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 ?

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Grocery Specials Wednesday 27th January 2016

Here are this week's best grocery specials -

COLES -

*    Birds Eye Oven Bake Fish Fillets 425g 1/2 PRICE Was $8.79, Save $4.40 Now $4.39 each

* Golden Circle Tetra Fruit Drink 1 Litre 1/2 PRICE Excludes Pineapple.On sale for 2 weeks.Was$2.05, Save $1.03  Now $1.02 each

*  Sanitarium Peanut Butter Natural Crunchy 375g1/2 PRICE Was $4.05, Save $2.05  Now $2.00 each

*  La EspaƱola Rice Bran Oil 3 Litre 1/2 PRICE Was $18.00, Save $9.00  Now $9.00 each

*  SunRice Medium Grain Brown or White Rice 5kg1/2 PRICE Was $13.60, Save $6.80  Now $6.80 each

* Zoosh Aioli or Mayonnaise 350g1/2 PRICE Was $4.49, Save $2.25 Now $2.24 each

*  Norsca Anti-Perspirant Deodorant 150g 1/2 PRICE Was $5.99, Save $3.00 Now $2.99 each

*  Brut 33 Deodorant For Men 150g 1/2 PRICE Was $6.29, Save $3.15  Now $3.14 each

*  Palmolive Liquid Hand Wash Pump 250mL 1/2 PRICE Was $2.99, Save $1.60  Now $1.39 each

*  Imperial Leather Body Wash 1 Litre 1/2 PRICE Was $9.00, Save $4.50 Now $4.50 each

*    Pantene Shampoo or Conditioner 900mL1/2 PRICE Was $15.70, Save $7.85  Now $7.85 each

*  Oral B Waxed Dental Floss 100m 1/2 PRICE Was $5.85, Save $2.93 Now $2.92 each

*  Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid 700mL-750mL1/2 PRICE Was $5.49, Save $2.75  Now $2.74 each

*  Sard Oxy Plus Stain Remover 1kg1/2 PRICE Was $7.29, Save $3.65  Now $3.64 each

WOOLWORTHS -

*  Australian White Seedless Grapes Australian Grown.$3.50 kg

*  Arnott’s Chocolate Coated Biscuits 160-250g Now $1.82 each 1/2 Price, Save $1.83

*  Fantastic Rice Crackers 100g Now $0.97 each 1/2 Price, Save $0.98

*   1/2 Price All Decor Match-Ups & Microsafe.

*  Kellogg’s Nutri Grain 290g Now $2.29 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.30

*  1/2 Price All Freedom Foods Range

*  1/2 Price ALL Palmolive Hand & Body Wash.

*  Garnier Fructis Shampoo or Conditioner 250ml Now $2.72 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.73

*  Energizer Max AAA Pk 14 or AA Pk 16* Now $9.74 each 1/2 Price, Save up to $9.76

*  Inspire Microfibre Sheet Set or Quilt Cover Set QB Now $10.00 each1/2 Price, Save $10.00– Also available in 180TC Flat or Fitted Sheet QB*1/2 Price All Bedroom Manchester. 

*  Graph Book 9 x 7 Pg 48, Grid Book 9 x 7 Pg 64 or Exercise Books 9 x 7 Pg 64 Now $0.20 each 1/2 Price, Save $0.80

*  BIC 4 Colour Shine Pk 1 or BIC 4 Colour Charm Pk 1Now $1.74 each 1/2 Price, Save $1.75

*  Fuji Xerox Performer Copy Paper A4 500 Sheets Now $3.00 each1/2 Price, Save $3.00

*  1/2 Price All Scotch-Brite.

*  1/2 Price All Decor Match-Ups & Microsafe

 



      
Please feel free to add any specials you find in the supermarkets and department stores.                   

Monday, 25 January 2016

Hand Made Card Ideas January 2016

A group of ladies from the Cheapskates Club have been getting together every couple of months to make cards.  We've been learning new ideas and designs under careful instruction from fellow Cheapskater Pamela.  We bring all our own equipment to share around which is wonderful for those of us who are gradually building up our " tool box ".  There's lots of talking,  tea drinking and eating too.

Some of us were newbies to card making when we first started this group but Pamela has been gentle on us.  There are millions of ideas out in internet . pinterest and google land but I think we've come a long way.

Here are some of my latest designs made about a week ago at this group.  I hope these ideas will help others who are just starting out or those who are wanting new ideas.  There is nothing overly hard about making these cards.


