Thursday, 21 April 2011

Not as dotty as I look

Getting involved with this filming lark, and explaining my money saving tips has made me wonder if my money saving ways are a little too extreme for most people. I sometimes surprise myself with some of my ideas, and don't know where they come from. I think it must be down to the way my logical brain works, and my reluctance to follow what is percieved to be normal behaviour, and go my own sweet way. I have never been one for following, but would rather strike out on my own voyage of discovery. 'Thinking outside the box', is a well used buzz phrase, and that's what I do.

Ok so a lot of tips are well known and have been around for years, it's good that people are using them, but when I read of how others save money, there is always something in there that I can shave even more cash from.

These are a few examples I have picked out from a forum.
Idea. To make plant labels cut strips from old plastic fabric conditioner containers.
Save even more by not buying fabric conditioner, you don't need it, use margarine tubs instead.
Idea. If you have cooked too many vegetables put them in a plastic bag and freeze them rather than throwing them away.
Save even more by getting your portions right and cooking exactly the amount you are going to eat for that meal.
Idea. Use own brand baby wipes as disposable cleaning wipes for the toilet seat and surround. They are sold as cheaply as 14p a packet.
Save even more by not buying them and using a wet cloth to wipe your toilet.
Idea. Buy own brand nappy sacks to use as dog poo bags. These are really cheap.
Save even more by not buying them at all, use the plastic bags you get free with your food purchases.
Idea. Cut up old Christmas and birthday cards to make gift tags.
Save even more by cancelling Christmas.
Idea. Cigarette ash combined with a bit of spit cleans silver brilliantly.
Save even more, stop smoking, and how can you afford silver?
Idea. Freeze your grated cheese ends. You have to defrost before using it for cooking.
Save even more, by not filling your freezer with bits of this and that which might be fogotten and never used. Pop the cheese in your mouth and eat it.
Idea. Use disposable plastic knives as plant labels.
Save even more by not buying plastic disposable knives. Use plastic bottles and cut them up.
Idea. Use a recycling crusher to reduce bulky waste items to save space. Buy one from the web, eco crusher.
Save even more by putting on a big boot and stamp on bulky item. Logical eh!

I have to say though that there are also a lot of good money saving tips about as well. So read up and cherry pick the best for yourself.

I am expecting to get the micky taken out of me when my mush appears on the box. Last time, when Tightest Person was shown, there were people who who poked fun at me, they rubbished my ideas, they said they could never live like I do. But I say each to their own. My way of living works for me, it is all down to the figures on the bottom line.

If I want to wear boys pants because it saves me money, (I still haven't bought new for absolutely ages by the way), it's up to me. If I can clean myself by having a strip wash in the kitchen in a bowl of water, that's up to me. I am living proof that my money saving methods work for me, and I am proud that I can live the life I want to live, on a pension. So I am ready for my critics. This dotty old woman is making a damn good job of organising her life.


  1. Not a critic. I don't buy fabric softener and I don't need plant labels (I wrote down what I planted).Don't need gift tags, I use little pieces of leftover wrapping paper. I always use a rag for cleaning the toilet. I don't smoke. Not sure what grated cheese ends are. Don't need plastic knives, I have real ones to reuse. Not sure what a recycling crusher is. We recycle cans and get money for them as well as any metal that Phil finds on the job. I buy a lot of stuff at the local thrift store including clothes. We go every week while out doing grocery shopping. I also do a lot of things that you have over there on the side. Doesn't seem real unusual to me at all.

  2. You're a genius, a wise user of our precious resources on this earth and people that waste (whether its food or money) are repellent IMO.

    I've never fitted in with the crowd either...

    Sft x

  3. The only opinion of myself that is important to me .... is mine. I do what is right for me too. I am debt free but my house and am working on that getting that paid off. I like the fact that my pay check is mine to spend how I see fit. Most of it is left in the bank. People think that you have to spend money to have fun... I think it is fun to see how much fun I can have with out spending money. I tell people I am walking the dogs and they tell me that is so boring. No way always different people to meet and different things to see. You have speared me on to get my bike fixed and use it. I am lucky in my area here in the USA we have a lot of free happenings downtown. Pack my own food and off we go. Lots of free music of all kinds every wknd during the warmer months.
    Keep doing what is right for you and will never go wrong.

