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    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    • 22Posts
    • 519Thanks
    SimpleLiving
    A Simpler Life 2018
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    A Simpler Life 2018 30th Nov 17 at 11:27 AM
    Every year at about this time, I get a yearning for a more simple way of life. A life that doesn't involve being bombarded with endless ads for x% off or buy a new sofa/kitchen/table/bed/car or your Christmas holiday will become a fate worse than death It really does get to me. I hate consumerism in general. It annoys me intensely that we waste so many resources making cheap non-essential rubbish that will end up in landfill a few months later. I think I must be some kind of grumpy, odd ball though as despite all the headlines about the economy and stagnant pay rises, the shops always seem to be rammed.
    Anyhow, I am planning to step back from it all in 2018:
    - no spending on unnecessary stuff. For example, I have enough clothes to last for years in one wardrobe and one chest of drawers. Books will come from the library. No fripperies!!
    - replace essential items where possible with good quality items preferably second hand, or british made or local where applicable
    - increase cooking from scratch. I buy too many things like biscuits etc that are far nicer and healthier homemade
    - make full use of garden and allotment for fruit, veg, preserves and wine.
    - forage for fruit, fungi, wood ....
    - spend more time outside, gardening, walking, enjoying nature to improve mental and physical well being
    - spend more time with my mum who is 76 and beginning to need me more
    - avoid pressure to conform!
    Anyone got any further ideas in how I could simplify life?
Page 1
    • carolbee
    • By carolbee 30th Nov 17, 12:00 PM
    • 973 Posts
    • 6,424 Thanks
    carolbee
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:00 PM
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:00 PM
    What a lovely, thoughtful post. That really resonates with me.
    Carolbee
    • Nonnadiluca
    • By Nonnadiluca 30th Nov 17, 12:02 PM
    • 123 Posts
    • 1,085 Thanks
    Nonnadiluca
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:02 PM
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:02 PM
    I absolutely agree! We are using irreplaceable resources, not for survival or even comfort, but to add to the growing piles of useless sh!t we bury ourselves under until we can no longer move, then we chuck it into landfill.
    Like you I have plenty of clothes and will only replace when necessary. I cook pretty much everything from scratch and we grow some fruit and veg and try to get as much as possible from the local farm shop. A real bonus is the amount of time and money I save by simply not going into most shops and avoiding at least half of the aisles in the supermarket.
    I look forward to hearing simplifying measures other people are taking as there's always a lot to learn.
    Your post has really cheered me up: it's good to know that there are others out there swimming against the tide!
    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 30th Nov 17, 12:13 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 519 Thanks
    SimpleLiving
    • #4
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:13 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:13 PM
    Thank you! Glad to hear I am not alone
    • carolbee
    • By carolbee 30th Nov 17, 12:33 PM
    • 973 Posts
    • 6,424 Thanks
    carolbee
    • #5
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:33 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:33 PM
    Have to chuckle that there are magazines devoted to living simply. By living simply we don’t clutter ourselves up with “lifestyle” magazines! Check out the KonMarie thread on here too.

    We have two allotments, try not to use the car too much if we can walk or cycle etc. Recycle stuff, home made biscuits cake etc in reused coffee jars for friends, plus silly joke books from charity shops, but entirely appropriate.

    No Xmas cards this year as we are going away for two months and I don’t want a load when I come back to throw away!
    Carolbee
    • fuddle
    • By fuddle 30th Nov 17, 12:48 PM
    • 5,954 Posts
    • 89,873 Thanks
    fuddle
    • #6
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:48 PM
    • #6
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:48 PM
    You've hit the nail right there and I'll be following and joining in too if that's ok?

    I've been stripping back for a fair few years now. I like everything in it's place and only has a place of it's useful or needed. I have just taken on an allotment and looking forward to consuming seasonally and learning the art of preserving. With that will come, hopefully, more of a cooking knowledge so I don't rely on recipes that tell me I need x from Mexico, y from the superfood category and z from the foodies earning a quick buck from advertising. I am also shifting my diet to grain free foods and will need grounding to keep it primal/food from the land and not wander into gluten free processed foods.

    The other thing for me is that I am losing a lot of weight and already my clothes are baggy. It's fine in the winter as I have layers and a big coat anyway but come the spring I will need to start replacing and I wish for this to be more capsule based, good quality fewer items. It will be good for me to have the support to keep up that mentality when I 'need' something cheap and in a hurry. I volunteer in a charity shop so I will keep an eye out there. I also have a sewing machine and would like to really get to grips with learning how to sow my own garments. I've had a few tries and equally a few (ok, all) faliures!

