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 Ireland's Nouveau Poor - Survival Tactics

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PostSubject: Ireland's Nouveau Poor - Survival Tactics   Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:27 pm

My sister and I were fretting yesterday about the difficult prospects facing tiger cubs in a very changed economy.

Many of the Irish generation now in their twenties have grown up with escalating wages, multiple trips and travel abroad, more than one pair of jeans, apartment buying and ample discretionary funds for 'recreation'. Has the lore of survival for the impoverished young been lost? How will you cope?

Speaking from a generation that at times went to bed all day on Thursday not for sex (at least not specifically for sex) but to keep warm and reduce hunger until the next dole cheque was cashed, I am starting this thread so that posters can give or receive, information on how to live on almost nothing.

I am hoping that some of the young poor e.g. students might help with this.

One way to approach this would be to list things that are free, and things that are a complete waste of money and should be avoided at all costs.

Good buy:- Baked beans - a boy in England was famous for living several years on baked beans and remaining in quite good health. Even cheaper, if you are into cooking, are home made baked beans (recipe on request). You may lose friends and partners, but you will survive. Smile
Bad buy:- Cough medicines and prozac: both scientifically proven to have no positive effects. No
Recycling tip: Barry's tea bags will make a perfectly good second mug of tea, halving your annual tea budget at a stroke. tongue
Newspaper: it may not be worth reading, study but you can light fires with it, compact it into logs and use it for insulation. It is also prophylactic and good to cover beds with in emergency childbirth situations. I will not suggest bathroom use, as the Andrex will be the last luxury to go in our house
Free live music: in many concert halls and opera houses, if you turn up late in appropriate dress jocolor, you are asked to wait in the bar, wher you can watch on t.v. No one checks tickets after the first intermission.
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PostSubject: Re: Ireland's Nouveau Poor - Survival Tactics   Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:01 pm

Getting involved in activities that don't involve spending too much - if you're bored you spend more. So window shopping goes out the window - no fun browsing if you can't afford some basic luxuries.


Get free food. Pick it, fish for it, hunt it if you have to. I'd like to open a thread in the food section on wild Irish foods but I'm not even armchair wild food picker but berry berry interested in it nevertheless. If you live by the coast you could take your children to pick mussels and if you knew the right seaweeds to pick then some are really nice to eat.

Then there's mushrooms ...


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Ireland's Nouveau Poor - Survival Tactics   Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:23 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Getting involved in activities that don't involve spending too much - if you're bored you spend more. So window shopping goes out the window - no fun browsing if you can't afford some basic luxuries.


Get free food. Pick it, fish for it, hunt it if you have to. I'd like to open a thread in the food section on wild Irish foods but I'm not even armchair wild food picker but very berry interested in it nevertheless. If you live by the coast you could take your children to pick mussels and if you knew the right seaweeds to pick then some are really nice to eat.

Then there's mushrooms ...

For a small fee Roger Goodwillie in Kilkenny will give you a day's training in scavenging from Irish nature. This man knows his mushrooms I tell you.
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PostSubject: Re: Ireland's Nouveau Poor - Survival Tactics   Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:25 pm

You can get allotments in some local authority areas and grow your own food
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PostSubject: Re: Ireland's Nouveau Poor - Survival Tactics   Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:45 pm

DeGaulle wrote:
You can get allotments in some local authority areas and grow your own food
Really? Is that the case where you are? I don't think it is where I live but I'd love to do that. And if my local authority aren't doing it then they should... time to get down to the local councillors for a chat.
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PostSubject: Re: Ireland's Nouveau Poor - Survival Tactics   Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:49 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
DeGaulle wrote:
You can get allotments in some local authority areas and grow your own food
Really? Is that the case where you are? I don't think it is where I live but I'd love to do that. And if my local authority aren't doing it then they should... time to get down to the local councillors for a chat.

Dun Laoghaoire, South Dublin and Fingal have allotment schemes, but not Dublin City Council area where I live.

Maybe underused parks like St Annes in Raheny could be turned into allotments
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PostSubject: Re: Ireland's Nouveau Poor - Survival Tactics   Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:57 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
DeGaulle wrote:
You can get allotments in some local authority areas and grow your own food
Really? Is that the case where you are? I don't think it is where I live but I'd love to do that. And if my local authority aren't doing it then they should... time to get down to the local councillors for a chat.

I started with a growbag on a city balcony and grew green beans, tomatoes and herbs. If you cant afford a growbag a recycled heavy plastic bag with some holes in the bottom will do, and raid someone's compost heap to fill it. Kate P is a composting guru.

The Greens are mad into allotments, and may make your children grow food on the school site. Then you can sit back and enjoy. They will also help identify unused land and get it released for allotments. As the Councils have no money for building and may have taken land in lieu of social and affordable housing, they should have some land they could let go for a few years.

Sadly, there are costs in growing your own and seed can be quite expensive. Modern seed usually is designed to allow only one crop and so you cant always save seed for the next year. If anyone has any suggestions as to how to get cheap or free seed that would be excellent. flower
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PostSubject: Re: Ireland's Nouveau Poor - Survival Tactics   Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:18 pm

Share!

You may have a friend with some garden space going to waste - if you can provide some manpower, you might have the beginning of a great relationship.

Your local farmer will happily give you some well rotted farmyard manure. If he has livestock he probably has lots of lick buckets (from mineral things that cattle and sheep use) that are perfect for growing things in. If you catch a frazzled sheep farmer who has had it with feeding pet lambs you might (with some space and good advice re husbandry) have your own meat after a couple of months at relatively little cost. Waste grain can also be used for hens if you have a couple for eggs.

