Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    • 40Posts
    • 1,207Thanks
    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 26
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 3rd Jan 18, 11:29 PM
    • 1,144 Posts
    • 12,349 Thanks
    nannygladys
    Hi everyone
    It's not easy shopping without plastic, I've been trying hard to cut back on plastic packaging for a couple of months now, I buy lose veg, and have started to make my own yogurt but only because I already have a yogurt maker, I had to hunt really hard to find olive oil in a bottle when I only wanted a small amount as well. I didn't realise how difficult it was going to be, as I can remember a time when butter was patted and wrapped!!
    Anyway my small target is sorting out clothes and the fridge/ freezer in January. Off to bed now.
    Nannyg
    Mortgage free and debt free but only income is state pension so need to be frugal
    • dND
    • By dND 4th Jan 18, 9:07 AM
    • 429 Posts
    • 6,085 Thanks
    dND
    I did have a think about a sourdough starter but I very quickly realised that I wouldn't keep up looking after it and I only wanted bread infrequently. What I came up with is the following (please bear with me it's long but not complicated):-

    I buy lemons when they are on offer. Then before they have time to go off I zest and juice them. The zest gets frozen to add to cakes or stews. I freeze the juice (in a silicon mould for ease of removal) and I know how many lumps approximate to an average lemon. Before being composted, some of the remaining lemon shells get put in the bottom of the dishwasher for a couple of washes to freshen the dishwasher.

    Then about once a month, I make a basic curd cheese. Warm 1 litre of UHT milk to about 80C - not boiling but just beginning to show signs of simmering. Drop in about 1 lemons worth of the frozen lemon juice lumps and watch the magic as it separates into curds and whey. Once it's separated, I strain it through some old net curtaining I have - fine holes not large - making sure I conserve the whey.

    The curd cheese is very bland, a bit like cream. Sometimes I remember to add a bit of salt when the milk is heating, sometimes it's a bit lemony if I added a bit too much lemon and very occasionally I add chopped herbs. I love it plain on crackers topped with strawberry jam

    The whey I mix with an equal amount of water and freeze in 300ml lots. This - the reason for this long process - is what I use for soda bread which only takes about an hour from deciding to make to eating

    I've only tried the soda bread with 'normal' flour, both bread flours and plain flours so I don't know if it would work with gluten-free flour, but it may and it's a lot easier than having to prove bread mix or feed a started daily.

    • elmer
    • By elmer 4th Jan 18, 9:09 AM
    • 794 Posts
    • 1,205 Thanks
    elmer
    Thank you GreyQueen I never think to look for blogs, I will report back to work with all my great ideas, and they will be amazed, so many thanks.

    Its rather sad, we are all women of a certain age who work in a library, we should have all this at our fingertips, but technology has rather overtaken my capacity to keep up!
    • elmer
    • By elmer 4th Jan 18, 9:15 AM
    • 794 Posts
    • 1,205 Thanks
    elmer
    Wow dND thats a very full use of lemons, I feel inspired to give it a go, especially as I love sourdough bread but am an awful bread maker, My son is a pastry chef , dont know where he got that from!!

    And I love the idea of cleaning the dishwasher with the lemon skins

    elmer
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 4th Jan 18, 9:37 AM
    • 2,386 Posts
    • 11,230 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    I buy lemons when they are on offer. Then before they have time to go off I zest and juice them. The zest gets frozen to add to cakes or stews. I freeze the juice (in a silicon mould for ease of removal) and I know how many lumps approximate to an average lemon. Before being composted, some of the remaining lemon shells get put in the bottom of the dishwasher for a couple of washes to freshen the dishwasher.
    Originally posted by dND
    I love these ideas. I will be stealing this for myself

    I took a hole(y)cashmere jumper out of the rubbish as I found an upcycling organisation. If you donate a clean 100% cashmere jumper they make you a pair of fingerless gloves as a thank you. They are called Turtledove. I love this idea and it makes it easier it part with old cashmere.
    Have a good day everyone
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/December 2017=2,510
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • simplelivingislandlife
    • By simplelivingislandlife 4th Jan 18, 10:27 AM
    • 28 Posts
    • 335 Thanks
    simplelivingislandlife
    I did have a think about a sourdough starter but I very quickly realised that I wouldn't keep up looking after it and I only wanted bread infrequently. What I came up with is the following (please bear with me it's long but not complicated):-

    I buy lemons when they are on offer. Then before they have time to go off I zest and juice them. The zest gets frozen to add to cakes or stews. I freeze the juice (in a silicon mould for ease of removal) and I know how many lumps approximate to an average lemon. Before being composted, some of the remaining lemon shells get put in the bottom of the dishwasher for a couple of washes to freshen the dishwasher.

