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Why unlocking your frugal potential by having a frugal mindset is so powerful.

Why unlocking your frugal potential by having a frugal mindset is so powerful.

I’m so misunderstood. If only you knew me.

Being frugal is not something you randomly do. It takes a few key frugal rules as part of your frugal mindset that drives this change and consistency towards frugality. This ultimately affects the decisions you make. 

Why is a frugal mindset so important?

frugal living tips

Many people misunderstand the concept of frugality, associating it merely with saving money and the result of a healthy bank balance. This is way off the true concept of frugality. It is so much more than your bank balance and budget but the way you view your situation. Having the right mindset affects the decisions you make and how close you get to reaching your goal.

Why can’t I just live the way I want

Part of the misconception about being frugal is that you are constrained from living the life you want to have.  Frugal habits can on the contrary give you that freedom of thinking so long as you allow yourself to! For example, there are countless options you can consider for the same outcome instead of restricting yourself to the ‘norm’ or best considered.

I don’t know where to start

You can start small and still aim big! Read my 5 Brilliant Mind Blowing Frugal Tips to Try blog to find out more. We are all busy people, so there’s no need to be strictly frugal unless you want to be. That is, with absolutely everything. I’m here to help you be more frugal and take the stress out of it on the way. You can visit my website Three Kids and Heels to read related blogs. The great thing is that you can be as frugal when and as you want. The first thing I would advise, and I have often reminded myself countless times is that:

  1. Do not care what others think of you and your ideas – Only you know the value of what you consume. 
  2. Educate yourself – Don’t overpay for goods or services. Know their true value by doing your research. 
  3. Do it yourself – In some instances definitely consider this option and you could save yourself a small amount to hundreds of pounds. 
  4. Question yourself – Go through the thought process of whether you need or want something, if you could do without, borrow or get it cheaper. 
  5. Treat yourself – Don’t feel guilty about this. You are in charge of your budget not others. 
  6. Be frugal, not hard on yourself. Find the right balance for you that allows you to be frugal AND happy. 
  7. Go generic, not brand specific. Try something new, make a small change. You don’t have to stick to it.

Why I love the Shopmium App

frugal spending

Since I downloaded the shopmium app several months ago, I have been more willing to try out new products. Needless to say, if I don’t drink coffee, I am still not willing to try any brand of coffee! Luckily I like coffee 😉 The other day I came across a new brand of coffee on the shopmium app. It was offering £3 with a £1.50 cashback. I had heard of the brand before so I decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised that it was as good as my normal brand and so when there is an offer in the supermarket, I will be more flexible with regards to the brand of coffee I buy. My point remains that you can save some money if you are not brand specific. 

You only have to go out for a pint of milk and you easily come across the top 10 brands which then have their range of milk from whole milk, whole milk with vitamins and organic whole milk to name a few. The Grocer gives us the lowdown on Who owns the dairy industry. The 10 biggest dairy companies in the UK. Use this frugal living tip whenever you intend to go out shopping and you could make quite a bit of saving over time. 

The real question you have to ask yourself is, does it taste bad, good, better or just different? Not being brand-specific, doesn’t mean you have to consume something that is of less quality. 

Frugal means change

frugal ways to save money

Sometimes it takes a bit of an effort to change over that broadband provider or try out that new coffee brand, however, the motivation should come from the frugal mindset that for a short term inconvenience or effort, in the long run, you will have more happiness. That could mean different things to different people. Money saved more satisfaction, better service, whatever is value for money to you. 

My other half and I have often revisited our energy and broadband, mobile suppliers almost every year since the last few years. According to Which Magazine’s article Switch broadband provider and save up to £143 per year, you could save up to £143 per year by switching your broadband provider alone. I can safely say that we must be saving much more than that each year. There are so many frugal ways to save money.

Hang around with your frugal friends

One thing I’ve noticed since I started my business on Instagram is that there are a whole load of frugal people like me! Sometimes being frugal can feel lonely, a misfit from the crowd so to speak. It can often put you off from being your true self. I would love to connect with like-minded frugal besties, just join me on @threekidsandheels on Instagram. 

Luckily I come from a frugal-minded family however I view my other half a little less frugal than me. He would probably beg to differ! I can say that over the 17 and a bit years I have been married, I have become a little less frugal which I am sure that my dear husband has had a role to play in. He on the other hand has become a little more frugal. You can find out more about me here.

Planning ahead

The truth of the matter is that being frugal doesn’t just happen like that. If anyone says it does then they are not quite telling the truth. Often people give the perception of making things look effortless when in fact things aren’t. We most often make a conscious effort to do things by planning, hence the frugal mindset. For instance, a really basic principle which I often follow and is sabotaged by my 3 kids is that I plan my meal at least a day before. It means we less often grab or order pizzas or go out for a meal. Instead, we opt for a frugal meal at home using fewer and simple ingredients that are not only healthier but cheaper too. Lauren from Loveremodeled has a great article 5 Behaviours to cultivate a frugal mindset. One frugal tip Lauren encourages is cooking at home. 

