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What thrifty things do you do that you're surprised no one else does?

(163 Posts)
petitpois Thu 07-May-20 08:35:04

I think we're all in for more difficult times in the future, and I was hoping to pick up some tips. What do you do already that you're surprised others don't? Whenever I need to buy something new I check out eBay first to see if anyone happens to be selling something similar. I've lucked out with a very useful desk as well as some lovely pots for the garden.
I also always make my own stock and so have never had to buy. When my grandkids were smaller I used to occasionally take them to charity shops to choose a treat toy or book. They loved it plus it's a good opportunity to support the charity.

Pantglas2 Thu 07-May-20 08:38:57

I’ve never thrown a chicken carcass away, like you always made stock ready for risotto, soup or casserole.

NfkDumpling Thu 07-May-20 08:46:42

Keep a compost heap.

Plant cut and come again mixed leaves.

Use all of the chicken. Although I’ve never had much success making my own stock, I usually end up still adding a bit of shop stuff to my attempt!

So many things I just assume other people already do.

BlueSky Thu 07-May-20 08:47:35

Always try to source the cheapest of items, this stems from the days when I wasn't so comfortably off, thanks to a lazy and irresponsible first husband. Now I've got to force myself not to penny pinch every time!

Witzend Thu 07-May-20 08:54:37

I never throw a chicken carcass away, either. And the last bits picked off the bones go in the freezer labelled ‘chicken bits’ to later go in a soup or stir fry.
Hardly any food is ever wasted here - frugal habits die hard!
Any tired-looking veg and sundry bits of leftovers often go in what my mother called her ‘dustbin’ soup. Luckily all the family have always enjoyed it - it’s my ‘signature dish’!

I once made it for several of much younger dds’ ’ friends after they’d all been sledging in the snow we so rarely get here. Afterwards one of them (foreign parents) asked whether I could please give her mum the recipe for my ‘garbage’ soup! 😄 I had to say I didn’t have one - different every time.

Teacheranne Thu 07-May-20 08:58:23

I used to call the soup I made from left over bit and bobs "Fishermans Soup" as you had to fish around to see what was in it! Together with some home made bread, it made a very cheap meal.

rubysong Thu 07-May-20 09:01:55

I save tiny scraps of soap and remake into useable bars of soap. I grate them and melt in a small amount of water then put in an empty margarine tub to set. They need to be kept for a while to really firm up. Alternatively just put the bits into a small net bag and use them.

JackyB Thu 07-May-20 09:26:30

I have crocheted a little bag from rough cotton and put the ends of soap bars in that. I use it in the shower, it gives a gentle scrub.

I have been going through old clothes lately and making cleaning rags from the old tee shirts., etc. Also rags from old towels, but the better ones, which were just frayed, have been made into flannels. All look great thanks to the overlock sewing machine I got DH to give me for my birthday a few years ago.

Sussexborn Thu 07-May-20 09:27:28

OH is the thrifty one! He somehow attaches the last bit of soap to the new bar. He mainly eats leftovers even if there is a freshly cooked meal available. He seems to prefer the freshly cooked meal, as leftovers, the next day! He has favourite plastic shopping bags and takes it personally if they get torn by a sharp edge. We quite often have a ham hock for a meal and then make lentil soup with the bone.

He is happy to buy me a chop or steak from the butchers as I am a fuss pot.

Sussexborn Thu 07-May-20 09:28:32

I do keep old clothes for rags. In fact I have two drawers full.

TerriBull Thu 07-May-20 09:30:29

I make sure I drain every last drop of washing up liquid, or liquid soap by turning them upside down into new dispenser, maybe that's something everyone does though, so possibly not that unusual.

I have started making bread and butter puddings, well 2 since the lockdown, to use up bread, (if the ducks don't get it first) and milk that is near use by date, I find they keep well in the fridge for a couple of days if not eaten in one go, which is usually the case. Luckily I have a diminishing supply of sultanas, they aren't easy to come by right now, have mixed fruit on my Tesco delivery list for two weeks hence, but I've learnt such items are later removed with a "no longer in stock" message.

I had lots of good intentions about putting chicken carcasses to good use to make stock, but haven't sad Freezer's pretty full at the moment, don't really have room for it, that's my lame excuse. I feel a bit ashamed after reading this thread on that one, I know my grandparents would be looking down on me with a frown, they'd have certainly used up every last scrapshock

Callistemon Thu 07-May-20 09:36:34

Banana cakes - I am rather fed up with banana cake made with overripe bananas but DH likes them.

Gift bags do get recirculated amongst friends and family. I think we must be having a competition to see how long we can keep them going.

Babyshark Thu 07-May-20 09:37:40

Great thread! Nothing to add that hasn’t been covered already other than knowing what time the local coop yellow stickers things and being ready. In normal time’s obviously!

cossybabe Thu 07-May-20 09:37:51

I make chuckitin soup and chuckitin curry - I look in the fridge and chuck it in. Yesterday I made soup out of some broccoli, asparagus, celery, leek, spinach, lettuce and stilton cheese - it was yummy

Babyshark Thu 07-May-20 09:39:24

Oh and I have tried using the chicken carcass for stock. Used it for a risotto once and a soup and I must be doing something wrong because I (shamefully) prefer stock pots blush. Any tips?

grannypiper Thu 07-May-20 09:41:17

I boil a full ketttle in the morning and decant the boiled water into a flask and use this for tea throughout the day, my Grandparents always done this and i never gave it any thought and just automatically done it.

wildswan16 Thu 07-May-20 09:43:17

I've always had to make every penny count and hate it if I inadvertently waste food.

I do sometimes raise my eyebrows however, at friends who also claim to be thrifty - but happily confess to having 20 or more pairs of shoes, or handbags in their wardrobe. Or who insist on changing their decor to the "latest" trend.

I always look to buy "pre-used" if there is a suitable product - why cut down a tree to make yet another table when there are plenty already made. This type of thrift helps both my purse and the planet.

(I am, however, unable to be thrifty about chocolate).

kodakfish Thu 07-May-20 09:43:37

Use a pressure cooker to cook potatoes/rice/past.
Use on hob until up to pressure [boiling] then turn hob off and wait normal time and they're cooked using 50-70% less electric. Might not be much per day, approx 7 minutes but a penny saved

Tennisnan Thu 07-May-20 09:43:50

I decant a small amount of washing up liquid from the full new bottle into the old empty bottle, and put the new bottle out of sight at the back of the cupboard. Its a natural tendency to use smaller squeezes of liquid when you, or others, think you are nearing the end of the bottle, to 'make it last'. Ive noticed that I and my family will squeeze out a larger squirt from a brand new and full bottle.

razzmatazz Thu 07-May-20 09:44:45

Soften the end of a soap bar and squeeze it onto a new bar.

kodakfish Thu 07-May-20 09:45:05

pasta not past

Xrgran Thu 07-May-20 09:46:35

Buy veg and fruit when really cheap ( 10p a go) in supermarkets and use to make chutney or kimchi or if fruit chunk up and freeze for crumbles.

Buy supermarket herbs in pot and divide up then plant you’ll. have herbs all summer.Even in a pot these are great.

Moth62 Thu 07-May-20 09:47:28

I make breadcrumbs out of bread crusts to freeze for topping gratin or fish Provençal dishes.

Sgilley Thu 07-May-20 09:47:56

I cut fronts from greetings cards and use them as postcards. Also use cutouts from cards as gift labels.

Tweedle24 Thu 07-May-20 09:49:04

I put a few drops of water into empty soap dispensers to get the last few mls of soap fro the pump