These are very difficult times – but perhaps we can make them a little easier – with stories from north of the border:
We’re learning to make do and mend as living costs soar’
Margaret Kydd has memories of the 1950s when budgets were tight as the country emerged from rationing and the Second World War. As the soaring cost of living puts the squeeze on household finances now, she is rolling back the years to teach the skills that saw her family through those tough times.
Food, fuel and energy bills are rocketing and many are seeking methods to make their money go a little bit further.
Margaret runs a cooking class at Forfar charity Community First to pass on the skills she learnt from her mother all those decades ago. “I grew up on a farm, where money was very tight, but we always had fresh milk,” the 73-year-old said. “You had to make do with what you had and that’s what we’re teaching here, how to make good food for less. People are finding it very hard to stretch the budget. We’re trying to teach the class how to make things for less, such as not including an egg in your scone like my mum used to. It’s far cheaper to cook your own things, whether it be making a pot of soup or mixing a dessert up from scratch.”
Meanwhile, in Dundee, the Gate Church Community Wardrobe has expanded its clothes swap service and now teaches people to sew. Hayley Lennie, who helps run the class, learned her skills at school and enjoys “showing people the range of things you can do with a simple needle and thread”. “We’re showing them how to take hems down and add bands onto little girls’ skirts with ribbons,” she said.“For a lot of people, saving money is a big thing, so mending school clothes is a good skill.”
What a great place!