Thursday, 6 October 2011

Avoiding spending

Since living on one income, I have realised even more how many of the most important things in life don't rely on money.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God. Luke 12 verse 31
 Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12 verse 34

I haven't posted about frugal living for ages mainly because it is difficult to find anything different to say and I don't want to add to the general gloom.

 This is a list of ways of saving mainly quite small amounts but since everyone seems to be squeezed at present hopefully these may help.

  • Beans are a great way to eke out meat in a casserole. Dried beans are about half the cost of tinned. Red kidney beans, for some reason, are an exception and are amazingly cheap in tins. Dried beans do need soaking overnight and then boiling as intructed by the packet, usually 10 minutes. The simmering part can be done in the casserole.
  • Steamer-cooks two vegetables for the cost of one.
  • Cars. We have saved a substantial amount by owning a small car and a small people carrier instead of a minibus. There is a major downside in that we can't all go out in one car- a real pain for holidays or long trips. The savings are in terms of insurance and petrol as the cars use less petrol and we tend to use the smaller one where possible.
  • Washing line-saves so much. Putting the washing on last thing at night so the wash can go out first thing helps in autumn and spring.
  • An energy saving monitor is a fascinating device. I'm not sure that I would spend £27 on one. Ours was free with a energy company promotion. It has really highlighed how much energy the oven and tumble dryer, in particular, use.
  • The oven-following on from this-is an expensive device and we try to use it full. This can be an issue with children who love to cook! We are working on co-ordination and doubling recipes.
  • Science equipment-this is specially for home educators- but the Technology Shop has excellent value science equipment plus DT kits and some interesting odds and ends. We did very well on googly eyes!
  • Points cards-Tescos/Sainsburys/Boots/Maximiles etc. There are millions of pounds in unclaimed points-don't forget yours.
  • Please feel free to add your ideas!


  1. I use eggs and beans in place of meats a lot, and dried beans are cheaper and better for you. Also, if you have leftovers, but not enough for everyone, try adding a few pantry items that compliment the dish, such as rice, pasta, veggies, eggs... whatever works. Also, I try to use up almost all pantry items before I go to the grocer. I've learned to make more things from scratch this way.

  2. Thank you for the idea about leftovers. I thought that we wasted little until recently when a scheme to recycle non-compostable food waste started. We waste more that I had thought. Some of it is inevitable-crusts from the little ones, chicken bones-but there is definitely room for improvement.