You may be able to see steam coming off my keyboard such is the HUGE amount of work going on at Frugal HQ – it’s just been the most exciting and productive time. Hopefully you have seen our recent post about the new email course, and now we have this amazing collaboration to help you have the most productive, frugal, healthy, self care Winter EVER!
The book Winning At Winter is now available in our shop at only £6 – that includes the 11 printable resources – yes, really.
Winning At Winter offers:
- Seasonal Recipes
- Journal Ideas
- Upcycling Projects
- Reading Lists
- Homemade Beauty
- Self Care Prompts
- De cluttering projects
- Frugal Living Ideas
- and lots, lots more!
There were five copies at just £1 exclusively for our facebook group members… if you join quick there may still be some left?
I have been wanting to start our workshops and courses, but with my butterfly brain I found it hard to decide what to do first. We already have our free e-book and free Ta-Dah! course available, but I wanted to do more… I decided to ask what the real issues are for families trying to budget and be more ethical in our Facebook Group – and from that poll the clear winner was Meal Planning.
So – our first email course will be to share how we meal plan and source our food to balance the budget and try to reduce food waste. As with all things in life there are lots of ways to do this, and in fact if you search on line you would find mountains of information – what is special about our course is that’s it a more personal and practical suggestion. It’s about what we actually do in real life! If you have been following us for a while you will know that part of our plan it to be open and honest about what we do and why – and that we’re not perfect or pretending to be. We don’t filter too much here, as parents it’s so demoralising when you see other people who seem to have it all together when you are falling apart.
When you buy the course from our shop, you will receive five emails over five days –
- Welcome email with description of the course and contents info – with an invitation to a separate thread in our Facebook Group for Q&A
- Meal Planning video with Claire – explaining and demonstrating what we do and why
- Meal Planning resources and printables
- Sourcing Your Food video with Claire – discussing many ideas for how to source good value, low waste food (and a few non-food ideas too!)
- Sourcing Your Food resources and printables – by now you will be a meal planning ninja x
We try to make sure that what we do has some value or impact, so you will also receive a feedback email to check your thoughts about the course and anything you would like to let us know.
Remember Members of Plan It, Love It, Do It! are able to receive this course for FREE as part of their membership.
National Hugging Day!
Who can resist celebrating this wonderful day? We certainly can’t here at Frugal HQ, and with the cold weather and a hibernation sensation cuddling up under a quilt sounds pretty perfect. National Hugging Day is on the 21st January every year, and although it started in the US it’s travelled the world with it’s message of kindness and support.
The message also fits with where The Frugal Family is at currently, I’ve been developing ideas about how to best support families who are looking to become more ethical and frugal in 2018. There are a number of ways it could have gone, I was quite taken with the idea of a magazine… but that didn’t feel personal enough, so I’m going to start a membership group called
Plan It, Do It, Love It!
There is already a facebook group (who came up with the name – thanks x) with daily threads and ideas which will continue as it is, but I wanted to be able to have a more personal impact on families that really want to get motivated and start living in action. So… after much deliberation I’m starting a separate group for people that want the nitty-gritty. I think my 15 years of lecturing and as a qualified Life Coach are going to be a great background for the group.
Benefits of joining are:
- Running monthly planning sessions together online to get your calendar under control and support with finding savings and planning ahead.
- Q&A workshops relevant to the monthly theme – this will be linked to the main page theme, but more flexible.
- Exclusive resources.
- Discounts for members with ethical and frugal businesses.
- Guest specialists to help us out through the year.
ALL e-books and courses that the The Frugal Family has solely produced in the shop will be FREE to members. This includes the NEW Meal Planning and Sourcing Your Food 5 Day E-course at £25! which will be available next month.
I would expect you to save or make the fee each month (and more!), or over the year by working hard and completing your monthly ‘challenge’ we set together.
Membership to Plan It, Love It, Do It! will be just £9.99 per month (first month FREE)
or £99.99 for 12 months (2 Months FREE) paid up front .
This is a special price to help us get going and trial a number of ideas on these willing guinea pigs!
The first LIVE month will be March, but you can sign up now to grab your place, and access our Resources Bank and some other fun things for our February Founder Members – including a 1:1 chat with me to get you started.
It’s a really wonderful time of year to start your frugal journey, or to up your game if you are already on the road – and a bit of help with ideas, accountability and self care can only help. I’m using my own experience as the basis for the membership – the things that I wished I’d had access to, I’ve also used several polls in the fb group to see what people want and need to become the ethically frugal family they wish to be.
This confidential and friendly space, with some coaching and support will be a really safe place to discuss ideas and solve problems, with other parents and people who will really ‘get’ it. I hope you can join us, and I’m looking forward to meeting you face to face in our first Zoom meeting. If you sign up you will receive a welcome email with all the details you need.
If you would like to support us, but don’t think membership is for you we have a Patreon account you can sign up to for just £2 per month x
See, we do take our own advice!
We are so excited to share our new FREE e-book with you. I wanted to put together a set of starting ideas and goals for living an ethically frugal life, and January just seems the perfect time to do this.
I hope that this is useful to people and contains some practical ways to get going for 2018!
The book is split into 7 ‘Steps’ to challenge all areas of family life, but it mainly falls to the adults to do the work! Some sections might be easier for you than others and you don’t have to complete them in any order, but if you do complete them all you should be looking at having up to £1,000 saved or made – and then you can decide what to do with it!
If you have debts, then they should always be your first concern, although mortgages are a slightly different kettle of fish…
To give you a sneak peek – The 7 Steps are:
1. Check what you have – you might be able to just not buy certain things for a while once you’ve done an audit of what you already have stashed in cupboards, the attic and garage….
