The Frugality Thread

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
Probably increasingly relevant to many, however for me personally I've never earned a lot of money and my financial future has always looked sketchy so I've long-been pre-occupied with thriftyness.

On top of that it keys in nicely to a moral rejection of the disgusting and unsustainable consumptive / disposible culture that blights our society and all the ills that come with it, while I think there's a certainly amount of satisfaction to be had from spending wisely when others seem determined to piss their money away.

Below are a few ways I try to make the most of my dwindling funds:

Motoring: I drive an old, relatively economical and practically worthless Jap motor, so depeciation is a non-issue and running costs (so far) manageable. Fuel economy is generally good anyway, but I capitalise on this further by my choice of use and driving style (long, non-urban journeys with minimal traffic at a steady speed, minimised braking, defensive driving etc). The car only gets used when necessary and I walk or cycle any local journeys. Once the utility bike's finished I hope to undertake more necessary journeys on this that I'd otherwise have done in the car.

Cycling: I view bikes as lifetime purchases, so am fully invested in steel with quality components that conform to proven, long-lived standards. All but one of my bikes was bought new (or found!) and tbh I can't see me ever purchasing another new one.

Food: I won't eat cheap crap but do baulk at the spiralling costs of feeding myself so my first port of call in the shop is always the reduced section. I try to avoid convenience food and make stuff from scratch, although I'm crap at planning ahead and this is something I could definitely improve upon (at least in theory). I try to stock up on non-perishibles when on offer and always seek to minimise food waste in the house.

Clothing: I rarely buy new and even rarer from high-street outlets as they're expensive and often of dubious quality. Most of my recent purchases have come from charity shops or off ebay; with decent used clothes usually costing a fraction of what they would have new.

Consumer Electronics: I try not to buy into electronics / tech as it depreciates so quickly and tends to be both materially and financially wasteful. When I do I try to buy quality that will last / can be repaired (admittedly a tall order with most tech). My mobile is a faithful and utterly dependable 15yr old Nokia. My stereo is a 25yr old Technics. My desktop PC is a 13yr old Dell that I've maintained with new bits as nec. and is still flawlessly doing what I need; it's monitor also a Dell item that's now pushing 16yrs old. My laptop is relatively new at 4yrs, however this cost me about a 20% of what it would have when new and is a decent brand so should hopefully last. I don't own a TV and avoid supurflous electronic trinkets like the plague..

General Consumption: I try to buy as little as possible, and then it's thoroughly researched in the hope that it'll retain value / give long service / be repairable rather than disposible.

Energy Use: I try to use as little enery as possible; so it's a jumper instead of putting the heating on, only using appliances when they're properly full, ensuring lights are turned off etc.. I still need to address a few issues around the home that are probably wasting a fair bit of energy.


One nice little trick I've learned recently is to wash my hair first with normal soap then rinse and follow up with the more expensive shampoo - meaning significantly less of the latter is required ;)

Ultimately there's a lot more I'd like to do, but I guess that's a start. I'm interested to hear what everyone else is doing in an attempt to rein in their spending / consumptive footprint :smile:
 

Venod

Eh up
Location
Yorkshire
Are you sure your from Oxford, as you are displaying all the traits of a good old Yorkshire bloke.
 
OP
OP
wafter

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
Are you sure your from Oxford, as you are displaying all the traits of a good old Yorkshire bloke.
lol - I'll take that as a compliment!

As it happens my family all came from up north; apparently my paternal grandparents ended up down here having had enough of living with my *unpleasant* great grandfather - cycling through the night to relocate from Derbyshire :smile:

Re: motoring. Google "Hypermiling" if you haven't done it already. You're probably doing most of it anyway.
Thanks - already a concept I'm well familiar with / practices I try to stick to where possible.. am consistently getting low-50's to the gallon from a 20yr old 1.6 NA petrol motor (think the book figure is around 42mpg) so I must be doing something right :smile:
 
Another inveterate yellow sticker-er here :hello:

This time of year is also fabby for a country girl like me, because I enjoy going foraging for fruit and nuts. And there's a community orchard in the village as well. Oh yes, and I cook from scratch too.

Shampoo... May I recommend the solid bars of shampoo as opposed to the bottles. You get far better mileage out of them, and the packaging is better for the environment too. I love the Alberto Balsam coconut & lychee one that Tesco sells.

And one last thing (sorry if I make you gents squelch a bit), but reusable period products. The initial outlay was a bit spendy (I have two moon cups) but they paid for themselves in less than a year and now there's no running costs at all.
 

Low Gear Guy

Über Member
Location
Surrey
Hot water bottle under a blanket on your sofa rather than keep heating going. Heat the person not the the empty space around them.

You own a sofa! What sort of soft living is this? :smile:
 

winjim

✊🏻✊🏾 🌈 ♀️ 😷
And one last thing (sorry if I make you gents squelch a bit), but reusable period products. The initial outlay was a bit spendy (I have two moon cups) but they paid for themselves in less than a year and now there's no running costs at all.

I'm a bloke but there are women in my life who swear by reusable pads. Different thicknesses depending on what you need that day, chuck 'em in the wash, NBD, never buy disposables again.

For anyone who shaves and hasn't already tried it I would absolutely recommend switching to a DE safety razor. As well as being cheap as chips, the blades cost pennies, they're a much better shave and a nicer experience than plasticky cartridge razors. My lifestyle means I use the first half hour in the morning as a bit of self care so I'm a bit ritualistic and buy fairly fancy shaving soap and aftershave but it lasts for ages. I reckon I'm still better off than if I used disposables or cartridges with cheap and nasty squirty foam. Bar soap and shampoo as well, instead of shower gel, I much prefer it as well as it being cheap.
 
I'm a bloke but there are women in my life who swear by reusable pads. Different thicknesses depending on what you need that day, chuck 'em in the wash, NBD, never buy disposables again.

Indeed, it's a revelation really. A little bit more planning required when out-and-about compared to just popping some disposables in your handbag, but I swear by my moon cups.

Not that long ago, I had a clip from "Loose Women" come up on my Facebook feed, and apparently (I say apparently because I can't verify it) a woman will spend about £20,000 on disposable period products and panty liners in her lifetime. It kind of makes you realise why reusables aren't mainstream.
 

oldwheels

Guru
Location
Isle of Mull
Indeed, it's a revelation really. A little bit more planning required when out-and-about compared to just popping some disposables in your handbag, but I swear by my moon cups.

Not that long ago, I had a clip from "Loose Women" come up on my Facebook feed, and apparently (I say apparently because I can't verify it) a woman will spend about £20,000 on disposable period products and panty liners in her lifetime. It kind of makes you realise why reusables aren't mainstream.

Not sure on the detail as it does not affect me but in Scotland I think most disposable stuff is free nowadays.
I suppose that stems from a female First Minister and a lot of female politicians.
 
Not sure on the detail as it does not affect me but in Scotland I think most disposable stuff is free nowadays.
I suppose that stems from a female First Minister and a lot of female politicians.

In public buildings and schools, yes. But otherwise not. It's a good idea, but it doesn't solve the (plastic) waste aspect.

Not so here in England. And it's only been recently that the VAT was removed from period products. Which is scandalous when you think about it, as it's not exactly a luxury...
 
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