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  • FIRST POST
    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    • 47Posts
    • 1,446Thanks
    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 55
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 7th Feb 18, 10:16 PM
    • 3,335 Posts
    • 7,903 Thanks
    jackyann
    My standard gravy is to gently fry a finely chopped onion in rapeseed oil, when golden I add cornflour and let it sit off the heat for a bit. Then I add a splash of red wine (or Martini Rosso or own brand equivalent), then make up to gravy consistency with Marigold stock. I tend to leave the onion bits in, but sieving it makes a nice smooth gravy.
    This gravy is frozen in portions and suits the vegetarians who drift in and out of my kitchen. It is also useful, if a bit pressed when doing a conventional roast, I heat it up and simply decant the meat juices into it.
    The great Elizabeth Luard does claim that the best way to get a really nice brown gravy is to pour some tea into it.
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 8th Feb 18, 7:41 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 1,030 Thanks
    tighteningthebelt
    Hiya,
    Bisto gravy powder contains barley. Just checked my fairly new packet.

    Thanks to all the Sardine Professionals out there, I'll let you know how I go on with the recipes.
    • ploppy57
    • By ploppy57 8th Feb 18, 7:51 AM
    • 723 Posts
    • 4,656 Thanks
    ploppy57
    Hiya,
    Bisto gravy powder contains barley. Just checked my fairly new packet.

    Thanks to all the Sardine Professionals out there, I'll let you know how I go on with the recipes.
    Originally posted by tighteningthebelt
    Ooh...what are you making with sardines? I need to eat loads of them as good for Osteoporosis
    DMP March '15 £57,549. Now £44,226. 23% paid. Went SM Feb '18 to get DF sooner.
    Emergency fund #231... £1000.
    Christmas '18 challenge... £22 /£300
    "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Shining at the end of every day"
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 8th Feb 18, 7:52 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 1,030 Thanks
    tighteningthebelt
    Oh, the shame.
    I posted the Sardine Professionals comment here, it was meant for a different thread, so embarrassed.
    Hope I haven't upset anyone. X
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 8th Feb 18, 7:55 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 1,030 Thanks
    tighteningthebelt
    There's three ideas on the first couple of pages of this thread....
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=73842799&posted=1#post73842799
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 8th Feb 18, 9:46 AM
    • 961 Posts
    • 4,044 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    Just been out got a walk round the garden and noticed I have snowdrops, aconites, and daffodils fully out! What a lovely surprise! Everything is coming up. Now I'm sitting here thinking about what fruit and veg I'm going to grow this year. I still have over 30 leeks to harvest and my box of spinach is still cracking on strongly so lots there.

    I don't want to over tax myself this year - living in Lincolnshire means I have access to tons of local fruit and veg cheaply through the town markets, so I've finally twigged that for some veg there is no point growing it.

    Dh gets two 25kg sack of spuds a year as a tip so no point growing potatoes. All the brassicas are 50p a head in the market, and the heads are the size of mine so that's a no go. The root veg are equally cheap and large.

    I already have strawberries, blackberries, apples, pears, plums, damsons, bullaces, cherries, rhubarb and a couple of raspberry plants. I have elderberries, sloes and nuts in our hedges, and a fig tree to plant somewhere. A bay tree, and tons of thyme and mint.

    I think I'll probably buy the basic veg and grow some of the more expensive stuff:
    add some more raspberries (maybe even do a proper bed for them)
    plant some currants (don't have any at the moment)
    french beans
    mange tout
    various lettuce leaves and rocket
    tomatoes
    sweetcorn
    cucumbers for pickles
    butternut squash (I have a pile of pig manure earmarked!)
    parsley, sage and basil

    What about you guys? Any Grow Your Own plans yet?
    'Save £12k in 2018' £3000/£6,000 (50%)


    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself."
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 8th Feb 18, 1:49 PM
    • 3,335 Posts
    • 7,903 Thanks
    jackyann
    Hello, I too live in an area with lots of veg and apples. I was never a great gardener, and the arthritis stops me trying! But I have a small raised deep bed that DH built, and I grow greens and salad. That saves me money and means they are nice and fresh. All winter I get spinach and lambs lettuce. In summer I add French beans and mixed salad leaves. Early spring I get living salads from the supermarket to plant out. I also do herbs as they are expensive to buy.
    • carolbee
    • By carolbee 8th Feb 18, 5:34 PM
    • 1,006 Posts
    • 6,957 Thanks
    carolbee
    We’ve got two allotments so just planning our to grow list. We try to grow things that are either expensive to buy or try a different sort of something you could buy, ie round courgettes etc.
    Carolbee
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 8th Feb 18, 7:12 PM
    • 961 Posts
    • 4,044 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    We’ve got two allotments so just planning our to grow list. We try to grow things that are either expensive to buy or try a different sort of something you could buy, ie round courgettes etc.
    Originally posted by carolbee
    Courgettes! I forgot the courgettes!
    'Save £12k in 2018' £3000/£6,000 (50%)


    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself."
    • maryb
    • By maryb 8th Feb 18, 10:09 PM
    • 3,740 Posts
    • 46,020 Thanks
    maryb
    You won't be able to forget them come July/August!!
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 9th Feb 18, 7:18 AM
    • 961 Posts
    • 4,044 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    You won't be able to forget them come July/August!!
    Originally posted by maryb
    I know! I was so excited last year when I got my first courgette because I had never been able to grow them at the old house.