Planning your meals is a great way to start

meal planning on a budget

Planning your emails is an easy way to start being more frugal. It takes a bit of effort but the benefits are twofold. I’m being more frugal at home through shopping and planning for a meal that week. I take care to include more vegetables as when I find that I want to cook a meal on a spur of the moment, it means I don’t always have the necessary ingredients available. I’m more creative when planning meals than I used to and it proved very useful especially with our addition of small children to the family. You can download my free meal weekly planner here.

Stick to your guns

Another thing I noticed when meal planning is that I stick to the recipe I chose and am not tempted to improvise with naughty alternatives or scrap the recipe altogether for an unhealthier option.  The other day I collected the ingredients for macaroni cheese. Just feast your eyes on this Instagram reel! Yes, our comfort food these winter days. It’s funny when you want to make a recipe that involves only a few ingredients that you always end up running out of milk or not having the flour to thicken the cheese sauce. Even worse, you run out of cheese 😉

You’re not just saving money

This brings me back to my main point again, the association between saving money and frugality. Being frugal and planning can mean big differences to your lifestyle for the better. 

COP26 & Frugality

what does cop26 mean

What’s the connection

The initial climate change agreement was signed in 1995. The 26th conference held in Glasgow gives rise to the name COP26 standing for Conference Of the Parties 26. According to the Economist’s article on climate change, this was a final opportunity for countries to embrace and take action on climate change. 

Ultimately, the connection between the frugality mindset and COP vision is that frugal consumption habits become imperative if we are to meet COP26 targets. The government in my opinion is imposing frugal rules so to speak not only on companies but on individuals too. This is difficult with the strong direction of money and selflessness being the main motivator of actions. 

Does this have sustainability written all over it?

The recent conference highlights that the agreement is not to be underestimated with progress being made in the right direction. Sustainability is an integral part of frugality. The ability to consume, reuse and dispose of, not to mention the allocation of these resources in a way that is beneficial to the environment and human nature spells sustainability and frugality in one sitting. We need to consume less since resources are finite and use effective systems and rules to redistribute them.

Frugality is a necessity

spending on a budget

Of course, the ideal situation is that being frugal is a choice and it’s not something that you feel you are pushed into due to circumstance. I can say from experience that there are certain circumstances where you need to be frugal to live a balanced life to afford a lifestyle that matters to you. Even where frugality becomes less of an informed choice and more of a necessity, it’s the mindset that keeps you focused and able to reach a goal of living life and consuming what is important to you. 

The correct mindset leads to the right action

The frugal mindset has to be put into action. It’s just my personal opinion but the recent protests around COP26 cause more disruption and a waste of resources such as police and security and emergency services. These same services could be allocated to a much greater need than a deliberate movement that although has the right intentions but whose actions do more harm than good. There is so much we can do on a personal level that collectively acts as a mindful large positive impact. 

The frugal mindset is so many things and more

frugal mindset

The frugal mindset is a deep concept and while it is influenced by several factors, we cannot say that it ends there. We could likely agree that the result of a frugal mindset is more happiness as a result of planned thinking. 

This is as opposed to a mindset that is seen by most to be restrictive, burdensome and limited in terms of its options. The frugal mindset is greatly underestimated. It’s not to be confused with a haphazard and disorganised, impulsive thought. Careful planning that some even view as emerging from religious belief, results in positivity and happiness that is in the long term more impactful than any impulsive time and money-saving decision.  

So don’t look at what the Jone’s are doing or what they’ve got. If you have less or are doing things a little bit more frugally, I’ve got your corner. 

Chat soon Besties,

Tiabah x x

Super back to school uniform sale. Missing these terrific tips?

Super back to school uniform sale. Missing these terrific tips?

Back to school uniform

Hey Bestie, it’s that time of year again that some of us dread, especially if this is the first time. There are so many questions when it comes to buying back to school uniforms…But what if it felt like a super back to school uniform sale? Are you missing these terrific tips?

Bought your school uniform yet?

Even if you’ve already bought all your school uniforms, there are plenty of tips and tricks in this blog that you can benefit from, not to mention a checklist to make sure you’re covered. Read on to check that you haven’t missed any terrific tips. 

When buying school uniforms we are sometimes spoilt for choice both online and at the stores, so it can become overwhelming about what to buy, how much money to spend, knowing the new technology of school uniform types, yes technology! I love the PlayPennies website which has a great blog that has a nice little roundup of some stores you can shop at: School Uniform For All Budgets 2020: Best Deals, Vouchers, Reviews and more

Also to consider are different fashions and school uniform requirements. Like how many of each item?

Out of your pyjamas and into your uniform

Due to lockdown, buying school uniforms might hurt your purse a little bit more this year with some feeling it’s more of a challenge. It also means several school essentials will most likely need replacement. So it’s time to get the kids out of the homeschool comfies and back into their school uniforms. People are increasingly buying school uniforms online due to Covid restrictions but now that the shops have opened up again I think it’s always a nice idea to have a look at clothes in a store where possible and feel the quality, look at the bargains so I mix and match when school uniform shopping. I end up checking items online and going to the shops too.

back to school uniform outfits

How much does school uniform cost?

