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altheaWhen the shoestring is a bit short

A series full of tips and old fashioned wisdom (with an up-to-date twist) to help with the constant battle of financial survival.

If you didn't win Lotto this week, here is the column for you.  ALTHEA FROM MIDDELMOST(of "Letters from Middelmost" fame) with ideas and hints to help you stretch that stretched budget even further.  Enjoy.

Don't you hate it when you think you'd made enough jam/pickle/chutney/relish to last to the next season … and you hadn't. My fault.

For me ... not a problem. I have been a 'Commercially Free Xmas Zone' for years.

I called in to see a friend and found her on her hands and knees planting sunflower seeds - she had an ice-cream container of them.

Resourcefulness. A transferable skill that poverty stricken people hone to a high level.

It is strange how an association of ideas can completely colour your perception.

Desperation does not have pride and, when you are desperately trying to achieve something financially

With Xmas just around the corner, chocolate (and many things related to chocolate) seem to be constantly in my face.

I was in at the Doctors flicking through the magazines as you do and I found myself reading an advertorial for a life-saving, youth-returning, new-to-the-market foundation type makeup.

Talking about my mother last article reminded me of something she always did at this time of the year.

Time ... how do you make time? Time is my New Year's Resolution. "Take time out to smell the roses" ... easier said than done. But done it's going to be and I started by recognising what I already do. 

One of the key things at this time of the year is to not waste all of the hard work you have put into your vegetable garden.

When I garden, I don't waste my time.

Last winter I had stopped at a Service Station to fill up.

I get quite cross when I am at the checkout and I find my hard-worked-for goods are treated with disrespect.

I'm a bit of a label reader. Firstly it saves me money because, if there is a word I can't read or can't pronounce on the label, then the item gets put back onto the shelf.

Save the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.

I love shopping and, for those fans of "Letters from Middelmost"

It is so tough when you struggle each day to keep your self-esteem intact because one eye is continually on the bank balance and the other is always on the ever diminishing budget forecast.

I saw an advert in a weekly rural paper which reminded me of a discovery I made a while back.

I did worry the other day when we had the first real cold snap since summer finished.

Hay in the shed is like money in the bank and my little hay shed was full.

A friend called in with the most enormous pumpkin I had ever seen.

Image is all important. It's an item that doesn't cost much.

A secure and safe food source is vital for me.

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