Saturday, 22 November 2014

This Week's Frugal Tasks

Being frugal can be a challenge when life gets really busy.  This week we started bathroom renovations so the house is in disarray.  Darren and I have been sharing a bathroom with the girls ( lots of fun ).  On Tuesday I was sent away to do a tv story and flew back Thursday afternoon.  In all the craziness we managed to do a few frugal things. 

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread.

*  Saved some bread bags and reused them as bin liners.

*  Made four batches of Anzac biscuit dough for the freezer. Some of this will be baked to go with a few Christmas presents.

*  Started picking a handful of strawberries each day.

*  Darren picked the first few beans on Friday.

*  Saved water in the washing machine and showers.

*  Had the heater off for most of the week.  With good weather and tradies in and out of our house,  it wasn't worth having it on for long.

*  Our Christmas tree is a little low to the ground.  It can be a bit hard to put many presents under it so Darren solved the problem.  He built a timber box to lift the tree up.  He used timber off cuts he already had.

* I went shopping early this week to find something nice to wear for the tv story.  I couldn't find anything I liked.  Nothing fitted right or it looked too fancy.  So I spent zero dollars and wore something from my wardrobe.

*  The family ate freezer meals one night while I was away.

*  Sold a few freezer meals to a cleaning client.

*  When I was away I ordered breakfast each morning.  The toast basket came with four cute little jars of assorted jams and honey.  I bought home all the jas ( used and unused )  These will be used to put homemade lip balm in.  Cath from Cheapskates put a recipe on her blog a while ago and Jessica wants to make some during the school holidays.

Home grown strawberries

Freebie jams and honey

Free jars to put lip balm in.

Darren's Christmas tree box

Our first year for cherries

First crop of beans

Our first zucchini for the year

What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?


  1. This year we renovated out kitchen and our bathroom needs doing. But I wasnt prepared for the mess it was so much worse than I thought! With also having to be away you have done well! I love the idea to raise the Christmas tree so there is more room under it. Plus it would look bigger as well!
    We had a good and busy week and have had three days of rain. Today it is raining and the garden is soaked! It looks so fresh and I am thrilled. The main thing I wanted to tell you is we found, on the side of the road, a metal shelving system for cans that we can use in our cellar! Can you believe that? It is really big, in perfect condition, and is just right for food storage! Have a good weekend I hope you get some rest after such a busy week! xx

    1. Annabel, I always find it hard to deal with a mess. At the moment only the kitchen and Jessica's room have been untouched by the reno mess.

  2. Hi Wendy. This week I was in baking heaven. I made muesli bars-thanks to you and Cath for your suggestions. I didn't change any ingredients, just pushed down on the muesli. It was funny actually, as I was pushing so hard I nearly pulled my pec muscles! I made heaps of muesli bars which turned out really well, blondies, chewy chocolate slice and chocolate madeleines. My hubby received 2 jars of homemade honey as gifts from acquaintances and I bought 3 bags of mushrooms, which each had over a kilo in them for $3 each. I have made heaps of mushroom soup and thinking about what a great week I had. I love bagging a bargain. Let us know when you will be on TV again. Regards, Liz.

    1. Hi Liz, I have Maureen on the look out for the tv ad for the story.

  3. Wow, you still managed to get a lot done considering you've been away and your bathroom renovations. You are so organised , I haven't even thaught about putting up the
    Xmas tree yet. Mind you I'm finding each
    week I'm getting more organised and fitting a few more New frugal ideas eg. this week I was given a bag of lemons and I squeezed them into ice cubes but instead of just throwing the lemons afterwards I poured some hot water over them and soaked them over night. With that lemon water I made 1 batch of lemonade and some lemon blancmange pudding.
    We've been very lucky this week with your extra blogs, thank you. I always look forward to the next one.

    week I'm managing to keep a better schedule
    and fitting in a few more New frugal ideas eg.

    this week I was given a bag of lemons so I
    squeezed them into ice block container but
    instead of just throwing away the lemons I
    poured over some boiling water and sat them
    overnight that water was very lemony and
    would have otherwise been wasted. I then
    made lemon blancmage with it.
    My kids are also excited as we put in a few new trees 2 years ago and we will have apricots and cherries for the first time this year.
    We'be been very lucky this week Wendy with the extra blog entries, thank you. I look forward to each new entry.

  4. Kathleen, I've always been an organised person. This year I'm extra organised with the Christmas presents bought and wrapped. The tree is up earlier than normal because of the bathroom renos and we have a community day at our church next weekend where we are giving away hampers and toys.. I also had a feeling there might be a few stories for ACA..

  5. Wendy, we are in our sixties and have lived frugally out of necessity for many, many years so it is second nature. I am very impressed by all the young girls with blogs who are really getting the message about living within one's means and learning how to get by with inexpensive items as much as possible and within reason of course. Well done on encouraging others to live simply and frugally.


    1. Thankyou so much Nanna Chef and thankyou for putting me in the same group as " young girls "/ You've made my day.

      We've always lived frugaly because of our very low income. Even if we had a better income I don't think we'd change anything. My Grandparents would be loving all this frugality if they were alive. I know they'd be proud and that makes me happy.

