I haven’t quite worked out what to title this blog post, normally I know what to call it and that is my starting point. this post however is different, there are tv shows, which I watch, which make me cross, yes I know, so don’t watch them, but they fascinate me. Both are BBC shows, Eat Well For Less and Shop Well For Less, both of them are ridiculous! This however makes me think, probably things I have said before, but ah well.
My husband and I made a decision years ago, that I am the stay at home mum/housewife, I control the budget in our house, I spend the money how it needs to be and make sure we live relatively well on what we have. I make virtually every meal from scratch, I used to be very good and make all our baked goods from scratch as well, this has recently fallen apart and I buy far more bread and wraps and things than I want to. People think we live in the way we do, foraging when we can, making our own beer and wine, not splashing out on pointless things, because we have no money, this is far from true, we do this because we believe money isn’t everything. It cannot buy happiness, love, friends, family or health. I would much rather have home made jerky (which is currently in the dehydrator!) than buying a tiny packet of it for a couple of pounds which between the three of us in this house lasts around 30 seconds, home made jerky we make last, we savour, and it tastes so much nicer! This is also true for everything else, we would rather have a small piece of something nice, something produced in a way we believe in, than a huge amount of something cheap that doesn’t taste as good. In my dehydrator is about £4 worth of steak, but as a snack this will last us a month. When I get back round to it, I will be making crisps again, plain potato ones, vegetable ones and flavoured ones, I really want to experiment with them this year. The thing that I feel has fallen by the wayside the most in the last six months is my baking, our oven in this rented house is terrible, nothing bakes in the way I expect it to, even after being here 2 and a half years I cannot make it do what I want it to! However, blogging causes me to need things to write about, so baking will have to start again, I feel there will be no complaints from anyone, friends, family and the husband’s staff will all get thrown baked things when I make them. I haven’t made any sweets since Christmas either, so now the whole pregnancy thing is kicking my bum less, I am going to have to get back to being the housewife who makes sure there is a baking smell and a proper meal on the table every night when the husband gets home, I am that kind of housewife, and I love it!
Anyway, back to the ridiculous shows which caused me to start this post, Eat Well For Less makes me frustrated, people throwing away things because they say they are out of date, or past their best before, I know it is a bit of a fad to make sure we use foods and people are starting to realise that food waste in the UK is a real problem. However, I have been doing this forever, my mum does it, my sister does it, so does my brother, we were not brought up to throw things away for the sake of it. How did it go from my grandparent’s era (when they used every scrap possible, they stretched meals cheaply and sensibly and they actually chopped their own vegetables and meat, made their own sauces and made everything from scratch because they had to) to the throw away society we live in now. This show is all about families who spend ridiculously, but I would be more impressed if they came to a family like mine and made me save money, I challenge them to in all honesty, we have done that thing of changing where we shop, we have swapped brands etc etc etc to me it just makes sense, I didn’t need some tv presenter to point it out to me. I am always intrigued as to whether the people chosen for these shows are normal or more normal than we are in the fact that we do live pretty cheaply because I enjoy to!
Shop Well For Less is just stupid, people spend more in a year on clothes than we do on clothes, luxuries, electronics and everything put together! I occasionally splash out, but most of the time this is because my husband forces me to buy new clothes, I hate shopping as much as he does, he currently owns one pair of jeans and a pair of those zip off walking trousers, when these are starting to fall apart we will buy new ones! We just aren’t materialistic. I own far too many kitchen things, but they are all used and I buy things that will last for years rather than ones I will throw away in 12 months time. He owns far too much Warhammer but we all need to have hobbies and I would never begrudge him that! My son has everything he needs and more, why on earth do people feel the need to spend so much on things they don’t really need!?
I am by no means saying that we are the most frugal people in the world, or that we are perfect, far from, but we live how we choose to, other people would hate our life, we live on one person’s wage, and we are happy! On top of being happy, we are lucky, we save every month, we have no debts and hopefully the only debt we will ever have is a mortgage, we paid for our wedding through flipping hard work and a lot of saving but we paid for it out right. We will get a credit card one day I’m sure, but it will be used to spend as we already do, not to spend beyond our means, more to increase our credit score than anything else! As I say, I don’t claim to live on nothing, we have a lot more than some people, but why on earth would you have to spend more than you have to on things you can get for less with just a little bit more effort! My dad always tells me I’m time rich and money poor, if this is the case, then I hope it stays that way, more money would be lovely, but I think that is always the case, but the choices we have made give us the life we have and we have fun living it, luckily my husband is as frugal as me, so when I suggest a day foraging for elderflower to make wine, or blackberries for pudding or mushrooms for dinner, he is right there beside me until I drag him away so that the child actually gets picked up from school! I always find foraging a bit addictive, and it all gets used so it isn’t a waste when we pick masses.