    Come September I was like "Meh, another soddding courgette".
    'Save £12k in 2018' £3000/£6,000 (50%)


    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself."
    • carolbee
    • By carolbee 9th Feb 18, 7:27 AM
    • 1,006 Posts
    • 6,957 Thanks
    carolbee
    I know! I was so excited last year when I got my first courgette because I had never been able to grow them at the old house.

    Come September I was like "Meh, another soddding courgette".
    Originally posted by Cottage Economy
    I feel your pain!
    Carolbee
    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 9th Feb 18, 7:47 AM
    • 346 Posts
    • 2,945 Thanks
    purpleybat
    i love growing veg and I find planning and sorting seeds cheers me up after the winter blues I always get.
    this year I have seeds for:-
    tomatoes (3 types)
    courgettes (2 types)
    runner beanos (absolutely essential)
    salads and spinach
    French beanos and peas
    brussells
    leeks
    spring onions
    I have a couple of fruit bushes so hopefully they'll fruit well this year.


    I think I have other seeds but can't remember at the mo, its my turn this year to share seeds with my sisters. I've always done spuds but they take up most of my tubs, so last year I grew them in the earth, lots of back breaking work for little return. this year i'm not bothering.
    gc 2017 £1841.27.
    2018 jan £124.69/£130 feb £157.97/£150 mar £221.33/£200 apr £223.04/£250
    • dolly84
    • By dolly84 9th Feb 18, 9:05 AM
    • 3,861 Posts
    • 35,803 Thanks
    dolly84
    I'm rubbish at growing things except trees, I'm very good with trees and have loads of them that no one is allowed to touch except me as I love them all very dearly. However I did manage to grow courgettes so they must be a doddle, I got loads and loads of them which does make me wonder why they are so expensive to buy.
    Total Debt 01/14 £13043.00, now £0 debt free date Dec 2016, actually July 2016.
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 9th Feb 18, 11:04 AM
    • 5,050 Posts
    • 39,853 Thanks
    DawnW
    I'm rubbish at growing things except trees, I'm very good with trees and have loads of them that no one is allowed to touch except me as I love them all very dearly. However I did manage to grow courgettes so they must be a doddle, I got loads and loads of them which does make me wonder why they are so expensive to buy.
    Originally posted by dolly84
    I often wonder that too! Runner beans are also easy, and always expensive to buy in the shops, even though you get loads of them Even a couple of plants in a big pot gives you handfuls of them. I think it must be to do with the harvesting, handling etc being time consuming.
    NSDs for June 7 / 10
    Groceries / cleaning / toiletries / pet food etc £136.68 / £250
    Fuel 50.01 / £100


    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 9th Feb 18, 11:24 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 1,030 Thanks
    tighteningthebelt
    I only grow herbs, but they give me a lot of pleasure!
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 9th Feb 18, 1:59 PM
    • 961 Posts
    • 4,044 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    I never understood that either DawnW and Dolly84. As you say, I think some stuff is labour intensive on a commercial scale. I'm not good with runner beans - too many stringy ones forced on me as a child. DH is the same with them.

    Well, I'm afraid I caved today. I popped into a charity shop to drop of some of my bedding that I sorted out the other week and ended up having look round.

    Very pleased I did! Found a massive box set of 32 DVDs that my father has been looking for over the last couple of years. Online he'd have to pay £70 and I got it for £15 - he's asked for it to be wrapped up for his birthday. Also found a new sealed Avon day cream for £2 that I used to use but stopped as it was too expensive at £16. Judging from the amount of stuff an Avon rep had a New Year clean out.

    Crucially, I did not look at the books!
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 09-02-2018 at 2:14 PM.
    'Save £12k in 2018' £3000/£6,000 (50%)


    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself."
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 9th Feb 18, 3:47 PM
    • 5,050 Posts
    • 39,853 Thanks
    DawnW
    I never understood that either DawnW and Dolly84. As you say, I think some stuff is labour intensive on a commercial scale. I'm not good with runner beans - too many stringy ones forced on me as a child. DH is the same with them.
    Originally posted by Cottage Economy
    Well, do what I now do then, and grow climbing French beans instead - no strings, and they freeze better. A bit trickier to get going than runners. I am growing purple ones this year
    NSDs for June 7 / 10
    Groceries / cleaning / toiletries / pet food etc £136.68 / £250
    Fuel 50.01 / £100


    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 9th Feb 18, 5:44 PM
    • 961 Posts
    • 4,044 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    Well, do what I now do then, and grow climbing French beans instead - no strings, and they freeze better. A bit trickier to get going than runners. I am growing purple ones this year
    Originally posted by DawnW
    What sort of yield do you get off per plant? I've grown dwarf French beans before when I had no space for climbers and got quite a reasonable amount off them but never tried climbing beans.

    Is there a secret to getting climbing French bean started off??
    'Save £12k in 2018' £3000/£6,000 (50%)


    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself."
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 9th Feb 18, 5:46 PM
    • 11,898 Posts
    • 229,591 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    Well, do what I now do then, and grow climbing French beans instead - no strings, and they freeze better. A bit trickier to get going than runners. I am growing purple ones this year
    Originally posted by DawnW
    I'm sure I've seen stringless variety of runner beans on sale in Wilk0 last autumn - I buy the next year's seeds in the sales. Perhaps they have some this year?

    Courgettes are amazing plants. I had a random selection of courgettes, BNS and pumpkins in a relatively small bed in full sun at the top of the lottie. The bed was enriched with seven barrows of spent barley grains from the brewery and things grew like triffids. I still have monster squash all over the place and will be making another BNS soup this evening. Truly astonishing how much mass you can get for how little effort.

    Courgettes seem to the the same price year round, even when the British grown ones are in season and you can barely give them away to family, friends and acquaitances.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

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