Tell me your self sustainable tips, and habits, ill start.

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  • As the title reads, i'd like to get a load of ideas together that we can look at and maybe give a go. Ideas that save money,waste,so on. i'll start,

    Chicken- been gardening for 3years now, making reasonable progress each year, so i got chickens a few weeks ago, both are laying well now and are good fun to watch, so i get 2 eggs a day now,free range for looking after them.

    Wine- probably spend about £100 a month on wine, at £6 a bottle even for a cheap one it adds up. Bought a wine brewing kit, £40 off the net, the ingrediant kit to make 30 bottles cost 16quid. So the batch i jut brewed paid off the wine kit, the batch i will start this weekend will work out at 60pence roughly per bottle, and its lovely aswell may i add, 2 weeks start to finish :). I will also re use the bottles every time now.

    Your turn

  • I cycle every day instead of using the car. I can't remember the last time I drove. If I drove to work we would need two cars. It saves money on fuel, tax, insurance, maintenance, parking etc. It keeps me fit so I save time and money on going to a gym. I get to meet lots of new people and I am in touch with the weather and the seasons.


  • Heat up water in a couple of pans for your wash and shave,but do this on a flat topped log stove that you would be using anyway for heat;so that way no extra heating cost needed.
    If you are out in the car,always have a few water bottles or containers at hand so that you can top up at any public conveniences you pass.
    Always try and barter with friends and neighbours,so you can do services for what you need,rather than pay cash.
    Using public loo's can save you water and sometimes loo paper too.
    Washing your hair in a bowl or washing the pots in a bowl will leave you water that you can flush your toilet with.
    Keeping your hair short means less shampoo and less water.
    Pick up any branches you can from the side of the road or the beach and use them as an energy source.even if you do not have a log stove,you can always heat things up on a barbecue.

    Will give you another list next time I have ten minutes free.

    Oh,I could say stop drinking wine too,but living in france and traveling lots through great wine regions,I am a bit of a common sewer myself :reddevil:

    Love and light

    fly xx

  • Yeah getting rid of my car has been my biggest saver of the last year...i love not having one now. Foraging for wild food can lead to very cheap and healthy meals. The little things add up too like using candles more, not switching the bathroom light on every time you go for a pee and only putting the exact amount of water in the kettle for a cup of tea. Also i cook big pots of food then freeze individual portions so you get lots of meals out of one..

  • We save on veg. prices a bit by cultivating patches of neighbours gardens. This keeps them looking a bit tidier, and we get the crop at harvest time, sometimes sharing it if they want some (Most don't, as they aren't sure what to do with veg. that came out of the ground instead of a tin or deep-freeze).

    We save on clothes, as most on here do, by buying s/h better-quality stuff at charity shops and jumble sales rather than tat new stuff, and mend clothes and boots and shoes whenever possible, even if it only keeps them going another year or so.

    We save on heating by leaving the kitchen door open when the gas oven is on. This then heats the living-room as well.

    We only heat water as we need it, kettle or immersion heater: apparently some folks leave water heaters on all day!

    We gather our own wood wherever possible. We have a flat with an open-hearth fire with back-boiler to heat water, so can burn wood as well as most kinds of bought fuel. We save on central heating bills by not having any.
    (Half my neighbours who have central heating turn it on evenings only, they just can't afford to have it on all the day, even if they are at home all day at weekends. Some on jsa have it turned off permanently, poor devils, and sit over a small halogen heater).

    We used to brew our own beer too, but it tended to get drunk more quickly and more regularly, so we packed that in.

    We sometimes make a big stew at weekends, and this lasts as main meal for a couple more days, with small additions.

    I often walk a couple of kilometres to and from the nearest stores, usually with a pack on my back, to save using the car. This is healthy exercise, it saves fuel costs, and if the load is too heavy, I can always get the bus back.

    Oh, and I almost forgot, we never pay for haircuts. Never paid for an haircut since the government brought in VAT around 1968:beard:

  • Just remembered recycled furniture. Almost everything we have is recycled, and there's always a story behind each individual piece.

    Like the two small armchairs found at a car boot years ago, and quickly putting a small deposit on them, and then having to hurry back home to get some cash and the van to pick them up.
    Or another larger armchair my missus found outside someone's house. An old person had passed on, and the relatives were just clearing the house by chucking everything in the street. So my missus borrowed a wheelbarrow, and barrowed it through several streets back home, and the first I knew about it was when it arrived!

    The bed has an iron frame, WW2 issue, apparently. So I made a wooden base for it, as the original net spring base gave way back in the 1980's, when we were a bit more active, so to speak. Still works good today, and has a big space to store stuff underneath.

    All our bookshelves are either home-made or given by friends, and stuff like dressing table or wardrobe were picked up s/h yonks ago, in the 1980's mostly, cheap as chips then.

    Our stereo separates also date back to those days mostly, with single items being replaced one by one as they expire, with one slightly newer similar s/h item. Yet I see plenty newer stereo units chucked out because everything is in one unit, and if one part packs up, they are snookered, and the lot goes to the tip.

    When the armchairs got worn I have repaired and upgraded them by putting new wooden bottoms and cushions in, so they give a firmer seat.

    I generally have the philosophy that if something works, leave it alone if it's doing the job. If it don't work, can it be repaired easily so the repair is worthwhile? If it can't be repaired, only then do I start to cast about for alternatives.

