Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Grocery Specials Starting Wednesday 24th May 2017

Here are this week's best grocery specials -


*  Nescafé Gold 190g-200g1/2 PRICE Was $17.99, Save $9.00  Now $8.99 each

*  Golden Circle Tetra Fruit Drink 1 Litre1/2 PRICE Excludes Pineapple, Tomato & Nectar.Was $2.15, Save $1.08  Now $1.07 each

*  Arnott’s Salada Crispbread 250gWas $3.00, Save $1.00  Now $2.00 each

*  MasterFoods Squeezy Sauce 500mL1/2 PRICE Was $2.85, Save $1.43  Now $1.42 each

*  Maharajah’s Choice Basmati Rice 5kg1/2 PRICE Was $17.50, Save $8.75  Now $8.75 each

*  Cadbury Real Chocolate Melting Buttons 225g1/2 PRICE Was $4.19, Save $2.14  Now $2.05 each.  A stockpile worthy price.

*  Tip Top English Muffins 6 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $4.90, Save $2.45  Now $2.45 each

*  40% OFF Ogx Haircare.

*  30% OFF Olay Regenerist & Total Effects

*  Oral B Pro Health Advanced Deep Clean Toothpaste 110g1/2 PRICE Was $5.00, Save $2.50
Now $2.50 each

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

*  1/2 PRICE Papermate & Sharpie

*  30% OFF Wiltshire Bakeware

*  Mars M&M's or Maltesers 140g-180g1/2 PRICEWas $4.25, Save $2.13  Now $2.12 each


*  SunRice Jasmine or Brown Rice 5 kg Now $6.75 each1/2 Price, Save $6.75

*   Imported Freshwater Basa Fillets Now $5.50 kg1/2 Price, Save $5.50 kg

*    40% off All Bonds

*    Ansell Silverlined Gloves Pk 1 Now $1.55 each1/2 Price, Save $1.55

*  30% Off All Total Effects & Regenerist Skincare.

*  30% Off All Aveeno Skincare

*  30% Off All Neutrogena Skincare

*  30% Off All Platinum Cosmetics

*  30% Off All L’Oreal Men’s

*  1/2 Price All Covergirl & Skin Therapy Skincare.

*  40% off All Men’s & Women’s Bic Razors

*  30% off All VO5

*  Oral B Essential Floss 2 x 50m Now $3.00 each1/2 Price, Save $3.00

*  Dynamo Laundry Liquid 1.8/2 Litre Now $8.75 each1/2 Price, Save $8.75.  Dilutes really well too.


Saturday, 20 May 2017

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 20th May 2017

This week has been a busy one.  While you are reading this post,  I'll be down at Philip Island on a Cheapskates card making weekend.  So this week has been spent getting things ready to go away,   getting the house organised and getting meals sorted. Here's what else I got up to -

*  Made dried bread crumbs using saved bread crusts I had in the freezer.  I'll season the bread crumbs when the container gets low.

*  Chopped and blitzed 12 bars of laundry soap ready to make laundry powder later in the year as needed.

*  Gratefully received  a few bread bags.  They are the perfect size for our bathroom bins.

*  Sold two dozen eggs.

*  Saved lots of shower water and poured it into the washing machine.  Saved the washing machine rinse water for the next load.

*  Kept the heater off a couple of days when the sun was shining through the windows.

*  Changed over the Summer doona ( duvet ) for the Winter one.  Now we don't feel the cold at night and are no longer tempted to turn the heater back on.

*  Completed an extra hour of cleaning work and an extra hour of ironing work.

*  Came in under budget with my grocery shopping for the month.

*  Dried most of the washing on clothes horses, coat hangers in the shower and coat hangers from the towel rail over a ducted heating vent.  Only the sheets went into the dryer.

*  Mended a jacket of Megan's.  The seam had come apart on the sleeve   Mended two pairs od socks.

*  Megan cooked a big pot of chunky chicken and vegetable soup.  She portioned it into takeaway containers and froze for her work lunches.

*  Donated a bag of unwanted items to Savers and received a discount stamp.

*  Fed lots of grass and weeds to the chickens.

*  Made a small batch of ANZAC biscuits from dough  had in the freezer.  

Cutting up soap before blitzing to make laundry powder.

Family meat pie,  straight out of the oven

Mother's Day flowers from my girls

Making dried bread crumbs.

What was on your frugal list this week ?

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Potato Water And A Funny Story

Many years ago there was a tv show called Money For Jam.   Darren and I eagerly watched every episode hoping we'd learn some new ways to save money.  I remember seeing a lady on the show cleaning her saucepans with water from boiled potatoes.  At the time I thought this woman was mad.  Who in their right mind would clean saucepans with what I considered dirty water ?  REALLY !!!  Just clean them in the sink like everyone else !!!  I think I even said that to the tv.

