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Even more ways to save money - part two

written by Naomi_Richardson
24.03.09 Posted in Finance 0 0

Grow your own food. We kid you not. Fingal council had a waiting list of 500 for the 448 allotments it was due to open in Powerstown and Donabate, Co Dublin last year.

Grow your own food - you'll surviveGrow your own food - you'll survive

4 The tenants at Fingal's 100 existing allotments would have received the first call, so would-be tenants face a waiting list of up to two years. Although the last we heard, the list had grown so long, the council closed it. South Dublin county council opened four new sites last year and now has 245 allotments in Clondalkin, Palmerstown, Bohernabreena and Tallaght. The authority has 211 people on its waiting list. Some enterprising farmers have opened up their fields to wannabe foodies, so keep your eyes peeled (groan) for signs advertising plots for lease. One such forward thinking chap has already done this in Co Meath. For €250 a year you can rent a 60 foot wide by 20 foot wide (let's flout the metric ruling for a moment) plot from Thomas Tully of N2 Allotments. Roughly 6kms from Slane on the N2 travelling North, Thomas has land waiting for your use. In fact the plots are already rotivated and he's laid on free water plus manure for fertilising. And that's not all - while the land is suitable for fruit or veg, if you want spuds then he'll have a 40 metre drill for potatoes (there metric happy now?) ready for planting. The picking may seem like back breaking work later on but he's also set up a barbecue area so you can cook while you reap/sow and he also plans a wildflower meadow and bird feeding area so you can bring a deckchair, shut your eyes and relax. You can contact Thomas at N2allotments@gmail.com or 041-9825471 or 086-8697613. In a field of its own eh?

5 Bye, bye cleaning lady. The exercise will do you good and at least it'll be done to your satisfaction. The trouble is telling her you can't afford her anymore will be awkward, especially if she sees you picking up a new car (at auction) and going on about organic veg (home grown). Firing by text has already been done so at least you won't be setting a precedent.

6 Creche fees have long been the bane of many parents' lives. There is just no avoiding them and in most cases, the fees amount to the same as your mortgage payments. There's just no avoiding this one is there? Think again. If you have the space and don't mind sharing, consider an au pair. It's about half the price but don't expect to treat her/him like a slave and take over where the cleaner left off. They're there to mind the kids, yes, they'll do some light housework but within reason. Don't abuse them. (And don't even think about having an affair - that's sooooo tired. It just means your spouse will divorce you, take the house and half your income and everyone loses.)

7 Step away from the supermarkets. Make Lidl and Aldi your first port of call. Both stores have a high turnover in the fruit and veg section so it's always fresh if you don't have time to grow your own. You'll save on parking charges too. Try your local butcher for meat too. He can recommend ways to disguise the cheaper cuts of meat that are just as tasty as that fillet steak. If you must buy clothes, make TK Maxx your first port of call, though Penneys is good too even if the prices are suspiciously cheap. Need a treat? Try the Outlet in Banbridge across the border and Kildare Village for discount designer gear that lasts the pace. Even better, try organising a switch n bitch party. You and a group of friends get together for a serious swapping session. Bring all those clothes, shoes and acessories you've been meaning to slim into/are the wrong size but bought them in a sale/clash with your sense of taste now and swap them with your friends for something you do like. Throw in a some homemade goodies, copious amounts of tea/coffee etc and you're sorted. Or try swapstyle online. Need furniture? Try jumbletown.ie for unloved furniture or white goods, fix them up with a bit of imagination and you've got yourself a free bookcase/retro sideboard.

8 Go back to the library. This sounds obvious but €5 here and there on books and magazines does mount up. You can even read the newspaper for free at the library if you don't buy one every day but can't stand reading it online. And now most libraries offer internet facilities so you can surf too, if you're a member.

9 Sing it with us. (To the tune of I will survive) "Oh Yeah I will survive, I don't need Saks Fifth Avenue, I don't need that four wheel drive, I've cut up my credit card, it's really not that hard, I will survive, I will survive...."

 

Naomi_Richardson

Naomi Richardson lives in Meath with her family close to an UNESCO world heritage site. This is great for tourism but little else. When she's not cracking the editorial whip she enjoys eating chocolate and will keep doing so until her metabolism packs in.

Naomi_Richardson
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