I thought I’d be a little different today and show you how my whole crazy thrifty ethos can be rolled out across the house from everything to reducing your gas bill to what to do with old tea lights! If you don’t want to see this kind of thing just let me know!
So here we go, a list of my favourite nifty thrifty tricks.
- Reduce your Gas Bills. We have a three bedroom flat with gas central heating and a gas oven. Our gas bill is around £15 a month which I think is pretty darn good. How do we do this? Apart from trying to have the heating on for a max of an hour a day, the biggest way I save is through devoting an hour or so of my weekend to cooking meals for the week ahead. This is a great idea because it saves time in the week and saves you money. It’s great coming home from work grabbing a meal from the freezer and knowing it’s wholesome and healthy and not full of salt. I tend to make three pots up on a Sunday, one of soup, one of a risotto/pasta/rice/noodle and then one meat based. Each pot probably has 6 portions in. By doing all the cooking in that hour you save so much gas compared to the half an hour here there and everywhere you use to cook in the week and it removes the temptation of just saying “can you grab a pizza on the way home!”
- Stains…stain removers cost a fortune! A large pot of Vanish, the good stuff here in the UK, won’t leave you much change out of £5. That’s a lot to do a spot of cleaning…Out of a need to save money and an ability to chuck anything I’m holding across everywhere, I’ve developed an ability to know how to remove anything from anything using anything! For example, there’s not much that rubbing a bit of toothpaste into a stain won’t remove. Nail Varnish remover works fantastic on a lot of paint based stains. Lemon gets rid of fake tan. Applying heat will help you get crayon out of carpet. Rubbing anti dandruff shampoo and toothpaste into hair dye stains will help lift them. The list is endless. Be creative, I make up a little pot and have it close to hand! Otherwise it’s easy to end up with more money tied up in products under your sink that in your savings account!
- Tea lights. You know those beautiful little metal cases them come in? You can make a lovely cheap piece of art from them in seconds. Simply remove the wax, pinch in two opposite sides, then roll over with a rolling pin to create a petal. Make several petals to create a flower. Affix to a canvass and boom!
- Boxes can make shelves. One of my little treats is that I subscribe to the Glossy Box, a great monthly box subscription for beauty products. They send them in stunning little boxes. I was getting a pile of these boxes and didn’t want to just use them for storage, so after sticking sides together and hanging, I made this wall shelve thing!
- Crease Free Drying. I try to dry my clothes outside but when I do need to use the radiators I make sure that I fold my clothes up neatly and then hang on the radiator. I know people tend to spread them out to minimise drying time but by folding them the heat will help press out the creases meaning you can over avoid ironing-winner!
- Make your own flavoured water. Buying water bottles is such a terrible waste of everything when you can make your own flavoured water so easily. Just chop up some limes and lemons and stick them in your reusable water bottle. Done.
- Reusing containers. I was amazed how many companies offer an incentive if you take back empty containers when buying more. This applies to everything from Starbucks and taking on your own mug, to make up companies who offer money if you return empties. Eg MAC and Clinique. It’s not hugely advertised but I’d always ask
- Skip Hunting! I’ve said this before but I’m amazed what other people throw out. Some of it is perfectly good and just needs a paint or sanding. Always ask the owner first but never be afraid. Lots of areas have Facebook Freebie Sites and again you’ll be amazed what you can get. I’ve entirely furnished my flat from other people’s throw aways.
- Be season-savy. I’m not saying become a full on tribal spoon maker but it never hurts to gather nature’s gifts when she gives them. I gather in blackberries, wild garlic, apples, rosehips and wild strawberries in big batches and freeze or make into pestos etc. This won’t save you much but it’s always nice to have a treat in and not pay over the odds for it. Dont forget as well as I’ve mentioned before, when trimming root vegetables like spring onions you can replant the ends to make your own plants
- Grow.Grow.Grow. Whether you live in an urban towerblock or a country mansion, everyone can growth things. It’s just a question of how and where. Window sills make ideal planter areas for herbs and you’ll be amazed how much money having a steady supply of fresh herbs can save. I was buying parsley and basil each week which was £1.80. That’s nearly £10 a month. £120 a year. See? It adds up! If you have a place for outside window pot grow cut and come lettuce, this should get you through the summer and again will save regular buyers a £1 a week. I love having fresh flowers in the house but realistically your looking at £3 a week to keep this up. Grow your own! Sweet peas grow happily on a window and smell incredible.
So there we have it, a few tips which I hope you find useful! Please let me know if not and I won’t repeat this!
It would be great to hear your ideas?
Have a good day x