Frugal resolutions

The New Year has well and truly dawned (so far I’ve spent most of it either snowed in in Ireland or knocking back Imodium, so I need to improve on my 2008!) and so traditionally it’s time to make resolutions. Generally I make the same old boring ones each year – get fit, lose weight, give up chocolate etc. – and soon break them. Although a couple of years ago I resolved to a) stop worrying about my weight and b) stop making resolutions, and that worked quite well…at least for b)!

But I’m hoping this year will be different as my resolutions will be centred around saving as much money as possible – so there’s a strong incentive!

These are the ones I’ve come up with so far….:

Stop buying things I don’t need.This could be extra food items I fancy when I’m wandering about the supermarket, but that end up forgotten about in the back of fridge and go off. A terrible waste. But it may also be random items I pick up in a shop but will never use. I’ve developed a habit of buying cheap wool whenever I see it, but it just sits in a bag with all the other balls of wool I own. It might only cost a couple of quid but it’s still money down the drain. Shopping is NO LONGER some kind of hobby – as it was when I had more disposable income – but born of necessity, ie. only for food and for when my clothes truly give up the ghost.

Stop using the tumble dryer to dry my clothes because I’m too lazy to hang them outside.This uses up a lot of energy and costs money, not to mention the impact on the environment. And DJ is always complaining about his shirts getting all crumpled anyway (I tell him to do his OWN washing if he doesn’t like what he ends up with! Ah…Germaine Greer, did I learn nothing from you…?!)


Take my books back to the library on time. I am really bad about this and often end up paying fines. Sometimes it works out cheaper to buy charity shop books instead rather than go to the library!

Learn to cook good Indian and Chinese foodso I’m not tempted to get takeaway/eat out except on special occasions. This is a real Achilles heel of mine…

Learn to make my own cleaning products and toiletries– I think this could be a really good way of saving cash and it should be a lot of fun too.

Possibly learn to make my own clothes – I’ve come across a few courses for doing this so might investigate them further. Just depends whether it really works out cheaper in the end when you have to buy your own material etc. Does anybody out there make their own clothes? What’s your experience?  And any other suggestions for New Year resolutions?

Just one thing about my trip to Ireland I forgot to tell you. Remember my attempts to cut my hair? Well, my dear mother was so horrified she booked us both hair appointments before I arrived in Ireland. My heart sank. How much was it going to cost me? Luckily when it comes to hairdressing my mother is actually fairly frugal. She insisted that I didn’t pay to get my hair washed there, and so a quick trim only cost me £6! A bargain! At least my hair is the same length now both sides of my head…

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8 Responses to Frugal resolutions

  1. Tattyhousehastings says:

    Ha, I\’m also planning to try and make things with sewing machine this year, so we can egg each other on. I keep seeing really really lovely fabric in the local fabric shop, and have visions of daughter in gorgeous home made dresses. Seem to remember my mum made loads for me, and skirts for her. Patterns look a bit tricky though don\’t they?

  2. piper says:

    Happy New Year Beverley!  That sounds great.  I\’m a bit hopeless with patterns though and have cocked up a baby cardigan I\’ve been knitting and need to unravel the sleeves….xxx

  3. Abigail says:

    Hi there, Just stumbled on our blog and couldn\’t resist leaving a comment. I think everyone should learn to make their own clothes. It takes a little while to get the hang of it, but you do end up with a very useful hobby and creative outlet as well as a source of super clobber! It also makes me think twice about adding to my wardrobe as I know it\’ll take an evening or so to make, so I have to REALLY want it. I taught myself when I was a skint student and, today I make about 60% of my own clothes. It can be cheaper, particularly if you want something special, corderuoy (I can\’t spell that!) trousers can be made for about £7. It has now got to the stage where it\’s quicker to make my own trousers rather than spend the day trawling round the shops only to find nothing that fits.I started with simple stuff, like a slip dress or drawstring trousers. Once you\’ve got the hang of that, progress to harder things like princess seams or sleeved things. Don\’t forget that, if you can sew , you can also sew your own curtains, cushion covers and duvet sets. Saves a mint! Good luck!

  4. Gill says:

    When I was a young mother of two daughters, (many years ago) there was very little choice in the shops and I was not rich so decided to make  their clothes. 
     I am not a natural seamstress so found it difficult and undid more than I actually sewed for quite some time.  Eventually,  a few garments were wearable and the more I sewed, the better I got.  It is important to have an iron and ironing board at hand ALL THE TIME when sewing, to iron each seam before and after it is sewn.  It is important not to skip stages, always TACK first and then try on.  Really important.  Zips are best avoided!!!
    I have not made any clothes for many years but have the "urge" to begin again.
    Buy a very basic simple pattern (skirt is best) and some cheap material and learn with these.  Iron your paper pattern flat before you use it.  Always cut out a size larger than you need.  You will then have more seam allowance to play with. 
    It\’s not rocket science.  Have fun!!

  5. Unknown says:

    Hi – yes it is cheaper to make your own clothes provided that you buy your material from markets or possibly charity shops. If you buy from somewhere like Selfridges or John Lewis and are not yet experienced it can be an expensive mistake. I used to make a lot of my clothes – suits, trousers and so forth and everyone complimented me on them. The only sewing experience I have is from school where it took a term to make a skirt. It really does not take that long.
    Best Regards

  6. piper says:

    Thanks for all the advice on making clothes – feeling quite keen on trying it out now!  Is it worth doing a course or can you pick it up from books?  I tried with crochet but couldn\’t get to grips with it so feel I need a lesson instead.

  7. jan says:

    i ve requested you as afriend before ,i lopve the idea of havind       having my own chickens do you think my neiourbours can object?

  8. piper says:

    Hello Janet – yes I remember you!  Look at your lease/tenant\’s agreement if you rent to see if there are any potential problems. We checked & there was nothing in ours, although we own a former council house.  Do you have a fairly good sized garden so they\’d have a bit of room to roam? Doesn\’t have to be massive. They are pretty quiet, although occasionally make a bit of noise when they\’re laying an egg. Your neighbours would soon come round if you gave them some eggs. Let know if you want any more advice on them. Also, do the neighbours have dogs that could get into the garden?
    Karen – if you\’re reading this, do get in touch re chickens.  I got a message from you but for some reason it wouldn\’t let me reply to you due to your communication preferences.

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