    I look forward to sharing ideas with you.
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 30th Nov 17, 12:52 PM
    • 4,182 Posts
    • 28,848 Thanks
    tessie bear
    • #7
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:52 PM
    • #7
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:52 PM
    i would like to join you if thats ok been musing about it for a few weeks now not sure exactly the direction i am off in but will read with interest xx
    on the brink...
    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 30th Nov 17, 1:02 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 519 Thanks
    SimpleLiving
    • #8
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:02 PM
    • #8
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:02 PM
    Please do join in. The more the merrier. I am feeling boosted by your positive responses and am off for a invigorating walk.
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 30th Nov 17, 1:27 PM
    • 3,275 Posts
    • 6,936 Thanks
    jackyann
    • #9
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:27 PM
    • #9
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:27 PM
    I agree, but am adding some words of advice and caution!
    You don't say what your situation is regarding time / money / health / responsibilities. All of these can impact a lot on how you live your life. I can no longer cycle, and our bus routes have been cut. We try to maximise use of the car, but that can lead to pressure.
    I suggest that you identify the pressure points and think about how you will deal with them. For instance, I always have a tin of soup in the cupboard, and a pizza in the freezer, for those days when things don't work out!
    Identify the simple things that give you pleasure, and set out to maximise them. Seek out the people and groups that will help you do that.
    Baby steps, and forgive yourself if you don't manage everything. I admire people who garden and do allotments. I have tried, and it never worked (except for herbs). In retirement, DH made me a small deep bed, and with very little effort, it provides me with salad stuff and greens all year round. I haven't the patience or inclination for any more than that, so am pleased with what I do, rather than be annoyed that I don't do more.
    I love this board where folk are so helpful to each other, so forward together into 2018!
    • charlies-aunt
    • By charlies-aunt 30th Nov 17, 1:28 PM
    • 1,581 Posts
    • 13,485 Thanks
    charlies-aunt
    May I join too? I am trying to live simply but well too.


    This year I have cooked from scratch much more, baked and have just started making our own bread. I work full time for a housing charity so time is short but would rather spend time in my own kitchen than in the supermarket


    The thing that has made the biggest impact for me is turning off the TV as I spent far too many hours watching dross. I am getting caught up with sewing, mending and making instead


    Could do better in 2018 I think - will follow this thread!
    The best things in life aren't things


    2017 Grocery challenge £110.00 per week/ £5720 a year






    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 30th Nov 17, 1:32 PM
    • 10,043 Posts
    • 107,926 Thanks
    LameWolf
    I am with you in spirit; I can no longer garden, so an allotment isn't a practical option, but I totally get where you are coming from.

    I do make all our food from scratch; I can't remember the last time I bought cake or biscuits other than cream crackers.

    I only buy clothes when something essential has worn out and needs replacing; and then it's most likely to come from the charity shop.

    I do still buy books; but both my husband and myself like reading, and if there's a book we enjoy, we will read it time and again.

    If Mr LW would only agree to it, I'd get rid of the tv entirely; as it is, we record any programmes we want to see, in order to fast-forward through all the irritating ads - having to sit through them sends my blood pressure up!

    We do have to use the car to get anywhere; there is no public transport where we live, and even if there was, getting a wheelchair onto a bus is no mean feat; but when the weather allows, we like to go for a "walk" - I use the parentheses because for me, it's on a mobility buggy!

    Lifestyle magazines dedicated to simple living? Really? I'd have thought those a total oxymoron! I don't bother with magazines at all, I'm afraid, other than the journals dedicated to organisations I belong to, viz the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, Mensa and the Pagan Federation.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • MandM90
    • By MandM90 30th Nov 17, 1:32 PM
    • 1,347 Posts
    • 6,553 Thanks
    MandM90
    We donated/sold 70% of all our belonging about three years ago, including our TV. That really simplified life. I can honestly say our house is tidy 80% of the time, without me having to do much tidying.

    I also think there are other, small (and seemingly silly) things you can do, like:
    -unsubscribe from all mailing lists so all your emails are personal/important - or use Unroll.Me to digest the,
    -write to companies that send you things by post and cancel
    -stop seeing people who bring nothing but negativity
    -reduce your commitments so you're only involved in things worth your time, and that are meaningful to you
    - create a basic list of easy meals (few ingredients, short time) that are wholesome, frugal and freeze well. Display in kitchen.
    - create a capsule wardrobe (thoroughly recommend project 333) of very few clothing items to eliminate the need for overwhelming choice on a day to day basis
    - similarly only keep books and movies that have meaning/you are 100% committed to reading again. Less clutter and less obligation to spend time on them.
    - try unplugging the telly for a few days and see if you can do without it
    - we sometimes have secular 'sabbaths' where we prep food the day before and have no work and no electronices for a full 24 hours. Just chatting, board games, walks. Connecting as a family and fully unwinding.
    - try camping for your next holiday
    - we don't buy snacks - apart from nuts and fruit - or fizzy drinks. Meals are three times a day with an apple or bit of bread if you're peckish.
    Last edited by MandM90; 30-11-2017 at 1:37 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Marriages & Family,
    Old Style, Mortgage Free Wannabe, Green & Ethical
    boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • fuddle
    • By fuddle 30th Nov 17, 1:48 PM
    • 5,954 Posts
    • 89,873 Thanks
    fuddle

