New Year’s resolutions: more blogging, less waste, garden makeover.

Miss Thrifty8 January 2, 2010

whirling-dervish It’s New Year’s resolution time. Whirling dervish: on your marks, get set, go!

1. More blogging. I’m going to have more time to blog in 2010: I’ll be blogging on the same range of thrifty subjects, but more frequently. This site is also going to get a new design as, although this one has a certain homespun flavour that lends itself well to the Make Do and Mend theme, it’s time for a change.

Why am I telling you this? Well, if there is anything that you would like to see more of, less of – or would like to see, full stop – then please let me know. For your info: the most popular Miss Thrifty posts for 2009 included thrifty Cath Kidston wallpaper, a Tesco voucher codes tip-off, a look at fake wedding cakes and a failsafe, eco-friendly wheeze for cleaning an oven. This creates a rather pleasing image of the typical Miss Thrifty reader as a domestic god/goddess in a pretty, vintage setting.


Hmmm, is this you?

2. Less waste. I have just read an inspiring feature in the Daily Mail (yes, the Daily Mail) about the Strauss family in Gloucestershire, who recycle/re-purpose eveything, and put out just one bin bag of rubbish last year. The family also blogs at MyZeroWaste – do check it out!

If you are a regular reader, you will know that I hate throwing anything away and have a long-running love affair with my composter. However I have already picked up some new tips from Rachelle Strauss: cooking oil and the contents of the vacuum cleaner!

Most people realise they can compost fruit and vegetable peelings,’ she says. But you can also put in crushed egg shells, tea bags — once they’re squeezed out — and coffee grounds. Roses particularly thrive on coffee — in fact, some gardeners get waste grounds from Starbucks.

Then there’s oil. If there’s a little bit left in the pan after frying, wipe it with a kitchen towel and pop it in the compost crock.

It’s vital to put dry waste as well as wet into the pot, otherwise you’ll be left with a slimy mess, so the odd bit of paper towel, core of the loo roll and shredded egg boxes can all go in.

So can the hair from your brush and comb, and from your moulting pets, along with all the dust and crumbs from your vacuum cleaner — as long as the floors in your house are made from natural materials, which all the downstairs ones in our house are.

Right now we recycle, compost and re-purpose but – mostly because our local council doesn’t recycle plastic – we still put out one bin bag every week. Which isn’t brilliant, when you think about it, because there are only two of us. So my second resolution is to get that down to (at most) one bin bag a month.

3. Garden makeover. I have written previously about how the people who used to live in this house used the garden as a rubbish tip. From what I can gather, they never put out any bin bags at all! After they left, however, the council had to send round a bunch of skips so that the garden could be cleared out. After we moved here in 2007, we made a good start: the garden no longer resembles a set from War of the Worlds. It even has grass.

This year, I want to finish the job. The back of the garden is still a mess: huge mounds of earth, bramble and bindweed. I’d like raised vegetable beds for the back of the garden, so we’ll have to get moving if we’re going to plant in Spring. The incumbent “patio” – aged, cracked slabs without any mortar holding them together – also has to go. I was going to save up and get some darling men round to do the work, but clearly this isn’t happening and we’ll have to do the work ourselves. This will be fun…

Do you have any thrifty New Year’s resolutions? Come on: add them to the pile!

Whirling dervish image credit: Kivanc Nis.

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8 Responses to “New Year’s resolutions: more blogging, less waste, garden makeover.

Hi 🙂 Just wanted to thank you for the mention of the DM article, and I’m so glad you picked up some new tips. Best of luck with your resolutions 🙂

January 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm

SavingDiva says:

The garden sounds fantastic! I tried to start up a garden in a small area in my backyard, but it was ruined by the strong Texas sun!

January 4, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Claire says:

I too have been thinking a lot about New Year’s resolutions over the last few days, particularly about whether they make you happy, but that’s a story for another blog!

Mine: to blog more and to try to get my food shopping under £100 a week – I do all the right things – shop locally in our markets, cook everything from scratch, use up all my leftovers, bring my lunch to work etc – but still my food bills are enormous. Any thrifty tips on this would be much appreciated! (and no this amount doesn’t include wine or household/cleaning stuff!)

January 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Laura says:

Composting has benefitted my amount of waste to mini amount. It takes some time but the benefits for your garden are great. Good tip on roses and coffee grounds. Thanks.

June 7, 2011 at 6:35 am

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