Monday, 5 December 2016

Egg Custard

Egg custard has been a family favourite in my family since I was a little girl.  Mum loved to make it when we were recovering from an illness.  Wind the clock forward a few decades and I've continued to make this delicious custard for Darren,  our girls and myself.  We don't wait until someone is sick though.  If we have too many eggs or milk that needs using in a hurry then egg custard is our dessert of choice.

2 eggs
600 mls of milk
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of cornflour

Extra 100mls of milk


Add the eggs,  milk and  sugar to a medium saucepan and whisk well to combine over a low / medium heat.

Using the extra milk in a cup,  add the cornflour and blend well until there are no lumps.  Add this mixture to the saucepan and whisk in well.

Continue whisking the ingredients and bring to a slow simmer.

Turn off the heat when the custard thickens.

NOTES -

*  Be careful that the heat isn't too high as the milk will catch on the bottom of the saucepan and burn.  That's why I like to whisk continually while it heats.

*  This recipe can be doubled if you need to use up more milk or eggs.

*  Great eaten hot or cold by itself or with fruit.




Saturday, 3 December 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 3rd December 2016

Thankyou for all the lovely comments on Facebook and My Abundant Life regarding our church's community day.   The day went really well.  We had more people this year coming in to receive toys and food.  Unfortunately we had less volunteers to help.  The good news is,  we had church families with primary school aged children who helped the adults restock the tables of toys.  They were such a blessing to us and showed great maturity.

Here's what else I got up to this week -

*  Baked four loaves of bread with extra goodness.

*  Picked the first raspberries of the season.  So exciting.  We are so glad we spent $15 per plant ( we bought 2 ) back in 2014.  We have recouped the costs a couple of times over with the fruit and extra plants to give as presents.

*  Kept the heating and cooling off for most of the week.

*  Dried the washing on the line.

*  Saved lots of shower water for the washing machine and saved the washing machine rinse water for each next load.

*  Mended holes in tow socks.

*  Made pizza for dinner using this recipe and bits and pieces we had on hand.  This pizza is so much better than anything we have bought.

*  A lovely friend leant me her die cuts ( for card making).  I spent many happy hours using them to make lovely shapes using paint sample cards and gifted paper.

*  Darren and I went to Masters ( again )  to buy a few bits and pieces at 60 - 70% off.  While we were there I picked up lots and lots of paint sample cards to use in card making.  By the time I took a few of each color I could use,  my bag was quite heavy.

* Gratefully received lots of rhubarb from a friend.

*  Jessica cleaned out her wardrobe and I scored a dress.

*  Hand washed the dinner dishes twice this week.

*  Cleaned the dishwasher using bi carb and vinegar.  Gave it a wipe out with miracle spray. 

*  Cleaned the kettle using citric acid.  I poured the boiling water onto some weeds in the hope they will die.  If they don't then I'll use vinegar and detergent.

*  I needed two gifts this week and was able to find lots of goodies on my present shelf.  One present was for  a friend of Jessica's.  This friend had arranged for a gathering of  old school friends but they all backed out at the last minute except Jessica.  We were able to give her a bag of goodies including  handmade soap I'd made earlier this year.  The other present was a last minute Kris Kringle.  In a gift bag I put a soap,  fancied face washer and some chocolates.

*  After church last Sunday Darren and I found four brand new timber pallets on the side of the road.  They were in our church's estate which is full of factories.  Some time soon we hope to make some outdoor furniture or a big box.  Stay tuned.

Our peaches are growing.


The egg on the right weighs 89 grams.

Samples from Masters

First raspberries of the season.

I've been busy die cutting for cards.

Free pallets

Daniel Morcombe rose

Christmas in our home.


What did you do this week that saved you money ?

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Grocery Specials Wednesday 30th November 2016

Here are this week's best grocery specials -

COLES -

*  Ferrero Collection Chocolates 15 Pack 172gBETTER THAN 1/2 PRICE Was $12.60, Save $6.60  Now $6.00 each

*  1/2 PRICE Sunscreen & Tanning

*  Arnott’s Shapes Crackers 160g-190g1/2 PRICE Was $3.00, Save $1.50  Now $1.50 each

*  Lindt Lindor Chocolate Gift Box 147g-154g1/2 PRICE Was $12.60, Save $6.30  Now $6.30 each

*  10% off Selected Gift Cards 10% off Village Cinemas, Good Food, Ultimate Kids and Dinner & Movie Gift Cards. Limit of 5x gift cards per transaction

*  Always Fresh Pitted Kalamata Olives 670g1/2 PRICE Was $7.60, Save $3.80  Now $3.80 each

*  Spam Ham 340g1/2 PRICE Was $4.90, Save $2.45  Now $2.45 each

*  Zoosh Dressing 200mL1/2 PRICE Was $2.89, Save $1.45  Now $1.44 each

*  ASC Basa Fillets Thawed1/2 PRICE From the Deli.Was $11.00, Save $5.50 kg Now $5.50 kg.  Always ask for frozen to put in your freezer when you get home.

