Saturday, 21 April 2018

This Week's Drugal Tasks Saturday 21st April 2018

This post is a list of my frugal tasks over the last two weeks.  As you can imagine,  we've been super busy all month at the Gower Abundant Cottage.  Jessica and Eugene's engagement party was held last Saturday. Everything went smoothly and the hall looked lovely with the decorations Jessica and I had sourced from op shops,  discount stores,  holiday bargains and from around our home.

We had plenty to eat and Eugene's Mum and extended family provided lots of Russian delights.  The night consisted of fun games,  food,  speeches,  food,  cake cutting,  food,  dancing,  food and present opening.

Here are the frugal tasks I've squeezed into my full days -

*  Jessica found a few as new coats and dress clothes at Savers op shop she can use for her teaching rounds.  Because she was there on a Sunday she received 20% off for being a student.

*  Made lots of sausage rolls and mini quiches for the engagement party.

*  Mended a cardigan.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Gratefully received lots of bread bags that I repurposed into bathroom bin liners.

*  Fed lots of bread crusts to the chickens.

*  Made a double batch of chocolate brownies for the engagement party.  Some was leftover which we enjoyed for afternoon tea.  The brownie was a huge hit at the party with requests for the recipe.

*  Bought bunches of flowers for the engagement party at the Dandenong Market. Baby's breath was half the price of florist's quoted prices.  The flowers were used to decorate the tables.  I arranged them in the Fowler's Vacola glass jars I picked up a couple of months ago at Savers for 60 cents each.  Jessica and Eugene will be keeping them as vases for their home.

*  Packed salad lunchboxes to eat while we were decorating the hall.  Others went out and got takeaway ( which is fine but we enjoyed the fresh salad ).

*  Saved the shower and washing machine water for each next load of washing.

*  Dried all but one load of washing on the line.  I needed to do a load of washing last Friday night ( the night before the engagement party ).  To make life easy and to avoid clothes horses with extra bodies coming in and out of our home,  the dryer was the best option ( for my sanity ).  I don't like using the dryer but that night it really helped me.

*  Ate leftovers form the party for two days.  There were lots of carrot sticks leftover so I diced and placed them in a beef casserole.

*  We received our electricity bill for the last three months.  There was a decrease of just under $20 for the same period last year.  This doesn't seem like much but power costs have increased considerably in twelve months.  Our wise usage has offset all increases.  The little usage table on the bill says we use less than the target amount of one person.  Not bad when there are two,  sometimes three living here.

*  Bought discounted bread at Coles for 38 cents a loaf.  Store bought bread tastes better with bbqs and is handy to have in the freezer.

*  Converted another $10 worth of  Flybuys points into dollars on our card.

Engagement party table flowers

The happy couple

Photo wall

The letters I found for $1 each

At the start of the night.

Table and wall decos by me.


Eugene's little brother making a speech.

The two families together.

Engagement cake (  flowers from the op shop )

                                Present table with letters and flowers I found at the op shop.

Speeches area.

What frugal tasks were on your list this week ?

Saturday, 14 April 2018

This Week's Frugal Tasks Will Return

Hi everyone.

Due to an extremely busy week with work and engagement party preparations ( today is the day ),  I'm unable to post my frugal tasks.  To be honest,  I haven't had time to do much frugally except cook from scratch and find a few things at the op shop.

I'll post my list next Saturday as per usual.  I hope you'll understand and still post your own lists for others to read and be inspired.

Here are a few photos of our frugal lifestyle.

homemade party food

Raspberry jam using our berries

The girls 

Abundance from the garden

Pretties from our garden

A treat of salmon.

For the cookie jar

Store bags redecorated.

Did you have a frugal week ?

What was on your frugal list ?

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Creamed Rice

This recipe is an oldie but a goodie.  I grew up with this recipe served hot in Winter and cold in Summer as a wholesome dessert.

1 cup of white rice - uncooked
1 litre of full cream milk
3/4 cup of sugar ( or to taste )
Water to cook the rice.

In a medium / large saucepan add the uncooked rice and a kettleful of boiled water.

Cook for approximately 10 minutes until tender.