Using old sheet music
Using scraps of paper and card
Using old curtains and ribbon
Using an old dictionary
Baby cards or invitations
If you are starting out in card making I'd encourage you to get together with some other card makers.  It's just wonderful to learn and share with each other.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 23rd January 2016

We've had a very exciting week in the Gower house.  On Monday Jessica got a first round offer for University.  She'll be doing Primary Teaching and is planning to defer this year so she can earn lots of money to pay for the Uni fees.  On Wednesday Megan turned 16 and passed her learner's permit to start driving.  She's already had her first lesson with Darren.  On Thursday Jessica bought her first car.  How exciting !!!  Here's what else we got up to -

*  Made a batch of mango flavoured yoghurt using a packet.  I'd forgotten I had one in the pantry.  Megan enjoyed it on a few hot days during the week.

*  Picked lettuce,  tomatoes and beans to go with our meals.

*  Jessica purchased her first car this week.  She was able to pay for it outright because she's been working since she was 14 1/2.  A lady at her work gave her a Navman she no longer needed.  This is such a blessing as Jessica had it on her list of items to buy for her car.

*  Gratefully received lots of scrap card and ribbon at the Cheapskates card making day last Saturday.  This is a huge blessing and will save me lots of money.

*  Gratefully received a bottle of lavender oil from a friend.  I'm hoping to use it in my soaps in the future

*  Saved the shower warm up water to keep my fruit trees hydrated during the heat.

* Made lots of cards at the card making day using really cheap materials.  The next day I made another eight cards.  I'm trying to get a stockpile of cards ready for when we need them throughout the year.  I'll be encouraging my girls to make their own stockpile.  Megan has already made one card.

*  Filled up my car with petrol purchased at $1.08.  I didn't have a discount docket as I'm not doing much food shopping at the moment.  This was a great price.

*  Used lots of bread bags as bin liners in the bathrooms.

*  Made lavender room air freshener for one of the toilets

*  Picked a handful or two of raspberries this week.  The fruit seems to come in waves and the fruit in this batch are big and juicy.  I can't wait to have enough for raspberry jam.

*  Kept the cooling off as much as possible and used electric fans instead.

A box card I made for Megan
From the garden
Home grown

What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?
.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Starting The School Year

It's that time of the year when parents are busy getting their children ready for a new school year.  This is a post  I published this time last year.  I hope it helps you save a little time and money.



Starting the school year can be stressful, expensive and tiring With a little planning you can breeze through January and February with ease and enjoy the moment your children walk through the school gate.

My girls are nearing the end of their high school education with Jessica starting Year 12 and Megan starting Year !0. We've been able to buy everything they NEED on our small budget. I thought I'd pass on all my school savings tips to help other Mums and Dads.

SCHOOL BOOKS -

* If your child's school gives you a book list, go to the book shop yourself to buy the books. Ordering online for school pickup or home delivery adds extra costs.

* Buying from the book shop gives you a chance to see what the items look like. For example we've found the pencil cases on the book list are a bit expensive and very poor quality. You'll end up buying 2 or 3 of these throughout the year as they don't last.

* When buying books from a school book shop, pick out one child's books at a time. This will avoid confusion.

* Take your book list on a clipboard and tick off items as you place them in the basket.

* Go to the department store stationery sales for paper, folders and pencil case items. If the book list say to buy a four ring folder, get the two ring. It still does the job and is a fraction of the price.

* Check the online school book shop called Sustainable School Shop. This shop sells secondhand school books from all over Australia at very good prices. Ask your school to promote this site as they get a small percentage of sales from the website owners ( not from your sales ) It's free to look at what's being sold but if you want to sell your own books you pay $19.95 for a year's subscription which gives you access to the whole website and everyone's buy or sell ads. Some years I've been able to sell so many books that it almost covers the cost of the new books I need to buy.

Start looking on this website early in December as some like to sell their books as soon as the school year finishes.

* Do a swap or buy / sell with your friends. I have a cleaning client who has two children aged one year younger than each of my girls. When Jessica finishes with one book I sell it to my friend. When her child has finished with it she gives it back to me for Megan. When Megan has finished with it I give it back for her son. This works well for novels and means we only buy the book once each and can sell it if the next child doesn't need it. It's always a bit of a gamble holding on to books in the hope it's still on the book list by the time a younger child gets to that level. Book lists can change from year to year..

STATIONERY -

* Check to see what your child has leftover from last year. Sometimes they don't use all the erasers, pens and grey leads. I've found as my girls get older they hardly use colored pencils and other stationery, yet the book list says we need to buy more. I get them to go through what they already have to see if it can be reused.

