Extreme tightwaddery

My financial situation can only be described as dire right now (but I am still smiling :grin:). Actually it's not quite that bad - in that there are is at least no bailiff or legal action in the offing!! :) It's more that my outgoings (which are low already) are more than my incomings :O I have been looking for work for a few months, but no success as yet - I think the fact that I have not worked outside the home in 16 years isn't helping at all.

I need to reduce my outgoings still further. I know we've discussed this kind of thing here before, just wondered if anyone can remind me of any frugal ideas I have forgotten.

I have a few ideas. I have a few books (Tightwad Gazette and similar), so I will reread those. I need to dig out my student and vegetarian cookbooks. I guess it's about time I learned to make pastry and bread. Menu planning would help too I guess. I am also planning to start a price book - does anyone here do that?

All suggestions gratefully received :grin:

Becky's picture

It's a common problem for everyone everywhere. That's why the article was written!

Kerri's picture

In terms of food mostly I mean. When you buy fresh stuff are you throwing away more than you'd like? Is there a way to replace some of it with canned/dried/frozen so that you waste less, and just have fresh for fruit and salad if possible.

That's all I can think of offhand - mostly because we had a huge clear out around Christmas, including the junk food cupboard which ended up completely empty because I finally chucked packets of crisps that were just never going to be popular! I've also been throwing away more veg than I like. Finding ways to make soup isn't a bad plan either since it uses up loads of slightly over veg, creates something very healthy and is extremely comforting in grotty weather.

if you were a qualified bookkeeper I might be able to do more about your financial situation, but there's not much you can help us with at the moment from that distance. I know we wouldn't have a job you'd really love but I'd like to be bae to offer you something to get you over some financial humps and over the nastier hump of not having worked in 16yrs which makes it hard to find the job you want.

Kerri.

jennye's picture

On the jobfront:
Are you still homeschooling? I haven't caught up with you on anything lately. But if you are not, maybe you can find something in the school system? Working in the school cafeteria? Or if you meet the requirements, being a substitute teacher or an aide? In New Mexico, to be a sub you really only have to meet 2 of 5 requirements (in my case, observing classrooms for a couple of days and 30 hours of college), I also had to take a one day course and a background check (fingerprinting was all that consisted of at the police department). In our school system, it's usually not steady work, you're only called if needed. Some sub more than others. Something more steady is a classroom aide. Requirements here are either an associates degree (2 year degree in anything) or take a test. What is so great about subbing and aiding: Good hours, holidays, weekends and summers off!

May not be much help, but that's all I can think of. Those are usually pretty good easing back into the work force jobs.

Becky's picture

Can you get some sort of temporary work through an agency until you can find a permanent job? Then at least you'd have a bit more income.

I'll be watching this thread with interest. DH has applied to spend one more year at our university for an extra certification, which in the long run is an excellent idea but in the short run will mean a loss of income.

Becky's picture

When I was in the UK in 2001-2002, the law was that you had to be a fully qualified and certified teacher in order to be a sub (or "supply teacher" as they called it). Much stricter than in most states. If you weren't qualified to be a full-time classroom teacher, you couldn't sub.

Honey's picture

I am working on not throwing stuff away, Kerri. I used to be really good at using everything up but I've slipped again lately - especially with Christmas - why do we feel we have to buy more stuff than we can eat :?

I like soup - and so does DS - but after he's eaten it he wants to know where his dinner is :) I think food has to be solid to fill him up! We do have it sometimes but it doesn't stop him from fixing himself something afterward, so I'm not sure it saves me any money.

Yes, I am still homeschooling, Jenny. I'm not qualified even to sub - you have to have a teaching degree (which takes four years). I am qualified as a communication support worker for the deaf (working with deaf students and interpreting the lesson into sign language), but just don't see many vacancies. I really want to use my signing, but I've also applied for a couple of office jobs and two in the library, but haven't even had a reply, though I more than met the criteria. I rang up once and was told there had been over 300 applications for the job :O

Kerri's picture

I made a 'light' minestrone once for dinner that was anything but light, and there's a German dish (I'm sure I've posted it before) that involves rice and potatoes in the soup, along with a variety of vegetables and some chicken. I also add toasted cheese sandwiches to a homemade soup to bulk it out. You know that lentils are good, although maybe not in your present delicate state. Anyway it's not an everyday thing, just a way to use up strange lurking food items if you're struggling. I'm sure DS15 needs something more substantial than just soup, since my two already eat as much as I do and they're barely half his size!

have you ever looked into those secret shopper things?? I'm not sure what they do with those over here. Can you tell I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel!?!? Never mind New Mexico, you'd have less expenses if you lived near here than down there, but I know that argument inside out so I'm not genuinely suggesting it.

have you tried spreading your CV around?? There are lots of websites you can put them up for free, so no loss to you. It's good practice too. Employers have to pay to access most of the CVs but you can put them up in as many places as you like. You might even get headhunted with your relatively unusual skills. The websites are also where the agencies look you see.

Kerri.

Becky's picture

I read and bookmarked this article http://www.bankrate.com/dls/news/career/20050207a1.asp a while back. Since the article came out, I haven't been in a position to try it myself, but it's something I will do when the time comes.

