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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

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