  4. What's normal anyway?!
    Maybe I'm nuts too then, started saving the water I wash in and flushing the loo with smells nice too!
    Pee goes into the compost bin (compost accelorator),my sister does give me her tealeaves, veg peelings, rotting fruit etc for my compost too. She's always buying too much guess who generally benefits from that?! Just wish she'd give it me before it's bad sometimes LOL! She did give me (useable) some milk,bacon and 2 sausages this morning bless her!

    What a boring, less loved world it would be if everyone was 'Normal'! We must all use what we've got before discarding, I re-use or re-purpose a lot of things, in fact most of what comes my way, bought,gifted or gleaned!

    Have a happy Easter time and give mum and kittens some fuss from me.

    Sandie xx

  5. I am another person in your 'not normal' readers.Perhaps we are the 'new normal'? Fabric's a waste of money and it STINKS! I use white vinegar as fabric conditioner for two reasons. It gets rid of any allergens hiding in your clothes and it cleans the pipes in the washing machine (it is an HE model and I use homemade laundry powder).
    Jane x

  6. I watched Superscrimpers this week and was disappointed again. For example, the suggestion to the woman overspending was that she work out how long it took her to earn the cash she was spending and I wanted to SHOUT at the TV 'Don't Forget To Add On The 20% Income Tax'!!!! For every £4 someone spends they have to earn £5! Simples, and yet rarely considered.

    Mind, I also tend to think that people who can't be arsed to use their brains deserve all they get. But that's just because I'm a wicked witch :O))

  7. This post made me smile; I do think you're a little bit dotty but in a nice way; you obviously care for other people, for animals and for the environment and your money saving ways get you out and about much more than most people, so if anyone knocks you for it, they're probably too crippled with "what will the neighbours think?" to be a bit different. When I read money saving tips, I too sometimes think; yes, but you'd save even more if....
    I know you're going to carry on anyway, but "carry on anyway!"
    But, no, I am going to stick to my lady knickers, thank you very much!

  8. I for one admire that you take being frugal to the've given me many good ideas to incorporate in to my day...

    I think the ones who spend and spend are the dotty ones...

  9. Ilona, was it you who advised us not to turn on lights when going from room to room, but to use a wind-up torch. Thats my favourite :-D

  10. Well, who wants to be boring hey?

  11. Today in the Daily Mail there was a mind-boggling article about the nouveau poor who are feeling very sorry for themselves because, despite enormous incomes (e.g. 100K per annum), they just cannot afford to LIVE. I am sure it would amaze them to know that you manage to LIVE a fabulous life on a tiny fraction of that. I wish the Daily Mail would write a decent article about living the good life, the Ilona way! You could teach these nouveau poor to think outside the box. And if anyone should dare think you are eccentric, dotty, potty, screwball, stark raving bonkers, have gone completely tonto or as mad as a bag of frogs, who cares!! You are a winner, having achieved great freedom and happiness. You enjoy your life to the full, eat more healthily than most people in this country (now the fattest nation in Europe, gulp!), have peace of mind and sleep easy at night. Well, that is until Bugsy and Lilly steal the duvet! :-D So keep on trucking!

  12. You are far more inspiration to others to be too dotty. You are your own person and that`s what makes you unique. I would love to see more individuals like you on the TV or hear about your stories on the radio. You`d be surprised how many of us 'dotty' people do exist out there. Everyone has their own unique ways of living, acording to what suits their purse and circumstances. We just get on with it quietly, not always drawing attention to ourselves. You just carry on with how you live.
    Don`t mind the critics, they are only knocking you because they don`t understand where you`re coming from. I admire you for sticking to your guns, as it obviously works for you!