    Then about once a month, I make a basic curd cheese. Warm 1 litre of UHT milk to about 80C - not boiling but just beginning to show signs of simmering. Drop in about 1 lemons worth of the frozen lemon juice lumps and watch the magic as it separates into curds and whey. Once it's separated, I strain it through some old net curtaining I have - fine holes not large - making sure I conserve the whey.

    The curd cheese is very bland, a bit like cream. Sometimes I remember to add a bit of salt when the milk is heating, sometimes it's a bit lemony if I added a bit too much lemon and very occasionally I add chopped herbs. I love it plain on crackers topped with strawberry jam

    The whey I mix with an equal amount of water and freeze in 300ml lots. This - the reason for this long process - is what I use for soda bread which only takes about an hour from deciding to make to eating

    I've only tried the soda bread with 'normal' flour, both bread flours and plain flours so I don't know if it would work with gluten-free flour, but it may and it's a lot easier than having to prove bread mix or feed a started daily.
    Originally posted by dND
    WOW!! Thank you for this! I love the idea of the curd cheese so I'm really going to have to try that. Can I ask what recipe you use for the sourdough using the whey??? As really tempted by this.
    Frugal Living Challenge, Household £0/5,000 Personal £0/3,000 Starting on the 25th Jan.
    January 2018 Grocery Challenge - £42.88/280 20p Savers - £5.20p Virtual Sealed Pot No. 14 - £19.04/£260 Mortgage Overpayments - £0/£1,200 Sealed Pot No 37
    • maryb
    • By maryb 4th Jan 18, 4:01 PM
    • 3,505 Posts
    • 42,262 Thanks
    maryb
    Well I managed to get some Himalayan pink salt in TKMaxx while I was out. Quite amused to see on the label 'made in France'

    Also bought a shampoo bar in Lush HOW much????? Won't be doing that again in a hurry - shampoo bar/soap making may be one of my new hobbies

    The health food shop in town has got new owners so popped in to see if they did Ecover refills. They don't but they said it was something they would think about so that would be good

    While I was in TKM I happened to see a Bodum teapot for loose tea with a silicone insert and a plunger for £9.99 They sell for £38 in John Lewis (though they have a steel insert rather than a silicone one). But I thought at that price, why not try it?.

    Bit disappointed to be frank. The holes in the insert don't go all the way down so you are left with water in the bottom of the insert even after pressing the plunger. And because the holes only start halfway up, it takes ages to fill the teapot. But it's a nice pourer so I will keep it
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • fuddle
    • By fuddle 4th Jan 18, 4:10 PM
    • 6,050 Posts
    • 91,898 Thanks
    fuddle
    No they're not cheap but they do last ages and I do like Lush ethics.

    Can I ask, having never bought them before, where would I get cloth hankies from? I've has a cold for about 10 days and I'm ashamed of the paper waste I have produced. I have laundered umpteen times in that time so it makes sense to switch.
    • Nargleblast
    • By Nargleblast 4th Jan 18, 4:21 PM
    • 9,451 Posts
    • 56,270 Thanks
    Nargleblast
    Fuddle I am sure I have seen hankies for sale on Durham’s indoor market, the haberdashery stall on your left as you go in. Carrying on round to the left there is a stall that does nighties etc, they might do hankies as well. Parkins (the school outfitters shop) on North Road might do blokes’ hankies, probably more useful if you have a serious nose problem. Then of course, if you have a sheet that is past it’s best you could cut it down into hankies and hem them all round, but I’m too bone idle to do that.
    Debt free date.....3 August 2015
    Now building up a Doomsday Cash Stash
    • fuddle
    • By fuddle 4th Jan 18, 4:30 PM
    • 6,050 Posts
    • 91,898 Thanks
    fuddle
    I'm on the bus to the hospital next month nargle, I'll have a look in the market. M&S might do them too maybe.
    • maryb
    • By maryb 4th Jan 18, 4:42 PM
    • 3,505 Posts
    • 42,262 Thanks
    maryb
    Now is a good time to look for them in the sales in department stores - people still buy them as Christmas presents so the shops get stocks in in autumn
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 4th Jan 18, 4:46 PM
    • 126 Posts
    • 1,484 Thanks
    Katieowl
    Well I managed to get some Himalayan pink salt in TKMaxx while I was out. Quite amused to see on the label 'made in France'

