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Things My Granny Taught Me

If you have a great Granny (or Granny figure) in your life, you are a lucky person indeed.

Grannies are full of wisdom and a good one will share that wisdom with you in just the right way. She will never make you feel she is criticising or lecturing you, she will never make you feel inferior. No, she will simply pass on tips without you even realizing it.

Of course, today’s Granny is just as likely to be found hitting the town on a Saturday night or taking part in a charity bungee jump as she is pushing the swings or supervising a messy baking session in a cosy kitchen, but she’s still giving you lessons in life.

We are extremely fortunate to have many Grannies (and those of Granny age) volunteering with us. They are showing us every day how to continue to live a productive, fulfilling life no matter what age you are. The secret? Being interested! Not getting stuck in a rut!

Looking back, many of the things our Grannies taught us were borne of necessity to save money, but they are also all about saving resources, so now that means saving carbon emissions. Given our present circumstances, as we are examining how we do things and wondering how to use less energy, how to cut down on food costs and how to make money go further, we are quite possibly doing the same as they did 40, 50, 60 years ago. The difference is now we are not only thinking of how we can help our own situation, we are also realising the positive impact these changes could have on the planet.

What have we picked up?

1. Cooking with the oven full makes a huge difference to your energy bills

Cook lots of dishes together, store them in the fridge or freezer, then heat them in the microwave when you need them. You can put the oven on twice a week but cook enough for seven days.

2. Washing at a cooler temperature works

90% of the energy used to power a washing machine is for heating up the water so use a cool wash, and a longer cycle. Don’t worry if the clothes are going round and round for ages, you’re still saving money and helping to save the planet

3. Blend your own brown sugar

No need to buy expensive brown sugar when you can make your own.

Pour 200g granulated sugar into a bowl and drizzle over 15g of black treacle. Microwave for 15 seconds then rub the softened treacle into the sugar with your hands to transform it into a soft light brown sugar

4. Re-use the Liners in Cereal Packets

We know that these inner linings are already food-safe, so why throw them out then buy greaseproof or waxed paper? Also great for popping your sandwich in, storing herbs in the fridge, making an icing bag (just snip off a corner), a temporary holder for plants when you are re-potting

5. Freshen those Smelly Trainers

OK, maybe our Grannies didn’t wear trainers quite so much as we do, but they certainly knew how to keep their shoes looking their best.

You’ll need an old pair of tights and some newspaper. Scrunch up the paper then open flat. Put 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda and a couple of drops of essential oil in the centre, then scrunch up again. Push this into the feet of the tights and push into the trainers. Leave overnight.

6. Stain Removal

If you get blood onto material, soak it immediately in cold, salted water – add at least 2 tablespoons of salt to a basinfull of water. Soak for at least an hour before washing.

Of course, we should point out the Grandpas are a source of great wisdom too. In fact, we should all take time to listen to the older generation as they have much to teach us.

And the older generation should take time to listen to the youngsters. They can certainly teach us a thing or two.

We’d love to know if you have tips you could share, passed down from your granny or someone else.


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