The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
S.O.L. on EXTREME conscientious frugality
Wed 23-Dec-09
8:43 pm
Avatar
SOL
UK

Knowledegable
Members
Forum Posts: 274
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

not sure if this is the place to put this.

In January and February, in our house we exercise EXTREME conscientious frugality.  This is my self imposed, game of HOW LITTLE CAN I SPEND.

I make a list of eveything in my cupboards and freezer, I then menu plan from this and only buy the most important items that a dish need.  Improvising all the time if I can think of another ingredient I could use.

swapping days when needed

Anyone else up for the challenge?

Thu 24-Dec-09
11:08 am
Avatar
Toffeeapple
North Bucks

Members

Moderators
Forum Posts: 16220
Member Since:
Tue 22-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I would be but I'm not in charge of the kitchen.  Good luck.

I'll try that again!

Sun 27-Dec-09
2:30 pm
Avatar
fn
Newmarket
Admin
Forum Posts: 321
Member Since:
Sat 12-Aug-06
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'm up for the challenge S.O.L. Sounds like a great one to me!

Mon 28-Dec-09
1:21 pm
Avatar
SOL
UK

Knowledegable
Members
Forum Posts: 274
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I have kind of cheated and already have a list, from when we had to clear our the kitchen as we were having the floor laid down.  And my freezer book is completely up to date.  Menu planning will commence tomorrow when PB goes back to work and I can sit at a completely clear kitchen table.  this is after people viewing the house to see if they want to buy it.  Fingers crossed every one and no snow tonight please.

FN should I put my menu plan on my blog or give you an editted version on here?

ps I wont be using my food storage as it is all in date and only just collected.  I will use in dire emergency.  I will not be caught out like last february in the snow.  no siree not me

Mon 28-Dec-09
2:05 pm
Avatar
Danny
Scarborough, England
Admin
Forum Posts: 5516
Member Since:
Sat 12-Aug-06
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi, S.O.L. - I have given this project a new topic all of its own.

I think we all can learn by your example and experiences, and maybe adapt it for our own homes.

MagicMagicMagic

Never knowingly underfed

Mon 28-Dec-09
3:01 pm
Avatar
SOL
UK

Knowledegable
Members
Forum Posts: 274
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Embarassed

Ok thanks Danny am a bit embarrassed now.

But for people who arent familliar with monthly menu planning maybe we should start with some peeps doing weekly menu charts.  I find monthly best as I can then make sure I dont use items that I will need for another meal by accident and think I am flush with food.

This also means that you use up all the items in the back of your cupboard that you bought on a whim and now dont have a clue why you bought it.

there are items that I will buy each week like carrots and milk.  These items are unavoidable purchases.  It also gets you out of any recipe rut you may have found yourself in.  Most evening meals are used as lunches next day.  We are both lucky that we have access to a kitchen at work.  Do not be disheartened if you cant use the leftovers for lunch you can have them for dinner or make them into another meal. 

 I cant remember the programme that was on earlier in the year where a man and a woman went into someones house and showed them not to put left overs in the disposal unit and to stop spending £22k a year on food.  It nearly floored me when they said £22k.  Something to do with tumbledown meals.  Anyways the point is to reduce buying all products through these 2 months.  I am not saying dont buy shampoo, or other hygiene products.  but no browsing the aisles.  Work from a list, in and out no biscuits magically finding their way in to the cart.  My friend leaves her 4 year old with me for an hour, so there is no, "i wants" and no chasing after him in the toy section where he has a melt down.

there are also the exceptionally frugal, who not only save money but time.  As a fulltime employee, my down time is precious.  I dont want to come home from work and pretend I am Nigella.  I want something easy and homemade.  Usually from the freezer where I keep bulk made dinners like bolognese sauce, that can be transformed with a carb, from humble spag bol to chilli or with the addition of potatoes cottage pie. 

I have a friend who batch cooks and say makes 8 meals for a family of 4.  then takes 4 of those meals and swaps them with her sister in law who gives her 4 meals in return.  they have huge cook outs once a month and all meals are taken out of the deep freeze in the morning, left to defrost and then popped in the oven on the return home.  We call these homemade take aways.

These are all thing you and I already know, but to have a go at this frugality drive, puts a few pennys back into the coffers and I would rather they were in my bank than the mighty supermarkets.  Plus this is how we afford to go on holiday. 

Mon 28-Dec-09
5:46 pm
Avatar
homojoe
Christchurch NZ

2nd Grader
Members
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
Sat 26-Dec-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

These are excellent suggestions! I'm always looking out for ways to be more frugal (75% of my income goes into the mortgage).

I think my main problem is that I work a lot (55 hours a week) and only cook for myself. My flatmate is a gluten free vegan and I'm a disgusting carnivore who is going straight to the seventh layer of hell. It makes it hard for me, meal-wise. I've been thinking about buying a small chest freezer so that I can make meals in bigger quantities for freezing. At the moment I'm cooking day by day and it's just too expensive. I've also been shopping week to week which is also a bad idea. I really need to start planning ahead more. It had never actually occurred to me to keep a freezer list/cupboard list but I think I would surprise myself if I tried it.

On the occasional poverty-stricken week, my flatmate and I play the game we call Wartime Thrift - we don't buy food other than milk and eggs, and make do with what we have. I need to start doing that full time.

Thanks for giving me some food for thought!

Joe

Mon 28-Dec-09
6:40 pm
Avatar
grapecat
kent, uk

Senior Class
Members
Forum Posts: 29
Member Since:
Mon 28-Dec-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

This is a great idea! We're going to give it a try - tomorrow afternoon we'll start compliling our inventory - that should be interesting as there are dark corners in both pantry and freezer where dragons undoubtably lie (you have a freezer book? wow)

Do you really put together a month of meals off the bat? We can sometimes plan for 5 days or so but a month might be a stretch. Is this so you don't land up with too many awful not-much-left meals at the end?

