UA-99606640-1Love – Welcome to The Frugal Family

Tag: Love

The Dating Game…
The Dating Game…

This is a tricky topic for me as I’m clearly no expert (having been with the same partner for over 20 years) and when I was dating there was no internet!! BUT I am an expert at human relationships, managing self esteem, being assertive, positive thinking and most other healthy mental exercises required to put yourself out there in the dating world. I would really value your comments so please add your pearls of wisdom and experience.

Ethical Dating

Firstly you have to meet someone, and I go on a lot about the importance of knowing and being able to express your VALUES – and when meeting new people you are much more likely to have a positive experience with an element of shared values, so looking in areas that you are more likely to find those shared values is a good place to start. If you do prefer the online route to view and read about a person before you actually meet them, there are a number of internet dating sites that profess to be attuned to ethical or environmental people – here are a few to get you going.

www.greensingles.com
www.naturalfriends.co.uk
www.ecolovers.co.uk
www.ethicalsingles.com
www.green-passions.com
www.greenlovers.co.uk

Some sensible guidelines when meeting people you don’t know for the first time: (talking for hours on the phone or texting still isn’t ‘knowing’ someone x)
  • Meet in a public place
  • Let someone you trust know where you are and agree if you will text them or they will call you to check in
  • Make sure your phone is fully charged and you have credit to make calls
  • Make sure you have enough cash for a taxi or whatever you may need if you choose to leave
  • If meeting up in a large group, discuss the plan and make it clear you may leave if the group decision isn’t something you want to join in with
  • Of course you want to look your best, but remember that you also want to be a bit comfortable and be able to relax a little!

 

If the online thing isn’t for you, there are a number of group dating businesses that host dinner parties, days out or theatre trips where people meet in smaller groups with a shared interest. You could arrange this yourself by spending time doing the things you really enjoy and meeting people socially perhaps via volunteering? There are also holiday companies for single people and organisations like Gingerbread – who specialise in supporting single parents with finding a new partner, or just socialising at all.

Essentially, unless you fall in love with the person who delivers your post – you will need to go out and meet people to find one of them that makes your tummy go gooey.

The hardest part of the whole process is finding out if you make them feel that way too.

It may be that you need to actively put yourself in places where you are more likely to meet like minded people – but still being an honest and authentic person you will need to have  think about a creative way to do that. For example, if you love Italy, have been there many times and love the food and culture then maybe taking an Italian evening class would be a good idea? You will learn a useful skill for yourself and are likely to meet people that also love Italy – some of whom may be single… You could also look in people’s shopping baskets for ‘dinner for one’ type deals and stalk them, but that doesn’t seem as healthy…

 

We’ve created this infographic to give you some starters with the dating world, making sure that you remain open and honest – while also keeping yourself safe and sound.

 

 

Frugal Dating

Once you have agreed to meet up with someone you then have to remember your frugal values and goals. Make sure you are clear from the outset about whether you are going to ‘go Dutch’ or buy your own tickets to the cinema etc. It’s nice to be treated, but you may also want to have enough money with you that you can pay your half or the whole amount should you or they run out!

If you are on a strict budget it’s much easier to be up front about that, and offer ideas that you are happy with. Some frugal suggestions could be:

  • a picnic and walk
  • visit to a museum or gallery (especially if they are free)
  • using a Groupon or other  voucher for a meal or experience
  • Just having a drink rather than a meal – meeting at different times may help
  • finding a free local event like a fair or outdoor cinema
  • borrow a new outfit rather than buy one
  • use memberships you already have – a trip to the gym, a National Trust visit, a discount code or just a free drink in Waitrose!

 

Dating should be fun and if you do meet someone you want to see more of, that’s a very exciting time. If you are genuinely happy on your own that’s fine too. There is not just one perfect person for you, there are lots of people you could be happy with – the most important part of the whole process is that you have to be happy with yourself (mostly) first. If we don’t believe ourselves to be essential nice and loveable we will be inherently suspicious of people that profess to love us – because they must have something wrong with them! I have a video going up tomorrow all about this and will link to it from here as soon as it goes live x

Wishing you happy times ahead.

