Saturday, 18 May 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 18th May 2019

Thankyou for all the lovely Mother's Day wishes from last week's post.  I surprised my Mum by appearing on her doorstep at lunchtime ( Dad knew I was coming ).  Jessica popped over to surprise her too and we had a lovely afternoon together.  Megan,  Kurt and Luka came over for dinner and I enjoyed lots of Nana cuddles with Luka.

Here's what else I got up to this week while having cleaning jobs from Monday to Friday -

*  Gratefully received a couple of cauliflower plants from my Mother Inlaw..

*  Made up a bottle of double strength Miracle Spray for around the home ( diluted as I refill the spray bottles ) and two bottles of usual strength Miracle Spray for cleaning jobs.

*  We had Mother's Day dinner at home instead of going out to a noisy restaurant.  For the price of one restaurant meal we fed five adults salmon or steak on a bed of mash and streamed beans,  roasted honey carrots with a citrus butter.  Courtesy of Darren and Jessica.

*  Saved the washing machine rinse water and shower warm up water to use in the washing machine.

*  Dried most of the washing on clothes horses placed over the ducted heating vents in the floor.

*  Gratefully received lots of glass jars from my Mum and Dad.

*  Stocked up on Cadbury blocks of chocolate on sale for $2.40 a block in Coles.  Some have been put aside to go with birthday presents.

*  Cut up an old dressing gown that Jessica was throwing out.  It had a few holes in it but will be great to line Princess' bed.

*  Picked about 60 - 70 feijoas from the ground under the tree.  They are not as big as they should be but the taste is still the same.

*  Stocked up on deodorants on sale ar half price.  We've been Avon deodorant users for over 20 years.  Due to Avon now not being available in Australia,  we've had to find out what's available to buy in the supermarkets.  There's so much choice that we didn't know which ones to buy. I guess time will tell us if the ones we bought are doing the job.

*  Found a bottles of body spray in the bathroom cupboard so I repurposed it into a toilet spray.

*  Bought a new jacket from Savers op shop and received a 20% discount by using my donation card.

*  Made a few men's greeting cards last Saturday at our monthly Cheapskates Club card making group.  I'm on a mission this year to learn new styles of men's cards and to use supplies I already have without buying new things.

Part of our chocolate stockpile.

Men's greeting cards

Almost finished



Did you stock up on any grocery specials this week ?

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


Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Having A Well Stocked Pantry

As the temperature drops outside, I'm finding lots of comfort in hot casseroles , stews and soups. They warm the body and soul. My slow cooker gets used all year round, but in Winter it almost goes into overdrive.

It's great to have a well stocked pantry, fridge and freezer. It makes it so much easier to feed the family or to change the menu around if things arise. My well stocked pantry came in handy a few years ago as I had a slight disaster in the kitchen. I'd gotten up early one morning to make a chicken curry to put in the slow cooker. I'd already put the cooked chicken in, the vegies were getting a head start in the microwave and all I needed to do was make the liquid up. I opened up a tin of cream of chicken soup to find that it was black and mouldy inside. YUCKY, YUCKY !!!!

I was so shocked at the color that I tilted the tin to make sure I had the right soup ( I thought it must have been mushroom soup ) Soup spilled all over the bench and kitchen floor. After cleaning up the mess I realised it was the right soup, but in the wrong condition. Thankfully I had another few tins of the soup in the pantry. I was able to continue making the curry. Phew !!! Later that day I returned the soup to the supermarket for a replacement.

Having spares of the soup meant that nothing was wasted and the meal was not a disaster. Just a slight hiccup in the making.

I've met many people over the years who love to have the bare minimum in their pantries. They have their tins and packages all lined up along the front of the shelves with nothing behind them. Easy to see everything yet so easy to run out. My pantry is not big by any means , but it is tidy, clean, well organised and WELL STOCKED !!!! Ready for any recipe, occasion or disaster. 





Do you keep your pantry well stocked ?  

Have you had a disaster in the kitchen ?



Saturday, 11 May 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 11th May 2019

This week has seen me in the kitchen doing lots of cooking and baking.  It sure does warm my heart and body to have yummy food to eat during the colder weather.  Having the oven on has laso helped to warm our home.

Here's my frugal list for the week -

*  Cut up a cereal packet ( the bag ) into squares to put between crumpets and hamburgers patties when I freeze them.

*  Our feijoa tree is dropping lots of fruit.  Each day for the last week I've been picking up handfuls of fruit from the ground.  I'm not a big fruit eater but I could eat a bucket of feijoas each day.

*  Made a big pot of chunky chicken and veggie soup from the stock I made last weekend.  I also had another chicken carcass on hand so I made another slow cooker full of stock.  I didn't need more soup at the time so the stock has gone into the freezer.

*  Made sausage rolls from the really cheap sausage mince I bought a few weeks ago.  Some sausage rolls were eaten for lunch by the family and the rest went into the freezer for snacks.

