Saturday, 14 March 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 14th March 2015

I've had a very productive week  with lots of great specials bought to fill my cupboards,  baking and cooking completed as well as being wise with what we have.  Here's what I got up to this week -

*  Gratefully received some glass jars from my friend Leesa.  Thank you so much.  Those salsa jars are the perfect size for my relish and the lids are apple green in color ( my fav ).

*  Gratefully received some sandwiches, and egg and bacon muffins

*  Mended lots of socks.  They had holes in the toe area so they were worth mending. 

*  Spent some time making birthday cards.  I only have a few stamps and ink pads from many years ago.  As card making can be an expensive hobby I've taken my lead from Annabel  at The Bluebirds Are Nesting blog.  She makes beautiful cards using pictures from magazines.  Here's a link to her blog. at

*  Cut up three old socks to use as garden ties.

*  Froze three single portions of leftover chicken curry.  These will be written into the menu plan as a free meal.

*  Picked a handful of raspberries each day and froze them.

*  Dried the washing on the line for free.  It looks like I've reduced my washing to 5 loads a week without compromising on cleanliness.

*  Saved the shower warm up water.  Some was poured into the washing machine and the rest was used to water my mango plants.  They are looking quite healthy.

*  Made up a batch of dried seasoned bread crumbs.

*  Darren bought two litres of chocolate flavoured milk for 50 cents.  It had one day left on it's use by.  We don't normally by flavoured milk but this bargain was too good to refuse.  Darren and the girls had a couple of glasses each to drink that day.  Megan used the rest to make icypoles.

*  Bought 10 kilos of chicken drumsticks at $1.98 kilo.  Darren and I divided them up into 15 meal portions ( 4 drumsticks ) and froze them.  We also have rain checks for another 15 kilos which we'll redeem throughout the next twelves months when we need them.

*  Made two chocolate cakes at the same time.  One is for us and the other is for morning tea at church on Sunday.

*  Bought the supermarket bargains listed here Grocery Specials.

*  Found three cushion inserts at Savers op shop for $2.99 each.  A few cushions on our family room couch and Megan's bed were looking a bit flat.  Spotlight sells the inserts for about $10 - $15 for the size I needed.  I'd been waiting for a sale but Spotlight doesn't seem to reduce them often.  I'd never even thought of looking at Savers,  but there they were. Three near new ones just waiting for me.

*  Cut and whizzed  a few bars of soap in the food processor   I added this to my bucket of powdered soap that I use to make laundry powder.

*  Picked a bunch of roses from the bush in the chicken coop.

Cutting a bar of soap before whizzing it in the processor.

First attempt at card making.

Flat cushions and new inserts.

Cushions with a new lease of life.

Much better looking cushions.

Megan's bed with rejuvenated cushions 

Roses from the garden.

Chocolate cakes.

Dried bread crumbs.

What frugal things did you complete this week ?


  1. Thanks for sharing.. I would have no idea on how to mend socks I am sad to say. Hope you can add this to one of your how to dos some time soon as I just threw a pair out this week.. Knowing that they can be mended to recycled for garden ties is great! Thank you!

  2. Hi Wendy loving your blog! I'm an avid follower...

  3. Hi Wendy

    Another great week. Love your post on the weekly specials, I get very excited at a good bargain and am glad I've found like minded people. My friends don't get it :) this week I

    - Made your muesli bar recipe (which everyone loved).
    - hung all of my washing on the line and clothes airer...... can't remember the last time I actually used the drier.
    - made dog food for my pooch :)
    - took lunch and morning tea to work each day.
    - took snacks to my DD's game last Sunday so no need for canteen food (will do the same this week)
    - had another leftover night which meant no cooking.
    - DH found a jar of butter chicken paste at the local F&V shop (DD's favourite) it was so nice and tasty and at least 6 meals can be made from the one small jar which was only $2.50.
    - told myself that I must have a new pair of boyfriend jeans that I had been eyeing off for ages...talked myself out of them too :)
    - collected another 2 jars for my little collection so that I can start on my own jams and relishes.
    - collected water from the tap and drinking bottles and poured onto my little herb garden.
    - started reading Anita Bell's mortgage book again to keep me on track.

    Have a great week.


