Saturday, 24 January 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks

This week has been a very productive week in the Gower house.  The New Year has bought on the urge to declutter.  We are not hoarders by any means but it's good to go through the cupboards and wardrobes to sort out what can't be used any more. 

We've received many food blessings this week and I've also tried to make the most of my time in the kitchen.  Here's this week's frugal list -

*  Saved the warm up water from the shower and poured it into the washing machine.  We've had so much rain lately and mild weather that the water was better used for washing.

*  Froze some leftovers from a chicken curry I made..

* We were blessed with loaves of bread,  eggs, sandwiches, wraps,  spinach,  bread rolls,  plums and a vegetable frittata.

*  Darren bought discounted cream in the supermarket.  One had a few days to go and the other needs to be used by February.

*  Picked beans,  strawberries,  silver beet,  peaches ( very small ) and a handful of tomatoes.

*  Bought discounted gingerbread house kits for 5 cents each.  Also bought cupcake decorations ( 12 per box ),  plain green and red paper plates, green serviettes all for 5 cents each from Woolworths. My huge haul cost $1.30 for two bags of goodies.

*  Bought toothbrushes and mouthwash for $1 each from Woolworths.

*  Sold some eggs,  jam and relish.

*  Donated four bags to Savers and received more discount stamps for future purchases.

*  Made five jars of plum jam with free plums.

*  Made a big pot of vegetable soup using lots of zucchini from our garden.

*  Made eight jars of tomato relish with tomatoes that cost 99 cent a kilo.

*  Made double recipes of potato salad and pasta salad.  Megan requested these for her birthday dinner on Tuesday.with other salad items.  We ate the rest of the salads the next night.  YAY,  no cooking that night.

*  Made Anzac biscuits and a double batch of white chocolate and raspberry muffins.  The muffins were frozen for lunchboxes.

*  I helped clean up after a big lunch function and came home with bottles of soft drink,  a bottle of orange juice,  bottles of water,  bread rolls,  scones,  jam,  cream,  pavlova,  fruit salad,  coleslaw,  salad, and flavoured rice.  All of these wonderful blessings came in large quantities  Some of the soft drink we had with meals.  The rest will be turned into icy poles.  The water came in large bottles and I'd poured leftover amounts into the four bottles I bought home.  I used the water to water all my fruit trees.
The scones were frozen for future occasions.  The fruit salad was used in smoothies.  The rice was frozen into single serves.  The rest of the food was eaten for our main meal over two nights.

We are so grateful to be given all this food.

*  I've started using the recycled bread bags as bin liners - YAY  !!  I needed to cut down the side of the bag a bit so I could fold it over the outside of the bin. as the opening of the bin was too big for the bags..

*  Made sausage rolls for a family gathering for Megan's birthday.

*  Made yoghurt using some starter yoghurt I froze.

Our first picking of tomatoes this year.

Homemade sausage rolls.

My stockpile of jams and relish.

Megan's birthday cake -store bought - Ooopps !!

Did you do anything frugal this week ?


  1. Wow Wendy you have been busy. This week i,

    Made up a menu plan.........and stuck to it :)
    Bought only what was on my shopping list at Aldi.
    Stocked up on mouthwash at Woolworths.
    Dried all washing on the line.
    Made dog food.
    Measured out 400 grams of mince instead of the usual 500 when putting into freezer bags.
    Cooked corned beef in the slow cooker and had enough for 2 meals.
    Bought discounted meat from WW at around 75% off. I have nearly 2 months worth of meat now.
    Filled up mine and DD's car which would normally cost $200 and it was only $130.....the rest will be put towards rego and insurance.
    Figured out (finally) that its only a saving if you save your savings not spend them. Common sense really but a light bulb moment for me.

    Have a great week.



    1. A great lightbulb moment for you Deb. If I have grocery money left over it goes into the food slush fund to be used for grocery bargains. That's how I can afford to stock up.