    Also bought a shampoo bar in Lush HOW much????? Won't be doing that again in a hurry - shampoo bar/soap making may be one of my new hobbies

    The health food shop in town has got new owners so popped in to see if they did Ecover refills. They don't but they said it was something they would think about so that would be good

    While I was in TKM I happened to see a Bodum teapot for loose tea with a silicone insert and a plunger for £9.99 They sell for £38 in John Lewis (though they have a steel insert rather than a silicone one). But I thought at that price, why not try it?.

    Bit disappointed to be frank. The holes in the insert don't go all the way down so you are left with water in the bottom of the insert even after pressing the plunger. And because the holes only start halfway up, it takes ages to fill the teapot. But it's a nice pourer so I will keep it
    Originally posted by maryb
    BandM do pink salt BTW it's usually very cheap! First pack I bought in a health food shop told me it was 350 million years old, but best before the end of September!
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 4th Jan 18, 4:48 PM
    • 11,153 Posts
    • 155,567 Thanks
    MrsLurcherwalker
    Have a look for handkerchiefs on E.Bay FUDS there is a pack of 20 mens plain white on there for £4.99 and 99p postage. That's going to be far cheaper than buying them in a shop.
    Go forward with the vision even if no one else can see it!

    No amount of regretting can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future!
    • simplelivingislandlife
    • By simplelivingislandlife 4th Jan 18, 4:54 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 335 Thanks
    simplelivingislandlife
    No they're not cheap but they do last ages and I do like Lush ethics.

    Can I ask, having never bought them before, where would I get cloth hankies from? I've has a cold for about 10 days and I'm ashamed of the paper waste I have produced. I have laundered umpteen times in that time so it makes sense to switch.
    Originally posted by fuddle
    Maybe not quite what your looking for Fuddle but my other half chops up undies which he doesn't like the fit of and uses them. We have quite a few lovely tartan hankies because of this!!
    Frugal Living Challenge, Household £0/5,000 Personal £0/3,000 Starting on the 25th Jan.
    January 2018 Grocery Challenge - £42.88/280 20p Savers - £5.20p Virtual Sealed Pot No. 14 - £19.04/£260 Mortgage Overpayments - £0/£1,200 Sealed Pot No 37
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 4th Jan 18, 4:58 PM
    • 11,545 Posts
    • 222,442 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    Unopened packets of hankies, ladies and gents both, turn up at charity shops fairly frequently, that's where all mine come from. Tip to the wise; don't have any truck with so-called 'cotton rich' hankies, only 100% cotton are nice to use.

    elmer, Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home fame has a book out of the same name, been out a few years now, my library stocks it. There are a lot of great blogs out there, and a website which I read every few days: https://www.treehugger.com has short articles of many areas of interest to the simple living eco-minded amongst us. HTH.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • maryb
    • By maryb 4th Jan 18, 5:02 PM
    • 3,505 Posts
    • 42,262 Thanks
    maryb
    BandM do pink salt BTW it's usually very cheap! First pack I bought in a health food shop told me it was 350 million years old, but best before the end of September!
    Originally posted by Katieowl
    That's an absolute classic
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 4th Jan 18, 5:09 PM
    • 11,153 Posts
    • 155,567 Thanks
    MrsLurcherwalker
    I've just had an idea that might simplify feeding us in the future. I've been a collector of cookery books for years, all sorts of cuisines and I've gotten muddled in my approach to food along with a decided propensity to grab up YS bargains because they are 'good value' and then finding them out of date at the back of the fridge shelf a week later. Not good!!!
    What I'm considering doing is to spend the meat allowance each week on a joint for a roast on Sundays and then do the old fashioned thing of cold with bubble and squeak on Monday, re-heated in gravy/shepherds pie on Tuesday and scraps in a curry on Wednesday etc. many uses for cold cooked roasts and I have a whole shelf full of wartime books to garner ideas from that only use small amounts of meat. I think that would simplify not only meal planning but shopping too and cut down on wastage and over consumption. I'll work out a weeks worth of meals for a beef joint, a pork joint, a leg of lamb and a gammon joint and see how things work out, worth a go I think.
    Go forward with the vision even if no one else can see it!