  • Some really good ones there that i wouldn't of thought about.I picked myself up a new bicycle a few months back to try and cut on using the car, i say new but still went for the cheapest i could find. So food wise do you guys find making a ig portion the best then eat it throughout the week? I can see the sense in that actually, and i do like a nice ox tail stew :D.

  • Mr Keith your real old school and a star. Make do, mend and if its not broke why fix it. Is my thinkin too. I get loads of stuff free when peeps buy new. And there's note up with things and will still be workin long after news broke

  • I make my own natural body products.
    I've stopped using store-bought [chemical infested] creams, deodorant, hair products, soaps, shampoo, washing powder etc.
    Saves money and it's better for me. Also, my 'body stuff' box has shrunk dramatically.

    Clean almost everything with bicarb, vinegar, lemon.

    I cut my hair shorter. Saves on products and water.

    I now mend socks!

    Buy almost everything second-hand - always have, I grew up in a second hand shop.

    Become vegetarian. It's been two weeks, now saving a small fortune on food. Been eating some delicious and easy to make soups.
    At the very least, stop buying processed foods.

    I stopped drinking fizzy drinks, chewing gum. Gave up refined sugar 18 months ago. Saves on sweets etc.

    Changed from cigarettes to rolling tobacco.

    Made sure I had the cheapest, suitable phone contract.

    Can't think of anything else right now, haven't had a cup of tea yet, and my brain hurts.

  • Never walk past a skip without looking in for something useful. If you run a vehicle, buy an older one without engine management software, even if it uses more fuel than something newer, and escape from the tyranny of the engine warning light coming on and needing diagnostics. Come to an arrangement with others of similar views for exchanging unwanted items, or surplus home grown veg, or another pair of hands for a difficult job. Learn as many useful skills as possible, either at evening classes or by teaching yourself. Always try to fix something that's broken before chucking it, if you fail you won't make it any worse - exceptions being safety related items such as mains electrical goods, brakes on your car, gas appliances, if you aren't certain about what you're doing. Shop in Lidl or Aldi.

    I do all of the above, plus most of what's been mentioned earlier, enabling me to live a decent life on low income.

  • Keep em coming guys, i cant believe i left off my best one yet, QUITTING SMOKING! Its 2 years on Jan 03 since i had my last one, not a single puff since! I smoked for around 10 years and found it very hard to stop, but the money saved keeps me on the right road, and i no longer have to rush around ssqueezing a smoke in here or there while at work, i dont miss it one bit.

    I also started mending socks aswell, they dont seem to last me 5 minutes before a hole wears in the heel. How do you make your body products do you have any recipes or anything you can put up for us?

  • Hi Darren.

    For my skin cream I use coconut oil.
    For my hair I use olive oil.
    For toothpaste, I use bicarb, plus coconut oil, plus peppermint oil.
    For deodorant I use bicarb, arrowroot powder and essential oils.
    For shampoo and body wash I use castille soap.
    For conditioner I use honey and/or olive oil.

    I'm still working on the exact recipes, and for the most part I just make it up.
    If there is any interest, I'd be happy to make the effort to write them down.

  • Great thread! I make most of my cleaning stuff... Body and van,, grow herbs and mushrooms... Shake the gas bottle when it's run out to get a couple more kettlefuls out of it. Make use of friends and family when visiting.. Clothes wash or shower ( and meal hopefully!) apparently 70% of the heat from an open fire is wasted whereas only 30% is wasted with a wood burner.. Just heard this today but not got room for one. Will be ordering a wine kit when I get paid! I don't mind eating the same food for a week so will make a bag of spuds, green veg, and some vege option ( tofu quorn or veg hagis) last me the week... Never shop when you're hungry!

  • Tree bark for your garden. instead of buying it in bags at extortionate rates from garden centres. take a bin liner and go down to the woods and fill it with woodland floor debri. There are however risks that you can take back unwanted weeds to your own garden.

    Instead of putting the water heater on for washing dishes - fill the kettle right up boil it. make a Cuppa, stick your dishes in the basin/sink and fill the tub with kettle water. Leave it to soak - quick scrub and bobs yer uncle fannys your cousin your dishes are clean. This is really economical if you have a wood burning stove to heat your whilstling kettle on.

    Now garden centres, instead of buying plants, take cuttings. Just watch you dont get caught.

    Keep old jars for storing thing in. or decorate them with arty farty glass paint and fill em with sweety's and give them as presents

    Even old socks and jumpers with holes in dont chuck em, darn em mend em. . In fact jumpers can go in the loft and help to insulate patches of your loft space that might need extra padding of insulation.

    Really before you chuck anything oot.... just brainstorm good ideas to use it as or turn it into something else.

  • Giving up my Tv ...and license...was an easy one too and saves a small fortune :)

    Me too, one of the best things I've done, no regrets at all, just the pain in the a*** , scaremongering letters from TV licensing every month threatening horrible punishments because they cannot comprehend that anyone can live without a TV.

  • Me too, one of the best things I've done, no regrets at all, just the pain in the a*** , scaremongering letters from TV licensing every month threatening horrible punishments because they cannot comprehend that anyone can live without a TV.

    Instant saving right there.

    Getting a spin drier would help if you tumble dry.

    Using all the food you buy!

  • home dwellers.... ever tried turning the gas meter around ?.. apparently:eek: it makes the numbers run backwards = free gas and a reduced bill:whistle:... obviously i'm am not admitting to doing this personally :angel:.. but i must say that the gas company where a bit surprised when they read the meter and it was less in october than it was in february !... i suppose they must have read it wrong i february:eek::whistle: