Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Pippilongstocking
    • By Pippilongstocking 22nd Dec 17, 11:01 AM
    • 15,001Posts
    • 99,063Thanks
    Pippilongstocking
    Time to mend and make do, beg, borrow and barter.
    • #1
    • 22nd Dec 17, 11:01 AM
    Time to mend and make do, beg, borrow and barter. 22nd Dec 17 at 11:01 AM
    Hello lovely MSE angels.

    I've been around for a while and know the small MSE ways lead to big changes in lifestyle. I'm so lucky I found you all when I did way back in the beginning of time!

    I had started a new 'adventure' diary but this years events have shifted the focus from those for now to a bit more of a 'primal' focus on living very frugally, to accommodate unexpected and unavoidable shifts in expenses for the foreseeable.

    As today is 'housekeeping budget day' I figured its a good a day as any to start this month afresh and try and move my mindset.

    I have a fair bit of debt still but the main issues for me are pesky over drafts and a credit card which crept up whilst I was otherwise occupied. Its in the signature below.

    This diary is to focus and hone my rusty MSE skills to the front and really live with what we have, make do with what we can, borrow or beg favours where needed, and barter ourselves where we can, there's no shame in asking for help once in a while!

    We've two in our household both working f/t, plus two grown up flown the coup for now younglings - off adventuring (uni and gap year type shennanigans), a lovely DH, two pesky mutts (one quite unexpectedly terminally poorly) and a severe lack of chickens in our lives right now. Must sort that in the new year. My mother is quite poorly with an unexpected, terminal diagnosis, so I'm looking to juggle my very accommodating job with helping with her care and treatment.

    We live well, but we could live a whole lot better with less, and support others more in the process.


    Last edited by Pippilongstocking; 22-12-2017 at 11:38 AM.
    Overdraft 1 £1000/£0, Overdraft 2 £1000/£1000 , Cancelled
    Credit Card 1 = £0, Credit Card 2 £2710.57/925
    Total Debt as of 6/8/2017 £5755.40 eek:
    Total debt 26/4/18 <£1925
Page 6
    • troglodyte
    • By troglodyte 8th Jan 18, 10:33 AM
    • 628 Posts
    • 3,847 Thanks
    troglodyte
    Thank you GP I just listened to the Food Programme
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09kx846
    it was interesting and the recipes are on the page if anyone wants to try. I might give it a go; I've always felt I should like porridge - it's so cheap and healthy and versatile and sustaining - but somehow have never been that keen. The only time I've eaten it with alacrity is at dawn just before a dive trip in Oban in February.


    Still working through freezer and cupboard stores; last night was pork chops with aubergine and teriyaki sauce (made the sauce from stores rather than buy ready-made) served with quinoa and bulgar wheat mix, followed by spiced pears (friend gave me a carrier-bag full about a month back). Tonight I think will be salmon, noodles and stir-fry carrots and courgette, followed by a treat of yellow-stickered profiteroles! Tomorrow Big One has a friend coming over so I think it will be beef quesadillas then fruit sponge.


    Hope everyone's week is off to a good start. Pippi our snowdrops are just opening and I think of you every time I walk past!
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 8th Jan 18, 10:44 AM
    • 8,181 Posts
    • 40,592 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    I love porridge Although I rarely do anything fancy - bit of water and salt, 2 mins in the microwave, add sugar. If I've got it, I also add varying combinations of cinnamon, sultanas, bananas, apple, peanut butter, tahini, mincemeat etc depending on what's in the cupboard This morning was bananas and tahini but my favourite is peanut butter and sultanas
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = £558.25
    • troglodyte
    • By troglodyte 8th Jan 18, 12:24 PM
    • 628 Posts
    • 3,847 Thanks
    troglodyte
    I've never really used tahini much except for making hummus; obviously I've missed a trick there!
    • starnac
    • By starnac 8th Jan 18, 1:45 PM
    • 5,260 Posts
    • 24,713 Thanks
    starnac
    I eat a lot of cereal and toast. I do make sure the kids eat well though. I wouldn't let them eat cereal for tea.

    Glad treatment went well and that TRG is eating again. Hope he's properly better soon
    Savings £1200
    Overpayments made £200/£1208.15
    Make £2018 in 2018 #70 £498/£2018
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 8th Jan 18, 2:03 PM
    • 1,616 Posts
    • 14,108 Thanks
    WannabeFree
    Eating through the stores thing always interests me.

