living on a tight budget

A chance to meet up with friends and have a chat - a general space with the freedom to talk about anything.
User avatar
Flo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1519
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:12 am
Location: Northumberland

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #227101 Flo
Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:09 pm

You have to move your strawberry beds every three years and you need to renew the plants every three years and you need to add lots of food to the beds after the fruiting season and again at the start of the fruiting season and if the weather isn't right over the autumn and winter you won't get a good crop.

Strawberries is darned hard work in my opinion and you really have to work at the darned things. They are the hardest work on my allotment and I've had one really good year and one decent year out of four so far. Blame the weather for the rest.

oldjerry
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 am

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #227136 oldjerry
Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:53 am

Agree with that,if you're growing strawbs for money,it's not that easy.Best have them raised,if you stick them on top of straw bales,that gets round the rotation probs,and after your three years,burn the lot.
I dont know your situation,but for us ,over the years I,ve always had a good return on cut flowers and bedding(bit late for this year though),mostly grown from seed,so capital costs are low,and as long as you have some roadside spot(or have a friend who does) people seem to always be ready to buy them.
Hope this can be of some help. Best Wishes.

User avatar
Keaniebean
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 605
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 8:14 am
Location: London

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #227480 Keaniebean
Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:19 pm

We have lived on a fairly tight budget for a few years now, although not as tight as yours, however I am running an experiment on my blog called Challenge 35. It will be run for one week from Monday May 8th and is basically £1 per person per day for food. If anyone would like to come and join in the frugality I'd love to 'see' you there. It's basically a blog hop of sorts where anyone who takes part shares their meals/recipes and budgets for the week.

Anyone without a blog could join in too, we could always stary a thread here, if anyone is interested. :iconbiggrin:

It's always useful to have others input. Sometimes you see something from someone elses point of view and it's really helpful. :grouphug: :grouphug:
Sarah.x

Come on over and see the fun at Troll Manor http://trollfamily.blogspot.com/ Now blogging once more :) after a little shove from the one and only MMM.

Susie
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 806
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:29 pm
Location: Cambridge
Contact:

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #227502 Susie
Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:04 pm

Keaniebean, I thought about your challenge today. I was in Budgens buying a paper and a jiffybag (that isn't actually pertinent to the story, just some background info there ;-) ), and the woman in front of me had a small basket of things which came to £43. When the woman on the checkout told her how much it was, she queried it because £43 is a lot of money for a small basket. The checkout woman checked for her, and then turned round and gave her what I believe is called an old-fashioned look, and said, 'there's no mistake. It's just that you've bought a lot of very expensive things'. The woman slunk out looking a bit embarrassed. I should have tapped her on the shoulder and told her about your challenge ;-).
blog
shop
that's it ;-)

User avatar
Keaniebean
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 605
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 8:14 am
Location: London

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #227513 Keaniebean
Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:35 pm

It is so easy, just to pick up what you want and not look at the price. If you want to live on a budget, you have to check the cost of every last item, and if you are being super strict, which I'm fortunate enough these days not to have to be, then you have to query every last penny. Do you need the item, or do you just want it?

I lived on £35 a week with three kids for 2 years and still managed JUST. I'm glad I don't need to be that tight any more, but I am still aware of every penny, because they all add up to make pounds.

Some people might walk into my home and think Gosh they need to put carpet down, but floorboards work the same they just dont look great. Some people might think that a shower hanging out of a once beautifully tiled wall, now covered in Duct tape is a terrible thing, but it works, it cleans us. It is really annoying that we had to remove the bath panel and have to crawl under the bath to turn it on these days, but IT WORKS.

I think most of the time people just need to reasess thieir definition of 'need'. But I know I'm preaching to the converted here anyway :wink:
Sarah.x

Come on over and see the fun at Troll Manor http://trollfamily.blogspot.com/ Now blogging once more :) after a little shove from the one and only MMM.

User avatar
wildbee
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:12 pm
Location: Devon
Contact:

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #227688 wildbee
Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:19 am

I saved a lot of money last year by getting to know what times the local supermarkets reduce fresh items before they go out of date (tends to be about an hour or so before closing).

My best buy was £50 worth of meat for £20 from T***o, mostly because of 3 massive gressingham ducks costing £4 when they should have been £15 each and expensive beef joints.

There are some great bargains to be had but it can be a bit of a bother. I really couldn't afford any full price food at the time so I was prepared to wander around waiting for shop staff to reduce things and also to go to different supermarkets 3 or 4 times a week... :/

I found living like this enabled me to eat higher quality foods than I would have otherwise been able to afford, such as organic bread, specialty cheeses, olives, exotic fruit (or any fruit!), game meats, pâtés, lots of kippers(25p), butter(10p) instead of marg, or anything from Waitrose(!). When Sainsbury's advertise feeding a family of four for £5 it's because the food is filling and cheap quality.

