One of the aims of Everyday Life On A Shoestring is to show how frugal living pans out in reality for ordinary folk like you and me; busy people who might be trying to hold down jobs or busy retired people, looking after family, keeping home and garden, trying to eat healthily and fit in some fun stuff too, exercise perhaps or hobby time. We're frugal through necessity as well as choice. And we get it wrong sometimes.
With that in mind I thought I'd show you our very own frugal winners and losers for this week so far.
OUR FRUGAL WINNERS
- Liftshare to work - 2/3 days
- Week's worth of shopping at Aldi (£47.00).
- Baking cakes to take into work for my birthday. (Yes, I know my birthday was in April but there are lots of April birthdays so we agreed to stagger the cakes). I haven't done a like-for-like price comparison but I'm fairly sure it's cheaper to bake rather than buy.
- Installing a 'new' second hand washing machine after old second hand one finally gave up the ghost.
- Managing to get our energy bill reduced by 18%. That's a whole other frugal story that will get its own blog post soon.
OUR FRUGAL LOSERS
- School dinners* purchased = 5. Everyday Life On A Shoestring supports healthy school dinners but the cost would be £80+ a month for us, if they were a daily purchase. Five out of six possible dinners is tipping the balance too far. I'm afraid it's packed lunches for the rest of the week kids!
- Leaving electric heater on ALL DAY!** One of our frugal heating hacks is to use an oil-fired electric heater to heat one room instead of putting the central heating on. Son has a habit of putting it on in the front room to take the edge off the morning chill, when he's watching CBBC before school. Occasionally, in the mad dash to get to work and school, it gets left on ALL DAY in an empty house. On a sunny day like today that makes me especially CROSS!
- Raking up some huge library fines. I confess to having a history of being an habitual offender on this front but things have got a bit out-of-hand even by my standards. We have had some DVDs on loan from Bath library and although they were finally returned today, they have been so overdue that I suspect they have possibly been singlehandedly paying the salary of several librarians.
Even with this week's frugal losers I reckon that overall FRUGAL is still winning. Have you got any frugal winners and losers this week? Feel free to comment!
* Have you heard about NeverSeconds, the blog of a 9 year old Scottish school girl who photographs and rates her school dinners, and which is in the news and currently 'trending'? (On her 16 May photo it looks as if one of my birthday cakes (see photo above) may have strayed onto her plate, but I can assure you that ELOAS is not yet supplying fairy cakes to schools.) The school dinners eaten in Wiltshire by ELOAS are rated much more highly, thanks to Hampshire County Council's Catering Service.
** Various options are currently under discussion at ELOAS...including banning Son from the front room and TV in the morning and sticking a 'Before you leave the house have you....?' checklist by the front door.