Saturday, 30 January 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 30th January 2016

The cooler weather has been great for baking and cooking.  I now have restocked the freezer with muffins for snacks.  We've received lots of rain for our garden.  This is such a blessing.  I continued to save the warm up shower water but have only used some of it.  I'll have to find more buckets to keep my water " stockpile " in.  Here's what else we got up to this week -

*  Megan and I both had to sew a button on a pair of jeans when the stud fell off.

*  Gratefully received some card making equipment from a lovely friend.  I received a corner rounder,  embossing ink pad and pen,  embossing powder,  two other ink pads,  a pattern cutting mat,  pattern cutters and cutting tools.  I was overwhelmed with her generosity as these were items I wanted to get some time in the future if  I could spare the money.

*  Gratefully received some other shape cutters from another friend.

*  Baked Anzac biscuits for Australia Day.  Megan baked some mini meringues and we used home grown raspberries on top.

*  Bought four bags of present bows for 50 cents a bag.  There's about 26 bows per bag.  I think I'm right for the next few years.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread.

*  Baked raspberry and white chocolate muffins using our own raspberries.

*  Made a batch of soap with olive oil in it.  I was able to make twelve rose soaps for presents.

*  Gave a hand towel, rose soap and a hand made card for a friend's birthday..

*  Ate leftovers for dinner after Australia Day.

*  Kept the cooling off most days as the weather has been mild.  When the cooling was used we had it on low and used electric fans to move the air around.

*  Used the shower warm up water to keep all the fruit trees and bushes hydrated.

*  Hand washed the dishes a few nights.  There wasn't enough dishes to put the dishwasher on.

*  Picked tomatoes,  beans and a handful of raspberries each day.

*  I had to use the dryer one day to dry the towels.  The weather was muggy so I knew the towels wouldn't dry on the line.  To offset the electricity usage I stayed off the computer all day.

*  Used my flyby dollars to buy mince and sausages for our Australia Day BBQ.

*  Bough Megan two pairs of school shoes.  Spendless Shoes had a " buy one pair get 50% off the second pair " sale.  I got a pair that fits perfectly now and a pair in the next size up for next year.  If her feet don't grow any more,  we'll put insoles in the second pair.

*  Made potato cakes for lunch with 2/3 cup of left over mashed potato.

Raspberry and white chocolate mufins
Soap with olive oil in it.

From the garden
This is what i'm picking each day
Potato cakes
The card making equipment I was blessed with.
These templates will make cutting shapes easy.
Bargain bows for 50 cents a bag.

What did you do this week to save time,  money and energy ?


  1. Wendy,
    Great week you had! Your soaps are lovely and your muffins are one of my favorites! I am envying you your fresh produce at the moment! There is nothing like fresh picked goodness in my opinion. I babysat all week so not much got done on the home front. Have a great week.

    1. Thanks Vicky. I just love picking from our garden.

  2. Hi Wendy

    Sounds like you had a wonderful week with the rain happening for the garden and the fantastic gift of card making items

    Unfortunately this week has not be so kind to us as we have had to have the air going almost constantly for a fair few days. Our temp has been upwards of 39 for the last 5 days and only falling to 25 at night and no use opening the windows as there is no breeze.

    but what I did was

    *read some magazines as I was unwell instead of having the tv on

    *hung washing under the fans and the air con vents to dry

    *purchased some cheap bananas to make smoothies for DD5 when she got home from school

    *purchased some school supplies half price to put away for next year

    *kept the house closed up and also the blinds

    *hand washed a few items that were needed to save on only doing a small load of washing

    *used the worm pee to water the plants as they thrive on this

    *feed the worms lots of scraps that I have been keeping

    Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend

    Aly xxx

    1. Aly I hope you get a break from the heat. We've had a few very mild days in Melb.

      Great thinking to start stockpiling for school next year. It saves a fortune. Lunch boxes will be on sale in Feb / March.