* Folders can be wiped down with metho and reused providing it's still in good condition.

* As I said above, buy all stationery from the department store sales. If they are good prices buy a few extra. If you run out during the year, they will not be n sale. Mid year tax time sales are not as good as back to school sales

* Expensive brands do not always mean the best quality. I go cheap on pencils, erasers, rulers, paper, folders, plastic sheets, binder books, scrap books, scissors, glue sticks ( for younger children ), basic calculators and note pads. I buy better brands of textas as they last longer but I try to get them on sale.

* Check the supermarkets in February and March as they clear out their stationery to make way for the Easter eggs. I've found some amazing bargains there.

UNIFORMS -

* Check out the school's secondhand uniform shop for great bargains. Try to get in early or shop throughout the year as kids leave mid year and need to sell their uniforms.

* Plain school shirts, shorts, socks and hats can be bought at department stores at good prices. Buy a few extra and buy the next size up. These items are not available in term three and four.

* I buy my girl's school shoes from Big W. When Jessica started prep her feet were too small for department store shoes. So I bought them from a shoes shop paying big dollars. They didn't last the year and i had to get them repaired adding extra cost. Most of my friends buy the shoe shop shoes and over and over again I hear how they don't last the year.

Up until recently my girls have been wearing Grosby shoes. I'd wait until the January sales when they were half price at $15 a pair. They now sell for $30. My girls tastes have changed and we buy the $40 Big W shoes. If your children's feet are still growing, buy the next size up as you can't get school shoes in term three and four and you'll be stuck. If they don't use the next size up you'll have made a start on next year.

* Don't spend too much money on sneakers. Kids are hard on them and run through mud, water and dust. Try to buy sneakers without the mesh uppers. Water leaks through too much ruining the shoes.

* Buy a couple of hats. They are very easily lost.

* Buy school tights as soon as school wear is available in the stores and buy extras. They are not stocked all year round.

* Read the washing instructions on the uniform labels. Quite often it will say hand wash only. I've found that you can put these items in delicate bags and wash in the washing machine. Always wash uniforms with like colors to keep them looking nice. Dry them in the shade or hang in the shower.

FOOD FOR SCHOOL

* Do lots of baking ahead of time and freeze where possible. Muffins, cupcakes, slices and sandwiches can be frozen. On a Saturdays I used to make up my girls sandwiches for the week ahead and freeze. As they got older they helped me make them. Always ask your children what they want in their sandwiches but make sure it's a balance of sweet and savoury. Cheese, cheese and vegemite, ham, sauce / relish, peanut butter, chocolate spread, honey and jam can all be frozen in sandwiches.

* Organise lunch boxes the night before. Snacks and whole fruit can be put in the lunch box. In the morning all you need to do is get a sandwich and drink bottle out of the fridge. I group together the items for each child on the fridge shelf.

* Cut up a few different fruits and place them in a container. Melons, grapes and apples work together. Your child is more likely to eat the fruit if it varies. One whole apple in the lunch box every day is not appealing to a child.

* Chips, muesli bars, prepackaged snacks, lollies and chocolate are occasional treats and not an everyday item. They certainly do not constitute a lunch. They are high in salt, sugar and preservatives, are VERY expensive and leave the children hungry. Try packing pieces of cheese and pita chips, homemade muesli bars / biscuits, homemade yoghurt, muffins, wraps with salad and salad boxes ( my girl's personal Summer favourite ).

* Especially in Summer make sure you pack an ice brick in the lunch box. Frozen water bottles can leak and are best separated in the school bag. I like to wrap a hand towel around it to keep it cold longer.

* Water to drink is best. It re hydrates the body quicker than anything else on a hot day.

STARTING SCHOOL

* Make sure you label everything. It sounds obvious but you should see the pile of unmarked clothes and drink bottles in lost and found. Whether you use permanent markers, sticky labels, iron on tags, or engraving, make sure you label in a couple of places on each item. Check regularly that the label is still readable.

* Do a trial run with the uniform and make sure it all fits well. Get you child to wear the school shoes for a day to wear in a little. Label the school shoes.

* No mater what the school notice says, don't send every item of stationery to school on the first day / week or month. They don't need ten pens in one go. I've found that other kids help themselves to anyone's stationery and you'll be left with nothing. I bag up extra stationery for my girls and place it in the top of their wardrobes. They help themselves when they need more.

