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  • FIRST POST
    Penelope Penguin
    Tips and Quick Questions on “How To Start Being Old Style”
    • #1
    • 20th Jul 09, 1:28 PM
    Tips and Quick Questions on “How To Start Being Old Style” 20th Jul 09 at 1:28 PM
    Hello! Pink-winged and I have seen a recent increase in people starting threads asking how to get started in Old Style (OS). This thread will be a resource for people starting out in OS, giving them pointers where to start.

    Take a look at these threads first:

    Welcome to Old Style and Important Notices for Old Style – take a read of these to see what OS is all about. There are lots of tips on searching, which will help you to see if your question has been asked before.

    Getting to Know You thread – meet other OSers and introduce yourself.

    Quick Questions about OS thread – includes on page 1 a list of the other QQ threads.

    Grocery thread – this is a sticky (will always be near the top of the front page of OS). There’s a new thread every month, starting around the 27th of the previous month. Posters here include their grocery budget for the month, and other posters give them hints and tips for sticking to it. This thread includes, on page 1, a list of money-saving recipes.

    Flylady thread – posters encourage each other in keeping their homes clean and tidy. There’s a suggested list of weekly chores on page 1 (and a star system for completing the list) but you don’t have to follow this to be part of the thread. There’s a new thread every week, starting Sunday evening.

    Menuplan thread – look at what other OSers are eating this week and post your own. There’s a new thread each week, starting on a Sunday. You can find tips on this thread Meal planning; how do you do it?

    OS Daily thread – chat thread to talk about the ups and downs of your OS day. New thread started every morning.

    The Great Declutter – get rid of stuff and your home will be much easier to clean.

    Save Zillions on Cleaning Products thread.

    OS Recipes Collection, Recipe Collection Thread , Complete Cooking Collection and Slow Cooker - the Recipe Collection

    Storecupboard Essentials

    OS Indexed Collection - lists of threads which come up more frequently, collected together by topic.


    And for those starting Old Style as a single person -
    Single Money Saver living on my own


    Please join into one or more of these threads (or any others that take your fancy). If you have specific questions about starting out OS, or tips for new OSers, please post them here.

    Penny. x

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers


    Last edited by MSE Rose; 28 July 2009 at 6:45 PM..
    Last edited by squeaky; 03-11-2011 at 5:47 AM.
    Life is too short to clean behind the fridge
Page 1
  • rosieben
    • #2
    • 21st Jul 09, 12:36 AM
    • #2
    • 21st Jul 09, 12:36 AM
    Might be useful to have a pointer to the Complete Cooking Collection which I am still indexing, honestly....
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • luxor4t
    • By luxor4t 21st Jul 09, 7:46 AM
    • 8,679 Posts
    • 29,841 Thanks
    luxor4t
    • #3
    • 21st Jul 09, 7:46 AM
    • #3
    • 21st Jul 09, 7:46 AM
    I remember the "OS Starter Pack" thread:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=90713
  • SailorSam
    • #4
    • 21st Jul 09, 8:32 AM
    • #4
    • 21st Jul 09, 8:32 AM
    This seems a good idea, thanks. I've added this to my favs, i'm sure it will save me hours of searching.
    Now that i'm what you could describe as an older person i've stopped eating health foods.
    I need all the preservatives i can get.

  • Olliebeak
    • #5
    • 21st Jul 09, 8:43 AM
    • #5
    • 21st Jul 09, 8:43 AM
    I remember the "OS Starter Pack" thread:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=90713
    Originally posted by luxor4t
    thanks for this link, luxor4t! Never seen it before .
  • Penelope Penguin
    • #6
    • 21st Jul 09, 9:08 AM
    • #6
    • 21st Jul 09, 9:08 AM
    Might be useful to have a pointer to the Complete Cooking Collection
    Originally posted by rosieben
    Good point I've added a link to the full OS Indexed Collections

    Penny. x
    Life is too short to clean behind the fridge
  • rosieben
    • #7
    • 21st Jul 09, 11:08 AM
    • #7
    • 21st Jul 09, 11:08 AM
    PenPen how about a link to your Complete Menu Plans thread? there are some really useful links in that one.

