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frugal tips

fishingmumfishingmum Member Posts: 562 Pioneering
Everyone goes through tough times now and then, more so now it seems with severe austerity, cut backs sanctions etc. I thought a place to share tips on how to save money could be a good place if you have anything you do that could help others be better off. Everything from food tips, gardening tips, shopping tips just whatever works.

Shopping tip. never go shopping on an empty stomach, you are more likely to buy junk food and spur of the moment buys.

Cooking tip. If cooking anything with minced beef add in a cup of porridge oats, it bulks out the meal, gives extra fibre and an extra portion which can be used another day.

Household tip. Boil the kettle and pour the remainder into a flask. Use that for dishes, or washing hands to save on electricity or gas for doing dishes, or it could save reboiling for another cuppa.

So what do you have that can help anyone here save a few bob.


life is too short to let others make you miserable.

Replies

  • swilberswilber Member Posts: 26 Courageous

    Grt tips. One from me .. Use frozen onions for cooking...no waste.

  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    We love beef mince! Add a tin of chopped tomatoes with garlic. Use for BOLOGNESE. Add a bag of fresh or frozen mixed vegetables for bulk and nutrition. Buy a bigger pack and cook and freeze the rest. Cook extra spaghetti and freeze the rest. Buy pasta sauce on offer and add to mince for variety. Love it in the slow cooker with diced potatoes, veg and tinned tomatoes. Same applies to diced beef. 
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  • lillybellelillybelle Member Posts: 458 Pioneering
    I am now in summer mode and have just turned my Aga off ( can’t stand the heat any longer)
    so I am now saving £40 a week on electricity untill September .
    That’s my savings for a few months
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    I have been trying to put my gas central heating to hot water only but we keep getting cold lol
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • lillybellelillybelle Member Posts: 458 Pioneering
    Go on go for it .......
    its very rare we have any heating on in our house.
    the Aga takes the chill off and if things get bad we have a wood burner.
    so no radiators unless it’s minus 10
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 888 Pioneering
    If you're in a university town and you're well enough, go to free lectures. They often have free food at them.
  • DingbatDingbat Member Posts: 19 Connected
    Invest in a slow cooker (got mine from 2nd hand shop for £5.00 brand new - unwanted gift).  Its a lifesaver.  I am unable to use a standard cooker as can't lift heavy pans off the stove and my oven is too low down and bending difficult for me.  Throw frozen chicken, packet of frozen mixed veg some halved new spuds and some stock and cook on low all day.  At the end pop in some gravy granules and mix thoroughly and serve.  So much you can do with a slow cooker - lots of online recipes as well! :)
  • ayjayayjay Member Posts: 16 Connected


    Shopping tip. never go shopping on an empty stomach, you are more likely to buy junk food and spur of the moment buys.

    So what do you have that can help anyone here save a few bob.

    I write out a menu for my weeks meals, (just dinner, cos brek and lunch don't vary that much), I then write a  shopping list based on that menu and obviously check the cupboards for the staples like tea,coffee, rice, pasta etc., the menu is on one side of a piece of paper and the list on the other, this way I can make changes as I shop if I want to take advantage of any special offers.

    This makes it extremely rare that any food gets thrown away in our house: I can't believe the amounts that are often quoted on the news that some people throw away, it's completely unnecessary.
  • fishingmumfishingmum Member Posts: 562 Pioneering
    I live in a rural area where the only shop we have cost £2 for a 2 litre carton of milk, so we do our shopping monthly. I do grow a good bit of our veg so we save on that. I don't buy jars of sauces I make my own but I bulk cook when I make lasagne or bolognese and freeze in dinner for 5 portions.

    The veg I buy from town gets cut up when I get home so that I can freeze it and use when needed so no wastage. Also when buying chicken once all the meat is off of it, I use the carcass for stock, which covers soup, curries, paella etc.

    @ayjay it always surprises me when the say about the amount of waste in a news story as I can not understand why people do not freeze it to use another day.