So why is this blog different? The reason being that I don’t have a big long list of shops that you need to buy from. That doesn’t make sense as we all have different needs. Over the years, I have countlessly bought different school uniforms and consider myself a veteran now 🙂 

As a mum of three at home, it certainly brought out the frugal in me. I’m always finding tips and tricks to save time and money. You can find out more about me here!

I’ve whittled down my choice of school uniforms to six in accordance with quality, cost and good value for money. Spending within budget whilst retaining quality is the trick here.

What Frugality is all about?

That’s the whole point of frugality which is to have value for money and things that you care about. For example, not all school shirts are made from 100 per cent cotton. If your child is like my eldest and has sensitive skin like eczema, then buying cotton shirts will be important for you. 

At the same time, if you want to stay within budget or perhaps your kids are messy. Buying several more polo shirts and trousers will certainly help.

The point being whatever matters to you that’s what you need to spend on. You might need to shop around if you’re on a tight budget. There are some money-saving tips online to buy school uniforms so this blog takes all that all into account without listing a humongous list that is likely to leave some overwhelmed.

living frugality tips

Back to school uniform list

When it comes to buying back school uniforms, I find that having a checklist is a way to stay within budget. All schools should have a uniform list that you can access either on their school website so it’s wise to check before buying items. Always keep the receipt so that you can return items. Why not download or even take a snapshot on your phone of my checklist here to check you’re covered. 

back to school uniform list

Know your kids

The second factor to take into account when buying school uniforms is to think about what matters to you. Is it that you need more of the items because your children are messy? 

From experience, I can tell you that younger children get their clothes dirty quicker. That should come as no surprise 🙂 

Perhaps due to Covid, you might want to wash items more regularly or it might simply be that your kids have sensitive skin. 

Other key school uniform features include good quality and durability. 

The price factor also plays a huge part with spending on school uniforms often running into several hundred pounds. All these factors determine what shops you need to go to and what items and how many you need. 

How many uniforms should I get for school?

So how many items should I get for a school is the question It depends on how regularly you will be washing the clothes so if for example you only have one or two sets of shirts, trousers or skirts, you going to be constantly checking whether you have an item for school the next morning so I would probably say that one is on the scarce side of things and that five or six is on the generous side.

I have tried and tested the perfect number and I believe three items of each, especially shirts, work well. This doesn’t include the socks and underwear!

Most stores stock packs of two or three which is useful and is friendlier on the purse. You can also buy multiple packs if you need more. Not frugal enough yet? Let’s move on to Back to school uniform grants…

Back to school uniform grant

Help with buying school uniforms can be a Godsend and often overlooked. It can be tough buying school uniforms especially if you’re buying for more than one child. 

School uniforms can be quite expensive particularly when children go to either secondary school and college. They want to have more fashionable items or you’ll find that schools are more strict and you’re restricted in terms of colour and item type.

I want to talk about frugality and how staying within your budget helps by buying items that matter important to you. The average that you would probably spend on school uniforms would be more than £300. This is from a report by the Children’s Society in 2020. Prices have risen since then and on average, would be spent on state schools are more than £337 with more than £315 for primary schools.

What’s the Education Act got to do with school uniforms?

The Education Act of 1996 provides help to families on a low income with uniform costs so there’s a lot of people that may be missing out on this because they just are not aware of it.  If you think you might be eligible, take a look at your local council website. You could find it will make a difference to you when it comes to buying school uniforms for your child or children.

Technology!

Technology, believe it or not, has advanced and it’s worth knowing your riptape fastenings to your shrinking tights when shopping! You’re going to be bamboozled with a lot of jargon.

back to school uniform outfit ideas

Stain-resistant proof shoes, reinforced knee trousers are just to name a few. Have a look at my infographic below. 

Socks and tights come with extra stretch to avoid that shrinkable factor.  Waterproof labels are my favourite. You can purchase these from Amazon (link here) which is a great buy in my opinion. 

Non creases also known as non-iron shirts are just things to keep in mind when you go shopping.

My eldest was always falling in the playground and she came home with ripped trousers. Thank goodness for reinforced knees! knew that I would need more than just a couple of pairs to keep her going through the term.

Rip tape fastening is another favourite for younger kids, simply being that it makes items easy to open and close. 

Back to school uniform sale

You don’t get many sales on school uniforms which is why I haven’t made a huge long list. 

Here are some simple tips to save money. 

  1. Buy packs of … instead of individual items where possible. 

Best school uniform deals: Where to buy reasonably-priced school uniform for kids is a blog listing uniform deals, great for bargains but just a caveat that offers do change. 