A couple of years later I met Cath from The Cheapskates Club for the first time and had a wonderful afternoon with her.   Fast forward another three years and Cath and I became good friends doing workshops together.  At one of our regular visits I found out she was the potato water lady from Money For Jam.   We had a giggle over the saucepan story and Cath assured me potato water really does make saucepans shiny.

Each time I'd see Cath,  Darren would ask me if he should save our potato water for her.  It became a running joke between the two families.

Fast forward to 2017.  We have a new kitchen with a stainless steel stove top.  The stainless steel looks lovely but keeping it streak free is a challenge.  I've used metho,  miracle spray,  eucalyptus oil,  water,  Windex and mineral turps with microfiber cloths or paper towel.  Some worked better than others. 

One night while cooking dinner the potatoes boiled over leaving water on the stove top.  After loading the dishwasher together,  Darren decided to clean the stove.  Using a piece of paper towel,  he wiped the potato water around the stove top.  By then I'd moved to another area of the house but I could hear Darren in the kitchen yelping " It's a miracle,  it's a miracle  The potato water really does work."  So I went into the kitchen to inspect his handiwork.  I must say,  I've never seen the stove look so clean and shiny.  Streak free too.  Darren insisted I tell Cath the next time I saw her.  When I told her she had a good giggle at Darren's potato water miracle.

So,  there are a  few morals to this story -

*  Don't laugh at crazy potato water ladies on tv.  They might end up becoming a good friend ( with a lot of common sense ).

*  Don't knock a frugal tip until you've tried it.

*  Potato water really does clean stainless steel.


Saturday, 13 May 2017

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 13th May 2017

We had a couple of sunny days in Melbourne this week.  The lovely weather allowed me some much needed time in the garden to do a bit of tidying and planting.  Here's what i got up to this week -

*  Froze two single portions of leftovers.

*  Stretched a meatloaf for two meals by adding lots of steamed veggies to the plate.

*  Picked a few raspberries and feijoas from the garden.

*  Wrapped up all the gifts to be given throughout May.  I used discounted wrapping paper bought on Boxing Day and prettied up the present with strips of curtain netting.  I think they look lovely.

*  Used the dry mop to sweep the floors instead of the vacuum cleaner.

*  Hand washed the dinner dishes a couple of nights instead of loading the dishwasher.

*  Dried most of the washing on the line or clothes horses.  I only used the dryer for sheets and work uniforms.

*  Kept the heater off when possible during the day.  I made sure the family room curtain was opened first thing in the morning to let the Sun heat up the room.

*  Gratefully received a few bread bags and used them to line the bathroom bin.

*  Replanted the broccoli seedlings I planted a few weeks ago.  Some of the seeds germinated right next to each other and some didn't come up at all.  I now have 19 broccoli plants evenly spaced out.

*  Fed the weeds to the chickens.

*  Fed the worm farm with kitchen scraps.

*  Spaced out four potato plants that have grown from potato eyes thrown in the garden.

Strawberry guavas

Princess enjoying the sun

Gift wrapping.

What was on your frugal list this week ? 

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Another 10 Ways To Save Money This Week

Finding extra money in your budget can be a little challenging.  Here are some ideas for you to try.  Some might not be your cup of tea but could jog your memory for a slightly different idea.

*  Take your kids to the park instead of a play centre.  Save even more money by bringing snacks from home.

*  Need a quick,  easy and cheap present ? Then take a photo of the family,  a flower in the garden or a sunset.  Photo frames can be cheap to buy.  Try shopping from a $2 shop or your local op shop.

*  Declutter an area of your home and sell unwanted items on Ebay or your local Buy,  Swap and Sell Facebook groups.

* Going food shopping ?  Then make sure you take a list and stick to it.  Save even further by editing your list before you go.

* Implement the " 2 light " rule in your home.  It makes you more aware of your electricity usage.  Of course there are exceptions when people are studying etc.  Ask the kids to come out of their rooms to join you in the lounge / family room.

*  Borrow a magazine from the library instead of buying them.  Libraries have a large assortment of magazine to choose from.  Be aware that latest editions cannot be borrowed and must be read at the library.

*  Drink water,  drink lots of it.  It's far cheaper than coffee,  soft drink,  alcohol or store / café bought anything.  Your body will thank you for it and so will your wallet.

*  Wash your hands with soap after using the ' little room ",  after coming home from shopping or after dealing with raw meat.  There's nothing wrong with being in contact with germs,  but they can cause illness.  I remember seeing a story on tv about a ship that asked its crew to wash their hands often during their daily routine.  Gastro cases dropped by 70% during this trial period.. Washing your hands could reduce your medical bills too.

* Keep an ideas notebook with you.  When you see or hear a money saving idea,  craft,  recipe or blog,  make a note so you'll remember what it was.

