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Frugal Feb

Frugal Feb

Buy less, wear more: Frugal February 2012 is here!

For the second year running, I will be cutting out all necessary spending in February as I challenge myself to save as much money as I possibly can. I have so much stuff that I don’t need any more, and I also have plenty of reasons to save this year. So for one month only, I’m on a spending ban. No clothes, no accessories, no undies, no magazines, no makeup or beauty products, no DVDs, books or music, no pricey bottles of wine or boxes of chocolates, and definitely no shoes. The only things I’ll be spending on are food and drink, travel, and the occasional bit of socialising.

I created Frugal February because I know this is a month when a lot of people struggle to make ends meet. Christmas credit card bills have hit the doormat, many people have just filled out a tax return and faced a whopping bill, and we’ve probably all indulged a bit in the January sales. It’s the perfect time for a spending detox. Even if you’re not facing bills, bills, bills, saving for one tiny little month (the shortest, natch) means you can treat yourself at the end.

It’s also a good way of encouraging a bit of creativity when it comes to fashion blogging – if you have no new stuff, you need to find more interesting ideas when it comes to blog posts. NO HAULS FOR A MONTH, folks (I never understood hauls anyway)!

If you fancy joining in, take a look at the Frugal February rules & details page by clicking here, grab a button and send in the form.

If you have trouble with the form (or if you thought you’d sent it but you don’t see your name below, you can leave a comment on this post and I’ll add you).

Here are the wonderful 2012 participants so far…

Gemma | @GemmaCartwright
Blog: Big Girls Browse

Emily | @emilyinswansea

Claire | @chattermonkey
Blog: A Monkey Fatshionista

Catherine | @missy_catrine
Blog: Living in thee Mid Twenties

Tor | @fabfrocks
Blog: Fab Frocks World

Caroline | @Fairynuff27
Blog: Second Hand Shopper

Kate | @katematlock
Blog: Kate Matlock

Jamie | @jamers221
Blog: This is me…Mastering Money

The Frugal Flat Hunter | @FrugalFlatHunt
Blog: The Frugal Flat Hunter

Blog: Knitting on Trains

Amy | @amyandelizabeth
Blog: Amy Elizabeth

Blog: Undressed to Impress

Kathryn | @kathroooon
Blog: Miss Kathryn’s MissTakes

Blog: Tales of a Tightwad

Caroline | @carolinecutie

Crishi | @Crishinator

Sarah | @Bibliomouse
Blog: Bibliomouse

Jess | @ditzyglamour
Blog: Ditzy Glamour

Jackie | @jacgibbo

Blog: Miss Jessica Bow

Melanie | @melanieclarexox
Blog: Beauty With Melanie Claire

Victoria | @victoriareedx
Blog: Birdcage Beauty

Helen | @HelenL

Claire Louise | @ifellin2ystrday
Blog: I fell into yesterday

Gina | @eclectic_gina
Blog: Fat Fit Fine

Anna | @AnnaNuttall
Blog: The Beautiful Style

Rebecca | @sullenhearts
Blog: Fat Girl Living

JT | @FauxFoodieGirl
Blog: The Faux Foodie Girl

Keris | @keris
Blog: Keris Stainton

Amy | @blancheandlola
Blog: Blanche and Lola

Danielle | @danielle_jaques
Blog: Frugal Spirit

Harriet | @HJCH
Blog: Harriet Juliana

Blog: Prunus

Jessica | @Jessicatron
Blog: Jessicatron

Kate | @allfivehorizons
Blog: All Five Horizons

Sarah | @SarahBlackshaw
Blog: Girl Wandsworth

Michelle | @turtlegirl904
Blog: Crossing The Finish Line 366

Blog: Brittany (& Chase)

Hazel | @HazelxJoy
Blog: World of Joy

Ruth | @minibreakmummy
Blog: Minibreak Mummy

Gemma | @RoseBlossom4
Blog: rosewinelover

Dig for Tea | @digfortea
Blog: Dig For Tea

Alison | @alisonyoforshit
Blog: Round Raglan Road

Megan-Elizabeth | @meganellizabeth
Blog: Velvet Bows

Frugal Feb, In My Wardrobe, Shoeper Challenge

More shoes saved & dresses worn!

I’ve been making every effort to actually update this site more often in 2011, but I’ve been a bit quiet this week as things have been a bit busy, so apologies for that. I’ve still been keeping up with my challenges – Frugal Feb, the Shoeper Challenge and Frocking Fridays – and I’m finding documenting all those outfits and shoe saves really good fun, and it makes me think a little bit more about what I’m wearing each day, rather than just throwing on whatever dress comes to hand first. Especially as in the last week I’ve had parties, work events and London Fashion Week to attend…

We’ll start off with last Friday, and it was off to London Bridge to celebrate ten years of my friend Darika being in London. I wore a blue H&M number for Frocking Friday (one of my style icons, Zooey Deschanel, has the same dress, you can imagine how excited I was to discover that!) but also used the evening as an occasion to ‘save’ a pair of shoes in the Shoeper Challenge. They’re not very easy to see in the pic, but they’re fringed suedette platforms with wooden heels from New Look. Here’s a closer look – they don’t look that high in the pic but believe me, they are. They make me about 6″ tall!

