Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Taking life easy...

So - a couple of weeks into the new year and I am not a millionaire as yet with the frugality, and although I really can't tell a difference on my bank statements so far, I do believe I am feeling a load better in my soul!
I have not used my dryer once - I even managed to get a load of sheets pegged out and dried one day! - everything else is on grandma's trusty maiden.
The message is getting through to the rest of the household regarding switching off lights, not leaving the TV on standby etc
Yesterday I followed 'martins money tips' and purchased myself 10 low energy light bulbs for the grand TOTAL of 80p! how virtuous am I? ;~)
Not 1 single loaf of bread bought in 2009 - I am getting quite good at making a decent loaf now, and I am onto my 5th pair of socks - all knit from my stash.
I have decided not to moan about my job for the foreseeable future, and be glad it is there to pay the bills for now - and have decided that no longer shall I work to keep up a lifestyle I can never quite attain, but to get real pleasure from what I can do myself.
The door off our multi fuel fire is being mended, and SSB and I have been wood scavenging for free fires! (I can't believe I have spent a fortune in the past on bags of pre-cut kindling when nature blows the darn stuff off the tree's for me, all I have to do is bend down and pick it up!
Early potatoes planted into big pots in the pollytunnel, rhubarb patch on it's way to a new lease of life...phew!

So - to end, a quick photo from warmer days last summer, sitting by the river one Sunday morning with the latest WIP!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

A frugal 2009

After a hard year in 2008 I am now determined to make the best of 2009 - no matter what it brings!
It hasn't exactly started how I hoped it would, after returning to work last Tuesday, and only being in the building for a few hours, I managed to put my back out and was whisked away in an ambulance, laughing heartily at my predicament with the help of many lung fulls of gas and air - I have been off all week walking around like a duck with constipation! on the bright side, this has saved me a fortune in petrol, and given me time to catch up on some knitting, plan out what gifts I am going to make for the many up coming birthdays, and to watch SSB run round after me!
Money is tighter than it has ever been this year, so my resolution is to live as frugally as I possibly can and get my finances back on track - and believe it or not, it is something I am relishing. Shopping lost its excitement for me a long time ago, (unless it is a fabric or wool shop) - so here are my first few frugal plans...
the first ones are because my current gas and electric bills for a small terraced house come to a staggering £170 per month!!!!!!

1. Use the dryer less! - I have already dug out the huge antique drying maiden from my Grandma's house, and this is now dominating the living room where we have the largest radiator.

2. use the kettle less - we are now utilising the camping kettle on the gas hob, boiling just the amount we need.

3. Planning my baking - so when I bake bread, we also have to have baked potatoes for tea, of lasagna etc etc so the oven gets used once and is full.

4. Baking my own bread - luckily I had everything in the store cupboard for about 20 loaves. the only thing I have had to get in extra is yeast so far - and if I lived closer to an asda I would even have popped in for free fresh yeast from the bakery.

5. On the way home from work, I pass an ALDI - this is where I will be doing more and more of my shopping for basics.

6. Kicking ass on the Allotment - we have neglected this so much in the past few years, so to make it a less daunting task, my brother will be taking one square, us another and we are making it into a fun competition type project - the first being to grow new potatoes in large tubs in the polytunnel, then we can tip them out and see who managed to get the most spuds!

7. utilising the myriad of books on self sufficiency and country living I have collected, instead of reading then and dreaming about that lifestyle.

8. collecting all the loose change I get, especially when cleaning up - down the back of the sofa etc - this is now in a huge jar in the kitchen with a picture of the new food mixer I am saving it all for as an incentive, and to stop anyone borrowing from it!

9. FREECYCLE - I love it! I have found all sorts and got rid of all sorts!

and finally - well, so far!


Top tip of the day...
from my country wisdom book...
to get rid of ring marks made by water on polished wood, mix some cigarette ash with olive oil, wipe on with the grain, leave for 30 minutes then buff up.
I have just put it on the top of my lovely treadle machine, and not much is happening yet...hehehe