2. Change what you can – you need to be changing utilities and other services regularly, or at least checking them annually.
3. Sell what you no longer need – quick fix!
4. Plan and source your food – lots of ideas for this big regular expense
5. Plan ahead – get a feel for what you will need through the months, leading to better use of sales, coupons and wish lists.
6. Household Mindfulness – paying attention to the small ways you can save money and the world, this is where the kids come into their own…
7. Kindness – practicing self-care can reduce lots of bills – honest!
I am also working on making each of the steps into a week long email course, with video and handout support – if you feel that you need some extra help with any of the ideas in the free e-book, these would be the next step. The book should go live in the shop tomorrow, but if you want to be kept up to date with all our exciting news feel free to sign up to our community – we promise not to contact you too much.
I got so excited by the possibilities and opportunities of video that I’m also putting up a number of our workshops as online courses, so that people can access them nationally (or internationally!) – we can’t travel too far as we have childcare and family commitments, but the wonder of the internet means we can still share our ideas and experience. The first one I’m working on (just need a few more hours in the day and some healthy kids!) is the 50 Ways to Save the World... I so love delivering that talk.
I’d love to know what your biggest battle is with ethical and frugal family life, we have a poll in the Facebook Group if you would like to join the link is here. You can also email us, or drop us a Tweet with any ideas – I love a challenge x
We are so excited about this year here at Frugal HQ – we have been making lots of plans, some of which are too far fetched… but some are going to be actually real!! There is much more work to be done before we can share them, but to get us going for the year, if you are just starting out on your ethically frugal life, or want to up your game quickly – here are five really easy things you can do RIGHT NOW to get you into your frugal groove:
1. Check Your Utilities –
You should really make this part of your monthly or annual plan. More details are in our FREE e-book, but you should be shopping around to get the best deal on your gas and electricity (longer term you should be checking/changing all your regular household bills). We use Switchcraft as they do all the work for us! You just sign up, and then they email you before your current deal ends and give you the best choices to move to – no more forms after that initial sign up. You can specify if you only want to deal with the big energy suppliers, or just green or whatever you feel comfortable with. If you use this link we get a bit of a commission, and £5 of that we give to Charity: Water x.
2. List What You Need –
Grab a bit of paper or your phone, and start a list of what physical items you actually need in an average week or month. Then add in special or unusual things like birthday gifts. Then check in with the rest of the family and add their items. You can now have fun finding as many of these items as you can from:
- what you already have – make do and mend, repurpose, upcycle etc.
- what you can make for yourself – cards, gifts, washing powder?
- what you can get on free cycle sites, from friends, skips, schwooping etc.
- what you can actually do without when you think about it, or do less often
- what you can ask someone else to get for you – e.g. as a treat, favour, in exchange for babysitting…
- what you can find in a deal, coupon, voucher, special offer
You will then be left with the items you need to buy, at full price and can make that part of your budget (you have a budget right?). If you know what you are looking for to cover the year, you can make better use of deals and discounts.
3. Sell Unwanted Stuff –
After you have listed what you need, and had a good rummage in the cupboards and shed to find things, you are likely to have also come across lots of things you don’t need/want/like/fit and now is the time to get rid of them. You can sell them, give them away, or swap them but clutter isn’t good for ethically frugal living and it’s not good for your mental health either so start working through it gently. If you can re-gift things to cover some of the items from no. 2 above then do so – just remember to keep a list of who gave it to you before you give it to someone else, this can also be useful if you need to donate to school raffles and other events during the year.
4. Assess the Leftovers –
You can have a cheap food shop in much of January by being more aware of what you already have in the cupboards and freezer and odd tins around the house that you got in the mad dash for Christmas. By using up those leftovers carefully and only buying the additional things you need you should be back on track very quickly. You need to be willing to have a few ‘odd’ meals and we call them UFO’s (Unidentified Frozen Objects), but it’s all for a good cause – YOU!
5. Start Meal Planning –
If you don’t do this already, or stopped bothering for a bit get back in the habit of planning what you and the family are doing for the week and only buy what you need to cover those meals. Remember with back to school you may need to add in lunch box items or after school snacks. We find in the Winter we do eat differently, so get in lots of cheap veg and make up soups! Think about where and when you shop, and also moving ‘down’ towards the value brands on some items. January is a good month to start new habits and start as you mean to go on.
Our theme for this month is to Start Something – January is a great time to gather energy and ideas for the year ahead. Keep in touch using the form below to get inspiration delivered to your inbox throughout 2018 xx
I’ve bundled most of December and even this first week of January into this one post, as Our Impact over this period is much easier to think about as a job lot. This is how I feel we have made an impact…
- Recycled as much as possible with mindfulness over wrapping gifts etc. to reduce unnecessary waste – easier for adults than children…
- Reduced our food order from last year to include treats etc, but again more careful planning meant a lot less waste
- Bought 90% of our gifts from local or small producers including a large percentage from charitable or social enterprises
- Encouraged ourselves and others to have a wider impact in their families and communities with the #frugalactsofkindness calendar which was a big hit here at Frugal HQ
- Kept our budget for gifts, and reduced our card sending again – reducing waste and stress!
- One of our acts of kindness was to share anything spare, and this was perhaps the most visible impact for us – we took a box of biscuits to the local care home, toys and toiletries to a local refuge and lots of other small items to places they could be used and were needed – that’s the spirit of Christmas x
Here’s wishing everyone a very Happy New Year – hope to see you here x