  3. Hi Wendy,

    I had a bit of an up and down week again this week as my Mum had the operation last Saturday on her hip and is doing well, so lots of trips to the Footscray hospital each day. I'm afraid my house noticed I was not there with housework going on the backburner. Anyway, she back in her care facility and my darling boys are back at school, so I'm looking forward to the new week.

    What a lovely friend to give you such wonderful things for your card making. I'm not sure how all those things work but I'm sure we will cover this at some stage in our card making days. Maybe you could make them a handmade card using the things they gave you as a thank you.
    Great buy on the bows and your Olive oil soap looks lovely. I'll be interested to hear what you think of these.

    Well, with all the rain, I didn't water much so I used the shower water in the washing machine. I picked Strawberries, Zucchini's, Tomatoes and Basil(to dry out)but my beans are not doing to well. I planted more lettuce seedlings and my seed packets got all wet during the big storm so I dried them all out and hopefully they will be alright. I have now put them into a plastic airtight container.

    I received donuts, some clothes for myself and some little pears. I mooed bickies, cupcakes(for a BBQ on Australia day), bread and washing powder. I froze a few extra meals this week from the leftovers, did some sewing, didn't use the heating or cooling and I love your idea for offsetting the electricity by not using the computer, I must do this. I did my monthly shopping staying within the $300.00 per month.

    I have been tracking my spending lately and it's amazing how much you DON'T spend when you do this. We have had some big expenses lately so I'm keeping a much tighter rein on the pennies. DH and DS2 used movie vouchers from Christmas to see a movie and took their own treats.

    Have a great week, Blessings,

    1. Maureen, I'm sorry your having a difficult time. Hopefully things will get easier as your mother heals. You still managed to get a fair bit done.

      The olive oil soap is a little harder to work with. It comes to trace very quickly and I have to work fast to get it into the moulds. The soap is great though.

  4. Sounds like a good week. I too made muffins for the freezer. A batch of blueberry and a batch of strawberry using up things I had on hand. I did some other freezer cooking too, trying to build up some ready made food to avoid getting take out. Now I am looking to February hoping to find even more savings.

    1. Having a well stocked freezer really can save a fortune. I save all leftovers from main meals. Once I get enough, " freezer meals ' are written into the menu as a free meal.

  5. Hello Wendy, oh how wonderful of your friend to give you such lovely gifts, it is a lovely addition to your craft supplies and the new gifts are able to be used in so many ways, you could make gift tags in various shapes now and so many other wonderful projects including labels for gifts of biscuits etc.
    My week was fairly quiet but I gratefully received some more craft supplies from a friend too and also some wonderful ideas for craft projects. I also gratefully received some clothes (4 tops) , I had 3 no spend days but then today I bought some much needed 3/4 pants for 40% off the price , I also got a beautiful skirt at 40% off plus before the discount the skirt scanned $20 cheaper than I thought it was , then the sales assistant took off the discount, so I saved a lot on that skirt and it will be worn a lot I don't have any skirts like it and it is so lovely. I am lucky to be able to buy clothes in my size.i have made 5 cards and 3 gift tags this week plus I am making more cards today. I have cooked most meals from scratch this week as usual ( apart from the meals My parents make although these are mostly from scratch also) .
    I line dried most clothes this week. I gratefully received a magazine in the post from a lady from a website I belong to. I continued tracking my expenses and found a few hidden' leaks '. I am now revising my budget!. I think besides the usual that is everything this week Wendy. Have a great weekend. Love Barb.

    1. Wow, you've had some wonderful blessings this week Barbara. Free clothes and craft supplies would have brightened your week. Great deal on the skirt too.

  6. Your soaps are lovely! That is something that I want to learn to do. I did buy some silicone molds that will work for it and now just have to get up the courage to try it. :) I just posted on my blog about my frugal doing for the week.

    1. Debbie, soap making is not as hard as you first think. Just wear glasses ( any kind ) and rubber gloves and you'll be fine.

