Wednesday 28 February 2024

Frugal February?

February has seemed like a very long month this year - I think because of the weather, the floods stopping outings and the general dullness - and there is still a day left. Surely March will have sunshine?

Frugal February? No, not with a heating oil delivery. Anyway................

Income from two pensions and savings interest, no extra from anywhere this month but no Council Tax to pay. I checked some more  books on Ziffit - but they didn't want them so they'll go to charity shop.

The usual expenses are Direct Debits for broadband and phones and charity. The wet weather and flooding meant I didn't go out very much so only one fill up of diesel for the car. I was expecting the half year water bill which was OK and the half year sewer bill which is always more than the water bill. Both are less than they were when I moved in because of getting a water meter.
I ordered 750 litres of heating oil but they only fitted in 730L which came to £544 - £100 less than the same time last year, should last right through until winter.  The bill came for the last boiler repair and I spent £13 on wild bird feed. Not forgetting the one-off spend for the professional oven clean.

The two nearest grandchildren's sand pit had disintegrated so I bought them a new one for their birthdays (one February and one April) and I found charity shop games to add to the shelves here.

We get used to amazon being the cheapest place to buy things but they aren't always, as I found when going to buy washing soda crystals for the washing machine. The cheapest on amazon when I looked were 3 bags x 1kg for £7.99 but I got a bag from the discount shop in Diss for £1.99. (I can remember when they were just £1 from Wilkinsons).

Personal spending was for the Keep Moving Group, flowers, photo corner stickers for my scrapbooks, a new letter writing pad, the Radio Times subscription, coffee and cheese scone out a few   or make that several times! 

Other spending was mainly small bits needed in bathroom, kitchen etc.

Frugal things

  • Mended tiny holes in two pairs old leggings
  • Mixing milk half and half with water 
  • Trying to pick good weather to do the washing and finishing it on the radiators - tumble dryer not used at all
  • Only using dishwasher every other day.
  • Home made bread, biscuits and cake
  • Eating lots of my own ready made meals from the freezer
  • Finding games for grandchildren at charity shop
  • Reading library books all month
  • Closing curtains as soon as it's dark to keep heat in

The coffee machine is saving me money as I'm buying coffee grounds and no longer buying coffee sachets. The cappuccino button on the machine does use rather more milk so I had a search round the charity shops and came home with this for £4. Another way to use the ground coffee.

 I realise I'm about 100 years behind everyone else in moving away from instant coffee - dragged into the 21st century (or maybe even the 20th) of coffee making at last! Nice to have a variety of ways for making coffee.

After their unexpected drive into a flood, Son is still waiting to hear if their car is written off - it's a 2008 reg so probably will be but until they know, there is no courtesy car, so my car is staying the night with them so DiL can get the grandchildren and herself to preschool, school and work and back again. I can use it between 9 and 3 if I walk to the school to fetch it! Luckily Son has use of a work van at the moment - his work place is the opposite direction from the schools.

Two bags of 'stuff' have gone out of the house to charity shop this month. Including some roll neck long sleeved tops that were last worn under jumpers for working outside at the smallholding - so it's about time they went. I've also cleared out some books, some Christmas bits that won't be used again and a few other odds and ends. I'm filling another bag to go out next month.

Back Tomorrow for Leap Year Day


  1. Not a bad month overall! I like that you include a few treats in the spending month. My month has been a hit and miss. I really need to buckle down once I get home. You did do some good frugal things.

    1. Coffee and cheese scone out is a treat as it's the only time someone makes me a cuppa!
      Found lots of your comments in junk - sorry I forgot to look

  2. I look forward to the two month's of not paying council tax. The rates are so high where I live.
    You've had a good month. X

  3. Funny how perceptions differ - February seems to have zoomed past this year for me. It's not been a big spend for me either, apart from the coach trips and the headboard. It's nice to have some to chuck into longer term savings. xx

    1. It usually goes quicker than it has done this year - it's the weather getting me down I think

  4. Yes, like Joy, February has zoomed by for me, I've been so busy. Two big spends - a car and a sewing machine. Both planned and budgetted for (although I had hoped to keep the Toyota going till Easter, so a little bit of financial juggling there) I really hope your son's car situation gets sorted. But what a blessing you can help out with yours. You're a truly caring mum.

    1. With outings cancelled due to floods it's been a slow month and so many grey skies.

      The insurance company are certainly not in a hurry to decide what to do with their car

  5. I agree. February seems to have lasted forever this year.

  6. February has flown by for me but that’s because I always find January endless. I’m doing a give away a day for Lent and so far I have rehomed 24 different things we were not using. Catriona

  7. I saw something on Groupon, and when I googled it, I found it cheapest on Ebay, so it does pay to look around.

  8. I need to get sorting through a few bags and boxed....trouble is as soon as I let something go I find a use for it within a few weeks...really rather annoying!

  9. I think we're all more conscious of the costs but having been given the Government Heating Allowance we're happily using our tumble drier, and our heating is set to come on at night if the temperature drops. I ha

    1. opps.. was just about to say I have arthritis when I get cold.

  10. I think small pleasures like the enjoyment of a decent cup of coffee gets us through months like this wet and windy February.
    Alison in Wales x

  11. I appreciate how you keep track of spending, including small treats, and especially food for the birds! That's a lovely touch.

  12. coffee and scones - NOT cake. Sue, I am proud of you! Roderick

  13. I still drink instant coffee. Anything else gives me palpitations, quite alarming.

  14. You did have a frugal month as some of your expenses were very necessary and some even went down from the previous year.

    God bless.

  15. February is a long month for me. The weather goes from 60 degrees F (today) to very cold and below freezing. I'd love to find a French Press coffee pot like the one you found. I own several of these and broke one recently. When I looked in the shops, I found they are glass with a plastic surround and no longer stainless steel.

  16. DH’s new glasses were expensive, but the cost included the retinal scan, and prescription sun glasses, and his last ones were bought over seven years ago. I got almost half the cost back from the Hospital Saturday Fund.
    My sixteen year old Skoda Fabia estate passed its MOT test so is good for a bit longer.
    February has been so very wet. I have used the extra fast spin on the washing machine, used the tumble drier for the bedding, and used the dehumidifier to help dry all the other washing hung up in the kitchen.
    It hasn’t been too cold, the central heating has been at 17°C by day and 7°C at night, and we wear enough layers of clothing to be cosy. I think the daily walk is helping my circulation as well as lifting my mood. Perhaps the extra daylight helps.
    There is still plenty of meat, fish, butter and cheese in the freezer, and the pantry is still full, so March grocery spending should stay low. It is still the weather for frugal, hearty soups made with pulses and seasonal vegetables.
    All four of the hens are laying well, they covered their feed costs in February.

  17. I think I will always be an instant coffee girl, Nescafe original is just perfect for me. But I do enjoy a 'proper' cup of coffee when we are out and about, even more so when Alan is paying. :-)

    February has whizzed by for me, even though I don't seem to have done much except work and the bare basics at home.