Keep it simple and save your wallet

So, you have eaten the turkey and probably have mounds of leftovers. Hopefully, being frugal in your habits, you will be freezing them or creating new meals (turkey and veg soup anyone? Curry?) rather than consigning them to the bin. We didn’t have too many leftovers, apart from meat and salad, so that’s what we will be eating for the next few days. I don’t mind the same thing, but will vary it by chopping up the ham in a creamy sauce with pasta and salad, making a vegetable gratin and serving that with some of the 5 bird roast (which was delicious by the way with its cranberry glaze).

As I feared, the gluten free Christmas pudding was not a success. Fortunately I bought a mini one from the Coop’s Free From range and it was lovely with a Tesco gluten free mince pie.

Still, it was, as ever, an expensive time. The belt needs tightening, although I can barely fit it round my middle at the moment with all the food I have eaten! I will be buying only what we need and nothing more.

I want to simplify my life and buy as little as possible; to use up everything I have in the way of food, toiletries and cleaning products before I buy any more and then only buy what I need and will use.

imageOn this train of thought, I was having a chat with  my daughters about the products people buy that they don’t really need and were only invented in the last few years by marketing folk to make a quick buck. Our grannies managed perfectly well without most of them. A lot of them seem to have appeared in the last 20 years. This is what we came up with. If it was down to me I wouldn’t buy any of them, but my daughters have other ideas…

Beauty products:

Face wipes
Handwash (what’s wrong with a bar of soap?)
Shave cream/gel (see comment above)
Shower gel (ditto the handwash comment)
Face primer (what?)
Moisturiser containing real gold (uh?) or sold using dubious pseudo scientific claims
Cellulite creams/body firmers – for the seriously optimistic
Skin toner (a bit of water on a cloth does the trick)
Eye/neck cream (skin is skin, surely?)
Bubble bath
Baby wipes

Household products
Cleaning wipes
Fabric softener (a cup of white vinegar does the trick)
Ironing water
Air fresheners, especially the plug in variety (how do a load of chemicals bring you fresh air?)
Tumble dryer sheets
Washing machine/dishwasher cleaners (how dirty can they get? I just flush mine through on a hot wash with a couple of cups of white vinegar every now and again)
8 different cleaners for different rooms in the house. Surely a spray that cleans the bathroom sink could also clean the kitchen sink?)

So a resolution: to keep things simple and buy only what I need and will use. It’s early for New Year resolutions, but why wait until then? What are yours, and what are you doing with your Christmas leftovers?

8 thoughts on “Keep it simple and save your wallet

  1. Since I’m not cooking this year, I didn’t have the leftover problem. My daughter is hostessing the whole family (some arriving in Texas from Illinois) on Saturday. With the number of people on hand, I’m guessing there won’t be any leftovers. I haven’t come up with a New Years’ Resolution for 2015 as yet, but I’m sure it will include taking off the pounds I’ve put on since Thanksgiving!

  2. We had slow cook pork shoulder and the remains are shredded, in a barbecue sauce and portioned up in the freezer. I agree with you on the list of cleaning/beauty products. My 1 size fits all cleaning spray is some orange and lemon infused white vinegar, diluted equal parts with water and a few drops of washing up liquid. It cleans just about every hard surface in my home, including the windows. The wood gets beeswax and lavender polish and old tee shirts are my cleaning cloths, simple and thrifty.

  3. Can you do a follow up on this please. I also want to use up what I have and build up a reserve of money and pay down debt. When I see things on special like dish detergent I will feel the need to buy 4 when I already have 5 in the cupboard and that money could of stayed in my purse. Think I need to retrain my brain,just because it is a half price special does not mean I have to buy it. Am freezing some leftover ham into sandwiches for work lunches.

  4. We made our leftover veg into bubble and squeak. Also some veg, stuffing and turkey with a smidge of cranberry sauce was my much looked forward to sandwich for lunch. We still have some left over turkey which will likely be dinner tonight but so far not sure of details.
    As for resolutions, I want to get my household management organised and down under budget. My dh want us to also work toward getting fit and losing weight but I feel like though a goal I need to have it is not a goal I can succeed with. I will go along with him as needed to support his efforts but my goal is becoming more organised and getting under budget so as to pay off debt.

  5. Flexibility was key this Christmas in our house. Hubby came down with the flu, so we weren’t able to attend the Christmas Eve party we’d been invited to. On Christmas Eve, I discovered the $61 leg of lamb had spoiled and leaked in the fridge, so it had to be tossed out instead of roasting. We wound up taking a short drive up the coast on Christmas with our sons and having a nice time watching the seals before a lovely dinner at Ragged Point (Big Sur). No leftovers but also no stress and still some precious memories. My mom had sent money so we toasted her during dinner.
    If you go to bars of soap as replacement for body wash, liquid hand soap, etc. (as we did last year) be sure to buy soap that won’t clog up old pipes. We found glycerin soaps to be best. I also use a homemade all purpose cleaner using orange or lemon peels soaked in vinegar; the peels are strained out after a week and I dilute the liquid with an equal amount of water in repurposed spray bottles with a few drops of liquid dish soap. Cleans better than anything you could buy.

  6. Thank you, Jane. It’s taken me nearly four decades to figure out that getting upset doesn’t help, though I admit to a few tears about the leg of lamb. A happy surprise was that leg of lamb was on the Christmas menu at Ragged Point Inn! And it was such a gorgeous day.
    My goals for 2015 include being more contented with life in general–I’m going to start a gratitude journal–and doing more free or frugal things I enjoy. For example, I love making beaded jewelry and have quite a stash of beads. A girlfriend has become interested, so we’ll have girlfriend times of making baubles with my supplies while sipping her wine. 🙂 I like to write, so I’ll revive my food blog ( and maybe toy with a bit of fiction. It’s a FREE hobby, after all.
    Also, taking one room or area of the house at a time, I’d like to do a ceiling to floor boards scrub down of the house. Having three men under one roof means… well… a mess. 🙂

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