Frugal Tips, Hints & Recipes

chrismahon

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Gascony, France
You were there the same time we were Icemaiden- when we arrived they were re-lining 'the pond' and hadn't started on the buildings. The pub at the lock was renamed the Barton Turns, but everyone used the original name of The Vine. Used to be a very busy place from 1840 to 1960 with four pubs, the gas works and a petrol station, with the A38 running past the pub front door. It all changed due to the loss of passing trade when the bypass was built behind the pub. At the time you were there the landlady was Angela and the barman Eddie? The road from the marina used to exit straight onto the new A38 bypass as a 'T' junction. I met a retired Policeman who attended 17 fatal accidents at that junction, which was eventually removed. Was a bit of a 'spit and sawdust' place, but was later upgraded with the first landlord 'doing a runner' with the Christmas and New Year cash takings, to Spain I heard.
 

LadyA

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I've remembered- the cleaning agent was Caustic Soda (Sodium Hydroxide). It's used as a drain cleaner, so it may be possible to buy it?
Yes, you can still buy caustic soda. Isn't caustic soda the same as lye? My daughter buys bottles of caustic soda for making soap.
 

LadyA

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So, once my new stove was installed last Friday, I laid it with paper & kindling, so it would be ready to light on tge first cold evening. I'm still waiting for it to get cold enough! Tonight, it almost feels chilly enough because there's a nasty wind blowing- but not quite! It's 19.7C in the living room, so i know by the time the fire got going, it would get too warm in here. I'm very glad of the mild temperatures, as, I'm sure, most people are, what with the high cost of energy.
 

LadyA

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There's frugality - or just old fashioned good value! My Facebook "memories " just reminded me of when I bought my jolly red walking boots - 2015. Not only are they still going strong, but my green suede hiking boots, precious because my husband bought them for me, are also still going strong - and those are 13 years old now!
 

bigyetiman

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Train conversation today.
" Well, we have had to make economies, making sure we keep our gas and electric bill around £1000 for the month"

" I know what you mean, we are keeping our weekly theatre trips below £500, luckily afternoon tea at Fortnum & Masons is still very reasonable, and they do a savoury option now, after show supper is still a must"

Must be nice when that is your idea of economising
 

chrismahon

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Gascony, France
As the clocks go back tonight the TV has featured 'The clocks go to Winter- an endless debate!' Whilst the whole of Europe agrees it is a real pain and would like to keep the same time all year and have also agreed that they must all use the same one (Summer time or Winter Time), they can't decide which one? So that is an endless debate. But they have just run a report on how much of a saving in energy France will see as a result of changing to Winter time and the answer is officially 0.07%, which is a really tiny amount. The reason for it being so tiny is that everyone has now switched to energy saving bulbs, which is probably true to a large extent. But in our case, having been stung by expensive bulbs that fail so early they don't get anywhere near paying back the initial cost, we have only changed the bulbs that are used frequently and for long periods. Seems these claims of 10,000 hours life only applies if they are left switched on!
 

Marigold

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Excellent article. I totally agree. It takes me a couple of years to work all round my family keeping them in sweaters, but this time I’m knitting a very complicated Aran just for myself. Though without a birthday or Christmas deadline I’m not sure how luong it’ll take!
 

chrismahon

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Gascony, France
We've found that, for a given temperature, a dry room feels warmer than a damp one. We have several dehumidifiers which are used in Winter above 60 %. Whilst they do use electricity it's one of those cases when it gets used twice, so once to run the appliance and it then heats the room. In the bathroom we have a large unit which raises the air temperature by about 2 degrees and stops the towel rail switching on instead. This is probably only an issue with older properties.
 

LadyA

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We've found that, for a given temperature, a dry room feels warmer than a damp one. We have several dehumidifiers which are used in Winter above 60 %. Whilst they do use electricity it's one of those cases when it gets used twice, so once to run the appliance and it then heats the room. In the bathroom we have a large unit which raises the air temperature by about 2 degrees and stops the towel rail switching on instead. This is probably only an issue with older properties.
Some years ago, a woman I knew was renting a hideously cold flat, and the heating didn't work very well. She too found a dehumidifier raised the temperature a couple of degrees, which can make all the difference.
 

LadyA

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I've just bought myself a good Winter jacket. It's a ski jacket, from Lidl. I've had one of their ski jackets before, and I literally wore it out. Windproof, waterproof, with cuffs that go over your thumb like a fingerless mitten. I didn't really want to spend €35 right now, but these jackets are more than worth the cost, and I expect to get years of wear from it!
 

Icemaiden

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Kent
I've been wearing merino base layers, warm jumpers & some really cosy lined trousers that I picked up very cheaply in June when I went to buy shorts! It was 12°C in the study yesterday (admittedly I had a woolly hat on too) & the only bit of me that was cold were my hands.

Can anyone recommend warm gloves suitable for typing on a computer keyboard please?
 

LadyA

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I've been wearing merino base layers, warm jumpers & some really cosy lined trousers that I picked up very cheaply in June when I went to buy shorts! It was 12°C in the study yesterday (admittedly I had a woolly hat on too) & the only bit of me that was cold were my hands.

Can anyone recommend warm gloves suitable for typing on a computer keyboard please?
I've got a couple of pairs of those trousers, have them maybe 8 years or so. They're great. Thermal leggings under ordinary trousers work great too. Merino base layers sound amazing! Must keep my eyes open.
 

chrismahon

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Gascony, France
In the attempt to save as much fuel oil as possible we have reduced the boiler temperature to 45C. We had a sharp frost last night and the house maintained its temperature. We have the boiler outside in the garage and the main heating pipes are in the loft, all fully insulated now (there were sections missing). What we have noticed is the pump doesn't switch on very often and the whole system is much quieter. The essential difference to England, aside from having convectors not radiators, is the hot feeds go in at the top, so gravity (cold being more dense) causes the water to circulate naturally. Impossible to predict how much we will save, but I can say with certainty that our losses in the garage and roof have reduced by over 30%.
 

Hen-Gen

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Island of Fetlar, Shetland Islands
Many technological fixes out there I guess. For me I was already honed to the bone so it’s been about digging out quilted lumberjack shirts and down body warmers out of the back of my wardrobes and throws for over my lap when watching TV. But I draw the line at the alpaca beanie a neighbour made for me. It’s only recently though that I’ve come to appreciate the value of hot drinks.
I can endure circa 60F but I look at my house plants and they’re not impressed. The cacti are OK because they’re in winter shutdown with no water for 4 months but the Swiss Cheese plant (or triffid as some call it) oozes reproach.
 

bigyetiman

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I've just bought myself a good Winter jacket. It's a ski jacket, from Lidl. I've had one of their ski jackets before, and I literally wore it out. Windproof, waterproof, with cuffs that go over your thumb like a fingerless mitten. I didn't really want to spend €35 right now, but these jackets are more than worth the cost, and I expect to get years of wear from it!
I have seen them in Lidl, and wondered how good they were, nice to have a good report from someone who has worn one
 

Icemaiden

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Kent
I find that all cuffs go down over my fingers. Long sleeves come half way or more down my fingers. But to use my hands without my sleeves getting into a mess, I roll my sleeves up & then my arms get cold!!
 
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