    This thread is a great idea
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • abaxas
    • #8
    • 21st Jul 09, 12:25 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Jul 09, 12:25 PM
    I'd assume, there must be a vinegar thread somewhere.

    It's the staple of the OSers
  • Magpie.
    • #9
    • 21st Jul 09, 12:55 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Jul 09, 12:55 PM
    PenPen how about a link to your Complete Menu Plans thread? there are some really useful links in that one.

    This thread is a great idea
    Originally posted by rosieben
    I haven't seen that before, excellent. Have bookmarked it for a good read through.
  • sassie-lassie
    Drastic Changes in Housekeeping Habits!
    Hello All,

    Following an unexpected redundancy about a month ago, I'm in the process of completely overhauling my lifestyle/habits to cut my expenditure to a minimum.

    Basically, up until my redundancy I was fairly well paid and never thought too much about how much I spent on housekeeping (or much else to be honest). Over the last couple of weeks however, I've been reading lots of posts on MSE - this site is addictive - and am full of admiration for how people budget, plan and generally, make a little go a long way. It's also made me realize how poorly I measure up in comparison...

    Anyway, whilst I no longer have the money, I do now have the time to learn from you all and try and change my habits for the better. Previously I often worked 12-14-16 hour days, which I used to justify my excessive shopping in M&S's foodstores.

    I thought it would be a learning experience for me and anyone else who suddenly finds themselves in my position to document my adjustment in terms of developing oldstyle habits. Any tips and comments would be appreciated!!

    Ok then... My household comprises me, my cat Twiglet and of course, the house itself (a modest terrace).

    This week I set myself a budget of Ł25 for the housekeeping, which I thought should be more than adequate. However, a single trip to Sainsbury at the start of the week swallowed up nearly Ł20, and although I'd hoped it might last the week, I'm not sure if that's gonna happen!!
    List included the following:
    • 3x cans chopped tomatoes (basics range)
    • Felix Cat food (6x cans)
    • 2x Sainsbury individual cat food pouches
    • 2 pints semi-skimmed milk
    • 1x packet custard cream biscuits
    • 1x big tub coleslaw
    • 1x packet chicken fillets
    • 2x packs bacon (BOGOF)
    • 1x packet country soup mix
    • Fresh leeks, carrots and courgettes (basics)
    • 8x pack Activia yoghurts

    Is that enough, I wonder?? I've already spent another 70p on a jar of olives!!!

    I've never really kept a record, but I imagine that until now, I may have been spending Ł60+ per week on groceries. Consequently, I think I'm going to find sticking to a budget quite a challenge!!

    I'll post progress throughout the week.
  • sassie-lassie
    Oh, and I've just purchased a slow-cooker from Tesco for nine pounds and something, 'cos it seems they're really highly regarded by people on here. All I need to do now though is work out what best to cook in it lol..
  • misskool
    you can make a lot of coleslaw if you had bought a head of cabbage, 1kg of carrots and a couple of onions with a jar of mayonnaise. And stretch out some other meals with it.

    Chicken fillets are always expensive (premium pricing) but best value is in buying a whole chicken. There are ways of making one chicken feed a family of 4 for a week of dinners! But basically you do a roast, then curry leftovers, stir fry what you can find, and then bones for stock to make soup!

    I think it's amazing you've gone straight from m&s to basics stuff. Don't be too hard on yourself, little steps for changes and you'll be fine.

    ps-if you have lots of time, you might it rewarding to grow some vegetables, especially expensive stuff like posh salads, they are easy to grow and don't need much space/care

    good luck!
  • Olliebeak
    Hello All,........ List included the following:
    • 3x cans chopped tomatoes (basics range)
    • Felix Cat food (6x cans)
    • 2x Sainsbury individual cat food pouches
    • 2 pints semi-skimmed milk
    • 1x packet custard cream biscuits
    • 1x big tub coleslaw
    • 1x packet chicken fillets
    • 2x packs bacon (BOGOF)
    • 1x packet country soup mix
    • Fresh leeks, carrots and courgettes (basics)
    • 8x pack Activia yoghurts
    Is that enough, I wonder?? I've already spent another 70p on a jar of olives!!!
    Originally posted by sassie-lassie
    Hello sassie-lassie

    Can I ask please, are the packs of bacon and chicken fillets frozen or fresh ones?