2. Check form voucher codes available on free sites/apps like Honey or Shopmium.

3. Marks and Spencer’s have a back to school sale around June/July with around 20 to 25% off.

4. Keep receipts. Sometimes you may find you notice a better deal at another store later. Or perhaps the items just don’t fit anymore. Kids grow fast over summer 🙂 Keep the receipt and you can always return within the return policy. We would like to avoid having to return items so buying a slightly larger size could be handy. 

back to school uniform sale

Buying second-hand school uniforms

Have you ever thought about buying spare school uniform items or second-hand items? Younger children tend to have stains on their skirts, shirts or pinafores quickly and so it can be really helpful to have a few spare items. These don’t necessarily have to be brand new.

Why Vinted is great!

I’m a real advocate of Vinted. It’s a second-hand clothes app that has just about everything that you can buy at great prices. I’m a bit of a Vinted Queen and will be writing a specific blog on it so watch this space. In the meantime, you might want to find out more about it here. Read the Vinted. About us blog.

Hands in the honey pot might just help!

Another app which I like is Honey and Mumsium. It’s a great way to obtain voucher codes and cashback discounts both online and in-store.  

Where to buy uniform for school – the final round-up

There are so many stores that you can shop at for school uniforms. Matalan, Morrisons, Asda, H&M, Amazon, M&S, John Lewis and the list goes on! BACK TO IT Best back to school deals on uniforms at Argos, Sainsbury’s and Matalan with prices starting at £3 has a great list of cheap and cheerful school uniforms. After reading quite a few blogs like these, I have decided my top items are based on my need to have quality cotton clothing due to skin allergies, durability and value for money. 

I haven’t even started on accessories or stationery 🙂

where to buy uniform for school

My Verdict

I hope you liked all my back to school uniform outfit ideas. There is no reason why you need to buy all of your school uniform items from one store. 

The main thing to think about is to know what matters to your kids and you most and factor in money for value sticking to a budget that suits you. That is essentially thinking more frugally.

Also to be aware of any help such as coupons, cashback, multi-packs to consider second-hand items.

Best of luck on your first day back to school. You might like to hop over to my Be The Back to School Queen blog 

Next time when there’s a back to school uniform sale? No sweat, this Bestie has got your back.

Chat soon, 

Tiabah x x

5 Brilliant mind-blowing living frugal tips to try.

5 Brilliant mind-blowing living frugal tips to try.

5 Brilliant mind-blowing living frugal tips to try.

Hey, Bestie let me share with you my 5 brilliant mind-blowing living frugal tips to try. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to leave a smaller footprint in this world and be happier? Well, here it is, totally possible and I’m going to tell you some tips that you can try out today.

What is Frugal Living?

Let’s first talk about what frugal is in the first place and how it can help you in many areas of your life such as transportation, household expenditure, shopping, clothing, entertainment, health and wellness. Areas of your life that you never thought of. 

Many others agree that living frugally gives a sense of satisfaction such as Latoya from Life and a budget, listing a whopping 162 frugal living tips to try in 2021.  There are definitely loads to choose from. I have decided to whittle down my top 5 tried and tested frugal living tips that I think you should not miss out on. 

Frugality is about de-prioritising to the extent that you focus on what matters. It encompasses simplicity and minimalism in the same brushstroke. It’s more than just a bank balance but an optimisation between cost/time and happiness.

Frugal tips to help you prioritise what matters to you most for a happier life.
Want to save money, time or better still do your bit for the environment? My top 5 living frugality tips are a great way to get started so you can prioritise what makes you happy.

Main reasons for being frugal

The main reasons for frugality are, well you just simply don’t want to spend too much money. You might want to save for your retirement. You don’t have enough money or you are always chasing your tail from payslip to payslip. Something such as just avoiding credit card bills and debt isn’t as easy as it sounds. 

Frugality doesn’t just deal with these things. It’s about simplicity that doesn’t just save money but often time as well. It’s also about a frugal mindset and your outlook of the world.  

Why I became more frugal

Being a busy mum of three I’ve never been an extremely frugal person. Cynthia has a great post called 42 Extreme Frugal Living Tips. if you are looking to jump right in at the deep end. 

I’m fairly inventive and frugality has brought that side out of me. I’m a person who comes up with money time-saving tips in almost any circumstance and the funny thing is it gives me a buzz when I come up with totally new ideas! It does give me a sense of satisfaction and well, my three kids are always impressed, to say the least!

It all started in 2016 when I left my full-time job to look after my first child. So frugality came to me due to circumstance and I want to get rid of the myth that being frugal is cheap because it’s not. I think it brings out the ingenious in you and I’ve never been so creative as when I started practising basic frugal tips and tricks which I’m sharing with you. Now a mum of three at home, you would think I had all the time in the world. Wishful thinking 🙂 I’m always finding tips and tricks to save time and money. You can find out more about me here!

How I became more frugal, my story.
How I became more frugal, having great tried and tested frugal living tips and ideas to share.

Frugal living tips for families – my latest frugal adventure

My latest adventure was growing some organic strawberries. You might have heard of the “Clean 15” and in conjunction with that, the “dirty dozen” and so this was a win for me. 