    1. Deb, do you get excited every time you collect a glass jar ? I do. I'm even more excited when someone gives me some.

    2. Yes very excited :).

      I ran into Coles today to get the chocolate chips and also noticed that they had the Ocean Spray cranberries on special for half price which is much cheaper than what I normally would pay for another brand so I stocked up on those as well.

    3. If you know anyone with a Costco membership, Ocean spray Craisins are a very good price. As long as you want 1.4kg

  4. oh those cushions are really pretty. You have had a huge week as usual Wendy.
    My week wasn't as busy as yours but it has been fruitful.

    I have wanted some sort of gadget to make vegetable spaghetti for some time but they have always been too expensive or difficult to use with arthritis until I found a gadget on Kogan. Suffice to say last night we had zucchini and sweet potato spaghetti with pork carbonara. The pork was left overs. The spaghetti was so nice that we will be using the gadget a lot and not only living healthier but hopefully more cheaply by using up vegetables that have gone soft but not potatoes into hash browns, soft carrots turned into spaghetti or hash browned. etc.

    I have been working on my wardrobe since moving. I had cleaned out a lot of clothes and donated them to the charities before the move and this left me with about ten core items. I was shocked to discover I have sixty different outfits I can put together just for winter alone from my small wardrobe and it will cost me so much less as I will only need to replace an item as it gets old. It has solved my bad shopping habits that's for sure lol and I had such fun working out the many combinations of clothes I could get out of so few items.
    Talking of shopping habits lol, I am going to a charity shop to day to see if I can get a new pair of jeans as my over ten year old jeans are past repair. Funnily enough the legs are perfectly good so I will use the material in the old jeans to make potholders for Xmas.

    We got three ripe figs off our tiny fig tree we have in a container. The tomatoes are still ripening and the silver beet is thriving and great for tea. I will be sowing some lettuce seeds this afternoon.

    I made the muesli bars you put the recipe up for, and they turned out so well...thanks for the recipe.

    I phoned up about a bill error and got an adjustment in our favor.

    Gratefully accepted an offer of a kitchen stool and a large rug for our lounge room.

    after some discussion and thought we have decided to purchase thorn-less blackberry plant for the front courtyard so we can enjoy some jam like yours.

    I look forward to your next post.

    1. Hi Linda. You can also make children's handbags from the jeans leg material.

    2. Linda I really want to make the zucchini "pasta" too and now I know what you bought works... can you tell me what it is so I can find it on Kogan?
      I love your outfits from core items as well! Many thanks.xx

    3. Check it out first on Kogan in case it doesn't suit you.I down loaded the manual and had a look at that first before deciding to purchase... it suits us but I don't know how others would view it... 'vegetable fruit turning spiral slicer'...quite a mouthful lol..... Its around $29. And, Wendy, I apologise for naming the online store. I didn't mean to promote it.

      I can tell you I got my jeans as well. We walked into the second hand store and the first pair of jeans was brand new, 'just jeans' for $6. I am thrilled to say I got a size smaller than usual so my diet and exercise program is working yay..... sorry just had to share...
      Now all I need is some cool weather again so I can wear them lol.

      Wendy I will try the handbag out one day thanks. I was going to use the scraps I have left to add to a patchwork I am doing... Its a slow progress one as I only use little scraps that are unable to be used for anything else...

  5. I am an 'over washer'. I like to keep my laundry baskets as empty as possible. I held over a few loads and this morning did one bigger load and realised that it not only saves water but my time in dealing with it. There are only us two home now so I need to let go a bit!

    Cheers - Joolz xx

    1. I hear you Joolz. I used to wash Mon, Wed and Fri three loads each time of white / light, darks and towels. The sheets always got thrown in with like colors. Now my family knows if they put something out for wash they don't always get it cleaned the same day.

  6. Wendy I so look forward to our respective fridays and sats to report and read the weeks savings! You had another fantastic week!
    Thank you very much for linking to my blog. You did a fabulous job of card making! I am really proud of you! They look totally professional! Now think each one would cost $8 or so to buy in a shop.
    Somehow the pink soap cut up looks so gorgeous to me and the possibilities of pink laundry powder. On Beehive Cottage the lady makes her laundry powder pink. That is just so sweet and pretty!
    I let everyone know about your post about specials on my face book page and forwarded it to some people I know will want to follow that. Also I know people who ran to Coles and got the shampoo. Thank you I think this is a really good idea.
    You had an excellent week. It is so encouraging! Have a great weekend. xxx

    1. Thankyou Annabel. The card making is all thanks to you and your encouragement.

      Good idea about the pink laundry powder. i can just imagine it in a cute jar with a pink ribbon and fancy gift tag.

