I have been reading different blog posts on the Living Below The Line challenge. £1 per person per day.
It makes for very interesting reading and one thing that I have seen mentioned is lack of choice. I do not wish to offend anyone, I have commented on one or two posts to the effect that with poverty choice goes out of the window.
If you exist on a minimal amount of money you can not CHOOSE to stock up on special offers.
You can not go to the shops that offer the best prices unless you live within walking distance.
Unless you can afford a freezer you can not cook double meals and freeze one for next week.
You can not buy from firms such as Approved Foods, the minimum order plus delivery would be beyond your finances.
If you live in a rural community you are royally stuffed, village shops are few and far between and have to be more expensive than the big stores, and offer a limited selection.
I was brought up in a small village and nobody had much money. However times were different then.
In our village we had a butcher who was also a farmer and had a slaughter house. He grew the animal, killed it and butchered it, when he sold it there were no "middle men " taking their cut of the profit.
We had a working mill and local farmers took their corn to be milled and the flour was sold straight from the mill. No middle men.
There were 3 shops, one with a post office counter a sweet shop/ tobacconists that also had a bicycle repair shop attached, Mr Catchpole could and did repair most household items and was well loved.
There was a Barber shop and when the eldest daughter left school she learnt hairdressing and a ladies salon was built.
The milk was delivered by a horse drawn float and the bread came in a horse drawn van.
All the shops were within walking distance and most people had bicycles.
We raised Rabbits and various fowl for meat, some of which was bartered for "butchers meat". We also fattened a pig every year.
I work in the food industry which gives me access to a wide range of raw ingredients at a very low price, I shop carefully and keep a full freezer mostly yellow stickered goods and the rest are special offers.
My larder is full of basic food stuffs and we could probably live well for 3 months just buying milk, buttery stuff and fresh fruit and veg.
Many of our days fall in the £1 per day per person group some much less.
I am fortunate in that I learnt to do this at home as a child.
When we had a pig killed the excess fat would be chopped up and rendered down to lard. In this process you get little crispy bits that do not melt, these were sprinkled onto rolled out pastry which would be folded and rolled about 3 times and then made into savoury short cakes, warm from the oven they were a tasty and filling meal with a bowl of thick soup.
I know that I have run on a bit, we can not expect anyone who has never been taught how to live well on less. The schools can not and should not be expected to fill this gap.
Television abounds with cookery programs, is there a Frugal one?. The book shops are stacked to the gills with big glossy tombs full of exiting recipes, are there any teaching Frugality?
Like every other issue there is no easy answer.
It seems to me that the people who most need this help and support are the least able to access it.
No photos today, I can not think of a suitable illustration to go with this subject.
Has anyone got any ideas?
I was washing up and thinking about this post and realised that I had run off at a .tangent.
To answer my post title,
I am as Frugal as I wish to be and more than I need to be. I allow £50 per week for 3 adults, that is everything. Soap, toothpaste, shampoo the lot. I do not count my dogs food in this. I do cook it myself and buy the meat in bulk when it is very cheap, but I do use rice and basics pasta from the pantry in it.
I could be more frugal if I had to and once my garden and greenhouse start to produce then it will happen naturally.
The money left over each week from housekeeping goes either into a bank account for stocking up or into my sealed pot. I also save £30 each week into a "happy fund" this also gets any money that I get from sewing or if i sell something that I no longer need or want.
It is important to me to have money in place for future needs and wants not just for myself.
I have grandchildren and like to indulge them, mostly with experiences ( and the odd quilt or three)
Right I think I have said enough. Pam