About Me

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I'm 57 years old, working full time, wife, mother and grand mother, wishing that I wasn't working full time! I love and enjoy our children and grandchildren, our dogs and cat, our garden and allotment. I love crafts - knitting, sewing, crocheting, patchwork and restoring old furniture. I love to go to country auctions and love thinking that I've got my self a bargain!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Kippers and Curtains!

Afternoon All,

Talking yesterday of achievements and blessings - I know mine are only small in the grand scheme of things but it's been a lot of hard work -  but as my Nan always said 'Hard work never hurt anyone'!

I've been reading a lot of posts where bloggers have been having a no spend or low spend  January. Whereby they've been using up all the contents of their larders and freezers, rather than go shopping. I have to say that I am in  absolute awe of them and that they have my admiration.

When I got married the first time round 35 years ago - on the morning of the wedding my Dad said to me, make sure you always keep a roof over your head, a fire in the grate and food in the cupboard and I must have really been listening to that piece of advice. (I only wished I'd listened to my Mom when she said "don't marry him - he's not good enough for you" - she was right!!)

Because no matter how tight money has been - that is what I've done - the mortgage was always paid and dead on time and the house has always been kept warm. The other thing I've always done is keep a full cupboard and freezer.  My children joke that we could all live off my food cupboards for a couple of months without having to go shopping.

I currently have a 3 full cupboards of dried and tinned items, 2 shelves of home made preserves and 4 freezers full of food. one has all the meat in it, one has all the veg's still left from the allotment harvest from last summer, and then 2 full of fish, pies etc.,

I can't help it - I hate to see a half empty food cupboard - I would feel like I'd let myself down if I went to the cupboard for something and it wasn't there. It's like an automatic response, if something comes out one week it's replaced at the end of the next. (there is always at least 2 of everything!)

I always remember when I moved into my last house, the neighbours appeared to be dead posh, they were always dressed up to the nines, in their Sunday best, but didn't drive (driving a car has always meant independence to me) and I remember one year we had a really bad snow fall one Friday night and we got up to a good couple of feet of snow - it didn't bother me, I didn't have to go shopping as I knew that there was more than enough food in the cupboard and freezer to keep us going for a good couple of weeks.

But lo and behold, there were the posh neighbours struggling out and having to walk into town as the buses weren't running, to go and get the weeks shopping and we watched them a couple of hours later struggling back, loaded up with bags of shopping  and I found it really hard to believe that they'd had to go out and do the shopping because they'd got nothing left to fall back on!

When I got to know them better,  I found out that this was how they lived - to them it was more important to be seen in their Sunday best or to have the very best furnishings for the house but there was never any food in the cupboard! (or a car on the drive!)

Also no matter what, I managed to get my children away for a weeks holiday each year - it may have only been a little old caravan holiday in North Wales, for a week, which we got to in the oldest of noisy cars -  but they always knew what it was like to paddle in the sea, make sand castles, fly kites, run up and down the beach and catch crabs with a crab line and a piece of bacon fat off Barmouth harbour. Their poor little girl didn't see the sea till she was 11!

As my present hubby would say  they were all 'kippers and curtains ' (an old old  saying means that that they had curtains up the windows but only kippers for tea!)

So to all you ladies who have done the low spend January challenge - well done! it's something that I would really really struggle to do and you have my utmost admiration (will you all be out in February putting it all back in,  to fill the cupboards ?)

Have a good week -  Byee.


  1. I love the idea of so many freezers,i have 2 but now want at least 1 more.
    Even though im debt busting,i like to keep well stocked cupboards and a freezer because i cant guarantee when money is coming in.I also like to take advantage of offers,reductions etc and believe it or not since i have shopped like this and stocked up my grocery spending has gone down and we eat better.Do you grow your own veg.?

  2. I'm in awe of these ladies too, we usually have our freezer full, albeit its only a small one but our staples cupboard is full enough to see us through a few days without having to go out to the supermarkets.I find storage would be more of an issue for us.We have a new home but there isnt much storage space, Oh for a lovely old pantry!

  3. A lady after my own heart 4 freezers and an allotment! Deeply jealous about the allotment! I have two fridges, two freezers and upright and a chest one, a jam and pickle store under the stairs, a bottle store in what was the fireside cupboards; a tin and dry good store in what passes to be the pantry in this house - its not a cold pantry so in my book doesn't really pass as a proper one. My family lived in deepest darkest Lincolnshire and stocked up once a month on dry goods and basic commodities. Meat was bought every so often from the butcher and stores in the freezer (Prior to that Nan had it in the cold larder i.e. did her own bacon etc and they made what they could of what came their way including, wines, liquers like sloe gin, always had access to rabbits for stew and pie and the apple orchards so we always had apples lots of them. My grandparents said something similar to me when I got married and they definitely lived by this rule Roof over head, food in pantry and warmth - the basics that everyone should put first. But this is the country way and I am classed as something of an oddity becuase I still do this all these years on. We eat well and are rich in other ways even if we do not have very much money. However I was taught to cook from an early age; cooking was a family thing on both sides and rather like the Italians we used to gather for the plum picking, the apple picking etc. An excuse for hard work rewarded with a roast dinner and spending time with loved ones. Today I have been making marmalade 10lb put up so far another batch to do.

    We used to go to Talybont down the road from Barmouth. Small world

    Take care



  4. We have a saying up here, "All fur coat and no knickers!" for those who like to look as if they are better than everyone else, but don't really have much.

    I don't really store food, as I'm on my own and don't have very much storage space anyway. But I do try to live as economically as I can because I'm a pensioner and I'd far rather spend my money doing things I want to do, instead of paying lots for heating etc.

  5. What a great expression, I shall remember that!

  6. We knew people who lived in the 'jam butty houses', so desperate to live in one of the large houses on a new development that they almost lived on jam sandwiches as all the money was going on mortgage payments. One girl I worked with asked if she could have a lift to work, when we asked if there was something wrong with her car , she replied 'No, I've nearly run out of petrol and can't afford to put any in until we get paid, so thought you could give me a lift' Unbelievable! I store less frozen food now than I used to as we got rid of a very old fridge freezer when we moved house, but the cupboards are full,so are the dresser cupboards and I have a stash of food, toiletries etc in the attic room.When my daughter and her fiance visit they know that they will eat well, as I always tell them ' I may not have much but I can feed you well'.