*  Drive your car smoothly.  Reading the traffic conditions ahead and being aware of your surroundings can reduce your fuel consumption.  Hands up those who've had cars fly past them only to stop at the lights next to you ? . 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Grocery Specials Starting Wednesday 10th May 2017

Here are this week's best grocery specials


*  Continental Cup a Soup 2 Serve 40g-75g or Pasta & Sauce 85g-115g1/2 PRICE Was $2.00, Save $1.00  Now $1.00 each

*  Maharajah’s Choice Basmati Rice 5kg1/2 PRICE Was $17.50, Save $8.75  Now $8.75 each

*  Lindt Lindor Fruit Collection Gift Box 147g1/2 PRICE.Was $12.60, Save $6.30 Now $6.30 each

*  Tip Top English Muffins 6 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $4.90, Save $2.45  Now $2.45 each

*  MasterFoods Squeezy Tomato Sauce 500mLWas $2.85, Save $0.85  Now $2.00 each

*  Fountain Tomato or Barbecue Sauce 2 Litre1/2 PRICE Was $6.00, Save $3.00  Now $3.00 each

*  Don Footy Franks 375g-500g1/2 PRICE From the Dairy department.Was $5.60, Save $2.80
Now $2.80 each

*  Norsca Anti-Perspirant 245mL1/2 PRICE Was $5.99, Save $3.00  Now $2.99 each

*  Brut Anti-Perspirant or Body Spray 245mL1/2 PRICE New at Coles.Was $6.50, Save $3.25
Now $3.25 each

*  Palmolive Naturals Shower Gel 500mL1/2 PRICE Was $5.39, Save $2.70  Now $2.69 each

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

*  1/2 PRICE Bonds.

*  40% OFF Pyrex.

*  Handee Ultra Paper Towel 4 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $5.20, Save $2.60  Now $2.60 each


*  Golden Crumpets Rounds Pk 6 Now $1.65 each1/2 Price, Save $1.65

*  Nescafe Cafe Menu Coffee Sachets Pk 10 Now $3.29 each1/2 Price, Save $3.30

*  Lavazza Coffee Beans or Ground 500g now $9.50 each1/2 Price, Save $9.50

*  My Dog 680g – Excludes Home Recipe Now $1.60 each1/2 Price, Save $1.60

*  Vegeta Stock Powder 180-250g Now $2.50 each Save from $1.10

*  Heinz Condensed Soup Cans 420g Now $1.10 each1/2 Price, Save $1.10

*  Old El Paso Premium Kits 275-370g Now $3.49 each1/2 Price, Save $3.50

*  Flora Proactiv 250g Now $2.25 each1/2 Price, Save $2.25

*  30% off All Wiltshire EasyBake

*  40% off All Inspire Bathroom Manchester

*  25% off All Onix.

*  Pine O Cleen Disinfectant 1.25 Litre Now $2.49 each1/2 Price, Save $2.50.  A stockpile worthy price.

*  30% off All Ecotools

*  40% off All Clearasil Skin Care

*  1/2 Price All Olay Skin Care

*  30% off All Dove Hair Care

*  Morning Fresh Dishwashing Liquid 900ml Now $3.47 each1/2 Price, Save $3.48


Saturday, 6 May 2017

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 6th May 2017

As you read this post on Saturday morning Jessica and I will be launching Bella Pamper Parties.  This is Jessica's new business that we have both been working on for the last couple of months.  The pamper parties are for girls aged 5 - 12 and we treat them to a wonderful time of games,  foot spas,  a little makeup, manicures,  a photo booth and prizes.

Here's a list of the other tasks I managed to squeeze into this week -

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.  Used old bread bags and bread clips to store the loaves in the freezer.

*  Made a prize bag for Jessica's new pamper party business.  I used scraps of material and lace.  The bag was made a little long so the party guests need to dig deep to get a prize.

*  Used the dry mop n the bamboo floors instead of getting the vacuum cleaner out.

*  Sold lots of raspberry and white chocolate muffins to a cleaning client.

*  Sold two dozen eggs

*  Fed some pulled weeds to the chickens.  I also fed them a lettuce plant that had gone to seed.

*  Fed the compost bin with kitchen scraps and teabags.

*  Used the last of my retractable eyeliner  by pushing up the extra bit of eyeliner in the holder bit ( hard to explain ).  I got another four weeks' worth of use.  I'm also digging into the bottom of my lipstick.  So far I've extended the use by two weeks and hoping for another four.

*  Refilled the foaming hand wash dispensers around the home with diluted shower gel.

*  Limited the dryer usage to urgent items and work uniforms.  The rest of the washing went on clothes horses over the ducted heating vents.

* Picked a few feijoas and raspberries every couple of days.

*  Only bought milk, cream,  potatoes and grapes at the shops.