 

 

Mother’s Day Musing
Mother’s Day Musing

So, this is a tricky celebration – firstly it’s held at different times of year in different countries (more on that later) but also it can be a very volatile subject for those that are not mothers but who would like to be, those who have lost children and of course those who have lost their mother… it can be hard to celebrate something, knowing how hard it is for others you know and love. However, I do like the opportunity that many ‘event’ days give us to share kindness, affection and celebrate goodness so here are some thoughts on Mothers Day…

HISTORY

In the UK it is historically known as Mothering Sunday – and this wasn’t to do with your actual mum, but your mother church. On the 4th Sunday of Lent you would visit the largest or ‘mother’ church in the area (this goes way back to the 16th Century), it then slowly joined with being a day that young people who were working in service could go and visit their mother and perhaps take a small posy of flowers, or a piece of cake. Mothering Sunday then became a day to celebrate your mum.

Over in the USA a totally separate non-religious celebration invented in 1908 by Anna Jarvis to celebrate the role of mothers. It was signed into the calender in 1914, although Jarvis later started a revolt against the commercialisation of the day, feeling it had lost all the genuine affection and moved to something you could just buy and not really think about in depth. Jarvis saw no need to buy anything for Mothers Day and led the boycott of cards and chocolates for the day she had created!

So the two versions of Mothers Day have morphed a bit, despite having vastly different histories. I would agree with Anna Jarvis, that a day to honour any woman that has given time, inspiration, care, love and probably blood, sweat and tears into the lives of others is a good day. I also agree with her that there is no need to spend money buying things when you can tell her you love her in many other ways.

HOW TO CELEBRATE ON A BUDGET

* One tradition from the Mothering Sunday in the UK was to bake a Simnel Cake – this was a real treat during the restrictions of Lent, it’s a fruit cake with marzipan – yum. Download a recipe and either make a cake if you have time or just chat with your mum about her memories of Easter celebrations.

* Make a card, it seems too easy but mum’s really appreciate if you have taken the time and care to create something just for them – if you are not confident with your artistry then print off some really special photos for the front.

* Make a photo collage, you can choose lots of special times, or just the two of you or a theme or whatever – they make great talking points.

* Go for a walk together, to an old haunt or where you used to live or just to a nice park. Time is precious.

* Take her breakfast in bed, this has become a bit of cheesy one and most mums are probably up first! However, this is the day you can embrace the cheese, maybe think of a real favourite breakfast or come up with something new…

* Give a gift of time, commit to visiting (if you’ve left the nest) once a day/week/month depending on your situation, if you can’t visit then consider the help technology can offer – can you call, Skype, FaceTime, Message etc.

* Flowers are lovely but don’t last very long, if you do want to buy a gift think about a living thing that will last forever, maybe name a tree in their honour if you can’t plant one in the garden, or buy a miniature rose that can stay indoors for a long while.

* If you have a skill you could upcycle something they need, refurbish something they love, or make an item yourself that will mean the world.

* Ask questions about her life. Everyone has experienced their own unique version of events, so even if you think you know everything about your mums life I bet there are a few funny stories or childhood memories still to be uncovered. This shared history is a great way to really connect with people. Even very young children enjoy hearing about the ‘old days’. My kids cannot believe that when I was small there were only 3 channels on the TV and the telephone was attached to the wall, and I’m only 42

We have some FREE gift vouchers to download in the shop if they might be useful… I’ve left them deliberately very blank so you can really use them for anything, they are A4 size and should fit into a DL envelope x

Share the love with a mum that may not have her children around, maybe visit a friend that you know struggles at this time, or take a box of biscuits to the local residential home.

In the year that we celebrate the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote, it seems a particularly important year to celebrate all that women bring to the world, and this is just one day to remind us to do that. Hope you can enjoy it x

Frugal Family Valentines
Frugal Family Valentines

We LOVE this day, it’s all about LOVE which is the stuff of life… and you can moan about the commercialisation or you can just ignore that and do your own thing – which is how we roll at Frugal HQ. So here’s how we have a Frugal Fun Family Valentines.

We plan ahead –

Family have been drafted in to babysit, and Mr Frugal and I are off to the cinema tonight with free tickets using our Tesco Clubcard vouchers. It’s so nice, and a rare treat for us to go out just the two of us and it’s so essential to have time for being a couple as well as a larger family unit. These outings are truly valued by us, and big thanks to anyone willing to look after our four exuberant children for the night, it’s means the world x

 

We show love –

It’s not about what you buy, but what you DO that really matters. So, we do cards but not gifts – the cards are mostly homemade or very funny and relevant. The kids make cards and various other things at groups and nursery and we collate these to make a lovely collage on our mantelpiece.