    Another cooking tip if you only have a small portion of something left over, not enough for a meal think about using it as a pastry filling it will cover another meal time or snack for someone. When making stew I always keep a few spoonfuls aside and fill a couple of pastries for a lunch.
    life is too short to let others make you miserable.
  • fishingmumfishingmum Member Posts: 562 Pioneering
    garden tip if you buy spring onions cut the tips and roots off and replant them as they grow again, its not a lot of money saved but it is something
    life is too short to let others make you miserable.
  • fishingmumfishingmum Member Posts: 562 Pioneering
    food tip- if you have bought too much fruit before it starts going off freeze it, slice lemons up ready to put in the drinks, freeze grapes whole and use them ice cubes by the time you finish your drink they will have defrosted and you can eat them.
    life is too short to let others make you miserable.
  • fishingmumfishingmum Member Posts: 562 Pioneering
    Houehold tip, when doing laundry, use half the amount of soap powder and use a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda instead, it cleans just as well but saves money.
    life is too short to let others make you miserable.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @fishingmum Love this grateful for all this. Learn new stuff.

    Favourite thing I constantly do is making food for the freezer

    One of the foods things learnt is to buy Zip bags use them for sauces, soups. All of us buy frozen Peas, Broad beans and Green Beans.  Plus Spinach. Well I take them out of the bags into Zip bags label and put sell buy date on.

    Shelf saver.

    Do the same with frozen fruit and anything bulky like Fish.

    Frozen Fish saver cheaper than fresh.  Defrost it like meat and then cook.

    Cheese grate and Zip Bags especially Italian hard cheese and into Zip bags.

    Herbs dice up into ice cube trays with water.  When solid take out into Zip bags.

    Tinfoil is ideal for meat like chicken and take the skin off. Portion up and label.

    Same with bread. 2 slices tinfoil label into toaster.

    Meals times use tin pulses or pasta instead of potatoes bulks out meals.

    Learnt a lot from Chefs and cooks when used to volunteer.

    Examples will be pre cook Vegetables, blanch them quickly. Cool them down and then ice bath. Then to drain.  Saves time just add at the end of the recipe you are doing.

    Roots, Cauliflower and Broccoli.  Idea for.

    Freeze vegetables like Carrots, Onions and Peppers. Blanch them quickly then ice bath and cool down then drain then Zip Bag for freezer.  To cook take out defrost from frozen boiling kettle add at the end to retain firmness.

    Peppers do not have to be blanched but I sometimes do to remove the enzyme in the vegetables.

    Precook Chicken separately in sauté pan.  Seal and season. While that is cooking do usual recipe if doing for example Ragu Sauce all done in Zip Bag then to Slow cooker with Precooked Chicken or meat. Then to slow cooker cuts down times.

    Found all these chefs and cooks used any vegetables not used up in the recipes  .Add to stockpot with water, herbs . Reduced and then blitzed up sieved and into ice cube trays for instant stock cube.

    Cheaper to make own sauces using Passata sieved tomatoes cartons and jars. Make your own sauces that store bought. Ones in stores are too expensive.

    For ideas look to web. Always made own sauces and money saver.

    Invest in good kitchen equipment.

    Glass Blender, good food processor. MinI Chopper. 

    Buy cheap cuts meat always. Even Offal like Liver and Heart. Cheap and nutritious

    Cheap cuts of meat are Chicken Thighs and Legs and drumsticks

    Shoulder of Pork and Belly.  Buy good quality Sausages 90% plus.  Meat. Use them like Meatballs out of skins roll. Also Sausage Bolognese. Out of skins crumble into pieces.

    Got herbs spices in most of them.

    Lamb shoulder Heart..

    Beef shin and Ox Liver

    Spices buy in small quantities.  All have a limited shelf life. Use the ones the most often cheaper to buy own brand. On line offers but by time postage and costs. Not worth it.

    Always plan a menu for the week. Simple stock take.

    Have folder bulleted items and plan menu per week.

    All tips and advice thank you

    Take care

    @thespiceman






    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    If only I could be so organised
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    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @debbiedo49 So do I that is why have to do this. Been all week sorting out my little bungalow. 

    Remember have to have a plan other wise go crazy and my anxiety gets to me.

    Had tidy up finding stuff every body I never knew I had.