*  Made ANZAC biscuits for morning teas this week.  I used a couple of logs of dough I'd frozen a couple of months ago.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Baked pumpkin scones using cooked pumpkin I'd frozen last Summer.  Most of the scones went into the freezer for morning teas.  No wonder I rarely have room in my freezer with things being taken out,  cooked the placed in the freezer again.  It does save us lots of money though.

*  Donated another bag of goodies to Savers and received another discount stamp.  Jessica and I bought a few items of clothing for Luka in the next size up and received 20% off.  When Luka comes to visit or stay with us,  we like to be prepared with some changes of clothing.

*  Fed the compost bins with kitchen scraps almost every day.

*  Fed bread crusts and cauliflower leaves to the chickens.

*  Saved the washing machine rinse water and shower warm up water to pour into the washing machine for each next load.

*  Froze lots of leftover into single serves.  My stockpile seems to grow so quickly.  I'm thinking I need to write freezer meals into the menu plan for every Sunday night.

*  Mended a cardigan and Jessica took up a few pairs of trousers.

Homemade sausage rolls

ANZAC biscuits

Feijoas from our tree

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


Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Cleaning On A Budget

Having a clean home is important to me. When my home is clean and tidy, everything is right in my world. My mind is at peace and I can relax knowing that if anyone showed up unexpectedly I wouldn't be embarrassed or be shoving things in cupboards out of sight.


Having a clean home doesn't have to drain the food budget. Yes, the few cleaning products I buy are included in my small food budget. As a hired domestic cleaner of over 20 years, I've learnt that the fancy cleaning products are not necessary to keep a home clean. More than anything, they are toxic, expensive and a complete waste of space ( and money ).


Microfibre cloths are a great invention. I use the cheap version at home and work. They last for years and reduce the need for chemicals.


Miracle Spray is the best cleaning product I've come by. It's great for cleaning showers, toilets, sinks, floors, stoves, laundry stains and carpet stains. I'll be forever grateful to Joyofquilting  from The Cheapskates Club for sharing her recipe.  It's changed my life, my health and my budget. For about $1 you can make up a large 2 litre bottle.


Bleach is used every few months to keep the shower grout looking clean.


A small dash of disinfectant is used in the washing if the clothes are smelly.

Mirrors only need to be cleaned with water and a microfibre cloth for glass.  


Floors are cleaned with vinegar, detergent and boiling water. Or you can just use boiling water. 


It's worth having a think about the cleaning products you have in your home. Do they really work as well as the advertising claims ? Is it worth the money ?  Could a bar of soap do the same job as the expensive products.




How do you keep your home clean ?

Saturday, 4 May 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 4th May 2019

Our frugal week has mostly consisted of keeping the house running and cooking all our meals.  I've worked five days this week due to the public holidays the previous week and Darren has been getting into his Bible College studies in his free time.  Here's what else we got up to -

*  Used old bread bags to line both our bathroom bins.

*  Decorated department store bags using papers I already had on hand.  They are then reused for gift giving for all occasions.  This week I had three gifts to get ready for giving.  I was able to recycle one gift bag from my stash and reuse two department store bags.  It must be years since I bought gift bags and birthday wrapping paper.

*  Fed bread crusts and old lettuce to the chickens.

*  Sold one dozen eggs.

*  Sold one hanging hand towel,  five decorated face washers and a hand towel to a friend.

*  Made up two bottles of diluted Dynamo laundry liquid.  We've had extra house guests for the last few weeks and they love scented clothes.  My homemade laundry powder doesn't have a scent so this was the next best thing for them.

*  Made up foaming hand wash for some of my cleaning clients when cleaning their homes.  They have the foaming pumps but bought the hand wash gel.  I'm saving them money too.

*  Froze all leftovers into single serves.

*  Made a triple batch of laundry powder.

*  Gratefully received a couple of discount fuel dockets in the mail from a friend.  Thankyou so much Tania.

*  Bought a couple of Lilydale cooked chickens in Coles for just over $7 each.  Darren peeled the meat off the bones to make lots of yummy meals.  The bones went into the slow cooker to make stock.  Over this weekend I'll be making big pots of chicken soup.

*  Donated two bags of goodies to Savers and received a discount stamp for future purchases.


Making laundry powder

Slow cooker chicken stock

Diluting the laundry liquid,

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


Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Chocolate Ring Cake

This chocolate cake recipe has been a favourite on our home for over 15 years.  Iced or un iced,  it doesn't really matter.  It seems to disappear before my eyes.  Great for lunchboxes,  gatherings or to freeze for future occasions.

90 g of softened butter
2 eggs
dash of vanilla extract
2/3 cup of white sugar
1 1/4 cup of Self Raising flour
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
3/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of canola oil

Cream the butter,  sugar and vanilla until light. 
Add the eggs and beat in well. 
Add all the other ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.  Add extra milk if mixture looks a little stiff.
Pour into a greased and floured ring tin
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 40 - 50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
When the cake is cold,  invert onto a cooling rack.
Ice with chocolate icing and sprinkles ( or coconut ).

