Thrifty living

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Thrifty Living

Dandelion/Stinging nettles

For those of you who are interested in living a thrifty life style. Please read on

I am hoping to embark shortly on a thrifty life style, cutting down my work load and doing ebay on a part time basis.So i have been scouring the internet on how to look for food that is free

So far the only things i can identify are dandelion and stinging nettles,which i know are safe to eat

I have started experimenting with dandelion.I have so far made a tonic,stir fry and pickled dandelion leaves

To my a tonic: Just dry out some dandelion leaves until they crumble, place in a glass jar and seal with a lid.When you want a "pick me up" boils some water add a few leave and brew.If you which to have more flavor just add some juice of your chose

To make pickle dandelion leaves: Pick a generous amount of leaves, wash well and chop finely.Place in a jar of vinegar.Seal and leave for 6 weeks mmm delicious.Add to cheese sandwiches or use on the side of  a roast dinner

To make my stir fry: I thought why am i wasting all those peelings from my sunday dinner.I decide to soak them(all peelings carrots, potatoes...) and once clean i put them in a fry pan.Once everything was nearly cooked i went to gather my goods from the garden.So little basket in hand, i picked dandelion flowers + leaves,I also collected rosemary,mint, and chives.Once i was back inside i washed it all throughly and finely chopped all greens.I then added it to my stir fry and left the dandelion flowers whole.(find you have far to much peelings? just put them in your compost bin)Once composted i use it to keep the weeds down in my garden(saves on wood chip).I wonder why my plants are gigantic this year 

Well my next attempt at cooking something from the wild will be this weekend when i plan to make a lasagne using stinging nettles or dandelion leaves.

(YUK didn't thing much to eating stinging nettles.So not going to be able to live on them_

I also hope to make some syrup out of dandelion flowers but not sure if i've missed out this year

Later this evening when its not so hot i wll pop into my garden and plant some potatoes, which i have in the cupboard growing eyes and ears.(i did this once as a child and they grew enormous)

Gym clubs

Who needs a gym to go to.I have my own exercise facility,sauna and sun bed

Why pay all that money on these 3 items.Houseworks and gardening keeps me very fit.Once the sun is out a brisk walk in the countryside or an off road bike ride in the forest does wonders( don't half make your bum ache tho)

I can have a lovely sauna in my bath(its hot enough, or just open my dishwasher on the dry cycle gives a great facial

Who needs a sun bed. Just pull out your garden lounger or go to the beach for the day( of course when its really sunny)

Well thats cost me next to nothing............

My Wardrobe

I plan to replace nothing in my wardrobe for a year,but thought i few of my t-shirts are far to cropped.So have decide to use 2 crop t-shirts to make one long one.I will need to cut the bottom of one and sew on to the other.

Remaining part of  t-shirt, can be used has a tankini top to go with my shorts......

more to follow

For ladies only

I have now done away with all shop bought panty liners and tampons, and have opted for the mooncup.I purchased some cloth bought panty liners and then decided to make a few of my own out of an old nighty(thick,soft cotton material)I have been doing this for a couple of months now and it has cut down my shopping bill some(if you are interested in purchasing any of  these items please contact me and i will give you the websites)

Food store

Had some tomatoes in my fridge today looking a bit sorry. Good for the compost heap, perhaps? or not? So decided to make a salsa out of them with a little bit of onion and chilli seasonings.Made 2 jars one for the fridge and one for the freezer.



16 oz. lard (melt lard using medium heat before putting in blender)
2.15 oz. lye
7 oz. COLD water
1 long sprig of rosemary (about 10 inches)

melt the lard, as said, and put in the blender.

In a separate glass or plastic container put 7 oz. cold water, to the water add 2.15 oz lye. stir the water/lye mixture until it turns clear.

While the lard is melting and the lye is cooling, take the fresh rosemary and blend it until it is almost a powder. I use my coffee bean grinder for about 45 seconds. You could probably blend it in the blender as easily. If there are chunks of rosemary left, take them out.

When the lye water turns clear it is ready to add to the blender. Slowly pour the water/lye mixture into the blender. Put the top on the blender and put a towel on top of the lid to protect against splashes. Mix the soap on low until it starts to trace. Check it about once a minute. It took about 3 minutes to trace for me.

Once it traces, pour the soap into your molds. I used the sylicone muffin tins, they came out looking like seafoam green muffins with flat tops. Cover them in a blanket overnight. The next day they should be ready to come out of the molds. Let them air dry somewhere away from heat and light. Test them in about a week, they should be ready to use.


1 Collect your free newspaper, shredded confidential waste, loo rolls tubes and kitchen roll tubes in a pile on the floor

2. Fold one sheet of newspaper in half, place the kitchen roll tube along the shortest edge of the paper leaving a 5 millimetre of cardboard tube hanging over.

3. Roll the tube in the newspaper, so you still have the 5mm of tube sticking out of one end of the paper tube.

4. The oppersite end of the tube you fold over the newspaper on itself, like wrapping a preasent, but without the use of sticky backed plastic.

5. You can now pull out the kitchen roll tube from inside the now formed newspaper tube (hence the need for the 5mm bit left protuding), to use again, and again to make further logs.

