Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The art of being frugal

Since getting my own place, I have had to learn this art and learn it well. Nothing could prepare me for seeing 90% of my wage disappear into a black hole filled with council tax, rent, house insurance, gas, electric, you get my drift.

Now this is quite the reality check to someone who is used to living with parents and being able to spend what I want, when I want, on whatever I want. At first the change took some getting used to but I've now learnt is that you can still have the things you want and love, you just have to be a little bit wiser with your pennies.

I thought I would share with you some of my favourtite buys, and some thing's I've been doing to help me save the cash but still treat myself this winter.

I've realised that Topshop and Zara aren't the be all and end all. Don't get me wrong I still swoon over some of their things but there's no way I can justify spending £40 on a top anymore. So what do I do? Enter eBay. You are now looking at a bidding war queen. Oh yes I'm that bitch that swoops in at that last second and beats you by 50p. I bagged myself these lovely Alvin boots last month for half the price they are in Topshop. They were brand new and in the box. I was more than a little pleased with myself I have to admit. Sorry they are slightly dirty in this pic, but what can I say, I like to wear my shoes! :)

I also find myself heading to Primark occasionally in the morning to beat the rush and pick up a few bits. (Trust me the earlier you go the less horrendous the experience will be) I got these gorgeous jumpers for just £8 each. They are lovely and snuggly, and I spotted an almost identical version of the beige one for £42 in Topshop last week. Madness. I also like to stock up on stud earrings, and super cosy tights - a given in the cold miserable weather we have to endure in England in winter.

Some other recent Primark wins have been in the shoe department. Now the sizing is more than questionable but I think it's worth trying on 3 sizes to get the right fit. I picked up these studded loafers for £10 per pair. The look nice and do the job just fine.

I also got these Pixie Boots (and a back up pair) for just £8. Yes £8. They are adorable, they go with everything and are super comfortable. I've had lots of compliments on them and people asking me where they're from. They do them in an array of colours too, teal are next on my list if I can track down a pair.

Finally Primark is also great for winter scarves and woolys. They have them in every colour going and these two cost around £4 each. Lovely.

I couldn't do a post like this without giving a special mention to VIPXO. If you havn't seen her eBay posts you are missing out. Big time. Victoria regularly post's eBay finds, with links to some amazing goodies on eBay that you may never find if she didn't point us in the right direction. All of the things she finds are lovely, often designer inspired, but at affordable prices. They are my go to posts and I would highly recommend you all check them out.

In the beauty department, I have been trying to "shop my stash" and use up products that once upon a time I may have overlooked (Mac Patina I'm looking at you) I've rediscovered loads of products that I love and have been enjoying using without having to splash out on the never ending stream of beauty products on the market. Admittedly sometimes you do have to replace essentials, but what's life without your favourite moisturiser?

Other bits and pieces I do to save the pennies is try to take my lunch to work with me, although I struggle with this more than I like to admit. On these cold days I want a warm lunch and a salad or a sandwich just won't cut it. I also take a hot drink to work with me in the morning in a travel mug, instead of buying a cup of tea every morning from the cafe when I get to work. For Christmas presents I've shopped online on places like Amazon, and taken advantage of the boots 3 for 2 offers. I've also realised that although I love buying gifts for people, I don't have to go mad. Look for presents that you think people will love, put a little bit of thought into it and you will realise you really don't have to spend a fortune at Christmas.

So all in all I don't think I'm doing too bad at this being frugal malarky. Do you have any tips for watching the pennies? If so I'd love to hear them in the comments below :)



  1. Great post! I've recently got a Boots advantage card - how have I lived for so long without one?! and I've been using my points for essentials like deo (which was on offer at £1 to begin with)! x

  2. Great post. To save some pennies I try to use Topcashback when I make an online purchase or go through Nectar first to gain points! Then I have 'free' money to treat myself with! I'm totally with you on the makeup front though. Im slowly but surely hitting pan on a few bits which I never thought I would, It's nice to rediscover old favourites rather than adding to the collection!

    Leanne @ Leanne-marie.com xx

  3. Cup-a-soup :) It's a great hot snack at work! Plus charity shops- I find loads of new gifts in there that have been donated (plus the new lines that the sops stick themselves- and its great to know my pennies are supporting good causes! It's a double gift. Liked this post xx

  4. It seems like you do the same as me - Ebay is my friend amongst others! I live by myself so I have no -one to split bills which makes things difficult. I'm always bargain hunting.

    I always take my own food to work with me as it does work out cheaper - for things like fruit I buy the value ones as to be honest, when is a pear not a pear? They all come from the same tree and occasionally I will throw one out but generally I find that the fruit is good. In regards to hot food, I have recently got into Bachelors pot shots which are 165 calories - perfect for a cold day!

  5. I love car boot sales! The ones next to my house were great, I found nice clothing pieces for 50p each! :)

  6. If you have a microwave at work you should make a big batch of chilli & freeze it in portions, take it out the freezer the night before & it's fine the next day with a baked potato or some microwave rice! You can make 8 or 9 portions for about £3 if you get Tesco value ingredients!!

    I calculated how much I spent on lunches from Tesco every month & it came to about £150 which is rediculois. So I did an online shop & bought everything I needed for a month, planned out my lunches & spent £30!

  7. Love this post, it's so nice to see a "realistic" blogger, we don't all have £60 to drop on a foundation or whatever!! Try making your own hot meal at work by adding cous cous (or similar) to a cup-a-soup as dry mix... then add hot water to the lot and you'll find your food becomes much more substantial, cheaper and will fill you up :) xx

  8. Those little boots are lovely!
    I'm a discount code hound, and always look first before buying online which saves me money.

  9. Ah thank you so much for the mention lovely! You've really made my day xo

  10. Those boots are amazing. x


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  12. Great post, really :) It's so nice to hear from someone who's also on a budget. I'm a student and even though I have a job, I can't justify spending a lot on my wardrobe. I will totally check out Ebay, I've been a bit hesitant to do it, but you've convinced me to give it a go. The first on my checklist are leopard print wedge booties and the Focco! x

  13. Love your Alvins, I', definitely gonna do some more shopping on Ebay!!

  14. I love this post, my fav app on my phone is eBay, i just search something like ASOs 10 Topshop 10 and keep an eye on all the items starting at 99p etc. Always good to find a blogger in the same area.
    now following you on GFC.


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