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Frugal Friday | Extremely frugal


In the pan this week we have left over boiled potato, fried golden brown. I had this the other day with fried chicken livers and veggies. I also like it with bacon and egg and lashings of tomato ketchup. Yummy…

Smile with tongue out

Edwina Curry once advised old people to wear a night cap and bed socks to bed to keep warm in winter.  It was typical advice from a politician, do as I say; not what I do. We later learned it wasn’t a hot water bottle that she was taking to bed with her at night…

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The Victorians did wear night caps, bed socks and bed jackets but that was pretty extreme and many died of pneumonia because they breathed in freezing air all night. Last winter pensioners in the UK over 80 got a heating allowance of £300 from the government, that will be reduced to £200 this winter. They may need a a bed cap; maybe a thermal beanie hat will do?

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Other extreme frugal ideas include washing all your vegetables before you cook them. You can then make vegetable stock from the peelings. This will work as long as the veggies haven’t been sprayed with some nasty pesticide; but how do you tell? I knew someone who put washed potato peelings under the grill and grilled them until brown to make a snack. Washed onion skins and carrot peelings do make a good stock, the onion skins give the stock a nice colour but I prefer to add a little chicken!

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You can get all sorts of things from your local library now, books, DVD, music and they even have computers to use. The best thing though is you can keep warm for free! Spending every day in the library, art gallery and museums can easily halve your gas and electricity bills, if you’re normally at home all day. Do your shopping in the supermarket in the evening or on Sunday when the libraries are closed! More and more shops are open on a Sunday now and so why not wander around; take your time…

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In the UK this week we have had minimum wages increased, not really a great news story that, is it? The fresh round of quantitative easing was more in the news as the  Bank of England turned on the printing presses again. The bank will be buying up government bonds mainly off banks with the money it prints, saving itself interest and making the banks even more cash rich. They can all have better bonuses, add a few million; it’s only money…  Meanwhile, the oiks will spend their extra few quid that they get as a result of the increase in minimum wages in the shops, that could help the economy grow a little…

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My friend goes out into the woodland at this time of year cutting wood and stocks up with logs for the winter. Even with a chain saw it’s must be hard work but it would be worth it to have logs for the wood burning stove all winter. Cooking for free, free heating and hot water sounds good to me. I like log fires too, they seem very healthy as they draw in fresh air from outside all the  time and don’t dry the air like central heating. Coppicing is cutting wood from trees that have regrown since they were last harvested and is a traditional way to produce fuel for stoves and fires. The government subsidises solar panels with millions of pounds, maybe we should look at traditional methods. I doubt if log fires produce soot like coal and oil. Soot is a problem, it makes snow dirty and it melts quicker. Soot as well as  carbon dioxide is a major contributor to climate change. Don’t tell the politicians about soot, they’ll increase the tax on diesel.

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I hope you have enjoyed today’s blog. If you buy chicken or meat in plastic trays, don’t throw them away; keep them until next spring and grow things in them on your window sills. You can also start all sorts of plants off in them like lettuces, radishes, runner beans, herbs, cabbage or whatever you like. It’s worth thinking about… The world needs more innovation!

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5 responses

  1. Here’s another use for those meat trays:

    Turn them over, draw a design using a pencil, cover with fabric paint and use to imprint an old Tee-shirt. It gives it a new lease of life – and is another frugal exercise.

    Great post.

    7, October 2011 at 3:24 pm

    • I’ve never used fabric paint I should try it!

      Thanks for the comment. I think my meat trays have a pattern on the bottom but we must think of uses rather than throw them away! 🙂

      7, October 2011 at 3:32 pm

  2. Pingback: Wood Burning Stove | Wood Burning Stoves

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