*  Bertolli Spread 500g1/2 PRICE Was $3.99, Save $2.00  Now $1.99 each

*  Palmolive Shower Gel 500mL1/2 PRICE Was $5.39, Save $2.70  Now $2.69 each

*  1/2 PRICE Australis Make-Up

*  Norsca Anti-Perspirant Deodorant 245mL1/2 PRICE Was $5.99, Save $3.00  Now $2.99 each

*  Brut Long Lasting Deodorant Body Spray 245mL1/2 PRICE Was $6.50, Save $3.25  Now $3.25 each

*  Herbal Essences Shampoo or Conditioner 300mL1/2 PRICE Was $5.49, Save $2.75  Now $2.74 each
*  Dynamo Laundry Liquid Regular 2 Litre or Professional 1.8 Litre1/2 PRICE Was $17.50, Save $8.75  Now $8.75 each.  Don't forget to dilute it right down.

*  30% off Christmas Tree Decorations & Lights

WOOLWORTHS -

*  30% off All Mission Pizza Bases and Wraps

*  Filled Profiteroles Pk 8* Only available in stores with an in store bakery.Now $2.50 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.50

*  30% off All Artificial Trees, Decorations & Lights

*  Cadbury Favourites 320gWhile stocks last.Now $5.00 each Better than 1/2 Price, Save $7.00

*   Mars M&Ms Peanut Box 440g While stocks last. Now $5.00 each1/2 Price, Save $5.00

*  Fountain Sauce Varieties 2 Litre Now $3.00 each 1/2 Price, Save $3.00

*  Cadbury Baking Chocolate Block 200g Now $2.25 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.25

*  1/2 Price All Gillette  Excludes Blades.

*  Fruits Body Wash 500ml Now $1.99 each1/2 Price, Save $2.00

*  40% off All Garnier Skincare, Bioré Skincare & Sensodyne Daily Care

*  1/2 Price All Rimmel Face and Lip Products

*  Cold Power Laundry Powder 2 kg or Liquid 2 Litre Now $8.50 each1/2 Price, Save $8.50

*  1/2 Price All Bonds

*  1/2 Price All Inspire Bedroom Manchester

*  Lindor White Peppermint Gift Box 142gWhile stocks last. Now $6.25 each1/2 Price, Save $6.25

*  Sunrice Jasmine or Brown Rice 5 kg Now $6.75 each1/2 Price, Save $6.75

*  Aerogard Odourless Low Irritant Insect Repellent 150g Now $3.57 each 1/2 Price, Save $3.58
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Monday, 28 November 2016

Keeping Cool In Summer

    
Summer is about to hit Melbourne next week and temperatures will rise to above 40 degrees Celsius during the next three months. I've started thinking and planning a strategy for coping with this heat. I'll start a list of things I do. I'm hoping everyone can add their ideas to the list so we can help each other.

Here's what I plan to do -

* Open doors in the morning to cool the house and close as soon as the temperature rises 
*  Keep the curtains closed all day 
*  Turn potable electric fans on while the cooling is on a little lower. The cool breeze from the fans is great and helps to circulate the air 
*  Keeping jugs of water in the fridge 
*  Filling ice cube trays for the freezer.  Great for drinks and wiping over hot faces 
*  Making icy poles in the freezer.  Orange juice,  cordial and flavoured milk work well. 
*  Making jelly for desserts 
*  Using wet face washers to cool you down 
*  Making a couple of day's worth of salads at a time 
*  Vacuuming early in the morning 
*  Using a carpet sweeper if it's too hot to vacuum 
*  Finding the coolest room in the house and hiding there

For the chickens we -

*  Dunk them in cool water a couple of times a day 
*  Spray them with the garden hose 
*  Feed them frozen watermelon 
*  Freeze 2 litre milk containers and putting them in the coop at night ( air conditioning )

What do you do to keep cool in Summer ?

Saturday, 26 November 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 26th November 2016

Our Christmas tree went up last Sunday. Most of the presents have been bought and wrapped.  I just have a few bits and pieces to buy for our Christmas stockings.