I remember reading somewhere that wearing open-toe shoes with tights looks ‘common’. Well, it’s freezing and I’ve got shoes that need saving, so I guess I’ll live with that!

Next up came a quick trip to London Fashion Week. I only went to one show this season – Christopher Kane (amazing, as expected) – which to be honest was enough for me. I love fashion week and nothing beats seeing the clothes close-up, but I don’t miss the long days and waiting around and was happy this time to just make the one appearance! I wore a red dress from ASOS, which was probably a bit of a mistake as the structured detail refused to sit properly and it creased really badly, but as I spent most of the day with my coat covering it anyway, it didn’t really matter.

The shoes are also ASOS, and a real favourite because they’re super-high but really, really comfy. I think they cost me about £11 in the sale. They’re another first wear in the Shoeper Challenge, so consider these babies saved!

And finally, yesterday’s Frocking Friday dress, which was a bit of a last-minute choice (I got up slightly hungover, put my jeans on and then realised it was Friday and I needed to make an effort)! The dress was found in a vintage shop in West London, cost me about £12, and I believe it’s from the 70s. There’s heaps of fabric in the skirt so it hangs really well, but it needs belting and the sleeves rolling up or it looks very, very old-lady ish!

No pic of the shoes with this one, but that was only because they were my boring old black leather boots, which are on their last legs thus not really worth ‘saving’ in the shoeper challenge.

I have a bit of a confession when it comes to Frugal February. I sort-of cheated, as today I got a new digital camera. I broke my old one about 6 months ago, so have been using a little budget Fujifilm compact that Sian very kindly handed down to me, along with my phone. When I saw the Panasonic I had my eye on had gone under £200, I decided to invest while I had the money. It’ll really make a difference to the outfits pics on this site, and I’ll also use it loads for work and when I go to Australia in May. I kind of consider it exempt from Frugal Feb as it’s essentially a business expense, plus we’re almost at the end of the month, so the money I saved has gone on this camera!

Frugal Feb, In My Wardrobe

Frugal Feb begins & hell freezes over…

Ok, so hell didn’t exactly freeze over, but I did ditch my reliance on dresses and wear something else for once. And not just anything – a jumpsuit. I said during Frugal Feb that I wanted to be creative with what I already own since I’m not buying new stuff, so I’m trying to really make an effort there, dragging out old stuff I haven’t worn for ages and getting some wear out of the cheap stuff I bought in the sales. Of course, sometimes this works. Sometimes, it really, really doesn’t…

I didn’t take pics of my (boring) Tuesday outfit, so we’ll start on Feb 2nd. Wednesday’s outfit was, I think it’s safe to say, the more successful of the two…

The dress is from Fusion at Monsoon, bought last month in the sale for about £28. I’d had my eye on it since it first went in store, but I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything from Monsoon at full price! I teamed it with purple wool tights and a chunky rose cocktail ring, both from Primark, and a pair of shoes I don’t think I’ve worn for a couple of years. They’re from Minette – a lovely little shoe brand I used to write about a lot when I was editing Shoewawa. I love the combo of wedge heel and pointed toe – not something you see very often.

So we come to today. When I decided to not only wear trousers, but take it one step further, with a jumpsuit. And not just any jumpsuit, a 2-in-1 harem jumpsuit. MISTAKE!

I don’t think it looks terrible but it’s just not me. Luckily, it only cost me about £6 in the sale at New Look last year, so it’s not an expensive mistake. The top half is a racerback vest, so I added a jersey waterfall cardi (Primark again) and finished it with my fur-trimmed wedgie boots from H&M and the best bit of the outfit, the amazing Saucy Riding Boots & Mr Darcy necklace from Hoolala. If you don’t own something from there, buy buy buy (but, um, not this month).

When it comes to the ‘no shopping’ side of Frugal Feb, I think three days in is a little too soon to tell whether it’s going ‘well’ or not. I’ve not bought anything except food and drink, but neither have I seen much I would have bought if I wasn’t on a spending ban. I just keep reminding myself that most people don’t frivolously buy little bits and bobs the way I do and they survive just fine. One month of not spending really isn’t a big deal – it’s just easier to stick to if you make it a big deal!

Frugal Feb

Frugal February – the rules, the links, the buttons


A few people showed interest in Frugal February when I mentioned it the other day, so I thought it’d be worth putting together a full page of info in case anyone fancies joining in. It’d be great to have some other people to share the torture with!

