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February Challenge - 28 Days of Extreme Frugal Living.
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Catsister
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:32 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Spending day for me.  I brought petrol, (£18.00 but the tank is full), did a run to Aldi and stocked up on fruit and salad stuff, (£10.92), and had to pay £4.00 for parking whilst I was on my works course.  I've claimed it back, plus 22 miles worth of travel allowance, which I'll get back in next months pay packet.

Am hoping for a few more NSDs for the rest of the week!
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Frugaldom
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Location: Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:00 am    Post subject: Weather and preparations Reply with quote

Good morning from cold wet, windy SW Scotland where we are ever so lucky in being up a bit of a hill and so far away from the devastation ripping across parts of SW England. There really is no quick, easy and sensible solution to coastal and flood plain areas flooding, is there? Thoughts with all who have seen their homes and businesses go under water and with all the livestock that may not be able to get free of it.

Makes me wonder, once again, how prepared I am for emergencies and I was horrified to read about flood victims pleading for military intervention to prevent looting! In this day and age, in this country, I find that totally shocking! Why are there so many morons in a country that offers so much for free?  

Hopefully prepared here for loss of power and/or snow, although snow seldom reaches us away down here in the 'tropics' of Scotland.

How is everyone coping, how is it affecting life and are you prepared if you need to take speedy action either for yourself or to help others?
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flourgirl
Mega Frugaler

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Location: Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freezing cold, wet and windy here in Yorkshire again today, but nothing like where my son lives in Devon, although their home is on a hill so they are safe from any flooding. Looting....despicable people!! My heart goes out to all of the victims of flooding wherever they live, even when the water goes its the devastation they are left with that will take months even years to put right.

I hope we are well prepared for emergencies here, plenty in stock so we wont starve, we also have the caravan in the back garden so we could if necessary move in, we have 2 gas bottles on standby in the shed and the solar panel is connected. Pretty self sufficient really and very very lucky! Its goes without saying that if family, friends or neighbours needed help then we would be right there helping in any way we could.  As long as I had access to the garage freezer and approved foods stash I think I could feed the street for a month!!  . Of course if we lost power there would be an awful lot of cooking to do with everything defrosting!
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Catsister
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A NSD for me yesterday   , and today should be another.

Aside from having candles, a wind up torch and a camping gas stove readily to hand we don't have any long term survival gear.  I'd like some mini solar panels/rechargers but the cost doesn't blend with MTH plans - and there's no chance of a much coveted log burner, either.  We could survive for a week but would be very cold as our house is all electric -we'd have to throw ourselves on the mercy of neighbours who have gas.

I am aware of these shortcomings and MTH will be capable of living off grid!

Thought provoking thread, Frugaldom, thank you!
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Frugaldom
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Location: Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:23 am    Post subject: Being prepared Reply with quote

Catsister, we have a thread about being prepared, it has loads of helpful tips and suggestions. It's one of those topics that has come up regularly over the years - we all say we'll be prepared but I'm not too sure if any of us actually are.

My coffee filters arrived - pack of 100 - and I am expecting my pack of thermal mugs to be delivered today. Total cost to me was £3.82 after I used my Nectar Points to pay the rest.

Have been doing my best to earn the extra Nectar Points by way of AdPoints but they really don't have many ads running, do they? I had hoped when it said maximum 250 per week that it meant that was your limit every week. It's rubbish this week - only 24 points so far and nothing left for me to choose!

I need to get out my mojo bag and make sure the little imp is still inside - feeling a bit like it's trying to escape and hide!

Did anyone else make a billy can or mojo bag, or am I the only one? Anyone got any photos of their to share?
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mishy
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Location: Sunny Suffolk

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do

I think we should be ok in an emergency for a week possibly two.  We have enough foods, water, lighting, portable gas cooking but not much in the way of heat!  DH is pretty good at being adaptable but lacks ideas, IYSWIM.

Soz. frugaldom I didn't do the billy can or mojo bag, can't help with a photo.

My usual day for food shopping is thursday but I didn't go today, I may go tomorrow or put it off till Saturday as there is nothing we need at the mo.  I am also trying to put off going food shopping by one day each week so next week shopping would be Sunday then a Monday etc.

Right time to wonder...
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Retrowren
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Location: South coast

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:28 pm    Post subject: Billycan Reply with quote

I made a Billycan NYK, but am at a loss as to know how yo load the photo on here...

I can put it on my rusty, stale blog if you'd like to take a looksee?

Rw
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Catsister
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slipped off the Frugal wagon today as I was a teeny bit bored at work and made the mistake of  wandering onto Amazon.  I ended up buying a cheap DVD, (a Keanu Reeves film I haven't seen ), for £1.46 inc P+P, and a Kindle book for £2.73.  It's the newly published third book in the St Mary's series and as I've loved the first two, I couldn't resist!  