    Would you consider changing the chicken breast fillets for chicken drumsticks/thighs/quarters in future? Would perhaps bring the costs down a bit. If you know how to divide up a chicken, you can buy a whole one and get lots of portions from it.

    If they're fresh, I would divide them up into 'portion sizes', bag and freeze. That way nothing goes to waste or 'has' to be used up quickly.

    Same with the leeks, carrots and courgettes - I would prep them and freeze in useable amounts - or even just each one in a large bag and take out exactly the amount you'll use for a meal.

    You could also have a try at making your own soup - potato and leek; chicken and leek; carrot and coriander; spicy parsnip are all very easy. I'd never made any till the winter before last and quite surprised myself and OH. Got some Chicken and Broccoli Soup in my freezer made by using up some home-made chicken stock (from a chicken carcasse), a small head of broccoli (that had been in the fridge for over a week ), some chicken scraps (the last off the carcasse), onions, an extra chicken stock cube and some herbs. Start off by 'sweating' the veg in a little veg oil, then adding boiling water. Bring back to the boil, and simmer until cooked. Then blitz in a blender or with a 'whizzie-stick (hand-blender)' still as smooth as you like it .

    I buy the bags of 'basics/smartprice' onions (4lbs for around 85p), peel, chop and then freeze in a large sealable poly-bag - that way I've always got onions to hand that don't need much work.

    Have you checked over what is already in your cupboards/freezer? Maybe you could consider using up things already in there - especially anything that's been around for a while. Get it used before it goes out of date .

    Good Luck, lassie - Ollie


    oops - just noticed that misskool got in before me about the chicken lol .
    Last edited by Olliebeak; 22-07-2009 at 11:48 PM.
  • vatic
    I know how you feel about drastic changes -- I've recently become unemployed and thought I would be able to get more temp work than I have. Good luck sassie-lassie!

    I would try and buy more dry staples. Things like dried beans, lentilles, pearl barley, bulgur wheat, etc. They help pad out meals to help fill you up and are a lot cheaper than meat. Plus they add the added bonus of extra protein, fibre, and can count towards your five-a-day.

    I know that our grocery bills have gone down considerably from that change. I even surprised my partner's mum, a real OS'er with my stretching of 500g of mince out to 6 different meals (including leftovers) using more veg and the dried goods mentioned above. They will be nice and easy to cook with your new slow cooker too

    Also, with yoghurt, buying larger pots can often be more cost-effective and can take up less room in your fridge. Just invest in small plastic tupperware to put it into smaller portions if that's why you like the little pots. Or, when I'm lazy, I'll just use a tiny teaspoon to slow my yoghurt eating down
    Last edited by vatic; 23-07-2009 at 12:06 AM.
    March win: Fair Squared organic spa skincare set
    It isn't where you came from; it's where you're going that counts -- Ella Fitzgerald


  • sassie-lassie
    "are the packs of bacon and chicken fillets frozen or fresh ones?"

    They are fresh ones, but the bacon was BOGOF.. I take the point about the chicken - you are quite right that I ought to buy a whole one and, ahem, deal with it. However, there are a couple of issues:
    1. Don't laugh, but I am so squeamish that I've been known to don rubber gloves before handing a whole, raw bird
    2. I've no idea about how to joint the thing - but perhaps now is the time for me to learn, if I can overcome 1. above...

    My Country Soup mixture is soaking pending being made into some sort of soup with the chicken fillets and leeks tomorrow! If I make enough soup for say 4x generous helpings, do you think I'll need one or two breast fillets??
  • Olliebeak
    "are the packs of bacon and chicken fillets frozen or fresh ones?"

    They are fresh ones, but the bacon was BOGOF.. I take the point about the chicken - you are quite right that I ought to buy a whole one and, ahem, deal with it. However, there are a couple of issues:
    1. Don't laugh, but I am so squeamish that I've been known to don rubber gloves before handing a whole, raw bird
    2. I've no idea about how to joint the thing - but perhaps now is the time for me to learn, if I can overcome 1. above...

