2 articles Tag frugal

Learning To Be More Frugal With Food

chicken_dump1-750x364Written in conjunction with Panasonic

As you’ll know, if you read my recent post, we’re in the process of trying to find somewhere new to live, which means we’re trying to save as much money as possible to put towards all of the associated costs. This means adjusting how much food waste we have and learning to use our fridge freezer more efficiently.

The first thing we’ve started doing is buying our meat in bulk. Husband has a friend who buys meat from a wholesaler and sells it on at relatively low prices. Last time we made an order, we bought 3kg of beef mince, a whole pork loin cut into chops and 5kg of chicken, which cost us £60 and made over 20 meals. We froze the meat into meal-sized portions and have saved a bunch by not going to the supermarket so often, where we usually end up buying things we don’t really need.

I must admit, one thing I’m terrible at is portioning – I tend to love my family with food, which means far more being piled on the plate than really needs to be. I’ve been working really hard lately to adjust how much food I serve up, thereby leaving us with less waste at the end of the meal.

Leftovers don’t always have to be bad news, as this recent post shows. There are some great meals to be made with leftovers and sometimes we deliberately cook in bulk so that we can save portions for another day. One of these Food Savers is a brilliant way to preserve food for longer, making leftovers go even further. They’re also great for making ‘chicken dump‘ bags – before you freeze your individual portions of chicken, add seasoning, herbs and veggies to the bags, giving you a full meal that you can just chuck into the oven once defrosted – simple, mess free cooking with minimal waste and effort!

If you’re a super bargain hunter, you can also work out when your nearest supermarket rotates it shelves and moves the near-date items to the bargain bucket. Things like bread and meat can be frozen, while ertain veggies could be prepped and frozen for a later date, saving you a bunch and allowing you to eat good food at bargain prices.

Do you have any great tips for getting the most out of your fridge freezer or finding food bargains? Leave me a comment below!

Tips for Mummies on Frugal Car Maintenance

car maintenance Copyrights (Chandra Marsono) on Flickr

Forking out for a mechanic every time that a simple bit of maintenance to your car is needed is an expensive way of running a vehicle. Of course, if you simply do not have any knowledge when it comes to car maintenance, then this is what you have to do. Nonetheless, maintaining a car does not require a great deal of engineering skill or mechanical know how, especially when finding the best speakers for car. For the more advanced jobs, then you will need a trained mechanic, but for simpler jobs you can do it yourself. Remember that the more of these little maintenance jobs that you do for yourself, the more you will save.

Spark Plugs

An essential maintenance job to keep your car going is to change its spark plugs once in a while. This is because the metal on the plugs’ electrodes can wear away over time and suffer from carbon deposits which coat them. Spark plugs that are in poor condition tend to have problems igniting the fuel and air mixture in the engine. As a result you will notice a drop in power and the fuel efficiency of the car. Fitting new ones can be done by anyone. Installation of new plugs is as easy. Just remove the ignition wires from the old spark plugs so you can work safely. Then pull the old spark plugs out of their sockets. Before installing new plugs, coat the inside of the ignition wire boots with a little grease to get a good connection.

Tyre Maintenance

Check your own tyres every few thousand miles. This is cheaper than having them inspected professionally each time. Keep your tyres fully inflated to the car maker’s specification because this will lower the amount you spend on fuel. Check your tyres’ tread with a twenty pence coin. If the rim goes in fully, then you have enough tread. However, if it does not, then you’ll need to have new ones fitted by an expert like Point S to remain street legal. Remember to check all over the tyre – not just in one place.

Lights

Check all the lights on your car once every few months. You can do this yourself and – if you don’t have someone to help you with the rear lights – place a mirror behind the car so you can see them. Don’t forget the side lights, reversing light, fog light and even the number plate light. Car owners’ manuals tend to not be that helpful when it comes to changing bulbs and – as a result – tend to encourage you to take the car to dealer. Look for advice on your specific model online, because many car owners post instructional videos which can help you do the job for yourself. You seldom need anything more than a screwdriver.

Air Filter Replacement

With the majority of cars, switching the air filter is nothing more than flipping a few clips or undoing a couple of screws to remove the filter box. Then you simply take out the old filter and place the new one in. It should take no longer than a couple of minutes and be conducted about once every 15,000 miles depending on your model.