Let's carry on and read more of her email.
Since reading your blog I have been following the policy of making do/using what I already have with a view to doing a big shop once a month. I've started baking bread again...oh it's so yummy! and because I have free range chooks whose eggs I gift to people, this week I have been gifted mushrooms and enough mandarins to make fours pots of marmalade as well as fill the fruit bowl, onions, silverbeet and lettuce.
For a while I have kept a jar on the window ledge full of white vinegar and when i get citrus peel it is popped in there to make a cleaner. After about a month the oil from the citrus has seeped into the vinegar. When I need more cleaner I take a cup of the vinegar and oil, put it into the container and top with water.
Your talk about using detergent for floor, toilet and dishes got me thinking. Instead I have been using this mix and it is fantastic. I am using up old product I had and then refilling the containers with the mix. So now I have a spray cleaner and a toilet cleaner which contain the same product. I've also noticed that idea of giving the detergent bottle a good squeeze so we get lots of bubbles is real trap to over spending. When cooking rice you can save the water and use that as dish washing liquid - no bubbles but squeaky clean dishes for free.......and no reliance on fossil fuels.
A friend was advised by her Dr to add an anti bacterial product to the rinse cycle of the washing $12 a bottle. I fell for it too - fear of germs pressure to consume - but as the container is nearly empty I am going to refill it with white vinegar. It too is antibacterial and apparently anti static so clothes will not have bits sticking to them.
Thinking about your policy of buying on price is certainly making a difference to my budget. I have also incorporated a new policy for myself: if a product increases in price I reduce my use of it by the same percentage. This helps with finding new creative solutions as there comes a point where it is no longer viable to keep buying that product.
This happened with the decaf coffee I buy for my plunger. I have one really nice coffee a day because it is a bronchial dilator and I think its more pleasant to enjoy that coffee than to have to use my asthma preventer everyday (unless I have a cold or hayfever and need the medication).
I used to go to coffee shops and spend a lot of money each week. So the process I went through of changing that was first to limit myself to one coffee a day in town. Then I realized I always ate the same time..probably $10+ per day. So then I cut out the food, unless there was a complimentary biscuit. Gradually I realized I was still spending $5+ a day (I like a soy milk decaf latte). i read someone said to figure out is it the coffee or the milk you enjoy so started having a plunger black coffee instead at home.
Recently the pack I buy jumped from about $6.50 a pack to $10.50 overnight. The way i have reduced my use is to make it in a small bowl using less than a teaspoon of grinds compared to 2 tablespoons. I got 2 small souvenir cups from Paris in the second hand bargain bin for 50cents (I want a coffee in Paris for my 70th birthday!) so now I have a couple of small delicious coffees, no soy or cows milk, less coffee used and I really love the flavour....and it reminds me of my goal and how I'm getting closer.
Marigold is making do and using what she already has. A great way to save money. Swapping resources with friends and neighbours. Cheaper ways to clean the house. Watching the prices of products she uses regularly. Buying on price and if it increases look at reducing consumption or finding a cheaper, just as good, alternative.
All these tricks don't come automatically, you have to practice them, you have to want to change your mindset and keep the notion of saving money at the forefront of all your thinking. No need to become obsessive about it, you can cut yourself some slack sometimes, but a little bit of wandering from the straight and narrow means you must make an effort to get back on it again. Don't want to slide down the slippery slope towards that dreaded word debt.
Is anyone else making a success of changing their lifestyle for the better, without it being too much of a chore? Come back tomorrow for the third part of Marigold's email
I struck lucky at Tesco last night. I arrived at 7pm and a warehouse trolley full of yellow stickers was already priced up at the end of the veg aisle. No one was taking much notice of it, the store was full, people were busy stuffing things into their overflowing trolley's, and not looking for the bargains. The third sticker had gone on and everything was very cheap. Yipeeee, lucky me. There was everything I needed, lots of fruit and veg.
The cost of my yellow stickers was £7.18, for that I got £63.15 worth of food. The rest of my shopping was £11.58, giving a total of £18.76 for the whole lot. I gave away two shopping bags to people on the self serve tills, and today I gave some of the food to a friend up the road, and a neighbour across the road. Still plenty left for me. They were gobsmacked at how little I had paid for it. All in all, a successful shopping trip.
I had a nice surprise today. Joyce, the elderly lady who I walk Bailey poodle for gave me a wonderful Christmas hamper that she had made for me. It was very big, and very heavy.
Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.