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  • Flibsey
    I'll also be sending chutney made a month ago to each person having cooking items... will be nice. I have 15 jars of the stuff to send out lol.
    well I got all of my glass jars and bottle needed as parts of the gifts online today.... that's half the flipping budget lol.

    just got my baskets needed and cellophane too from another site for stupidly cheap too.
    Last edited by Flibsey; 08-09-2011 at 4:49 PM.
    • Icey77
    • By Icey77 8th Sep 11, 4:30 PM
    • 1,222 Posts
    • 4,444 Thanks
    If you can't lay your hands on any rafia, what about those stiff brown paper luggage labels tied on with string? - you know, like Paddington Bear has tied to his coat saying "Please look after this Bear" (I think you can still buy these at the post office but not sure if they are expensive or not).
    Originally posted by Bobbykins
    ...I thought it looked great and the kids must have enjoyed it but not sure if brown paper is even cheaper than wrapping these days?
    Originally posted by MandM90

    WHS has the brown paper and the postage labels - make sure you look in the postage section (you know all the padded envelopes etc). Don't look in the wrapping paper section - the brown paper there is 1/3 of the length that you get in the postage section
    Whether you think you can or you canít, youíre probably right ~ Henry Ford

    Got Married ~ 19th March 2011

    DD Born 16th March 2012 DS Born 3rd May 2014
    • MandM90
    • By MandM90 8th Sep 11, 4:54 PM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 9,071 Thanks
    Am wondering if it's overly cheeky to ask close friends to collect them for me!!
    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 Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to
    • salome
    • By salome 8th Sep 11, 5:13 PM
    • 349 Posts
    • 2,653 Thanks
    That's some major organisation going on there Flibsey. Well done.
    Our local 'The Works', have The Take Away Secret book in their store. Haven't noted the price, because I already have the book. It's probably a good price though. If you have a store near you, might be worth taking a look :-)

    A work in progress
    • Justamum
    • By Justamum 8th Sep 11, 5:19 PM
    • 4,689 Posts
    • 35,924 Thanks
    books for hidden storage will come from the local council's free book shop.
    Originally posted by Flibsey
    How do you make the hidden storage then? I'm intrigued.

  • Memory Girl
    Am wondering if it's overly cheeky to ask close friends to collect them for me!!
    Originally posted by MandM90
    I get the same jars back every February for "recycling" - read "fillingup again" form all my friends and family.

    Works for us - or maybe we are all just really frugal


    Small Emergency Fund £500 / £500
    Pay off all Debts £10,000 / £10,000
    Grown Up Emergency Fund £6000 / £6000
    Pension Provision £6688/£2376
  • Flibsey
    How do you make the hidden storage then? I'm intrigued.
    Originally posted by Justamum
    well I'm making them hopefully by buying cheap cutlery storage boxes (small ones, wooden) getting hard back books of just a little bigger and removing the pages. glue in the box. paint the edges to look like pages done!

    OR the cheaper way is to mark out a rectangle on the second page and then use a craft knife to cut a hole in each page. glue all pages together (except for the first page) and leave to dry. done!
    • katkins78
    • By katkins78 8th Sep 11, 6:00 PM
    • 168 Posts
    • 500 Thanks
    Joining this thread as we need another shoestring budget crimbo. Last year OH was redundant, but has been contracting since early this year. Current contract due to finish on mon if they can't find any other projects they want him to look at.
    Last year we managed it and had a great time, so gonna prepare for it now in case and if he does get another contract (hopefully soon) its a bonus.
    Either way it seems such a waste the amount we spent in previous years when last year was enjoyed by us all just as much so aiming for another MSE/old style crimbo. Got a few pressies already and have been buying morrisons savings stamps (had £100 last year which cost us £97) This means the week before christmas we can go as a family and the kids can get some treats for christmas (plus a bit of wine and a bottle of white rum for me and OH) and any fresh items we want such as bread/croissants, smoked salmon, prawns etc. I like to do the stamps thing as we can't then touch the money and its ready for our christmas shop no matter what.

    Started to sort through the freezers to make space for home cooked goodies-had a stew yesterday in the SC from 18 month old stewing steak lol was yummy and full of home grown veggies. Kids and OH well pleased.

