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Make do, Mend and Minimise in 2015

edited 11 September 2015 at 10:24AM in Old style MoneySaving
4.9K replies 707.4K views
cheerfulness4cheerfulness4 Forumite
2.9K Posts
Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
edited 11 September 2015 at 10:24AM in Old style MoneySaving
After some massive changes in our life we now have a little home again, DH has another job hes recently started and life is definitely looking up for the start of 2015 again. :D

This being the case, we want things to stay that way and so we've decided to stop playing at being OS and live the life for real.

I've been on these boards long enough to know how to make a chicken do 3 meals but the truth is they only really enjoy the 1st and tolerate the other 2. :( I've become too keen on wrapping things in pastry or sauces, which taste great but are not so good on our waistlines.!

Charity shops yield amazing bargains but I've come to use them as an excuse to overspend, after all, there are only so many clothes you can wear, books you can read and ornaments that you can display.

So, as a new start in life is so preciously rare, we want to make the very most of it.

We rent a sweet little home that needs making cosy and practical for our needs. I have a tiny garden that needs to be made pretty but I know I can squeeze a little veggie plot into it.

In order to stay within our small budget we need to make do with things we have or alter them to suit, mend the broken or torn things and minimise our spending, wastage and waistlines!

Where to start? Can we make it through the next year on a small budget that allows us to save each month? I think we can but not without some help.

I need to learn how to sew properly. I knit and sew a little but never complete anything. I lose my way and its crucial that habit ends.

Am I the only one that feels this way? That has such good intentions and then crashes and burns every time?

If there are others in the same boat won't you join me in 2015 to finally end that pattern and make the change?

I'm determined to grasp this fresh start we have been given and not waste the opportunity. Never to feel the panic we once did. The knowledge from this site was instrumental in freeing us from so much worry, now I want to use it to set us off with a new, much more balanced lifestyle.

My first challenge, to make an apron. A strange beginning, never made one before, well at school but can't remember how. I've a curtain of beautiful yellow roses that is perfect and will match the prettiness of any Cath Kidston. How to make, though?
Does anyone have ideas for something simple?

Quick links to recipes
(huge thanks to Vhalla for lots of these!)

Honey & Ginger Cookies
Dorset Apple Cake
Rhubarb Spice Cake with Lemon Sauce
Orange Butter Biscuits
Apple Flapjack
Mary Ball Washington's Gingerbread
Small Orange Cakes
Pear and Ginger Crumble
American One-crust Pie with Spiced Apples and Raisins
Lemony rice pudding- slow cooker
Peach Upside Down Pudding
Nougat Roll
Slow cooker Chocolate Pudding
Blueberries with honey, almond and yogurt
Sticky Coffee and Ginger Pudding
Banana Cake
Caramel Chocolate Shortbread
Meringues and Cream
Truvys Cuppa, Cuppa, Cuppa
Ginger Chocolate Cheesecake
Exotic Fruit Scones
Ginger Ice Cream
Almond Biscuits
Chocolate Biscuits with Soft Chocolate centre
Best chocolate Chilli Cake
Key Lime Pie
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Plums in Yogurt
Strawberry, Peach and Ginger Crumble
Summer Pudding
No Bake Berry Cheesecake
Treacle Tart
Apple Almond Tart (Silvasava's)
Mum's Gingerbread (from Prinzessilein)
Chocolate Ginger Crunch Cake
Granny Spice Cake
Toffee Shortbread

HM Syrups for Coffee links
Treacle Toffee
Lemon Water Ice
Hot Chocolate Fondant
Lemon Curd (hob method)
Lemon Curd (microwave method)
Chilli Jam
Blackberry Chutney
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's Glutney Chutney recipe
Mustard Pickle
Sage & Onion Bread
Cheese and Basil Wholemeal Bread
Basic White Sauce
Chicken Liver Pate
Pesto Sauce
Dumplings- Simple, Potato or Semolina
Lemon Barley Water
Ginger Beer
Apple Ale
Non-alcoholic 'Pimms' (SW recipe possibly)

Spicy Pumpkin Soup
Mushroom Soup
Celery Soup
Eggs in Cheese Sauce
Spaghetti with Lemon

Butternut & Mushroom Bake
Chilli Con Carne
Juicy Orange Chicken
Chicken Parcels with Lemon & Sesame
Warm Chilli Chicken Salad
Liver in Ginger and Dark sauce
Meat Loaf
Prawns with Chilli, Parsley, Ginger and Garlic on Toast
Pasta with Peas and Bacon
Sausages and Balsamic Roasted Onions
Sticky Ginger and Molasses Pork Ribs
Chicken Wings- Gangnam Style
Baked Gammon
Thai Salmon Fillets
Plough Pudding
Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese
Fish Pie
Steak and Kidney Pudding
Spiced Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks
Pork Chops with Thyme, Lemon & Pesto
Liver & Bacon Hotpot
Chicken Casserole with Coriander Dumplings
Buck Rarebit
Poached Sausage and Hot potato Salad
Corned Beef Hash
Cheese and Lentil Pudding
Fettucine with Smoked Salmon
Soup du Barry RB Style
Cheerfulness's Ginger & Pineapple Chicken stir fry
Mrssnowy's Veg Curry
Oven Roasted Duck Breast with Caramelised Swede
Grilled Brie with Apricots
Lamb Pasanda
Chicken Liver Bolognese
Tray Baked Salmon with Olives, Green beans and Tomatoes
Noodles with Salami
Parsnip Pastry (WW2 recipe- thanks Lyn!)
Courgette, Chickpea & Coconut Curry
Hot Tuna Salad with Basil Crème Fraiche
Cabbage Salad with Lemon Dressing
Pork with Sage and Blue Cheese
Spinach Pasta
Siicilian Caponata
Prawn Pilau

Uses for leftover Rice, Potatoes, Chickpeas or Veg

Fingerless glove pattern (mrssnowy)

Link to Survey Sites details

How to add Photos to your posts (1)
How to add Photos to your posts (2)

Darning guide by GreyQueen

If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!