*  Knitted a saucepan lid holder from knitting cotton I had on hand.  I bought a new saucepan set a couple of weeks ago.  I love the set but the lid handles get a little hot when cooking for long periods of time.  The kitchen shops sell these cloths but I didn't take notice of the price.

* Cooked a chicken curry in the slow cooker and froze four leftover portions.  I also cooked a tuna pasta bake that stretch to six serves by adding steamed veg on the side.

*  Cut up an old sock to use as garden ties.  I keep the ties in an icecream container in my garden shed.

*  Diluted a bottle of white vinegar to use for cleaning.

*  Cleaned the kettle with citric acid.  Cleaned the dishwasher with bi carb,  vinegar and Miracle Spray.

*  Petrol is too dear at the moment and I was getting low.  I chose to put in $25 to make do until the price drops.

*  Megan has been doing big cook ups of meals and portioning them into single serves to take to work for lunch.

Jessica's new business

Prize bag for the parties

Freezing leftovers

In the garden

Rosemary in flower

A blessing of lemons

What does your frugal list look like this week ?

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Scrambled Eggs

I love scrambled eggs as a treat for breakfast,  lunch or a cheap dinner.  There's scrambled eggs and then there are tasty scrambled eggs.  Here's the recipe for how I make tasty scrambled eggs -

2 eggs
dash of milk ( maybe four tablespoons )
pinch of salt,  pepper
sprinkle of dried onion flakes,  dried garlic granules or powder and chives
knob or butter

Place the eggs and seasonings into a small bowl and whisk together

Heat a small frypan or saucepan on a medium heat.  Add a small knob of butter and melt

Add the egg mixture to the pan / saucepan and gently scrape a wooden spoon over the bottom. Ribbons of cooked egg will form. 

When the mixture turns from liquid to cooked egg,  turn off the heat immediately.

Serve with your choice of ingredients.  Bacon,  ham,  spinach,  cooked tomatoes,  mushrooms or toast work well.  I like mine on toast with a sprinkling of grated cheese.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 29th April 2017

This week has been busy with work,  bargain shopping,  baking and general home tasks.  Now that the weather is getting cooler I'm thinking of ways to keep warm and save money on gas and electricity.

Here's what else I got up to this week -

*  Fed the compost bin with kitchen scraps.

*  I went into Savers op shop to donate a bag of bits and pieces.  Instead of being given a discount stamp on my card,  I was given a 50% off storewide voucher.  So I made the most of the offer and bought four pairs of jeans,  three tops, a jacket  coat,  three gifts and some bowls for my kitchen ( the same as I already have ).  I paid a grand total of $47.  The jeans were new or near new and well known expensive brands.  Two of them retail for $120. The jacket was near new and also a well known expensive brand that retails for $270.  YEP  !!! I'm happy  !!!

*  Filled up my car with petrol at $1.17 per litre.

*  Collected more feijoas from our tree.

*  Reused and washed a snaplock bag.  Reused bread bags,  freezer bags and shopping bags as bin liners and to store food in the freezer.

*  Found a few meat bargains in the supermarket.  I even found salmon at 50% off.  This will be a treat for Darren and I when the girls are not home for dinner.

*  Baked lots of pita chips.

*  Gratefully received a jar of olives,  a bottle of soft drink and some chocolates from our ANZAC day lunch visitors.

*  Sold a card in my Etsy shop last week.

*  The family all ate leftovers for dinner the day after ANZAC day.

*  Sold one dozen eggs.

*  Did the usual water saving tasks around the home.

* We had the showers recaulked this week.  So for the last few days we've been having baths with a little shower hose attachment.  I think we've saved some water by doing this.

*  Kept the heater off as much as possible.  I've made sure the curtains are open when the sun is streaming through the glass ( free heat ).

*  Made two batches of double strength Miracle Spray.  I wouldn't want to run out.

*  Saved a box and ribbon from an item Jessica bought.  I've cut up the box and will use the patterned cardboard to make a couple of men's cards.

*  Picked lettuce from the garden and used the last of our tomatoes to make a salad that fed us for two meals. 

*  Baked ANZAC biscuits for ANZAC day.  I doubled the recipe and froze the rest of the dough to bake at another time.

Homemade chunky chicken soup.

ANZAC biscuits

I'm still enjoying the feijoas.

What did your week look like ? Did you find a new way to save money ?


Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Frugal Life - Is It Worth It ?

For those of you who are thinking of starting the frugal life,  there are two questions you are probably asking yourself.

*  How do I start my frugal journey ?

*  Is it worth all the fuss and hard work ?

In this post I'll answer the second question and leave the first question for another time.

Of course I'm going to say YES  it's worth all the hard work but you probably want to know why ?  For my family there are many reasons why we live the frugal life.