    Anyway found a turkey in the bottom of the freezer it was one of those £8 offer ones from morrisons last year. We bought 2 one for christmas and one for new year, but never used the NY one. Wondering if it will be ok to use this year. I didn't freeze it myself it was ready frozen and has never been out of the bottom of the freezer. Like last year we will probably have a beef joint as well so it won't be the only meat. So do i use it or not?

    Ali x
    Originally posted by ALIBOBSY
    Shoe string Christmases rock! Cuts out a lot of the worst bits about Chrimbo- the queues and commercialism. All my childhood Christmases were shoestring, we didn't get a lot of presents but those that we did we loved and played with all day long. My niece, in contrast, had to open two enormous sackfuls of presents last year- she had sooo many that she actually started to look bored opening them! It's what you do together as a family that makes the day special, well that's what I think anyway!

    I would definitely use the turkey. Write it down on your list...and then tick it off!
    • Merry Wanderer
    • By Merry Wanderer 8th Sep 11, 6:21 PM
    • 426 Posts
    • 588 Thanks
    Merry Wanderer
    I like the book storage idea, I might try that myself. I only give a handful of gifts, and I think it will mostly be chutney and a little knitted item.
    • Well Preserved
    • By Well Preserved 8th Sep 11, 7:59 PM
    • 209 Posts
    • 1,227 Thanks
    Well Preserved
    An economical chutney recipe as promised:

    Pear [makes about 5 lb]
    3 lb pears [1.4 kg] [peeled, cored, chopped]
    1 lb cooking apples [450g] [peeled, cored, chopped]
    1 lb onions [450g] [peeled & chopped]
    squeeze of garlic puree or 1 - 2 cloves crushed garlic
    1 lb raisins [450g]
    Spices: 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp chilli or cayenne powder
    1 tsp salt
    Grated rind & juice of 2 lemons
    1 lb soft brown sugar [450g]
    1 pint [570 ml] distilled white vinegar [Mr T had a cheap one in]

    Put everything except the sugar into a large pan. Stir together. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Reduce to a simmer, adding the sugar and continuing to stir occasionally until thick - maybe as long as 2 hours!Then place in hot, sterilised jars. Cover & seal then label when cold.

    I'm thinking that pumpkin chutney would be cheap to make in October - can post a recipe if of interest? Also what about elderberry chutney? Have never tried it, mind you, but I do have a recipe.
    • Justamum
    • By Justamum 8th Sep 11, 8:45 PM
    • 4,689 Posts
    • 35,924 Thanks
    I've got a few shoe boxes which I don't like throwing out because I always think I could make something out of them. They're gathering up now though. I saw in a magazine a few years ago where they covered one in fabric inside and out, then made a roof so it looked like a house, then used it for make-up. I've been meaning to do one for ages for my DD for Christmas. I might do it this year. That will be one shoebox sorted anyway!

    • findingmyfeet
    • By findingmyfeet 8th Sep 11, 8:46 PM
    • 494 Posts
    • 5,666 Thanks
    Hi guys, I could do with a little help with what to make my Dad for christmas. I've been inspired by this post and I've decided this year I'm only going to give pressies I've made. I've got ideas for everyone but my dad.

    He's not the sort of person I could give food to, he doesn't have a sweet tooth and he only drinks cider or whisky. And he's not big on ornaments/things to look at, he's more of a practical person.

    I'm totally stumped.

    I'm pretty creative, handy on the sewing machine and have access to lots of tool type things in our garage. But I can't knit.

    His hobbies are walking the dog and course fishing. And he's a retired 67 year old.

    I'd appreciate any idea because I have none!!!!

    P x
    Originally posted by pammer

    hi there, what about doing some sort of hamper for him eg -
    walking hamper-thermal socks, scarf, hand warmers ,gloves, small pocket sized bottle of whiskey, toffees

    fishing hamper-socks, fishing bits n bobs(sorry not a fisherperson), fishing book/magazine, flask, warm hat

    drinks hamper-various individual bottles of cider and whiskeys, glass for each, liquer chocs etc
    you could make quite a few of the stuff yourself and buy others depending on the budget/time.
    hope that helps a bit, i know how hard men can be to buy for my dad never wants anything..says he has all he needs.

    off to continue my christmas lists
    sealed pot member no :435 2011- £306.68 2012-£304.36 2013- £387.44 2014 - £441.43 £482.30
    • Cheapskate
    • By Cheapskate 8th Sep 11, 9:33 PM
    • 1,697 Posts
    • 20,945 Thanks
    Hi all

    Finally I can type Christmas properly, instead of hiding it with asterisks like I'm swearing! Although finances not too bad just now, I'm dreading worse to come (generally speaking) in the New Year, so really cutting costs for everything now, including Christmas - really OS this time!