This way can sometimes be cheaper than buying value brands but mostly it's just better food for low prices, and fresh. I can understand it may not be practical for very many people to buy only reduced food (and so many staple items have such a long shelf life that they are unlikely to go on the clearance shelves anyway) but it's worth keeping a look out.

Another tip if you're looking for cheaper, top quality meat is to find a game dealer or butcher and ask if they'll sell you birds 'in the feather' to pluck yourself. It's pretty messy but I have been given pigeons for 50p, whole pheasants £1.50 and rabbits £2.

Having said all that I'm staggered by the budgets people are managing on here - wow.

Warm wishes to everyone and goodluck Annpan! :sunny:

noplasticbags
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 10:09 pm

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #238596 noplasticbags
Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:09 pm

This thread is just what I needed :icon_smile:

Am reassessing my budget due to circ's beyond my control. With teenagers I don't want them to miss out on the "normal" things, but if I can bring the food etc budget in at £50 like Ann then I won't have to make them budget too at least

Would there be any value in a link where if people see a particularly good bargain they point it out (£1 Iceland 4pt milk springs to mind). I'm going to be lucky enough to have a decent "float", so that if someone points out where, for example, teabags are bogof I could stock up - that is bound to save money in the longer term to get the staples in at the cheapest price possible.

Having to give up my Sunday paper so going to ask on Freecycle if there is anyone in my village who would pop theirs through my letterbox when they've finished with it (the magazines at least)! That's the first £10pcm saved :cheers:

User avatar
Andy Hamilton
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 6631
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 11:06 pm
Location: Bristol
Contact:

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #238616 Andy Hamilton
Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:15 pm

I lived off the £50 a month the ads from this site brought in for a while!

Fire and a camp kettle instead of using electric kettle. Light and heat thats what uses the most electricity!

Anyone mentioned cheap cuts of meat from the butchers yet? Black pudding, hanging steak, chicken thigh, shin of beef all make great meals and can be made cheaply. Actually toad in the hole with butchers sausages, lovely! Yep, cheap cuts cooked slowly very cheap and delicous. Greengrocer too tends to be cheaper than some things in a supermarket.

Then of course there is foraging for food. Plenty of burdock root around at the moment to replace spuds. I found too that nettle tips and seeds, mixed with evening primrose buds, a dash of nutmeg fried in butter is devine and really simple to make.

Right what else. Well its fruit season right now and if you have a freezer you could start to stock up. Raspberrries shoudl be in full swing up there?
First we sow the seeds, nature grows the seeds then we eat the seeds. Neil Pye
My best selling Homebrew book Booze for Free
and...... Twitter
The Other Andy Hamilton - Drinks & Foraging

User avatar
Annpan
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5464
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:43 pm
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #238635 Annpan
Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:48 am

Just thought I'd update since this has popped back up again.

We are managing to stay within our £50 budget pretty easily. (though I need new shoes and I don't know where the money is coming from)

Every Monday I tidy the pantry and the fridge and check the freezer, then I do a meal plan for dinners and then make a shopping list. On Tuesday night we go shopping, after 7pm and we stick to the list.

We go to the same shop, so I know I can always get milk, yogurt, onions and passata for less than £10 (and if we had too, we could survive quite happily for the week on just that)

We buy 3 cartons of milk for £3 (2 go in the freezer) We go to the cheap section for bakery (again freezer) and fruit.

The freezer is crucial, hardly a scrap of food gets wasted.

Because I plan ahead I know that 3 sausages (left over from a pack of 8) from one meal, will go into the sausage and bean casserole at the end of the week... or that 1 pack of mince can be split to do bolognese one night and chilli another.

Our organic crown is slipping, but I can't allow myself to feel too guilty, we still buy it when it is reasonable. (I refuse to buy non-organic chicken or non-line-caught Tuna.... I have to reserve some hang-ups :wink: )

Rice is the cheapest staple carb, followed buy pasta, cous-cous and potatoes.