* Unpack your child's school bag at the end of each day. This is where you;ll find the school notices and leftover food. Check that your child has bought home their own uniform.



Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Grocery Specials Wednesday 20th January 2016

Here are this week's best grocery specials -

COLES -

*    U by Kotex Ultrathins Regular Pads with Wings 14 Pack 1/2 PRICE on U by Kotex, Libra, Tena & Poise.Excludes Tena Pants, clearance & Everyday items.Was $5.00, Save $2.50  Now $2.50 each

*   1/2 PRICE on Bonds.

*  Peckish Rice Crackers 100g 1/2 PRICE Was $2.20, Save $1.10  Now $1.10 each

*  Golden Circle Fruit Juice 2 Litre Was $3.60, Save $1.60  Now $2.00 each

*  Edgell Beetroot 425g 1/2 PRICE Was $1.75, Save $0.88  Now $0.87 each

*  Chicken Tonight Sauce 475g-500g 1/2 PRICE Was $3.15, Save $1.58  Now $1.57 each.  I don't buy any ready made sauces but this seemed like a great price.

*  Gold ‘n Canola Oil 4 Litre or Alfa One Rice Bran Oil 3 Litre 1/2 PRICE Was $18.00, Save $9.00  Now $9.00 each

*  Cadbury Cooking Chocolate 200g-225g Save $2.38  Now 2 for $6.00. This is a good price for this time of the year.  It might be cheaper at Easter.

*  1/2 PRICE on Sistema

*  Ryvita Crispbread 250g 1/2 PRICE Was $2.85, Save $1.43  Now $1.42 each

*  30% OFF Olay Complete

*  Herbal Essences Shampoo or Conditioner 300mL 1/2 PRICE Was $6.49, Save $3.25  Now $3.24 each

*  30% OFF Covergirl Make Up

*  VIVA Paper Towel Australia Day Print 2 Pack Was $3.55, Save $1.55  Now $2.00 each

*  Off Insect Repellent Aerosol Tropical 150g 1/2 PRICE Was $7.15, Save $3.58  Now $3.57 each

*  Bulla Multipacks 8 Pack-14 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $6.15, Save $3.08  Now $3.07 each

WOOLWORTHS -

*  Peters Drumstick 475-490ml Pk 4-6 Now $3.99 each 1/2 Price, Save $4.00

*  Mighty Soft Raisin Toast 600g Now $2.62 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.63  

*  Cadbury Medium Bars 30-60g or Europe Bars 40-45g Now $1.00 each 1/2 Price, Save $1.00

*    Sunrice Medium Grain or Long Grain Rice 10 kg Now $12.00 each 1/2 Price, Save $12.00

*  Edgell Sliced Beetroot 425g or Seed Beans 400g Now $0.84 each Save up to $0.96 

*  Praise Dressings 330ml Now $1.74 each 1/2 Price, Save $1.75.  This is about the cheapest you'll find it.  Well worth stocking up.

*  Kleenex Viva Australia Day Paper Towel Pk 2 Now $2.00 each Save $1.49

*  Mildura Sunrise Fruit Drink 2 Litre Now $1.80 each 1/2 Price, Save $1.89

*  Pauls Authentikos Yogurt 1 kg Now $2.74 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.75.  I'm not sure if this is natural or greek yoghurt.  If so,  this would be good to use as a starter yoghurt when making your own. 

*  Sargents Traditional Pies 700g Pk 4 Now $3.82 each 1/2 Price, Save $3.83.  For Australia Day maybe  !!!

*  30% off All Olay Total Effects & Regenerist Range

*  Bic Shaver Comfort 3 Advance Pk 4 Now $2.72 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.73

*    SMA Baby Formula 900g* *Limit of 4 per customer.Now 2 for $20.00 Save $9.98

*   Pine O Cleen Disinfectant 1.25 Litre Now $2.49 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.50.  This is the cheapest price you'll find.

*   1/2 Price All Sistema Home Storage

*  Pantene Shampoo or Conditioner 350ml Now $3.94 each 1/2 Price, Save $3.95



Please feel free to add any great specials you find.  This can include department store sales too.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Getting Your Budget In Order For A New Year

Starting the new year with your budget in place can help you achieve so much more.  January is a little quieter in my home so I try to make the most of it and plan for the year ahead.

A great place to start is to review last year's budget.  Here are some questions I ask myself when looking over the family budget -

*  Did we over spend in any areas ?

*  Did we waste money on unnecessary purchases ?

*  Did we buy too much of something ?

*  Can we cut back in some ( or all ) areas of our budget ?