It took me about 10 minutes to plant the strawberry seeds in a pot. Well, I may have needed some help with that from my husband and two elder children. I have never had green fingers. To cut a long story short, we made a makeshift greenhouse from the frame of an old one and wrapped it up with strong cling film. We separated one pot of strawberries into multiple ones. The result is a greenhouse filled with strawberries. 

If that’s not your jam (excuse the pun), different frugal tips suit different people. 

Top Frugal Living Tip 1. Grow your own

My first top tip is to grow your own. No, I’m not telling you to be a farmer and start growing everything from your cereal to your potatoes and your salads but some things are fantastic to grow. For example, I found that strawberries and herbs are the easiest.

Frugal living tips uk include growing your own food like strawberries!
Frugal living tips uk include growing your own food like strawberries!

Start small and easy – Frugal living tips with a big impact

Starting small and easy not to mention keeping things simple, is my thing. Why not grow some coriander or Mint, herbs that you like to use regularly in your meals.  This is a really good way to get started and you don’t have to spend an awful lot of money or have a large amount of garden space to get started. 

You can be frugal with a tiny windowsill. Just find a small space you call home

My neighbour grows lovely herbs and flowers on her windowsill and they look beautiful. Just on that point I’m so into self-care and eating more organic food where it’s affordable. You can read my blog on organic food and how to eat more of it on a budget.

Top Frugal Living Tip 2. Invest in a capsule wardrobe on a budget 

So these tips I’m sharing with you are ones that I’m trying myself or that I’ve tried before and I strongly believe they work. We’re all busy people and I’m not talking about extreme frugal tips or things that you need to do often or particularly need a large amount of money just to get started. In fact,  with all of these tips, you can pretty much get started the same day or the next and it’s not something that you particularly need to learn. 

Infographic listing my tried and tested top 5 best frugal living tips.
Infographic listing my tried and tested top 5 best frugal living tips.

How Covid has affected frugality

You can be as ingenious and creative as you like and you can also spend more or less and the same with spending time. Frugality is a matter of deprioritising time and money putting things in life lower on your list that just don’t seem to give you that same satisfaction.

Our wardrobe just needs to get smarter!

The lockdown has ended and I know that for myself, I’m looking forward to catching up with friends and family for a coffee and perhaps you’re going to be doing the school run more or going back to work and it means that our wardrobes have to catch up more. Gone are the stylish loungewear and hello to casual smart wear for these occasions.

So much more tempting to just zoom it

It’s going to seem quite an effort just getting dressed up to go out somewhere. Many of us are more anxious when we go out, thinking perhaps we have forgotten things. Its so much easier to FaceTime or have a Zoom call. 

Be frugal and spend less money

A lot of people have been out of work and it means less spending power. The rise of inflation by 2.5% is also a factor as recently mentioned by the BBC. With wages remaining stagnant and the Furlough scheme ending for many people, it means that we have less money to spend as we did before and so we need to be smart with buying or clothing and also ease the stress of actually going out somewhere and adapt to the changing lifestyles since Covid began. 

Frugal living tips with a big impact – The capsule wardrobe on a budget

The idea of having a capsule wardrobe can be pricey but not if you have one on a budget. I have put together a unique Capsule Wardrobe List and Quiz that you can try out now. Depending on your style you can work out what type of person you are. Is your dress sense stylish or casual?  I have put together the top 15 items that you can have in your closet. Coming soon.

Quote about how to live frugal life by investing in a capsule wardrobe on a budget. This will make your wardrobe work harder and smarter.
Quote about how to live frugal life by investing in a capsule wardrobe on a budget. This will make your wardrobe work harder and smarter.

Declutter and making money while you’re at it

Whilst decluttering, you could make money contributing towards new items that you might need in your wardrobe. You can start with as low a budget as possible. For example, two people wear black trousers as part of a staple clothing item in their wardrobe.  You can buy a cheap pair of trousers from Asda to an expensive pair from Next to the extent that you might want to buy second-hand items to make your wardrobe work harder and smarter. I am particularly using the Vinted app and will be writing an exciting blog on this. Read the Vinted. About us blog. 

Top Frugal Living Tip 3.  Shop online more

Online shopping can help you to be more frugal. I always thought that if I made a list, I was less likely to steer off it. Well, that is a start but it’s not the only thing you can do. I had a list but then I tended to make several trips more than what I needed to or ended up taking the car more often. 

Make less frequent trips and use less fuel

Covid has changed the way we shop. I know from myself since the lockdown and the temporary shop closures that I’m a bit of a convert, shopping online more than I used to and I found that not only am I taking less frequent trips by car or to the supermarket and buying more items regularly. 

I now make shopping lists, deciding what I need and it’s filtering through down to meal planning and organising myself for the week. This is becoming increasingly important as one of the effects of Covid is panic buying and overstocking. These little steps have helped me to stockpile less and save more pennies.

