Sunday, 19 October 2014

frugal?

somewhere along the line i have started to read two blogs about living a frugal life and i started to wonder if i would count as frugal.
i dont know what i pay for everything, thats a bad sign.......

some of my more frugal habits would include

  • trying to buy petrol on the cheap days
  • trying to combine trips in the car
  • owning a very simple mobile phone (though i am getting closer to getting a smart phone, i feel like maybe it's unprofessional to have a simple one. i am resistant to peer pressure but not impenetrable)
  • no cable tv
  • we drive older cars and hubby does as much mechanical work as he can
  • a large factor in my last washing machine purchase was it's efficiency ratings
  • we all wear hand-me-downs at times. i dont shop in second hand stores because they seem expensive and it takes ages to find anything interesting but if someone offers me a bag of clothes, which they do quite often, i am in no way too proud to pick through it for the best items
  • we eat vegetarian at times
  • i make bread and yoghurt rather than buying them
  • i buy some types of fruit by the box and we eat it until we are sick of it
  • much of our furniture is second hand (although truth be told, i would rather not have a lot of it)
  • i refuse point blank to buy bottled water (this becomes quirky rather than frugal when i am caught unprepared and buy soft drink instead)
  • i washed nappies for four children who between them wore nappies for over ten years (that was an environmental decision as well as monetary)
  • i cook at home most days. we eat out or get take away about once a fortnight these days but for many years i probably cooked for 360 days a year
  • i dont buy any expensive beauty products or treatments. i do get haircuts and a rare blow dry at the salon but no manicures, pedicures, skin treatments, hair colouring and i use the very smallest amount of makeup
  • we use things until they fall apart (carpets, towels, sheets and clothing have all been known to be in use with holes developing) 
  • threadbare fabrics are re-used as rag
  • i have a cupboard full of mismatched crockery that we use daily because i am not about to get rid of odd pieces from broken sets
my frugality doesnt extend to every area of life. i might post on that some other day

Thrift was never more necessary in the world's history than it is today.  ~Francis H. Sisson

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

I am not usually one to generalise about having a bad day/ week/ year. I try to view the unfortunate events as single and random events but this week might have to be an exception

monday, i lost my purse. i have no idea what happened to it. either i dropped it and didnt hear it or  that nice lady who stopped to compliment me on my bag was actually a pick pocket. or maybe a pickpocket just took a chance when i was distracted.

tuesday, i left dinner cooking on the stove so the family could serve themselves while i was out at the movies with a friend. the gas blew out and nobody knew so dinner didnt cook and they didnt find out until they wanted to eat. they managed to get it cooked about an hour late when everybody was starving.

this morning (wednesday) i woke up to freshly baked bread. it looked like this

Friday, 10 October 2014

Grass clippings for dinner, anyone?

Every day my kitchen looks more like it belongs to some kind of health nut. There is alfalfa sprouting in the cupboard with the mugs (it has to be in the dark and there's no room anywhere else) There is sour cream culturing on the windowsill, purple sauerkraut and fermented pear chutney in the fridge and as of this evening there is a bucket of shredded silverbeet on the bench. (Actually it's balancing on the tray of newspaper wrapped free range eggs)
I was at the markets today and the silverbeet looked so glossy and crinkly I just had to get some. The few bunches I picked through all seemed to have, er, insect poo but I wasn't deterred and settled on a less toilet-y looking bunch. Once I started washing it all I found the culprit: a reasonably sized and very alive snail! blech. 
The shredded leaves have been salted to start drawing the juices out and tomorrow I will massage them and pack them into a fermenting jar. At this stage it smells like cut grass. Not entirely appetising, I might need to add some cabbage to soften it or maybe it will mellow overnight.

Away from the kitchen I have been developing a slow burning affair with sites where people give away their excess stuff: freecycle and it's upmarket sister, Tushare. It's an interesting world where a bunch of old rice bags are more in demand than a sofa. 


I have saved about a dozen of these bags because they are solid and even have a zip. I knew they had to be useful for something so when I heard about Tushare I offered the bags. They languished for a while but last night a lady from my own suburb joined the site and thought they would be perfect for her scout troop. She messaged about picking them up early this morning and I said I would put them outside. I wasn't in any kind of hurry because things usually sit out there for days but after a coffee and a shower I decided to get on with it and when I opened the door the lady was standing on the road counting houses in confusion! She was delighted to take them, stains, stray rice grains and all! Life seems utterly surreal at times.


“One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.” 
― George OrwellThe Road to Wigan Pier