Friday 1 November 2013

Money Saving Tips from 1990

Well,  much to my disgust, it's Friday of Half Term al-flipping-ready!

Since I last posted about my extreme breakfast sport , my week off has been spent doing much of the same ; caught up with lots of jobs on the eternal to do list, baked and cooked wholesome stuff and sorted out a load of stuff that needed sorting! The Uni one and the poor boy left at home switched bedrooms when the Uni one went to Uni. There are boxes upon boxes of cherished childhood stuff that we can not and will not get rid of! We are one box of stuff away from starring on Hoarders, Extreme hoarding, or any  other tv program starring people like Mr Trebus! ( You might have to google him! - He was the first person in Britain to be filmed in a documentary about extreme hoarding! )
I am trying to be brutal, the HG is worse than I am for keeping crap. Please note, the stuff he tends to hoard is useless crap, whereas the precious artefacts I store away like museum pieces are valuable parts of family history. (*nods*).

I have also found a STACK of recipes kept from magazines over the years and ones from food packets etc. I bought two really pretty Lever Arch files ( bargain 99p each from Sainsbury's) and filed them all neatly away. I knew mostly which ones I had but I was thrilled to unearth 'Aunty Olive's Ginger snap biscuits. I made these yesterday ( 53 cals per biscuit ) and they truly are delicious!! 

In amongst the pile of books I found a Dairy Diary homemakers bible book! And the book I am going to thrill you with today..

Mary Rose's 1001 Country Household Hints. First published in 1990, with my copy being published in 1994.
It has sections on cookery, cleaning and stains, laundry time ( I think this makes it sound like a FUN activity!! ), gardening for pleasure, home decorating, knitting and sewing and health and beauty. But it is from her 'Around the house' chapter that I bring you some Money Saving Ideas.
Now I'm trying to remember if 'we' were all wealthy in 1990 as opposed to cash strapped recession weary 2013?

Are these still relevant today. What do you think? For me, 1994 brought the birth of my daughter, the HG was just out of work as the building industry had collapsed and I was working on Supply right up to 38weeks pregnant. So, 'we' were not wealthy. I'm not sure I did any of these mind!

*Disclaimer - I am not advocating ANY of these hints -do them at your own peril - no.2!!!!!!*

1. Pipe tobacco will keep fresh and moist if stored in an airtight tin with a few potato peelings.
2. Wrap apparently dead batteries in tinfoil and leave in a moderate oven when baking and they will be useful again . A small battery should be left in 20 minutes while larger ones need 30minutes. I have NO idea how long they will last after doing this!! Also I'm not sure what makes a small battery small. Is a large one a car battery??!!! 
3. Draw string bags from net curtains make excellent storage bags for vegetables. Do people ( except my mum ) still buy net curtains??!!! 
Note here - with reference to no.3, I think Lisa will back me up here, NET CURTAIN WASHING DAYS WERE THE WORST DAYS OF OUR CHILDHOOD.
4. Keep used oil from the chip pan for greasing your garden tools. Had oven chips been invented then??
5. Before discarding cereal or soap packets, cut out all the large letters. Keep as an educational word-making pastime for children.
6. Coat straw beach hats and bags with clear varnish to stop the straw splitting.
7. A used washing up liquid bottle with the top cut off makes a good utensil holder.
8. Use an old fridge as a cupboard in the garage or shed.

And some that I think I've seen on other frugal blogs, that I've done to be thrifty and that made me think what a good idea!

1. When filling a new hot water bottle for the first time, add a few drops of glycerine. It makes the rubber more supple.
2. Use old hot water bottles as kneelers for the garden. Cut the neck off, fill with rags and seal up again. She suggests sewing it but I can't imagine how easy/difficult that would be!
3. Use plastic bags from supermarkets as bin liners.
4. Save heat and money by putting foil behind radiators.
5. If you are at home all day, fill a flask with boiling water for your hot drinks.
6. Loo roll/kitchen roll tubes make excellent firelighters ( my iPad wanted to write 'firefighters' there! Am chuckling at that mental image.)
These next ones are for FrugalMummy.
They concern her and I's great love - CHRISTMAS
1. Wash holly leaves thoroughly and leave until dry. Dip the leaves in melted margarine and then cover with sugar. < she does not say DO NOT EAT, so I will say it. DO NOT EAT.> dry in front of the fire for lovely frosted holly decorations.
2. Make snow for Christmas declarations by using a large handful of soap flakes, or powdered detergent, add a little water, and whip with a mixer. Put on trees, windows and mirrors etc. when it dries, it looks like real snow and lasts for weeks.

I might try the holly one myself!!

I am pretty sure my nanna told me that my Grandad used to make Christmas snow out of soap flakes though I'm sure I heard her at the time, say snow flakes! That would have made far more sense to a five year old Rachel! Plus my Grandad was the best Grandad on the planet - if he wanted to make inside snow from snowflakes then he could have!

So how many of you have varnished a straw hat then?


  1. I am sure that I have a tatty old straw hat in the shed, I wonder if purple nail varnish will work.

  2. I can't stop thinking about the batteries in the oven and what would happen if I forgot them.


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