    2. So, you had body soap bars to your shavings bucket? Or is that laundry bar soap, just pink? For example, you could add Dove body soap to make your laundry soap?

      And your laundry powder recipe calls for one bar of pure laundry soap. With it grated into the bucket, what is the equivalent of one bar grated?

      I just finished reading every post of your blog Wendy. Wow x 18.

      Hugs and happy highways,

    3. Thankyou Kelley.

      1 bar of soap is about 1 cup of shavings.

  7. Dear Wendy,
    I am so impressed with your first cards! They are truly beautiful. I make mine too and of course Annabel encouraged me to pick up my pace lol. I copied your honey mustard chicken it sounds wonderful. We have Savers here in the US too, I am so happy you found the pillow inserts! It's the simple joys, isn't it? You have so many tips and real ways to save money, your blog is such a blessing. I hope you have a great weekend. Big hugs~Colette

    1. Thankyou Colette. Annabel was a big inspiration for the card making.

  8. Hi Wendy,
    The cards look lovely, what a great idea pink laundry soap. I've only ever found the yellow one in store. Could you use other types?? I've never thought go look in Savers for cushion inserts. Your cushions look great. This week I,
    - worked a few extra hours
    -made all meals except one from scratch
    -made all new labels for my pantry containers
    - worked on quilt for present
    - embroidered an oven mitt to go with some kitchen utensils for a house warming present
    Have a good week :)

    1. You can use any soap you choose. As long as it's good for washing dirty hands it will work on clothes.

    2. Your reply just answered my question I typed out a few moments ago, Wendy! Incredible!


  9. Hi Wendy, I laughed when I scrolled down and saw the comment under the soap. When I looked at the picture on the post on face book I though "Wendy scored cheap ham bet Pizza is on the menu this week" Teach me not to jump to conclusions won't it?

    1. Did you think the soap looked like ham ?

    2. I too thought you were shredding ham.
      Michigan USA

  10. Fantastic find there with the cushion inserts Wendy. My week was good too.
    * picked up 2 pairs of cotton boxer shorts x2 for my 17 yr old son for $3 each, so 4 pairs of boxer shorts for $6. He likes to wear these as pj's with a t-shirt. I'll give him 2 for Easter with a couple of chocolate eggs and put the other 2 away for Christmas. I managed to pick up 2 t-shirts cheap t go with the boxers.
    *Made yogurt and bread
    *picked tomatoes, zucchinis and red capsicum from vegie garden
    *picked up a punnet of silver beat and parsley for $3 each. There were 8 parsley plants and 20 silverbeet seedlings.
    *asked hubby to see if he could repair a whole punch I use for crafting- YES he could, so it didn't end up in the bin but back on my craft table ready to make holes in Easter tags I had made to be attached to Easter gifts
    *walked to local shopping centre instead of driving several times this week, saving petrol. I needed to pick up milk, pay some bills, pick up some specials at supermarket as it was not my grocery shop week
    * all meals cooked from scratch and stuck to menu plan again!
    *have saved money this week and it will be moved into a separate savings account ( with no flexi card attached to it)so we are not tempted to spend it.
    Have a lovely week everyone.
    Cheers Donna Z :)

    1. Great find on the boxers Donna. Do you do Christmas stockings for your kids ? You could put the other boxers in a stocking.

  11. You ladies are so productive, experts at saving! Our local middle school had a rummage sale put on by the PTA. From noon to 1pm they gave you a 13 gallon trash bag and you could fill it to the very tippy top for $1.00!! What a deal, I could not believe it. I got some very pretty Christmas things, Santas and such, 5 shirts, small nic nacs to make up my snowing glasses for small gifts to give during the year, some kids clothes for grandkids, and so much more. Than I went to Dollar General and found a pair of summer shoes on sale for 40% off. It is such fun to hunt for bargins. Hugs, Nana

    1. Nana, I love a bargain. I love it even more when it's something I can use.

  12. Wendy, your cards are beautiful. You and Annabel are really inspiring me to give this a try. I love reading about all the frugal things you do and the way you do them. I learn so much and am reminded of things I've forgotten!