Tue 29-Dec-09
8:12 am
Avatar
JoannaS
Latvia

Supreme Being
Members
Forum Posts: 4800
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I used to plan meals ahead when I lived in the UK but I don't think it is really possible here in Latvia at the moment as it is a case of what have they got in the shops - don't get me wrong although there are some empty shelves the  shops are not empty, so my menu planning has to be pretty flexible. Like you I daren't tuck into my food storage yet, that will be late February/March as we wait for the snow to go and get underway with planting up in the garden, then it will be time to empty the freezer so it can be filled for the next winter.

I managed once with three kids to feed the family on £7 a week for two months back in the early 90s because something had gone awry with my budgeting (can't remember what) and although we had a bit of flexibility I used it as a challenge to see if we could manage and we did by using up the stuff in the cupboards, so it is a good idea. Ok

Tue 29-Dec-09
11:00 am
Avatar
Danny
Scarborough, England
Admin
Forum Posts: 5516
Member Since:
Sat 12-Aug-06
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

S.O.L. said:

FN should I put my menu plan on my blog or give you an edited version on here?

Ok thanks Danny am a bit embarrassed now.


I asked Fiona and she does not mind either way. I know you had spam problems with your blog and made it private (invitation only). If that is still the case then I guess it's best on here. If not, then she is happy for you to post a link here to your blog for each update. It is your own valuable content after all.

Re embarrassed: that's strange - I never thought you were the blushing variety! Whistle

Never knowingly underfed

Tue 29-Dec-09
1:16 pm
Avatar
SOL
UK

Knowledegable
Members
Forum Posts: 274
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi Grapecat and all

Another tip is to draw a rough chart on on some paper.  Using your diary plot out the days where you wont be home for dinners or have something on.  so for us, we swim monday, wednesday and Friday.  So we use these as our extra poor nights.  Everything must be cooked on these days with in 10-15 minutes, no fat or low fat, so think light.  On these evenings we will have extra quick foods, poached eggs on toast, beans on toast.  So those nights are already planned.

We also only eat meat 2-3 times a week.  as I have more time at the weekends, these are the days we have meat.  Sunday we always have chicken.  I can then use the leftovers after stripping the chicken and bagging it up and freezing it.  this meat has to be disguised as PB wont eat dark meat unless it is in a sauce.  I think boarding school has a lot to answer for there...

On a friday night, we stay up later, ooohhhh arent we rebels.  So after swimming we have a home made take away.  So this is something from the freezer that I have batch cooked on a weekend.  and because of cheapness, this is normally minced beef based.  Or a fish dish if we found something extra cheap at the fish counter.

Saturday, is normally a new recipe I have found.  sometimes this is meatless as well but mostly it is a meat day.

PB works late on tuesdays and fridays.  PB loves roast dinners, so on one of those evenings we we have a meat free roast dinner.  Using packet mix stuffing, jazzed up with extra herbs as a meat substitute.

So a month planner is quite easy for me.  It mean less trips to the supermarket, less chance to buy.

Obviously there are only 2 of us in the house, so it is easy to be quite ridged.  When entertaining, I try and make this fall on a friday or saturday.  This then doesnt mess with our week schedule.  I have had PB bring people home from work, which has put me in a flat spin.  We BBQ all year round so I keep some pork chops in the freezer, defrost these, PB BBQ's them and I make provencale potatoes.  Using canned potatoes (shock horror).  and peeps ask for the recipe and 2nds.  So it cant be that bad.  I just have the potatoes.

Ok well I best go as peeps are coming to view the house.  I will knock up a months menu plan and then you can all take a look.  Not rocket science, but it keeps our costs down dramatically.  More to pay off the mortgage...  Makes me smileLaugh

Tue 29-Dec-09
1:38 pm
Avatar
Toffeeapple
North Bucks

Members

Moderators
Forum Posts: 16220
Member Since:
Tue 22-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Crikey SOL, I'm exhausted just reading your last two posts, where on earth do you get your energy?  Swimming too!WellDone

I'll try that again!

Tue 29-Dec-09
2:55 pm
Avatar
SOL
UK

Knowledegable
Members
Forum Posts: 274
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

sorry I did put my menu plan here but it went strange and only showed up to thursday

Tue 29-Dec-09
3:08 pm
Avatar
Danny
Scarborough, England
Admin
Forum Posts: 5516
Member Since:
Sat 12-Aug-06
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Wow, S.O.L. I agree with TA: you are certainly putting an awful lot of thought and energy into this

Thank you very much.

The chart has somehow skewed the margins on this screen, so I will dive into the database and see if I can alter it to suit the width of the forum.

Never knowingly underfed

Tue 29-Dec-09
3:13 pm
Avatar
SOL
UK

Knowledegable
Members
Forum Posts: 274
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

lets try that again



Danny says: The chart was just too wide for the forum, so we removed it for the time being. Hopefully S.O.L. will try again tomorrow!

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: Europe/London

Most Users Ever Online: 509

Currently Online:
35 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

brightspark: 10485

danast: 10232

Aly: 9421

Sooliz: 7981

Hattie: 6920

Ambersparkle: 6665

JoannaS: 4800

Terrier: 4518

eileen54: 4396

Xahha: 4231

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 9

Members: 15396

Moderators: 2

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 6

Forums: 25

Topics: 2246

Posts: 122520

Newest Members:

SagironxNa, Kevinbiora, Anthonywem, MopinKr, Georgeboolf, Robertsuigh

Moderators: Toffeeapple: 16220, AdminTA: 10

Administrators: fn: 321, Danny: 5516


Copyright © 2006-2012 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder