Women’s Institute: thrifty goddesses?

Miss Thrifty7 August 19, 2008

I’m about to blaspheme.

I have found fault with the Women’s Institute.

There’s a feature in The Times captioned Old-Fashioned Home Economics: As household bills soar, the Women’s Institute offers some valuable lessons in thrift. And I’m not impressed!

To put this into context: I’m obsessed, in an utterly unhealthy way, with the WI. Despite their attempts to rebrand themselves as young and funky (see website link above) we all know the truth: it’s about flouncing around in pearls and flowery frocks, making jam, beef Wellingtons and Victoria sponges, and giving rapturous applause to visiting speakers who hold forth on a variety of life-affirming, vicar-tinged subjects. Before I offend any WI members reading this, I should also point out that the idea of wearing pearls and flowery frocks, and making lots of conserves, makes me drool. When we moved to Yorkshire from London, I naively believed that I could finally join the good ladies of the WI and fulfil my ultimate Domestic Goddess fantasies.

Sadly, it was not to be. They meet every Wednesday afternoon at two – when I’m at work (duh).

Even so, my heart did a little skip when I saw this article. I confidently assumed that it would be a cornucopia of thrifty gloriousness.

And to be fair, there were some good tips there.

Buying sandwiches from high street retailers is “pathetic”. Make your own.

Don’t throw boiling salted water down the sink. “It makes a great weedkiller,” Mrs Brett says.

But some of the ideas are been-there-done-that – such as making shopping lists, and using water-butts.

And others just made me think huh?

“Edges to middle” your old bedsheets. When they start thinning in the middle, fold in half, cut a line up the middle, bring the edges together and sew back up.

Erm, this looks terrible! Only do this if you don’t mind having wonky linen and lines running down the middle of your bed. And I’m not sure this works with fitted sheets…

Don’t buy cleaning products. All you need is lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar.

Trust me, if you clean your kitchen with these, you’re going to be there for a loooooooooong time. I would be interested to learn how many WI members actually use this cleaning method.

Aargh – now I’m feeling guilty for being mean about the WI. I’ll go and make some lemon curd, to try and absolve myself.

The Times

 

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7 Responses to “Women’s Institute: thrifty goddesses?

FruGal says:

Heh, the WI always makes me think of that movie, Calendar Girls. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. It’s great.

August 20, 2008 at 5:02 pm

penny pincher says:

hi miss thrifty.

i know what you mean, i would love to join, but like you i am at work!!

August 21, 2008 at 4:57 pm

savingsusie says:

a couple of things –
bet you’ve never used lemon/vinegar/bicarbsoda for cleaning or you would know just how brilliant it is!!!

– when I lived in a Northants village many years ago – there were two W.I. groups – one daytime and one evening so everyone could go – and did!!
The W.I. should be encouraged to form more evening groups – it’s a wonderful organisation and pressure group.

May 5, 2009 at 8:15 pm

admin says:

@savingsusie I forgot how sniffy I was about the natural cleaners! Funnily enough I do use vinegar and bicarb; I baulk at the (relatively expensive) lemon juice though.

I think our local W.I. is starting up an evening group; if so, I’ll be first in line!

Miss T

May 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Cher Adamson says:

Calling all spendthrifts…

Are you a fantastic scrimper?

Do you have top tips on how to save money?

Could you help reckless spenders change their habits?

If any of these sounds like you, or someone you know, get in touch.

A new series is being developed for Channel 4 that celebrates the nation’s scrimpers.

So, if you are over 18, this is the show about smart spending and how to manage your money and still have a life – despite the credit crunch!

To apply to take part, email cher.adamson@endemoluk.com

Remarkable will use any information provided by you for the purposes of selecting participants for the programme and will only share information with Channel 4 and any independent contractors involved in the programme.

December 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Cher Adamson says:

Calling all spendthrifts…

Are you a fantastic scrimper?

Do you have top tips on how to save money?

Could you help reckless spenders change their habits?

If any of these sounds like you, or someone you know, get in touch.

A new series is being developed for Channel 4 that celebrates the nation’s scrimpers.

So, if you are over 18, this is the show about smart spending and how to manage your money and still have a life – despite the credit crunch!

To apply to take part, email money@endemoluk.com

Remarkable will use any information provided by you for the purposes of selecting participants for the programme and will only share information with Channel 4 and any independent contractors involved in the programme.

December 20, 2010 at 1:52 pm

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