About Us

My friends used to call me ‘The Packet Mix Queen’, my life is so different now…..

I am a ‘stay at home mum’ with a wonderful husband and two lovely daughters aged 18 and 16.   We live on an ordinary street, in a 1930’s semi-detached house in Leicester, UK.   

When I first started to write my blog in 2012 I had four allotments and grew most of my own fruit and vegetables, however due to circumstances and a new reactive RSPCA dog called Judy I had to give up my allotments in January 2015.  I am now converting my small back garden into a vegetable patch with the intention of growing as much as possible in it.

I make my own bread and cook from scratch whenever possible.  I make jam, pickles, chutneys, apple juice, etc. and I clean the old fashioned way using vinegar, lemon juice and bi-carb.  

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I learnt my frugal, thrifty ways through necessity and the desire to make sure my family do not feel deprived in anyway. 

 I try to make sure WE LIVE WELL FOR LESS and would love to share with you how I do this.

There are lots of posts on my blog about my old allotment and now I have lots of posts written about growing fruit and vegetables in a small garden, so hopefully there is something for everyone to read.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog.


50 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Looks very interesting and shall definitely be following regularly for top tips and ideas. Anything to do with saving money whilst being healthy and organic is greatly welcomed by us!

  2. Hi, just popped over from the Down to Earth forum. Your blog sound like it’s going to be so good.


  3. Hi
    I just wanted to let you know I am loving your blog. It is so much in tune with what I am trying to do even though we are on different sides of the world, I work full-time with no kids at home and live on a small acreage.
    Best wishes and I will definitely continue reading.

    Thank you.

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog. Best wishes on your blog, it already has many interesting topics. I also like to be chemical free when it comes to cleaning products, use a lot of vinegar, lemon and bicarbonate, make my own laundry liquid and soaps.

  5. yay i finally know how to make your amazing cakes,i’m really looking forward to making them,i really enjoyed reading your blog,thankyou!x hope the blog goes well!xx

  6. You commented on a blog post of mine a while ago, and I had been a little neglectful of my blog so I never thanked you for your comment. This is my first visit to your blog, and I can’t wait to have a look! It already looks wonderful and I’ve only just read the introduction you have here. I lived in England for a year in 2005-2006 for my MSc degree and am so interested to see how gardening for you differs from gardening here in our little corner of Canada. 🙂

  7. I can relate to your changes, I was known as the junk food queen. I could live on a bag of Doritos and pop for a week as I was too busy working 2 -3 jobs to stop long enough to make a proper meal. Now, I can’t stand the taste of them, it’s like eating cardboard and make all my meals from scratch, pop/soda is no where to be found and water is my main drink. I’m having fun looking around your site.

    • Hi livingsimplyfree, lovely to hear from you. Yes we definately have something in common don’t we. Homemade food tastes much better doesn’t it and it can be so quick and easy to make and it saves you money too.

    • Hi Elablue and welcome. Glad you have enjoyed my blog. If you have any questions about growing any veg, please ask as it can be daunting when you first take over an allotment, or if there is anything in particular that you would like me to write about just say and I’ll do my best. What is your allotment like, is it overgrown?

  8. Don’t mind me asking but how exactly did you get four allotments? I’m on a waiting list to get a single one, is there a trick you recommend?

    • I am very lucky Merveilles as our allotment site is one of the few that has hardly ever had a waiting list and even at the moment there are loads free, so I was able to have four. There is a one man on our site that has more plots than me too. It’s such a shame as I would rather have less plots with all the other plots taken on our site, but this hasn’t happened so far and probably never will. I think if people weren’t allowed more than just one plot each then the committee wouldn’t be able to justify keeping the site open and i’m sure the council would sell it and we would end up with houses built on it….which is what the council did to half the site about 15 years ago.

  9. Hi, I have just become the proud owner of a rather overgrown allotment just around the corner from where I live in Essex and have found your blog a very interesting read. I’m looking forward to the time when I can grow most of my fruit and veg but know it’s going to be very hard work and may be years before that happens. Lucky you to be able to have 4 plots, I was lucky enough to only be on a waiting list for mine for 18 months and I know people in other areas who have been waiting for years! The council have had my plot strimmed and I’m now waiting for them to rotivate it, I agree it can be daunting so I’m going to clear a small area to plant something to hopefully grow over the winter and cover the rest with membrane until next year. I look forward to following your blog and reading more about your allotment life
    Debra 🙂

    • Hi ‘thedevinepeach’…how wonderful to get an allotment and start to grow your fruit and veg there. There is loads of info on my blog re allotment growing so enjoy having a good read. You are so right to do a bit at a time. Sadly, due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to give my four beautiful plots up in January this year, but I have created a nice kitchen garden at home instead now.

  10. Hi, new blogger here (2 1/2 days). Came across your blog whilst looking for like minded peeps. Fab blog, thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. Looks fun – I tried a kitchen garden but after my dog left something nasty on the top of a red cabbage my wife rufused to eat anything else from the garden – so I’ve got myself a half plot allotment which is going well – I shall use your site for inspiration

    • Hi Steve, lovely to hear from you…..I’m not surprised your wife refused to eat your veg after that lol (reading it though did make me giggle)….I have fenced mine off so that doesn’t happen. Half a plot is great to have….I really miss my allotments and so miss the peace and quiet there.