Money -   We like money,  we wish we could get our hands on more,  we like spending and saving it too.  But the reality is we don't earn very much.  Our income is lower than what the government calls a low income.  Far lower.  Our low income is not from lack of work either.  Darren works so hard to provide for us.  Unfortunately the hospitality industry doesn't pay a lot and hours are cut when it's not busy  I clean a couple of homes each week. Yes that pays well but I can't do cleaning work full time.  I don't have the energy for such hard work.  Living the frugal life gives me the chance to make the dollars we earn go a long way.

I don't have to work full time - Infact,  I've never had to work full time.  Being frugal gives me choices about my life.  I chose to stay home to raise our daughters.  I also chose quality time with my family feeding them home cooked food.  Both Darren and I chose the smaller house,  local holidays,  keeping our cars for a long time,   restaurants and  movies as a rare treat and growing our own food.  This lifestyle might not be for everyone but Darren and I didn't want to work long hours to support a lifestyle we didn't have time for.

Time - It doesn't take too much time to do the frugal tasks I do each week.  For example

*  Making Miracle Spray takes 5 minute from start to finish,  costs about $1 - $1.50 for two litres of cleaning product.  I make it a few times a year and it saves me well over $100.  I don't need to buy toilet cleaner,  stain remover,  spray and wipe,  carpet cleaner,  shower cleaner,  stainless steel cleaner,  fridge cleaner,  sugar soap,  dishwasher cleaner or  floor cleaner.

*  Making laundry powder takes 5 - 10 minutes to do a quadruple batch.  It saves me another $100 ( or far more if I used those pods at 50 cents a wash ).

*  Baking a batch of muffins takes 15 minutes and costs about $2 for 24 muffins.    Supermarket muffins cost about $1 - $1.50 each. so I'm saving $22 - $34 each time I bake them.

Debt -    Being frugal can fast track debt elimination.    Making our dollars stretch allowed us to put extra money on our mortgage.  With our frugal lifestyle and low income we were able to be completely debt free just after I turned 40.

Food -  I'd much rather spend my time cooking a meal my family will love,  saving us money and our health.  The alternative is mass produced,  calorie laden,  salt and sugar rich,  preservative drenched rubbish food.  It really is a no brainer.

Savings in the bank -  A frugal lifestyle reduces waste ( of all kinds ) and allows our savings to grow.

If your current life is not what you want for yourself and your family,  give the frugal life some serious consideration.  The benefits are huge and the rewards are ongoing.  You could change the course of your family's future for generations to come.

Is the frugal life for you ?
What benefits have you found from being frugal ?

Monday, 24 April 2017

Savers 50% Off Voucher.

Savers op shop are running a promotion for the ANZAC long weekend. Donate a bag of unwanted items and receive a 50% off storewide voucher on your next total purchase.

This promotion ends Tuesday 25th April 2017.  Please check your local store for opening times especially for ANZAC Day.  My local store at Narre Warren is open from 1 - 6pm on Tuesday.

The voucher expiry is May 21st 2017.

Time to have a quick clean out and make the most of this great offer.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 22nd April 2017

My frugal list is a short one this week due to different circumstances.  I took some time off on Sunday and Monday to relax and spend time with my family and extended family for Easter.  Tuesday I worked due to the public holiday on Monday.  Wednesday was the monthly shopping day and fridge / freezer buying day.  Darren helped get the washing,  vacuuming and mopping done while I was out shopping.  Thursday I was unwell so I spent the day taking it easy.  Friday I was busy again with work,  a visitor,  work drop offs and pickups for Megan then the movies with Darren and Jessica.

So here I am.  Friday night and wondering what I did this week to save some money.  Here's what I managed to get done amidst the busyness -

*  Replanted 6 strawberry runners ( plants ) that were growing in the garden.

*  Saved the shower water to use on the veggie seedlings.

*  Picked lettuce to use in three of our main meals.

*  Wrote a menu plan for the next four weeks.

*  Fed lots of grass and clover to the chickens.

*  Picked a couple of feijoas from the ground each day.  I've enjoyed eating them as a snack.

*  Sold four dozen eggs.

*  Dried the washing on the line.  I didn't do as many loads this week so there's a saving on the water use too.

*  We put a deposit on a new side by side fridge / freezer this week.   After getting a quote at one retailer,  we went to another store and they bettered the other quote.  The fridge / freezer was already on sale at a very good price too  It always pays to ask for the best price possible.

*  I did the monthly food shopping on Wednesday and stuck to the list.  Always a bonus to stick to the plan.

* Found $1 in an abandoned trolley when I was taking mine back. A dollar is a dollar and will be used wisely.

*  Gratefully received a few capsicums from my friend Maureen's garden  a couple of weeks ago  I diced and froze them into small portions to go in casseroles.

*  Baked a few cranberry hootycreek biscuits and peanut butter choc chip biscuits using dough from the freezer.