 

We play games –

Last year we had a scavenger hunt to win sweets, the year before we put photos of family members and friends around the house and the kids had to find everyone on their tick sheet to win the prize.

We also have some homemade Love Bugs that are used for all sorts of strange games over the years, you can drop things through them, use them for bowling or try to blow them over while laying on the floor… 

 

 

 

We make stuff –

This year we have the new play tray so I had to put that to good use. With  a range of ages to engage we have gone with:


colouring sheets

cards and envelopes to make

games using sweets – naughts and crosses

games using sweets – stacking them until they fall

love hearts – to write something you love and stick it on our collage mirror

a pot of pink and red pens

 

 

 

We eat weird things –

We try to eat pink and red foods, it’s usually easy with some heart shaped pasta that they do at Lidl, but I was too late this year, so we will have heart shaped pudding and red sauce on ‘normal’ pasta, I think I’ll get away with it as there are lots of sweets in the house, all heart shaped of course.

 

This is really just to prove that you can include children and the whole family in discussing and celebrating love, you can show them how much you care with treats, but also with time and shared experiences. You don’t have to spend anything, or a few heart shaped sweets to make it extra special. It’s not about what you spend, it’s about taking a ‘fake’ day and making it your own, to express something you do feel is valuable. If you are looking for some ideas for a more intimate, adult Valentines Day then you might find our post on Adult Love useful x

Adult Love… and sex, committment, relationships etc.
Adult Love… and sex, committment, relationships etc.

There is going to be a flood of posts and articles surrounding Valentine’s (or Galentine’s if you’re trendy) Day, and it’s hard to think of something a little different to talk about! I actually LOVE celebrating Valentine’s Day, I think any excuse to talk and show affection and love to those we care for should be grabbed. We have games we play with the kids and eat heart shaped and/or red and pink foods for dinner, after 24 years Mr. Frugal and I still send cards to each other and have a take away as a treat with something bubbly in the evening.

Love is special, and if you have someone you really feel good around then take every opportunity to tell them. Of course for a relationship to show commitment and longevity you will need to show you care on more than just one day!

I’ve decided to use all this talk of love and relationships to write a post of two halves. 1. Frugal Romance and 2. Sustainable Sex (eco not stamina!).

If you are still looking for love there are a number of dating sites specifically aimed at people with strong eco and ethical values:

www.greensingles.com

www.naturalfriends.co.uk

www.ecolovers.co.uk

www.ethicalsingles.com

www.green-passions.com

www.greenlovers.co.uk

Frugal Romance

So, the shops will have lots of options for you to spend money to demonstrate how much you love someone. I’m here as the voice of reason to say what you SPEND does not demonstrate how much you love someone! Really, it just doesn’t. However  your ACTIONS may well be a huge clanging bell of how much you have thought about/planned for/taken care over the person you wish to show affection. There is a very fine line between saving money and being careful about people’s feelings. A homemade item only works if it’s genuinely made with care and affection, FREE things you could consider creating might include:

  • a card
  • a photo collage
  • upcycling a favourite piece of clothing
  • jewellery
  • a keepsake box
  • a mix tape (or modern equivalent!!)
  • inviting over a treasured friend
  • offering to babysit for an important occasion
  • cook/buy a favourite meal
  • put on clean bedsheets, maybe with some perfume or petals on there?
  • do all the cleaning, and open a bottle of wine…

If there is a chance that you have very different views on the whole Valentine’s Day thing I would encourage a conversation about this in advance to avoid common pitfalls and crushed expectations. Examples of AGREED spending changes could be:

  • Celebrating on an alternative day when everything will be cheaper, flowers, meals, chocolates EVERYTHING.
  • Setting a budget for gifts.
  • Showing love to a common passion instead, so rather than flowers donate that money to a project you both love or buying an item you both agree is needed/wanted.
  • Not spending at all, and have a free date night (see below)
  • Buying one thing that’s really wanted rather than spending on lots of smaller items available in the shops that are red and heart shaped, but will ultimately end up in a charity shop.

For a no spend Valentine’s Day you will have to be a bit more creative, and if you are planning a surprise remember to focus on the LOVE and not the PRICE

– people don’t want to hear that it was cheaper to do X than Y, it’s just not romantic.