    My Country Soup mixture is soaking pending being made into some sort of soup with the chicken fillets and leeks tomorrow! If I make enough soup for say 4x generous helpings, do you think I'll need one or two breast fillets??
    Originally posted by sassie-lassie
    aaaaahhhhh pardon my misunderstanding . I thought you meant a pack of 'Country Veg Soup Mix' as in Bachelors/Knorr, lol.

    I wouldn't waste a chicken breast fillet on soup making - or maybe that's just me :confused: - perhaps others would it this way. I've only ever made soup using left-over meat from the carcasse (or from a 'ham shank').

    Maybe somebody else will be along shortly with an idea on that one .

    A couple of links that you might find useful:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?p=795257#post795257

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=202128

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?p=8736367#post8736367

    That last one is the complete cookery collection thread - just scroll down through it and you'll find all kinds of stuff in there - including a whole section on chicken .

    Good Luck - Ollie - nitey nite

    Don't worry about being squeamish. I used to work in a restaurant kitchen doing prep-work for my ex-OH who was the chef. One of my jobs was to flour, egg and crumb the plaice fillets. I used to wear rubber gloves to do it and would be running out of the kitchen to 'heave' every couple of minutes - I have a real bad 'fish phobia'. I finally got the ex to do them and I would take responsibility for keeping his grill plates clean every day by dipping them in baths of acid overnight and rinsing off the next morning - considered quite dangerous stuff :confused:.
    Last edited by Olliebeak; 23-07-2009 at 12:28 AM.
  • Penelope Penguin
    I thought it would be a learning experience for me and anyone else who suddenly finds themselves in my position to document my adjustment in terms of developing oldstyle habits. Any tips and comments would be appreciated!!
    Originally posted by sassie-lassie
    Sorry to hear about your redundancy We've set up a thread for people starting out Old Style, so I'll add this thread to that one. Post 1 has lots of useful threads for you to look at. You can join them, and ask specific questions if you like

    Good luck, Penny. x
    Life is too short to clean behind the fridge
  • miss_independent
    Wow this is my first ever post ! Sassie Lassie you don't have to use the chicken breast to make your soup - you could use two strips (or even one) of your bacon. This is what my mum often does to use up a pack. Simply cut it it up into smaller strips with kitchen scissors and add to your soup. What we would do is fry it with your onions for a couple of minutes then add stock and water, your broth mix and some grated carrots. We call it Granny's soup as my Granny taught us how to make it. You can also make it with ham shank, the stock off boiled gammon or cheap on the bone cuts of lamb or of course chicken thighs or drumsticks. Good Luck!
  • Olliebeak
    Our favourite family soup is made from the stock when cooking a ham shank .

    I cook the shank overnight in the slowcooker and soak some soup/broth mix.

    Next morning I remove the shank and get rid of the fatty skin. I put about half of the stock to one side (place in fridge when it's cooled down enough - usually goes to 'jelly').

    The remaining stock stays in the slow cooker and I add the rinsed soup/broth mix, some herbs, some chopped onions, some sliced carrots, chopped swede, potatoes cut into smallish cubes, sliced leeks, sliced celery and just over half of the shank meat (cut into small cubes). This cooks for most of the day in the slow cooker and we call it 'Shank Stew'. Can add some dumplings to make it stretch further . This usually results in some being left-over for the freezer as well.

    Next night, I soak a box of dried peas overnight. The following morning, the remaining stock goes into the Slow Cooker, with some chopped onions, some more celery, the rinsed peas, herbs, black pepper and the remaining shank meat. This soup makes quite a lot and gives a few portions for the freezer.

    If the shank is a particularly big one, there should be enough meat for a sandwich as well - cook's perks .
  • randomer
    struggling a bit!
    I have ben unemployed for a year. It wasn't a well paid job but topped up husband's earnings and we scraped by.
    We are really feeling the pinch now though.
    What prompted a rethink of spending was 2 lots of bank charges for going over the overdraft.
    I felt quite cheerful last month having ended up 2k O/D instead of 3k but now I feel a bit dejected . We are doing the food planning and list thing and that certainly is an improvement. Husband has a cash allowance so no more shop bought sandwiches and magazines.No unecessary spends and I've bought a few clothes in charity shops.
    It just all feels a bit .....miserable somehow!:confused:
    I suppose it's abig change in attitiude and will take time.
    Well done all those who are on track!
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