Today is the day our church is blessing our community.  Darren and his team have worked hard all year to raise the funds to buy the goodies for the Christmas hampers and to hire rides and cook a sausage sizzle.  Another large charity and our own church have provided the toys to give away to the needy.  We've spent lots of time over the last few weeks sorting toys,  packing hampers and decorating our church.

Here's what else we got up to this week -

*  I baked and sold lots and lots of blueberry and white choc muffins to a cleaning client.  I also sold two dozen eggs to her.

*  Picked one punnet's worth of strawberries from our garden.    The snails and other bugs have had a feast too so I've spread out the pet friendly snail bait and netted the two patches.

*  Changed our doonas ( duvet ) over from Winter ones to Summer lightweight ones.  This is frugal because we won't be putting the cooling on for getting too hot.

*  Went to a second hand stamp and card making equipment sale.  I purchased one set of stamps and some books.  I also  picked up some freebie catalogues to get card making ideas from.

*  Used a Spotlight gift card to buy a butterfly punch at 30% off.  This is used lots in card making.

*  Saved lots of shower water and poured it into the washing machine.  Saved all the washing machine rinse water for each next load.

*  Sold a five items in my Etsy shop and mailed them off.

*  Started another cleaning job this week.  I'm feeling blessed that the work is starting to come back.

*  Megan found a few items of Summer clothing at Savers and used a 15% discount stamp.

*  Picked silverbeet to put in a spag bol meal to stretch it out.  I also grated some carrot.

*  Darren fed the chickens a silverbeet plant that was going to seed.

*  Refilled all the cleaning spray bottles around the house with Miracle Spray

*  Poured the water bottles onto pot plants.

*  Portioned a tomato paste jar into an ice cube tray and froze.

*  Made a few decorated hand towels for my Etsy shop.  I'd sold out of the first batch with people buying them as Christmas presents.

*  Used the dry mop mid week to sweep our bamboo floors.  So much easier than getting out the vacuum cleaner.

*  Cooked and baked all meals and snacks for the family.

*  Used the clothes horses most of the week to dry the washing.  I did use the dryer for the towels when  it was quite humid.

*  Mended a top for Megan.  She purchased a new top recently but later found the seam had a hole in it.

*  Sold two school text books and one school blazer.

*  Made chicken stock in the slow cooker then made a chunky chicken and veggie soup.

*  Gratefully received some train magazines I can use in card  making.

A few of our Christmas decorations
Gold, silver and cream Christmas tree
It's Darren's job to put the star on.
First strawberries of the season.
The haul later in the week
Card making catalogues for ideas
Princess supervising the pizza making.
Hand towels for my Etsy shop

     What was on your frugal list this week ?

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Grocery Specials Wednesday 23rd November 2016

Here are this week's best grocery specials -

COLES -

*  Cadbury Favourites or Mini Blocks Boxed Chocolates 320g BETTER THAN 1/2 PRICE
Was $12.00, Save $7.00  Now $5.00 each.  Well worth stocking up for Christmas ,  Valentines and Easter presents.

*     Mars Medium Bars 35g-55gBETTER THAN 1/2 PRICE Was $2.00, Save $1.15  Now $0.85 each

*  Nestlé Block Chocolate 118g-200g or Kit Kat or Smarties Sharepack 140g-185g BETTER THAN 1/2 PRICE Was $4.50, Save $2.50  Now $2.00 each

*  Arnott’s Savoy Crackers 180g-225g Save $3.00  Now3 for $6.00.  Great for parties

*  Golden Circle Tetra Fruit Drink 1 Litre1/2 PRICE Excludes Pineapple, Tomato & Nectar.Was $2.15, Save $1.08  Now $1.07 each

*  Mars Pods 160g1/2 PRICE Was $4.25, Save $2.13  Now $2.12 each

*  Mars Maltesers 360g, M&M’s Peanut 440g or Celebrations 300g1/2 PRICE Was $10.00, Save $5.00  Now $5.00 each

*  Gold Choice Canola, Vegetable or Sunflower Oil 4 Litre1/2 PRICE Was $18.00, Save $9.00 
Now $9.00 each


*  Maharajah’s Choice Basmati Rice 5kg1/2 PRICE Was $17.50, Save $8.75  Now $8.75 each

*  Vitasoy Almond Unsweetened Long Life Milk 1 Litre1/2 PRICE Was $3.79, Save $1.90  Now $1.89 each

*  Cadbury Cooking Chocolate Melts 225g1/2 PRICE Was $4.19, Save $2.10  Now $2.09 each.  A stockpile worthy price.  Stock up now for Christmas and Easter baking.