    I'm not sure if it's because there was quite a long time I didn't know how I'd make the next meal and what it would be but I really get worried when I run things down

    I don't really over shop now though but I do tend to replace the things we use if that makes sense?

    Maybe I need to learn to use a bit more and not be such a food hoarder

    Glad your mums treatment went without hick ups x
    “Once you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.”
    • troglodyte
    • By troglodyte 9th Jan 18, 1:22 PM
    • 628 Posts
    • 3,847 Thanks
    troglodyte
    WannabeFree our cupboards tend to be full as well, for various reasons such as having several different types of things like flour and sugar, especially when we get near the end of one bag then I prefer to buy more before running out so that takes up a lot of space. Then when things we use are on offer, again I tend to stock up - just bought several cans of custard because they were almost half price and the 'use-by' date is many months away, so that means they could keep for years : ) The freezer also gets filled up with garden produce and yellow-stickered meat. But at some point we have to start using it or there isn't room for the next bargains or it's almost time for the next year's garden produce. In bumper years it has sometimes taken us two years or even more to use up all of a particular thing, like green beans or jostaberries, but they all get eaten in the end!
    • Working Mum
    • By Working Mum 9th Jan 18, 1:42 PM
    • 132 Posts
    • 506 Thanks
    Working Mum
    I tend to hoard food when I am stressed and feeling the pressure - so a big goal for me has been to use up what is in my cupboard!!

    I discovered the joy of a "Bircher" ( https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/bircher-muesli-apple-banana ) breakfast and make a bowl on a Sunday and keep it in my fridge all week and eat it every day - it means I eat well, cheaply AND use up dried fruit/ fresh fruit that's knocking around and needs eating up. I snack on it if I am feeling peckish so saves grabbing a packet of crisps etc

    I would love garden produce but am not at that stage yet in my garden!!
    • troglodyte
    • By troglodyte 9th Jan 18, 2:05 PM
    • 628 Posts
    • 3,847 Thanks
    troglodyte
    WM that sounds like a good idea, especially when you're in a rush on a summer morning. Not sure about winter though as we don't have the heating on in the mornings (only rarely in the evenings, especially if we have visitors!) so a chilled breakfast isn't so appealing. Must investigate porridge!
    • Pippilongstocking
    • By Pippilongstocking 9th Jan 18, 7:40 PM
    • 15,001 Posts
    • 99,063 Thanks
    Pippilongstocking
    Hey up visitors how lovely. All breakfasted and full of yummy porridge, custand and bircher. How fabulous I do love a good breakfast.

    WBF - I am a complete food hoarder it pushes my internal compass buttons when there's limited food, I actually get panicky. I'm a bit of a scoffer so I don't know its a throw back to childhood (single parent household, 6 of us sometimes 9 of us, so a packet of biscuits for pud, didn't go far......but we never went hungry, I'm just a greedy monkey). Frugalwise there is a bit of a balance though between like Trog says - full to bursting with bargains and bits or super lean cupboards, I find the balance hard.

    Working Mum thanks for that - I like the idea of it - might give it a go but I'm bad with anything too soggy, these days I@m making up the porridge dry mix in the evening and adding liquid in the am. But it might be the way forward I'll maybe give that a go. Like Trog we don't heat any rooms in the am (by the time I'm dressed for work, I'm like a michelin man so I'm good with cold including brekkie).

    Trog - sounds like the gardening is v productive and thanks for putting up that link.

    Starnac I'd die if the kids ate cereal for tea but DH does it loads. I'd feel pretty robbed of a meal TBH , then again I can eat chips for tea all week long and feel like I'm still short a potato product in my life.

    Cheery - I do love you me dear but your porridge is infected with crazy things and I'm happy that it makes you happy but, please don't be offended if I wont try it. Peanut butter is for eating off a spoon and sultanas (I@m allergic) but are actually the devils food. :P

    I do micro out porridge I think you taught me that one, but sans evil things.

    GP thank you so much for the links, loving the porridge chat on here.



    Wee mammy is tucked up under several cosy blankets, taking it easy thank you very much all for the kind words. Means alot.
    Overdraft 1 £1000/£0, Overdraft 2 £1000/£1000 , Cancelled
    Credit Card 1 = £0, Credit Card 2 £2710.57/925
    Total Debt as of 6/8/2017 £5755.40 eek:
    Total debt 26/4/18 <£1925
    • Pippilongstocking
    • By Pippilongstocking 9th Jan 18, 7:52 PM
    • 15,001 Posts
    • 99,063 Thanks
    Pippilongstocking
    Evening all

    Yesterday was a sea of hardly any sleep and crashing and burning early.

