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  • FIRST POST
    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    • 47Posts
    • 1,439Thanks
    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 54
    • Mrs Salad Dodger
    • By Mrs Salad Dodger 5th Feb 18, 12:36 AM
    • 506 Posts
    • 6,101 Thanks
    Mrs Salad Dodger
    dolly84,

    Thanks for the tip about ďThe Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaningí - read a quick article & it does seem less traumatic than Kondoing My DSis has only just cleared out our parents clothes after 11 years of them sitting in wardrobes & drawers in the shut off bedroom!

    The clothes sort out needs to commence but I donít really associate clothes with joy so really I would have to wander around naked not a pretty sight. So I will try the Swedish Death Cleaning tomorrow, in between doing some actual cleaning. I think it will also make sorting personal paperwork, jewellery, photos, ornaments etc easier too. We shall see how it goes

    Apart from food for us & the birdies, nothing much is coming in that isnít either a replacement for something that is broken or for a specific project which is done ASAP.
    Leftovers from meals are utilised for new meals, doing lots of baking, making soups & breads, lots of trips to cs which is helping with exercising & getting me out of the house.

    However, need to speed up on the decluttering & decorating fronts as only have two months less about 7 or 8 days to sort everything out before my DSis moves in for an unspecified amount of time

    To a Simpler Life

    MrsSD
    • dolly84
    • By dolly84 5th Feb 18, 9:29 AM
    • 3,793 Posts
    • 35,233 Thanks
    dolly84
    Another bag sat in my hallway for donation and a ton of stuff listed for sale yesterday. You would think by now we would have nothing left but no we still have plenty but I can see improvement now.
    Total Debt 01/14 £13043.00, now £0 debt free date Dec 2016, actually July 2016.
    • Grumpysally
    • By Grumpysally 5th Feb 18, 3:18 PM
    • 640 Posts
    • 513 Thanks
    Grumpysally
    I can't resist. " Swedish Death Clean " great name for Goth band!

    Sounds like a more 'me' type of approach than Marie Kondo. I got as far as kondoing my knickers, but then got depressed by the thought that her's probably took up one tenth of the space mine were.

    I have just re homed a VHS player that has been reproaching me for years. Never played anything on it. Since digital switch over couldn't use to record anything. Then bought a new TV which didn't have a scart socket. When I finally did try it in a different TV, the quality of the tapes were really bad compared to what we are now used to.
    Listed it free on Facebook Market place and someone collected it for his grandad. Apparently grandad had gone to Currys to buy one and the lad serving didn't even know what he was talking about.
    Now just the tapes to get rid of. Very reluctant to send for landfill.
    I'm finding the children's old things difficult to part with. Also the stuff I've always meant use but not yet got round to. Sort of admitting defeat.
    I have however managed to cull a of of sewing stuff and got it all into one box. So no more hunting for a needle in be place an thread in another. No excuse now for my sewing buttons back on immediately!
    • RainbowHippie
    • By RainbowHippie 5th Feb 18, 4:02 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 886 Thanks
    RainbowHippie
    Please may i also join this lovely thread? I have been reading along for a few weeks but not fully caught up yet, so thought i had better post now or it will be 2019 before i catch up and get round to posting! You are all such giving, knowledgeable and inspiring people and there is a lot of good motivation and many useful ideas on this thread.