Honey's picture

I spent about four hours at the weekend doing the dreaded CV - I've never done one before and I hated every minute :P I can't work Word for a start and I hate having to say great things about myself because I always think I am crap at everything. If I say I am good at something then later on I'll get caught out, right? :grin: I cobbled something together in the end anyhow and will be sending it out to apply for one particular job tomorrow - not so keen on this job but beggars can't be choosers. There's another vacancy elsewhere that I am much more interested in, so I am hoping for an interview.

That link has lots of good ideas Becky, thanks. I need to take the bull by the horns and really go for it I think, I tend to sit at home thinking I'm not good enough for anything and no one will be interested. Kind of British reserve multiplied by complete lack of confidence. That's me :grin:

On the money side of things, I have a few hours work this week - some filing and organising of tax stuff for my cousin who is a very disorganised photographer. His papers are in a terrible state and he said he'll come and pick me up, drop me off afterwards and pay me a few quid for doing it. Can't be bad :grin:

jennye's picture

You should just pack up and move to New Mexico, where I can hook you up with that cute cowboy I've been telling you about for years, and get a job in one of our little schools (because we don't have strict requirements. Hmmm, does that tell you something?). And if you need a taste of home, we can just go to the quilt shop in Clovis and check out her wall of food she has shipped in from England! LOL!

Or, I can just wish you good luck. 300 applicants for one job. eek! Hope you can figure out something soon. Library sounds good.

Anhata's picture

Our Fabric Depot here in Porltand (yes, Fabric Depot is, in fact, it's name!) carries all manner of English nibbles...other countries too...why DO they do that? Is there something about quilters and High Tea that I don't know about? They don't have the After Eight mints tho, I should mention that to them.

Anhata
www.familynaturally.com
Your Family's General Store, Naturally

jennye's picture

The sweet lady that owns the shop is from England. LOL! So, it's not a quilting thing, it's a personal thing. I love to go in and listen to her accent.

Anhata's picture

You should see if she stocks Ty.phoo tea. I highly recommend it. It's an English tea blend and is really good both hot and iced.

Anhata
www.familynaturally.com
Your Family's General Store, Naturally

Honey's picture

Does she have Yorkshire Tea? That's my favourite :) Can't vouch for it iced though (ick). Somehow, we've never got into iced tea over here...

Anhata's picture

One simply cannot drink hot tea during the hottest part of summer in most places in the US. For the most part, when it hits 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) you start icing all kinds of things, coffee, tea, your neck...

Have you had Melrose's or Glengettie tea? I'm curious about them and am thinkng about trying them.

There are a few locals where it doesn't get really hot in the summer, like the northern states and some costal areas, but even here in the temperate rainforest of the Pacific NW we get about six weeks of HOT weather in the summer.

Anhata
www.familynaturally.com
Your Family's General Store, Naturally

Honey's picture

We usually get a few days each summer that are over 90....and people still drink hot tea :grin:

I haven't heard of those other teas, sorry.

Kerri's picture

they sound like they're probably Scottish, but they aren't nationally well-known brands.

last summer was our hottest on record - well over 32C for several weeks - but whilst many people turned to cold drinks iced tea would not have been one of them. That was only popular here for a while in the late 70s with an instant iced tea called Lift - very sweet. I drank a diluted lemon tea by Liptons in Sngapore sometimes, but I've never had any luck with making iced tea out of real tea.

and Honey's right - most people here would still drink hot tea. I know many people who'll tell you that hot tea is refreshing and cools you down better than a cold drink. Whether it's true or not I don't know but they will claim it.

Kerri.

Kerri's picture

Melrose tea is made by the same people as Typhoo... and so is Glengettie! Not originally of course, and apparently Glengettie is Welsh and was originally supposed to be specially blended for the area's soft water.

Both of them seem to be mainly sold as "tourist" teas... things that are quintessentially British in some way and likely to attract American attention. Not to be cynical, but that's clearly where the market is, and there must be a reason why other teas are the more popular brands here rather than these smaller niche brands. I suspect that having the Welsh translation on one side is quite a draw for the Glengettie tea!

Kerri.

Honey's picture

I used to love Lift instant lemon tea Kerri - but drank it hot! :grin:

Anhata's picture

My granddaddy claimed that drinking hot coffee when you're hot cools you off. Drinking coffee in the summer makes me sweat, it's that thermogenic in me, so I'm very reluctant to try hot tea in the summer.

I fully realize that iced tea is just plain wrong to most Brits, if not an out and out sacriledge. But don't get me started on hot weather...seriously!

Anhata
www.familynaturally.com
Your Family's General Store, Naturally

Ioan's picture

I'm not normally one for internet debates but Kerri, you are so wrong!

1. You say "Glengetttie is primarily sold as a tourist tea .." No, it's sold in all Welsh supermarkets.

2. You say "there must be a reason why other teas are the more popular brands here rather than these smaller niche brands..." But in Wales it IS one of the more popular brands. Please don't confuse Wales with England.

3. Blended for Soft Water? Possibly, Wales does have soft water (low Calcium and Magnesium ions) unlike England which has hard water.
I do remember that when I once lived in the east of England, where Glengettie was not sold, my family used to send Glengettie to me from Wales. It has to be said that as nice as it was, Glengettie made with the hard water of England did not taste anywhere as good as Glengettie made with the soft water of Wales.

So I'd say (for those in the Tourist Market) use Glengettie if you have soft water. If not, don't bother.
Liz

jennye's picture

My daddy swears to it. Drinks a whole pot in the middle of the day in the summer time. No thanks! I take my tea iced and very sweet. LOL!

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