    Top news was finding half a cooked chicken (food hoarder me, never) for 84p so tea was a imrpov'd roast dinner. I'm always humbled by reductions but when its a cooked item at a silly price, I'm happy to try and accomodate a change, as OH has been off since the flu it was nice to see him perk at teh idea of some food.

    Half eaten, twas a tiny bird, but it lived and has respect for doing that, so we've done stock from the bones and half boxed and in the freezer. Single yorkie mix made far too much for one meal but used a nicely hot oven.

    Dog food and juice meant spends were £19.35 yesterday but NOTHING today HUZZAH.

    At least its one NSD on grub.

    Leftovers for tea. Why not.
    Last edited by Pippilongstocking; 09-01-2018 at 7:54 PM.
    Overdraft 1 £1000/£0, Overdraft 2 £1000/£1000 , Cancelled
    Credit Card 1 = £0, Credit Card 2 £2710.57/925
    Total Debt as of 6/8/2017 £5755.40 eek:
    Total debt 26/4/18 <£1925
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 9th Jan 18, 9:28 PM
    • 55,020 Posts
    • 219,759 Thanks
    beanielou
    Glad your wee maw is snuggled up.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
    • Pippilongstocking
    • By Pippilongstocking 10th Jan 18, 6:10 AM
    • 15,001 Posts
    • 99,063 Thanks
    Pippilongstocking
    morning lands - early bird here - woke at 4.45 again - seem to be a bit washing machine headed but we'll see, not pinning it down to much other than 'lots on'. Sometimes I wish I had a pensive like Dumbledore.

    Cancelled cleaner today as DH still sick enough to be off and potentially infectious - no brainer really. I'm not working at weekend so I'll likely be able to wield an indoor lawn mower (Vacuum) over the floors and swish and swipe the bathrooms. Potentially a saving of £22 as she doesn't charge if we cancel but she's a one man band, I'd rather pay her, although she's insisting not.

    Paid off in total the 0% cc for last months small spends - was less than £200 but its now gone.

    Deposit from apartment went back on the card, so that's £250 which was in limbo now back available.

    £100/paid to DH for the next adventure to the land of the maples and bears. Mid April post snowdrop holiday - will be required for sure.

    I was even up early enough to brush my hair - not an event that happens entirely often in my life, although its being slapped under a wooly bunnet soon enough, I'm not sure it was worth the effort.

    Heating engineer comes today to see about leak - fingers crossed on that one.

    I need to top up the wood stores, plenty free wood there but none cut, might see if I can get a window on that at the weekend. Pal at work has a local contact who delivers 4tonnes (Volume) for about £100 - the last fella we used was £60 for 1 tonne bag - so must get his number today.

    I'm loathe to buy too much wood, I prefer to forage for it, but Jan/Feb/Mar are mega busy at work, so as long as I forage the rest of the year I do cut myself a bit of slack, and we've budgeted for it over the year.

    Cuppa time and a nip around the banks/boards - car insurance due this month, must get on that soon.

    Beanie thank you for the kind words. She was tired yesterday and gets mega-scottish when she's tired, usually she's unaccented (life in the forces) - its kinda sweet and a bit sad, she sounds more like my granny everyday.

    Reading up on UFM (Uber Frugal Month) this week its been about getting partners on board, was an interesting read, DH is generally OK with the concepts, although our finances are very different, he's very supportive and prudent with cash, given his industry, its so volatile, he's mindful of all spends at the moment. I take care of the smaller stuff, he's watching the bigger stuff. Team work.

    The next ponder on the frugal email was options - I'll cut and paste the email in as its a nice read.
    Last edited by Pippilongstocking; 10-01-2018 at 6:14 AM.
    Overdraft 1 £1000/£0, Overdraft 2 £1000/£1000 , Cancelled
    Credit Card 1 = £0, Credit Card 2 £2710.57/925
    Total Debt as of 6/8/2017 £5755.40 eek:
    Total debt 26/4/18 <£1925
    • Pippilongstocking
    • By Pippilongstocking 10th Jan 18, 6:40 AM
    • 15,001 Posts
    • 99,063 Thanks
    Pippilongstocking
    Directly from Mrs Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month Challenge.

