Thursday, 25 January 2018

2017 End of Year Round Up

Looking Forward to 2018 After a Very Busy 2017

A fast forward through the month of December with this photo blog showing some of the things we did during December.

The children started decorating a tree at Frugaldom
reusing the baubles and tinsel  from last year.

We had some old clothes to recycle so we made Mr Scarecrow,
giving him an old football for a head, a flower pot for a hat
and a broken rake to help prop him upright. He's stuffed with hay.

For extra tree decorations, we used toilet paper tubes
and salvaged food wrappers - these are our Hovis crackers!

Making bells for the Christmas tree from
old tin foil, egg cartons and wool

Our start was made from cardboard covered
in gold foil from a tomato puree tube

It snowed!

Frugaldom looked lovely in the snow,
especially around the new ponds

Frankie loves rolling in the snow

Our American visitor returned for her Christmas break
and got her first ever experience of sitting on a bareback,
barefoot, bitless pony - Willow in her winter woollies.

It was very pretty at the caravans, even if
this first lot of snow only lasted a day or so

Most of the snow fell on the Galloway hills.

The decorated tree in the mist at Frugaldom,
standing among the tiny native trees planted
as part of our World War 1 Centenary woodland

The wild-seeded Sitka Spruce at Frugaldom
came in handy - we carefully selected a lovely,
small tree and lit it up by the caravans,

Pippin the pony walking on ice!

The gorse by the roadside between Frugaldom and
the caravan park is beginning to flower in the snow.
December flew past and most of our time was spent preparing for Christmas. The budget was kept well under control and the challenge spreadsheets were totalled up for the end of the year, allowing for one final small investment in seeds and an Argos voucher for spending on bonus items that were afforded by exra scrupulous budgeting practices throughout the year. :)

 Olivia, our American student who was with us for a few weeks during summer, returned to spend Christmas with us at the caravans and then she headed further north.

Christmas shopping was done as carefully as ever, affording us a big supermarket shop and the many bargains that were available through MuscleFood. (This is my friend referral link that will also get you some meaty freebies.) And then there were all the Christmas leftovers to freeze for later use. The homemade clootie dumpling was, as always, pidding of the day and allowed our guest to sample some traditional Scottish cooking.

We spent Hogmanay at the holiday park, listening to the piper piping in the new year and watching the fireworks display.

For those of you with an avid interest in number-crunching, here are end of year results. I began the year with the customary £4,000 and spent the following from each category:

  • Groceries - spent £942.83
  • Toiletries, laundry & cleaning products - £43.27
  • Electricity - £932.83
  • Coal & logs - £40.00
  • Mobile phone - £20.00
  • Telephone & Internet - £574.60
  • TV Licence - £145.50
  • Footwear & clothing - £41.84
  • Gifts - £321.48
  • Travel - £365.00
  • Postage & deliveries - £21.17
  • Insurances - £312.99
  • Pets & livestock - £189.55
  • Misc other - £50.50
Total spend on household-related expenses = £4,000.60
Left in the 'EEK' (Everything Else Kitty) £50 Argos voucher,
Gifted Amazon vouchers, Topcashback balance (accrued from Christmas shopping online), Nectar points and a tub of loose change.

Progress at Frugaldom has come on in leaps and bounds with resurfaced tracks, drainage runs cleared out, the yard completed, more fruit trees planted plus 1,000+ more native tree saplings planted around the place. Frugal Breaks launched, offering you the opportunity to come and  visit for a short break (or longer stay, if you choose) and the bulk of the penny-pinching savings were poured into a tiny, one-bedroom cottage, complete with an out-building and a plot of garden land. The cottage is now part of our Frugal Breaks holiday lets enterprise, but more on that in a later blog post, as there's still quite a bit of work to be done.

That's it! We're now up to 2018 and the start of a brand new year. Good luck to all and please do consider joining us in our new  private group on Facebook for the 2018 Frugal Living Challenge. Don't forget to let us know if you are interested in the money saving, money making or frugal breaks when joining. 

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