Drain the water from the rice and return the rice to the saucepan.

Add the milk and sugar to the rice and stir.

Slowly bring the mixture to boiling point,  stirring very regularly to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.

Once the rice reaches boiling point,  turn the heat down until it reaches a  gentle simmer.  Stir every 5 minutes.

Cook until the rice absorbs most of the milk which could be about 30 - 40 minutes.

Serve hot or cold with fruit,  on it's own or with a little bit of brown sugar or cinnamon on top.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 7th April 2018

Darren,  Jessica and myself had a lovely weekend in Bendigo over Easter. The weather was just perfect,  the Bendigo Easter parade was amazing and we picked up a few bargains around town.  We also caught up with family and friends and spent some much needed time relaxing.

This mini holiday was a year in the making ( or planning ) which gave me lots of time to save for it.  I'm sure half the fun is in the planning and dreaming.

Due to our time away my frugal list is a bit on the short side this week.  I'm hoping your frugal lists will inspire me to get more done next week.

*  Used our thermos and ate home baking for a morning tea pit stop on our way up to Bendigo.

*  Bought lots of Lindt chocolate bunnies on sale in Kmart on Easter Monday for $2 each.  This is the cheapest I've ever seen them.  I bought enough for birthdays,  Christmas and Easter next year.

*  Took water bottles wherever we visited around Bendigo.  This saved us about $36 over the four days away.

*  Filled up and kept topping up my car with cheap petrol in Bendigo.  It was $1.18 per litre while Melbourne's prices were still around $1.47 per litre.

*  We took rolls for lunch and spag bol for dinner on the first day.  The second night we made pita bread pizza with items from our pantry and fridge.  Our snacks were homemade chocolate cake, homemade cranberry hootycreek biscuits and chips and chocolate from home.

*  Found some engagement party / wedding decorations in a shop called Provincial Home Living.  They are the wooden letters that is the latest trend.  We found them on clearance for $1 each and bought ' E ',  ' & ' and an  ' U ' which we'll turn into a ' J '.  The $1 price is a better price  than the discount shops.

*  Planted silverbeet seedlings in the garden.

*  Dried all washing on the line or clothes horses.

*  Stuck to the two light rule.  Turned off standby lights and power boards.

*  Saved the washing machine water and shower warm up water.

*  Froze dinner  leftovers.

*  Sold two dozen eggs and three jars of jam.

Around the home.

Tea time anyone ?

Free range eggs from home.

How did you celebrate Easter in your home ?

Were you still frugal during the holiday ?

Did you pick up any post Easter bargains ?

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

The ' Use It Up ' Challenge Update

For the month of March we've been trying to use up items from around our home.  This is a great way to save money,  declutter and to feel like we are not wasting goods.

During the challenge I used up -

*  One lipstick by digging down to the very bottom with a cotton stick.- Value $8

*  One bar of soap for hand washing instead of refilling the foaming hand soap pump - Value $2

*  Ate 8 single serves of leftovers from the freezer - Value $8

*  Used a few little shampoo and shower gel  bottles - Value $1

*  Decluttered the pantry and put aside items that need using up.  Darren is gradually making his way through the gnocchi,  nuts and rice cakes.  Value - $15

*  Used some guest soaps to add to  decorated hand towels.  This made  lovely packages to sell  at a  craft market a week or so ago.  From my understanding a couple of them sold to the value of about $14.

*  Reorganised the freezers to see what I have.  I wrote a menu plan to include a few bits and pieces - Value $10 in eaten items

Total value for the month $58

We've used a few

Egg custard to use up excess milk and eggs

Using up freezer meals

Did you use up anything from around your home ?

Saturday, 31 March 2018

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 31st March 2018

My kitchen has had a good workout with lots of baking and cooking this week.  A wonderful side benefit is all the home cooked food we'll be enjoying over the Easter weekend. Here's my frugal list -

*  Jessica baked a big batch of raspberry and white choc muffins and choc chip biscuits for Uni snacks. She's trying to cut her costs down and avoid the cafeteria ( which is so over priced ).

*  Fed the compost bins with kitchen peelings,  tea leaves and tea bags.