  6. Hi Wendy and all, Wow Wendy, you are superwendy! Reno's, TV interviews and still manages to run the household, well done!
    This week i made: Wendy's Chicken and corn soup, Cranberry hooty creek bickies and did double batches of a few meals.
    I'm still picking Silverbeet and snowpeas and now Strawberries. Used our tank water and reused washing water on garden and in machine.
    Found a few bargains this week, Strawberries 99c (froze), Cauliflower $1.00, Chocolate blocks 220gm $2.00 (bought a years worth, thanksWendy for this tip) and Mens pajamas for DS1 Xmas present (Mambo brand big w) $10.00 normally $25.00.
    DH informed me we were going to a friends house for a BBQ yesterday 1/2 hr before leaving. As i couldn't defrost anything in time, lucky i had some things put away ie: shapes, etc. But still felt bad that i had bought nothing homemade).
    Any ideas for things to bring at very short notice, (would love homemade things),
    Thanks, Maureen

    1. .....And I was at work Monday, Tuesday ( before I flew to Brisbane ) and Friday. Crazy week !!! I bought a years supply of chocolate at Big W and bought the Cadbury share bags for Easter resents.

      Biscuit dough can be defrosted in the microwave if you are in a hurry to bake. Chocolate brownies defrost quickly too. Mini muffins.

    2. Thanks Wendy, i will make some this week in case of any unexpected "Outings" we might have, Thanks again, Maureen

  7. Hi Wendy. It's just dawned on me what amazing strawberries you have grown. My strawberry plant hardly grows any strawberries and they are quite small. Any hints as we've had our quite sizeable plant for many years with very little result. Regards, Liz.

    1. We bought some strawberry plants from Bunnings that grow bigger fruit. We also feed them Seasol every couple of weeks.

  8. Thanks Wendy. I'll try the Seasol on the strawberry plant. In regards to Maureen's blog, if I'm caught in a situation of needing to make something last minute, I'll make a dip. I usually make hummous as I keep cans of chickpeas as a staple in my pantry. It takes a couple of minutes and you can make crackers from pita bread to go with it, which doesn't take long either. Thanks again. Liz.

  9. Hi Wendy, I just bought some strawberries that were on special and noticed in the comments that others as well as your lovely self freeze them. How do you freeze them apart from putting them into the freezer? Do you have to do anything to them first? I am tired of buying them and not finishing them before they start to turn. My chooks don't complain as they are usually the recipients of the strawberries that look a bit thanks for coming! Cheers Donna Z :)

    1. I just put them in freezer bags. You could flash freeze them by spreading them out on a tray or chopping board. Freeze them on the tray then put them in the freezer bag. If you do this they won't stick together.

    2. Thanks so much Wendy :) Cheers Donna Z :)

  10. Thanks Liz for the tip on the dip and pita chips, didn't think of this, so many ideas, thanks everyone!
    Remember to watch Wendy tomorrow night (Tuesday) on ACA, can't wait!! Xx Maureen

  11. You have a great list as usual Wendy. I love how you are super organised, something I can only dream of lol!

    I haven't been too frugal lately as hubby and I have been touring around for a couple of weeks. We did spend money, mainly on fuel for our car and caravan sites for our van, and a couple of tourist type tours. Our ongoing frugality helps us afford these few little luxuries. We went to many op shops and only bought two books, so very proud of ourselves :)

    I packed most of our own food from home to take with us. I portioned out serving sizes of cereal, just enough for us two for the days we were away. I have saved the little bags to use next time we go away. I picked oranges from our tree to take with us, also lettuce and baby spinach from the garden. I took my own yoghurt and stewed fruit plus an apple pie I had made previously and froze. We cooked most of our meals except for a couple, where we shouted ourselves out by eating at a local pub. We took our own rain water, so we didn't have to buy any. We traveled light with only the bare necessities to keep the weight down and thus save on fuel. Now we are home, I will be on a strict low spending plan to make up for what we did spend.

    Your strawberries look very delicious, bet they didn't last long. My strawberry plants died, so I will need to get some new plants and try again. I noticed that I have my first zucchini in the garden this morning, and things are beginning to produce nicely.


  12. So many wonderful an inspiring ideas yet again...thanks Wendy
    The weekend saw me save and doing
    * 4 yoghurts nearing the used by date being turned into ice cubes to put into smoothies at a later time and ice creams for my DD4
    *4 nearing the end of time bananas turned into a banana cake
    *2 more batches of foaming liquid soap
    *hanging out the washing in the sunshine
    *making cookies for the freezer (these have been cooked so saves time)
    *adding a splash of water to the sauce bottle when making rissoles to get the last of the sauce out

    Your cherries look devine and I bet you can't wait to tuck into them

    Enjoy your week

    1. Aly, Darren has already had the first cherry. He said it was divine. He wanted to buy the cherry tree so he is claiming the first small crop. He did say he might cut up one cherry for us three girls to try !!!!

    2. Oh Wendy he sounds very generous :)


This blog is designed to be a source of encouragement and inspiration.

Negative comments will not be published. Comments advertising businesses or goods for sale will not be published.

Please include your first name in your comment so that I can respond to you.

Comments are moderated manually. Please allow a few hours for them to appear.