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Ecologico Experiences: New Year, Not New Me!

I've given up New Year Resolutions but one thing you should know about me is that I do love a challenge!

I'm motivated by goals and milestones and accountability is key in this. So I decided to make a stand and do #NewToMeFor23.

Not just about preloved finds and not buying new, this is about us finding new eco things to try and pushing ourselves to do new experiences.

This month was a good start: I've sourced some great preloved presents for the kids to put away with the Christmas things ready for birthdays and next year. They only cost a fraction of the price and most of them were new in the box. I also got some decorations for their parties and booked the local community centre.

Top Tip: Now is a great time to get some fab preloved bargains as lots of people are clearing out or passing on unwanted gifts in the "Post Christmas Cull."

We've really cut down food waste and did one "Big Shop" at Company Shop for about £50 and made it work for most of the month with what we had in. We've made the most of our slow cooker and air fryer this month too to keep costs down and enjoyed some new recipes and foods.

Top Tip: do a freezer and cupboard inventory now and see how many meals you could already make in February with what you have in. Download Olio (it's free) and see if you can top with some freebies to stretch your budget a bit further.

I made some time for myself and completed a paediatric first aid and home safety course and learned a lot about the amount of accidents at home that are caused by toxic chemicals in cleaning products; which is something we don't really have to worry about with eco friendly products.

I also did a carbon awareness course with Middlesbrough Environment City which was really interesting and encouraging to meet other like-minded people locally and I became an Eco Ambassador for work.

Top Tip: Keeping up with education and training can help keep you motivated. If you can't afford expensive courses you can listen to a new podcast, borrow books or audio books at the library or check your local community centres and family hubs for free courses. We even got a free créche place thrown in with ours.

Within the business, I applied for some new markets and events this year which will push me out of my comfort zone as they are big events out of our area and we've looked at bringing some brilliant new products and brands into the range which I'm excited about.

Top Tip: Look for different events than you would normally go to. There are some great free events and places to visit at this time of year.

We decided life is short and we wanted to make time for fun so we've booked some time away to see friends and family and started going to some new groups and activities. Squishy has signed up for performing arts club and Beavers and Toastie started nursery and some new playgroups and library groups with me which we're both really enjoying. We went to The Exchange which is a community living room for their Lego and crafts and to the local cinema for a free film.

Top Tip: If you can't afford a big holiday why not plan a day away visiting famy or friends. We're staying over with various friends and family and are already researching nice places to visit locally that are free.

January has felt like a loooooooong month but let's see how we get on in Frugal February!

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