I’m not super-strict on the rules – if you spot this on 3rd Feb it’s not too late to take part, just run it into the first few days of March! Really this is about saving some cash, making the most of what you have and realising that you don’t need to spend on loads of new stuff to create some fabulous outfits. At the bottom of the post are a few hastily made buttons if you fancy popping one in your sidebar so other people can join in too. It’d be great if fellow FFers could spread the word!

So, here are the basics of Frugal February…

I vow, for one month from 1st Feb, to avoid shopping for anything other than essentials.

This means buying no clothes, shoes, accessories, makeup, cosmetics, books, DVDs, music, magazines, gadgets etc for a month.

Food and drink don’t count, though it’s worth paying attention to unnecessary expenses in this area – do you really need that bottle of wine? Do you have stuff in the cupboard you could use to make dinner, rather than getting convenience food? I also suggest banning takeaways and any unnecessary eating out if you’re really serious!

Daily use items such as toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo etc are fine to buy, but only if you’ve run out completely! Same goes for any makeup you might ‘finish’ during the month. On the off chance you use up the last dregs of your only foundation during the month, you can replace it, but only if you don’t have an alternative.

Frugal Feb doesn’t mean waving goodbye to a social life. Though you may choose to cut down on nights out to save a bit more cash, my time spent with friends is important to me! My Frugal February ‘no spend’ rule doesn’t include things like the occasional ticket or cover charge, or travel expenses. If I want to go somewhere and there’s a cost associated, that’s fine.

Frugal Feb is mostly about not buying clothes and unnecessary items, and using the ones you have, so I’ll be keeping track of what I wear, the things I’m getting use out of that I wouldn’t otherwise, and blogging about it. I would, of course, encourage anyone else taking part to do the same, and don’t forget to tweet / email me the links. Obviously this can be teamed with any other challenges you may be doing (like the 30 for 30 challenge or Frocking Fridays).

If you’d like to take part, pop a comment below with your URL and I’ll add you to my links list and check out your blog during the month. It’d also be lovely if you followed BGB using google friend connect or bloglovin’ and follow me on twitter too – nudge nudge, wink wink. I’ll try and do the same for you, of course.

I’ve made a few Frugal February buttons that you’re more than welcome to pop in your blog sidebar too (you don’t have to). They’re a bit rubbish, so please feel free to make your own if you’d rather. Give me a shout if you do and with your permission, I’ll add it here.

The Frugal February hashtag on twitter is #frugalfeb – make sure to add it to the end of any tweets so I see them!


Gemma | @GemmaCartwright
Blog: Big Girls Browse

Emma | emma_cossey
Blog: Emma Cossey

Sophie | @sophcrownglory
Blog: Crown & Glory

Lauren | @LaurenEACooke
Blog: A Typical Atypical

Abby | @abbzzw
Blog: Abbzzw

Michelle | winyeemichelle
Blog: Daisy Butter

Lauren | @dollipopsB
Site: Dollipops

Courtney | @knorkyat
Blog: What Would Darcy Do

Alyse | @AlyseIntegral
Blog: Integrating Alyse

Helen | @ohthedecadence
Blog: Clear Your Heart

Blog: Laura Laments

Hannah | @theroxyloves
Blog: The Roxy Loves

Alex | @alexsheppard
Blog: Alexandra Sheppard

Vicky | @utterlyconfused
Blog: Confused in Bristol

Lauren | @noirnouvelle
Blog: Noir Nouvelle

Blog: River’s Day Zero Project

Blog: …And Other Stories

Ria | @RCagz
Blog: Wishing For Chanel

Blog: Make up and Me

Aimee | @theaimeeshow
Blog: The Aimee Show

Selina | @NeverEnoughShoe
Blog: Never Enough Shoes

Lou | @Lou_tweets
Blog: Nearly Thirty…

Victoria | @VicThompson
Tumblr: Things I Thought About Today…

Leanne | xXxStundonxXx
Blog: Stundon

Kitty | @KittyBonkers
Blog: Life With (Kitty) Bonkers

Sian | @Sian_lb
Blog: Shutterbug

Tori | @mythriftychic
Blog: My Thrifty Chic

Ash | @ashvw87
Blog: Emerald Doodles

Steph | @stephsimplelife
Blog: The Simple Life…

Tamsin | @miss_believer
Blog: Miss Believer

Blog: sickbunnyy

Vicky | @Vanityfashionis
Blog: Vanity-Fashionista

Jess | @LovelyChaos

Kelly-Marie | thekeletubbie

Kerry | @egokerry

leave a comment or tweet at me if you’re not on the list and would like to be, then pop one of the banners below in your sidebar (if you wish).

[photo: Confessions of a Shopaholic, Touchstone Pictures]