So, just under five squids have gone on 'wants'......... I have absolutely no justification for the spends, aside from the fact that I wanted them! I'm declaring them to be my valentines presents to me and will be moving swiftly on...(and making a mental note to step away from Amazon when I'm bored!    
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nosnarcmik
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Location: Birmingham

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I daren't look at Amazon Kindle, although I did get Twelve years a Slave for 49p the other day.
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Frugaldom
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Location: Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:43 pm    Post subject: Billy Cans Reply with quote

Hi RW, if you take a loo in this thread - http://frugaldom.myfreeforum.org/about4.html - it explains how to get the photos loaded so you can add your billy can to the thread where that challenge is. I like seeing what others are doing on here as I never seem to have time to read everyone's blogs. Will take a look, see if you added a photo to yours.

£269.52 total spend for this month, so far! It's proving t be quite an expensive month, but the house insurance had to be paid and it's cheaper paying it in one instead of by instalments.

Getting to the stage that I am sick of the sight of rain now, even some heavy frost or snow would make a change. Spending extra on coal, logs and even electricity is creeping up as we need to try and keep things dry.
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Catsister
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am hoping to make it three NSD in a row today.  Things have been helped by the fact that I've been, 'home alone' since Sunday afternoon, so the house is tidy, washing up to date and a rough menu plan is in place.

Last night I had turkey and broccoli stir fry, (noodles from AF ages ago, broccoli rescued from the back of the fridge and the turkey was the last of the  strippings from the turkey carcass, taken from the freezer on Sunday,(I thought it was beef!).  I shall make a small turkey casserole with the remains which will do me dinner tonight and tomorrow evening too.

Tomorrow I'm off to Oxford with a friend.  We're going to a couple of museums and will have lunch out.  So, not a NSD but one that  I've been looking forward to for ages!
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Frugaldom
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Location: Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:25 am    Post subject: :) Reply with quote

I am so pleased to see yet another person who is part of the 'forget to label the tubs in the freezer' brigade. I seldom bother to label anything unless it's in a tinfoil carton with a cardboard lid, hence my persistent mistakes.
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Catsister
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL, I always think that I'll remember what's in each carton, after all they look pretty distinctive when they go into the freezer..... you think I'd have learned by now!

I've come home again this lunchtime to put some dumplings into my turkey stew.  I love stew and dumplings and it will be perfect just when I'm home this evening.  
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Frugaldom
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Location: Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:09 pm    Post subject: Food updates Reply with quote

My latest Approved order just arrived - now well stocked up with pasta, pittas for cheap pizzas, ice cream and mango. Now I MUST knuckle down and use up things rather than keep on buying more or my kitchen is never going to get done.  

Tonight's 'Nile mince' is going to get bulked out with some herby dough balls / dumplings for dinner and I'll use up more cabbage with it.

I have already prepared the base for a cheesecake (4 packs for £1) and have some homegrown blackcurrants defrosting to endure we're keeping up with the 5-a-day.
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flourgirl
Mega Frugaler

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Location: Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have done a bit of stocking up too this week, we called at the mill shop, its like approved foods and you have to get it while its there, also passing home bargains we popped in and bought 4 packs of tea bags and some more nicky toilet rolls, all of these things will last more than a month. Despite the shopping I will still come in on budget at the end of the month. Hoping for a Mean March!!
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mishy
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Location: Sunny Suffolk

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last weeks shopping came to £27 which is very good.

This week, I stocked up with Ecover washing up liquid as it was on offer and I saw loo rolls on offer too.  

Still eating up out of the fridge this week so all in all, not doing too bad.
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Frugaldom
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Location: Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:12 pm    Post subject: Spending Reply with quote

I have tried my best to keep things to the absolute minimum this month but having got down to my last bag of bread flour, decided to try a few of the bread mixes from Approved. Have ordered 4 of those along with more sugar, Marvel and a couple of fajita kits and more cheesecake mix to take the order over the minimum required £15 ... my order came to £15.01   Order won't be here until next week, so it's technically March groceries, but to keep myself straight, I've added the spend into my February budget.

Total spend for February, so far, £289.78 including £145 for annual house insurance. Must go and check my cashback balance now.
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Frugaldom
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Location: Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My cash back has now been claimed, a lovely £24 in Amazon vouchers! Will finalise my February challenge figures later today, hope everyone else did well.

Edited in:

Extremely frugal February has seen the following spends:

Groceries: £36.39
Electricity: NIL - I topped the pre-payment meter right up to last us all winter
Coal: £70 for 5 bags
Other: £6.32 + £7.52 in vouchers for coffee filters, firelighters and some thermal mugs.
Telephone & Internet: £15.79 (line rental paid in advance for 12 months)
Deliveries: £10.50
House Insurance: £145.78 (buildings & contents for 12 months)
Donations: £5.00 to a very brave friend who is doing a charity abseil down the Forth Bridge in May.

Total cash spends for February £289.78

Monthly average budget is £333.33, so I am about 13% under this month, despite a couple of big spends. I haven't ventured further than neighbours' houses other than our late-night walking expedition in search of the Northern Lights.

I think I did not too badly but, as ever, I could still do better!

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