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Posts Tagged ‘Broke’

Life on a Tight Budget

Living on a tight budget


My Mum lived through the great depression way back in the 1930’s and even though today we appear to have an abundance of anything we need I still remember her initiative and creativity when I was young. Her influence was a good example for me as I  always remembered how to “make something out of nothing” or learn to improvise and use my talents.


I can remember my mother moving into a house and the pull down blinds were a dark brown color. She took them down and painted them cream and put fringe on the bottom they looked really great. She made all our clothing and even made my undies!!  bloomers cotton bloomers!!  gees I remember them well.


My mum would take one chicken and boil it up with onion, mixed herbs, salt, pepper and add some rice and we would have chicken soup. Then she would bake that chicken for a baked dinner.  That same chicken was used for salads and the shell was given to Dad who sat at the kitchen table and took all the meat off the bones and all that bones and all were put into a saucepan and made into a curry.  The end result was dad sitting there eating his curry and all that remained of that chicken was a pile of bones.

I did the same thing (before I gave up eating chickens)  but I took it a step further. I made vol au vonts out of the flesh.  I took some bread, cut the crusts off, buttered one side with home made garlic parsley butter, pushed the bread into patty cake pans and baked for about 10 mins. While that was baking I made a white mornay sauce.


Tablespoon of Butter – Heaped tablespoon plain flour – stir over heat until it’s combined (flour needs to be cooked a bit to get the flavour right) and add milk to the consistence you want not too thick and not too thin – Add salt, pepper, and a touch of nutmeg – Add chopped up chicken and put the mixture into the bread cases – top with grated cheese and back into the oven until golden brown.  Served with a salad this is a great meal.


I can remember different times in my life when I was so broke and during these times I was inspired by what I had learnt from my Mum I can remember doing the markets with my clothing and what I sold was food money, some weeks there wasn’t much food at all so one chicken or some mince went a long way.

In 2008 we bought our house and that’s when things got really tight for a time. Our house needed curtains, but I couldn’t afford new curtains so I bought some Calico. Calico Curtains are great, inexpensive and can be dyed or tie dyed to achieve a great effect. Garage Sales are great as one mans trash is definitely another mans treasure, I loved going to garage sales and once with $5.00 in my purse I asked Gary to stop at a garage sale “why do you want to stop there” he replied “you don’t have any money”  well I had $5.00 and found a perfect cane letter basket for $1.50.  It kept me amused for the rest of the day while I painted the basket pink. It’s still here and used everyday to store stuff in. Painting things always gives them a lift and painting something old can be a rewarding experience. 



I am sure there would be lots of stories people can tell about how they achieve life on a budget, so share your story if you like


Now the chickens are substituted by lentils  they are really cheap and you can make heaps of things out of lentils.


 One day when we were visiting Mum and Dad we had curried lentil pies for lunch, dad remarked how nice the pie was and I piped up and said “yeah dad and it’s not meat it’s lentil’s” imediately I felt a kick under the table from mum with a vibe of don’t tell him that or he won’t eat it. Lucky he’s a bit deaf!!


Oh and I still have the deep burgundy dyed Calico Curtains!! 


Love & Light emerald-fairy  Lynn