Thursday 8 September 2011

Thrifty Thursday

For the next few weeks I'm joining in with Angelas'  Thrifty Thursday gang, visit Angela HERE to get a full list of links to all the lovely folk offering up their brilliant tips for saving money,  time, and the can you not go !!

Seeds ........ more and more of us are growing our own food now, whether it be on the kitchen window sill, window boxes, in pots and tubs in the back yard, gardens or allotments, or in my case on a small farm.  Some of us are lucky enough to have a greenhouse or in my case a polytunnel, but the one thing we ALL need is seeds.

And NOW is the time to buy them for next year. Most garden centres are selling off their seeds cheap, very cheap. I got all these seeds from Wyevale Garden Centre in Bicester (they have branches all over the country),  they have an offer on at the moment and ALL their seeds are 50p a packet!!
Now when seeds can cost up to £4 a packet for some of the more exotic plants this is a fantastic saving. In the first picture are 16 packets of seeds, they cost me £8, they would have cost me £36.12.  

When I got home after my shopping expedition and told Lovely Hubby and he said you should get some more. The next day in the post I got £5 of vouchers to spend at Wyevale and a voucher for a Buy One Get One Free Lunch, (I'm a member of their Gardening Club, you get points for every purchase and then vouchers about four times a year, it's always worth joining these things) and with Jason's imminent arrival I decided we would have a return visit.

So on Monday we went back, I managed to get a further 14 packs of veggies that I needed for £7, and worked out they should have cost me £27.66.  I used my £5 off voucher so that brought the cost down to £2.  While we were there we had a leisurely lunch with the meal voucher and a brilliant chat catching up on news.  So a good and thrifty day out.

So on Monday evening I gathered together all my seeds, the ones from my box in the polytunnel and all my new ones, laid them all out on the kitchen table (evicted a few spiders and earwigs) and then checked that I have everything ready for the next growing season.    Then I neatly and carefully filed them all in alphabetical order (it won't last but it helps for a while!!) in my little seed box (picked up for 10p at a car boot sale).

So I now have new seeds to the value of £63.78 that actually cost me just £10.  Which means I have the capability of feeding us and the chickens all next year (and beyond)  with fresh vegetables.  And looking at the amount of seeds in some packets I have just worked out that I could potentially grow 4,480 lettuces!!  So that could be my cash crop for next year.  Each year I sell at least one crop at Car Boot Sales that covers the cost of ALL my seed purchases, so in effect we eat free from the Kitchen Garden.

Now if that's not Thrifty I don't know what is!!

One final little Thrifty Tip for this week - pizzas.  Most of us love them, they are easy to make from scratch, but sometimes you just want something easy and quick, but that still has that lovely homemade tatse and quality.  Something I have done for years is to buy the BIG value pizzas from the supermarkets (they all seem to do them, usually for around a pound or get them for 20p like I do at the end of the day).  I cut them in half and wrap them well and pop them in the freezer. 

Whenever we are in a rush for a meal and fancy a pizza, I take a half out of the freezer and while it is thawing slightly I grab whatever leftovers we have in the fridge, on the one above I had a green pepper, a red chilli pepper and some sliced onion, I sprinkled a handful of cheddar cheese on top and 15 minutes later we had a lovely slice of piizza each to follow our bowl of homemade vegetable soup. 

 The beauty of doing it this way is that the pizzas already have a basic tomato sauce base and a sprinkle of cheese, what you are doing is adding the more deluxe ingredients that taste fresh and vibrant after cooking, so instead of just a plain base (which cost more than these basic pizzas in some cases when you buy them ready made) you have this already flavoured base.  Of course you could be even more thrifty and on a quiet day prepare lots of your own bases in the same way and pop them in the freezer ready for future use.

As my son would say (a few years ago) easy peasy lemon squeezy!!

('ve guessed it......I hurt my back reaching over the kitchen table to pick up a packet of seeds!!  I work all week on the farm lifting and shifting up to 20kg bags of chicken food and pushing wheelbarrows full of muck .....and lifting a packet of seeds finishes me off!! )

Sue xx


  1. It is always the littlest things that trip us up. Hope your back eases soon!

    ps Wilkinsons, if you have one near you, have reduced their seeds to silly prices this year. I got a packet of radish seed for 7p...

  2. Jo - 7p that's brilliant!! Unfortunately no shops like that near us :-( still I've got as many seeds as I need for next year, maybe I'll shop around even more then and get even better bargains.

    Sue xx

  3. great post, I hope to make more of an effort this next year on my veggie patch, as this year it is one big weed fest!!!

    My post is over at:

    Gill in Canada

  4. Thanks for these TT tips - I WILL get the hang of gardening sometime. I keep trying, with pathetic results - but managed a good crop of herbs this year.
    Sorry about your back.- hope you are feeling better soon. blessings x

  5. I mamaged to get 'end of season' bean seeds, planted them, they were doing well...then the fipping cows trampled them down!
    Jane x

  6. That should read FLIPPING...have no idea what fipping is!
    Jane x

  7. How sensible you are! I will start looking for seeds right away in preparation for year 2 on the allotment, this year I was not prepared and randomly went round buying packets here and there at full price, next year I will try to make it more thrifty. We make our pizza in the bread machine roll and top left over pasta sauce on as topping, lightly cook then freeze, the kids put cheese/pepperoni on when defrosting and then just microwave on reheat so a quick meal which they can do for themselves using leftovers - hope that's useful. Bettyx

  8. So if you are the most inept suburban gardener who ever stopped buying Country Living because really, where was the point? you could still have hope for the three packets of seed you bought this year and did a characteristic absolutely nothing with?!!


Comments are now turned off for this old blog of mine. Thank you for reading the posts, I hope you enjoyed them. xx

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.