6. Stuff away with your shredded credit card bills and final demands, using a suitable prod (mine is an unwanted xmas preasent from my Aunt in the form of an ugly set of wooden salad servers) untill the tube is about 2/3 full.

7. Fold over the remaining end to finish off your wrapped tube of rubbish

The smaller loo roll tubes, I find best to leave inside the paper as they are too fiddly to remove for reuse.

Depending how hard you ram will effect the burning propeties, but it certainly reduces the volume of shredded paper to minimal, useful logetts

Enjoy stuffing!


Alder: Poor heat output and short lasting. A low quality firewood. Produces nice charcoal that burn steady and is useful for homemade gunpowder.

Apple: Great fuel that bums slow and steady when dry, with little flame, sparking or spitting. It has a pleasing scent. It is easier to cut green. Great for cooking.

Ash: Considered one of the burning wood with steady flame and good heat output. It will bum when green, but not as well as when dry. Easy to saw and split.

Beech: Similar to ash, but only burns fair when green. If it has a fault, it may shoot embers out a long way. It is easy to chop.

Birch: This has good heat output but burns quickly. The smell is also pleasant. It will burn unseasoned. Can cause gum deposits in chimney if used a lot. Rolled up pitch from bark makes a good firestarter and can be peeled from trees without damaging them.

Blackthorn: Burns slowly, with lots of heat and little smoke.

Cedar: This is a great wood that puts out a lot of lasting of heat. It produces a small flame, a nice scent, and lots of crackle and pop. Great splitting wood. Best when dry but small pieces can be burned unseasoned. Good for cooking.

Cherry: A slow burning wood with good heat output. Has a nice sent. Should be seasoned well. Slow to start.

Chestnut: A mediocre fuel that produces a small flame and weak heat output. It also shoots out ambers.

Douglas Fir: A poor fuel that produces little flame or heat.

Elder: A mediocre fuel that burns quickly without much heat output and tends to have thick acrid smoke. The Hag Goddess is known to reside in the Elder tree and burning it invites death. Probably best avoided.

Elm: A variable fuel (Dutch elm disease) with a high water content (140%) that may smoke violently and should be dried for two years for best results. You may need faster burning wood to get elm going. A large log set on the fire before bed will burn till morn. Splitting can be difficult and should be done early on.

Eucalyptus: A fast burning wood with a pleasant smell and no spitting. It is full of sap and oils when fresh and can start a chimney fire if burned unseasoned. The stringy wood fiber may be hard to split and one option is to slice it into rings and allow to season and self split. The gum from the tree produces a fresh medicinal smell on burned which may not be the best for cooking with.

Hawthorn: Good firewood. Burns hot and slow. Traditionally gathered as bundles or 'faggots' for burning in winter.

Hazel: An excellent fast burning fuel but tends to burn up a bit faster than most other hard woods. Allow to season.

Holly: A good firewood that will burn when green, but best if dried a year. It is fast burning with a bright flame but little heat.

Hornbeam: Burns almost as good as beech with a hot slow burning fire.

Horse Chestnut: A low quality firewood with a good flame and heating power but spits a lot.

Laburnum: Completely poisonous tree with acrid smoke that taints food and is best never used.

Larch: Crackly, scented, and fairly good for heat. It needs to be seasoned well and forms an oily soot in chimneys.

Laurel: Produces a brilliant flame.

Lilac: Thinner branches make good kindling, whilst the thicker burn well with a clear flame and a very pleasant smell

Lime: A poor quality fuel with dull flame. Good for carving though! A bit of a waste to burn it.

Maple: A good firewood.

Oak: Oak has a sparse flame and the smoke is acrid if not seasoned for two years after WINTER

FELLING. Summer felled Oak takes YEARS to season well. Dry old oak is excellent for heat, burning slowly and steadily until whole log collapses into cigar-like ash.

Pear: Burns with good heat, good scent and no spitting. Needs to be seasoned well.

Pine species generally: (Including the dreaded Leylandii) Bums with a splendid flame, but apt to spit. Needs to be seasoned well and is another oily soot in chimney wood. Smells great and its resinous wood makes great kindling. Best used on an outdoor fire in the cold evening of a day out in the garden!

Plane: Burns pleasantly, but is apt to throw sparks if very dry.

Plum: Wood provides good heat with a nice aromatic sent.

Poplar: A terrible fuel that doesn't burn well and produces a black choking smoke even when seasoned.

Rowan: A good firewood that burns hot and slow.

Rhododendron: Old thick and tough stems burn well.

Robinia (Acacia): Burns slowly, with good heat, but with acrid smoke. Not a problem in a stove!

Spruce: A poor firewood that burns too quickly and with too many sparks.

Sycamore: Burns with a good flame, with moderate heat. Useless green.

Sweet Chestnut: Burns when seasoned but tends to spits continuously and excessively.

Thorn: One of the best firewoods. Burns slowly, with great heat and little smoke.

Walnut: Low to good value to burning. It a nice aromatic scent.

Wellingtonia (Giant Sequoia): Poor for use as a firewood.

Willow: A poor fire wood that must be dry to use. Even when seasoned, it burns slowly, with little flame. Apt to spark.

Yew: This burns slowly, with fierce heat. The scent is pleasant. Another carving favorite.



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