  2. Hi Wendy, well we have tried to keep this week as frugal as possible considering we are in Sydney on holidays.
    Handwashed most things as the machines were small and expensive.
    Didn't need to do much shopping as we bought most things from home, so only milk,bread and fruit.
    Mooed lunches each day, made breakfast and dinner each day and ate out one night at an RSL (great value).
    Did lots of free activities so this compensated for other paid activities. We decided to skip a water park up here and head to the beach saving us $240.00. Went to the movies on cheap Tuesday.
    Filled the car with petrol at 0.99c, great while we are away.
    I claimed four years worth of rebates (mole checks) which i was never told i could claim and received $140.00 back. Adjusting to DH's pay cut but thankful he still has a job.
    We went to a factory outlet in Sydney and i found some bargains, not as good as yours though Wendy. Chocolate moulds from Spotlight $1.25 ea for easter presents, Christmas hampers 75% off so instead of paying $40.00 for two, i paid $6.00 and $4.00 but the best part is i will reuse the baskets they are in. In Big W, i found Lynx and Brut mens gift packs for $6.50, and lots of other gifts for birthday and Mothers and Fathers day. Most of my birthday list is nearly complete for this year, yeh!!!
    Hope you will post your recipes for the White Chocolate and raspberry muffins and the Sausage rolls soon they sound delicious.
    Have a great week, Blessings Maureen

    1. $240 for a theme park !!!! Oh my goodness !! I bet you are glad you went to the beach. Think of all the groceries you could buy with that money.

      Maureen, what are mole checks ?

    2. The mole checks are when you have your skin checked buy a specialist, checking for any moles/freckles that may have turned cancerous. I have had one previously, but luckly it was not cancer. Normally you can claim this under Medicare if you have a Health Care card, which i do, but i was never told this and for 4 yrs, i paid full price, hence the rebates. Hope this makes sense, Maureen

    3. It makes sense Maureen. I thought mole checks was something like rain checks.

  3. Hi Wendy, I too have been very busy this week and planning to make the most of the long weekend to get some more frugal tasks done! This is what I have got up to so far.
    - Easiyo sachets were on special (half price at woolies), and bought a few (checked dates of course). One easiyo sachet will provide enough starter culture for several kgs of yogurt, we are now set for the year!
    - A pharmacy was selling large tubes of macleans toothpaste for $1.50 per tube, I stocked up and now have a years supply.
    - Gratefully accepted some cold meats, grain bread (my husband can only eat this) and sliced swiss cheese. Any left over cold meat was frozen and can be used for sandwiches later.
    - Gratefully accepted lots of chilli's, I plan on making a batch of tomato chilli jam this weekend.
    - Cooked a whole chicken earlier in the week, what wasn't eaten was frozen. Some was frozen for sandwiches and the rest was used to make a chicken and vegetable risotto which we had later in the week. We had fresh vegetables in the fridge that needed to be consumed before the weekend and this was a great way to use them up!
    - Made 1kg yoghurt
    - Local butcher was selling premium beef mince at $10 for 2kgs. I also stocked up on beef mince.

    On top of that, it's nearly the end of the month and we are coming easily under budget. I won't need to buy anything else until Feb. Woohoo!


    1. You had a very frugal week Amy and bought some great bargains. It really is worth stocking up when you see a good buy.

  4. I'm so glad that all that food was not wasted after the function. In a city where people need soup kitchens and community food pantries to get by, wasting food is wrong.
    Re yoghurt- I have made your mix up and my family all liked it, however cannot buy full cream milk powder anywhere ( I know why, same reason that baby formula is being restricted to sales of only 4 tins ) I can buy skim, will it work the same ? K

    1. Is that the reason why milk powder is hard to come by. I'm going to Aldi today to see if they have any.

      Skim milk won't work in making yoghurt as it doesn't have enough fat in it to set.

    2. I struggled to find milk powder too! Every Aldi and woolworths were out! I did however manage to buy it from coles (coles brand) and they seemed to have it well stocked. From memory it is the same price as aldi milk powder.


