Saturday, 2 January 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks 2nd January 2016

During the week we spent some time revovering from all the Christmas festivities.  I made my way to the Boxing Day sales at 8.05am to pick up some fabulous bargains.  Darren sorted out his garden shed and started painting Megan's room.  I tried not to cook or clean too much so I could have a little break.  We also had a heat wave that encouraged us to get the Christmas tree down while it was slightly cooler on the 29th of December.  Here's what else we got up to -

*  Made a batch of vanilla yoghurt using a frozen starter.

*  Picked a handful of beans every few days.  I started freezing them for future meals.

*  Made a big batch of pita chips.

*  Made chocolate truffles to go to a New Years Eve party. I used homemade sweetened condensed milk from the freezer.

*  Gratefully accepted a bag of shredded paper for my chickens.

*  My family ate leftovers for dinner two nights running after Christmas.  By doing this,  we didn't waste any food.

*  Both the girls took advantage of the sales and bought some presents for next year.  I was so proud of them for thinking ahead and saving some money.

*  I bought lots of hand towels from Spotlight for $4.19 a pack of four.  I also bought some Christmas material at 60% off to sew on the towels. 

*  Used scraps of material to make some other hand towels into presents too.  I was on a roll and made 14 in one afternoon.

*  .Made two large dishes of zucchini slice with the last of the zucchinis from Cath.  The slice was cut into single portions and frozen.

*   Picked a couple of handfuls of strawberries.  Jessica enjoyed some with the homemade yoghurt.

*  Bought a Tupperware lidded container from the op shop for $4.50  It looks new so I'll give it a wash and fill it up with homemade biscuits to give as a present.  Tied with a matching bow,  it will look beautiful.

*  Megan got her ears pierced ( seconds ) and handed over a coupon she found online for $5 off.  So proud of her for researching this herself.

*  I used a Spotlight gift card ( Christmas present ) to buy a big pad of 120 Christmas papers for half price.  This will be great for card making..  I also found some craft ribbon at 75% off.

Our Christmas Eve platter
Leg of lamb with rosemary from the garden
Our lunch table
Our beans
Christmas lunch
Megan's custard tarts with our raspberries
Jessica's present she wrapped.Annabel style
Op shop bargain
Pita chips
Choc truffles
Zucchini slic
Decorated towels for girts

Bargain Christmas material

What was on your frugal list for the week ?


  1. Hi Wendy,
    It looks like you had a lovely Christmas and New year. We took advantage of the sales too, it looks like you got some really good bargains. We've been very busy with all the festivities too and trying to have a bit of a break. The frugal tasks we got up to this week were:
    - Bought 6 rolls of Christmas wrapping paper for half price saving $5.50
    - bought mother's day presents in advance, saved $24
    - bought baby clothes as a gift for a friend who just had a baby, spent $10, made a card myself and used a gift bag that I saved from while ago
    - gratefully received a dozen eggs, a bunch of grapes, 2 avocadoes and orange juice from a family member
    - filled up on petrol as it was 1.13 a litre for regular unleaded fuel (we also had a voucher for 4c per litre discount which we used).
    - signed up to the cheapskates club saving revolution for 2016.
    - make choc chip muesli bars, did this while I was making a roast chicken so that no extra electricity was used to make them.
    - picked two cucumbers from our veggie patch.


    1. The food blessings are amazing. You'll put them to good use.

      I can't wait for the Cheapskate's revolution to start too. So exciting

  2. Lovely photos Wendy, Happy New year!
    We had a good week too.
    Had a tent night in the backyard for teens and their friends, cooked supper (pikelets) on the brazier. They had a ball, talked all night.
    Didn't get to the Boxing Day sales this year, sadly.
    Made lemon butter and delicious rhubarb relish. Lemon butter will be a gift for a friend I'll see this week, wrapped with a fabric "hat" and ribbon.
    Made yoghurt.
    Gratefully received a mango.
    Eating through the freezer and shopping as little as we can seems easier without the school and work lunches to worry about. Getting creative with what we have. Cauliflower and chickpeas became a delicious curry last night, served with rice and yoghurt.
    Used one of the Christmas day chicken carcasses I had thrown in the freezer to make stock and used it for an Asian style soup with vegetables and noodles.
    Dd2 bought some bathers at Myer Miss Shop with a gift card and asked for the student discount of 10%, very proud of her. (She saw it advertised on a sign).
    She also found some cool colouring books for $5 at Big W.......
    I took a Vogue colouring book for my arty MIL, it has all the dress styles from the 50's, think she'll love it. So I guess I've started my gifts for 2016.
    Found some awesome "new" lift the flap books at the op shop for a 2 year old child's birthday present later this month.
    Picking beans but eating them raw.
    Bought really nice shortcut bacon half price at Coles - cut a bread bag up as go between in a freezer container so we can take out a couple of rashers at a time.
    Also stocked up on the teens favourite chips half price at Coles - the Thins.
    Have hosted lots of visitors popping in, serving our delicious homemade Christmas goodies, cake and mince pies.
    Have a great week, Marie

    1. Well done to your daughter for getting a discount. It never hurts to ask.

      I haven't bought much in the way of food either. At this time of the year it seems easier to just eat what we have.

  3. Those towels are beautiful. it must be nice to have such a nice stack done ahead.

    1. Yes it does feel good. As soon as I get a few spare hours I'll make up the Christmas ones too. I'm just busting to get them done.

  4. What a busy week you had Wendy - so much for some time off!

    Hannah and I were at the shops at 7.15am on Boxing Day as our local BigW opened at 7am, then off to Kmart at 8am, then Target and by then I'd had enough and we came home via Knox City to drop Hannah off for more shopping! Did get quite a few presents crossed off my list, all wrapped, labelled and put away in order. And marked off in my notbebook.

    We've just finished the last of the "leftovers" and I think we're all really looking forward to proper meals again.

    And my lovely raspberry plant present from you has another baby - that's two since you gave it to me! I'm over the moon. I don't think I have the patience to wait for fresh, homegrown raspberries :)

    Have a lovely week,


    1. Cath, I rarely get time off in this home. There's just too much to do ( as you'd know so well).

      I'm glad your raspberry plant is growing. Make sure you plant it asap if you haven't already.

  5. Dear Wendy, Everything looks lovely! You did so many towels! You were really on a roll!
    Tell Jessica I really loved her wrapping! :)
    I love to see how your week was. Hope you are having a good weekend, with love,

    1. I passed on your message to Jessica. She's so proud of herself.

  6. Happy New Year, Wendy! It looks like you had an amazing Christmas and certainly started the New Year productively. Your tree, table, and all of your food look festive and wonderful.

    I didn't need much at the after Christmas sales so I didn't really shop them, with my only purchase being to use a time-sensitive cash back voucher to purchase ornaments to give my children next year while the ornaments were deeply discounted.

    The money I didn't spend at the sales was spent (and more!) when we purchased paint and new flooring for a couple of rooms in our home. I also made a new batch of vanilla extract and ordered more beans while there is a good sale. My next week will probably be spent with a paintbrush in hand but I hope to have before & after pictures to share soon!

    Have a lovely week! Blessings, Leigh

    1. Hi Leigh. Darren is painting our girl's rooms at the moment too. Such a big job and the house is in a mess just after I tidied it when the Christmas decos were put away. I try not to look at the mess or I'll stress out. Hope you get your painting done soon.

  7. Hi Wendy,

    Happy New Year!!! Love your Christmas theme and the wrapping of Jessica's gift to you. Great buy on the Christmas paper at 1/2 price.

    This week I got a lot of little jobs done around the house eg: filled the dishwashing liquid bottle up, Juiced some lemons we were given, scraped out spreads jars, cut up another tissue box and kept a cereal box for my price book.

    Attended the sales on boxing day and picked up some bargains ie: Boxes of chocolates from Big W $2.50 for Easter, Handtowels for spotlight(thanks Wendy for the tip), Ribbon and small plates with a Christmas theme on them for 99c which I will use for next Christmas as presents with bickies wrapped in cellophane. Hope you also got some great bargains???

    Froze lots of the leftover meat from Christmas and also made a Zucchini slice and pies with the leftover vegies from Christmas day. I had cut a big Pumpkin for Christmas day so I cut all this up and made Pumpkin soup and froze lots of Pumpkin. Bought celery for $1.00 and froze this also.

    I made bread but a rubber in my bread tin broke luckily DH had an older tin in shed so it was fixed, no $$$. I made Biscuits, yogurt and all meals. I cleaned out the fridge and freezer and did an inventory of both. This made it much easier when I did my meal plan for the month and shopping list. I have now being doing the $300.00 per month shopping challenge for 1 year and as I used to spend $140.00 per week, over the year I have saved $3,120.00. Thanks Wendy!!!!

    I rejigged the budget a bit to put more into savings as DS2 has now finished swimming lessons. I picked Strawberries, corn, capsicum and apples and replanted the parsley which had gone to seed. I washed out jars ready for jams/relish making.

    Megan's tarts look beautiful. Did she use puff pastry?
    Have a great week, xxx

    1. Maureen, you always have a great week.

      I picked up a few bargains that I'm putting away for presents. For the next few years I only need to buy for Darren and the girls plus the men in the family.

      The hand towels were a bargain weren't they. I lost count of the packs I bought ( so many ).

      WOW !!! Great savings on the food budget. You should be very proud of all you've achieved. I worked out that since I've joined Cheapskates and started the $300 a month food challenge, I've saved over $11,000 in 5 years. Imagine the money we have all saved in other areas of our budgets. The mind boggles !!!

      Megan made the pastry from scratch for the tarts. Same with the custard.

  8. Hi Wendy love ghis part of your blog and reading what everyone has been up to. Also bought wrapping paper on sale @ $2.50 each curretlypickling home grown veggies -bread and butter cucumbers tomato telish and beetroot relish made butter from left over cream buttermilk frozen for future baking received a water melon gromy neighbour this has been shared among family, thinking I will make strawberry jam too. Thankyou for inspiring me Donna

    1. Great to hear from you Donna. The watermelon is a wonderful blessing. It would have been great in the hot weather.

  9. Happy New Year!
    It was lovely reading your first blog for 2016, especially since it gave me a light globe moment!
    This Wednesday I'll be purchasing a sewing machine with Christmas money plus saved money for it. Reading about Spotlight, I went in Saturday afternoon. Although obviously a lot has sold since Boxing Day, there were still some lovely Christmas themed fabric. I was able to buy a couple of metres of the fabric to sew on hand towels then another couple of metres of Christmas themed organza to make bags. Savings? Instead of $12.99 or $!4.99 a metre, they were all only $2 a metre :) Add to that some beautiful pieces of material my mother passed on to me yesterday, as my parents are downsizing, I have a number of sewing projects to get started on (and finished lol) from Wednesday onwards.

    1. How exciting to get a new sewing machine. All that material too. You'll be in sewing heaven. Could you post some pictures of your projects on my facebook page? I'd love to see them and so would the readers.

  10. Hi, I asked you on Prudent Homemaker if you had a recipe for the zucchini
    slices, but I haven't seen an answer yet. Do you?

    1. Sorry, I've been busy the last couple of days. I'll be putting the recipe up in the next couple of weeks after I've finished my short break.


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