Monday, March 09, 2009

Fun Monday # 106

Sayre who is our host today wants to know:

What we and our family are doing to deal with the current economic situation on a personal level? Obama's got a plan for the nation, but how do you/will you deal with your own economic stress?

I know that whatever plans Obama has is bound to affect us somehow, but at the moment I'm not impressed with what Gordon Brown is doing for the UK. I happen to think he is digging us into an even bigger hole and that printing more money is not the answer. So while he and the government dither and refuse to acknowledge any responsibility for the plight we are in, I as a pensioner on a fixed income have seen interest on savings plummet and have been trying to make economies. I am luckier than many as my husband who will be 72 later this year is still working full time which actually allows us maintain a reasonable standard of living, but this is coming to an end soon and we will then notice a big difference.

Since I retired we have tried to plan for the future and, although, we don't have a very large garden we have tried to grow a few things in tubs and the planters and this year we plan to expand on this. We're going to try carrots and beans as well as potatoes, salad leaves and tomatoes. The rhubarb is growing well and we have blueberries and loganberries and blackberries. I also grow some herbs and peppers. If we are successful you will certainly be reading about it later in the year

I try to waste as little as possible and make soup from vegetables that once might have been thrown out. My worm works are fed on lots of the other food bits including coffee grounds and this in the long term will provide nutrients for the garden to save us buying.

In recent months I've shopped differently and now buy more of the supermarket *basics* and less of the more expensive organics. I no longer buy the out of season fruit that I love and is so expensive.

I no longer buy things like sandwich bags and Embee uses the bread bags to take his sandwiches to work.

I save and reuse envelopes, rubber bands and packaging, I make notelets and gift tags from old cards.

I use my car as little as possible and I know I should be thinking of getting rid of it, but this will probably not happen until Embee finally retires.

I spend very little on clothes for myself, I did buy a winter coat this year but it was half price in the sale.

I try to reduce the power we use around the house, we use long life lamps and we try to turn lights off. I sometimes manage to turn the heating down but this is difficult as my mother feels the cold. I rarely have heat in the upstairs bedrooms even in the middle of winter (it's like going into a freezer when you walk upstairs).

We have cut out one of our daily newspapers-you can always read the news online or catch it on TV.

I know these are only miniscule savings but the way I look at it every little helps and I'm hoping to pick up some more ideas from your posts.

2008: Pu-Moon Bed
2007: Costa-del-sol here I come

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At 9/3/09 10:50, Blogger Hootin' Anni said...

We too live on a retiree's income and so far, so good. But we've always been quite frugal in our marriage when it comes to economy.

Happy Fun Monday.

At 9/3/09 11:51, Blogger Beccy said...

Good going mum. I now make bread most days and refuse to buy biscuits or cakes but make them or better still get the children to make them!

At 9/3/09 13:11, Blogger Sayre said...

Ah... yes. Our newspaper will probably be going away when our subscription runs out. To me, it's a luxury to start my day with a cup of coffee and the newspaper - one I can do without if need be. My subscription is paid through the end of the year (it's cheaper by the year), but I don't think I will be renewing.

Your methods sound much like my grandmother's - you were obviously trained up right when it came to pinching pennies!

At 9/3/09 13:11, Blogger Sayre said...

Ah... yes. Our newspaper will probably be going away when our subscription runs out. To me, it's a luxury to start my day with a cup of coffee and the newspaper - one I can do without if need be. My subscription is paid through the end of the year (it's cheaper by the year), but I don't think I will be renewing.

Your methods sound much like my grandmother's - you were obviously trained up right when it came to pinching pennies!

At 9/3/09 15:21, Anonymous Mariposa said...

Recycliing work both for the economy and the environment!

Lovely tips...Happy Monday!

At 9/3/09 16:09, Anonymous jill said...

my parents are getting ready to retire. i hope that the can successfully and without serious issues. crossing fingers..

At 9/3/09 16:25, Blogger Jeanna said...

It all helps. I don't get the paper and I write for the paper. Every time I use a baggie I feel guilty.

At 9/3/09 18:06, Blogger hulagirlatheart said...