 This recipe is easy to double. 


Saturday, 27 April 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 27th April 2019

We hope you had a blessed Easter with your family and friends this week.  Here's what we got up to at the Gower Abundant Cottage -

*  Made up two bottles of diluted Dynamo laundry liquid.  The ratio is one part Dynamo to four or five parts water.

*  Cleaned the kettle with citric acid.

*  Ate freezer meals for dinner on two nights

*  Gratefully received lots of card making papers from a friend.

*  For Easter I gave Lindt bunnies and small Easter eggs I bought on clearance after Easter last year.  For Luka I bought a baby book from Savers for $1.99.  It looks new too.

*  Diluted a bottle of dishwashing liquid to clean the shower.  Combined with a microfibre cloth,  it's quite easy to clean the shower if I do it every 4 or 5 days.

*  Fed the compost bins with kitchen scraps.  We've been making chicken and vegetable soup so there's been lots of peeling going into the bin.

*  Cooked all meals from scratch using what we already had on hand.

*  Opened and closed the curtains during the day to make the most of the milder weather.  The heater only came on at night for a very short period of time.

*  Took a plate of chocolate brownies ( from the freezer ) to a card making day last Saturday.  I also gratefully received some fancy patterned scissors from the swap table.

*  Bought a big bag of sausage mince from Australian Butchers for $1.99 kg.  This is a fantastic price and Darren's eyes almost popped out of his head when he saw the big bag.  He can't wait for the first batch of sausage rolls to be made.


Happy Easter

Diluted Dynamo liquid

Cleaning the kettle


What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?
Did you grab any Easter bargains during the week ?


Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Stockpiling For Winter

As Winter fast approaches, our minds start to think about those hearty meals  we love to eat.   Have you thought about stockpiling your cooking and baking ingredients ?  Being ready for the change of season eating will make menu planning easy.  Having everything on hand for stews,  casseroles,  roasts and baked desserts saves money ( avoiding takeaway ),  time ( no unnecessary trips to the supermarket )  and your sanity.

Here's a list of the ingredients I stockpile as the weather cools down -


*  Corn Flour
*  Sugar - white and brown
*  Cocoa Powder - unsweetened
*  Rolled oats and quick oats
*  Tinned fruit for cobbler and crumble desserts
*  Flour - Self Raising and Plain
*  Tinned Soups -tomato,  cream of chicken and cream of celery for casseroles and slow cooking
*  Tinned Tomatoes
*  Tinned Corn
*  Creamed Corn
*  French Onion Soup Mix
*  Chicken Noodle Soup Mix
*  Curry Powder
*  Coconut Cream
*  Gravy Powder
*  Stock Powder - vegetable,  chicken and beef
*  Custard Powder




What do you stockpile for Winter cooking and baking ?


Saturday, 20 April 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 20th April 2019

This week's frugal tasks are pretty much non existent due to the continuing challenges we are facing.   We've cooked our meals from scratch most nights.  Freezer meals have been eaten when cooking was impossible.  We've saved water like we usually do and stayed away from the shops.  Yesterday I baked bread and finished making a few cards.  A friend gave me some mini tomatoes which we've eaten with salads when the weather turned warm again.

So this week I thought it would be a fabulous chance for regular commenters and those who lurk around the edges to share their wonderful thrifty ways of the last week or two.

Here's your chance - Share away  



Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Your Iron Could Save You Money.

A couple of months ago a friend was telling me she rarely uses her iron due to the easy care clothes they wear.  Her iron makes such a rare appearance that her daughter didn't know what it was or what it does.  She went on to say that I might be one of those few people who irons on a regular basis.  She's right.  I iron once a week or every two weeks if there's very little in the ironing pile.

This got me thinking about living without an iron.  I personally couldn't live without one.  Sure,  an iron helps my family step out into the world looking their very best.  Have you thought about the money saving benefits of using your iron ?

*  Sometimes clothes can dry out of shape.  Instead of throwing a misshapen item of clothing out,  give it an iron.  You'll probably improve it's appearance.

*  Can you sew ?  Even basic hand sewing with a needle and thread or hemming ?  Then an iron can make easy work of hemming.  Cut the jeans or trousers to the right length.  Use your iron to fold up a  neat hem,  then sew it into place.  No need to pay someone to do it for you.

*  Can't sew at all and need to hem something.  You can use hemming tape and an iron to get a neat looking finish.

*  Iron out the wrinkles from saved wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbon and brown paper.

*  Remove wax from clothes.    Scrap of excess wax then place  a paper bag over the wax patch.  Use a low heat on your iron and the paper should absorb the rest.

*  Many business clothes can be washed and ironed at home.  No need to go to the dry cleaners unless it's really really necessary..  






What do you use your iron for ?