Thrify & simple equals tasty, fresh & healthy and is the key to wealthy.

I grew up in rural Ireland around strong men and women who taught me some key skills for life – even though I didn’t realise it at the time. I had a Nan called Kate and a neighbour, Hannah, who were both thrifty home cooks. They knew how to lay on a wholesome spread from scratch. Be it jam and soda bread or sausages and mash, the flavours were sensational made from simple, seasonal, cheap produce largely from the garden or nearby fields. I’ve always loved to eat fresh. What’s wrong with fresh warm soda bread and homemade wild raspberry jam for lunch anyway?

To be healthy and wealthy learn the basics of cookery.

The first step in being leaner across the board, mind, body and soul is at the kitchen table.  Learning the basic skills here and then branching out to other areas of your life with the basic strategies you learn.  I cook in batches, I freeze, pickle, make jam, bake bread. I cook for friends and help them to save money here first. I love to eat well, make things last longer, to boost flavour and to spend less money too win/win. I have been encouraged to put my recipes and thrifty ways out there and share some of my secrets and ideas. I can’t understand it when people say “I don’t know what to cook” whilst they have food in the fridge and leftovers in the bin. I am the master of the scraps and the “oh there’s nothing left in the cupboard” challenges – give me an egg and an onion or just an onion and some stale bread and I will make a tasty meal.

Preparation and smarts with research and a strategy always pay off.

I like the best for less in everything but I know that it takes some effort and time – that’s just life. I do the research, explore options and alternatives, I make a list and I spread my shopping across different places, it’s just part of my daily routine.  Once you get into the swing of it you’ll be a convert. Saving money is addictive, especially when you do it right and improve your health and your life at the same time. Having money left at the end of the month is a reward worth some effort. From an early age I’ve always blurted out how cheap something was when complimented, maybe because I can’t take a compliment but more likely as I am proud of my thrifty ways.  Perhaps these skills learnt from my elders as a child are why I am so good as a trouble shooter and Program Manager now.

Join the value revolution.

I have noted a change in attitude over the last four years in London where people are more likely to boast about a bargain than hide it. Friends are more prone to recycle, ask for money saving tips, save leftovers, boil chicken bones for stock & soup or leave something good out on the pavement with a note (not just because they can’t be bothered to go to the tip) because they see the value of it. Even boasting about an item they have rescued and upcycled from a skip.

Persisting does pay off, think of the bigger picture.

Like all lifestyle changes, spending more carefully may not come easily, it requires a mind shift and a little discussion and review with yourself to get what you need as opposed to what you want. You may need to be more open-minded initially, venturing into places you have never been or trying new products. This will all add-up to getting the bigger ‘needs & wants’ later with the savings. You may find that you enjoy the differences and be awakened!  You may wonder why it took you so long, especially when you are able to afford that long-awaited trip or new luxury item you only previously dreamed of.  Your mindset and lifestyle changes may banish your need for many luxury items.  You will reset and realign becoming a more mindful shopper as a result and continue to evolve in all areas of your life.

Know the real value of what you have, how you use it and the reward it brings.

I am passionate about paying a fair price and I don’t like it when people are taken advantage of. I think it’s about time we all made the money in our pockets that we have worked hard for work for us in a smarter more mindful way.  Let’s put more life in our lives and help others attain their dreams by giving more.  I don’t know about you but the reward of a smile or knowing I have done something good to enrich another life feeds my soul . So tomorrow before you spend think about the value and how it enriches your life and whether that throw-away takeout coffee price might make a difference elsewhere?  It is worth thinking about……

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