Being frugal can save time and money by comparing prices

It’s so much easier to compare prices online than at the supermarket, searching on my phone. I have become more disciplined partly because my last basket has been saved online in my favourites. I can copy over all of my previous shopping items to my current shopping basket and edit it. So items that I know are good value for money are saved in my basket. Prices and products change so just a caveat on that! Being a regular shopper means I’m likely to stay within budget.

Change your supermarket and break the trend!

I have found that changing the supermarket that you shop at can mean that you break the trend and habit of stockpiling, overspending and impulse buying hence again more likely to buy what you need and stay within budget. 

Top Frugal Living Tip 4. Cook more at home

Cooking at home can be healthier and cheaper 

Since the lockdown, I found that when the shops were closed I had to improvise on some ingredients when I was cooking and this led me to be a better and more creative cook. Being able to substitute ingredients for things you don’t have is a skill! 

Cooking more at home is just one of the tips for frugal living.
Cooking more at home is just one of the tips for frugal living.

If it’s not broken, why fix it? Keep those good habits going

Lockdown also meant people were at home more. It meant avoiding grabbing that panini for lunch or the Costa coffee on your way to work. We are spending more time with family and cooking healthy homemade meals from scratch and this is something that I think that we should partially continue if we can or at least have as part of our weekly meals. 

Supermarket bargains and reduced items

You could also take frugality a step further and check with your local butchers or find a time when the supermarkets reduced some items and used that to create a great meal that day. 

My leftover chicken makes a mean taco

Using leftovers from the day before is one of my favourite things. I love using leftover chicken in tacos for lunch the next day. It’s one of my family favourites. 

Making chicken tacos from leftovers is a tasty example of being frugal.
Making chicken tacos from leftovers is an example of tips on frugal living.

Top Frugal Living Tip 5. Be more frugal when washing clothes

I don’t smell, do I?

When it comes to washing clothes we’re more than quick to wear them once and slam those clothes in the washing machine but with certain items like jeans or clothes that you’ve simply worn for a couple of hours,  there’s no reason to just wash these after one wear. Frankly, if it’s not stained, doesn’t smell and you’ve not worn it for a long time then don’t wash it! With that comes a caveat.  Everyone’s frequency of washing their clothes varies and obviously due to covid you’re probably washing clothes more often than you did before. 

Ice ice baby!

Why not wash your clothes at a lower temperature. We are recommended to wash our clothes at a 30-degree cycle. If you want to be extremely frugal then you can watch it on a cold cycle. I find washing on a cold cycle does not get rid of all the stains especially with small kids dirtying their clothes. 

I sometimes use Vanish on those stubborn stains to avoid washing the whole lot on a hotter cycle. 

Get to know your washing machine 

Sometimes we get accustomed to routine or using the same washing cycle options. We sometimes fail to even recognise how modern technology in the home has progressed. Did you know that your machine is most likely a quick wash option? I rarely use the pre-wash / rinse option for example unless clothes are really dirty and have some physical dirt or muck on them. Just shows how messy my kids are 🙂

Infographic explaining frugal living tips with a big impact. Smart laundry habits can make all the difference economically and environmentally.
Infographic explaining frugal living tips with a big impact. Smart laundry habits can make all the difference economically and environmentally.

You are my only sunshine

Fact. The sun helps to get rid of clothes stains. Often in the summer, I tend to hang out my clothes to dry on a makeshift washing line using a simple washing line rope and a couple of nails (courtesy of my other half, thanks!). Take a look at my insta reel. Hope you like my palm 😉

Not all cast in stone

Hanging out some sheets to dry on a makeshift washing line using a simple washing line rope and a couple of nails.

You don’t have to hang your clothes out to dry all year round or every time. Why not alternate according to the weather or if you are short of time. For instance, I hang out my clothes to dry in the garden during summer. In winter, I confess I love using my dryer. 

There are also days when I rush, so dumping wet clothes in the dryer seems to be an easy alternative to hanging them out to dry. The only snag here is that the clothes tend to have more creases, some items shrink, and it seems to be more of a hassle to fold them. Whereas whilst I’m taking dry clothes off the line, I can fold them at the same time. 

Have less & do less

This goes back to my main point about how having a capsule wardrobe means having key top 15 essential clothing items or so, which then drastically reduces the volume of clothes and energy used to wash, dry, fold and iron them not to mention the money you save if you buy on a budget. Win-win!

Quote stating less is more regarding extreme frugal tips.
Quote stating less is more regarding extreme frugal tips.

Living a frugal life

I hope you enjoyed sharing my 5 top living frugal tips. It’s totally okay Bestie if all of these tips are not your cup of tea. Why not set yourself a goal and try out just one of these tips once and see if you like it. 

With Covid leading to a change in our lifestyles, I’ve come up with frugal ways to update your wardrobe, a way to continue with good eating habits not to mention keeping your home frugal friendly. I also realise that most of us want to save time and money and on this basis, I have selected my tried and tested living frugal tips that you should try. 