 

Here are five ideas for a FREE Date Night, and you can do these on any night of the year obviously – maybe you could have a monthly night of romance instead of just birthdays and anniversaries?

  1. Watch the sunset or sunrise together… this can be a truly peaceful and wonderous experience. NB if you are parents of young children I’m aware this won’t work for you x However, you are probably up for one of these anyway so having a partner to share it with might be nice??
  2. Look over an old photo album together and remember some fun times, you can laugh about your teenage haircuts, see your first dates or a wedding album. Have a laugh and remind yourselves why and how you fell in love… The longer you are together the more hilarious this gets.
  3. Snuggle up and watch a movie. Turn the lights out and grab some snacks or a hot chocolate and just be. Choosing a movie can be tricky – I would go for whatever is most likely to induce laughter, romance or sleep depending on your situation.
  4. Make a Plan – think about the future you plan together, discuss some shared goals or dreams and see how you can support each other to make them happen.
  5. Have an ‘early night’ – wink wink, see below

 

Somewhere in between the Romance and Sex halves of this post I want to quickly mention underwear – there are some really beautiful, ethically sourced and made underwear producers that may cost a bit more than Ann Summers, but will last you a long time are comfortable as well as sexy and offer an elegance and sensuality that may be more to your taste take a look at…www.lbpclub.co.uk, www.luvahuva.co.uk & www.moralfibres.co.uk.

Sustainable Sex

So now we move to the more awkward part of the post – at least if you’re British it will be awkward! – to think about how we allow for frugal and ethical values in a healthy sex life. A quick word of warning from my own recent research if you use an online search engine to find ‘eco sex’ you are likely to come across a lot of articles, books and information about a group who took the term as their own and have a very specialist view of what it means; basically they practice and encourage people to love the Earth in the most explicit sense. If that’s your thing, you have found your people; if you are looking for a more environmentally friendly way to express human to human love then the ideas here will be more for you…

Below are some ways you may want to consider making changes or at least pondering the issues of sustainable sex.

Frugal Sex

One of the great things about sex is that it’s free! But if you want to change things up a bit here are a few more FREE ways to explore:

  • turn the lights off and save some electricity (frugal and ethical!)
  • consider the Great Outdoors as a possible location…
  • save water by sharing a bath together
  • enjoy a sensual massage using up some moisturiser or oil you already have
  • change your ‘usual’ location if things have got a bit ‘same same’
  • borrow a book from the library and try one new position a week/month/year
  • make some cards with sexy suggestions and take turns to pick one at random
  • one partner gets to choose the whole evening’s activities

Sex Toys

If you have or use ‘equipment’ you might consider how ethically they are made, and the materials they are made from. The more natural the material the better from an environmental point of view, however it’s likely most sex toys are made of plastic. You will be pleased to learn therefore that the company LoveHoney can at least recycle your WEEE categorised sex toys. You just give them a clean and send them off, all the details are on the link.

If buying something new, you have the chance to be completely eco-friendly with options that are recyclable (glass, wood) or rechargeable, for example the Gaia Eco Vibrator is biodegradable and can be recycled. There is also a wind up vibrator which only needs you as a power source. You can check out www.lovehoney.co.uk, www.ethicalsextoys.co.uk and www.EarthAngel.co.uk who offer a selection of items for more ethical consumers, including recycled leather whips. There is also a social enterprise offering ethical sex toys alongside educational resources at www.vavven.org.

 

Safe Sex

Condoms are still one of the safest and easiest ways to make sure you avoid unwanted pregnancy and STD’s. However, they are not biodegradable and often end up in landfill or our waterways. The only currently available option that is biodegradeable is made from lamb intestines which aren’t especially sexy. BUT there are ways you can make more ethical choices… some companies offer 100% recycled packaging, and Fair Square off ultra thin condoms from fairly traded latex. At www.babipur.co.uk you can buy vegan, fair trade condoms – it is mainly a children’s site so don’t be too alarmed when you first get there!

Here is also a good point to think about being comfortable – there is a great lube available from lots of places including Boots called YES! Lube, this is organic and free of parabens.