Easter decorations in our entry.

Eater dccorations on the kitchen dresser

Feijoas ripening on the windowsill

 How did you save money,  time or energy this week.  I'd love to see your frugal list.      

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Ice Cube Trays - Another 5 Ways To Save Money

Do you have ice cube trays sitting in your cupboard unused ?  Then here's another 5 ways to use them and save a little money -

*  Make your own baby food and portion it into the ice cube trays.  This is great for when you are introducing a new food to your baby.

*  Make chocolate covered strawberries without the mess.  Pour melted chocolate into each cube.  Place a strawberry in each cube pushing down slightly.  Refridgerate until the chocolate hardens.

*  Freeze pureed fruit to make your own smoothies.   This is a much cheaper option than the supermarket bought,  prepackaged frozen fruit cubes.

*  Use ice cube trays as snack trays for your children.  This is a wonderful way to portion control and present healthy food.

*  Novelty shaped ice cube trays make wonderful soap moulds.  The soaps are a perfect size for little hands and make great presents..

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Grocery Specials Starting Wednesday 18th April 2017

Here are this week's grocery specials -


*  Arnott’s Salada Crispbread 250gWas $3.00, Save $1.00  Now $2.00 each

*  Vege Chips Original 100g1/2 PRICE Was $3.40, Save $1.70  Now $1.70 each

*   Bonne Maman Jam 370g1/2 PRICE Was $5.00, Save $2.50  Now $2.50 each

*  Maharajah’s Choice Basmati Rice 5kg1/2 PRICE On sale for 2 weeks.
Was $17.50, Save $8.75 
Now $8.75 each

*  Golden Crumpet Rounds 6 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $3.30, Save $1.65  Now $1.65 each

*  30% OFF Poise

*  30% OFF Carefree & Stayfree Pads, Liners & Tampons

*  Palmolive Naturals Shower Gel 500mLWas $5.39, Save $2.39  Now $3.00 each

*  !/2 price on selected Dove products.

*  Macleans Extreme Clean Toothpaste 170g1/2 PRICE Was $5.00, Save $2.50  Now $2.50 each

*  Morning Fresh Dishwashing Liquid 900mL1/2 PRICE Was $6.95, Save $3.48  Now $3.47 each

*  Ansell Handy Disposable Gloves 100 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $11.00, Save $5.50  Now $5.50 each

*  Chux Heavy Duty Scourer Scrubs 3 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $3.20, Save $1.60  Now $1.60 each

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

*  1/2 PRICE Décor Microsafe

*  30% OFF Mix Socks & Underwear

*  Adrenaline or Spa & Wellness Gift Cards 40% OFF

*   1/2 PRICE All Maybelline MakeUp

*  30% OFF Neutrogena Facial Skincare


*  Moccona Classic Freeze Dried Coffee 200g – Excludes Indulgence Range Now $9.00 each1/2 Price, Save $9.39

*  Arnott’s Shapes 160-190g Now $1.50 each1/2 Price, Save $1.50

*  Campbell’s Real Stock Varieties 1 Litre Now $1.99 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.00

*  Vanish Napisan Gold Oxi Action or Crystal White 2 kg Now $9.99 each1/2 Price, Save $10.00

*  Edgell Corn 420g Now $0.88 each 1/2 Price, Save $0.89

*  20% off All Be Natural

*  Freedom Foods Active Balance 350g Now $2.99 each1/2 Price, Save $3.00

*  Golden Crumpet Breaks Pk 6 Now $1.99 each1/2 Price, Save $2.00

*  Tip Top English Muffin Varieties Pk 6 Now $2.45 each1/2 Price, Save $2.45

*    30% off All Maybelline

*  20% off All Glad Cling & Bake

*  Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid 700-750ml Now $2.74 each1/2 Price, Save $2.75

*  30% off All Jamie Oliver Kitchenware

*  30% off All Arcosteel Cookware

*  1/2 Price All Sistema Coloured Home Storage

*  30% off All CLiO, Razza Matazz & Sheer Relief

*  1/2 Price All Sistema Klip It

*  15% off $30, $50, $100 iTunes Gift Cards.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 15th April 2017

Happy Easter to all of you. May you enjoy the small break from work and your normal routines as we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus.

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

*  Made 1 kilo of yoghurt from scratch.  My starter was some homemade natural yoghurt that I'd frozen from the last batch.

*  Baked lots of cranberry hootycreek biscuits using dough I'd frozen a while ago.

*  Sold one dozen eggs.

*  Gratefully received a bag of apples from a local fruit and veg shop.

*  Stocked up on chicken drumsticks bought at $2.49 kg.

*  Made bread pudding using saved bread crusts.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Filled up with petrol at $1.19 per litre before it went up for the Easter holidays.

*  Made two bottles of  50 / 50 cordial.

