Frugal Fashion

11 Feb 2015

Frugal living is an active lifestyle choice, it does not mean that we all suffer from self-imposed poverty or do without little luxuries that life has to offer. In a society driven by consumerism, we are all susceptible to spending, but frugal living teaches you to think before you buy. It's finding ways to make luxuries affordable that can be the most fun part of frugal life!

Fabulaously frugal shoesNo two days are identical while living the frugal life - otherwise boredom can set in and tempt us into unplanned consumerist spending, wasting our much-needed, sparse income on wants, rather than needs. But should we be restraining ourselves, refraining from buying anything except necessities - the real needs?

This IS real life and for as long as there are debts there will be sacrifices to be made. But then what?

How does frugal living work when there are no unsustainable debts? What if you are in the prime position of having paid for your home, so there's no rent or mortgage to repay? What if you actively choose to work for a miniscule income based on the fact that it is enough to satisfy your needs? Then, frugal living becomes an actual lifestyle choice, one that you enjoy pursuing and one that can generate you savings to invest elsewhere. You are then free to choose how you spend your money, even if it doesn't amount to riches. I am looking at it from the perspective of someone following the 'Living on £4,000 for a year' challenge, which is the one I have followed for quite a few years. It led me to debt freedom, yet I still follow this same path.

Frugal living need not prevent us girls from enjoying the girly stuff in life - like fabulous shoes and bling!

As February is our 28 days of 'boot up the backside' kick-start to fitness, when better to net yourself some fancy bargains in the knowledge that you have worked for them? They are yours for the taking and if you can afford them you deserve them. You worked your money jolly hard to get here, now celebrate that fact. Personally, I bought a couple of pairs of fabulous shoes, but when you can get such beauties for as little as a fiver, why the hell shouldn't we have some frugal fashion foot bling? I chose pink for indoor work and black for outdoors, as they won't show the dirt too much, assuming I don't attempt to walk on soft grass or through mud! Yes, this is a typical day in my frugal living life! (Check out for my favourite links to bargains, bling, beauty and fashion.)

Frugal nail kits

A frugal fashion gal's best friend is her nail file and DIY manicure kit! In the frugal forums, we host what we refer to as our 'Cyberdosh Exchange', which is where we all post whatever extras we have available to share with frugal friends. Last week, I was most fortunate and truly appreciated the offer of some nail art items to add to my 'tool kit', so this is it as it stands now. A quick DIY manicure or pedicure is fun and can be rather therapeutic, although keeping one's nails a decent length is next to (but not completely) impossible.

frugal DIY manicure

I love bold colours and have never been a fan of pastel shades, cream or beige, so it will come as no surprise that I favour the primary colours plus bright shades of pink, purple or even black nail polish. I actually do fret if I break a nail but it is to be expected during the process of an ordinary day, so I try my best to make the most of keeping my nails strong. Just need to work out a magical, frugal cure for the ageing hands now!

Nail art

With age comes eye site problems, so my own handiwork isn't always the neatest, but a cotton bud and some cheap acetone or nail polish remover works a treat. Surprisingly, this stuff has doubled in price since I last bought a bottle, but it does last a very long time. At 99p, I consider it worthwhile and include it in my annual household toiletries budget. Now for some nail art - consider this the decoupage of your manicure. The above was a nail transfer, but you can literally cut out any design and add it to your wet nail varnish and then gloss over the top with a clear top coat. You can do similar with small gem stones or beads, too.

In my opinion, base coat and top coat are absolute essentials in any nail kit and for that stuff, we have the likes of Semi-chem or, if you are one of the cash-back brigade claiming vouchers, Amazon can be a great source, meaning you don't have to part with any cash at all! (Yes, I'm a cash-back tart and opt for the extra 5% by claiming Amazon vouchers.) We also have a pharmacy page in our frugal shop, which often has some fabulous discounts, so my secrets are coming out en masse, now.

Oops! Egg flan rose higher than expected!

OOPS! So now you have me teetering around on heels with my nails painted and 'blinged' to match, whatever next? Well, life does go on, so food prepping is a must, even if it does mean almost burning dinner while trying to fix a chipped nail just as the pie decides to rise too high in the mini oven!

Dinner was still edible despite the slight browning to the pie crust!

Meals are still perfectly edible, even with a slight tinge of singe around the edges but I do recommend wearing a pair of latex or similar gloves when rolling the pastry if you are wearing nail bling.

Back to pink and pretty...

Homemade ice ceam

This is the bowl of raspberry ice cream I made a couple of days ago. It's always nice to have something a little bit different for dessert and the fact that this was made from homegrown raspberries I'd picked from the garden and then frozen last summer makes it all the more frugal. I even kept the juice from the defrosted raspberries and am going to make it into raspberry sauce to have on a cone! It will match my nails and shoes. cool

Cutting the willow

This afternoon, I was cutting the willow that had been coppiced from the garden. Time was marking on and some of the withies were showing catkins already, so these will need to be planted into the round at the Frugaldom Project within the next few days! I managed to get 100 decent cuttings taken without breaking a nail! The rest of the cut willow has been split into two lots - the thickest pieces for future firewood and the rest for our ecoarts environmantal art project.

Willow sheep in early design stage

In the time it took me to do the dishes, cut my willow and do my nails, a little willow sheep began to take shape. This will be completed using the thinnest of the willow whips cut from the garden and then the structure will literally be built up from the ground using live cuttings so it becomes a living sculpture. That's the master plan, anyway! All going well, I foresee H creating a flock of green willow sheep in the field by the barn!

Frugal living can be fun! Don't ever let anyone, anywhere, tell you anything otherwise.

NYK Media in Frugaldom.

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