    We’ve been talking a lot about utilizing frugality as a means to achieve your lifelong goals--but what if you’re not quite sure what those goal are yet? No problem! The beauty of frugality is that it gives you options. When you’re not in debt or living paycheck-to-paycheck, your world is suddenly quite open. You could quit your job, change careers, move to a new place, or perhaps take a sabbatical to soul search. Frugality grants you the freedom to ponder what you want out of life.

    Even if you’re perfectly content with your current job, and even if you intend to work until you’re 65 (or older), and even if you have no plans to move, you never know what unexpected circumstances might arise. Your company might enact lay-offs and you could lose your job, the economy could endure a recession, a change in family circumstances--a new baby or a marriage or a divorce--could radically alter your worldview.

    And if you’ve been living frugally, you can weather all of these storms much more easily. Frugality is the difference between a job loss being a crisis and a minor inconvenience. The concept of financial independence isn’t about whether or not you enjoy your job–it’s about how reliant upon it you are. Give yourself the gift of financial stability through frugality.

    Today’s mantra: Don’t let your spending prevent you from doing what you want with your life. Rather, let frugality sculpt the life you crave.

    Today’s action: Make a list of all the things you could do if you were financially independent.

    Today’s recommended reading: Frugality Gives Us Options and Why Be Frugal? One Word: Options


    I found this interesting to read, OK so Rome isn't and won't be built in a day, but having options is an interesting way to think about frugality - I think. Before moving south to the mainland, I made an active push to clear my car and most of the 'easy' debts in my life as I was moving from a full time working life to a new place with only 1 day a week work to rely on (and lovely DH obviously) - having cleared those debts I knew I had a car to get around which was fully paid off, and my living expenses initially were low, so I could take a bit of time to adjust to my new life down here. It bought me a bit of time without the panic of leaving my old life.

    I hadn't really thought of frugality as increasing your options before. Its an interesting concept.
    Overdraft 1 £1000/£0, Overdraft 2 £1000/£1000 , Cancelled
    Credit Card 1 = £0, Credit Card 2 £2710.57/925
    Total Debt as of 6/8/2017 £5755.40 eek:
    Total debt 26/4/18 <£1925
    • Pippilongstocking
    • By Pippilongstocking 10th Jan 18, 6:45 AM
    • 15,001 Posts
    • 99,063 Thanks
    Pippilongstocking
    I tend to hoard food when I am stressed and feeling the pressure - so a big goal for me has been to use up what is in my cupboard!!

    I discovered the joy of a "Bircher" ( https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/bircher-muesli-apple-banana ) breakfast and make a bowl on a Sunday and keep it in my fridge all week and eat it every day - it means I eat well, cheaply AND use up dried fruit/ fresh fruit that's knocking around and needs eating up. I snack on it if I am feeling peckish so saves grabbing a packet of crisps etc

    I would love garden produce but am not at that stage yet in my garden!!
    Originally posted by Working Mum
    I've had a think about this and wonder if I can make this up and store it in the fridge at work for either 'second breakfast' or actually more likely LUNCH. I'm always pushed to get something eaten and walk the dogs at lunch. If I had this made up, I could munch this, walk dogs then have a miso soup or someat after stomping.

    Thank you!

    What kind of things are you thinking about growing when you do get there?

    Overdraft 1 £1000/£0, Overdraft 2 £1000/£1000 , Cancelled
    Credit Card 1 = £0, Credit Card 2 £2710.57/925
    Total Debt as of 6/8/2017 £5755.40 eek:
    Total debt 26/4/18 <£1925
    • Working Mum
    • By Working Mum 10th Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    • 132 Posts
    • 506 Thanks
    Working Mum
    Morning Pippi,
    I confess to having two bowls of Bircher on the go - I am self employed and currently in my office all day long and can't get out for lunch etc.

    I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic just before Xmas (I don't have a thyroid so endocrine system issues often go hand in hand) so I needed to get my blood sugars under control, save money and still eat healthily all whilst holding down a full-time job!!

    Duddaduuuuum step in the Bircher! I do the 16:8 fast so eat as late as possible - a bowl of Bircher (porridge oats, flax seeds, sultanas raisens & dried fruit + anything else in the cupboards which needed using up: soaking in milk but you could do apple juice or soya milk etc) with extra thick double cream and some fresh fruit ie raspberries /blueberries/bananas!!

    I have found a feel fuller for longer having this around lunchtime and then eat a healthy cooked supper within the 8 hour window. My blood sugars are down, I am losing a bit of weight and feel as if I am saving money and working my long term plan to be debt free with choices!!