*  Tip Top English Muffins 6 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $4.90, Save $2.45  Now $2.45 each

*  1/2 PRICE All Sistema Klip It

*  Brunnings Fast Action Weed Kill Ready To Use 1 Litre1/2 PRICE Was $10.00, Save $5.00  Now $5.00 each

*  Duracell Ultra AA Batteries 10 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $16.25, Save $8.13  $8.12 each.  Make sure you have enough batteries on hand for Christmas day.

*  30% OFF All Mix Underwear.

*  L’Oréal Excellence Hair Colour 1 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $17.49, Save $8.75 Now $8.74 each

*  30% OFF Nivea Womens Skincare.

*  40% OFF Garnier Facial Skincare

*  Emporia Sensitive Flushable Cleansing Wipes 40 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $4.25, Save $2.13  Now $2.12 each

*  Buy Any 2 Get the 3rd FREE Colgate Dental or Palmolive Soaps or Body Wash.Lowest priced item free. Excludes Every Day & clearance items

*  Gillette Mach 3 Razor Kit 1 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $9.49, Save $4.75  Now $4.74 each

*  Gillette Series Sensitive Skin Shave Gel 195g1/2 PRICE Was $6.60, Save $3.30  Now $3.30 each

*  30% OFF Carefree & Stayfree Pads & Tampons
.
*  1/2 PRICE All Rimmel Make-Up


*  Nescafé Gold 200g1/2 PRICE Was $17.99, Save $9.00  Now $8.99 each

*  The Natural Confectionery Co. Family Bag, Pascall or Sour Patch 185g-350g1/2 PRICE Was $4.00, Save $2.00  Now $2.00 each

*  Dove Antiperspirant Deodorant 250mL1/2 PRICE Was $6.99, Save $3.50  Now $3.49 each

*  20% Off $30, $50, $100 iTunes Gift Cards Excludes $20 iTunes Gift Card and Apple Music Cards

WOOLWORTHS -

*  .1/2 Price All L’Oreal Elvive Shampoo or Conditioner

*  20% off All Decorations, Artificial Trees, Lights, Stockings & Hats

*  30% off All Seasonal Biscuits ( shortbreads etc )

*  Mars Celebrations 300g Now $5.00 each 1/2 Price, Save $5.00

*  Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain 500g Now $3.14 each1/2 Price, Save $3.15  Great for making nuts and bolts

*  Golden Circle Sliced Beetroot 450g or Corn Kernels 410g Now $0.82 each1/2 Price, Save $0.83

*  Easiyo Yoghurt Maker  Find us in the dessert aisle Now.$11.49 each 1/2 Price, Save $11.50.  These yoghurt makers make fabulous presents - JUST SAYING

*  1/2 Price all Lynx.  Well worth keeping a few deodorants and shower gels on hand for last minute men's / boy's presents.

*  Pears Soap Bars 3 x 125g Now $3.07 each1/2 Price, Save $3.08

*  Countrylife Hand Wash or Body Wash 500ml Now $2.75 each1/2 Price, Save $2.75

*  TRESemme Shampoo or Conditioner 750/900ml Now $5.00 each Better than 1/2 Price, Save $5.50

*  Morning Fresh Dishwashing Liquid 400ml – Excludes Eco Range Now $1.97 each1/2 Price, Save $1.98

*  Energizer Eco Advanced AA Pk 10 . While stocks last. Now $8.35 each1/2 Price, Save $8.44

*  10% Off All Village Cinema Gift Cards

*  Lindt Block 100g Now $2.00 each1/2 Price, Save $2.25

IGA -

*  Shapes biscuits 1/2 price now $1.49

* Edgell beetroot 425g 1/2 price now 87cents

*  Rexona deodorant 1/2 price now $3.49

BIG W -

*  40% off Head and Shoulders Total Range

*  Oral B Range 50% off



Monday, 21 November 2016

Christmas Presents On A Budget

With Christmas fast approaching,  I'm sure most of you have made plans or bought a few presents.  For those who struggle to find the money to spend on presents,  here are a few frugal ideas

*  Biscuits ( cookies ) in a jar made a delightful teacher's gift,  Kris Kringle,  office party present or a present for a friend.  If you have elderly family and friends this would be ideal.  Many elderly can't or wouldn't bake for themselves.  You could give the biscuits ( or other baking ) in a cellophane bag bought from the discount stores.  Tie the top up with recycled ribbon and add a gift tags.  For a larger batch of biscuits,  use a glass coffee jar ( Moccona comes to mind ),  decorated baby formula tin or an icecream container with a ribbon tied around for presentation.  Here are two suggested biscuit recipes on my blog

Peanut Butter Choc Chip Biscuits

Cranberry Hootycreek Biscuits

Biscuits in a jar

*  Teenage boys can be hard to buy for.  They want expensive branded gadgets / clothes and shoes.  A budget gift could be deodorant and shower gel bought at half price.  Lynx toiletries come on sale quite a few times during the year and cost about $3 each at half price.  Team this up with a couple of giant biscuits wrapped in cellophane bags tied with a tartan ribbon.  They'll devour those biscuits before you know it.