If you could only grow one plant for the summer, it should be tomatoes of different varieties that you can swop with others. Your neighbour may have trees bowing with apples or plums (in our case - our neighbour's plums freeze really well and make great crumble). It costs nothing to grow lettuce in pots and scallions - and what more do you want in summer? Your spare baby tomatoes you can slow dry in your oven with a sprinkle of salt and you'll have 'sundried' tomatoes (covered in oil, obviously) for winter for stews etc. Use the big ones to make your own slow cooked pasta sauce which will freeze really well.

There are also fruit farms where you can pick your own and freeze them. Blueberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries freeze well too.

I don't believe in suffering food-wise just because you don't have a lot of money. It's easy to eat well if you don't mind getting in tune with the seasons and your own hands. Nobody goes to the forecourt and says to the car salesman - I want the cheapest bargain you have. No one says to the bar man - I'll take the dregs, thanks. Yet we do this bizarre thing with food, looking for the cheapest. I don't get it... but there's lots I don't get.

It's spectacularly easy to make your own bread with little more than yeast and strong flour. To ring the changes you can add in anything from your fridge (cheese, tomatoes, olives) or your window ledge (rosemary, thyme). Onions aso work well. You can even use the herby oil from sundried tomatoes. Even if you shop like a pauper you can eat like a king with fresh bread and proper salty butter.

Leftover bread can be used for sweet or savoury bread pudding or french toast. Or you can crumb it and freeze for meatballs (in your own pasta sauce), dumplings, stuffing or fruit charlottes. Or dry some like the Italians do to sprinkle over bakes.

Foraging: One of life's great joys. Not everything has to end up in jam.
Damsons and crab apples make great jellies (and there are so many crab apples going to waste in this country that an enterprising cub could have a little industry for himself selling crab apple jelly). Blackberries had a great year last year and freeze really well - they keep their shape where other fruits don't.

I wasn't very lucky with mushrooms last year - there just weren't many here. You can make mushroom ketchup (a real old fashioned sauce) that you can add to soups and stews in the winter time. It requires almost no effort. I had to buy the mushrooms last time around but obviously you can make loads when there's a glut in a good autumn.
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PostSubject: Re: Ireland's Nouveau Poor - Survival Tactics   Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:50 pm

I'm Ok now but last year I was out of work/part time for a little while so to keep me occupied I did most of the shopping.

Between Dunnes. Lidl and Super Valu its easy enough to pick up bargains and cut the shopping bill down.

However no doubt about it its getting harder...and that's for those with jobs! pale
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PostSubject: Re: Ireland's Nouveau Poor - Survival Tactics   Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:11 pm

I recommend cabbage and potatoes. When you're flush you can buy some streaky bacon to go with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Ireland's Nouveau Poor - Survival Tactics   Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:19 pm

ibis wrote:
I recommend cabbage and potatoes. When you're flush you can buy some streaky bacon to go with it.


Eating for little money can be tough. What about the costs of accommodation/housing, travel and so on?
I would not have the nerve to ride a bike in Dublin but perhaps it would get safer if there were more bikes around. Apart from being of pensionable age, does anyone have any ideas for free or cheap travel?
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PostSubject: Re: Ireland's Nouveau Poor - Survival Tactics   Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:45 pm

Germany is obviously a far bigger country and maybe for that reason, the idea of
Mitfahrgelegenheit works very well there.

It means, literally "an opportunity to travel with" someone.

So if I'm travelling from Berlin to Munich, I'll advertise the details and someone who wants to share the petrol costs can come along if the timing suits.

This national site lets you see all the Mitfahrgelegenheiten from your area.
www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de

This example shows a guy who has three places available for people to travel from Aachen to Baden Baden on Wednesday. He's charging 10Euro per 100km - split between the passengers.

http://www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de/o/aa.php?h=fd0fb8a655875c817421bbe83c763b0b1000de6f&d=1205794800

Cheap or free travel is a nightmare here.
Short of advertising in your local paper (which costs) or local chruch link-up/newsletter (free), supermarket (free) for a lift, it's probably impossible if you want something regular.

Then again, you could travel with a courier or lorry driver who has a regular run and might be glad of company, muscle, or a few quid for his own pocket.
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PostSubject: Re: Ireland's Nouveau Poor - Survival Tactics   Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:41 pm

Kate P wrote:
Germany is obviously a far bigger country and maybe for that reason, the idea of
Mitfahrgelegenheit works very well there.

It means, literally "an opportunity to travel with" someone.

So if I'm travelling from Berlin to Munich, I'll advertise the details and someone who wants to share the petrol costs can come along if the timing suits.

This national site lets you see all the Mitfahrgelegenheiten from your area.
www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de

This example shows a guy who has three places available for people to travel from Aachen to Baden Baden on Wednesday. He's charging 10Euro per 100km - split between the passengers.

http://www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de/o/aa.php?h=fd0fb8a655875c817421bbe83c763b0b1000de6f&d=1205794800

Cheap or free travel is a nightmare here.
Short of advertising in your local paper (which costs) or local chruch link-up/newsletter (free), supermarket (free) for a lift, it's probably impossible if you want something regular.

Then again, you could travel with a courier or lorry driver who has a regular run and might be glad of company, muscle, or a few quid for his own pocket.

This seems a very good idea that could work in Ireland with a fairly standard web site. Is there any way of ensuring that you aren't travelling with a maniac with multiple driving offences?

It used to be possible to hitch a very cheap or free lift to europe on freighters going out of Waterford Harbour, but I think this has tightened up, and unless we wanted to stand in cattle boats, would offer limited capacity.
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