A THRIFTY WOMAN has revealed why she is proud to save money and be frugal – instead of wasting money and paying more.
Becca Compton, 28, from Walsall, Birmingham, believes saving money isn’t ‘embarrassing’ and she loves finding freebies, bargains and cheaper ways to manage day-to-day life.
The mother-of-two, originally from Suffolk, said she started her ‘frugal journey’ after moving into her own place with her partner five years ago and now this way of living brings her ‘pride’.
Becca remembers seeing her dad using coupons in shops and watering his plants with leftover boiled water from his pasta as a child.
She said: “When I was a kid, I used to love going to car boot sales with my mum and nan. Our neighbour would send over bags of clothing that her girls had outgrown too.
“It was exciting, even though it was secondhand, it was new to us!
“When we moved into our home, my nan had been collecting ‘bottom drawer’ stuff for us, for when the time came for me to move out.
“Over the years, I have bought or sourced for free, lots of things to make our house a home. I would look on Freecycle, Freegle and FreelyWheely every day.
“From these free sites alone, I have had a large solid pine wardrobe, brand new carpet off cuts, a mantlepiece, a whole boot full of paint and a Singer sewing machine.”
Becca, who is currently unemployed, soon realised that she had a ‘knack’ for finding bargains and freebies so she set up a YouTube page to share her tips and inspire others.
She believes she has so many money saving tips, she could write a book on them all.
The money-saving lover said she ‘hates’ seeing things go to landfill so spends a lot of her free time upcycling ‘beat up’ old items.
“I absolutely hate seeing things going to landfill, I feel like I have to save them! That is a lot of my drive when it comes to upcycling things,’ Becca said.
“My son had an old Police Cosy Coupe so I gave it my magic and turned it into a Batmobile.
“I’ve had a few freebies from Facebook Marketplace but my favourite from there has got to be a Writing Bureau which I upcycled into a Booze Cabinet, Boozy Betty.”
The money-saving mum said she never rules out shopping at different supermarkets when she does the grocery shopping – in order to save money.
But she believes doing food shopping without a list is ‘an absolute no no’ – as this is how people end up spending too much money.
Becca also cooks a big lasagne, fish pie and courgette balls from scratch every week – instead of buying ready made dishes.
“I stopped buying jarred sauces a long time ago,” she said. “Red tomato sauces and white sauces are so cheap and easy to make!
“I’ve found own-brand store goods that I prefer too. Also, a lot of food is okay past its best. Veg, salad items, fruit, cakes, bread and eggs last far beyond their dates if stored correctly.
“Generally speaking, you can tell if something is no longer good to eat!
“I’ve had eggs almost two weeks past their sell by date but the water test proved they were fine to eat. Next time you see a yellow sticker, it might be a bigger bargain than you realise!”
Becca encourages people to ‘bulk buy’ ingredients as if a multipack or bigger packet is cheaper when looking at the units/grams – she said it’s definitely worth nabbing.
She also suggested that having a ‘meat free day’ during the week is a great way to cut back costs as meat can be an expensive part of food shopping.
The mum also uses the TooGoodToGo app and Olio app – to get food that is no longer wanted for either a cheap price or totally free.
Becca, who shares her frugal lifestyle on Instagram, said even when it comes to clothes and shoes – she tries to find what she is looking for at the cheapest price possible.
She added: “I use multiple websites to get discounts on branded goods and that’s without the luck of any coupon codes I may find along the way.
Saving money is nothing to feel embarrassed about. It’s something to be proud of! Why pay more for the same thing?
“I use Get The Label, USC, M and M Direct websites and I check out the Imperfects section on Schuh.
“I bought my fiance some lush Timberland boots in the sale section on the Timberland website and after using a discount code for new customers, I only paid £60.”
Becca said the savings are even greater on preloved clothing and often cheaper than the price of a Primark equivalent.
She recently bought a Miss Selfridge jumpsuit for £2.70 on Vinted and it was perfect condition.
She said she has never been embarrassed to enjoy savvy living and wear preloved clothing.
“Am I ashamed to own preloved clothing? Absolutely not!” said Becca.
“Why would I? I dress well, save money, own quality pieces and avoid clothing going to landfill.
“Every time I buy something online I always look to see if I can find a discount code or an additional benefit. I always try to use VoucherCloud and VoucherCodes for discounts.”
To save money on her utility bills, Becca said she finds it helpful to write down the costs of every bill and think about if there’s anything she no longer needs and can cancel.
She added that unfortunately being a loyal customer rarely means getting a better discount.
The best way to get a better deal is to use comparison websites instead of just renewing contracts, said Becca.
And she thinks it’s easy to save money on heating – simply by going back to basics and wearing a jumper, slippers, dressing gown or even using a hot water bottle.
If you’re still not warm after that, then pop the heating on – at least you’ve tried options first.
But the stay-at-home mum said she loves her savvy lifestyle and wouldn’t change it.
She said: “I have been asked what I enjoy about savvy living, and that’s a difficult question, because it’s just how I live my life.
“Knowing I’ve saved a lot from landfill is a great feeling and putting my own stamp on things I’ve upcycled makes me feel proud that I did that.
“I refused to pay the cost for someone to lay carpet on my stairs and lay lino in my bathroom.
“It may not be a professional finish, but I’m not a professional and it is a good enough result for me!
“It’s common knowledge to those who know me that I’m a savvy person to the point where I’ve had people offer me items for the house – because of my history with DIY.
“Sometimes my friends and family come to me asking how to save money on certain things. It’s a satisfying feeling knowing I have helped them.”
But Becca said one thing she really loves that her savvy lifestyle has brought her – is community spirit.
She regularly donates her son’s outgrown clothes to a local lady while she donates leftover paints to another.
She also set up a local gardening group on Facebook during lockdown where everything is gifted for free.
She added: “I’ve met some lovely people from this group by gifting and receiving plants and seeds and have inspired others with the pallet planters and bin cover that we made.
Sometimes my friends and family come to me asking how to save money on certain things. It’s a satisfying feeling knowing I have helped them.
“This way of living brings me pride and peace. Pride with what I create, who I may help and inspire, peace knowing I can have nice things without the worry or burden of debt.
“I can only imagine how stressful that might be and I am thankful to not have that type of negativity in my life.
“However, If you are a person in debt, there are companies out there that can help you manage and take that stress away.
“A favourite quote of mine is if you wait long enough for something, you can usually find it for free.
“Saving money is nothing to feel embarrassed about. It’s something to be proud of! Why pay more for the same thing?”
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