  7. Dear Wendy, The soap looks stunning. I know that olive oil soap is very good quality and very smooth. It looks fantastic.
    We had a busy week, Australia Day we worked on the house and garden and got heaps done. Plus I did a bit more painting.
    I hope you are having a lovely weekend! With much love,

    1. You've had a very busy week Annabel. Loved your photos. xoxo

  8. Hi Wendy, I've only just started out at menu planning and I am slowly trying to sort my budget out but can I ask a silly question I have bought some meat in bulk so once I thaw it out cook up some meals can I then freeze those meals even though the meat has already been frozen once already. Also when you wash up the brocoli and cauliflower then blanche them and freeze
    them how do you then thaw out for eating with a meal. Sorry very new at this and don't really have anybody to ask. Thanks heaps

    1. Hi Carol. If you froze the meat when it was raw, then you can defrost, cook then refreeze. You just can't refreeze raw meat. I also try to freeze raw meat into meal sizes, not bulk packs. Make sure you defrost in the fridge for safety.

      I flash freeze the blanched broccoli. To do this, spread the broccoli out on freezer trays then freeze for about 2 hours. Remove from the freezer and place the pieces into bags. This prevents them from sticking together. To cook I just place the pieces in a microwave steamer with a little water.

  9. Hi Wendy

    You got an incredible gift of stuff! Creative memories things are so expensive and you got them as a gift that is soooo great!

    Here's my Frugal tasks

    Great fully received 4 loaves of bread 2 packs of English muffins 6 packets of sour cream and chive flavor rice snacks and a few other things off of mum

    Went to Altona Australia Day beach festival market with mum step dad an the kids, Ruby went to her dads to celebrate Australia Day

    Picked my first pumpkin

    Did some crocheting

    Picked some succulents from mum and dads garden

    DD1 and DD3 decorated some recycled glass jars to turn into vases for gifts

    Continue to work on things for annabels Christmas challenge

    baked a triple batch of banana bread the last lot to go in the oven i added blueberries to the mix, the kids loved it and i cut all of it into slices for the freezer

    de cluttered a little more, got some storage boxes and sectioned things into them.

    sorted out majority of the washing

    filled my tank with petrol, its really cheap at the moment

    cooked all meals from scratch and ate freezer meals stuart cooked one meal for us this week and am very proud that he gave it a go it was lovely

    stuart picket a few tomatoes i have enough now to make tomato relish

    finally semi worked out how to use blogger so will post this on there aswell

    Hope you have a lovely week next week wendy xxxx

    1. Congratulation on your blog Anne. I'll come on over and check it out.

      Your Mum is a real blessing to you and your family. Love your list.

    2. Thank you wendy, mum really is a blessing to us I appreciate everything she does for me and my family and I hope one day I can do the same for my children too :D

      For now I'll just post the frugal tasks and possibly when I get more time post other things

      I'm absolutely loving the Christmas challenge. I love it that much that I've found you a present for this years Christmas hahaha

  10. oh yes i forgot to mention i cut stuart jnr and miahs hair instead of going to the hair dresser :)

  11. Your garden produce is so lovely. I'm sure you can hear the longing tones of all of us readers from the other side of the world. It will be your turn in 6 months:) to long for ours. Eat a ripe, juicy tomato for all of us in North America!

    It looks like you had a good week saving money.

    1. Becky, I'm having tomato on our homemade pizza for tea. Darren had tomatoes on toast for breakfast this morning. Thankfully Winter is quite mild here and we can grow lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and silverbeet ( but no tomatoes ).

  12. Hi Wendy. You have had a productive week. Your weekly frugal posts have inspired me to start in my home. This week I have been off from work due to my car being repaired.
    This is what I have been up to this week:
    - Did full loads of laundry and hung them on the clothesline. No dryer required.
    - Purchased 2 buckets from Supercheap Auto. They had a special 2 for $1.
    - used the shower warm up water to water the herb and spice garden.
    - took advantage of the amount of rain we had on Friday and I collected the rain water using 3 buckets and the watering can. Have a stockpile of water for our garden now. :)
    - we have an extra bucket of warm up water this morning so the partner is planning to use it to mop the floor.
    - made a double batch of chocolate brownies. My partner loves taking some to work for him and work mate to have for morning tea.
    - Implemented the 2 light rule, and it has been successful.
    - no heating or cooling used this week. It has been a little muggy here but we keep the windows open to keep cool. When it gets cool, we keep warm with blankets.
    - all appliances in the home when not used (excluding the fridge, freezer, Foxtel and broadband) are turned off at the power point.
    - we do have Foxtel, which is a luxury, we record movies and documentaries from the box for the week to watch. This saves us an average of $30 a week on renting movies.
    - hand washed dishes, didn't need the dishwasher this week.
    - had 4 no spending days this week
    - gratefully received a jar of carbonara sauce and a pair of pyjama pants from my mum.

