Five tips for a thriftier life

Nearly a month in and I am adjusting to London life nicely. It’s an expensive place to be so it’s important to make my money stretch. Here are 5 tips that are helping me to live frugally, maybe they’ll be of some use to you as well. Some are my own, some are from my mother and others I’ve picked up from fellow bloggers and the TV.

1) Invest in some eco balls

eco balls

Embrace some out of this world savings with these cosmic shaped balls! I first heard about these when I worked for a conservation charity and was intrigued (if a little sceptical) about this seemingly cheap way to clean my clothes while lessening the impact on the environment. I am impressed! All you need to do is pop all 3 balls on top of your laundry in the washing machine and set the temperature to 30ยฐ, no further detergent necessary. You can’t use them with fabric softener so if you want to put that in you need to take the eco balls out once your main cycle is done. I don’t bother with it and my clothes are still soft.

The detergent is contained inside the spheres in the shape of little balls. It’s gentle but effective on stains but there’s an extra cream you can use on stubborn stains. The balls are totally eco friendly meaning that the impact on the environment is minimal. And the best bit? Your eco balls ought to last you for…wait for it…up to 1,000 washes! AND each box contains free refills! You can buy them online for under ยฃ25 and I really can’t recommend them highly enough. I haven’t used them on delicate fabrics like silk or wool but for everything else they should be grand.

2) Make your windows and mirrors sparkle with white vinegar

magic vinegar

Not only does vinegar taste amazing on your chips it’s just the ticket for cleaning glass. All you need to do is pour a little in a bowl – say 1 tbsp – with hot water. Just dip a cloth in the mixture and wipe it across your glass surfaces. Then simply scrumple up a piece of newspaper – a reason to hold on to your free copy of the Metro at the train station – and polish dry. No streaks and it’s a fraction of the cost of cleaning sprays with much better results.


3) Freeze your herbs

Photo credit: katefreemannutrition.com.au

Photo credit: katefreemannutrition.com.au

Fresh herbs can be costly, especially if you are only buying for yourself and can’t use them all up before they start to go off. Just wash and chop your herbs and put them in a freezer bag and use as and when you like. I think herbs and spices can totally turn dull dishes around. You can throw them straight into bakes and sauces frozen and they’ll cook quickly and your meals will taste great.

4) Meet Jack

Photo credit: The Guardian

Photo credit: The Guardian

Jack Monroe is the woman of the moment when it comes to money saving recipes for the tightest of budgets that don’t scrimp on flavour. Her blog even gives you the exact cost per portion of every meal she makes.

5) Bicarbonate of Soda’s for more than just baking

bicarb

It’s also great for cleaning your shower head and costs pennies compared to the normal super-strength grime removal sprays. Just add a generous sprinkle or a tbsp or 2 to a bowl and pour in some boiling water. Then just rest your unscrewed shower head in the bowl and leave for about 15 minutes. Using a washing up brush give the shower head a gentle scrub and watch the dirt fall away before your eyes. Give it a rinse and you’re good to go!

Have you any thrifty tips to share? Feel free to post them here, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to save!xx

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