 

Fun Sex

If you have the urge to go all 9 1/2 Weeks, just remember to think about where your food is sourced, and it’s impact… traditional aphrodisiac foods like seafood are often full of unpleasant plastic particles or mercury and that’s not at all romantic. It might be better to go for a safer homemade option like this easy vegan Chocolate Sauce recipe… 

14oz coconut milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk coconut milk, sugar and cocoa powder together and then simmer in a pan for 10mins, add the vanilla and oil off the heat stir to blend and allow to cool (or not!)

If you like to dress up, consider getting costumes pre-loved instead of new, and consider the quality and flammability of the materials used! Again, you may want to try a homemade version, you might create your own school days with white shirts and ties, wrap up with toilet roll like a mummy and then rip it all off, recreate a favourite gig with the live CD and wear the gig t-shirts you bought back then…


Whatever floats your boat between consenting adults should be fun and healthy. It can be very difficult in family life to find the time and energy for romance or even the most cursory of sex lives, but intimacy is what makes a relationship different from a friendship so it’s worth nurturing for the long run.

I will be adding some more relationship based articles to the FRUGAL YOU page, after writing and delivering a number of courses on relationships, as well as working on my own for over 20 years I feel in a good place to share the love x

#frugalactsofkindness
#frugalactsofkindness

Our theme for December is #frugalactsofkindness, you can join in by using our free Random Acts of Kindness calendar with an idea for every day in December to be kind. You can switch them around depending on your situation, but they give you some starting points… We will be sharing our kind behaviour on our Instagram page, on Twitter and on Facebook – feel free to join us on one of those platforms and share with us using the #. I can’t wait to get in the Christmas spirit by sharing some nice around.

Of course, we are a real family and so there will still be arguments and potential throwing of toys… BUT it does give us all a bit of  a focus to think outside of our own needs, to consider others and what’s important on a bigger scale than who moved the superhero figures…

You can find the RAK Calendar in our shop to download FREE – enjoy x

Gifts That Keep On Giving…
Gifts That Keep On Giving…

Gifts that Keep on Giving… Part Two

During a conversation with our lovely friend Lisa at Less-Stuff we realised how frustrating it can be to buy things for people who already have everything they need, so we have collaborated to bring you 10 brilliant ideas for Gifts that Keep On Giving… they help you look amazing, give your friend or relative a brilliant and long lasting gift and most of them also help in others ways as well – charities, education, less waste etc etc.

I’m sure you have enjoyed the 5 great ideas from Less-Stuff, but there are plenty more ways you can give a gift at Christmas that isn’t just a wonderful gift for your loved one, but also has the power to keep on giving… so here are our suggestions:

1. Memberships to somewhere they will love… This is especially great for families and will usually be for a whole year so it’s an amazing gift to give. If you can find a place that is a registered charity, or does some great work you can feel even better about giving to them as well as your recipient. You could also consider an organisation or institution that they might like to visit or be part of, it just needs some thought… Good examples might be:
• The National Trust
• Local zoo/wildlife park
• Local/National Museum or Gallery
• Political or Professional organisation
• Private library or Association

 

2. On a similar theme you might feel like adopting an animal as a gift – they get all the fun of finding out about their adoptee with none of the poo related work! Several charities run adoption programmes so you just need to find one that suits your budget and their animal preferences, check out:
www.wwf.org.uk/adopt
www.bornfree.org.uk
www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk
www.durrell.org.uk/adopt
If you/they are not an animal person you can adopt trees or plants – get creative! 

 

3. We LOVE books, they are just such a wonderful thing to touch, read, share and love. They are a great gift as they will last for many years, and can be read over and over again… they are also perfect for any age and not too expensive. If you want to really up the ethical giving monitor then buy a book with a message you want to share. Our current favourites are:

Duffy’s Lucky Escape by Ellie Jackson

Dreams of Freedom by Amnesty International

Maddie’s Magic Christmas by Sam Maxfield (local author x)

This guide for all children is a useful source of ideas. 

For adults you could think about recipe books, journals, guidebooks, signed copies or ‘mystery bags’ get a few good looking books on a theme from the charity shop and wrap them up x A friend of ours gives their partner (and avid reader) a list of 10 genres to try…

 

4. We have talked about the organisation Good Gifts before, and we love the variety they offer in terms of how much to spend and the amazing projects you can support. There is something for every budget, and Father Christmas gives one in each stocking in our house. Examples are socks for homeless people in the UK, School breakfasts, Chickens for people overseas to become more self sustaining, Book libraries and so much more… These are also useful for last minute gifts and for people overseas as you can email them the information!