    No amount of regretting can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future!
    • simplelivingislandlife
    • By simplelivingislandlife 4th Jan 18, 5:22 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 335 Thanks
    simplelivingislandlife
    I've just had an idea that might simplify feeding us in the future. I've been a collector of cookery books for years, all sorts of cuisines and I've gotten muddled in my approach to food along with a decided propensity to grab up YS bargains because they are 'good value' and then finding them out of date at the back of the fridge shelf a week later. Not good!!!
    What I'm considering doing is to spend the meat allowance each week on a joint for a roast on Sundays and then do the old fashioned thing of cold with bubble and squeak on Monday, re-heated in gravy/shepherds pie on Tuesday and scraps in a curry on Wednesday etc. many uses for cold cooked roasts and I have a whole shelf full of wartime books to garner ideas from that only use small amounts of meat. I think that would simplify not only meal planning but shopping too and cut down on wastage and over consumption. I'll work out a weeks worth of meals for a beef joint, a pork joint, a leg of lamb and a gammon joint and see how things work out, worth a go I think.
    Originally posted by MrsLurcherwalker
    This sounds like a great idea! Especially if you can get the meals out of it. We have family meals around my parents on a Sunday and depending what is it there is always spare so we share it around the non Vegans and make curry's ect the day after. My other half bought us a turkey crown two weeks before Christmas on a YS (it was £1.25!!!!) stuck it in the freezer till Christmas eve and managed to get our Christmas Day Pizzas, Curry, Omelets and a pasta bake out of it!! Was so happy.

    I've also got quite the collection of WW2 cookery books (and gardening) which I'm hoping to start using as the recipes just sound so simple and great. Some of them sound like they could curdle my stomach but I'm defiantly willing to try. I've also been tempted over the years to try the WW2 diet for a couple of weeks and see how I do. Maybe I'll pick a month this year and just go for it!
    Frugal Living Challenge, Household £0/5,000 Personal £0/3,000 Starting on the 25th Jan.
    January 2018 Grocery Challenge - £42.88/280 20p Savers - £5.20p Virtual Sealed Pot No. 14 - £19.04/£260 Mortgage Overpayments - £0/£1,200 Sealed Pot No 37
    • RicardaRacoon
    • By RicardaRacoon 4th Jan 18, 6:45 PM
    • 212 Posts
    • 4,374 Thanks
    RicardaRacoon
    Evening folks

    Just been to the recycling centre, got rid of some paper, cardboard and cans plus a couple of things I have decluttered over Christmas, so my basement is now nice and tidy.

    Interessting to see that I am not the only one intressted in WWII cooking. Some things are just plain strange but there are also some really great tips. For example I started stretching out dough for savoury pies and quiches with potatos, tastes really great and saves on fat which is a bonus when you try to eat healthier. Only thing I found out recently is that you can't prepare it the night before and store it in the freezer, as it gets an uggly grey colour and gets slightly rubbery. Still tastes the same but definitively doesn't really look nice..

    MrsLurcherwalker, great idea with the Sunday meat being stretched into the week, I guess with some clever planning you could make things much easier for yourself.

    maryB,a solid shampoo from Lush lasts me for about 75-90 washes and I have relatively long hair. Most of the shampoos I used before were more expensive when I broke down the price to how long they would last. Plus in my case as I wash my hair daily it saves on about 10-12 shampoo bottles a year.
    I guess the idea with the bodum teapot is to trap the leaves at the bottom underneat the holes so that it stopps infusing the water. But it is indeed a bit unpractical to use and I prefere to just take this plastic thing out of the pot as soon my tea is done.

    Have a nice evening everyone!
    Resolution for 2018"Live better on less" - Less stuff, less waste, less silly spends but more make do and mend and more fun
    • Nonnadiluca
    • By Nonnadiluca 4th Jan 18, 7:16 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 1,516 Thanks
    Nonnadiluca
    Fuddle, I made hankies from an old cotton pillowcase and used pinking shears so no sewing involved! I gave some to my 9 year old grandson when he had a cold and he loved how much softer they were than tissues - he asked if I would make him some!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

256Posts Today

2,196Users online

Martin's Twitter