Welcome to Frugal Living in the UK!

Frugal Living in the UK went online in 2003 and has gradually grown into quite a collection of advice and articles. You’ll find recipes, food shopping tips, household savings, advice on cheap days out and holidays, ways to make a few pounds, get freebies and even sales and Frugal Christmas ūüôā

Whether you want to reduce your debts, save for a holiday, stay at home with your children, live more simply or just beat the system a little and end up with more cash, we hope you find something here to help. Consider yourself as in a clothes shop ‚Äď look around, try the ideas on for size, take what‚Äôs right for you and leave the rest for someone else.

You can read our latest newsletter detailing all that’s new here

Latest posts: The 25p Meal and Upcycling Pallets

Frugal Living in the UK - the pink bench!

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Old favourites:

  • MySurvey UK – survey participation rewarded with redeemable points and ¬£2000 prize draw entries.
  • Top CashBack is the UK‚Äôs Most Generous Cashback Website.
  • Approved Food sell clearance food, drink and household items online. They’re a fantastic source of bargains.

Latest additions to the site:

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¬£2.50 SALE and onion rings…

frost and trees

A frosty vista lies all around us up here in Scotland. Time for soup and log fires and legwarmers!

Everything5Pounds have their half price sale on. See it here. We were particularly impressed, and warmed, to see a set of four knitted hats in there!

Cosy, warming, filling:
Beer Battered Onion Rings
Leek and Potato Soup
Spicy Sweet Potato Fajitas

Make a Few Pounds
Food Shopping Tips

Stay Toasty!

All at Frugal Living in the UK

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/frugaluk
and now, Facebook!

Happy New Year!

Happy 2019 to you! Pictured above is the ancient fire festival of The Burning of the Clavie that takes place on the old new year, 11th January, at Burghead in Scotland. May this year bring all that you want it to bring.

And if that’s saving a bit of money? One of the fastest ways to cut back on spending is taking control of your food budget.

Pages to help:
food shopping tips
the 25p meal
all our recipes
Frugal Weightloss

Short and sweet this time but we’ll see you soon!

All at Frugal Living in the UK

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/frugaluk
and now, Facebook!

Christmas Food Bargains

It’s a bright and frosty morning today and we’ve been out and about getting some bargains. Tesco, as seen above, have reduced their basic festive veg (full size bags including potatoes) to 29p. That’s cauliflower, sprouts, parsnips, carrots and tatties. We now have to see if we can fit them all in the fridge!

A staff member at Aldi confirmed that, unusually for a supermarket, the best time to get their marked down veg is first thing in the morning as it’s done the night before. Some Christmas tree shaped pretzels from Aldi:

Christmas Eve is a good time to catch the biggest food mark downs from other supermarkets especially early evening. Roll on the 10p bread and more 25p meal ideas!

It’s not too late to buy some pressies at¬†Everything5Pounds¬†or check those daily deals from clearance food specialists Approved Food.

See our festive recipes on the Christmas page.

Stay cosy, remember to get some rest amidst the rush, and enjoy your Christmases!

All at Frugal Living in the UK

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/frugaluk
and now, Facebook!

Aldi half price tags

We love that Aldi do this; never seen it in Lidl! This morning we got organic broccoli and carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, leeks and bread all at half the, already cheap, price. Making more 25p meals possible!

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Cooling Recipes and Pallet Furniture

It’s hot. It was hot at 8am this morning, properly hot, here in Scotland as we sat on the bench above and drank our tea. We hope you’re getting a chance to do cooling things like paddling in the sea and/or eating ice lollies.

Back to that bench; it’s one of our recent pallet creations. There’s a new post about them here!

Food for the heat: minted noodle soup, ice lollies, Bean Burgers, Rice Salad, Hummus, Raw Chocolate Bites and actually, though it may seem somewhat counter intuitive, curry!

Popular pages just now:
Days Out and Holidays
Make a Few Pounds

The John Lewis Clearance is underway. See The Sales page for more bargains.

Don’t miss the daily deals from clearance food specialists Approved Food. We regularly fill our cupboards with them!

Keep cool!

All at Frugal Living in the UK

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/frugaluk
and now, Facebook!

Upcycling Pallets

This is not so¬† much a how-to post as an inspirational one. If you can get free pallets¬†–¬†and many companies are happy to give the old ones away rather than paying for disposal – there’s lots of things you can do with them!

