Received Wisdom- Part 2

OK, time for a few new tips

  1. You know when you get a hole in one rubber glove but you throw both away. Keep the good one and a) hope it’s the opposite of the one that springs a leak next time or b) take a tip from my mum and turn it inside out! Et voila- a matching pair. (I’m guilty of not following this frugal tip because I don’t like the feel of the rubber side next to my skin).
  2. Don’t buy sugar coated cereals- they are a waste of money. If you want to- you can add sugar yourself or better still, cut down!
  3. Save any plastic bags you do get and use them to line your waste paper bins. Not entirely compatible with becoming zero waste, but better than buying them!
  4. Cycle- it’s free, green and great exercise. Why not choose your bike over short car journeys?
  5. Making meringues or another recipe that only calls for egg whites? Don’t throw the yolk away- often biscuit recipes will only call for the yolk. Have a look online and you’re sure to find something that takes your fancy. If you’ve got the oven on anyway, then you’re being extra economical.

And here’s one that I learnt recently on-line- it makes no difference whether you wash your clothes or hands in hot water because it’s the detergent and friction that does the job of cleaning. I’ve been washing our clothes at 20 degrees instead of 40 degrees and I haven’t noticed any difference! I’ve not yet been brave enough to try it on towels or bedding which I still wash at 60 degrees. I guess some habits die hard, but maybe I will change this over time. I do want to do these hot washes though because I’ve heard it’s good for your machine- otherwise it gets clogged up with powder residue. I also currently refuse to believe that it would be healthy or safe to wash dishcloths and toilet cleaning cloths at lower temperatures.

Perhaps someone will put me straight though?

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Received wisdom

I’ve recently finished reading both Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life and The Joy of Less. These have provoked some serious thinking for me. As I’ve been pondering, I’ve realised how lucky I’ve been to have 2 frugal generations behind me whose wisdom I’ve received over the past 30+ years. Even though I may not have put it all into practise- here are some of the things my parents and grandparents taught me. I am looking to put more and more of this into practise.

  1. Cut open the tube of toothpaste/ hand cream/ tomato puree (or whatever it is) to get the most out of it
  2. Squeeze together old bars of soaps, to completely use them up
  3. Add some milk to baked beans to make them spread a little further
  4. Save old pants, t-shirts/ towels etc to use as rags
  5. Rinse out old soap/ milk/ shampoo etc bottles with water and use a diluted version. This works particularly well with fabric conditioner which is then ideal for hand washing
  6. Tip up the petrol nozzle to get out every last drop you’ve paid for!
  7. Wash out plastic bags to re-use them for other things
  8. Re-use old margarine tubs to freeze food
  9. Grow your own fruit/ veg- it’s MUCH cheaper
  10. Cut the fronts off old cards and re-use them for gift tags

I’ll try to regularly add short burst of these kinds of posts. I don’t want to overwhelm you! What have you been taught? The one thing I haven’t adopted is hanging out old tea bags on a tree/ bush/ line to dry. Yes, my grandma really did used to do this!