    There are a few steps i want to take this year around simplifying life - some maybe not directly simplifying, but leading me more in the direction of the life i want to lead. Mainly it's about work-life balance and eating better, but i am hoping we will be able to save a little more this year by doing things like making rather than buying gifts and clothes, and cooking from scratch more. My current list is:
    • Be stricter with myself about work times. This is something i really struggle with as i mostly work at home, so i get distracted suring the day and end up working late into the evening. I plan to try using a timer and set a schedule of 1 hour's work followed by 10-15mins household task/s as a 'break'.
    • Connected to this is to try and keep evenings (when i'm not specifically out at a job) free to spend time with my OH or sewing/crafting.
    • I'm setting a goal to try to hand-make all gifts this year except where something specific is requested (eg SIL tends to ask all family members to contribute to a 'big' present for our neices' birthdays, this ensures they get something really useful and i am happy to support it). I also want to make some gloves/scarves/decorations etc in advance so i have a stockpile for times when life gets in the way. This goal might not simplify life as such but it should push me to spend more time crafting, which i love.
    • Eat more vegetables and less processed stuff. Again not simplifying as such but making our lives better. It can be a struggle as OH has various issues around food, but there are plenty of healthy things he is ok with so i need to ensure we always have these in stock and make more from scratch. I am currently experimenting with hummus as so far he has hated all my homemade attempts! I also would like to grow some veg - managed salad in pots last year but everything else i tried was a disaster, will try planting earlier this year and steer clear of coriander as it seems to be a greenfly magnet!
    • The final thing will hopefully be acheived very soon - to declutter and properly organise my workspace/sewing room. It has been a junk room since we moved in two years ago as everywhere else has been prioritised. I am in the process of ebaying some large furniture to get it out of the way, then i have some nice new to me wooden drawers (free) and a simple wooden dresser (second hand, covered by the sold furniture) coming to helop me organise the space. A lot of carp needs to go but i am really looking forward to sorting through it now, and looking forward to having a comfortable work and crafting space.
    Sorry for the massive essay! Retreating back to lurkdom now, i will update you on my progress with my work room once there has been some



    Jumping back to the comments on dishwashers; I'm all in favour of them but I live on my own so no longer have the 'arguments' over dishwasher stacking - "why've you moved what I put in, I can never get it right" comments which were really an excuse not to have to do it. No matter of explaining, that neither he nor I could see into the future so know the best way to stack that current load, was accepted
    Originally posted by dND
    This made me chuckle! My OH now refuses to put anything in the dishwasher because 'there's no point in the work being done twice' (ie i once moved something he'd put in). Nothing to do with the fact that it makes his life easier to just leave it all on the side...
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 5th Feb 18, 4:45 PM
    • 3,331 Posts
    • 7,894 Thanks
    jackyann
    Welcome! I have a butterbean version of hummus that you might like.
    Gently fry a chopped onion in rapeseed oil ( or whatever) while doing that, cut a lemon in half and put cut sides down in the pan. When golden, take off the heat, and stir in a teaspoon of cumin.
    Drain and rinse a tin of butter beans, squeeze the juice out of the lemon, and add any of the soft pulp that is easy to get out. Put in a blender with the onion and oil. Add salt, pepper, paprika to taste.
    Good luck with the workroom
    • xhosa9
    • By xhosa9 6th Feb 18, 6:52 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    xhosa9
    Welcome! I have a butterbean version of hummus that you might like.
    Gently fry a chopped onion in rapeseed oil ( or whatever) while doing that, cut a lemon in half and put cut sides down in the pan. When golden, take off the heat, and stir in a teaspoon of cumin.
    Drain and rinse a tin of butter beans, squeeze the juice out of the lemon, and add any of the soft pulp that is easy to get out. Put in a blender with the onion and oil. Add salt, pepper, paprika to taste.
    Good luck with the workroom
    Originally posted by jackyann
    That sounds delicious, will definitely have to give it a go.

    I love adding a preserved lemon instead of salt and lemon juice to my homemade hummus. Pinch of sumac or homemade dukkah also livens it up.

    I've also started making a low calorie alternative to hummus by mixing the tahini with 0percent Greek yoghurt and a few spices instead of chickpeas..

    Just had breakfast and ready for dinner already now! Fortunately falafels etc. Is already on the menu.
    • Spider In The Bath
    • By Spider In The Bath 6th Feb 18, 8:46 AM
    • 1,183 Posts
    • 4,241 Thanks
    Spider In The Bath
    That sounds delicious, will definitely have to give it a go.

    I love adding a preserved lemon instead of salt and lemon juice to my homemade hummus. Pinch of sumac or homemade dukkah also livens it up.

    I've also started making a low calorie alternative to hummus by mixing the tahini with 0percent Greek yoghurt and a few spices instead of chickpeas..

