Five Frugal Things - Jan 2018

We all like to save money. Different amounts. For different reasons. In different ways. I've started following a couple of facebook groups and blogs that provide ideas. Some of which are helpful to me. One of the things a few of these blogs do, is to link up each week to celebrate the frugal things they've done in that week. Knowing what I'm like, I'm going to endeavour to join in once a month, so for this post I'm linking up with Cass, Emma and Becky for Five Frugal Things

So, what have I done this month to save money?

1. I bought Christmas gift wrap, bags, tags, and cards for Christmas 2018! Nice stuff for between 25 and 50 pence per roll/packet/bag. Now, having put them away somewhere safe, I just need to remember that I've bought them and not buy more in November/December time!

2. We were going out for a meal (not spectacularly frugal) but I was looking online for any discounts or vouchers when we booked and found the restaurant has a loyalty app. By installing the app, I earned a free children's meal! Quite a few loyalty apps come with an initial boost of points/prizes and don't forget to fill out the surveys on your receipts - even subway offer a free cookie, McDonalds offer discounted big mac and fries, and you can often earn either a free starter or a free desert at many restaurants.

3. Another seemingly not very frugal thing I've done, is to buy a Discovery Pass for Delamere Forest. At £40, it seems extravagant, considering most of the discounts are only available during the week, in term time, when Beloved and I are work and Offspring is at school, however, it comes with free parking in the pay and display car park, which I use on Saturday mornings to go to the Park Run! At £1 an hour, where I'm often there for up to 2 hours, by the time I've been to the coffee shop to be sociable afterwards, It had been costing me £2 a week. And this way, I can go on Sundays to cycle with Beloved and Offspring too! There are free car parks you can use, but they're further away from the start/finish of park run, and I'm out of shape and quite tired enough after that! 

4. Actually double checked the price tags in a supermarket! We use colour catchers in our house. Oh, we still sort the laundry by colours, but we started using colour catchers after a ruined t-shirt (the favourite, turned blue from white) a few years ago, and they've saved our clothes from colour runs a few times since. Usually, I buy the biggest packet they have. We average 4-6 loads of washing per week, and so we go through them fairly fast. The big packets contain 40 sheets, and cost £4.50. The smaller packets contain 24, and only cost £2 each this week! Think they're usually around £3. I don't usually read the price tags, but this week, I'm glad I did. I've saved 50p and got 8 sheets more than normal!

5. Made my own lunches. I know it's an obvious one, but I'm not always very good at it. Often I purposefully won't take lunch in, to make myself walk into the village from work and get a salad from subway, healthy on the salad count, healthy for walking... As always, the best of intentions don't always work. A few times, this plan has been scuppered either by, my colleague driving to the chippy and temptation overwhelming me (in fairness, a chip butty is cheaper than a subway salad, but being driven there and well, chips, ruins the healthy thing), inclement weather (I could hardly breathe in the wind and rain, and didn't make it all the way to the village, stopped at the pub and grabbed something there, less walking, not as healthy and definitely not as cheap!) and the worst was when I had a couple of conference calls overrun, and be postponed until just after lunch, leaving me with 15 minutes to eat, and not enough time to get to the village even if I drove, so I ended up having a cheese toastie/random sandwich from the canteen, at a much higher cost. However, I have been taking in breakfast (cereal/porridge), snacks, a variety of exciting home made lunches and, as per my previous post, a cake for cake o'clock! I don't even need to make lunches from scratch. It's soup season, after all, and I was able to purchase 5 tins of soup for £3 on offer in the supermarket, and 2 for £1 on packets of bread rolls (4 per pack) mean that half a tin of soup and a bread roll have cost me less than 50p per lunch! That's at least £2.50 cheaper than a Subway salad, unless I have enough points on my subcard!

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