Thursday, 8 January 2009

The Big Ideas for 2009

Many apologies for the delay folks - Happy 2009 and I hope you had a great Christmas and January isn't too painful - both weather-wise and financially!

I am pleased to say that from our moneysaving / voucher earning activities etc - we were able to only spend £50 on food at Christmas. The rest of actual Christmas food and alcohol was paid for from Cashback Clicking (see right hand menu), surveys etc.

We also emptied our coppers and changed them up in the machine at Sainsburys - this gave us £12.50 worth which was great.

Individually, we had saved silver coins in piggy banks, and on changing these up, we had around £40 each, which paid for our night out on New Years Eve which makes it even better!

I thought I would start a post for ideas for the year that we could all benefit from - creative ideas to get us spending less, using less and saving more.

For now here are my plans of attack for 2009:

- Stop buying paper towel for the kitchen - cut up cloths and rags into wipes and simply wash these regularly. This should save us around £6 per year.

- Stop watching TV for one night of the week - this will be hard to apply in Jan/Feb but I am sure I can do it. Could get reading / tasks / cleaning and time with hubby. This will save us electric and maybe increase our knowledge through reading. Plus it's quality time - maybe just the radio on and chilling out.

- Less plastic bags - Ensure I always have my tote shopping bag so we don't pick up too many plastic bags. We do this already but still, always room for improvement. Any plastic bags we do pick up get used for our bathroom bin.

- Reduce food waste - Over 2008 we were so much more aware of throwing out food that had gone off. Having a slow cooker has helped alot as you can throw anything in pretty much. Plus we always write a proper shopping list before even entering the supermarket. Having a weekly plan on a wipe board for meals has also helped. So now what we throw in the bin is almost always peelings etc rather than wasted food - which I had started to visualise as pound coins...

What are your ideas for this year?


Slice of life said...

Happy new year. Glad to see you back. I check everyday, coz I am sad like that. I have put a link to you in my side bar. I hope that is ok.

I have so many idea so to not overwhelm everyone I kept them simple and concise. So that the heading was more general. Like make the house greener. This is everything from insulation to the changing of a light bulb.

Hope you had a super dooper Chirstmas. Wishing you a fabulously frugal New Year!

SGist said...

Thanks Slice and will add you to my list of blogs & Floow yours too - hopefully you can reciprocate as a follower ;o) I would really like to get an idea of how many folks are reading.

We are this very weekend going to add some insulation to our kitchen door as draft is coming in there... when we own our own place we will do more though, the current place is ok.

All our lightblulbs are green as can be, but I am always on the lookout for new things.

Happy 2009!

heidi said...

I would be interested in knowing more about your money making activities especially "clicking".
I too have been gradually cutting down more and more over the last six months.
I made the most of all the free fruit I was given at the end of the summer by freezing and preserving etc.

Living of a reduced budget has been a supprisingly rewarding experience as I feel a real buzz from the challenge.

Recently I made my first batch of laundry liquid. I can't tell you how amazed I was at it's cleaning power. It took approx half an hour to make and cost pennies.
I am beggining to realise just how much I can save by doing these things.
There is another recipe that i am going to try soon for a dishwasher powder.I will let you know if it works.

Would you be willing to share your liquid soap and washing up liquid recipes?

My other cost cutting venture has been to buy food in bulk from Costco although i know that they are few and far between.

It can be time consuming to seperate food into indivual bags and freeze but, I have been able to virtualy cut my meat/fish bill in half over a 6 week period.

The other thing I have done this year is to buy good quality bedding in the January sales.
I have always bought decent bed linen but have just paid full price in the past.
Buying quality has meant that I have bought very little over the years.

Sorry if i have babbled a bit but, if you want any of my recipes just let me know.
If we all help eachother i am sure we will have a very frugal 2009!!

SGist said...

Hi Heidi and thanks so much for your comment - wow I have yet to make my own washing up liquid but would love to give it a go! I still have lots of laundry powder from when I last bought some on special offer, plus I always 'cut' it with 50% soda crsyals which makes it last even longer. I love the idea of making liquid as it would be less of a faff to put in ha ha... plus of course then you know *exactly* what went into the liquid, which is great for me as I have sensitive skin.

I will definately pop up my washing up liquid recipe this week as I am sure we can all save cash that way. I just wanted to test it to make sure they were 100% before passing on in case either receipe ended up weird! I am pretty sire I already put up th eliquid handwash one - check the right hand side menu just in case.

I have made some seville orange marmalade, only thing is it came out runnier than it should be - still, very tasty and I will definately use it not only on toast but also for marinades and sauces as it's so tangy it's very versatile. It worked out around £3 for 7 jars, which is fab.

Have a lovely weekend! x

SGist said...

PS: the liquid handwash / body wash is under the 'Cleaning' heading on the menu - very money saving and you can add lovely stuff like a few drops of jojoba oil, or olive or apricot oil to the body wash for even more luxury and virtually no cost...

SGist said...

PSS: For anyone who would like to make money from clicking, I have provided the links for the sites I use - see the right hand menu for the blog on 'Money Making'. Then you can either drop your e-mail address on this blog (please state 'myname at hotmail dot com' for example) or you can contact me via a private message as EagerLearner via and let me know your e-mail address, I will then send you my full guide on how to make cash from those sites.

heidi said...

Enjoy your weekend too!

Last summer I was able to make 10 jars of blackberry and apple jelly.
Considering that everythig was free except for the sugar the cost per jar was approx 20p.

This summer ask friends and colleagues if they have a fruit tree in their garden or know of someone that has.
This was how I got my free fruit last summer managing to aquire 2 carrier bags of blackberries, 1 bag of pears, 5 figs, and 3 carrier bags of cooking and eating apples.
Friends also saved the jam jars for me.

I will post the washing liquid recipe incase anyone wants it.

You will need:

1x bar of pure soap
1x saucepan {an old one if you have it}
1x cup{4oz}soda crystals
1/2{2oz} cup borax
1 pint water
1 large plastic clean bucket and a
wooden spoon or a steel spoon

I use the American cup for measuring as I find it easier.


Grate the bar of soap with a cheese grater and place the grated soap in the saucepan with the pint of water. Heat this while stirring until the soap dissolves. Take the saucepan off the heat.

Take the bucket and half fill with water.{approx 9 pints or just over 5 litres}
Add the soda crystals{the fine type is the best available in Asda}and the borax{can get this from the internet, Tesco or chemist} and stir until disolved. Then add the soap mixture from the saucepan and stir this until it’s fully dissolved.
This will thicken as it cools (it’s really more of a "sludge" than a liquid!)
Use one cup per wash.
I then transfer the liquid into bottles {old 6 pint clean plastic milk bottles work well} using a funnel.
You may need to add more or less water depending on the consistency you want.
Adding some essential oil makes a nice scent.

Note: this liquid does NOT make suds. It has no foaming agent that is usually added to commercial liquids. Despite this it’s an excellent “green” cleaner that contains no phosphates.

Give it a try, it took me about 30 mins to make 10 pints. Cost approx 49 pence per batch.

SGist said...

Hi Heidi, wow that's fab thanks so much I will post it on the first page - will try it out when we next run out! I think Jasmine might be my preferred scent, can't wait!