Piper Terret (Piper Terret)

The frugal life blog is ending but I didn’t want to go without imparting some final moneysaving advice. Here’s a collection of some of my all-time top frugal living tips.

By Frugalp 28/07/2011 10:16

It’s a sad day for me today as the frugal life blog here on MSN is ending after nearly four years of moneysaving adventures. We started the blog just before the run on Northern Rock way back in 2007 and before the miseries of the credit crunch kicked in, having little idea just how timely it would turn out to be. As you’ll know if you’ve been a regular visitor, it started first on Windows Live Spaces and then moved across to the main MSN money pages last year. Since September 2007 I’ve experienced all sorts of things, from trying to live on the equivalent of the state pension for a month, World War II rations and the equivalent of incapacity benefit and the jobseeker’s allowance. I’ve kept chickens, grown my own veg, foraged for wild food and even washed my hair with egg to try to save cash as well as published a book about it all. It’s been an amazing time and I’ve learned so much from every one of you who has got in touch with me and left messages, comments and advice, so I just wanted to say a big thank you.


Throwing a summer party? Don’t go shopping until you’ve checked out my ideas for barbecue and party food on a budget.

By Frugalp 26/07/2011 10:26

Would you believe it? The sun is here again – well, ok, it was at the weekend. Perhaps not today!  I was beginning to get out my woollies in the belief that summer was over and autumn was beginning to set in, but maybe I was wrong. I don’t know about you, but I’m dreaming of summer parties in our back garden and barbecues once again. If you’re fortunate enough to have an outside space, it makes sense to make use of it this summer by having a few friends around for dinner and enjoying the outdoors.  But entertaining for a lot of people at once can prove expensive. How can you do so and keep to a budget?


The six weeks’ school summer holiday is all set to start. How will you be keeping the kids amused without breaking the bank this year?

By Frugalp 21/07/2011 09:38

School’s out for summer, as the great Alice Cooper would put it. The six weeks’ summer holiday is almost here and your children are no doubt getting over-excited already at the prospect. Keeping the kids entertained (and retaining your sanity at the same time…) is often a challenge at the best of times, and all the more so when money can be tight these days.  But don’t worry, with a bit of imagination and planning, there are lots of ways to keep them amused without spending a fortune.


Looking for ways to save money on new school uniforms for the autumn term? Uniforms don’t come cheap but luckily there are still some ways to bag a bargain.

By Frugalp 19/07/2011 09:59

The school summer holidays are almost here, so it may seem like spoilsport  behaviour to start thinking already about the school uniforms the kids will be needing for the new autumn term. No doubt slipping into their new school blazer or brightly coloured sports socks will be the last thing on your children’s minds! But many mums and dads will be hitting the shops during the summer holidays to stock up on new skirts, trousers and shirts for the new school year, especially those whose children are starting secondary school in September.


Think your finances could do with an overhaul? Then why not put them through my summer money makeover?

By Frugalp 14/07/2011 09:48

It might not sound like the most exciting way to spend a summer’s day, but it’s about this time of the year that I start checking over my bank accounts and finances. While traditionally the New Year is usually the time to undertake a financial spring clean, I think it’s sensible to do it more regularly than just once a year.  Extra expenses or overspending can easily creep up on us all when we’re busy and it’s a good idea to take some time out every three to six months to take stock. And the summer, ahead of the busy and expensive Christmas season, is the perfect time to do this. So why not follow a few of the following suggestions?


Looking for low cost ways to entertain yourself and the kids during the summer? These are just some of the many free or affordable events happening around the UK this month.

By Frugalp 12/07/2011 09:55

With the school summer holidays just around the corner, many of us will be looking for ways to amuse ourselves and the kids without breaking the bank. It’s easy to spend a small fortune on going out and keeping everyone entertained but, with a bit of careful planning, you don’t have to. Fortunately there are plenty of events taking place around the country in July which are low cost or free to enter. Here are just a selection:


Growing your own vegetables this year? Experiencing a bit of a glut? Don’t worry – I’ve got some great easy recipes to help use them up.

By Frugalp 08/07/2011 10:22

My other half DJ has been busy tending his vegetable plot this summer in preparation for Billericay in Bloom which is upon us once again. DJ won first prize last year, so no pressure! The judging was last weekend and so now we are waiting to hear how he has fared this year. The weather hasn’t always been kind and some plants are a bit behind this year, so who knows? Now that July is here, the garden is bursting with all kinds of fruit and veg – strawberries, cucumbers, gooseberries, lettuce leaves and, of course, the ubiquitous courgette. If you’re busy growing your own, you’ll no doubt be inundated too with delicious veg. If you’re stuck for ways to use them up, I’ve got some ideas below.


Are you a sporty type? Looking for ways to save money on your favourite activities? I’ve got some ideas which might help you enjoy your sport on a budget.

By Frugalp 06/07/2011 09:34

Have you been inspired this year by Andy Murray to take up tennis or perhaps another sport? Wimbledon is over now, of course, and sadly we didn’t see Murray win the trophy on this occasion, but if you’re a sports fan there’s also cricket at Lords and soon the new football season to look forward to plus, not forgetting, the Olympics next year. Could this summer perhaps be the time for you to take up a new sport? And how can you do so on a budget? As with any other hobby or activity, it’s easy to get carried away and spend a lot of money on buying equipment, clothing or other paraphernalia connected to your chosen sport which you don’t necessarily need straight away. I’ve put together some ideas for keeping the costs down and having fun without spending a packet:

  • Piper TerrettPiper Terrett

    Before joining MSN in 2007, Piper was deputy news editor of the Investors Chronicle and a reporter for Shares Magazine. She currently blogs about her adventures as she tries to live more simply while working from home.

Vote now

New research has found that families are spending an average of £180 on back-to-school supplies for their kids. Does this tally with your experience?

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    14 %
    Yes, that sounds about right to me
    1,019 votes
    20 %
    Yes, but I think school supplies are getting more expensive every year
    1,330 votes
    29 %
    No, the cost of new uniforms, stationery and sports kit takes us well past the £200 mark
    1,940 votes
    37 %
    No, I wouldn’t spend anything like that amount on the little horrors!
    2,499 votes

Total Responses: 6,788
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