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Memorygirls Make Do and Mend for 2008 Thread

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in How much have you saved?
276 replies 89.1K views


  • Hutchch0920Hutchch0920 Forumite
    291 Posts
    Hello Everyone! like most of the people posting now i was directed by the link from the newsletter, really glad i've read it all the way through, went on freecycle straight after and have already got interest in a tv and unit we're wanting to get rid of! will be keeping my eye on it for other bargains too! Like you said, what goes around comes around, hopefully someone will rescue me and give me a small double bed! Many thanks and good luck MemoryGirl!
    Save £12k in 2017 / Dec 2017 Travel Cash = £12,400 / £14,000 88.5%[/COLOR]

    House Deposit = £20,500 / £18,000:money:
  • topgrannytopgranny Forumite
    85 Posts
    Hi MG - I've been having a bit of a "down" day today but, following the note in Martin's e-mail, I've read through all your thread and think you have achieved a terrific amount. Congratulations! :T :T :T

    I'd just like to say to the lady who thought a regular afternoon rest was a good idea for a pregnant lady - I think being 64 is just as good an excuse as being pregnant and she should make the most of it!

    Off now to put on the timer and spend 15 minutes tarting up the bathroom!!:A
    :rudolf: Always skip and eat your peas :rudolf:
  • babsjanbabsjan Forumite
    3 Posts
    Hey Memory Girl, Just came upon your thread, sounds like you have got things together. I'm in a not dissimilar situation but 20 years on. My son and his girlfriend are having a baby in September but will both need to work so I will be have the baby on a daily basis from February. I'm looking forward to having another life to direct but am a bit scared too (I might not remember how to do it!). We're on a limited budget too but I enjoy the challenge of make do and mend, it feels like I'm cheating the system every time I find a way to get what I need without spending money. When you are looking through Freecycle, etc. look for a pressure cooker, with fuel prices the way they are, a pot that only uses one ring on the hob and that for a short time is very good value. The library will have books of recipies for the pressure cooker. I've just dusted off my old pressure cooker, bought a new gasket and started saving - soup in 10 minutes - great!
  • Just read the thread pages 1 - 9 - memory girl you are an inspiration.
    Hope all the interest/support from this site inspires you.
    I love your idea of 365 mini goals and also would be interested to hear more about your control journal!!

    I note earlier on you talk about your motivational books and CD's -
    which are your favourites?

    The books/CD's that have really made a difference to me are:

    The Psychology of Achievement by Brian Tracy
    Goals by Brian Tracy
    The Artists Way by Julia Cameron
    The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
    I am currently listening to The Secret by Rhonda Byrne in my car!
    Love and best wishes from KathyRich
  • Maggie_BobMaggie_Bob Forumite
    279 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Wow Memory Girl, good going - I think I should take a few leaves out of your book if DH and I are ever going to reign in our finances and buy a house.

    (P.S. My Mum lives in Cupar - I think it's a gorgeous area!)
    In a better financial position than ever before (thank you MSE!). Moved back to Scotland and now trying to keep debt-free!
  • Have you thought about making your own washable nappies for your baby? There are lots of forums that give free nappy patterns and sell the right sort waterproof and absorbent fabrics. If you really want to be thrifty you could use old towels for the absorbent layer.

    There's lots of evidence that terry nappies are better for your baby and the environment - your local Real Nappy Network is a good place to start for more info; also the Womens Environmental Network (WEN)

    You could try this link for free patterns
    Penine Outdoor sell waterproof Naprap/Technabreath fabric

    Good luck with you inspiring project
  • jo_b_2jo_b_2 Forumite
    7.1K Posts
    Welcome to the 'How Much Have You Saved' board, Memorygirl (and everybody that's found their way here via the Money Tips Email) :wave:

    Also congratulations on being featured in this week's email too! :T Your thread makes for interesting and inspiring reading. :D Looking forward to some more updates.
  • lindauklindauk Forumite
    140 Posts
    I have just read your whole thread and subscribed!! I noticed it in the email and am very glad i read it! Firstly a rather belated congrats on your little family. And you have inspired me to go back to my arts and crafts which i have neglected a bit for the internet and MSE! Good luck with everything and i'll be by again soon.

    Linda :)
    [Survey site stuff goes here]

  • memorygirlmemorygirl Forumite
    178 Posts
    Oooooohh!!!!!!!!! Look at all these new peeps come over to play

    Have to admit - now I've got a teeny bit of stage fright. Never actually though anyone would bother to read the post-natal ramblings of a skint single mum. Thanks for all your kind words - now I have got a mountain of questions to answer before I fill you in on how my June challenge is going. (The how far can you stretch a pot of paint one - LOL)

    Beetles off to collect the questions ................... and I'm back.

    buxtonrabbitgreen - no I haven't moved into my house yet. I actually need to raise about £4K to finish it - new bathrooms, kitchen and central heating. In the meantime my family has helped me by painting everything we can and by collecting my "finds" from all corners of our region. This week I actually got 4 more chairs and a fab half moon pine table for £4.99 on ebay. The bargain of the week was 3 1/2 sq metres of floor tiles for the grand total of £2.00. Thats enough to tile one of my bathroom floors and all from other peoples leftovers.

    myrtlemouse - you made me laugh out loud when you described your dad. "The work was accompanied by a lot of blood sweat and swearing" - erm!!!! ME TOO !!!!! Blush ;) Actually beginning to consider one of the advantages of being a single mum is there no-one to laugh at you when you lose it inanimate objects. Believe me, that Welsh Dresser and I have seriously came to blows over the last week or so. I'm hoping it doesn't understand swearing in broad scots :rotfl:

    My Mum used to have a baking day too - in fact I remember being really upset the year we were "affluent" (relative term) enough to have a "bought" birthday cake for my birthday. I was sooooooo disappointed that she hadn't made her chocolate sponge with homemade jam. She thought the bakers cake was a big treat - and must have thought me so ungrateful.

