Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Five Frugal Things

We've had guests staying, who were a bit surprised by some of the things I do automatically - not taken aback or grossed out, but surprised in the "Oooohhhh! That's a good idea! I never thought of doing that!" sense. These aren't big, headline frugal activities; rather, they're the little, every day things that save a penny here or a penny there and only cost a few seconds of time.
Since the internet is full of these things anyway, I thought I'd create a new meme: Five Frugal Things.  Feel free to copy the idea in your own blog.

Five Frugal Things I do Automatically
  1. Set Asides. When I'm serving up dinner, I'll dish up our lunch-boxes at the same time as I do our meals. That way, lunch is taken care of and I can ensure that there is sufficient food for lunch if someone wants seconds.
  2. Batch soaking and cooking dried beans and chickpeas. I have a pressure cooker; it takes virtually no more time to cook 1kg of kidney beans than it takes to cook 200g. I'll then bag, tag and freeze the excess.
  3. Decant shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion into pump action soap dispensers, so that you get standardised quantities each time you wash. This extended the life of a bottle of shampoo by more than double.
  4. Using the bread-maker to bake bread. It takes 5 minutes to weigh out all the ingredients and costs less than 25p for a loaf of wholemeal bread. When I set up the bread-maker before going to bed on Monday night, my guests were a little stunned at how quick, easy and cheap it is. The bread was ready when we got up in the morning.
  5. Washing and re-using bread bags/freezer bags. It takes me less than 30 seconds to wash out a bread bag when I'm doing the dishes (turn inside out, give a quick swish through clean-ish washing up water - scrubbing any sticky bits - and position over the cutlery drainer to dry). Re-using a plastic bag only saves me a fraction of a penny a time but they all add up. For food safety's sake, I do not re-use bags that have held raw meat or fish, although I do put those into a previously recycled bag that's looking like it's seen better days (that way, I can bin the bag afterwards with a clean conscience).
 What about you? What are your Five Frugal Things?

- Pam

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