Always buy on sale

*  Make a set of handmade cards.  Kmart sells packs of white blank cards 25 per pack for $3.  Using a glue stick,  recycled ribbon and bits and pieces from around the house you could make an elegant set of card that are unique.  Present them in a handmade box,  a decorated recycled one or maybe buy a suitable size from the $2 shops.  Add a few postage stamps and a novelty pen for the receiver to use.


Using scraps of wrapping paper





*  Not crafty ?  Then maybe the garden is where you'll find a few presents.  Take cuttings from your plants and re pot them into saved garden pots,  containers,  planter boxes or fruit boxes.  Clean the outside of the pot and add a ribbon or saved colored plastic from bunches of flowers etc.

A raspberry cutting we grew

*  Now is the time to plant a mix of lettuce seeds in a pot for a beautiful display to give at Christmas. Both useful and very frugal.



Grow different varieties of lettuce

*  Make handmade soap.  If you make the soap in the next week or so you'll have just enough time for it to cure ready for Christmas giving.  The ingredients only cost a few dollars but produces $30 - $40 worth of presents.  You might even have some of the ingredients in your pantry.  Soap making is not as hard as it seems.  Just follow the instructions carefully and you'll be fine.  Wrap the bars of soap in cellophane and add a ribbon.  This soap could be added to a decorated hand towel or set of face washers.  Here's one of the recipes I use Soap making
  
Handmade soap

Gift wrapped ready to give

*  Men can be hard to buy for.  If they have a bbq then make up a few jars of spice rubs for meat.  Save your baby food or mustard jars to use and add a hand made or printed label.  If you'd like to bulk up the present,  make it into a gift pack buy adding paper towel,  tongs,  canola spray,  foil and cling wrap.  Men who bbq always need these items and it's saves them digging around in the kitchen. I know from first hand experience.  Darren has a tub of his " own " things next to the bbq.


* Google,  Pinterest and Youtube could be your best friend when searching for frugal or free gift ideas.  With a little planning now,  you don't need to spend a fortune on gifts.  Remember,  it's your budget.  You know what you can afford.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 19th November 2016

Lots of frugal tasks were completed this week and I made more progress with my Christmas shopping.  I only have a few more items to get plus a couple of bits and pieces for our stockings.  Here's my frugal list for the week -

*  Froze three single serves of leftover beef stew.

*  Made two chocolate cakes at the same time.  One was for us and the other was for a church morning tea.

*  Juiced some lemons and picked the last of the lemons off our tree.

* Made a batch of pita chips for snacks.

*  Sewed a button on a pair of 3/4 jeans.  The stud had fallen off leaving a hole so I sewed up the hole too.

*  Gratefully received a collection of buttons from a friend. Her mother had been collecting them over the years and they were sorted into colors in each container.

*  Made a bottle of air freshener.

*  Picked a bunch of roses from the garden for our kitchen. 

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Fed weeds,  silverbeet and grass to the chickens to vary their diet.

*  Line dried most of the washing.

*  Saved the washing machine and shower water.

*  Stayed at home as much as possible to save on petrol.  When I did go out I combined errands.

*  Sold a few more items in my Etsy shop.  I've sold all the Christmas hand towels so now I'm busy making more.

*  Jessica used a coupon for 50% off labour on her car service

*  Listed all of Jessica's and Megan's school text book on various FB pages.  I've already sold one book.

*  Stocked up on scented candles on sale in Spotlight.  They were a bargain at $1.99 but with a further 30% off, they are an amazing bargain.  Teamed up with a vintage saucer or plate from Savers, they make a delightful gift for under $5.  Normally you'd pay about $20 in a gift shop.

      
In the garden


One of our standard rose bushes in bloom

A frugal yet pretty gift

Pansies

Chocolate cakes

Flowers for my kitchen from the garden

Each chicken lays a different colored egg.


How did you save time,  money and energy this week ?