    1. Thankyou Patsi. I'll be doing a post next month about card making on a budget. Stay tuned !!!.

  13. Sorry forgot to put my name. Kathryn. It's the post about embroidered oven mitt.

  14. Wendy your cards look gorgeous, as do your roses and cakes. You take such pride in everything that they always look wonderful. It is very inspiring. We are actually looking at making our own wedding invitations at the moment for our wedding, but as you say the craft items themselves can be quite pricey.

    It was a stressful week for us this week, but for the first time EVER we met our monthly budget. I could not have done it without the help of this website. I would like to start doing extra and am going to focus on saving water this month. I also like the idea of one of your readers this week of walking to the shops to save money.

    • Baked 2 loaves of bread;
    • Enjoyed some meat free meals;
    • Gratefully received some soup when we were unwell;
    • Picked up a giant bag of yummy purple grapes for $2;
    • Made my own body scrub with brown sugar, and coconut oil.

    We are in survival mode at the moment to pay our debts and haven’t had any left over money for picking up extra bargains and things. But I hope with a few hard months of catching up, I can start to enjoy picking up extra great discounts when I see them to get us ahead. And even start to build our pantry and stock up on the basics. Have a great week all – Christina xx

    1. Good on you for paying off your debts. You'll feel so much better about things when the debts are gone.

      Having a stockpile does cost a little to get started but in the end it wll save you a fortune. No need for takeaway when you have so much food to choose from at home. Even if you start by freezing your leftovers.

  15. Hi wendy,
    You've had a lovely productive week.
    Mine was a little bit of a struggle.
    I did manage to get some frugal tasks done though which was good.

    - picked some tomatoes and carrots from the garden
    - picked some mint basil and rosemary and brought it into work for them to use up.
    - made almost all meals from scratch and saved left overs and froze as single meals for lunches during the week while I'm home.
    - baked some cookies and bread (also made rainbow bread for the girls to bring to school and wow their friends)
    - did one wash load per day and hung it in the clothes horse
    - picked up some great deals from the butcher
    - de cluttered one half of the lounge
    - put a bag of stuff into savers and have now gotten the second discount stamp on my card.
    - went to the herb and chilli festival and scored a chilli plant at a real good price and even some chilli jelly.
    Unfortunately I had to live off $150 for the week and because I had my daughter this week it was a little struggle. I filled up petrol and then got a call from one of my friends stating that she was stranded in Ballarat (she can't catch the train home because she was having epileptic jerks) and with her baby it would have been too risky so I ended up Using half my tank of petrol going there and back just to pick her up which is unfortunate but for a good cause in the end. She managed to help me out with a few other things while she stayed over my place.
    This week will have better pay so hopefully I can challenge my self into saving some money to get ready for next months full meal plan.
    Have a lovely week wendy!

  16. Those home-made cards look excellent.

  17. Hi Wendy,
    just like you I have had a very successful week.
    * Gratefully received a free set of Tupperware branded tupperware containers. Have been needing new containers for a while, but was hanging off till I found a bargain. Found these in the free items listings on Gumtree.
    * Also received a large collection of kids disney VHS tapes for free. Also off Gumtree.
    * Purchased new t-shirts for my daughter on clearance for $3 each.
    * Purchased a beautiful new french provincial style vase for the bathroom for 0.35 cents, down from $10. Bargain!
    * Made 2 large loafs of banana bread from scratch after finding bananas for 0.99 cents a tray.
    * Gratefully received approx $80 worth of new boxed Christmas cards, wrapping paper, gift tags and gift bags from a neighbour. She works for John Sands. All this stock was just going to get thrown away, so she kindly gave it to us.

    I have always been a huge fan of op-shops and over the years I have found some amazing buys. I recently found out that the Red Cross receives donations from David Jones and Myer. All of their unsold clothes gets donated to the Red Cross. This is then sent out to all charity stores around the country. My sister lives in Katherine, NT. After hearing about this, she headed off to her local shop, and found a tonne of brand new clothing, and saved a fortune. Whilst she was there, she got talking to a volunteer there, who said that the flood of donations from DJ's and Myer is SO big that there isn't enough room in their warehouse for all the goods. What ever does not sell in their Red Cross stores goes to the tip. Several weeks ago she took a whole pile of brand new Armani suits to the tip!!!! What a waste, and all because people do not know about what you can get from op-shops, or are too proud/embarrassed to shop there.
    So for anyone looking for brand new brand name clothing - go to the Red Cross!

