Thursday, 18 April 2013

My '30 ways to save £1' post!

This might not be the first blog post you've read in frugal blogland recently sharing 30 frugal pound saving tips, and it may well not be the last one you'll read either! Apologies if you're all frugal tipped out!

To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the £1 coin, are offering bloggers £30 for sharing their top money saving ideas (thus generating a bit of publicity for the company along the way). The News and Community section of their website offers lots of money saving ideas and is worth checking out.

Several bloggers have already blogged their tips and I cottoned on to the idea from Frugal in Bucks who discovered it via the Mean Queen a.k.a. Ilona at Life after Money. Ilona was contacted by, so she heard it from the horse's mouth! Have a read of her blog post about the scheme if you want to find out more. Thank you to both of them for sharing the details and explaining how it works.

As for my 30 ideas, I'm splitting them up into three sections:

1) 10 Frugal Things that we do that I have already blogged about:

1 Use a family railcard (or other type of railcard if you're eligible) to cut costs on train travel.

2 Keep a close handle on food waste to ensure money isn't wasted on food that is not getting eaten.

3 The great outdoors is one big fantastic frugal resource! I've lived by the sea, in various cities including London, and now in Wiltshire and wherever I've been there's always been green space in some shape or form not too far from my doorstep. We like to walk, cycle, get out in the garden and fly kites!

4 Take time to enjoy small things like the night sky, a bowl of soup or even a pretty bookmark!

5 Bake cakes and treats rather than buying them.

6 Keep chickens. The set up costs have been covered several times over in the amount we have saved buying eggs over the last 3 years.

7 Take frugal holidays. Stay with family and go camping.

8 Use local markets as much as possible.

9 Buy secondhand. We're regular shoppers in our town's charity shops and on Ebay.

10 Cut waste and save money at the same time. Since joining in with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust's Slim Your Bin project we now always make our own washing powder and dishwasher powder.

2) 10 Frugal Things we do that I have never blogged about:

11 Try to remember to always turn light switches off when leaving a room.

12 Buy ink cartridges for the printer online.

13 Avoid (new) branded goods, non-branded are often just as good.

14 Entertain at home and rarely go out for meals.

15 Don't buy books. This year I have not bought any books (book buying is a weakness of mine!) for myself, but am enjoying the ones I already have, have borrowed books from friends and used the library.

16 Enjoy DVDs (borrowed or found in charity shops) at home with homemade popcorn rather than expensive cinema trips.

17 Put up heavy curtains for extra insulation in front of the front door (which is completely glazed) to help reduce energy bills.

18 Put silver foil behind all the radiators to reflect heat back into the rooms.

19 Read the news online rather than buying a printed newspaper. Print off my favourite cryptic crossword on a Sunday from the newspaper's website. When we do buy a newspaper at the weekend, we make it last for the next fortnight!

20 Make do with fewer kitchen appliances. We don't own a tumble dryer or a microwave.

3) 10 Frugal Things, some we haven't done but might try one day, and some we haven't done and probably never will...(thanks to the Spend Less Handbook by Rebecca Ash and the interweb for ideas!)

21 Gone on holiday to Thailand and had clothes made there.

22 Sold current home to buy something cheaper.

23 Become a house sitter for free accommodation or a free holiday.

24 Got rid of the TV.

25 Sold things at a car boot sale.

26 Rented out the drive. See

27 Made ice cream.

28 House swapped.

29 Used conkers as mothballs.

30 Hung up dental floss to dry so it can be used again. (Thanks to Extreme Cheapskates for that one!

Have you got any favourite tips to share? If you've tried any of the frugal things that we haven't tried, how did you get on?


  1. Plant a packet of seeds. A single zucchini seed can grow a big enough plant to offer zucchini enough for one family, as well as many of the neighbors. One packet of lettuce seeds gives our family enough fresh lettuce for salads for an entire season, and there's still seeds left over for the next year.

    Better yet, split a packet of seeds with 3 or 4 of your neighbors.

    1. That's a great one. This spring our Transition Town group has held 'Seedy Saturdays' seed swaps at the Farmers' Market, where you bring your surplus seeds and swap them for others, so we have a good supply of seeds and have not had to buy any so far.

  2. One thing on the list I won't be doing is not having a microwave. I use ours all of the time and I think I save energy and money most of the time because it cooks so fast (although not when heating water). In the summer it doesn't heat the kitchen either. Some people don't like microwaves because of principles, but that's another issue. Anyway, an interesting list of money savers.