  12. I love your blog! You are a woman after my own heart. I suspect I’m a bit older than yourself, I’m 58, but my life now is similar to yours. I now only work part time due to my husband’s health, he has Parkinson’s, but am the proud owner of an allotment, only aquired in June last year – steep learning curve! I’m a chef by profession so live making everything from scratch. My new part time life now allows me to make jams, chutneys and bread again. Look forward to reading more blogs!

    • Welcome to my blog Isobel, there is a lot for you to catch up with …so a nice cup of tea is in order while you read lol. I love to hear what people have been upto so pls leave comments when you can.

      I’m sorry to hear about your husbands ill heath, how are you coping with this? I hope you have family around to help?

      There really is nothing as nice as homemade jams and chutneys and when you have grown the fruit and veg yourself it makes it even better. Keep me updated with your allotment as I so love to hear what people have been growing and what did well and what didn’t.

  13. I’m so pleased you’re back! I’m not an internet/ blog/ Facebook/ twitter…etc fan but I came across your website when searching for information about growing vegetables a few months ago. I dip in and out but you are now firmly pinned onto my ‘favourites’ page. The advice you give is fab and so straight forward and I just can’t believe you have time to do all the things you do each week!

  14. How exciting to find somebody else who thinks like me! I’ve made similar choices, stepped out of work (grew up in Leicester) and have just set up my own blog. Yours is inspirational. Thank you for sharing your ideas 🙂

    • Thanks Mrs G and thank you for reading my blog. Which area in Leicester did you grow up in? I will treat myself later to a nice hot drink and time to read your blog (I love new blogs to read). XX

      • I was lucky enough to live near Bradgate Park and spent an idyllic childhood climbing trees and cycling around Charnwood. I return regularly to catch up with family and my children climb the same trees in the park! I My blog is very new and rough around the edges, but since I started my veg patch, I have wanted to set up a blog. I suddenly find myself in a position to embrace those things that matter to me, so I am going for it! Thank you so much for your kind words of support 🙂

  15. Hello Mrs Thrift, long time no speak. I have been scrolling through my favourite sites/blogs and noticed that you have not posted anything in quite a while. I do know that you decided to take a break but this was back in August 2016 and wondered if you have decided to give up on writing anymore blogs in the future? I can partly understand your reluctance to re-start posting as i suspect it can be very time consuming and life just keeps getting in the way. I think you must be a wee bit younger than me as we have one son who is 30 next year so quite a bit older than your dear daughters and we now have 4 gorgeous grand children. I find being a daughter, wife, mother and nanna i worry constantly about ageing parents (in their 80’s) husband who works away during the week, son ,daughter-in-law, grandchildren, my beloved elderly labrador who is struggling bless him and myself who is experiencing the joys of the menopause……when will this foggy head clear?!! I am lucky in that my husband has a well paid job so i don’t have to work many hours during a week, which may be a blessing to any employers out there. I try to draw a line under each day particularly if i have found it difficult to focus on anything…..like today, this is taking me an age to type. But i stay positive and hold onto the hope that tomorrow is a new day and will be better. Along with my father you have been an inspiration Mrs Thrift to re-design my garden and i try to get out there most day’s for a bit of fresh air and exercise. Hope you and your lovely family are well my dear, if you do decide to start posting again then i will be jumping up and down with joy, however, if you don’t, then i wish you and yours health, some wealth and a shed load of happiness for the year ahead. I know it’s a bit early but may i be the first to wish you a very happy christmas and a wonderful 2018. Much love and hugs Sharon xx

    • Hi Sharon, you life sounds exactly like mine – menopause and all. The brain fog is the worse I think and I have to write everything down now or I forget important things lol. Yes my children are younger, but I had them when I was 31 and 33 and they are now 18 and nearly 20. Aging parents are very hard work and unfortunately dementia is hard to deal with and is taking up a lot of my time.

      I have decided to post the odd few things on my facebook page now just to keep in touch with the lovely people who used to read my blog, until such time I can start to write properly again (I dearly miss writing blog posts). So hopefully you have facebook?

      I really hope you have a happy Christmas and a much happier New Year Sharon.

      Pls keep in touch

      • Oh hello, what a lovely suprise as I have just sat down to write my Christmas cards and glanced at my emails to find this one from yourself. I do have facebook so I will endeavour to find you even though I am bit of a techno-thicky. My heart goes out to you as yes, alzheimers & dementia are simply horrible to contend with. I fear from recent tests that my step-mum has had, the results will show that she is a victim too bless her.
        On a more positive note I was a bit like you a while ago being a packet queen myself, opening cans and jars too, however, I am now cooking everything from scratch where possible and have mastered making my own soup……it’s delicious!

        Take care Mrs Thrift and hopefully I will find you via facebook.

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