Tag Archives: Shopping

Frugal January

17 Jan

We are having a frugal January, which means cranking up our simple living and spending as little as possible.

This isn’t the same as the buy nothing challenge we did last year because I found that incredibly difficult – as soon as I’m told I can’t have something I just want to rebel and buy lots. It just makes things difficult if you are invited out by friends but you feel guilty the whole time you’re there because you’re spending money.


So instead we are just spending as little as possible, and we’ve done really well so far – even having spent a hideous amount on new glasses we are still well inside our budget for this month.


We’re taking little steps to help us along the way. For example we’re eating veggie this week because we want to buy a joint of meat for a dinner party we’re having on Sunday. On Wednesday we ate before we went out to meet some friends in a (casual) restaurant and just shared a cheap starter when we were there, and we’re staying at home or playing games with friends instead of paying to go to the cinema.


oixvcala3u0ccafo4b4mcacbit7acamhvsyaca661hvfcat9uobqca81yco0caki4mqbcal53kg8cai3bulacacmw4aqcae4shafca3vfh2vca13bhu2cauu2d4hcak6eue4caf1muc5caa2sfljcav95vtd1The key for me to not buy things is just not go near shops. I don’t have a particularly materialistic attitude and don’t covet things unless I actually see them! Having said that, even when in a stationary store yesterday I managed not to buy the amazingly beautiful pink suede organiser/ diary.

I saw, I coveted and I conquered!


Reducing Waste – Net Bags

10 Jan


Rhonda over at Down to Earth recently blogged about reducing throw away waste and it motivated me to continue trying to reduce the stuff that we regularly dispose of.

I was especially inspired by the net bags she has made for holding vegetables, fruit and nuts in shops instead of using the clear plastic, or paper bags.

We generally get recyclable paper bags when we go shopping, but reusable ones are even better!

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2009 Resolutions

4 Jan


This time last year I was blogging about my resolutions for 2008. We were still fairly new to the idea of simple living then and my resolutions reflected that. There were big changes to be made and as a result, our eagerness made some of our resolutions a bit naïve.

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Buy Nothing Challenge Confessional 3

23 May

I have so much to do at work and yet I am still procrastinating on here. Why have I no motivation?!


Not much to report this week we have been pretty good. Bought a share in a pizza with the girls the other night which, I guess is technically a luxury but I needed to eat so I’m just going to ignore that one!


A quick update on the whole breakdown cover dilemma I had on Tuesday. I got it all sorted, and found that sounding annoyed on the phone actually works! Normally I fall for all the gimmicks that companies throw at me, and I’m rubbish at searching around for prices, just because I would much rather be doing something else. But on Tuesday when the lady at the AA gave me a quote much higher than the one I got from the internet I put on my best incredulous voice and said “You’d better cancel my AA account then please”. Needless to say I got put through to a very nice man who ‘cared about my AA membership’ and as I am such a ‘valued member’ they will be happy to give me my breakdown cover at a reduced rate. I think I should complain more often!


RIGHT…I must go and do some work.

Buy Nothing Challenge Confessional 2

15 May

I don’t think that we are taking this challenge seriously enough.

I confess that there have been a couple of covert missions to the corner shop to buy chocolate, pre made sandwiches, tonic and other ‘luxury’ goodies this week. I know, I know, I’m ashamed…after all I said last week about being good.

We’ve been okay everywhere else though and they have only been small purchases but it all adds up. Josh and I have just been chatting about the need to tighten the purse strings so I refuse to give in this week to the temptation of chocolate!


Another worry is that, for some reason my bank has removed my credit card from my online account and won’t let me re-add it, saying that the information is incorrect. I’m more than slightly concerned about this as we have bills that are due to be paid from it! I can’t get down to town until tomorrow lunch time so I’m trying to forget about it for now, and NOT PANIC!!!


Buy Nothing Challenge Confessional 1

8 May

I am a failure at the buy nothing challenge, its official. We were doing so well for the whole of the first week…until yesterday. We went out for a pizza and pudding, AND drinks. Gah! But there we are…It’s a new week and I’m determined to do better.