    Got to believe me a struggle have to be.  If I need to just go with not knowing what I am doing. Confusion and anxiety and upset constantly. Every day, need a diary need to be planned what I can cope with.

    Done good things lately banking on line, utilities on line, meds ordering on line.

    Not easy coping with loneliness and finding life a pain.

    Least can provide solace and peace by making sure everything is in the right place.

    Then there was a time when I had no diary no planning. Ended up buying the same food twice in one week. Not checking . Ended up going to appointments wrong days and forgetting everything.

    No end of problems and chaos. Just an old fashioned gentleman trying to be positive and try to be concern and caring.

    In this increasing world of frustration and annoyance.

    Hope you are OK forgetting my manners. Am talking to a lady see not organised doing that. Should had done at the start of my post.

    Take care

    @thespiceman


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Your advice is priceless @thespiceman thank you. 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • fishingmumfishingmum Member Posts: 562 Pioneering
    @thespiceman I had a good laugh at the chefs tips you posted, yes they are great ideas for home use, but in a commercial kitchen it never happens the amount we go through, the only thing frozen is desserts.

    I am lucky I have a chest freezer so can freeze in tubs, it makes it less messy for kids to grab and reheat. If I am freezing a small amount I have a few small tubs, I use freezer bags, place them in a tub, freeze it then remove the tub, that way it is easier for stacking. I also head and tail fish for freezing as it is easier to stack.

    I am lucky to grow most of my own veg, so I pick when it is ready, things like spinach and chard are perpetual, I normally cook it and freeze it as it takes up a lot of room precooking, but depending what I am putting in as well, spinach has a great flavour so can be added to stock, stews, casseroles and a lot of sauces, especially tomato based sauces. Depending on the use freeze things like spinach in ice cube trays as well, that way can be added to a sauce with no fuss, for meal accompaniments freeze in portion sizes ( or per 4 person or however many will be eating at the meal amounts)

    I never buy passato I always sieve my own tomatoes as it is cheaper, but to be honest tin tomatoes have such few seeds in it you can blend a tin of chopped tomatoes down and never know the difference, it is cheaper than paying the extra for pre sieved cartons of passata, tins of tomatoes also have skins removed so you do not need to worry about that. Besides, chances are you are going to add herbs anyway so paying extra defeats the purpose.

    As for sausages, if you buy offal, it is easier to mince them and make your own sausages that way you know exactly what is in them. Living rural has its advantages for that. You can however but offal cheaply and a good old fashioned mincer does the job fine ( I still tell my kids that elves have been in the kitchen due to the marks it leaves on the table lol). Collagen casing is easier to use as it lasts longer and is less chewy (unless bbq).

    Making your own pate is better as well, ask at the butcher if they have chicken livers, mostly they do not have any longer as it normally gets sent off for animal food products, but if you ask they can get it in for you. Normally 1lb of chicken livers will make enough for a family for suppers or lunch for several days (which can be frozen as well)


    life is too short to let others make you miserable.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @fishingmum Thank you for advice and comments. Glad I make you laugh. Good. I have that talent. 

    Some people say should be on the stage!!!  More like sweeping it others say lol.

    The volunteer roles were in charities kitchens. Long time ago. So thing might have changed.

    Glad always of support and great ideas. Agree buy tin toms blitzed down.

    Just cartons of Passata some discounts cheaper than tin toms. So just me a time saver. Means have to get another piece of equipment out. Assemble and open the tin. Need electric tin opener plug that in.  Remember struggle with dexterity of fingers.  Have them missing.

    Then blitzed up. Carton Passata is easy option good price and all done for you.

    Trying very much to follow in your shoes and others. Will try much as I can.

    Most meat I buy shop around. Lidl and ASDA. The best for me. Ox Liver under a pound.  Get three meals. That is what I do how many in a pack. How many will that last me.

    Used to Butchers love the guys, the experience the knowledge. Then realised yes paying a lot more.  Understand asked for the cuts I want.  Most do not.  Not in my area.

    I am glad you have the knowledge to do things. Wish I could but even me. As I age disgracefully struggle.

