Is frugal still fashionable?

Hello all! I’m back a bit sooner than planned – the plan having been to get a bit organised, take some decent photos, spend a bit more time on posts rather than just rambling on but then life doesn’t always go quite to plan, does it?

Nothing drastic has happened. I’ve just spent a bit of time doing some sums, scaring myself a bit and trying to come up with a plan. I’m generally quite succesful at not doing the whole ‘regrets’ thing but I can’t help being a bit annoyed at all of the money I’ve wasted over the years. So I’m just going to get it off my chest once and for all: Oh My God. What was I thinking? I used to earn enough to put back in a few weeks what it will now take me months and months of careful budgeting to achieve. FOOL. There. I feel better now I’ve said it. Line drawn, ’nuff said. I’ve mended my ways and am now just going to get on with it (and not dwell on the past because that would be even more stupid)!

My reaction to facing a few financial realities might seem unorthodox – I’ve been shopping. Yup, in the last two days I’ve spent £80 on food. I appreciate this might be what some people spend on the average week but on Shoestring Alley it is a lot. What this means is that I am all nice and stocked up. We have a four drawer freezer which is rammed with food – I literally can’t get anything else in there. We have salmon, lamb, pork, chicken and beef in various forms as well as peas and pastry (yup, the pre-rolled stuff. I’m a new Mum and there’s no time for making pastry from scratch at the moment). The (admittedly small) cupboards are groaning under the strain of dried and tinned stuff (chopped tomatoes, lentils, tea bags and so on) and the fridge is full.

I’ve written a list of everything (and I mean everything) we’ve got in the kitchen. Old packets of this and that are on the list with all of the new stuff so I know exactly what I’ve got – and what I need to use up so it doesn’t go to waste. My plan is not to do anymore ‘big’ weekly shops until it is all gone. I should be able to just pick up fruit, veg, milk and yoghurt as I go along. I’m actually kind of curious as to how long it will last. I’ll report back.

By the way, is it just me or is frugal not quite as fashionable as it was this time last year? A year ago you couldn’t switch on the TV or the radio without hearing about the economy, redundancies, debts, repossessions…while it all got a bit depressing it also seemed like everyone was really focused on growing your own, make do and mend, cutting back and setting budgets. Have we got used to the way things are, have things got better or did it get dull? I’m not sure. I know I’ve struggled to keep focused on it in recent months. Maybe because so many of the things that were novel to me on the lead up to starting this blog (like saving money, not buying clothes etc so often, getting rid of stuff I didn’t use) have all become more like second nature and, thus, are not quite so interesting anymore. Whatever it is, I’m going to attempt to get a bit of that enthusiasm back. Through reading some of the really brilliant blogs out there and keeping up with this little one of my own, I really feel like I’ve learned things that are going to put me in good stead for the financial future – whatever it might hold. So, fashionable or not, I’m carrying on!

Categories: Frugal food, Frugal ideas | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Is frugal still fashionable?

  1. I totally think frugal is still fashionable.. maybe people aren’t so vocal about saving money, but I think once you get into that funk, it’s you and will always be you.

    • shoestringalley

      I think you’re right – it definitely becomes a mindset after a while…

  2. Welcome back!

    I’m the same!! When I think about how much I used to spend on nights out and clothes etc it makes me so mad with myself!! I have nothing to show for any of it, that’s the worst thing.

    I don’t think frugality has gone out of fashion, I just think there’s very little else to say about it via the mainstream media. Most people I think are practising it, just not talking about it, maybe it’s too depressing for most.


    • shoestringalley

      Yup, I think a lot of people have gone past the planning/changing phase and are now just getting on with it. Saw a great link at MTP which got me thinking…will probably be posting on it soon! x

  3. thefrenchchick

    The media here in the US reported at the end of Sept 2010 that the recession officially ended in June 2009. Nice of them to let the rest of us know (sniggers). It’s still double digit unemployment here, so I personally agree that frugality is old hat now and nothing old hat keeps the media types interested so they’ve quit reporting about it.

    btw, loved the line about being a new mum and not having time to make pastry from scratch 🙂 I’m an old (experienced, seasoned) mum and I still buy the prerolled pastry. Someday I may get back to scratch pastry, like when I’m an empty nester.

    • shoestringalley

      Thank goodness – it’s all over then!!

      Re. pastry: I used to make my own shortcrust pastry but I’ve never made puff pastry myself. I actually haven’t made anything with pastry for an age. I’m thinking warming, winter pies…

      • thefrenchchick

        Yes, no more recession. Amazing how that info got released in time for the mid term elections this year, lol.

        And of course now I’m thinking of warming winter pies. Yum! I’m going to have to post my recipe for chicken pot pie soon and have pictures to go with it, purely for the benefit of blog readers of course. Having to eat a nice, warming pie will be the price I’ll pay. Next week, this weekend is unfortunately busy.

  4. I agree with your comment that people are just getting on with it now and it’s become a way of life, not a fashionable thing to do.

    Good to see you back x

    • shoestringalley

      Thanks for the comment Laura (and the Link Love – a bit of which might well be coming your way soon!).


  5. Pingback: Link Love {Socks Are Back Edition} | Move to Portugal

  6. oh hello there missus not so new mum! welcome back! The whole challenge of budgettingness does start to feel like normal. I am now starting to fret about what will happen if my clothes actually wear out! Things are super frugal over in my camp at the moment. I am currently still surviving on a big shop 3 weeks in. WE still seem to spend £30 a week on fruit n veg and bread and milk. not quite sure how. maybe we eat a shed load of fruit veg and milk and bread!

    • shoestringalley

      Super frugal is the order of the day I think! Well done for tackling the food budget. I probably spend a similar amount on fruit, veg and milk. You’ve got to have the good stuff!

  7. Welcome back! Unfortunately I think the media wants to play down frugality at the moment to push Christmas shopping to aid the economy before the VAT goes up and things really get grim.

    Well done on the big shop and more importantly the inventory which is the boring bit – logging it all in. I do the same, it makes it easier to menu plan and make sure you eat things before they go off.

    Looking forward to hearing more from you. Vxx

    • shoestringalley

      Ah, good point re. the media/government. It’s a shame there aren’t more things on the television about living on less. About a year or two there were one or two really good ‘one off’ programmes and then nothing.

      Yup, I think the inventory has been a good thing and something I should probably do more often. It doesn’t matter how often I look in the cupboards – seeing things written down on a list has been much more effective at reminding me what I’ve got.

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