  13. You never have to apologize or justify living a responsible life.
    You are a bit more hard core but at my stage of my frugal journey I am looking for pearls..................
    A few things have clicked from reading your blog and thinking about your down-to-earth and realistic strategies for getting the most out of your recourses.
    You seem to have more creative energy and fun than some people on 10 times your income.
    My latest kick is not using bin liners of any description - I put non-compostables in a bucket under the sink and tip them straight into the dustbin. I rinse the bucket and the dustbin with rain water every so often. Our garbage truck lifts the whole bin and tips it in so no one handles it. (My parents never used bin liners of any description and it keeps plastic out of the landfills.
    I also "micro-mile" - when I use the car I plan the shortest routes and combine errands, never joy-ride. If we had free bus-passes here I would nt use the car at all.
    Keep up the good work Ilona.

  14. Very few people understand what they are spending, how hard it is to earn the money, or how to simplify. I love your ideas.

    I already use a washable cloth to clean almost everything with. They have lasted decades. I cannot use any perfumed product so fabric softeners are out and never missed. We use a very inexpensive shampoo/body wash and I keep it in a reuseable pump container to we can pump out just what we need. There are so many good ideas out there.

  15. Idea. Buy cheap toilet paper or scrimp on using it.

    Better idea. use *wee wipes* Pieces of cloth used to wipe yourself after having a wee. Some people use them for everything but wee is fine. Wash when doing a load.

    Much better than loo paper but not a money saving idea, more a comfort and enviromental one. A lot of people won't even consider the idea though. What about you Ilona? Are you game? lol.


  16. Ilona, I've always thought you lived life to the full - doing the things that are important to you and make you happy.

    The dotty people are the ones whose lives seem to be dependant on spending, with not a care for the environment. If you don't follow their way of life you're seen as 'not normal'. Well I don't shower every day or wash my clothes after I've only worn them for a few hours. I don't buy 10 different types of chemical ridden cleaners to elimate all the lethal bacteria from my home. I don't buy new clothes because every one else is wearing the same thing and I don't throw away cothes I like because no-one else is wearing them 'this season'. Somehow I don't think it's me thats dotty!

    I take my hat off to you Ilona - doing it YOUR way!

  17. Before I forget; the best heat saving item of clothing I have worn this winter is fingerless gloves. I knit my own and I make sure they come up above the wrist . I do knit a short open thumb but no fingers. They only take a small amount of yarn ( I always have scraps) and I cannot believe how effective they are at keep you warm There are plenty of free patterns on the internet or you can cobble some up from old gloves. Make sure the wrists are closely fitting.

  18. Barb, I've been trying your idea for a couple of weeks, picked it off another site. Only wee-wipes, I don't fancy the rest! I use old flannels, different colour so no confusion, and wash in sink straight away. At same time as wiping, you're washing too! I'm the only one in house who would do it though.

    Ilona, when I was first married (hundreds of years ago) a friend used to tell me I was really tight as I used to cut up my potatoes and veg and put them in a casserole dish with the meat, when I used to eat meat, saving electriticy.

  19. Wow, you have been busy on here, it's heartwarming to know that so many others are of a similar mindset, and I am not alone. I wish we all lived near each other then we could have a fantastic frugal time.

    Barb, I have been meaning to try the weewipes, but havent yet got round to it. I was wondering what to do with the 108 cheapo toilet rolls I have here, bought in bulk three years ago from a wholesaler. At my rate of usage these will last me another year. Perhaps I'll sell them and start on the cloths.

    Campfire, it makes sense to me to put everything in one pot, save on the fuel and not so much washing up, therefore saving water.

    Anna, I read that article about high earners struggling to make ends meet. I don't feel sorry for them one bit, they were obviously brought up wrong.

    Joy, can I steal that saying from you, 'It is fun to see how much fun you can have without spending money'. I like that, so true.

  20. Great tips Ilona, except the one about using margerine tubs for fabric softener confused me a bit - doesn't it make your washing greasy?(LOL!)

  21. Do not steal ...I will share gladly.