*  Made two dozen hot cross buns.

*  Dried the washing on the line.

*  Picked a bowl of feijoas from our garden.  Very yummy.

*  Gratefully received a handmade lemon myrtle room freshener spray from a friend.  It smells divine.

*  Gratefully received milk,  capsicums,  cucumbers and eggs from various friends.

Feijoas from our tree

50  / 50 cordial

Hot cross buns being glazed

Bread pudding

Cranberry hootycreek biscuits baking.

What was on your frugal list this week ?

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Bread Pudding In The Slow Cooker

 I found a similar recipe  to this in a slow cooker cookbook years ago.   I had to adapt it as the original recipe was American - which means LOTS OF SUGAR. I'm guesstimating the amount of milk I use as I never really measure it. I always seem to pour a bit more over the bread if it looks like it needs more.

I use the crusts from the end of a loaf of bread. I save them up in the freezer until I have 6 - 8 truly making it a cheap dessert.   You can use wholemeal, multigrain or white bread. I have also made the milk up using powdered milk. It works out just fine.

6 - 8 slices of bread
600 - 800 mls of milk
4 eggs
1/3 cup of brown sugar
Dash of vanilla essence
Good shake of nutmeg and cinnamon
Jam - any flavour
1/3 cup of chopped walnuts

Turn on slow cooker first - high if it's a slow,  slow cooker or low if it's a fast slow cooker  
Spray the slow cooker with canola oil
Very lightly spread the jam over the bread and cut into large squares - perhaps 6 per slice. Place evenly in the bottom of slow cooker with jam facing up.

In a bowl mix eggs, sugar, vanilla, milk, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over the bread in slow cooker dunking the bread under the mixture.  
Sprinkle the walnuts on top.

Cook for 3 hours and serve with cream or icecream.

Leftovers can be refrigerated for 2 days and heated up in the microwave as needed.

Bread pudding starting to cook.

Bread crusts with jam

Poured the egg mixture over the bread.

Dessert with cream.  Yum  !!!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Grocery Specials Starting Wednesday 12th April 2017

Here are this week's best grocery specials -


*  Cadbury Melts Cooking Chocolate 225g1/2 PRICE  Was $4.19, Save $2.10  Now $2.09 each

*  Tip Top English Muffins 6 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $4.90, Save $2.45  Now $2.45 each

*  Cheezels Snacks 110g1/2 PRICE Was $2.00, Save $1.00  Now $1.00 each

*  Mars Maltesers 360g or M&M’s Peanut 440g1/2 PRICE Was $10.00, Save $5.00  Now $5.00 each

*  Cottee’s Jam 500g Was $3.35, Save $1.35  Now $2.00 each

*  Buy Any 2 Get the 3rd FREE Colgate Total

*  1/2 PRICE Mum Deodorant

*  1/2 PRICE Decor Microsafe

*  30% OFF Wiltshire Gadgets & Bakeware

*  30% Off Black Swan Classic or Crafted Dips

* Bic Soleil Twilight Lavender Razors 4 Pack Save $4.98  Now 2 for $6.00


*  Mars Gift Boxes 300-440g Now $5.00 each1/2 Price, Save $5.00

*  20% off All Dr. Oetker Baking.

*  Imported Smoked Cod (Hake) Fillets Now $10.00 kg Save $5.00 kg Seafood may not be available in all stores. Thawed for your convenience. ( I ask for frozen )

*  Golden Crumpets Rounds Pk 6 Now $1.65 each1/2 Price, Save $1.65

*  Castello Cheese 150g Now $3.70 each1/2 Price, Save $3.70.  Wonderful for a treat.

*  Praise Traditional or Fat Free Mayonnaise 365-410g Now $1.70 each1/2 Price, Save $1.70

*  Praise Dressings 330ml Now $1.74 each1/2 Price, Save $1.75.  Check the best before dates.  You might be able to stock up for next Summer.

*  Always Fresh Wedges, Sliced or Pitted Olives 220g Now $2.50 each1/2 Price, Save $2.50

*  Always Fresh Baby Cucumbers 350g Now $1.75 each1/2 Price, Save $1.95

*  Golden Circle Drink 1 Litre Now $1.07 each1/2 Price, Save $1.08

*   30% off All Inspire Bakeware

*  20% off All Deeko Disposable Picnic

*  30% off All Maybelline Cosmetics.

*  30% off All Lynx

*  Morning Fresh Dishwashing Liquid 900ml Now $3.45 each1/2 Price, Save $3.50

*  Energizer Max AA Pk 16 Now $9.75 each1/2 Price, Save $9.75

*  Energizer Max AAA Pk 14 Now $9.75 each1/2 Price, Save $9.75


Saturday, 8 April 2017

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 8th April 2017

Our time outside is now spent getting our garden ready for Winter.  Veggie plants are being pulled,  new seeds are being sown and shrubs are being trimmed.  Here's what else we got up to this week -

*  Cleaned the dishwasher using vinegar,  bi carb and Miracle spray.

