Times are hard and not just because money is short and everything worth having is expensive. But there are so many good ways of saving money and I’m happy to pass my ideas on.
For people who were small children in the war, being taught to be careful with expenditure was a necessity. It was our patriotic duty not to be spendthrifts. And of course there was rationing. I clearly remember my mother exchanging the bacon ration for eggs with a neighbor in the small village to which we had been evacuated.
We imbibed good spending habits with our daily doses of castor oil and rose-hip syrup – popular remedies in those war days. Chocolate was hardly ever seen and Ex-Lax, a popular laxative which is still available, was not a great substitute, as many children discovered to their cost.
So here are some tips that will help you save money:
1. All shampoos say you should wash your hair twice. The first time it’s hard to get a lather. But keep going; add a little water and you will have a very soapy lather which will do the job quite adequately. Your shampoo bottle will last twice as long.
2. Use your washing machine on cold. I discovered this quite recently and have found my clothes, tablecloths etc. come out spotless when I run the machine with cold water.
3. I almost never use the dryer. I think it’s almost sinful in our climate. Very, very occasionally I will finish something off that’s been hanging up – perhaps 10 minutes in the dryer.
4. Don’t throw away bits of soap. Stick them all together having moistened them first. You can shape a nice new bar from the ends you might normally throw away. (Melting them doesn’t work – they come out glutinous.) 5. Turn lights off. My husband grew up in a hotel so never turns lights off when exiting a room. I just trail around after him turning them off.
6. Shop around, especially for food items. There are huge price differences between the supermarkets. It might mean extra shopping trips – but what else have you got to do?
7. Don’t buy expensive face creams. The cheap ones are fine and often you are paying through the nose for fancy packaging.
8. The same applies to cosmetics. The cheap brands are great – they often come in smaller quantities, but are so cheap you can replace them without feeling it.
9. During the first lockdown, we all stopped going to the hairdresser. People were coloring their own hair, washing and drying it and even, in some cases, trimming it. Personally I go three times a year to the hairdresser, for a cut and blonde highlights, something I can’t do myself. My friend Annette, who never goes, estimates that she has saved her husband $300,000 over their 50-year marriage.
10 If lemons are very expensive, you can use citric acid (melach lemon) A little goes a long way.
11. You can freeze or dry herbs. Rosemary keeps forever, that’s why it’s for remembrance. Parsley and coriander not so much – consider growing your own.