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Tips and Quick Questions on “How To Start Being Old Style”

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  • in reply to the post about 'there must be more to life than 5 things to do with mince'- I completely agree, I often feel like that, esp. as I have a lot of v. wealthy friends who never think for a second about what they spend, but then as soon as I indulge myself, for example by buying an expensive takeaway or going for a rather indifferent meal out, I end up thinking- 'there must be more to life than overpriced takeaways that make you feel really unhealthy!' It's kind of a grass is greener scenario I guess!
  • Queen-Bee_2
    Queen-Bee_2 Posts: 828 Forumite
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    Lots of people have mentioned Stardrops as a good all round cleaning product. Can anyone advise where you can buy them? And can you use them in the washing machine too?

    Thanks, Queen-Bee
  • greenbee
    greenbee Posts: 16,131 Forumite
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    edited 3 August 2009 at 7:09AM
    Hey Greenbee!

    I will slope along to Flyladies and confess my reappearance... although the flat is most definitely grounded and not fit for take off at present!

    I see you've been causing havoc on the flylady thread already ;)
    Microwaving veg - do you mean in a microwave steamer or do I immerse the veg in water and boil it? Hadn't thought of this idea.

    Microwave steaming - put veg in a glass/ceramic/plastic (if you have to) microwaveable dish with a lid. Put a tiny amount of water in the bottom (not always necessary if the veg has been washed) and then cook. No need to immerse in water - there just needs to be enough to create some steam and stop the veg drying out, as the microwaves will also help cook the veg while heating the water.
    Day Three:
    It's been cooking related moneysaving for the last two days: today is laundry day in the CardiffM Kitchen.

    An easy first step which recurs in almost every laundry-related thread on this site: What products to use in the washing machine?

    Washing tablets cost a fortune, as do the fancy gels / liquids. Many on here suggest they aren't so good at making whites *really* white.

    Fabric conditioner (which I've never been a big fan of, I'm not too keen on smelling of "Alpine Flowers" in Wales in the summer) has also been adding to my shopping basket cost.

    Therefore, after a good couple of hours reading various threads, I'm going to try the following concoctions:

    Washing powder: half Persil powder (which I already have), half Soda Crystals (78p in Morrisons today)

    Fabric Conditioner: White distilled vinegar (3tbsps)

    I will report on the outcome in tomorrow's post!

    CardiffMx

    Sounds like you've made a sensible choice on the laundry (I can't understand the need to smell of fabric conditioner either... and vinegar can be used with towels, so you don't need to wash them separately anymore). Using up the stuff you've already got is far more money-saving than going out and buying lots of new...

    When you run out of Persil you may want to consider some other options - particularly if you want your laundry to smell clean rather than of laundry IYSWIM... the eco-balls mentioned by missychrissy work well (there are several different kinds). I've now switched to soapnuts (you can get a sample to try) for all my low-temp washes and just use washing powder/soda crystals/vinegar for the occasional hot wash that's needed.

    My washing machine was out of action for a couple of weeks at the end of last year, as my utility room was being demolished and rebuilt, so my brother very kindly did my laundry for me... I could still smell the detergent/conditioner in the airing cupboad WEEKS later!

    Queen-Bee
    - have a look at the stardrops thread for uses. I don't use it myself, but it gets good reviews here. However, I don't think it can be used for laundry. Availability seems to vary, but most people seem to find it either in their supermarket or somewhere like Wilkinsons.
  • Queen-Bee wrote: »
    Lots of people have mentioned Stardrops as a good all round cleaning product. Can anyone advise where you can buy them? And can you use them in the washing machine too?

    Thanks, Queen-Bee
    i buy mine in Home Bargains but there is a thread specifically for the subject. Never tried it in the washing machine.
  • Evening all!

    Thanks for the laundry hints missy and greenbee. I can report that my towels are white, fluffy and lovely with the new combination!

    No post yesterday; night shifts and the to-ing and fro-ing of moving my housemate out to her new place kept me busy.

    Greenbee - I've dug out an old pyrex dish which seems to do the trick in the micro just nicely... thanks so much, I'd have gone out and bought one of those plastic microwave steamer gizmos otherwise!

    Day Four (or five, strictly)

    Shopping Day.

    I often manage to make a list, but today I had a nose through the mealplan thread.