 

5. For those on a stricter budget or with no budget at all we like to give our time. That may sound a bit sappy, but actually, it’s rather lovely to give someone the gift of your full attention. We create our own gift vouchers for something that person will really value. You can make your own or use ours x This is great as it can be tailored to any age or activity (limited only by your willingness!). Make sure you only offer something you are prepared to give, and don’t spoil the gift by doing it begrudgingly – it’s a gift remember!

Ideas could be:
• A voucher for a walk in the woods
• Help with cleaning for a day
• Mowing the lawn in the Summer
• Taking a drive out to visit something/someone
• A trip to…
• A foot massage
• Cooking a meal for everyone

We have another post coming in December that may fit in with this idea as well – watch out for 5 Free Gifts for Children!
If you like what we do here you can support us via our Patreon page xx 

If you haven’t visited our sister post with another 5 excellent and inventive Gifts that Keep on Giving over on Less- Stuff do go there now! You can also check out the wonderful and gentle work that Lisa does by joining her newsletter and following her on…

www.less-stuff.co.uk

www.twitter.com/lessstuffnow

www.pinterest.co.uk/lessstuffnow/

www.instagram.com/less_stuff_now/

 

 

Why I Went ‘Green’…
Why I Went ‘Green’…

Throughout the process of starting The Frugal Family,  I have enjoyed lots of ‘moments’ to consider plans, the future, who I am, what I’m grateful for and all that sort of fluffy stuff. One thing I have always held very dear, is my love of nature and the environment and animals (I actually do hug trees when possible) – these values have been with me since I was a child, and they are part of how I view the World. Recently I’ve been focusing on why it is important to me, how I live that value and where I can do better.

It also started me thinking about how other people started their ‘green’ lifestyle, so I thought I’d ask them… 

 

First up is a fellow #ethicalhour member Sabine Harnau:

“OK, let’s watch something on Netflix,” I sighed, trying to protect my hot salami pizza from Sandra’s kitten. Her sofa embraced me with its rough linen fabric, and I was looking forward to a chilled-out evening. Instead, I was flushed with hot anger as I watched cows suffering in sheer endless meat factories. And a pang of desire for small stripy aubergines, farmed the traditional way. That pizza didn’t taste all that good anymore.

Why we had decided to watch Food, Inc. will forever remain a mystery. But it changed my life. I spent the next days in shock at how little I had known about the stuff in my fridge. First, I made small changes to my diet and swapped products for their organic counterparts. I also vowed to invest as much as I could afford into buying higher quality, eco friendly goods. Since then, I’ve gone pescetarian, organic (as far as the market allows), switched to 100% renewable energy and embraced slow fashion.
My most recent step has been starting my own company. This means I can do the work I love to help other conscious companies thrive.

Sabine heads up From Scratch, a customer service consultancy with a mission: to make excellent communication accessible to all. The best insights from linguistics, psychology and user research are distilled into effective writing, training that truly empowers teams, and customer satisfaction programmes — tailored to each business. From Scratch is constantly looking to tread more lightly on the earth. It’s also a proud member of the #EthicalHour community of ethical businesses.

 

 

Mandi also made significant changes after watching TV (see it’s not all bad ;)):

I watched a few documentaries around the same time on off grid living, the dangers of sugar and processed foods and the impact of the food industry (esp. large scale agriculture). All of this in conjunction with living in a completely unaffordable city and having had our 3rd child we have decided to take whatever control we can into our own hands minimize our impact while in the city, feed ourselves ACTUAL food and we hope to start a small homestead when we can afford to buy. For now we are learning all we can about doing what we can at home but we hope to have our own small farm, raincatching system, beekeeping, solar power etc. 🌻

You can check in with Mandi on her blog BigTinySteps.

 

I have to admit to avoiding watching TV and Film that I know will upset me, some I feel have moved away from informative documentaries and have deliberately been made to shock, with even a sense of salaciousness in their production. I do see the great importance of letting people use all their senses to understand the processes used to create all of the things we use in our everyday lives in the rich nations. It’s sometimes hard to know when to tell kids the various things I want them to know, and how much detail to give. As I’m a veggie, but Mr F isn’t – I will let them choose for themselves. They have been veggie until they can express and opinion, we have always explained what the food is made from and then they can choose. Our son is a strict veggie, our daughter has tried a few things from Daddy’s plate, but is 99% veggie and getting more concerned about animal welfare as she gets older. It will be fascinating to watch them grow and learn and make their own choices – I see such care in them about the World and such curiosity it’s wonderful! 