It all adds up to a significant savings. Good ideas.

At 9/3/09 19:08, Blogger Sam said...

I am glad you are coming around to my way of thinking on the seasonal vegetables and fruits.

I washed all my plastic bags out at the weekend for re-use.

I bring my lunch to work in jars!

Mainly - getting the mystery vegetable box has saved me lots of money. Last week I got 16 pounds of fresh seasonable vegetables for just $25 which last me for weeks when I caredully seal them (in the reused plastic bags). Even though many of them are things I don't really like so much, it's fun thinking of soups and salads and stuff that taste delcious despite the ingredients.

At 9/3/09 19:29, Blogger Faye said...

I think you know the secret to living well in uncertain times, Chris. It's the little economies that make a difference in the long run. Like you, I'd like to hope that our government pulls us out of this recession, but am not totally confident it will happen even with someone as bold as our current president.

Your husband still works at 72? That's great if he enjoys his work. What does he do?

At 9/3/09 22:00, Blogger karisma said...

Well done Granny! You my friend are not only saving all over the place but also doing a major bit for our environment! If only everyone took these little steps our planet would have so much more hope for survival! Mwah xxx Thank you xxxxx

At 9/3/09 22:37, Blogger Aoj and The Hounds said...

It is the little things that add up though Chris. I too have stopped my habit of buying papers on Saturdays and Sundays - although I store them up to make logs or for starting the fire, the amount of paper I was getting rid of was ridiculous and half of it unread.

At 10/3/09 00:40, Blogger Bobbie Leigh said...

I am going to attempt a veggie garden this year too! I've never done it before, but my mother in law has an incredible green thumb and used to grow her own as well, so she is going to be my veggie mentor. You are right, every little bit does help!

PS: Thanks for visiting my blog!

At 10/3/09 02:21, Blogger Jettie said...

Well very good steps you are doing too!!! same here...We are used to cutting back...but we have cut more.

At 10/3/09 07:12, Blogger Pamela said...

I need to take some of your ideas and do the same around here.

At 10/3/09 10:07, Blogger Gattina said...

I never have thrown money "out of the window" it's just not in my nature. I don't like boutiques, shoes or handbags I always compared prices and quality and bought there were it was the cheapest. So far nothing has changed in my life crisis or not.
I agree with you with Gordon Brown. I know the UK quite well because my son is still working for a british company although he is in Amsterdam now. He bought a house in London 12 years ago and I have to say that laws to buy a house are much easier than in Belgium. Each year I go for a week to my friends who are also retired and moved from London to Eastbourne at the coast. They had worked hard their whole life and enjoy now a good retirement. Comparing the UK and Belgium is difficult, Belgium has 11 million inhabitants the same as London ! Still if I had to change and choose a country I would choose the English coast and move to the UK !

At 10/3/09 10:52, Anonymous margaret (the misanthrope) said...

Great post, Chris! You said that they are tiny things but...every little bit helps!

It's interesting to get the perspective of a non-US dweller on this. I lived in Ireland when Tony Blair was elected British PM. I was wondering what the UK and the rest of Europe think of Gordon Brown.

Happy (belated) FM to you!

At 10/3/09 11:09, Blogger ChrisB said...

Sam I have to say I do get a bit bored with just apples and I do miss my berries. I bet you don't remember the plastic bags that always used to wash and hang on the line to dry when you were young.

Faye he works for an engineering company and he is now just the site banksman (but he does all sorts of bits and pieces,e.g. logging hours worked by the men, issuing stores he's also a first aider)

Gattina there are so many beautiful coastal places around the British isles.

margaret I can only speak for myself but I've never had any faith in the Blair or Brown policies.

At 10/3/09 12:01, Blogger Peter said...

G'day Chris, When we lived on the farm in Victoria we practiced all the cost saving and living "Green" stuff, still do... up to a point but not growing veggies now.
Keep up the good work, and do continue to travel too.

At 10/3/09 17:43, Blogger Janis said...

You know how to live within your means and that is what makes you happy. You know the meaning of "Waste not want not" That is how my hubby and I try to live.


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