    I also think there are other, small (and seemingly silly) things you can do, like:
    -unsubscribe from all mailing lists so all your emails are personal/important - or use Unroll.Me to digest the,
    Originally posted by MandM90
    Can I just say thank you very much for this suggestion. I had no idea and I find an untidy inbox extremely frustrating. Off to go see what I can do.
    • Nonnadiluca
    • By Nonnadiluca 30th Nov 17, 2:57 PM
    • 123 Posts
    • 1,085 Thanks
    Nonnadiluca
    I am definitely going to try switching the TV off unless there's something specific we want to watch, it's a real time waster. My problem with this is OH; if he walks into the sitting room he puts the TV on, it's a reflex reaction! He will then look at cricket scores or flick through and settle on the least awful option like 2008 Homes under the hammer or Escape to the country somewhere we would never go, then goes out to the garden, leaving it on. Drives me nuts!!
    Thanks for all the suggestions.
    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 30th Nov 17, 3:06 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 519 Thanks
    SimpleLiving
    I agree, but am adding some words of advice and caution!
    You don't say what your situation is regarding time / money / health / responsibilities. All of these can impact a lot on how you live your life. I can no longer cycle, and our bus routes have been cut. We try to maximise use of the car, but that can lead to pressure.
    I suggest that you identify the pressure points and think about how you will deal with them. For instance, I always have a tin of soup in the cupboard, and a pizza in the freezer, for those days when things don't work out!
    Identify the simple things that give you pleasure, and set out to maximise them. Seek out the people and groups that will help you do that.
    Baby steps, and forgive yourself if you don't manage everything. I admire people who garden and do allotments. I have tried, and it never worked (except for herbs). In retirement, DH made me a small deep bed, and with very little effort, it provides me with salad stuff and greens all year round. I haven't the patience or inclination for any more than that, so am pleased with what I do, rather than be annoyed that I don't do more.
    I love this board where folk are so helpful to each other, so forward together into 2018!
    Originally posted by jackyann
    I work part time freelance. Tbh I don't enjoy the work but it pays well so I just do as much as needed to have a decent standard of living...which to me is enough to pay basic bills, a holiday and then mostly other stuff for my 12 year old. I am not into lavish living and enjoy simple stuff. The mortgage was paid off when I was made redundant a few years ago and I have some savings but am aware that the work may dry up at any time and I need the peace of mind that my savings bring. I don't think my sister understands my way of thinking at all and that is a constant source of stress. She is always spending more than she earns and getting into money problems that then affects the rest of the family
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 30th Nov 17, 3:10 PM
    • 2,096 Posts
    • 9,741 Thanks
    Prinzessilein
    Disability means that allotmenting and gardening is out of the question for me.

    I have a REAL problem with books....I used to have 6 book shelves...moved house and downsized to 4...moved house again a year ago and had to downsize...so I now have 3...and they are overflowing!...I have had a clear out - they certainly look neater...I could never get rid of all my books...some of them are very old and very dear friends!

    From next year there is a strict rule with DVDs....no MORE!!!!....I have a share in an Amazon Prime subscription, and get more than enough films and TV from that! (And thankfully I only have Freeview TV....no cutbacks needed there!)...and once a month I will sort through the DVD shelf and be honest about what I will never watch again...I reckon 25% to 50% will be gone after 12 months!

    I actually think that a few investments can make the simple-life easier...a slowcooker is brilliant...and pays for itself in next to no time...and a stick blender. ....I cannot understand people BUYING soup!...I made a batch today, curried carrot and parsnip...lovely big mugful for lunch and the rest portioned up for the freezer.....and always go for wonky veg...or use the market stall.....(why buy a Styrofoam tray with four carrots, covered in clingfilm...when you only want 2 carrots and have no use for the Styrofoam or clingfilm???!!!

    Learning to knit was a brilliant idea for me!....Firstly it makes me still feel useful (I can no longer work)....and also the market sells woolly hats for £5 and I made a hat and gloves for half that!