    1. Well done to you Amanda. You should be really pleased with your list. Think of the money you are saving.

  13. What a lovely productive week you've had! I also have some of those templates and the cutter. Bought back when I was doing scrap booking many years ago. They are great, how very blessed you are. I will be putting my frugal tasks up on my blog today. This week I've put a few "bonus" payments on our mortgage. this was money made from selling items on Gumtree. We have had our mortgage for over 15 years, but due to refinancing, illness and other circumstances we have only made an effort towards becoming debt free over the last year. I know that you paid off your mortgage in record time. Do you have any tips for me? Currently we are just trying to put every spare dollar towards this debt. xx

    1. We work on a monthly budget. Within the month we budget two pays from Centrelink and four weekly pays from my husband. Twice a year three fortnightly Centrelink pays fall within the time period. Eg - 1st, 15th, 30th The third pay is treated as a bonus and put on the mortgage. Four times a year an extra weekly pay falls within the time frame. We put that on the mortgage too. We also qualified for the mid year FTB bonus after tax time. That always went on the mortgage too. If you get a pay rise from anywhere, put it on the mortgage.

      We had a very tight budget ( still do ) and sacrificed heavily to get rid of our mortgage. It was short term pain for a very long term gain.

    2. Thank you very much. We have made great progress over the last year and have paid off $20k but I think we can do more. I'm going to look over my budget and see if I can trim it more.

  14. Hi Wendy
    I have only started following your blog this week. Anyway today I used your pizza base recipe, wow! the best pizza ever and in 38 years of marriage I've made a few. Man of the house and brother-in-law were very impressed, topped with home made tomato sauce, our own sun dried tomatoes, some chorizo and bocconecini cheese, very good. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. You are very welcome Sue. I'm so glad you liked it. We are having homemade pizza for tea tonight and my mouth is drooling just thinking about it.

  15. Hi Wendy,today i made your bread with extra goodness it was really nice,i put one in the freezer,for during the week,i have made my lunch for the week,and in the freezer ready to take out one lunch out each day, this will save me buying my lunch,i also made some more cards :) i just love your soap,i must try making some when i move and get settled in the new house,I hope you have a wonderful week. xx

  16. Love the garden produce photos. What a difference the rain has made to our Melbourne gardens and lawns.
    This week I have saved a fortune when the teens went back to school on all of their stationery needs. We sorted out multiple pencil cases and didn't need to buy anything, including paper, binder books, display books and paper. I bought the text books last year.
    Made soup, pizza, scones and school snacks all from ingredients on hand.
    Teens had a friend over for a movie night and made popcorn.
    Made a meal plan for the month and aiming to stay within our $300 month for 4 persons grocery budget.
    Bought a leg of lamb for $8 per kg which is in the freezer for a Valentine's day dinner.
    Freezing leftovers to use as spare evening meals, not something I am used to doing but a good idea to save money and time.
    My mother gave me lots of smelly soaps she had been given and neither of us would use. I whizzed them into powder in the food processor. I then used a dessertspoon per load of washing, dissolved in hot water. Worked well.
    Keeping the cars topped up with the currently cheaper petrol.
    Gratefully received some nectarines.
    Drinking tap water and walking for exercise to try to counteract a couple of kilos that have crept on over the holidays.
    I have started the school year by preparing school lunches the night before in the interests of saving time in the morning.
    Great inspiration from you as always Wendy. Thankyou.


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