  • edited 29 December 2014 at 12:20AM
    cheerfulness4cheerfulness4 Forumite
    2.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    edited 29 December 2014 at 12:20AM
    That's brilliant! Why didn't I think of Youtube, of course.
    I think my mum might even have some of those d-ring things. Her underbed drawers are stuffed full of sewing treasures.

    I've spotted a lovely frilly apron video at the side, too. I've another pair of curtains with a cream background and pink rose buds. They'd look great made up as aprons. That should be my kitchen aprons done for the year. Then I can move on to my gardening aprons afterwards. :)

    I might have to post a piccie if I they look good. :D
  • trutru Forumite
    9.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic
    Great thread :D We had similar a long time ago but it fizzled out, I really hope this one keeps going.

    I have good intentions too then things slow down and eventually stop. The intent is still there, I just seem to lose my way and come to a standstill :undecided

    Looking forward to lots of tips and ideas that I can [STRIKE]steal[/STRIKE] use to reuse things and save money :D
  • fuddlefuddle Forumite
    6.8K Posts
    I feel like I have been playing and learning OS way of life for about 5 years now. I know so much, tap into OS ways without even thinking about it and currently developing a dislike for consuming.

    I've grown up and learned life from a 'throw away' society where items are no longer investments and I have had to try to step back away from buying lots at cheap prices and gradually replace with better quality and longer lasting, in many different aspects of our lifestyle.

    In doing so I have realised that I don't need half as much as I thought and that I actually like less is more and really appreciate the good pieces I have.

    Now when those pieces start to wear or something happens I would like to learn further OS tips and tricks for prolonging their lives. I have basic knowledge but I'm keen to develop my knowledge of patch making, felting, proper darning methods etc.

    I am tired of easy come, easy go and accumulating. Long may this thread continue. :)
  • camelot1001camelot1001 Forumite
    5.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Great thread cheerfulness, I wish you luck!

    I too know how to do most things, just haven't got the confidence to carry them through. I make stuff for the house that is kind of ok but would love to make all my Christmas presents for next year. I suppose I must keep practicing!

    I was thinking of starting with making an apron, let us know how you get on.
  • Good luck with the apron! (I remember making one at school too!)

    I have some pretty decent OS skills (taught by my Mum...the OS Queen...and finely honed over years as a Brownie and Guide....even got my 'Thrift' badges!).....

    It's just the motivation....

    I CAN bake my own bread....but I live opposite a rather nice little bakers....and it is never "one small granary loaf please" is "a small granary loaf please...and do you have any of those delicious toasted teacakes left?...and are those fresh cream scones?...and while I'm here I'll just take one of those custard tarts - or make it two....."..........NO! This afternoon I am baking a small half/half loaf myself!

    I have learned to knit...and made myself a sweet little PJ case. But it isn't finished...I need to knit the eyes...(which means mastering the knitting on DPNs!) ...I have pushed it to one side for some weeks now...found other things to do...embroidered Christmas Cards et.c...I need to finish this knitting before starting a new task!
  • Pleased to hear the start of the new year looks bright for you.

    I'm watching with interest after I've realised working myself into the ground for 'things' is not good for my body, my soul or my family. I'm planning to say no more at work and get on board with OS this year in a more dedicated way to save money but also to improve my wellbeing. My new year's resolution is to put myself first. I'm so ill at the moment and working ridiculous hours (70+) a week - I'm in danger of an early grave. I'm also about 4st overweight and still creeping upwards.

    Basically, I'm a mess and need a total overhaul. 2015 will be my year.
  • Excellent thread :-) I've subscribed and look forward to reading and hopefully contributing something of worth.

    Seems like you have a lot to keep you busy in 2015.

    I'm trying to get on board with this kind of way of life too, and dragging my children along as well...hubby is definitely better and the 'make do and mend' mentality, i don't if it's because he had older parents to mine -they are more my grandparents age...i do think it's a generational thing.

    Good luck.
    Don't tell me this nothing...this is my nothing
  • Hi I love this thread I am so going to been following for lots of advice on how to make the most of what we have. At the moment we have a housing assotation house and need to move as its to small now we have grown our family but we need to get the deposit together to move so it will be a case of me saving every penny. I can knit and crouche I can't sew though. I can cook although need to go back to meal planing and cooking from scratch I have the issue of I start with the best intention and it all goes wrong and I end up back where I started. I keep telling myself this year will be the year.
    February GC £261.97/24 NSDS 10/12
    march 300/290 NSD 12/6
    ARPIL 300/ 238.23 NSD'S 10/3

  • empyempy Forumite
    325 Posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
    Ooh just what I was looking for :) subscribed with daily email updates to keep me on track. I'm a loooongg time lurker/occasional lurker of these boards but really need to tighten the purse strings, stop wasting food etc and basically return to the OS way of reuse, reduce and recycle :)
    I'm going to start by meal planning for the week and try to avoid the shops until my overflowing cupboards and freezer is empty, then I'm going to use cash only from a set budget which I shall withdraw on payday and divide up in a special cash box thingy I have :)
    Oh and my New Years resolution is to actually join and stick to the OS grocery challenge ;)
    I'm also not going to be browsing the charity shops and buying clothes just because they are a bargain- how many tops can I physically wear in a week!

    2015 is a year of watching the pennies and letting the pounds look after themselves for me :)

    I look forward to keeping up the thread and see how you all do and getting tips and to know you all.

    Have a great day.

    OS Grocery Challenge
    August £250/ £103.44 left
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