    I made my own (well, actually I copied Phoolgrrl's, thank you!). As a result, my food (for one person) for the week comes to just under £12... and I'm looking forward to the meals I'm gonna be having later in the week. New job starts tomorrow and I have sandwiches planned for the whole week!

    Now just the post-moving carnage to tidy up!

    CardiffMx
    Debt free as of 01/06/13
    MFW: Mortgage when started: £205,000 Mortgage 21/11/13 £202,608 Offset target 2014: £5088/£12000 Planned payoff date: August 2026 LTV: 86.3% Daily interest: £21.55
  • NickiM
    NickiM Posts: 712 Forumite
    CardiffM - really enjoying reading your diary :) Gets me thinking about what I can do!
  • keith969
    keith969 Posts: 1,571 Forumite
    First Anniversary
    misskool wrote: »
    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!

    Indeed, a whole chicken is usually a lot less than the price of chicken breasts. Usually when I buy one, it gets used as roast chicken with roast potatoes / carrots / cabbage / frozen peas or maybe purple sprouting if its in season.
    Then the meat is taken off and any remaining breast meat goes for sandwiches.
    The dark meat goes into a chicken and mushroom pie with some puff pastry and a white sauce (make your own puff pastry, its not too hard!)
    The skin, bones etc. goes into stock along with an onion and a carrot and celery stick, which can make a nice mushroom risotto or a soup.
    For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.
  • Picking up on one of the previous postings in this thread, I have just ordered some soapnuts.

    Less than 3p/wash sounds good to me - however, can anyone explain the idea of using vinegar as a fabric conditioner? I live in a hard water area and would be interested to know what kind of vinegar I should use and whether my sheets will emerge smelling of it...

    Thanks for any advice!
    QB
  • Evening all!

    I've had a fab but busy couple of days. The new job started yesterday and I'm still finding my feet but I like what I know so far! It's essentially an apprentice / PT work and PT studying job, becoming far more study based when uni starts in late Sept / early Oct.

    Thanks to my work goings-on I've missed another day of moneysaving but I shall plough on regardless... I figure making seven different savings on seven different days works out at one a day for a week, even if the seven days aren't necessarily one after the other!

    Day Five

    Thanks to my friend Darryl for this tip who's just moved into his first flat.

    August to September is the time to be getting going on growing / planting winter veg... and it seems you can even do this in a flat with any size of balcony! My friend has grow bags on a tiny little balcony. I'm quite lucky, I've got a big space outside which I've had a few herbs and flowers on so far. Now I'm going to try something a little more productive!

    £16 buys me half a "Winter Vegetable" pack; that's potentially 60 plants over the winter, amixture of cabbages, cauliflowers, kale, broccoli. I've already a good supply of compost and planters - hopefully this will save me buying the essential greens for several weeks in the autumn / winter.

    In other news...

    Greenbee - the LED lights arrived. Not quite as bright as I'd hoped; they're fine for the hall but I ordered the equivalent of 35w rather than 50w so they won't do for the kitchen. Nice sort of light though, only slightly "whiter" than normal GU10.

    The whites came out lovely after the homemade concoction of washing powder / soda crystals. I used a couple of spoons of vinegar in place of fabric conditioner (distilled malt vinegar, Queen-bee, 45p/L in Asda, it's clear rather than brown) - no smell of vinegar at all when I opened the washing machine.

    What does the vinegar or fabric conditioner actually acheive? Would I notice the difference if I missed it out entirely? I think I'm in a soft water area.

    Right - I'm off to paint the spare room for my weekend's entertainment!

    CardiffM x
    Debt free as of 01/06/13
    MFW: Mortgage when started: £205,000 Mortgage 21/11/13 £202,608 Offset target 2014: £5088/£12000 Planned payoff date: August 2026 LTV: 86.3% Daily interest: £21.55
  • Evening all!
    today I had a nose through the mealplan thread.

    I made my own (well, actually I copied Phoolgrrl's, thank you!). As a result, my food (for one person) for the week comes to just under £12... and I'm looking forward to the meals I'm gonna be having later in the week.
    CardiffMx

    Hello CardiffM... I have had difficulty feeding myself on £20, so I'm intrigued that you've managed to do it for £12.50.

    Well done! Any chance of posting your meal plan?
    QB
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