I think that now I'm getting back to more frugal ways, I'm going to start posting monthly about the frugal measures I do manage through the month.
There hasn't been much flexibility in the budget again this month, on account of certain expenses occurring that I wasn't expecting or that had slipped my mind, such as paying for Little Bird's Trampolining lessons, birthday party gifts, car park tickets for the gym, Father's day cards/gifts, postage costs to send gifts overseas, etc. etc. Oh, and buying a buying a new bikini, of course.
Anyway, as a consequence of these and the fact that it is a month whereby I was already trying to pare back expenditure, I have been making lots more effort in the frugality department and below are a few ways that I've been doing this.
1) I've been visiting the allotment more regularly to harvest 'free' food.
2) I've been getting creative in the kitchen to use said free food and not let it go to waste, i.e. making Jackie's rhubarb cake using food already in my store cupboard. I've also made some gooseberry jelly and some small gooseberry crumbles for the first time, with the leftover pulp, so no wastage here. They made a change from rhubarb too. I also used the blackcurrants from the garden with the rest of the rhubarb, to make jelly and crumbles too.
3) I ordered my groceries online one week, from a supermarket I've never ordered online with before, to take advantage of £15 off a first order of £60. This covered just about everything we needed that week, the remaining few items I bought from Lidl near the gym.
Doing so, also saved me the cost of driving the 10 miles to said supermarket to do my shopping on the Monday concerned, as well as the time and effort this takes, not to mention the temptation to put extras in the trolley and they supplied every item on my order, (I did state no substitutions) so I was very happy with the service.
4) I purchased (very inexpensively) a foam dispenser bottle to ensure that the liquid hand soap that I made from a bar of castille soap, lasts even longer and goes even further. I read or watched that the liquid soap could be further diluted 9:1 with distilled water when used with a foam dispenser and still provided lovely soapy foam for hand and body washing. Instead of buying distilled water this time, I made my own by boiling a small pan of water and then leaving to cool before using. I found that it was more like 1:1 or 1:2, but it still made it go a bit further and made it easier to use in the shower.
5) After attending a herbal workshop one weekend in June, I have made some natural hand rub by combining rose water and glycerine. I know that this combination can be bought ready made, but it was fun to do it myself and use up some rose water that had been languishing unused in the baking drawer for quite a while.
6) Inspired by Thrift Deluxe (again!), I ordered some products from Faith in Nature's own web site this month, and was able to take advantage of using the £5 worth of introductory loyalty points to cover the postage and get £1 off my shopping. I will definitely consider buying direct from them in future, as I do like the ethos of this company and I really like their products.
I have to admit that I did buy 4 packs of multi surface wipes at £1 per pack, which although not very eco friendly cleaning products, come in very handy for cleaning the downstairs loo in a hurry when we have impending visitors or OH has clients or colleagues turning up. They should keep me going for a while. They also sell lots of gift packs and hampers of their toiletries, which will make great gifts for others or to receive myself this Christmas.
7) I managed to re-purpose quite a few glass jars from various parts of the house to organise my food storecupboard, saving me the expense of buying new, although I do still need to buy a few more when finances allow.
8) I borrowed some very interesting books from local libraries this month, to save me buying them. One such book had a fantastic glossary of the ingredients to be found in beauty products, which was very useful as I gleaned a lot of information about what to look for or avoid on ingredient labels.
9) I tried a couple of new to me classes at the gym, so got even more for my money from my membership and I also got on my bike a couple of times to get there, saving on both petrol and parking tickets.
10) I made makeshift planters for some extra tomato plants in the garden from empty compost bags.