    3. I managed to get milk powder at Coles. The staff said the shortage should be over by March.

    4. Milk power is very difficult to buy at this time of the year as people who camp use it as they have no refrigeration. You need to stock up in November each year.Maureen

    5. Success, found full cream powder at Aldi, stockpiled 4 bags. Have made a calender note for Easter and November, thanks Maureen. K

  5. What a week you had Wendy! All that food is just wonderful. I know you would make the most of every bit.
    Why is there a milk powder shortage? I havent heard and am wondering!
    It feels really good to have a hugely productive week.
    I had a pretty good one too. I had free peaches and plums and made jams, cobblers, cakes and pies. I also froze stewed fruit.
    I found a brand new washing machine for free worth $850! (just when mine is getting old and worn out)
    Our water and electricity bills came in and both were not too bad so I was pleased and relieved!
    I went through baby things I kept and things Ive made over the last years. I have so much to give to my daughter. She came and went through it and was thrilled!
    Have a lovely long weekend. I hope next week is as good for us all! xxx

    1. Hi Annabel, the staff in Coles think there's a milk powder shortage because of the baby formula contamination in China. They believe people are selling it on ebay or sending it over to China. I was in Chemist Warehouse a couple of months ago and someone was trying to buy too much baby formula and a staff member said they couldn't allow the sale.

    2. Thanks Wendy that explains it and I understand it too. If I had a baby and needed formula urgently then I can see how this could happen! Amazing though.
      I hope you are having a nice weekend! xx

  6. My weekly has been stressful, husband has lost his licence for 10 months and I now have to drive him to work (he works on a farm) so our fuel costs will double as I have to make 2 trips not one a day. I am lucky I work two days a week just near the farm that Hubby works at so some days we will save fuel. Trying to walk everywhere in town to save fuel and to also assist with my weight loss goal.
    However what I did do is I made biscuits and sandwiches for my Daughter Caite to take to the junior fire brigade running competition. I cashed in my fly buy points for fly buy credit and managed to purchase my other Daughter Siobhan's school raincoat and socks with the credit (zero cost to me)
    Cashed in my husband Tony's meat vouchers for some free meat from the butcher.
    Made Plum sauce from my neighbour's plums that I was allow to pick. Taking my travel mug with a cup of tea each day instead of buying a drink. Made home made pizzas that did two meals for us.
    Bought all my daughters their stationary supplies from the supermarket sales and bought extra for the year ahead. Bought Caite's school shoes on sale. I purchased Caite's text books early, so they are paid for. Need a tent for a trip away and have manged to cash in some points for a BCF $100 voucher.
    Must get some plain yoghurt and start making my own again (my yoghurt maker is different to yours)

    1. I'm sorry to hear your week has been difficult. Your frugal tasks will help to offset the extra fuel costs.

      If I get free plums my goal is to make some plum sauce this year.

  7. I tried to get milk powder today here in Toowoomba. Neither Woolies nor Coles had any but there was a note on the Devondale milk powder shelf in Coles that it was not available at present. I will check ALDI tomorrow. The guy in Woolies said it was something to,do with 'the factory'.

  8. I am pleased that you were gifted so much free food it certainly helps you and I hate to see good food wasted. This week my frugal endeavours included

    *DD17 lost her graphic calculator at the end of last year. It wasn't in the lost box at the end of term so I bought a new one, and kept the receipt. I took a punt that maybe it had turned up in the after term clean up so I rang the school this Monday and yes they had found it. I returned the one I had bought and got my $195 refunded.
    *I mended a bra
    *I worked cleaning a house for 8 hours in addition to my regular job
    *I claimed an allowance my DD is entitled to and got $354 which I paid straight to the school before I was tempted to spend it
    *I was given 17 glass jars with "pop" lids for preserving and I am welcome to about this amount fortnightly
    *At work I was told I could feed myself there so I ate the fruit and saved bringing mine from home
    *I asked if I could take an empty tin from work which they were going to throw out and am covering it to make a gift for my niece for her birthday. Hoping there will be another empty in a few weeks to make her a matching one for Xmas
    *I took all my food to work
    *Cooked all meals bar two at home. The other two a friend bought Daughter age 14 and I takeaway so I saved my food and money
    *I was gifted $690 and I put it straight on the mortgage
    *I went to Coles yesterday and bought only the specials I had seen in the catalogue to stock my pantry. I spent $60 and saved $44 off the regular price. So I am stocked on Cordial x 12, Rice Crackers x 6 and my 17 year old daughter's sanitary products x 5 (all they had). I am doing a Costco shop on Sunday and if there is any money left I will go back to Coles and get more of these great bargains
    *I line dried our wash and managed to keep the number of loads of wash down
    *Daughter age 14 wanted a magazine holder to use in her locker at school to put her exercise books in and she made it herself out of a cut down cereal box and some contact left over from last year.
    *I asked and was given advice on preserving fruit in jars
    *I froze leftovers from dinner last night to prevent the kids snacking on it and it will make another serve for two people.
    *I filled the car with petrol for the amazing price of 96.7 cents per litre using a voucher.

