Friday, May 25, 2012

Frugal winter season tips

Knit your own scarf/gloves/socks.
Winter is a warm cosy inside time around the fire, with mugs of tea, and it’s the only time of the year I knit. The demands of the garden are less and that makes more time available for other things.
Here are some wonderful free patterns to get started on.

Make your own firelighters
We all love a fire in winter. As we save our newspaper for seedling pots or use it in composting we don’t have a lot for firestarters. A few years back we were introduced to making our own firelighters. Save your used teabags and let them dry out completely on a rack. When dry put in an old glass bottle with a lid. Pour over a little paraffin. These work like wonders.

Collect pinecones/wood
We have massive pine plantations nearby and one of our winter habits is to collect dry pine cones for the fire. We used to keep our eyes peeled for trees being cut down on the pavements and collect the wood too. We have so much wood from our own tree clearing that collecting wood won’t be necessary for a few years.

Make soups and bread
Soups and bread…that sums up winter! Soups, made with lots of veggies and good stock, are a wonderful quick frugal way to feed your family. Here are some recipes to start.

Cook ahead
Double up those meals that keep well, like soups, for a day when you are short of time. Instead of finding yourself at a check out line at 5.30pm you can make some fresh rolls and reheat a meal.

Collect leaves for leaf mould
At the beginning of winter there are still lots of leaves around. Collect them in bags and put them in a suitable place to make leafmould for your summer garden.

Plan your spring garden
Don’t be caught unawares in a few month’s time when the weather is suddenly warmer and you haven’t planned your garden, bought your seeds and are ready to plant.

Use the library
Buying new once read books is becoming a thing of the past.  With ebooks and Kindle you have all sorts of books at your fingertips. However, I am a page-turner-kinda-gal and the library is my answer.

Sundry clothes
Clothes can still dry without electricity in winter. Use clothes racks near your fire or move it around the house with the sun during the day. It may take longer to dry but you will save yourself loads by not using the tumble dryer.

Learn one new skill
Make use of the extra indoor time to learn a new skill. Have you always wanted to make soap? Give it a try. What about crochet? Sour dough bread? Whatever takes your fancy, give it a try!


Cath said...

Ooh! This is my kind of post. Full of good ideas that are fun to do and economical too.

Linda said...

Hi again! I met you last month at slow living essentials and now Rhonda has given you a plug! I am fascinated by your firelighters. Where do you get parrafin and is it environmentally friendly? I think I'd like to try them. Lovely blog.

Wendy said...

Hi Linda, paraffin will be the "lesser" of two evils when it comes to using firelighters. You can buy it at any hardware store. Enjoy!