    Just had breakfast and ready for dinner already now! Fortunately falafels etc. Is already on the menu.
    Originally posted by xhosa9
    Just another hummus idea. I don't like tahini so I make hummus with peanut butter instead. There are a few different recipes online for how to make it this way. Not low calorie though

    Can I please ask about dukkah? I have just looked it up to see how it is made. How would you eat it - as a topping, or seasoning? Thanks
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 6th Feb 18, 9:58 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 1,029 Thanks
    tighteningthebelt
    RainbowHippie
    Your workroom sounds like it will be great. I always end up doing everything on the dining table!!
    • carolbee
    • By carolbee 6th Feb 18, 10:03 AM
    • 992 Posts
    • 6,740 Thanks
    carolbee
    Just another hummus idea. I don't like tahini so I make hummus with peanut butter instead. There are a few different recipes online for how to make it this way. Not low calorie though

    Can I please ask about dukkah? I have just looked it up to see how it is made. How would you eat it - as a topping, or seasoning? Thanks
    Originally posted by Spider In The Bath
    How spooky, was just going to look for dukkah recipes! Had some on holiday, seems to be hazelnuts, herbs etc. we had it sprinkled on salad, but Iím planning to use n some of our butternut squash glut.
    Carolbee
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 6th Feb 18, 10:04 AM
    • 1,806 Posts
    • 12,341 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    Welcome! I have a butterbean version of hummus that you might like.
    Gently fry a chopped onion in rapeseed oil ( or whatever) while doing that, cut a lemon in half and put cut sides down in the pan. When golden, take off the heat, and stir in a teaspoon of cumin.
    Drain and rinse a tin of butter beans, squeeze the juice out of the lemon, and add any of the soft pulp that is easy to get out. Put in a blender with the onion and oil. Add salt, pepper, paprika to taste.
    Good luck with the workroom
    Originally posted by jackyann
    Sounds delicious. I love that type of thing with crackers.
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 22/60
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 6th Feb 18, 10:52 AM
    • 11,536 Posts
    • 160,647 Thanks
    MrsLurcherwalker
    Dukkah is used as a dip. Good bread first dipped in good olive oil is then dipped into the bowl of dukkah which sticks to it. I've usually been offered it as a starter, it's yummy eaten like that.
    Thumpers mum was right - if you can't find anything nice to say don't say anything at all!
    • SmlSave
    • By SmlSave 6th Feb 18, 10:56 AM
    • 4,698 Posts
    • 16,521 Thanks
    SmlSave
    Dukkah is also lovely as a coating for chicken when you pan fry - really moreish!
    Boy Smllet born 23/06/2011 and Girl Smllet born 01/03/2014

    5 year challenge to pay off £20,000
    £350 per month challenge
    • phizzimum
    • By phizzimum 6th Feb 18, 2:50 PM
    • 1,693 Posts
    • 9,244 Thanks
    phizzimum
    What a fantastic thread this is!

    I look forward to going back and reading it from the start

    Hopefully it will inspire me too
    weaving through the chaos...
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 6th Feb 18, 5:09 PM
    • 904 Posts
    • 3,998 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    All this talk of hummus is making me starving, but I must hang on until dinner. For some reason today I feel like I could win a pie-eating contest, I'm that desperate to eat all the time. Must be hormones.

    Started on the paper mountain a few nights ago. Stuff lying everywhere in piles. I have a set of filing drawers so no excuse for the stuff lying around everywhere. Managed to do a fast top level sort into categories and put that in the drawers so at least I know where to go to look for something. Now I just have to take it drawer by drawer and sort into years and then months. Hopefully by the end of February I will have all the previous 4 years sorted to go in the loft (I have to do a text return every year so keep all of my household receipts in case of an audit) leaving just the current year out. Managed to throw out a box of paper to be burnt.

    Also experimenting with a scanning app. I want to scan my household receipts and then get rid of the majority of them. Decided to leave previous years as paper and start with January this year, and it's going ok. It wasn't that hard to do, as 2-3 receipts fitted onto one scan.

    Thinking I might do a similar thing with some of my magazines. I have quite a few upstairs, usually because I have spotted one article I want to keep. That's a task for another month though.

    Only doing one new habit a month.

