Thursday, 11 February 2016

CHECK OUT THIS FRUGAL BLOGGER!

You may have seen Ilona (AKA the Mean Queen) a frugal blogger, lately being hailed as the world's most frugal woman and in the last few weeks she's certainly had a lot of media coverage!
She's on Youtube (see video below), she's been on national and local TV, on local radio and in the Daily Mail newspaper. 
In her daily blog postings she shares pictures of her frugal shopping and meals, her craft work, her walking, the summerhouse she built from scrap doors and her pets. 
She certainly does really well on buying reduced "stickered" food late in the day at her local supermarkets - I'm never so lucky and if I do spot something it's mostly a 10p reduction!
But more importantly, Ilona makes the point that you need to eat what you have and not what you might feel like. So her very sensible method is to buy those reduced stickered food items THEN decide how to cook and use them - very practical and frugal.
Of course her media exposure had drawn all sorts of unkind comments (as well as admiration) but there can't be much wrong with eating healthily, having no debt, owning your own home, having holidays and running a car, being physically active - and HAPPY! 
Well done Ilona - a woman after my own heart - as my blog title says:
"Happy Frugal Year isn't about being mean, miserly or unhappy - it's about saving money where you can, in order to be able to afford to splurge where you want to!"

SAVE ON YOUR DRY CLEANING BILLS

RANDOM MONEYSAVING TIP NUMBER 53
Dry cleaning is really expensive and more and more clothes and home textiles seem to require it if you believe the label info. 
However, if you use your common sense, a lot of so-called "Dry Clean Only" items may possibly be washed by hand or if your washing machine has it, in a hand wash style low temperature programme. Look at the composition of your garment and if it's manmade nylon, polyester, acrylic type fabrics then it should be okay to hand wash. The most common reason manufacturers say items are dryclean only is often due to the strength of seams, delicate fabrics, or beading.

Monday, 25 January 2016

20 MUST HAVE FRUGAL STORE CUPBOARD INGREDIENTS


Image result for kidney beans
Do you keep a store cupboard of useful ingredients? I don't know how many people do these days- is it seen as an old-fashioned idea?  Well I certainly keep a frugal well-stocked cupboard which will always enable me to make a meal or three if the weather's too bad to go out for a few days to shop, or more importantly if there's no money left at the end of the month!
So here's my 25 must have items for a useful, frugal store cupboard:
1.Tinned tomatoes (or carton tomatoes) - chopped or whole- your choice. You can use them for a pasta sauce base or soup base.
2. Pasta - any shape. use for pasta bake, lasagne or with a sauce.
3. Garlic - keep a bulb in a cool, dark cupboard. Use it to add taste to your pasta dishes or salad dressings.
4. Rice - any kind you prefer. Makes an accompaniment to curry or a meal in itself with a stock cube and any leftover veg.
5. Olive oil - can be used for marinades, frying or salad dressing. Can be expensive but last for ages.
6. Curry paste - use a couple of spoonfuls with chopped tomatoes to make a curry sauce base.
7. Stock cubes - ideally all the flavours you use (vegetable, chicken, beef) they can flavour risotto or sauces and soups or just make gravy for your roast.
8. Tins of tuna - use to make fish cakes, add to pasta and tomato sauce, or just tip out onto a plate of salad.
9. Soy sauce - gives a great taste to any stir fry dishes, dressings and marinades.
10. Tomato purée - thickens your sauces and casseroles and can be used as a quick topping on pizzas.
11. Runny honey - use in marinades, to make flapjack or porridge topping.
12. Kidney beans & butter beans - either dried or for convenience, tinned. Use in salads, chilli, soups and vegetarian dishes
13. Lemon juice - in a bottle. Use in recipes, dressings, marinades. Saves money and stops waste when you only need a little juice for a recipe.
14. Mustard - either French, wholegrain or English. Use as condiments or in marinades, salad dressings, sauces and casseroles.
15. Chickpeas - as with kidney beans you can use in salads, curries and soups.
16. Red lentils - great in curries and soups and can bulk up mince dishes such as bolognese and shepherd's pie.
17. Oats - makes cakes, flapjacks, porridge.
18. Dried Thyme - any dried herbs are useful, but thyme is my favourite as it holds its flavour well and adds a lovely richness to pasta dishes.
19. Plain flour - use to thicken sauces and casseroles as well as batter mixes for pancakes.
20. Eggs - of course! Boiled, scrambled, fried or poached, cake-making, pancake making- our most versatile ingredient!
All the above can be bought in supermarkets' basic ranges and it's worth researching the lowest prices before you buy.

Monday, 16 November 2015

SHORTEN COOKING TIME FOR RICE!

 Image result for whole grain rice
RANDOM MONEYSAVING TIP NUMBER 55
Wholegrain rice is better for us, but always takes longer to cook. if you can plan ahead, soak it in cold water overnight and you can shorten your cooking time by around 15 minutes. Saves time and money.

DON'T THROW OUT THAT CELERY!

Image result for celery
RANDOM MONEYSAVING TIP NUMBER 54
You can keep celery for around a month if you wrap it in foil in the fridge. But if it's already gone a bit limp, stand the whole thing in a large jar of cold water for half an hour (it sometimes helps to slice another piece of the bottom of the root) and it will recover.

RUNNY HONEY GONE SOLID? DON'T WASTE IT!

 Image result for runny honey
RANDOM MONEYSAVING TIP NUMBER 53
If your runny honey has gone solid and white in the jar - don't waste it. Remove the metal lid and heat the glass jar in the microwave in 10 second bursts until the honey is runny again. Quick tip: put the jar on a small microwaveable plate first as it can be too hot to pick up after heating.

DON'T THROW THOSE EGGS OUT!

Image result for egg


RANDOM MONEYSAVING TIP NUMBER 52
Just because your eggs have a date on them doesn't mean you have to throw them out when that date is reached. We all know that there's too much food wasted on the planet!
To test for freshness all you have to do is gently place your egg in a bowl of cold water. A fresh egg will sink to the bottom and lie horizontally or, if slightly older, may tip up slightly one end. However, eggs that float have gone off and need to be thrown out.