Monday, 21 February 2011


With a family that comprises of one adult and four children, money is quite often an issue. My position is of a single parent and I am actively looking for work.
It can be quite disheartening at the moment if you are in the market for a job.
I haven't been in paid employment for years as I have been bringing up my children.
I had not claimed any benefit entitlements until I became a single parent and now,
with the rest of the country, I'm out there, looking for work.

There are not many jobs around that,

1) I am qualified/have the experience for.

2) I am able to physically do with my poorly back.

3) Can fit in around being there for my children .
This is not to say I am not willing and the job center help me with my job searches,
they see how many jobs come up that I am a good candidate for but they are very few. However, I have put together a good CV, I search at least every other day for work, whether it be on job websites, local papers, company websites and the job center. There has got to be something out there I can do.
So until my search becomes more fruitful, I am on a limited income and
must watch every penny that comes in and out of our house.
Years ago, when I left school, we were in the depths of the 80's recession,
I remember leaving school and there was not a job to be had anywhere.
Out of a large group of friends, only one had a job.
However, no matter how bad things are, you can still try to have a nice home.
It doesn't have to cost a fortune. Some of the nicest clothes or linen or
cups and plates for our home have cost pennies.
You just have to make it your mission to find these little nuggets of gold.
With the children's rooms, duvet covers and blankets can be found if you are
willing to sew on a button here or mend a seam there.
After a good wash, many things can be as good as new, well new to me anyway.
Katie's bedroom has many thrifted items, the duvet cover cost just 50p.
We don't have much money for holidays, last year we had a couple of coach day trips
which were lovely as we have no transport.
But the park doesn't cost a penny. With a bit of luck everyone will be worn out
by the end of the day and will sleep well.

Cooking from scratch has to be one of the best money savers.
For the price of a ready meal X5 I can cook a family meal and have the
bonus of knowing what went in it.

Cakes and biscuits can be made by children, they learn the skills of cooking and baking, weighing ingredients, good hygiene, washing up and good nutrition.
Life skills to help them in the future. Ohh yes, and tasting and licking out the bowl....

Last year, we spent a good amount of time foraging in the local parks and lanes for berries.
We gathered pound upon pound of blackberries and plums, all for free.
We collected the jars through the year.Although we paid out for the sugar, we were paid with the enjoyment of making Jam and literally seeing and eating the fruits of our labour.

Now, keeping clean can be a frugal business too. Cheaper bars of bath soap are 99p for four,
we don't splash out and buy the expensive stuff at £2 odd a bar.

Smelling clean doesn't have to be smelling of fruit. My Nan's bathroom used to smell of Coal Tar soap, you can't get cleaner smelling than that...

But I think, by far my most frugalish thing is liquid hand wash.
Firstly I buy the cheapest shower gel for 10p a bottle, I squeeze it into a pump dispenser that I picked up in a pound shop years ago. I decant the liquid shower gel into the dispenser, wash the shower gel bottle out with a little warm water and put that in too. Voila, 10p liquid hand wash. Much easier when you want children to wash their hands after going to the toilet.

They just squirt and wash, what could be easier...

So, lastly, to make talcum powder go a very long way, I find it a good idea to use the good,
old fashioned, powder puff. A little goes a long way. It saves using hand fulls of it and the children have a hard time spraying this around the room.

However Katie has been known to lightly dust Nanny's bathroom now and then...

So, with keeping an eye on the Penny's that come in and go out, with a little thought and consideration, things don't have to be so tough. Ends will meet eventually. And that makes for an easier life for everyone.


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