    Oh, and a confession...when I looked under the bed in the spare room for more paperwork I found a fruit tray with six parfait jars ranging from 0.5L to 2L. And to think I wasted time traipsing round the shops looking for them.
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 06-02-2018 at 5:14 PM.
    'Save £12k in 2018' £2,000/£6,000 (33%)
    March GC £71.68/160

    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself."
    • ploppy57
    • By ploppy57 6th Feb 18, 5:14 PM
    • 711 Posts
    • 4,602 Thanks
    ploppy57
    What are everybody's best recipe for HM gravy? I am trying to go GF in my new quest for a simpler life & I want to make my own gravy, as have to confess I have always used the instant stuff. Any tips? Vegetarian and meat options.
    DMP March '15 £57,549. Now £44,430. Went SM Feb '18 to get DF sooner.
    Emergency fund #231... Building up slowly, waiting for a pension pot to arrive to give it a big boost.
    Christmas '18 challenge... £22 /£300
    "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Shining at the end of every day"
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 6th Feb 18, 5:18 PM
    • 904 Posts
    • 3,998 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    What are everybody's best recipe for HM gravy? I am trying to go GF in my new quest for a simpler life & I want to make my own gravy, as have to confess I have always used the instant stuff. Any tips? Vegetarian and meat options.
    Originally posted by ploppy57
    I've been gluten-free for three years now and I make it from scratch. We usually only do gravy with the roast dinner once a week, so I drain the fat off that and use it plus veg water (or stock if I have some in the fridge), half a Knorr stock pot (if needed, sometimes a good flavoursome joint won't need it) and some cornstarch to thicken.

    Gave up on instant GF gravy mixes. Always tasted gritty and seemed to take ages to cook properly.

    On the rare occasion I make gravy during the week I just use the liquid, stock pot and cornstarch. Lidl has the stock pots cheaply sometimes so I stock up when they're cheap, as oppose to £1.50 - £2 in Sainsbugs.
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 06-02-2018 at 5:26 PM.
    'Save £12k in 2018' £2,000/£6,000 (33%)
    March GC £71.68/160

    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself."
    • ploppy57
    • By ploppy57 6th Feb 18, 6:07 PM
    • 711 Posts
    • 4,602 Thanks
    ploppy57
    I've been gluten-free for three years now and I make it from scratch. We usually only do gravy with the roast dinner once a week, so I drain the fat off that and use it plus veg water (or stock if I have some in the fridge), half a Knorr stock pot (if needed, sometimes a good flavoursome joint won't need it) and some cornstarch to thicken.

    Gave up on instant GF gravy mixes. Always tasted gritty and seemed to take ages to cook properly.

    On the rare occasion I make gravy during the week I just use the liquid, stock pot and cornstarch. Lidl has the stock pots cheaply sometimes so I stock up when they're cheap, as oppose to £1.50 - £2 in Sainsbugs.
    Originally posted by Cottage Economy
    Thanks for that.
    DMP March '15 £57,549. Now £44,430. Went SM Feb '18 to get DF sooner.
    Emergency fund #231... Building up slowly, waiting for a pension pot to arrive to give it a big boost.
    Christmas '18 challenge... £22 /£300
    "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Shining at the end of every day"
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 6th Feb 18, 6:32 PM
    • 904 Posts
    • 3,998 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    Thanks for that.
    Originally posted by ploppy57
    I used to use Tesco value cubes as they were GF, until the day I found out the hard way they had changed the formulation and started putting in barley.

    Had used them for years with no ill effect until that fateful day.

    Learnt my lesson. Check the ingredients every single time, even if I've used something for yonks.
    'Save £12k in 2018' £2,000/£6,000 (33%)
    March GC £71.68/160

    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself."
    • xhosa9
    • By xhosa9 7th Feb 18, 6:04 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    xhosa9
    Just another hummus idea. I don't like tahini so I make hummus with peanut butter instead. There are a few different recipes online for how to make it this way. Not low calorie though

    Can I please ask about dukkah? I have just looked it up to see how it is made. How would you eat it - as a topping, or seasoning? Thanks
    Originally posted by Spider In The Bath
    I often use it on soups, cream cheese on crackers, sandwiches, salads - anything that needs a pep up. Also good the traditional way- good quality bread dipped in EV olive oil then dipped in the dukkah.
    • maryb
    • By maryb 7th Feb 18, 6:39 PM
    • 3,649 Posts
    • 44,535 Thanks
    maryb
    Bisto powder (not granules) used to be GF and I mix it with cornflour when I'm cooking GF (as it's too strong on its own) But as you say, they change the formula from time to times on basics so I can't swear to it now - my packet is ancient

    Another alternative is Marigold bouillon powder mixed with cornflour and then add a drop or two of old fashioned gravy browning - I still see that in supermarkets. It's basically just caramel
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
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