*  Do we need to increase some areas of the budget ?

*  What are our goals for the coming year ?

*  Did we reach our savings goal for the items we wanted / needed ?  If not,  how soon can we save for it ?

Asking these questions gives me a chance to review and adjust the budget where needed.  Budgets should not be set in stone.  They need to be flexable to accomodate the needs of the family ( within reason ).  Take some time over the next couple of weeks to set up your yearly budget..  Remember to include all categories to reflect your spending habits.

When it comes to household bills,  it's always good to increase the amount put aside each week / fortnight / month.  Many utility providers increase their charges in the new year. To keep on top of thses increases,  putting an extra 10% aside is a great place to start.  Maybe this is a great time to set up direct debits for each category.

The new year is the perfect time to review your present / gift giving budget.  Things change through the year.  Friends and family come and go,  extra special occasions come up that require a bigger present.  Maybe you would like to give to certain charities.  Building this into your present budget ensures that you have the money available to bless others.

I write all the occasions to buy for in an exercise book.  One page is for birthdays,  anniversaries,  father's and mother's days etc etc. They are all written in order of the date during the year. The page opposite is for the Christmas presents I need to buy. When I review the present / gift budget,  I look over the presents I gave the previous year. By doing this,  I'm reminded of the presents that were well received and the bargains I found.  It's also a good way to avoid buying the same thing year in year out for the same person.

Just recently I went through all my stored up presents.  Everything was placed in order of giving on the present shelf.  Post- it notes were put on each present with the receiver's name,  occasion and year.  Because I buy a couple of years in advance,  I need to record the date to be given.   Once I've gone through the presents and recorded everything in my exercise book,  I write out a list of items I still need to buy.  This list goes into my handbag,  ready to snap up those fabulous bargains.

A new year could mean a new food budget.  If you were spending too much money on rubbish food,  a new budget could be in order.  Taking the time to review your eating habits could set you up for a healthier year.  Remember,  a budget is not set in stone so if you need to make adjustments,  now is the time to do it.

If you have a savings goal in mind,  how will you reach that goal ?  Do you need to set up direct debits into an online bank account ?  Working out the weekly,  fortnightly or monthly amount then setting up the direct debit will ensure you reach your goal.  We all want financial success so a little planning goes a long way.

Do you have an emergency account ?  Do you have the money set aside to replace the washing machine,  fridge,  freezer, car tyres,  heating and cooling ?  You know these things don't last forever so saving for them needs to be a continual part of  your budget.  Work out how much it costs to replace the items.   Then work out how much you need to save for them in 1,  2,  5 or 10 years time. 

Do you have a savings plan to replace your car / s ?  Buying a car can be the second biggest expense other than buying a home.    Car savings also needs to be a continual part of the family budget.  That's how Darren and I have been able to buy our cars without ever having a car loan or paying interest.

Now is the time to gather your family around and plan your year.  Plan your goals,  plan where you are heading and plan for financial security.  An hour or two spent in planning could save you months of stressing out about money.




How do you plan for the year ?

Saturday, 16 January 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks 16th January 2016

Here's what we got up to in the Gower house this week -

*  Diluted a bottle of Windex.  I only use it on the kitchen window and there was about an inch left in the bottle.  I'm not really wanting to buy a refill so as soon as it's used up,  I'll try making my own solution with detergent,  vinegar and water.  I'll let you all know when I make it up.

*  Gratefully accepted two scarfs from Jessica when she was cleaning out her room.  One is a red check and great for Winter.  The other is a light weight cream one great for slightly warmer weather.

*  Donated lots of bags of clothes,  shoes and bedroom bits and pieces to Savers and received lots of discount stamps for future purchases.

*  Cut up last year's Christmas cards to make gift tags.

*  Fixed Princess's scratching post.  It was falling apart and Jessica wanted to buy a new one.  Out came my hot glue gun and it almost looks as good as new ( almost ).

*  Made another 19 hand towels to give as presents.  I have a wonderful stockpile now.  I'm thinking of giving them with a hand made soap wrapped together in a cellophane bag.

*  Bought a roll of tulle from Savers for $1.99 less 5% discount.  I'll be using it instead of ribbons on presents.

*  Took the soap out of the moulds.  In the warmer weather it seems the soap needs a few extra days to harden before touching.  A couple of bars will need a little smoothing to look better.

*  Bought another rose mould for soap making.  It was $1.99 at Savers less 15% discount

*  Bought two more Tupperware collapsable containers for $3.99 less 15% discount from Savers.  These will make great presents filled with biscuit and tied with a ribbon.