    Lovely to meet you. Thanks for your support and advice

    Take care

    @thespiceman

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • fishingmumfishingmum Member Posts: 562 Pioneering
    If you can buy in bulk and store or freeze food as it saves money on the long term, also cook more than one thing in the oven at a time.

    For example, I buy a pack of 12 chicken breasts at once rather than a pack of 4 I can cook all at once and then freeze in portion sizes for pre planned meals. It saves on electricity as I am cooking all at once, and freezing portions of already cooked makes time saving in the future of meal planning easier as well.

    12 cooked breasts for me get seperated like this: 1 chicken breast for a soup dish, 1 for puff pastry dish, 2 for savoury rice dish, 2 for a pasta dish, 2 for a casserole dish, 2 for a stir fry, 1 for pizza toppings and 1 for savoury egg dishes. each planned meal covers 4 people servings. Take out and leave to defrost for use that night.
    life is too short to let others make you miserable.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @fishingmum   Great another shopping tip. Sometimes I will buy in bulk. All depends on the price and cost. Buy my Chicken Thighs, I need to plan.

    As a single bachelor gentleman. Shop plan week to week. Have to.

    Big mistake was to buy too much and then leave it in freezer for a long time  Have a no frost freezer and limited room but always make sure that what I buy is used up.. Need to assign my budget each week. Have always my meal plan all the time. Vegetables in my mind not the meat.

    Done Sauces Zip bags and that a easy solution for vegetables to go with Meat. Options are to eat meat every day but I do not. Mainly on and off Fish and Meat with vegetables.

    Have meal plans written down.  Have to do that. Waste is not an option.

    Thanks again 

    Take care

    @thespiceman
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
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  • fishingmumfishingmum Member Posts: 562 Pioneering
    Stock rotation of cupboards, is also a good idea to help you use what you have without wasting things. A tin at the back might be a year out of date, so stock rotation allows you to keep on top of potential waste.
    life is too short to let others make you miserable.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @fishingmum First thing I always do is a stock check what have I got before shopping.

    Write all down in a A4 paper and binder.

    In sections such as Pasta items. Herbs and spices. Plus anything like General stores like Salt, Pepper etc. Olive oil and just through the folder like that.

    Take out night. Also sections on the essentials.

    This means I have a least idea of what I have got.

    This week using stores and freezer to thin down items I used to buy. Use them up. Some times we are all guilty of buying food but never eat it.

    This is some times good to get rid of products never use.

    I once had a friend who used to collect food. That is what I call it.

    Every time tins and packets all over the kitchen.  Stores and cupboard. Hardly ever eat anything.

    Went to a freezer shop and bought a stack of food and in the freezer.

    All the time.  Buying food but never really eating it.

    Had severe concern over my friend though because.  Mentally became possessive over eating anything in her stores. Her partner at the time if he eat anything from the stores would go into hysterics. All they lived on were cornflakes and crackers.

    Serious concern and care for them. They at the time being of a certain age and had food but he and her never eat any of it.

    I had to say something and tried my best. I all got was abuse and left them to it.

    Often wonder why. Perhaps is that OCD or something else.

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • fishingmumfishingmum Member Posts: 562 Pioneering
    I am sure one of the hoarding programmes said it is part of the OCD/ OCPD group, I think they said it was 1 in 5 who went on further to develop hoarding personality.

    That was good @thespiceman that you at least tried, did they have social services involved as they might have done with some help, they might have arranged a doctor or psychologist to come out. I hope they are ok.
    Take care
    life is too short to let others make you miserable.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @fishingmum   Thanks for reply all I remember was they cut me off. Also had not wanting to dwell on it further.

    Left them to their own devices. Mind and body and soul must be in a turmoil constantly. Imagine you have food all around yet not eating any of it.. Strange to see a couple of people eating Cornflakes and Crackers.

    Being at the time I just became friends but even I was scared to say anything.

    Also private and personal people which they were.  Would I want to intervene. All I did was comment because the partner first mentioned it to me.

    So they must have known about this issues. Yet he did nothing.  I was then am still am amazed how people live.  Basically the way people live.

    Always have concern and care. Especially as the older generation.  Which they were.

    Take care

    @thespiceman
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
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