Sometimes I find that my natural butterfly nature means it’s easy to do too much and not take the time to reflect and plan ahead… it’s who I am and I’m so used to being stretched and over extending myself that I’m not sure how to function with regular breaks!
One thing I’m disappointed about here on the website, is that I just couldn’t keep up with weekly reflections on our family impact. So, on reflection I’m going to aim for a monthly report – and we will see how that goes. On a positive note, it’s because so many other exciting things have been starting for The Frugal Family that have taken so much of my time and energy, it’s all good!
So – our recent impact:
- Connecting with over 3,000 people on social media (followers, so possibly more who just ‘pop in’) to share positive environmental messages and ideas
- Starting the Just One Thing series, bringing a wider range of ideas and expertise to our audience and encouraging realistic change
- Creating two new Facebook groups SpendLess, UseLess, DoMore! for general ethical budgeting and Free & Frugal Fun for Kids to help entertain kids on a budget.
- Collaborated on a series of seasonal books to support ethical and frugal living
- At home we have added a new plastic to our recycling that we didn’t know was eligible before!
- We continue to take clothes and shoes that are no longer useful to us to suitable local charities.
- We have given over 20 items away on a local free recycling group – and gained several things we needed as well x
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
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
This week we have been working on our daily #frugalactsofkindness, which we believe are having an impact on our local community and also on our family and the balance we are trying to strike between getting stuff for ourselves over Christmas and sharing with others. Some of our impact this week:
- Taking some books to the library for their stocks
- Making bird feeders just in time for the snow
- Taking some food to our local food bank – and making a great connection with a local Youth Homelessness project we didn’t know existed in the next street!
- Supporting over 30 small businesses in our Gifts for £5 and Under post
This week was a bit easier, especially as I now think more about our impact in our daily living… so this week we:
Had a clear out of too small shoes and donated them to shoe aid.
Re-loaned our repayments from KIVA – this is a micro loan site that allows you to support small operations around the world to start their new business. I was given a KIVA token for a birthday, and we enjoyed deciding which project to support, and have enjoyed redistributing the money as it’s repaid. KIVA feature as a gift idea on the first part of our Gifts That Keep On Giving post at Less-Stuff and I would agree it’s a brilliant gift!
Today we also went to a local a school Christmas Fair and Christmas Tree Festival in our town – we bought several presents which supported four small businesses in our area, as well as donating to the school and church via raffles and tombolas. It’s also meant the kids got a run around and some sweets – which is also their perfect Saturday morning!.
We were thrilled to be invited to share our story and plans for the future with Kat from Share Impact. The podcast was great fun to do, and it was also an interesting exercise to speak out loud about The Frugal Family – it’s grown so quickly and talking about the future made it seem very real and very exciting.
This week I’ve really struggled to think of something… we’ve had poorly children and not been in our usual routine. However, as soon as I stopped panicking that my ethical frugal life was a sham and actually thought about it I came up with these things…
We sorted out the Winter Box, and donated the items we no longer needed to a local project – and they will be taken to a refugee camp in Syria to help them get through the harsh Winter.
We have also been collecting toiletries, wash bags and feminine hygiene products to make up toiletry bags for homeless women, and those using three local refuges. This is our annual project in our WI – and it’s a great one. I feel truly touched to have been sent items from friends, family and even from people online I have never met. We have so much I’ve had to buy some more toiletry bags from local charity shops! These are only simple items, but as us women know they make up part of our basic needs, and retaining dignity.
What’s interesting is that I’m now conscious of this experiment, and so it’s at the forefront of my brain to consider the impact we can have, in just two weeks I have started to change my thinking significantly – and that’s the power of being a more conscious spender, consumer, member of planet Earth!
We are still not quite sure how best to measure and share our impact… but let’s just start and then tweak as ideas come to us (this is somewhat of a Frugal HQ philosophy of life!!).
This week we have given one bag of clothes to the Salvation Army charity shop.
One bag of boxes to the Reception class at school for a project – reuse before recycle!
We are planning to post up what we have done in the week over the following weekend. The aim of this isn’t to become competitive or to show off – but to share the reality of small changes and the impact they can have. We are just an ordinary family and want to use this as a way to make ourselves more conscious of what we are going, and hopefully inspire other families to make small changes too x