Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: -1°C

Search

Life is too short for some penny-pinching ideas I’ve heard

PUBLISHED: 11:00 09 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:11 10 April 2017

Asking visitors to bring their own teabags has nothing to do with the spirit of thriftiness, says Sheena Grant. It's just mean-spirited.

Asking visitors to bring their own teabags has nothing to do with the spirit of thriftiness, says Sheena Grant. It's just mean-spirited.

Archant

In my quest to live life a little less wastefully, I’m always on the lookout for inspiration from others, writes Sheena Grant.

Thriftiness is a way of life that requires imagination, determination and resolve if you’re to succeed in rejecting the pervasive promotion of ever-more consumption.

But whether it’s cutting the cost of energy, eating, shopping or leisure time, I always work on the proviso that self-reliance and a concern for using the planet’s resources wisely and sparingly should enrich your life rather than diminish it.

This might mean going for a walk on a starry night, putting a whelk shell to your ear to listen to the sea as you did in childhood or taking a moment to savour the feel of the sun on your face in spring time rather than spending your weekends in a crowded shopping centre, racking up credit card debt and becoming ever more dissatisfied at all the things you can’t afford.

It could also mean collecting free firewood from the countryside to burn in a stove or open fire instead of using costly central heating, being creative by upcycling charity shop clothes to create something truly unique or just enjoying spending time with loved ones and friends.

But there are also plenty of things that, for me, thriftiness should never mean.

This week, I want to share with you some of the penny-pinching ideas I’ve read from other thrifty souls but rejected on the grounds that life is too short for such discomfort. If I had wanted to live a life of desolate asceticism I would have donned a hair shirt and gone to inhabit a cave on a rocky outcrop north of Shetland.

Here they are, in all their unadulterated misery:

• Discourage visitors - if you wear extra layers rather than putting the heating on they won’t come and that saves money.

• If people do call, get them to bring their own tea bags.

• Only have one light on in the house at any one time. Carry a wind-up torch from room to room and to light your way to the bathroom at night.

• Learn to write in small handwriting to save ink.

• Only brush your teeth with toothpaste once a day. Use just water and a toothbrush at any other times.

• Eat your dinner straight out of the pan to save on washing-up liquid and hot water.

• Give up using shampoo and just wash your hair in water instead.

• Don’t buy toilet paper - keep a water pistol in the bathroom and use it to freshen up after a visit to the loo.

Each to their own in everything, including thriftiness, but to me all of the above are no way to live and have nothing to do with the open, creative and vibrant spirit of thriftiness. Many of them are just mean-spirited.

However, there is one way in which they do serve a very valuable purpose. Reading about them gave me one of life’s most vital and thrifty pleasures - laughter. I hope they make you smile too.

Share your tips via email or Tweet using #ThriftyLiving.

Despite being a bright and sunny start to the day temperatures have begun to drop ahead of the arrival of the ‘Beast from the East’ next week.

Shoppers heading to Ipswich town centre today will be able to catch their first glimpse of the new HMV store in Sailmakers shopping centre.

Footballing legend Peter Shilton rubbed shoulders with an up-and-coming sportswoman who is aiming to emulate his achievements to play in front of thousands of fans for the senior England team.

Suffolk Coastal had been running the service for free but mounting financial pressures caused a change of heart – with a forecast £200,000 drop in county council recycling payments set to cause a big budget hole.

A bid by Mid Suffolk District Council to buy the vacant former NatWest bank next to the John Peel Centre has been accepted, the council has confirmed.

Reports of serious sex offences rose by more than a third across Suffolk last year and less than one in 10 were solved.

A familiar face is preparing to leave Woodbridge Town Council’s offices for good.

So-called ‘fat cat’ pay of some academy trust chiefs running schools in Suffolk has been called into question again amid calls for salaries to reflect performance.

Shocking CCTV footage has been released showing a drunk man narrowly miss being hit by a train in Essex.

A boy suffered minor injuries during a collision with a car outside a Suffolk primary school today.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24