Living on a low income.
Living on our low income has changed.
The rise in prices is widespread.
What affects us the most right now is the cost of fuel for the car. This means we make more sensible decisions regarding using our car. With the very high temperatures currently, we have to plan when to walk the dogs and where to go. We walk locally, and rarely go anywhere beyond our local area.
Food-wise we already buy very cheap versions of products, and use less to stretch our meals out.
We don't eat certain things - processed foods, meat, things we can make ourselves, sugar, dairy, desserts.
We eat very little of other things - pasta, rice, ready-made items, booze, fizzy drinks, cooking sauces like Oyster or Soy sauce.
Regular readers know we plan all our meals. This means we keep our nutrition and our finances in the best places for us.
We don't need to spend loads on entertainment. We read, watch a bit of telly, I play piano and sew, Man Wonderful rides his bike.
We have reduced the amount of power we use.
. If I use the electric oven, it is full for batch cooking.
. The gas hob is used as little as possible. Again, in batch cooking. One item I use that saves us money is a steamer so I cook four vegetables with one saucepan of boiling water.
. I use the microwave oven to cook small amounts.
. We boil a small amount in the kettle for cups of tea etc. These and coffees have been reduced.
. All our lightbulbs are LED.
. We shower or sink wash rather than bath.
. When I run a hot tap to wash up, I collect the colder water in jars while the hot is reaching the tap. This water goes into my water jug, the coffee machine, the dog's waterbowl, the jug for houseplants.
. All switches are off at the wall when that item isn't in use. E.g., toaster, oven, coffeemachine, phone charger.
. We always wash a full load in the washing machine, only wash dirty clothes, use an economical setting and hang our laundry up to dry.
Annual bills will go up.
We are preparing for the winter:
. We have saved to buy additional loft insulation.
. I have window foil to place on the ceiling of the conservatory.
. We have double curtains in each room.
. We are having a new front door fitted.
. We have homemade blankets and patchwork quilts to add to our beds.
. I have a hot water bottle, handmade socks and a microwave-heated block.
. We have a padded fireguard to sit in front of our electric fire (when not being used) to block the draught.
Is there anything you do to help a low income stretch in your home?