*  Stocked up on glue sticks from Big W at $1.21 per stick.  Bargain.

*  Picked a handful of beans every couple of days.   We also picked lettuce for quite a few meals.

*  Our tomatoes are ripening so I'm picking them just as they turn orange then ripening them on the kitchen windowsill.

*  Only spent $13 this week on milk,  fruit and veg.  We've been eating out of the freezers, pantry and fridge.

*  Sent a handmade gift of a couple of hand towels for a friend's birthday this week.

* Saved the shower warm up water to water all our potted plants and fruit trees.

 .

Here are the rose soaps I made last week.  The rose petals look great here but a couple of days later they had mostly turned brown.  Not happy.  We'll have to use them instead of giving them as presents..


One batch of soap mixture made all of these.  So happy with the variety of moulds


I used the mould Mimi sent me.  They look great don't they ?


More hand towels were made.  This material had to be washed over and over again to get rid of the excess dye.


Using a different colored hand towel.  Darren likes this color.  Maybe we'll keep some for our kitchen.


Using material from a pillow case I found in the op shop.  So pretty.


I was reading Annabel's blog when Princess jumped up and started being cute with me.



With my de cluttering,  I came across the flowers from our engagement cake ( 21 years old ).  They were in a container in the back of my wardrobe.  I hadn't known what to do with them.  Putting them in a vase seems like a great idea.  They are now on displaying in the tv unit.


Collapsable Tupperware containers for $3.99 less 15% discount.  They'll make great presents filled with biscuits.


I found these for $1.99 each in Savers.  Much cheaper than the usual retail stores 


I found another rose soap mould.  I couldn't believe it.  And only $1.99 less 15% discount.

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


Saturday, 9 January 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks 9th January 2016

I had plenty of free time this week to craft,  garden and de-clutter.  Oh what joy.  I love this time of the year when the garden is producing.  There's always something new to look at or to pick to eat.  There's what else we got up to this week -

*  Saved more tissue paper,  ribbon,  gift boxes and gift bags from some Christmas presents I've put to use.

*  Picked lettuce,  strawberries,  raspberries, tomatoes and beans to use in our meals.

*  Dried all washing on the line.  Saved the washing machine water for each next load.

*  Used the shower warm up water to water all our potted plants / fruit bushes.

*  Made dried bread crumbs from saved crusts.  They seem to multiply so quickly.  Oh well,  much better than throwing them out.

*  Tied up the tomato plants with old cut up socks.

*  Sewed 8 more hand towels with some Christmas material.   I'm trying to build a stockpile of hand made presents just in case extra birthdays come up.  I love them so much I think I'll keep some to use in my kitchen next Christmas.

*  Darren picked a couple of beautiful pink roses from the garden.  He placed them on my bedside table as a suprise.

*  Bought a Boysenberry plant from Bunnings to add to my collection of fruit plants. I repotted it into a larger pot we already had.

*  Had the evap cooling off for a few  days.  I love the in between weather when you don't need heating or cooling.  Just the fresh air from outside.

*  Made pizza using pita bread and bits and pieces in the fridge.  The rest of the pita breads from the packet were made into pita chips.

*  Planted more bean and lettuce seeds for continual picking.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Megan went through her school book list and found we had all the stationery on hand in our stationery box.  I always buy a few extra binder books and pens when they are on sale in Big W each year.

*  Darren has painted both girl's bedrooms over the last week and a half.  He was able to get a good price on the paint and used some equipment he already had on hand.  This gave the girls a perfect opportunity to sort through everything in their rooms. From Jessica's room I reclaimed a pair of green and pink curtains.  I'm not sure if I'll keep them to put back up when she gets married and moves out or if I'll use them for craft projects.  I also reclaimed a plastic tub with lid.  Darren will use this in his car to bring home coffee grounds from work..From Megan's room I reclaimed some stationery,  a book light,  a torch and other useful items.

*  I gave Megan a haircut..

*  I ripped up lots of Jessica's old school papers to use as note paper.  I think I'm set for the next few years.

*  Made a batch of soap using my fancy moulds.  I put a a photo of the finished product next week.

A new stack of hand towels
I think I'll be keeping some for myself
Which is your favourite.
Soap moulds with rose petals
Bean plants galore
A rouge pumpkin plant ( I think )
Tomatoes are starting to ripen
Yummy bread.
Jessica's old school papers ripped into note paper.

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

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 ?