A Fistful of Frugal – Five Frugal Things

I’ve got five frugal things to share with you today. Recent things we’ve done to save money.  I hope it brings you inspiration to save money and resources in your life!

Frugal Thing One – turning old candles into new ones

We enjoy candles. Not that we use them daily, but when we do, we feel all hyggely! What we don’t enjoy,  is the cost of candles. I mean, 20 quid for a medium Yankee candle? Nope.

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A Fistful of Frugal - Five Frugal Things

Do you know, I can’t remember the last time I bought a candle. We get them as the occasional present. Often they come in a jar and, after a while, you can’t get a lighter down into it, or the wick gets obscured in wax and hence can’t be lit for either love nor burnt fingers. We get the same issue with pillar candles. Aren’t you supposed to trim the wax as they burn? That’ll never happen in this house.

To prevent wasting the wax that’s still usable, Mr B grabs any of the offending, unusable candles and melts them on the hob, refills any suitable glass containers, and adds a wick,  (bought at a low price, online)and a few drops of essential oil. Voila – new candles!

 

A Fistful of Frugal - Five Frugal Things

Frugal Thing Two – Repairing Mr B’s cut-throat razor

Before having face topiary Mr B shunned wet shaving, preferring instead, to use an electric razor to keep his facial pubes at bay. With the revival of the hirsute face, I watched in delight as Mr B grew his whiskers a few years ago. I’ve always been partial to a man who looks likes he’s climbed from a skip.

A while back, when Mr B decided the time was right to take beard-sporting to a more professional level, he bought himself a cut-throat razor and a strop. I could’ve provided the latter for free if he’d only asked.

One fateful day he dropped his faithful razor and broke the ‘scales’, whatever they are. My father gifted him either my grandfather’s or his grandfather’s old cut-throat razor, but it was in bad nick.

Mr B did his research (he’s good at that) and found a guy online who restores razors for a reasonable price. Mr B thought asking for a discount by trading in his broken razor deserved a punt. The bloke, akin to the man from Del Monte, said yes! Now the hubster is in proud possession of a beautiful old heirloom for his beautiful old face. He looks good for it.

 

A Fistful of Frugal - Five Frugal Things

Frugal Thing Three – A DIY job to raise my desk

One problem on my smörgåsbord of ailments is a spinal condition known as spondylolisthesis (fancy, eh?). This means I have constant back pain and need strong prescription medication to get through the day. Call the whaa-ambulance!

Being a blogger and writer, I spend a lot of each day in my home office, tapping away, pretending to be busy and important. My solid wood desk, which we bought secondhand for a tenner was just too low and my back ended up being even more painful after only an hour or two of typing.

Mr B came up with a great idea to re-purpose the wood we always have lying around from all the home renovation work that never gets done. We only needed to buy brackets and for Mr B to cut and attach the wood, which happened last weekend. My back still hurts, but it’s so much better now my desk is higher. Not only that, but it’s high enough for me to use as a standing desk – perfect!

 

A Fistful of Frugal - Five Frugal Things

Frugal Thing Four – switching energy providers

This is something I do every year. We’re in the middle of a switch between Green Star Energy and Tonik.

Energy companies switch customers to their standard, more expensive tariff after the introductory period — often 12 months —  and while I understand them offering discounted rates for new customers, it seems unfair not to reward customer loyalty.

The provider I would have most liked to stay with was Ovo. They had phenomenal customer service but, come to the end of the year’s contract, their new tariffs were just far too high for us to justify staying.

Green Star Energy isn’t set up for smart meters. Tonik, though, is, so we’re pleased we’ll again have an easy way to check our usage and no more submitting meter readings!

I use MoneySavingExpert’s Energy Club to make sure we get the best deal for us. Due to always opting for a provider who provides a good proportion of their energy from renewable sources we don’t get the cheapest rate and I shy away from providers with a low level of customer satisfaction. After that, we’re getting the best deal without the need to spend hours searching.

A Fistful of Frugal - Five Frugal Things

Frugal Thing Five – replacing our secondhand washing machine with another secondhand one!

I included a brief reference to this in May’s budget report post but this frugal thing is such a win I must elaborate and include it in this post.

We’re big fans of secondhand goods (you didn’t know?) and I haven’t bought a new washing machine since 1999! All washing machines since came as donations either from friends or via Freecycle. In fact, I don’t remember paying for one since that occasion last century. Wow.

 

The family of my out-law’s neighbour, who died, gave us our earlier machine. After the washer arrived – in fantastic condition – the thing lasted seven years before the bearings died, too. Mr B bought a bearing kit online, hoping to repair the thing. He’s handy but when he took the machine apart, it transpired to be built in a way needing a LOT of fiddly and hard work. We possess frugal limits and got a refund on our bearings kit.

 

The day the machine died, I put a ‘wanted’ ad on three local ‘buy, swap, and sell’ Facebook groups, and on Facebook Marketplace. Almost straight away, people inundated me, wanting us to buy their old machines. Replying to everyone and looking up reviews and specifications for each machine online (Mr B did the latter part) was quite the job.

We settled on a Bosch one because we’ve enjoyed great service from any Bosch appliance we’ve owned. After taking ours to the tip, off we went to collect our new one and hand over the cash to a very nice couple. The only reason for selling the machine was that they were having a new kitchen with integrated appliances (fancy). The owners had kept it spotless – no mould under the rubber or in the drawer – winner, winner, vegetarian chicken dinner!

 

A Fistful of Frugal - Five Frugal Things

Are You Enjoying the Frugal Things Series?

A big part of this blog is to share knowledge both about saving money and living a more intentional life – one where we don’t mindlessly throw things away and pull out our credit cards to get a replacement.

So, to hand things over to you, what frugal tips can you share? I don’t everything and am always keen to learn more, so don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, or send me a private message.

If you want to earn some karma points, please share the post!

Until next time.

Bunchy x

2 Replies to “A Fistful of Frugal – Five Frugal Things”

    1. Ha, ha. Unlikely on our low income and current lack of investing, but thanks anyway, Jim! 😁👍

      So pleased you enjoyed the post. ☺ Makes it all worthwhile.

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