Now that things in the garden are starting to really crop well, we are eating better, and cheaper. Also, we have our chickens back we sell a couple of boxes of eggs a week to regulars in the village (We charge £1.60 for 6, I know other home growers will think that heafty but crapco charges £1.70 for 'happy eggs') so we cover our costs and we get about 12 eggs ourselves for free :mrgreen:


We don't have many more big payments left to pay for the house stuff.... settled the bill from the nice builder and EXTORTIONATE electrician (£35 a hour, I ask you !?!?) our 0% credit cards are absorbing big things (cooker, hot water tank) and we are just going to have to play the credit card shuffle for a few years till they are all paid off. Then there is the small matter of the tens of thousands to the in-laws..... We might be on this £50 thing for a while yet...
Ann Pan

"Some days you're the dog,
some days you're the lamp-post"

My blog
My Tea Cosy Shop
Some photos
My eBay

User avatar
Thomzo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 4274
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Swindon, South West England

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #238703 Thomzo
Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Ann - as always, you are an inspiration. It does sound like you are getting yourselves on track after all the problems with the house.

As for shoes, you could always organise a clothes swap with friends and neighbours. Just invite lots of people with the same sized feet.

Zoe
Think globally, shop locally
Check out my blog at http://designedbyzoe.blogspot.com/
http://www.thomzo.co.uk

Hernaic Tom
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:34 pm
latitude: 51 N
longitude: 1 E
Location: Colchester, Essex, England

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #238710 Hernaic Tom
Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:16 pm

Just a few quick tips (I'll find time to read the whole thread later, it's very interesting and useful!!):

-Buy a PitRok. I think they're about £6 online, but last at least a year, and work really well in my experience. Saves so much (Money and waste) on deodorant and antiperspirant.
-Buy condensed powdered milk. It doesn't go out of date until well after the apocalypse, so you only need to restock when you've run out.
-Collect 20 pence coins in a bottle or jar. You only need 25 (Or is it 50?) until you can take them to the bank, and they do crop up in your change quite regularly!

cideristhefuture
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:05 pm

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #238711 cideristhefuture
Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:02 pm

glad to hear about your chicken and tuna ethic. I follow the same rules

tea tonight was a chicken curry, ok maybe not, but....

1 free range organic chicken breast, last one in the freezer (cut up into small chunks) from the butchers so it was was twice the size for one from = crapco. With mushroom, (supermarket end of day sale chopped and from the freezer, peppers the same). Marrow,red onions plus herbs (onions ones going to seed that need using now) and french beans. done in a big pan, 2 teas for 2 people. With 2 garlic and corr nans from cheapo shop (2 for 59p).

have you made friends with your local butcher? 1 spend £40 - £50 in my local per month, it is all free range chicken and local grown. I always get 2 large chickens (£9.00 for the same ones in crapco, they charge me £6.50 - £7.00) in with this. plus enough meat to last 4 weeks. If the bill comes to say £48 they say to me £45 for cash and offer to send the 'boy' to the car for me when back is bad.

User avatar
Stonehead
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2432
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:31 pm
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #238981 Stonehead
Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:01 pm

Our budget is £110 a fortnight. Seven years ago, it was £70 a fortnight and we could get a large proportion of organic/fair trade items within that. Now, we don't get any organic and it's getting very hard to afford fair trade. And as of today we've cut our bag of ground coffee from the shopping list as we can't justify the £5 plus it costs for a fortnight's worth (at one cup a day each per day for the OH and I.

What annoys me about the situation is that supermarkets are making bumper profits while farmers (and suppliers in general) are being squeezed harder at a time of soaring costs. I can accept higher prices when they're a result of higher costs, the effects of inflation or introducing better practices—after all it's something we see with selling pigs, pork and eggs—but not when they're the result of blatant profiteering and dodgy practices.

There are many reports on it, this happened to be the most recent one when I googled:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jul/02/british-farmers-supermarket-price-wars
Image

User avatar
Thomzo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 4274
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Swindon, South West England

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #238987 Thomzo
Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:35 pm

It's nothing new. This sort of stuff was going on when I worked in the food industry last century.

What is quite amazing is that the price of my organic box has only gone up once in the last 4 years. How does that work then?

Zoe
Think globally, shop locally
Check out my blog at http://designedbyzoe.blogspot.com/
http://www.thomzo.co.uk

User avatar
RuthG
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 241
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: Durham area UK
Contact:

Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #238995 RuthG
Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:34 pm

This thread looks like just what I need right now. Just been informed that OH might lose his job - he will know next Friday. So I am looking for any help to make sure we can make ends meet. I started growing my own veg this year, but very little (using tubs) and barely anything is cropping - getting one or two strawbs and there are three toms on the vines that are still hard and green! Have plenty of beans and peas growing, but no pods yet and heaps of pepper plants. Not really sure what else to do right now as it's getting late in the season and we have a house to renovate before moving next Spring.


Return to “The ish Local - (Chat)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests