Cost of Living crisis - more helpful ideas
Just a short blog today with more thoughts on what we did to get by on very little income just a few years ago.
A recap, and info for those who haven't followed me for long:
((We were both full time teachers. Man Wonderful retired at 55 because we could afford it, and instead worked part time for an exam board. I was in management within the school I had worked for 10+ years.
After a leaving celebration meal out for a colleague I suffered a serous physical assault that left me with epilepsy due to the head injury and PTSD due to the additional assault and circumstances. Because I could no longer work and needed care, neither of us coukd then bring in income. From a very healthy bank balance to very, very little a month. After a year we sold our home, a car, and everything we could manage without. We paid off the mortgage and all associated debt and bought a 2 berth touring caravan. We ended up with less than £200 in the bank but were in no debt, and had a secure roof over our heads.))
This is some of the things we did to get by:
1. Reuse all water. If running the tap to get hot, collect the cold in a bowl or - as we still do - large jars.use this to fill the kettle to cook with, to flush the loo, to water plants.
2. Boil the kettle once a day and fill flasks with coffee or tea.
3. Cook more than you need and eat once cold. We actually are more cold meals - beans with bread and butter, salad (very often reduced in supermarkets) with yesterday's dinner cold (cooked veg sausage, baked salmon, jacket spud).
4. If you are going to the supermarket, use their washroom to wash your hair, wash clothes in the sink, etc. Nobody minds if you walk around the shop with a towel on your hair - although I do use a towelling turban.
5. Throw away nothing without assessing it first. Examples: tin cans. If you can safely collect them, you can see them in a big bundle at the scrap yard. Yes it's no much,but it's better than nothing and you are going to throw them away anyway. Cans can also be used to grow plants.
6. Food leftovers. Unless its mouldy it's edible. Bubble and squeak is yesterday's veg refried. Most things can be squashed and served on toast or in a sandwich.
7. Food choices. We don't eat meat. We do eat fish. We avoid dairy- but that's my allergy rather than to save money. Avoid cereal for breakfast - eat a small portion of oats cooked with water. It is really healthy and keeps you full for longer. It's also very much cheaper than breakfast cereals.
8. As long as you have clothes, you don't need to buy any more. Sew up holes, keep clothes until they can't be clothes anymore and then use them as cleaning cloths.
9. Washing up liquid works to clean everything in the house. Shop's own brand bleach works for the loo. Bar soap lasts longer for washing people and clothes.
10. The most valuable store cupboard items, in my opinion:
. Stock cubes
. Tinned tomatoes
. Baked beans
. Any other beans
You don't need to buy:
. Cooking oils - use water.
. Salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, sugar,sweeteners: supermarkets give away these for free in their coffee shops.
11. Look online to see what people are giving away. If you can use it or sell it, collect it. Often there is food being given away.
12. When it is cold, yes wear more layers rather than put the heating on, but: use a hot water bottle and go to bed early.
13. Don't flush the loo unless you've had a poo - and train everyone to use less loo paper or a cloth for their wees.
14. Read. No electricity usage there.
15. Play cards. Do a jigsaw. Talk!
I hope these have helped someone somewhere.
I be back in the next two days to talk about my thrifty healthy weight loss diet.