  18. You should make a youtube account & do videos, yiu can make money from it

  19. Hi Wendy, love your cards. Did you use real flowers on the cards? Great idea about the cushions inserts (we had the same covers and wooden chest). Love the soap idea as i have heaps of these which i will use up. Got the specials you recommended although the drumsticks from Woolies , i couldn't get and they said they have changed their raincheck policy on fresh food items, no rainchecks on fresh food items, bahhhhhhh!! (I tried 6 different stores). Anyway, Blessing, Maureen

    1. The flowers are cut outs from garden / flower brochures. I'm doing a post about card making early next month.

  20. Im new to your blog, love it, read all the old posts for inspiration. Has inspired me to get chooks again, a fox got the last lot, and get the winter veges in the ground. We are blessed here in country W.A. with 112 acres to play with, some of my frugal thangs this week.... Got a load of firewood off our property in preperation for winter. We have the box fire to heat water as well as for warmth, never once have I used the solarhart booster! Got 3 of our homegrown sheep cut up, 2 for the freezer and a side each for our neighbour to thank them for taking on our lonely horse (which has just sadely died suddenly) and half for my mum, just because! I visited the Coles website before doing my monthly shop and took up there triple flybuy offer, I save these up for Christmas. Bought 120 Finish dishwashing tablets at the reject Shop for $20, last me 3 months, saving of $30. Cheap washing powder too! Cooked all meals from scratch, nearest takeaway is 15km away so not an issue. Baked choc chic cookies and vegemite and cheese scrolls for school lunches for the freezer. Walked to the bus stop everyday, the dog loves it too! Sorted my freezer out and was able to rearrange them so I could turn one off, just the new tuckerbox going now (which I paid for by selling unwanted things on our local Buy Swap and Sell). Bought a second hand theatre style popcorn maker off Buy Swap and Sell for $20, huge saving on snacks. I buy cheap disposable dishclothes, but I always cut them in half to double the pack. Swapped a beautiful bunch of peacock feathers (the peacocks just moved in one day about 5 years ago) for 2 bottles of lovely homemade cordial. Gave away my sons old school uniforms on Buy Swap and Sell to a needy family.My husband took all his work lunches (leftovers and salad) saving heaps! Dried all the clothes on the clothes line or clothes horse, never use a dryer! Used a thermos in the morning for my cups of tea, only boil the kettle once, and I drink alot of tea! 5 money free days this week Yippee. Turned everything off at the plug, thats a new habit for me. Love the blog, well done Wendy!

    1. Well done on all your frugal tasks. Could you please post your name so I know who you are ? Just a first name is fine. Thanks.

      I'd love to have all that land to work with. Imagine all the fruit trees I could grow !!!

    2. Sorry Wendy, my name is Liz, yes we have a variety of fruit trees, apple, plums, peaches, orange, mandarine, cherry and avacado. our only limitation to what we can grow is water in summer. Rainwater for the house and dam water for the garden and toilet, the dams can get pretty low in summer but plenty of rainwater this year which was great. Our neighbour grows garlic and avacados commercially but they have alot more water than us, regards Liz

    3. Wow Liz thays a lot of land!
      I'm in the state of mind of wanting to buy a large bit of land but I just wouldn't know where to start! Ahhh!

  21. P.S. my supply of Lemons come from on old abandanded farm house down the gravel road, my son loves riding his motorbike down there and collecting a backpack full, so many uses!!! Regards Liz

  22. Your cards look fabulous Wendy! I think you have natural talent xx

  23. Anne, I wholeheartedly encourage you to make the tree change! 50 acres seems to be the ideal amount of land for a hobby farm (here in W.A. anyway), we have 112 acres but half is bush, (our neighbours are jealous of the amount of firewood we have tho), gives you enough land to raise sheep, cattle, fruit trees , veges, poultry, and even pigs (but I would get too attached to pigs so we dont raise them), its a great lifestyle! Regards Liz


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