 

Hanna Pumfrey had a epiphany at work:

Sustainability became important to me after a few years living and working in the city. I would watch the rubbish bins in my office fill up every day with paper cups and lunch bag wrappers as we all rushed blindly from meeting to meeting, completely unconscious to the amount of waste we were contributing to landfill daily. I thought there must be a better way to do this!
After some research I realised that with just a few small changes we could all start to make a big difference to our environment. But as time poor city dwellers with demanding jobs and equally as busy personal lives, living sustainably with the current options and information we have can seem very difficult.

I decided to create Flor + Cesta to make it simple for people. To give people the tools needed to become a more conscious consumer, without a radical lifestyle change.

 

 

I started the Frugal Office page after realising the massive impact that office culture can have on the environment, and the relatively simple steps that any sized office can take to reduce the negative impact. The ‘Greening Up Your Office’ series has been so interesting to research, and I’m working on number four on ‘Stores’ so about to get some Frugal Family goodies to hand out… possibly pencils made from recycled jeans – how cool is that?!?

 

 

For S S Blake, it all started with becoming a mum: 

Two and a half years ago, just after my son was born, I entered some sort of contest (I don’t even remember what the prize was). All it required of me was to make a promise to my child. My promise was “to do all in my power to make this world a better place for him”.
I really took it to heart & immediately went out & got cloth diapers & started my blog. Ever since I’ve been making one continuous change after another to live a more sustainable, clean & eco friendly life as well as grow myself so that i may raise him the way he & the world deserves & educate others to the best of my abilities.
My motto is “improving ourselves to improve the world”.

 

Brianne Pruitt also made changes alongside becoming a parent:

I went green because I realized what a huge negative impact not being green was having on my health. While I was pregnant I became lightheaded and overwhelmed by fumes from a chemical filled cleaning product . I started by switching out all my cleaning products. And then that led to learning more about how skin care and food affect me, and changing all of that too.

I have a FB group where I post info from a lot of resources as well as what I do personally to live green.

 

Becoming a parent is the most life changing experience, and I do feel that the concern we have for our children does affect how we feel about the World – I for one don’t want my grandchildren to have to go and live underground or on Mars…  There are lots of links on here to really inspiring women doing great things for great reasons, please check them out and share the power we all have when we focus on what the change. Obama made it cool again, but Ghandi said it first ‘be the change you want to see in the World’… I’m pretty sure Michael Jackson said something similar too…

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s World Environment Day!
It’s World Environment Day!

After a very busy Half Term, this morning everyone was back in their respective learning locations – and I am back in the shed, enjoying planning out the next few weeks for The Frugal Family x

As it’s World Environment Day I thought I’d share this great infographic about how we can all begin to make changes that will have a positive impact on the world around us,

and most importantly for the world we’re leaving our children and grandchildren.


Quick Update…

Things are hotting up over here at Frugal HQ – we have decided our family project will grow into a something far longer, and get bigger than just our little unit.

WATCH THIS SPACE! We are working on a new website and lots of exciting things for 2017.

the-frugal-family

Thursday Thought 46

Following on the recycled theme, and seamlessly matching it to the Christmas theme, I came across these beautiful recycled coffee sack Christmas stockings from Fern Cottage Crafts.

edmenaBuying gifts that have a recycled element can be done in all sorts of ways. There are lots of homemade ideas for gifts from children, or you may have a piece of jewellery from a relative that would make a great heirloom piece for another family member. Christmas shouldn’t be about the money we spend, but the thought we put in.

We’ve tried a few ways to extend Christmas spirit for more than just one day of present frenzied chaos and eating ourselves into a stupor. We like to wrap all our Christmas books and DVD’s and have them as treats all through December (re-using last years wrapping paper of course, if you wrap them before they go back in the loft with all the odds and bits you have left, or saved from the big day it’s a doddle!). We also like to make Christmas Eve a special day… take a look at Jam Jar Craft Studio for some great recycled paper ideas. Just a thought 😉