The 100 day challenge: Mission complete!

Well folks – I did it! One hundred days of doing at least one thing a day from the challenge a day list. Yesterday I made some meals for the freezer (Planning) and today I went to band practice (Doing things for free) so I’m officially done! A lot of the things over the 100 days have been done repeatedly (like going to the library and making contributions to my saving fund) while others were one off things (like cancelling my contact lenses). I’ve got a few more plans up my sleeve but, for now, here’s the low-down on what I managed to do in my 100 days of shoestringing:

Doing things for free/very thriftily:

  • Lots and lots of walks
  • Picnic
  • BBQs
  • Band practice
  • Two nights out in return for gigs
  • Playing the bass
  • Taking photographs
  • Blogging
  • Many visits to the library
  • Using recipe books from the library to come up with new meal ideas
  • Signing up for a free internet course
  • Cross-stitch


  • Rooms completed: Main bedroom, under stair cupboard, living room, bathroom and kitchen
  • Taking countless bags to the chairty shop
  • Giving lots of clothes and beauty products to friends
  • Throwing out DVD cases and putting discs in a zip-up wallet thing to save space
  • Clearing out all of my old nail varnishes and make-up I’m never going to use
  • Clearing out and cleaning my car
  • Re-homing an unwanted TV

Home Improvements:

  • Making a complete plan of work to be carried out & a budget
  • Replacing three windows
  • Painting main bedroom
  • Painting one wall in Living Room
  • Having TV put on wall to gain space
  • Replacing aerial lead

Financial management:

  • Saving
  • Planning my spending – when, where and on what
  • Looking into pensions
  • Adjusting the way I spend (converting to cash and then back to my debit card) to prevent complacency
  • Regularly checking my online banking
  • Keeping on top of my household paperwork and filing it regularly
  • Updating my energy provider with our gas and electric meter readings so we don’t run up a big bill

Nifty thrifty:

  • Getting a better deal on my mobile top-up package
  • Cancelling my monthly contact lense package
  • Getting my mobile top-up at Boots to collect points on my advantage card
  • Free stuff: Shampoo, conditioner and nail varnish donated by Mum and a new top given to me by a colleague
  • Signing up to a website that gives away free samples of everything from shampoo to tea bags
  • Buying lots of gifts for my gift box (for both birthdays and Christmas)
  • Finding out about what food is in season (it is cheaper!)
  • Using No 7 vouchers to get my toner for £2 (instead of £7) and eye make-up remover for £1.30 (usually £6.30)
  • Switching to Vodafone Freedom pack and getting much, much more for my money

Making use of what I already have:

  • Using a cross stitch set I had for years and making a present for Gran out of it
  • Collecting together books about my job to give me new ideas and a bit of motivation
  • Re-using scrapbook for collecting home improvement/decoration ideas
  • Putting some of my unread books on to a shelf so I finally get around to reading them
  • Using the buttons from an old cardigan to update an unworn jacket
  • Polishing up all of my shoes and boots (and finding an old comfy pair that just needed a clean!)
  • Finally using a bag I bought years ago – it is literally as good as new
  • Collecting together all of my notepads and realising I don’t need to buy anymore for about 30 years
  • Creating a ‘Home Spa’ kit out of my nicest bathroom products
  • Taking an unused make-up bag and putting together a manicure kit out of things I already had
  • Collecting party poppers, candles, fairy lights and pretty napkins together to create a party pack
  • Sewn beads back on a top (that I never wore because the beads were missing)
  • Mending two strings of beads


  • Making more frozen meals than I could keep track of!
  • Buying reduced food items and freezing them
  • Making a weekly meal plan so I only bought what was necessary
  • Creating an exercise plan that won’t cost me anything
  • Creating a diet plan that won’t cost me anymore than my regular food shop
  • Reorganising my time so I could get most of my housework out of the way quicker

Shoestring Holidays:

  • Finding Husband and I a deal on a holiday abroad for less than £250 each
  • Hiring a car for 3 days instead of a week
  • Researching in advance our own free or cheap excursions rather than paying someone else to take us places
  • Making breakfasts and lunches at the apartment and only going out for a meal in the evening
  • Reading, swimming and walking
  • Using price comparison site to get the cheapest deal on holiday insurance
  • Borrowing a guide book from the library rather than buying one
  • Borrowing holiday reading from the library and friends rather than buying new books
  • Getting our currency changed at the Post Office for free
  • Booking a very cheap UK holiday for later in the year

Considered spending:

  • I’ve bought a few books almost all of them have been second hand from either charity shops or Amazon
  • Clothes: summer dress £12.99, 2 vests on offer at £9 for two and a necklace £4 in sale – Total spent £25.99

And that’s it!

Categories: Decluttering, Frugal ideas, Goals | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “The 100 day challenge: Mission complete!

  1. hollyjune

    Well done!! I’ve really enjoyed following your 100 days journey and I’m so glad you extended it from 30. You must be really please looking back and seeing how much you’ve achieved and hopefully the 100 days is long enough to form some good habits.

    Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  2. apieceofwood

    Well done – you have done so well!

    So what is next?

  3. Amazingly well done, you’ve achieved a heck of a lot in 100 days

  4. brilliant. well done. and you kept going for 100 days. that’s amazing

  5. You are so inspiring. I would love to attempt a similar project but I don’t think I am quite there yet, organizationally but I am going to work on it.

    Well Done!!!

  6. shoestringalley

    Thank you so much for all of the lovely comments, both here and along the way!

  7. whatshappeningatmyhouse

    Well done, you’ve done brilliantly. I bet you were really proud of yourself when you realised how much you’d achieved. Have really enjoyed reading your 100 days challenge.

  8. Well done! You’re such an inspiration! Do you still know the name of the website that gives away free samples?

    Many thanks and good luck for the future goals!


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