We made some garden seats!

Woodland ones painted green:

A bit of purple:

And a table too!

There are good books with more instruction and inspiration to be seen here and you can even buy (or make!) waterproof cushions for them!

Our favourite is the pink!

Wild Food, Snow Food!

Last week we got excited about wild food: the wild garlic was through, we were looking forward to wild garlic pesto and creamy wild garlic carrot soup and anticipating nettle soup and dandelion fritters.

Then came the snow. Road blocking, face freezing, wild garlic covering, snow.

So we’re wrapped up warm in our ¬£5 jumpers and back on the yellow split pea soup, the leek and potato¬†and the mince and dumplings ūüôā

In case you missed it last time, our latest super frugal post: The 25p Meal.

Keep really really cosy!

All at Frugal Living in the UK

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/frugaluk
and now, Facebook!

Super Frugal Meals and Jumpers!

Well there’s been lots of really cold weather here: ice, snow, driving winds, sleet, hail… you name it. But we’re cosy in front of the fire and looking forward¬†to Spring and all the sunshine and wild foods it will bring!

We have a new post up, all about super-frugal meal making, in fact aiming for 25p per person for a good dinner. See it here: The 25p Meal.

We’re all appreciating our¬†warm jumpers just now, including the ones we got for¬†Christmas from Everything5Pounds. Amazing quality items there, and all for ¬£5!

Don’t miss our books section or our Make a Few Pounds Page.

Until next time,

All at Frugal Living in the UK

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/frugaluk
and now, Facebook!

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The 25p Meal

One of the cheapest ways to pare your food budget right back is to find out what time your local supermarket marks down its perishable products and do your shopping then. This makes possible  what we call the 25p meal: feeding a family of four for £1, or under, all ingredients.

For example:

Cauliflower (25p) in a white sauce (milk/marg/flour/water totalling 20p), and 30p worth of leftover rice made into herby tomato rice by adding:  1 onion (7p, not marked down but really cheap in Lidl) a squirt of tomato puree (5p), dried herbs (5p) salt (2p).

Above was a nice meal based around getting an organic unsliced wholemeal loaf for 10p, and adding marg and garlic to make it into garlic bread. Cheap spaghetti (often around 20p for 500g in value ranges) mixed with a tin of kidney beans at 25p and marked down pepper and courgette, both 10p each. Salad was a 10p lettuce with a squirt of lemon juice. There was a LOT of garlic bread made with that one loaf!

A firm favourite now, actually considered a treat in this house, is the meal of pizza bagels, or pittas, or, as pictured below, pizza paninis. Made with 4 Paninis at 19p for 2, then with pizza sauce consisting of an onion fried in a tiny bit of oil, tomato puree, herbs and¬†salt, totalling no more than 10p. They only need a few minutes in the oven or under the grill as the bread bases are already cooked. We paired them with a reduced salad bag at 10p, reduced hummus at 32p and a tub of pasta salad marked down to 26p. Over budget by 6p! If we’d used cheaper bread, such as one pack of bagels reduced to 20p, we would have been under.

It would be cheaper to use the pizzas as a side to homemade soup (see our many soup recipes). Of course, you can add any topping you like to these, but the sauce is delicious in itself.

This next one pushes the budget again, though only by 10p, for a luxury breakfast! It’s porridge (20p worth value range oats) made with water, but with a huge box of blueberries (marked down to 75p) and¬†half a bar of Lidl dark chocolate (bar is 30p, so 15p), smashed up. Yum.

Our local Tesco usually does a big mark down around 6pm. The one in the next town is a little later at 6.45pm and its prices go right down to 2p for many items. Asda starts much earlier in the day with its reductions. Martin Lewis wrote an article on the different supermarkets and their reduction times here.

Unless we’re going to use them that day, we tend to avoid ready chopped things which go off quickly. Whole vegetables and fruit will keep for a few days and bread will be good for a couple of days or can go straight in the freezer. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve filled our freezer with 10p loaves and buns!

It can be fun to use your imagination and ingenuity to make best use of what’s available on any given day in the reduced section. Please feel free to share your ideas and successes in the comments below ūüôā

Ailish Sinclair‚Äės debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, and featuring the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, is out Autumn 2019. On Amazon and Waterstones or see Author website for more details.

The Mermaid and the Bear Cover








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