Frugal living

Since this post, “Minimal Living and Frugal Living,” I have not said much more in a post about frugal living. But I have been reading up on it and, following a few blogs and I see I do some of the things already, but there are other things I would like to do too.

So what do I do already?

I don’t waste food. I always use what is in my cupboard, fridge and freezer, before buying anything else. As well as reducing waste, or not being wasteful, it helps for me to save money. I also write a shopping list, so I remember what I need.

I reuse plastic drinking bottles – I have in the past, reused plastic milk bottles for growing and I have turned one into a watering can before.
The smaller pop bottles, I try not to buy, but if I do, I reuse to fill it up with water again, when out and about. The larger bottles of dilute pop, I have kept one or two back before, for refilling with water on a summer’s day and putting them back in the fridge.
One made an excellent cooler bottle for Miley, which had frozen water inside and I wrapped this in a towel, so she had a choice to lie next to it in the night, on a hot summers day.

I recycle my electronics – If there is something I no longer need, which is very rare when it comes to electronic items, I try to sell on personally, take to a shop who will buy it for cash, or I give away to  a charity shop, who can sell it themselves.

I save glass jars – I save my glass jars, but this year, I have saved more than normal. They come in handy for my overnight oats, but I am now saving everyone so far I have had, because I am thinking in advance for when my plastic Tupperware containers wear out, I can use these instead.

I reuse my glass candle jars – When I have used up my candle, I remove the remaining wax and wash them out, to use for other purposes in the home, or as candle holders. I have one to store my nail clippers in, nail file, a pen and my lip balm. This is in my bedroom and you can easily see what is inside. You also store drawing pins, paper clips or cotton buds in them. Some suggest using them to store food, tea, coffee, etc.. in the ones that have lids. I would not recommend this.

I recycle my biscuit/cracker containers – Those mixed crackers you find in plastic storage boxes at Christmas time and same with the biscuits, I have saved and reused again for the same purpose. I also have one as a sewing box, that I have been using for many years now.

Ice cream containers – These come in handy for picnics on a day out and it saves buying a plastic food container. I have also used them for other things.

Empty toilet rolls – Some  toilet rolls I saved and created toys out of them for Miley.
New for this year, I have started saving some for when it comes to rolling my fabric twine on them. I have also learnt that they come in handy for winding your cords for your electrical items, like phone chargers for example and you can label the tube, so you know what it is for.

Empty cardboard boxes – I save my shoe boxes and other size boxes, as I find they come in handy again.
Depending on the size of box, the use varied, but they have ranged from using them as a parcel again, to send stuff in the mail, to hiding and sleeping places when I had Miley
I am also saving larger boxes for when I one day move.

I reuse shopping bags – I reuse my plastic shopping bags. I always make sure I have a bag on me, for the unexpected shop, as to not waste money by paying for another bag. When these are worn out, it will be my cotton bags from then on.

Wear it out, before I replace – Whether that be clothing, or an electrical item, I wear it out, before I replace it. When time comes to replacing, I will ask myself first, do I really need it, before deciding whether to buy it, or not.

I reuse my A4 ring binders and punched pockets – When there is a course I have finished, that I have not referred back to for a few years and I need a ring binder, I will reuse one and keep the old course work in a bag until I definitely know I won’t need it. When the time comes to get rid of the course work, I will take them out of the punched pockets and save the punch pockets to reuse again.

What I would like to do

Food bags – I have cut down on using food bags hell of a lot, but on rare occasions, I still use them. So I would like to cut this out completely and from now on, just place my sandwiches directly in my Tupperware container. Yes, I use plastic Tupperware, but I don’t buy these unless I really need them. You won’t find me with a stack of these, as I reuse other packaging for storing my food in. (See above.)

Make my socks last that little bit longer – Sew the whole in my sock, rather than be lazy and throw away.

Make my own cleaner for the oven – My cleaning mainly consists of plain water and a microfibre cloth when it comes to damp dusting, or cleaning my windows. I don’t use anything else. But I have bought a product before, to clean my oven. The other chemicals I have in my home, are washing up liquid, washing powder, toilet cleaner, Flash cleaner for the sink and, bath and bleach for down the drains.
This year, I plan to make my own and give it a go. I have heard very good reviews when it comes to only using baking soda and vinegar for cleaning the oven. So I am going to try this and if happy, I will ditch the chemical oven cleaner. Baking soda can also clean other things and a couple drops of Tea Tree on a damp cloth is a good antibacterial for work tops. Although baking soda, (or bicarbonate of soda as we call it in the UK) can clean a sink I have read, I am not ready to give up my cleaner yet, but I may try it out of curiosity. It can also be put in the toilet as well to clean around with a toilet brush. (I may try this.)

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© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

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