On the up side we didn’t buy a few items which we normally would have, including a new memory card (ours broke and now we are using one which stores about 14 photos). I also joined Ceredigion Freecycle. I haven’t had time to explore it properly yet, but hopefully it will be useful.

Buy Nothing Challenge

1 May

You may have read earlier in the week that I set myself a challenge to see if it was possible to have 4 minute showers in an attempt to cut water and electricity consumption. Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m too lazy to do it, which is an awful excuse because people’s laziness is the reason the whole world is in environmental chaos. I’m going to work on it though. I’m just far to sleepy in the mornings to move my limbs that fast without stopping and staring into space for the allotted 4 minutes! Don’t say you don’t do it too!


Anyway, Josh and I have agreed to try a new challenge for this month based on Crunchy Chicken’s challenge for April. The car insurance renewal has hit our April budget hard so this new challenge should help us recoup a bit of that money.

The Buy Nothing Challenge does what it says on the tin. Other than food, medication and any other essentials we will buy nothing for the month of May.


This means


  • No new clothes
  • No gadgets
  • No furniture or housewares
  • No salon services
  • No eating out or luxury snacks


If we do have to buy something non edible we must try to borrow it, barter, or buy it used.


Crunchy Chicken also suggested weekly confessionals, so that’s what we’ll be doing too – letting you know if we have been naughty. To be honest we don’t buy many clothes/ gadgets but I think we may fall down on not eating out!


If you’re up for it too (and like us were too late to join in with the April challenge!) then let us know!

Organic Experiments – a review

8 Apr

According to my blog stats I get a fair amount people viewing my blog (particularly the organic experiments post) because they have been referred by search engines after asking questions along the lines of “do organic toiletries work”, “are organic shampoos worth it?” or “no aluminium deodorant”. 

Well, as people are obviously wondering about these things I thought I would give you an update on my organic toiletries as it’s coming up to a year since I first started using them. Here goes…


Organic Hair Care

I use Greenpeople’s Organic Base No Scent shampoo and conditioner. It has a SLS and preservative free formula and contains no parabens or perfumes. I started off using the Aloe Vera shampoo but changed to this type because (a) it was 50p cheaper and (b) I figured fewer additives couldn’t be a bad thing.

I don’t really think that these products leave your hair feeling any better than conventional shampoos in the short term, but I’m almost sure that the build up of residue on your hair is reduced – meaning that in the long run your hair ends up feeling softer and lighter. They certainly don’t have a negative effect, so the fact that you’re not rubbing lots of harmful chemicals onto your scalp and down the plug has to be a huge plus point.

Yes, it is expensive at £8 a bottle, but it also is more concentrated and lasts for a lot longer. I think I have bought 3 new bottles of shampoo in 9 months and I’m still on my first bottle of conditioner (that’s between two people, and I shampoo my hair everyday and condition once a week). I would recommend these products.


Organic Deodrant

I use Ice Guard Crystal Deodrant. It is a mineral stick which you wet and rub on and it works by suppressing the growth of skin bacteria.

I would recommend this to anyone, and already have to most people I know! Although it is not an antiperspirant (so doesn’t stop you sweating) I have not found it a problem at all. I have used it nearly everyday for 8 months and have never felt embarrassed or let down by it. In fact it means that we have to wash our clothes less because there is no stale smell left on our clothes from deodorant at the end of the day.

It is completely natural and doesn’t contain aluminium or other additives known to be linked with Alzheimer’s and breast cancer.


We also use…

Greenpeople’s Organic Toothpaste and Olivia Soap


The main thing I have found is that all the products that the ‘industry’ sells as necessary really aren’t. Perhaps that’s just me being slow and most people know it already but I used to spend so much on junk to make my skin amazing and my hair shiny and now I only use these few products and if anything, my skin and hair are in better condition! Funny that, considering I’m not smothering them in chemicals anymore…hmm…


Anyway, if you are interested in living a more ethical/organic lifestyle but are not too keen on trawling your way through scientific based books I would recommend ‘A life stripped bare’ by Leo Hickman. It’s an entertaining but informative read on pretty much everything you need to start off living a greener life.