    I must be about 10 years since I last ate a takeaway!....I do enjoy pizza...and really love a curry....but have homemade...(and freeze curry as my homemade takeaway!)
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 30th Nov 17, 3:28 PM
    • 15,630 Posts
    • 127,688 Thanks
    JackieO
    Hi there ,back in February of this year I popped a thought about Love Food, Hate Waste on the forum as I had read about how there was so much waste in this modernday throw away society of ours I was surpised how well it took off .So a simple life using the similar precepts it a great idea I have been cooking from scratch for most of my long life and would find it very hard to change ,but certain things I started to do now have become virtually second nature.

    Nothing ,but nothing gets wasted in my house at all if its recycleable or I can find a good home for something rather than tipping stuff I will. My freezer is slowly getting a bit more 'wriggle room' as it was far too full, ny clothes have been either CS or I have found someone who can use them (the local Sally Army are brilliant and are always happy to have donations ,especially of jumpers and warm clothes that I have 'ourgrown ' or just no longer wear.

    I recycle or refurbish 'junk' furniture as a hobby and enjoy rubbing stuff down ,sandpapering and undercoating and repainting. My DD with her four lads have been very happy with my efforts.

    As for books well I usually find some one who can use them after me as most come from donations from folk who know I read a lot .One friend whose aged Mum has just gone into a nursing home and she was clering her flat gave me a complete set of Dickens which sat in the spare room for about a month then I discovered that one of the chaps who comes to our quiz night team is a ardent fan so I gave them to him on Tuesday night

    So more power to your elbow and I'm sure we will all be behind you and will come up with lots of ideas to help

    Cheers JackieO xx
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 30th Nov 17, 3:57 PM
    • 3,275 Posts
    • 6,936 Thanks
    jackyann
    Lots of lovely ideas!
    To those of you who don't garden because of a disability, can I suggest that you consider a raised deep bed, or 'table top' to grow herbs, some salad stuff and greens? I should have said that my deep bed is raised so I can deal with it easily. But please, it is only a gentle suggestion that may be useful, as salad and greens are so expensive!

    Also, it my be obvious, but sort your clothes carefully. I have made my own clothes, on and off since i was 11, and making nearly all of them in retirement is a hobby that gives me a lot of pleasure. Now, every new item is carefully made, so represents an investment of time and effort as well as money.
    I have been known to change my clothes 3 or 4 times a day, so that I am always wearing the oldest and most worn that I can get away with! If I put on something nice to go out, I will usually change it the minute I get back. But I have to say that sometimes I look at my wardrobe and think it is full of clothes that have the invisible labels 'for the garden' & 'wear around the house'.

    I am a keen freecycler / freegler and library user. But sadly our appalling county council is almost certain to close all of the libraries within any reasonable distance in my rural area. Even taking the bus won't be easy as there is no direct bus to any of the places that are keeping their libraries, and the cuts mean that changing buses involves a lot of waiting. The town we usually take our car to for shopping will have its library closed, so we shall have to consider a special trip of 10 miles (20 round trip) and we're not sure it will be worth it.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 30th Nov 17, 4:19 PM
    • 7,880 Posts
    • 26,805 Thanks
    Primrose
    I too have felt rather overwhelmed recently by the sheer commercials of modern life with my email box flooded with promotional adverts and emails for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, expensive aAdvent calendars packed with chocolates and miniature drinks!
    I sent a very rude response yesterday to a company sending me a “Crimbo”advert.
    I would love to de clutter and simplify but my husband insists of retaining books and other items he hasn,t touched for years. I rarely watch TV. Can,t stand the incessant adverts and the loud background music which producers now insist on including in almost every programme.
    Nevertheless I shall I unsubscribe myself to emails and keep trying to simplify my life.
    • One Bullet Five Zombies
    • By One Bullet Five Zombies 30th Nov 17, 4:48 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 89 Thanks
    One Bullet Five Zombies
    Thank you MandM90 for the unroll link, I've always gone through my emails and unsubscribed manually which takes forever!!

    I'm in agreement with this thread and would love to follow and join in too if you don't mind SimpleLiving?

    I have made some steps towards simplifying my life already the last couple of weeks. I've cancelled Netflix (intending to read more - with books from the library which I've also recently rejoined).

    For my birthday I received a little shelf greenhouse for my birthday which I plan to grow herbs and spices in and a hand blender with the intention of doing more soups etc. (instead of buying lunch from the expensive hospital shops at work). Takeaways and convenience food is something we really waste a lot of money on through a total lack of meal planning.

    Me and my partner are hoping to start a family next year so if we can save a bit of money, simplify and get more of a routine in place now then it'll certainly help
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