I would hate for anybody to think that you can’t be lazy and be frugal. Trust me, the two work well together and are not mutually exclusive. Lazy people can’t be bothered to go out and spend money. Go and grab your duvet, get on the sofa, make some toast and watch TV. I thought I’d do a little list of frugal living tips that I can’t be bothered with.
Let me just state: I’m not saying that they aren’t worth bothering with, or that they won’t save you money in the long run, I’m just saying that personally, I’m too lazy to be bothered.
1 – Making my own washing powder
Nope. Never going to happen (unless I get seriously bored). Not only do I not make my own I BUY BRANDED WASHING TABLETS. Ooo the frugal gods will not be pleased. My preferred method of scoring cheap washing detergent is to not be picky about the brand – I rotate about three – and wait for them to be on offer – half price or less. Dave’s parents give us a Tesco gift card for Christmas every year, which we tend to spend on stocking up stuff like this (if you’re interested in my stockpiling technique read this post).
2 – Making my own bread
Who has the time? I don’t have a bread machine and my oven is…temperamental. I also think you’d have to be doing this for a long time before you save any money. Also, I’m pretty sure the smell of freshly-baked bread would make me eat even more than I already do, and that would be dangerous.
3 – Repairing clothes
Ok, so I can knit and crochet fairly well, but I can’t sew. I’ve hemmed some curtains (badly) once, and that’s the extents of my seamstress capabilities. Also, who would darn socks when you can buy five pairs for a pound from Primark. I just live in PJs and work clothes, so I just wear them until they disintegrate and then buy more.
4 – Clean with vinegar and lemon
It’s just not for me. I like a more heavy duty approach (that doesn’t make everything smell like vinegar). I like bleach!
5 – Dying my own hair
Luckily my friend’s a hairdresser so we barter rather than me paying her, but before that, I paid £70 every twelve weeks for my hair. To me, it’s worth it. I wear my hair every day, so on a cost-per-wear basis, it’s pretty frugal. I don’t have manicures or waxes (never. ever.) or anything like that, so I’m pretty low maintenance apart from my hair. Also, if I dyed my own hair I’d be forever replacing my towels.
6 – Drinking tap water in restaurants
Controversial, I know, but I’d feel uncomfortable only ordering tap water to drink in a restaurant. They’re a business – they have to pay for that water. I’d rather have a glass of wine and drink water at home. I work in a restaurant and it’s really uncomfortable and obvious when a diner orders tap water and a starter instead of a main to save money (I’ve even had people complain that they’re still hungry or that the portion was too small – well yeah, you’ve not had a proper meal). If you’re that strapped for cash, eat at home.
7 – Cashback websites
I actually really need to sort this one out. I think it’s because I haven’t researched it properly. I also need to investigate the whole ‘treat street’ thing that’s part of the Boot’s Advantage card scheme – I think you can collect Boot’s points on other websites, but I’ll have to check.
8 – Coupons
For a start, it’s not nearly as big a thing in the UK as it is in the States, although there are some online ones. The thing is a lot of the available coupons are for the kinds of things that I wouldn’t usually buy, therefore I’m actually wasting money, however little, rather than saving it.
9 – Timing showers
Er, no. As I mentioned before, I’m not a high maintenance kind of person. I don’t spend hours in the bathroom getting ready (once in a while obvs, but not every day), and if you need me to be ready in 5 minutes I can be. I’m not bothered about going out completely bare faced – who cares? But let me have a fifteen-minute shower when I want one. I’d rather go without heating (that’s what blankets are for!) that go without a long, hot shower.
10 – Meal plan
I actually dedicated a whole post about why I don’t meal plan (read it here), but it basically boils down to me not being bothered. I never know when I’m going to working or what I fancy and it’s just too much hassle.
11 – Wash clothes on the cool setting
This isn’t to do with laziness, and I do sometimes use the cool setting BUT bear in mind that never going higher than the 30-degree setting can cause your washing machine to go mouldy and impact on its performance and longevity.
12 – Make a shopping list
People go on about shopping lists as though they’ll single-handedly allow you to retire in a year. ONLY IF YOU’RE GOOD AT MAKING LISTS. I’m not. I’ll forget to put on half of the stuff I need, and then forget the list altogether. I use the tried and tested shopping method of pretty much always buying the same things (we always cook from scratch, and the base ingredients tend to be the same – think onions, tinned tomatoes and pasta) and stocking up on non-perishables they’re on offer, whilst never going over budget. It works for me!
So there we go, a few popular frugal living tips that I don’t do myself. If you’ve had success with any of these tips, by all means, go ahead and keep on doing them (though heed my words re. the washing machine thing), but I don’t think I will. At least, not until I can work from home full-time, in which case I’m pretty excited about baking my own bread. Have a swell day!