    Have a great day and thank you for posting the Frugalwoods post! It echoes my goals - freedom and choices!!

    PS you asked about my garden - I have spent the last couple of years lopping things down and clearing away old wood - I have planted spring and summer bulbs and love, love love pots!! I am hoping to plant some herbs and tomatoes this year and build myself a little veg patch for onions, leeks and potatoes (heard they are foolproof!!)
    Last edited by Working Mum; 10-01-2018 at 11:21 AM. Reason: update
    • starnac
    • By starnac 10th Jan 18, 12:40 PM
    • 5,260 Posts
    • 24,713 Thanks
    starnac
    Hey you. Glad DH is feeling a bit better. Hope your mum is getting there too. It's no wonder you're not sleeping with all this going on. Make sure you take time for yourself too.
    Savings £1200
    Overpayments made £200/£1208.15
    Make £2018 in 2018 #70 £498/£2018
    • troglodyte
    • By troglodyte 10th Jan 18, 2:47 PM
    • 628 Posts
    • 3,847 Thanks
    troglodyte
    Directly from Mrs Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month Challenge.

    I hadn't really thought of frugality as increasing your options before. Its an interesting concept.
    Originally posted by Pippilongstocking

    I so agree with this - in fact was just having a conversation about it with Big One the other day. Basically having money gives you more choices - and if being frugal is the way to get that money buffer (as it is for all of us) then yes, avoiding spending money on little things you don't really need means you have more freedom when it comes to big life choices.


    Big One does have rather a habit of going on and on about things so I'm afraid she is now probably lecturing her school friends on not frittering their money away on the latest gadgets or fashions!
    • Pippilongstocking
    • By Pippilongstocking 12th Jan 18, 6:41 AM
    • 15,001 Posts
    • 99,063 Thanks
    Pippilongstocking
    Working mum thank you so much for that really interesting post. I wish your numbers keep going down as you work so hard. I might give this a go at work. Ta. Choices eh. Exactly that.

    Starnac - you're very kind lovely you've a lot on too lets look after ourselves.

    Trog - my DD went through a faze of that too - its quite cute. They're both very very careful for her money now. Its a good skill to have. Just like choices.

    Been a bit 'throaty' this side, pulls jumper over face. OH keeps looking at me in a somewhat dodgy manner looking like he's ready to catch me or something. I'm glad he's got my back.

    Boiler is fixed - dodgy pump causing leak, oil is refilled - not a great start to the year.

    Heating is still off - which sounds utterly ludicrious in January but I see no point in wood stoves blazing and radiatiors pumping out heat when we're largely in one room. Makes the chores go a bit quicker.

    Off to check the banks and drink me 'I've not got a cold brewing' hot lemon drink.....ahem.

    *denial rocks*
    Overdraft 1 £1000/£0, Overdraft 2 £1000/£1000 , Cancelled
    Credit Card 1 = £0, Credit Card 2 £2710.57/925
    Total Debt as of 6/8/2017 £5755.40 eek:
    Total debt 26/4/18 <£1925
    • Pippilongstocking
    • By Pippilongstocking 12th Jan 18, 6:52 AM
    • 15,001 Posts
    • 99,063 Thanks
    Pippilongstocking
    Argh £5.99 on my cc for an office app I no longer need - been meaning to cancel it for ages - I can't mind how to do it.

    MUST FIND OUT TODAY AND CANCEL - that's £36/year I don't need to be wasting.
    Overdraft 1 £1000/£0, Overdraft 2 £1000/£1000 , Cancelled
    Credit Card 1 = £0, Credit Card 2 £2710.57/925
    Total Debt as of 6/8/2017 £5755.40 eek:
    Total debt 26/4/18 <£1925
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 12th Jan 18, 8:28 AM
    • 4,274 Posts
    • 47,740 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    and to Pippi, all of Clan Pipster and members of the Stripey Gang

    Just because

    Happy Friday Everyone.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug' 'Your Vibe attracts your Tribe'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

147Posts Today

1,422Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @LaraLewington: ...and mine suggested I'd achieved a lifelong ambition of being sawn in half by a magician - at our wedding. Wasn't. Don?

  • We are working on it - I think BA has behaved awfully on this. Those flight were no obviously a glitch. It should? https://t.co/8pvtXtUEqi

  • RT @thenicolabryant: Absolutely. We need mental health and financial health as advocated my @MartinSLewis , to be taught in schools. So muc?

  • Follow Martin