It’s no longer scrimping when it’s scraping…

Superscrimpers

I’m all on for saving money and getting good value. My friends know me for being frugal which can sometimes border on tight, but even I wouldn’t sink to the depths of some of the ‘scrimpers’ on Superscrimpers.

A few series ago I used to enjoy it. There were beauty treatments that only required the raiding of a cupboard and cleaning tips that meant you didn’t have to spend a fortune on branded limescale remover or pass out under the toxic fumes of Mr Muscle oven cleaner. But now they have just lost it.

Last week it was make your own chutney. Fair enough it looked nice and it was using fruit that would otherwise have been thrown out, but the ingredients needed to make it taste good cost more than buying a buying a jar of it from Tesco. Star anise and cinnamon sticks are not spices that are just languishing around your spice rack (at least they are not in my house). After chucking all these ingredients in to spice up the humble apple, she then proceeded to explain how it needed to be left to cook for an hour. An hour to make some spicy apple paste? I mean, who has the time?

Sewing machine

Now I don’t have a sewing bone in my body. My attempts to knit scarves have ended up with long pieces of wool that would be more at home on the back of a pantomime donkey. Plus there are always so many holes in these attempts that even a homeless person in the height of winter would throw it back in my face. So I admire these ‘scrimpers’ with their sewing machines that can transform something pretty crap into something wearable.

That is until a picture frame was brought out. She held it up to the camera and proclaimed how it shouldn’t be wasted and a few simple steps would transform this useless item into something amazing. So I watched as she took a piece of material and wrapped it around the frame. Was this some sort of new felt art or a modern art movement I had missed that didn’t require vinegar? She wrapped and then stapled. Rubbing it proudly she attached something to it and held it up to the screen.

“Now there you have it, your own customised earring holder.”

I’m sorry…what? I mean who the hell needs an earring holder? Is there some unknown crisis in the jewellery world where earrings are regularly bent or broken due to the lack of an earring holder? Are ears crying out for this measure and we just don’t know about it? I don’t even know what the next segment was, as my mind was still trying to figure out how and why this poor picture frame had been subjected to this sorry role. I know it doesn’t have actual feelings, but how would you feel if someone stapled a blanket to you and hung feathers and metal off you for eternity? It’s just wrong.

Last night there was how to dress your table for a party. Now I don’t know about you, but if they manage to get cutlery I’m doing well. But this ‘scrimper’ seemed to think this was something a huge proportion of the population are or at least should be doing. All that was needed to achieve this cost-free creation were cotton reels and some wire. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I have ever managed to get to the end of a reel in my life so have no idea what kind of things she’s sewing to achieve this. Perhaps questions should be asked in case she is in the midst of a Silence of the Lambs-like project.

Anyway after folding and winding the wire it was threaded through the middle of the reel and then a piece of paper with a name was stuck into it. This creation just seems to be etiquette gone mad and despite it looking pretty I don’t think I’d like to go over to a friend’s house for some dinner and be told where to sit. I’m not at a wedding after all. If that’s not a control-freak in action I don’t know what is.

Lemons

But the thing that amuses and annoys me is not being able to get through an episode without a lemon appearing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a wheel being fixed, somewhere in the background a lemon will appear. It’s the God for all scrimpers, the Achilles heel if you like. If they are not within inches of a lemon at all times then its game over and they turn into insane overspenders that blow all their savings on a timeshare on Mars. Not only are the obsessed with the lemon, but also the gauze that it comes in which has been lauded as a replacement scourer. Seriously guys it’s a scourer. I’ll lend you the 8o cent for a whole pack of them  in Lidl.

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Is loneliness the only thing to look forward to?

footprints blurred

Photo by The Reluctant Ranter

Is loneliness the only thing to look forward to?

Apparently in a world with less and less space, people are getting lonelier.

So while the population keeps on growing, exploding even to a jaw dropping 7 billion, a lot of us are finding life lonely (according to the Guardian). Granted a huge proportion of them are over 65 with their working life behind them. But as we live longer and get older, the prospect of the TV the only companion makes my bones chatter. And at 65 years and over, that chatter would be more like a troupe of maracas than a soft clunking.

TV for me now, particularly in the apocalypse of winter is background noise; something I clean or cook to. There are programmes that I am fond of, but they are few and far between. Plus the addition of a Sky box means that the recordings pile up with no time or inclination to actually watch them. But in the UK there are a whopping 5 million older people relying on the TV as a friend, as noise, as their other half.

Since there are so many of us on earth, what are we all doing?

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