Chat soon,

Tiabah x x

Simple Steps to Becoming An Organised Mum

Simple Steps to Becoming An Organised Mum

Here’s the thing, I’ve never actually thought of myself as an organised mum. However throughout my life, I have been always been given positive comments like

” I don’t know how you have the energy”, “how do you do it all?” and “you’re so fast”. Doesn’t mean I’m an organised mum right? Um well… it kind of does and that’s where I can help you too.

I also used to believe that I’m not organised because I don’t plan a daily schedule my whole day from hour to hour. The truth is that I still don’t believe you need to do that, have an online system or complicated journal to be an organised mum. You can find out more about me on my home page.

Organised-Mum

Write Everything Down (Not!)

I’m actually going to go against the grain here a bit. Take a step back. So you want to be organised but find that when you come to writing everything down in your fancy journal you just don’t know where and what to write. Especially being a mum, I don’t think people realise that we have a multitude of activities! From tasks like tackling the laundry to attending a meeting with our suppliers for a first book signing!

writing-everything-down

Divide and Rule?

With list writing, your mind is quickly running through a multitude of tasks that you need to action and don’t worry if you forget any. Just add them in!! I find when I’m listing my tasks that there are so many and I just keep adding them. At this initial stage I’m not even thinking about categorising them in terms of health and fitness, home organisation, business, family etc. It’s a really simple and effective method.

Using Your Journal

Here’s a few simple tips when using a journal. It’s something I certainly do when I’m list writing or planning ahead.

I tend not to write on the other side of the page so that I have a section to write a little more detailed notes if I need to. A bound book is better to use for taking notes or writing lists than loose leaf. That might just be me but it means that all details are consolidated into one space and there aren’t pages that are ripped out and all over the place. Please do resist the temptation!!

Don’t be scared to write in your journal. It’s a bit like painting on a new canvas. Take five minutes to think about it and then take the leap and get writing! Why not have a cup of tea, or your favourite brew and settle down in a ‘space’ that you can zone out and really focus.

spring-flower-journal-plain-paper

I have some beautiful handcrafted watercolour journals on my Three Kids and Heels Etsy store. Just hop over to my store and get your planning juices going. One of my favourite journals is the Spring flower design. I love Spring and that’s when I find my energy levels and ideas really springing into action!

spring-flower-journal-face-on

Only once you’ve listed all tasks should you number them in order of importance. Then as you complete them, cross them out or put a tick next to them. It really is that simple. If you would like to categorise your tasks then you could use separate pages or even separate journals. Personally, I like to have everything in one space and then just keep adding to the list as I go along, the next day and so on. It’s much easier than writing a new list and starting all over again. 

Prioritising & Letting Go

No, I’m not talking about ruining your diet here! That’s another thing, for me personally I don’t believe diets work but I will leave that to another blog 🙂

I’m serious here when I say that prioritising is something you absolutely must do. Think about those positive comments I received. I’m obviously not superwoman and can’t possibly get everything done in God given hours. One thing I firmly believe in is prioritising. So, doing tasks in order of importance is key to achieving success in being more organised.

 

To-do-list

Another thing is to let go and actually put some things lower down in your list or better still, get rid of them if they are simply not adding value. A list should never be indefinite. It should be practical and manageable. Try to focus on the goal in sight first and work back to your tasks. Remove or prioritise tasks that do not directly lead to reaching your goal. 

letting-go

Routine is Your Best Friend

Routine really is your best friend. Making a list and completing tasks regularly really does make good habits stick. Imagine you had to care for plants. Watering them on a daily basis helps to nourish them and help them grow strong and tall. Without consistent food, light and water, not to mention pruning, you will either end up with an unruly monster of a plant or a limp poor resemblance of a plant. Writing lists, actioning them regularly, sticking to the plan and reflecting regularly, can really achieve your goals in sight!

Routine-is Your-Best-Friend

Knowing When to Multi Task

There are plenty of ways of cutting down what seems like an exhaustive list and one of them is to multi-task. The trick is to know when you can do this otherwise you end up taking longer! For example, back in my student days, I couldn’t concentrate on my assignment when watching TV. Whereas, I can definitely watch my favourite programme whilst ironing. So find out what tasks can be done together so it works for you. 

The trick is to know when you can do this otherwise you end up taking longer! For example, back in my student days I could never really concentrate on my assignment when listening to music or watching TV. Whereas I can definitely watch my favourite programme whilst ironing. So find out what tasks done together work for you. 

Decluttering and Tidying Up

You might find it surprising that this is one of the steps to becoming more organised. The idea is that when you’re juggling different tasks on an ongoing basis, the less you have to juggle the better. Through decluttering and tidying up, you can reduce clutter that otherwise has to be dealt with. This makes it more of a hassle to-do list. Try taking each room at a time and focusing on certain areas. I have a great Home Organisation Kit that can help you get started straight away. All you have to do is download, print and get started!

home-organization-kit-cover

Simple Is Beautiful

Often the simplest of methods are beautiful, having the greatest impact. I have first-hand experience of a better work life balance through following these steps. I hope you can too. Be prepared to follow routine but still be flexible; to reflect regularly but take action by prioritising and sometimes letting go.

