luckily the weather was very kind to us, but the children had a great time and as we saved money by camping cheaply it meant that we were able to spend a bit more on days out an activities whilst away.

5. Collecting and sorting vouchers and coupons

I used to be incredibly organised when it came to vouchers and coupons to save money on shopping, but recently they’ve all just ended up in a huge pile on my desk gathering dust. I’ve again used some of my time at home this week to work through my pile, bin the ones that are out of date and group together the in date ones by shop. That means that the next time I go out shopping I can just grab the right pile and save some more money.

 

I’m linking up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.