*  Made 10 1/2 jars of raspberry jam using our own fruit picked from the garden.  I now have 40 jars of assorted homemade jam.  Most will be eaten by my family and some will be given as presents.

*  Darren and I had frozen leftovers for dinner one night.

*  Planted three strawberry runners.  One planter box had better performing strawberry plants than the other ( different varieties )  I'm hoping to eventually get rid of / give away the under performing plants and replace with the better ones for free.

*  Planted three daisy cuttings to fill empty spots in the garden.

*  Planted lots of broccoli seeds in the veggie garden.

*  Replanted some cos lettuce seedlings amongst the established lettuce plants.  The seedlings came from plants that had gone to seed.

*  On Thursday I made 10 1/2 jars of tomato relish using our own tomatoes.  I must say,  it's the best tasting relish I've ever made.  That night we had Krispy Fried Chicken drumsticks with our dinner and there was lashing of relish on our plates.

*  Around our home we reused and recycled bread bags,  freezer bags,  one zip lock bag,  pita bread bags and supermarket bags.

*  Picked the last of the tomatoes,  lettuce,  raspberries,  a few strawberry guavas and one feijoa ( so excited about the feijoa ) .

Cleaned the kettle using citric acid and water.  The boiled water was poured on grass growing in concrete cracks.

*  Fed both the compost bins with lots of coffee grounds and grass clippings.

*  Baked cranberry hootycreek biscuits for snacks.

*  Dried all the washing on the line.

*  Saved the shower warm up water for the pot plants.  Saved the washing machine water as per usual.

The last of our tomatoes ripening.

Tomato relish

Afternoon tea with for Jessica and I

Corned beef ( silverside )  cooking in the slow cooker.

I've updated my shopping list with the latest grocery tops up.  The view the photos and receipts please click on this link.


Please feel free to share you frugal week with the other readers.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Olive Oil Soap

I just love making my own soap.  It's been wonderful on my skin helping to clear up the allergic reaction I was having to shower gel.  Last year Phil from Mr Homemaker blog gave me a recipe for soap that contained olive oil and rice bran oil.  Because I'd been given quite a few bottles of olive oil,  I changed the recipe to omit the rice bran oil. 

I've found this soap to be of better quality than the other soap  I was making.  This olive oil soap seems to set harder and has a more luxurious feel and lather.  The color tends to be whiter,  only changing to a light cream color over time when stored.

Please keep in mind,  this soap comes to trace very quickly so make sure you have all your moulds ready to go before making.

1000 grams of olive oil,
250 grams of Copha (1 x block)
173 grams of Caustic Soda
450 mils of water.

1. Chop up Copha into small chunks and place into a large non-metallic bowl

2. Make your Lye .in a separate non metallic container by adding  Caustic Soda slowly to the water (never the other way around!)  a little at a time stirring continually.  Watch out for the fumes.

3. Slowly and carefully pour the  lye over Copha chunks

4. Stir Copha and Lye manually with a non metallic spoon / spatula till Copha chunks are all dissolved by the heat of the lye.

5. Slowly add the olive oil while stirring.

6. Use a stick blender to reach a good trace (do not over-heat your stick blender - alternate between stirring and power mode.)

7. Pour the mixture into your moulds and smooth off the top.

8. Place glad wrap over moulds

9. Wrap moulds in old toweling (so they cool slowly)

10. Un-mould in 24-48 hours

11. Cure for 6 weeks


*  Make sure you are wearing covered shoes,  rubber gloves,  protective eye wear and a face mask.. The fumes from the lye can be quite strong especially if you make the soap indoors.  Sometimes I make the lye solution outside,  pour in the other ingredients ,  then bring it all inside to mix together. After making it a few times,  I no longer wear a face mask or glasses but I'm extra careful.

*  Care should be taken when making the lye.  Slowly and gently is the key. One granule of Caustic Soda falling on unprotected skin will sting quite badly.

*  Trace is when the mixture looks like custard starting to thicken.  You'll see ripples in the mixture when blending.

*  This recipe can come to trace in as little as 5 minutes.  If you over, mix the ingredients you'll have trouble getting it into the mould.  The first time I made it,  I over mixed it and there were air bubbles in the soaps.

*  Make sure you have all your equipment out before starting.  This includes a spatula to scrape the bowl.

*  Have baking trays under the moulds before pouring.  This makes moving the moulds to a better location ( for curing ) easier and safer.

Made back in July 2016.  It's only just starting to change color.

Make sure it's for soap making

The mixture has come to trace

Pouring into the moulds

Great for presents too.

There the link to the other soap recipe I've used