    Thistle-down "I'd love to see some pics of your new house, esp before/after stuff." Would you settle for some during and after instead?? You might have to be in this for the long haul as I cobble together our new life. By Christmas eve I want to be in our new house, all finished, stockings hung and my two boys tucked up warm and cosy. The countdown has started.

    REDMADCURLS "wow what a read, what a woman, well done!!!!!!" - Oooh!!! I think you need to consider yourself my number one cheerleader/ bottom kicker. After the frantic day I’ve had (10 week old and 7 year old both at Doctors with chest infections for a start) that has really made my day.

    curly cabbage “I'm not at all good with "making things" – erm me neither – LOL or at least I wasn’t at the beginning of the year. But I am willing to have a right good go. Have resorted on occasion to taking my knitting to my Slimming Club with me on a Tuesday evening to get one of the “aunties” to show me how to “increase” or “decrease” or make button-holes and stuff. I find people are really keen to help you when you show an interest.

    Best thing I did was make friends with the local librarians and they are brilliant at finding me the best books on crafts and stuff. I figure if I can follow a recipe, I can knit a cardigan, paint a chair, sew some curtains if someone / some book can show me how. That and a lot of trial and error –and believe me sometimes the errors are really trying – LOL.

    If anything I end up making this year tickles your fancy – let me know and I will try to describe the method, or write out the pattern / directions for you if you promise to have a go along with me. Then I won’t feel so daft finding insane pleasure in sanding chairs for ten minutes whilst the pasta is cooking – or knitting a quick five rows waiting outside school for my DS. All these little steps are eventually going to be soooooooooooo worth it – I hope!!!!

    Denisefowler you want to know about the control journal – and about baked beans?? Easy peasy both of them …. Oooops the baby is crying …….. back in a little while I promise

    GOALS - by June 11 2009 - My big 4-0
    Mortgage of £70K / Got £126 2 years salary £12K/ Got £00
    O/pay Mortgage every month 12 / 0 Weight target 10st 7lbs / Currently 12st 10lbs.
    Furnish house on £1K/ Spent £100
  • memorygirlmemorygirl Forumite
    178 Posts
    Back again……. Do you think it’s possible that a ten-month old could be teething? He’s doing a lot of powerful sucking on his fist – is dribbling like a premier league player and has got bright red cheeks. He’s not too grumpy …… although if teeth are on the way I might be the grumpy one. I remember being nipped once or twice whilst Bfeeding the first one and the memory still makes me wince. Not that it stopped me ( actually I think I’m just too lazy to do all the bottle cleaning stuff its not that I’m particularly virtuous):p

    Where were we??? Yup! Control journals. Actually not my idea, belongs to a fabulous lady who has got a site . She has really helped me get a handle on all of the routines needed to run a house………………. And much as I hate to admit that my Mum was right “little and often” is the way to go. Pop over to the OS board and there is a great weekly thread running that helps loads too.

    The control journal is basically a file where you keep all of the important “stuff” needed to run your life. I’ve got morning and evening routines for me and the boys, menu plans, contact addresses, list of birthdays, calendars of important events, Christmas present lists – stuff like that. The theory being that if the house were to go on fire I could grab the boys, grab the file and life could pretty much go on as before. Oh yes its got the house insurance policy numbers in it as well – LOL.

    As for the baked beans – here’s what I do when I make them. I make them every couple of weeks and freeze the extras.

    BAKED BEANS – about £1 for a huge pot – or 12 portions ( and we’re greedy here)

    I bag of haricot beans ( the little white ones that look like – well baked beans:rotfl: )
    1 clove of garlic
    2 tins tomatoes
    I small onion – peeled and chopped
    1 tsp sugar
    Salt and pepper

    Soak the beans in cold water overnight. Tip I was given once is that to prevent the skins splitting you start these off in cold water rather than pour boiling water over them so that they can slowly swell.

    Next morning I drain them and boil them in water (don’t add any salt as that will make the skin tough) for about 40 minutes until cooked but still a bit “al dente” – that’s firm but not crunchy.

    I then turn the heat off and add about 1 tablespoon of salt and put the lid on firmly. I know this sounds like a lot of salt – but the beans only pick up a little of it and the rest drains off with the water.

    I leave the beans for as long as I can to cool down (usually whilst everyone is fed breakfast and dressed for school) I find that if I drain the beans whilst they are piping hot the skins start to peel off and the insides pop out.

    I liquidise the tinned tomatoes, onion and garlic together and pour into my slow cooker with some pepper and the teaspoon of sugar (for some reason a little sugar makes stuff cooked in tinned tomatoes really yummy)

    Just before heading out the door I drain the beans and stir them into the tomato sauce in the slow-cooker, pop the lid on and leave for the day.

    When I get home the beans are tender and “baked” – but much cheaper than tinned ones and less sweet/salty too.

    This makes loads – so I freeze the leftovers in Chinese takeaway containers (the plastic ones with lids) One box is like a tin of beans – feeds four as a side dish or two as a topping for baked potato or toast. Or one very hungry grandfather babysitting after a day of golf – LOL.

    These are great jazzed up with some chilli, or stirred into pasta and roast veggies as a pasta bake, used as a base for chilli-con-carne or stirred into a pot of veggie soup to make it more substantial.

    Can you tell I love my beans ?– and so does my shopping budget.:T

    GOALS - by June 11 2009 - My big 4-0
    Mortgage of £70K / Got £126 2 years salary £12K/ Got £00
    O/pay Mortgage every month 12 / 0 Weight target 10st 7lbs / Currently 12st 10lbs.
    Furnish house on £1K/ Spent £100
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