    Started my lists in August, although not done much yet. My sister's challenged me to a no-spend present (just me & her) - allowed to buy sticky tape, sewing thread, etc., but nowt else! Got lots of ideas floating for that.

    Have made some bramble jam already and hope to do plenty more, plus bramble vodka and sloe gin. I've enough craft stash to make EVERY card I need, and am digging out my sewing machine - going to raid my mum's huge fabric stash for some bits and pieces!

    wilding_arms - I'm from near your friend's mum - wonder if our paths ever crossed!
    Decluttering 713/2019 items this year
    Aug GC £39.77/£300
  • rosieben
    Well Preserved, I'll list this recipe on the Grocery Challenge recipe index
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 8th Sep 11, 10:48 PM
    • 17,431 Posts
    • 40,365 Thanks
    Hi Flibsey,

    I've added your thread to the existing Old Style Christmas 2011 thread. It sounds as though you are well organised, but if you want to find Christmas inspiration it's well worth a look at the Special Occasions & Other Celebrations board where there are many threads on preparing for Christmas.

    • D&DD
    • By D&DD 8th Sep 11, 11:12 PM
    • 4,337 Posts
    • 29,931 Thanks
    Butterfly will put my thinking cap on specially for you..still have a mound of fruit to preserve this weekend but next week should be relatively sane so would you like sweet,savoury or both??

    Just popped in to say the Toysrus 20% off coupon is working NOW just placed a lego order its on the grabbit board and I'm still no good at links lol
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 8th Sep 11, 11:20 PM
    • 17,431 Posts
    • 40,365 Thanks
    Butterfly will put my thinking cap on specially for you..still have a mound of fruit to preserve this weekend but next week should be relatively sane so would you like sweet,savoury or both??

    Just popped in to say the Toysrus 20% off coupon is working NOW just placed a lego order its on the grabbit board and I'm still no good at links lol
    Originally posted by D&DD
    Here the link to the thread D&DD 20% off top brands at Toys R Us 3 days only

  • Phoolgrrrl
    Thanks Well Preserved. I have my mum and mil keeping thier jars for me too so I think I'll be doing normal sized jars instead of 500ml kilners jars. Now just to watch the reduced section!
    • squeaky
    • By squeaky 9th Sep 11, 10:10 AM
    • 13,808 Posts
    • 15,843 Thanks
    I find that if I make a comment on a thread I'm automatically subscribed. Don't know if it's just something in my settings though!
    Originally posted by Eenymeeny

    User CP >> Edit Options >> Default Thread Subscription Mode.

    This direct link may work for you:
    Hi, I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style and the Consumer Rights boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
    DTFAC: Y.T.D = £5.20 Apr £0.50
    • findingmyfeet
    • By findingmyfeet 9th Sep 11, 11:39 AM
    • 494 Posts
    • 5,666 Thanks
    afternoon all,

    just seen that coop are doing large tins of chocs(celebr*tions/Qu*lity street etc) for £5 this weekend, wouldnt see the end of the week in this household so i would end up buying them twice !!!!

    done my food list so far and list of who i need to make/buy for ....just need to fix the budget for each person and then think of some ideas for gifts. Did find a lovely large hat box in town reduced to a £1 so im going to do my DD a hamper full of all her fave toiletries . she starts uni next week so by christmas im sure she will need plenty of stuff. will be back later for ideas for people on my list

    forgot to add -will be making damson gin, damson jam, apple sauce, and possibly raspberry jam(depends whats left when i go up to the veggie patch later) this weekend and maybe chutney as i have barrow loads of apples and several pounds of red tomatoes to use.
    Last edited by findingmyfeet; 09-09-2011 at 11:43 AM.
    sealed pot member no :435 2011- £306.68 2012-£304.36 2013- £387.44 2014 - £441.43 £482.30
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