    1. I wondered whether the microwave would be controversial. I think you're probably right about the energy saving costs. Our old one packed up last year, and we haven't replaced it, so have saved the cost of buying a new one and freed up a bit more space in the small kitchen.

  3. I do most of your first 2 sections too. Of your 3rd section, I've had a car boot sale and made ice cream.

    The car boot sale was okay, we made a few pounds, but my husband hates doing them so it was down to me. I got fed up with people haggling over the last 10p. I mean, I'm all for a bargain and I'd priced stuff to get rid of it, not make a fortune, but it got a bit ridiculous! For the effort I decided it was better to donate things to charity shops instead; I can do my bit to support them without finding more cash. (It cuts out the middleman really). If things aren't suitable for car boots I freecycle them.

    Ice cream is definitely worth it :-) It's so much nicer than even the posh shop bought stuff. I use an attachment for my Kenwood Chef (from ebay) but if ice creams have a high enough fat content they don't need mixing once they've gone in the freezer, so you can make them without a machine without having to remember to beat them every hour or so. We love Nigella Lawson's Bitter Orange ice cream (which can be made with Seville oranges, sweet oranges and limes or lemons or pomegranates...)

    I'd add don't buy anything disposable, that's always going to be more expensive. Use cloth napkins instead of paper, avoid kitchen roll and cling film, investigate reusable san pro (I recommend the moon cup- that's saved me a fortune) etc

    1. I love posh ice cream so making it has to be one thing to try. Thanks for the advice re car boot sales; I'm less convinced about that than the ice cream...And not using disposable stuff is a great tip.

  4. Hi and thank you for the thank you. I was chuffed to get the £30 two days later.
    I like reading everyone's tips, there are always some different ones. I think the dental floss one could be a bit extreme for me- ha ha.

    Hope you get your £30 soon.

    Much love
    FIB. X

    1. I was glad to read on your blog that the £30 arrived OK. And I agree - everyone has a different slant on frugal living so it's good to read all the tips.

  5. Great tips here. Like FiB, I think reusing dental floss might leave me a bit 'down in the mouth'
    I did the 30 tips too, and was thrilled with the promptness of the £30 payout

    blessings x

    ps how is 'going on holiday to Thailand' frugal? you would surely need to get dozens of clothes made before you started saving money!

    1. Ang, 'down in the mouth' - good one (*groans*)!! The Thailand tip was in the Spend Less'd have to get a very cheap flight! Elsewhere in that book there's a tip about having one big holiday a year to somewhere where you won't be paying a lot for living expenses (like Thailand) instead of several mini breaks a year in more expensive places...I guess you can put a frugal spin on anything if you look hard enough!!

  6. I've done quite a few of the things on your last section of the list - rented out a garage, made ice cream and I'm planning on getting some clothes made when I go to Thailand in June. It is quite cheap to fly to from here - although obviously you wouldn't fly to Thailand for that sole purpose. On the subject of Thailand, I've had friends go there for medical tourism - dental expenses are not covered by the public system here, and if you need extensive dental work it's cheaper to fly to Thailand and get it done there, plus you get a holiday. Apparently the hospitals are much more modern as well.

    1. Cool! The Thailand tip probably makes more economical sense to you in Oz than it does for us.

  7. I have a great frugal tip - start geocaching with your children. It's the most addictive free fun we have had as a family. It's an international secret treasure hunt - small caches are hidden absolutely everywhere. You use a smart phone to find the spot and then hunt - all have logbook to sign and many have small gifts you can swap. It is the best way to get my children to go for a walk without moaning and has given us hours of fun. Especially good as a free activity on holiday. The bonus is the caches are often hidden in wonderful places you wouldn't have found otherwise. The website is

    1. I've heard of this but never tried it. Thanks for the website link - I'm going to check it out.

  8. Just discovered your blog and another good list of 30 things to save a pound, did my list at frugalinsuffolk and £30 into paypal very quick- BUT YUCK AND DOUBLE YUCK for that idea of saving floss glad to hear you haven't tried it I'm not planning to either.
    Read your bit re Cubs - I was an Akela for 15 years and loved every minute.

  9. Welcome Frugal in Suffolk! The £30 is safely into my paypal account too - very quick processing on their part. I shall be over to your blog for a visit!

  10. I have not made it before as i don,t know the methods.I must try it now according to your step by step instruction.Thnks for sharing food for dogs