Most of all, be proud of yourself for making small changes and making your life more organised a reality.

Tiabah xx

Be The Back To School Queen

Be The Back To School Queen

Are you prepared for back to school ? Yes, I hear most of you say however there’s much more preparation than just buying school essentials. Be the Back to School Queen by organising yourself and your child for school. There are tips from preparing their mindset to knowing your school allowances and much more. Last but not least, how we can organise ourselves better to minimise stress for both parent and child. Let’s make both your and your child’s first day Back to School a memorable experience.

Back-to-School-Preparation
Back to School Preparation

Preparing Mindset

back to school anxiety 2

This is often overlooked but some kids suffer from back to school anxiety. Due to Covid, this may be more of an issue than previous years . I guess we need to be mindful of the stark contrast from being at home to suddenly being in totally different environment. This is especially true for small children.

Ever started a new job and feel anxious about what your first day will be like and whether you’ll fit into the team? Now imagine how a young child feels! There are many things we can do to combat this. For example, there are ‘meet the new teacher’ days before school breaks out which gives children an opportunity to meet their new teacher and get familiar with their new classroom.

Nurseries also have taster sessions which help mums and kids alike to get an idea about what a particular nursery is like and if their child fits in. Believe it or not but establishing routine also plays an important factor in reducing anxiety. Let’s chat about that next. 

Establishing Routine 

Summer holidays are for relaxing. On the other hand, it’s also an ideal time to prepare your child for school. Depending on your child’s age, they might be at the potty training stage before starting nursery. Older kids may need to to work on certain areas like doing their homework on time. A couple of weeks prior to starting school, set an earlier fixed bedtime routine. Limiting iPad exposure is also important. Tough huh?! I’m feeling your pain mums! Being a Back to School Queen takes a little work!

I have personally been using a Kids Weekly Planner. My eldest daughter loves following as it makes her feel independent . We all know how nine year olds hate being told what to do! Find out more about me and how I stay organised here. You too can be super organised by downloading this for FREE. Just laminate it and you can write on it each week. Saves on the printing! It’s EDITABLE so all you need to do is fill in the main task fields. Then print and GO!

KIds Weekly Planner
KIds Weekly Planner

Buying Essentials

back to school clothes 1

Sorry mums, in this blog I’m not going to tell you where to buy your school bags, shoes and other items. It’s not so much where, but what to buy, what sizes, how many!

This is just me but I tend to write a list of items we need to buy from school clothes to swimming caps. Some of these items need to have the school logo or be certain colours so watch out and read your school uniform list. Other items are just easier and cheaper to buy from the school office.

Especially with Covid, it may not be convenient for everyone to go out school uniform shopping. This year, I have bought quite a few items like school shoes online. You may not want to buy items where you’re unsure of the sizes so sometimes items like stationery or bags are easier. I bought a similar Smiggles bag for my eldest. We love these bags as they are good quality and smell great too!

In terms of the right size, its best to start school shopping after the first few weeks of the summer holidays and expect your child to grow by December! If this is just mind boggling as it can be first time then just buy one of each item. I actually remember calling my sister first time haha. On the other hand, not buying enough shirts for example is just another problem.

You want to have enough just to be able to not have to check every night if they have a clean shirt to wear the next day. With the Covid situation, be sure to ask your school, what changes if any they have made to school uniform.

Budgeting & Allowances

Being a Back to School Queen requires some planning ahead. You’ll be surprised how quickly the school issues their term calendar, most do this before the school term starts. We can’t plan for everything but we know of any upcoming school trips. Working mums may need to book leave from work or anticipate additional childcare costs. Find out if the school organises any free/paid clubs.

School meals is also another factor which we tend to overlook. Its universally free for all KS1 pupils (UK). I only wish I had known that I could be flexible with school meals and packed lunches for KS2 onwards. So in a nutshell, find out about any allowances according to your financial circumstances. 

Packed-Lunches-and-School-Dinners
Packed Lunches v School Dinners

Back to School for Mums

Meal-Prep-and-Lunch-Ideas

The more organised we are, the less we have to deal with on school days! For example, just planning out your meals on a weekly basis and packed lunch options makes life so much easier. Why not freeze some food items such as pies, flapjacks which freeze really well. Get imaginative and join in the kids. They will love both the baking AND the eating part!

I also tend to organise things like a few outfits that I can just whip out in the morning for the school run.  If it’s a new school or nursery you need to travel to by car/bus, just check it out in advance so you know how long it takes at rush hour and/or if there are parking spaces nearby. 

Don’t forget mum, YOU need breakfast too! So organise some quick and healthy brekkie options for those school runs and give yourself those extra ten minutes to avoid gulping it down! 

Wishing all mums and our little ones a great start to the new term.

With all this information, you are a Back to School Queen. You Rock!!

Tiabah x x