    I hope the upcoming week is just as bountiful for you

    1. What an amazingly frugal week you had Melissa. Great idea on the magazine holdert. I will ask my girls if they need one

    2. Many years ago, I purchased Sanpro on special from $4.95 down to $2.95. It scanned at $1.22. I paid, took my groceries to the car. I then went back inside, got a basket, placed it in front of shelf and emptied all remaining packets into it. I did not buy anymore for the next two years. I do love stockpiling things that don't have a use by date. K

  9. This is my second week at frugal tasks, and I must admit it is getting easier to stick to my tasks. This week I made washing powder from scratch and it was really good. I will never by shop bought again. It got work clothes really clean especially since I have boys who are in trade work, plumbing , electrical and their clothes can be quite dirty, not anymore, they came out so clean.
    Made curried chicken, I used part of your recipe, I only added a few vegetables, I didn't add potatoes or sultanas, I addaed milk instead of water and it came out creamy and it was a hit. Everyone came back for seconds.
    Went to my local growers market and spent $15.00 on my fruit and veg for the week, real happy with my purchases.
    I made sticky date pudding and all the ingredients were in my pantry.
    I noticed I am not going to the shops as often and am saving money there.

    1. I bet you feel good about all the frugal things you do.

  10. Hi Wendy

    Well this past week we were on holidays and managed to save money by

    *staying with family as we went to visit them anyway

    *when we did stay in a hotel on the last night we managed to save the price of breakfast and they threw in 2 free full buffet breakfasts and DD4 ate for free

    *line dry all our washing and included a set of sheets all whilst it was raining

    *make my own mayonnaise

    *not have to do a full weekly shop as we were away

    *make a batch of Anzac biscuits and freeze half to go in to DD's lunch box for her starting school

    Unfortunately the big downfall is that even though it has been raining and flooding our way we have had to have the air con on as the temps are well above 38 degrees and just too hot, especially when DD4 has allergies, eczema and has just had chickenpox and shingles over almost all of the holidays


    1. When we have our evap cooling on I try to cut down in other areas of the house - especially water usage.

    2. I do the same also Wendy, but now that DD4 is at school I will be able to have it on less as they have it on there instead of my bill going up, but up here you do need to be comfortable


  11. Hi Wendy,
    I really enjoyed your post regarding back to school savings. My little girl doesn't start school till next year, but I thought I could start to buy a few things for her when I see the clearance sales start. My frugal achievements this week are:
    * Yesterday my favourite op-shop was clearing out back to school items. I found rolls of Disney contact paper for 50cents each, so I stocked up. Bargain!!
    * At the fruit shop I found bags of cauliflower for 99 cents each. Bought several bags, blanched then froze.
    * Made a large batch of blueberry muffins. Froze half so I have enough for snacks during this coming week.
    * Dried all washing on the line.
    * Got my family into eating all the ends on loaves of bread. By using this for toast, I haven't had to buy as much bread!
    * Last weekend we went away. Took all our own supplies. We had planned to get takeaway one night, but lucky for us, most places were shut as it was a small country town. So we cooked tea instead and saved about $40.

    1. Isn't it great to bring your own food when on holidays. It saves a fortune.

      When the weather turns cooler I'll post a bread and butter pudding recipe that uses bread crusts.

  12. Wendy what a great week and what an inspiration everyone is! I think with all that you achieved, a bought birthday cake is a luxury you can afford. Mimi xxx

  13. Hi Wendy,

    Are you able to post your pasta and potato salad recipe?
    Love the blog!!


  14. I made a batch of Miracle Spray for my girls to show them how good it cleans clear shower screens if used regularly. I can;t believe how stainless steel and my jewellery sparkles!

    Cheers - Joolz xx

    1. It really is good isn't it Joolz. I'm a house cleaner and use it when I can as well as on my own home.


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