Five Frugal things on Friday

Hello Dear Reader,

I’m going to round up or should I say round off my week by sharing the little things I’ve done this week. Nothing massive, but you know what, it’s often the little things that we just make a habit that add up and eventually make a real difference. Sometimes, it’s the inconsequential things that seem minor and not worth bothering about. I’m sure there are people who are not of our thrifty mind set who really can’t see the point of the little things. That’s ok, we’ll save the money and leave them to it.

Here’s the little things I’ve done this week.

  1. I had a quick stock take of the pantry and freezer, put a menu plan together, then a shopping list. It’s amazing how expensive impulse can be when more than we need goes into our shopping baskets. This way meant that I could stick to our shopping budget with ease and we didn’t feel deprived as we always build ‘something nice’ into our list. This week it was some snacks to have with a movie on Friday night.
  2. I bulked cooked over the weekend and froze meals so we had an easy time of it when we got in from work. We have a commute and it can be variable and unique to Cornwall. Nothing feels as hungry as a tired teacher stuck behind a tractor on the A374 who’s only comfort when chugging along at fifteen miles an hour is that dinner is virtually ready when I get home all late and grumbly.


3. I made and packed all our lunches at the beginning of the week and they are ready in the fridge to grab and go. Wrapped in foil, a cheese, ham and pickle sandwich lasts all week and means we’ll never be late or tempted by a meal deal as those few minutes extra under the duvet tempt all of us from time to time

4.I got free exercise at the weekend by splitting logs for our wood stove. I’d like to say I was heroic and wielded and axe but I used our log splitter. We bought the wood green and have laid it down like a fine vintage to be burnt next year. I got hours of amusement playing ‘log jenga’ and then covering them so they get some air but not the inevitable rain.

5.I’ve had a one spend week, meaning I did our shopping last Friday and haven’t needed to spend anything else all week. Tonight, after work, I’ll go to my nearest discount supermarket with my list and buy everything we need for the week ahead.

 

All such little inconsequential savings that means I’ve kept to the family budget, that we’re on track with savings targets this month and we’re heading towards the end of the month with healthy finances.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xx

 

 

Feeding ourselves on less than £2 a day


Hello Dear Reader,

As promised, the heatwave hit us. At the hottest, my garden was 38 degrees in the shade. I stopped working outside at 10.30 this morning and found plenty to do inside. I’ve sanded down all the wood work (door frames, skirting boards, window sills) in the utility rooms and have under coated and glossed all of those surfaces. We’ve also put a coat of white emulsion on the utility room walls. So far, we haven’t bought any decorating supplies and we’re just using what we have. It’s now a quarter to eight in the evening and just cool enough to go back out in the garden again. (I burn in SPF50 so I don’t chance it). We’ve also touched up any bits of paint work that needed it and we’ll keep going like this as the house is being photographed for the website and brochure next week. 

I’ve also done the stock take and put a menu plan together. Part of me wants to go to the butchers and buy a chicken but the sensible bit knows there is food here that needs eating. I did buy two tins of braised steak in gravy from Poundland and yes, they were £1 each. I make Poundland pie by cooking some frozen mixed beg in the microwave, chopping a tin of potatoes and a tin of braised steak and using that as a pie filling. The pie will stretch to four meals and will cost about £2 altogether. It’s about the only meat that some people can afford. Even a tin of corned beef costs at least £1.50 now. If any of you go to Lidl, they have lots of tinned herrings in a variety of sauces. The herrings are fine but the sauces are an acquired taste and much better mixed with mashed potato and formed into fish cakes. 

I’m on Radio Cornwall tomorrow, I’ll also bring up the Great British Budget Menu and how people are really struggling to feed themselves. I’m going to talk about austerity cooking with some menu ideas, some budgeting ideas and hopefully will read out some of your emails. It would be great to hear from readers ‘down under’, ‘across the pond’ and in mainland Europe. How do you cope with the rising costs of food and how are you stretching every pound/dollar or euro? I’ve not yet heard from anyone in Greece or Portugal when austerity is causing grievous hardships. Let’s share our thrifty recipes to the world. 

I’ll put the listen again link up – please email tracy.wilson@bbc.co.uk with anything you want to share about frugal food and healthy eating on a tiny budget. You can also phone the show whilst on air on 01872 22 22 22. It would be great if you phoned in or emailed in with your opinions of the muted idea of no packed lunches and how that will affect your family budget or the lack of cooking skills and how these can be addressed!

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xx