*  Used lots of bread bags to lines the bins.

*  Took snacks and water when Jessica and I were out and about for wedding appointments.

*  Bought chicken drumsticks for $1.99 kg.  Darren and I only eat one each if they are a decent size.  The drumsticks cost approximately 60 cents per meal.

*  Collected bean seeds from our dying plants.  These will be used for next Spring's planting.

*  Picked the last of the raspberries.

*  Made 12 hot cross buns from scratch.  Although they are not cheap to make,  I know exactly what's in them.  That has to be an investment into our health.

*  Baked a chocolate cake and cranberry hootycreek biscuits for the holiday weekend.

*  Dried the washing on the line.

*  Bought roast beef for $7.99kg.  All of them went into the freezer and I'll cook them in ter slow cooker in the next few months.

*  Stayed home as much as possible to save the cheap petrol I bought last week.

*  Cooked a roast beef on Wednesday and carefully portioned it out into 11 serves with lots of gravy.  Darren and I ate it fresh that night and the rest went into the freezer.

*  Bought packets of 20 white craft bags for $1 a packet.    I used some for Easter treats.

*  Saved the washing and shower water to pour into the washing machine.

*  Bought more snacks for the engagement party at half price from Coles.

Homemade hot cross buns

Cranberry Hootycreek biscuits

Collecting bean seeds

Chocolate cake.

How did you save time,  money and energy this week ?

Have you done special baking or crafts for Easter ?

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Menu Plan March / April 2018

I've been asked to share my latest menu plan.  Please keep in mind it's mostly just Darren and I at home but I still cook some meals for four people and freeze the leftovers.  . Our freezers and pantry are well stocked and at times we live off our stockpile.  Our current grocery budget is about $100 per month

Wed 21st March -  Freezer meals.
Thurs 22nd -  Lamb Shanks and mash
Fri 23rd -  Chop suey and rice
Sat 24th -  Meat pie and steamed veg
Sun 25th -  Get\Your Own
Mon 26th -  Honey soy chicken drumsticks, mash and steamed veg
Tues 27th -  Hamburgers and wedges
Wed 28th - Pork chop for Darren,  Chicken drumstick for me with veg
Thurs 29th -  Freezer meals
Fri 30th -  Spag Bol
Sat 31st - BBQ sausages,  rissoles and salad
Sun 1st April -   Chicken and salad
Mon 2nd - Pizza
Tues 3rd -  Tuna casserole and greens
Wed 4th -  Sausages,  mash and steamed veg
Thurs 5th -  Saucy chicken drumsticks, rice and veg
Fri 6th - Beef stew in slow cooker with mash
Sat 7th -  Fish in foil,  rice and zucchini slice
Sun 8th - Get Your Own
Mon 9th - Roast beef,  roast veg and steamed veg
Tues 10th -  Lasagne and steamed veg
Wed 11th -   Krispy Fried Chicken drumsticks, rice and zucchini slice     
Thurs 12th -  Freezer meals
Fri 13th -  Silverside in slow cooker with mash and steamed veg
Sat 14th - Engagement party food
Sun 15th -  Left overs
Mon 16th - Left overs
Tues 17th -  Tuna pasta bake and greens
Wed 18th - Sausage casserole and mash

Saturday, 24 March 2018

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 24th March 2018

There isn't a lot of frugal savings on my list this week.  I've worked four days,  had a catering order,  gone to a wedding expo,  shopped for a wedding dress ( still shopping ),  gone to a card making day  as well as visiting my parents for my Dad's birthday.

My list is a mixture of household savings,  blessings and bargains..

*  Had a catering order for 100 sausage rolls,  100 mini quiches and two lemon slices.  Jessica was able to help me do the cooking and it became a cooking lesson for her.

*  Sold two dozen eggs.

*  Jessica and I went to a wedding expo on Sunday.  We took some snacks and water with us.  During the day we were given bottles of water,  a suit bag,  whitening toothpaste, a nail file and a pocket square.

*  Op shop finds for this week are - an apron for $1.99 ( for Jessica ),  a baby wrap for $4.99 ( new for a future gift ) and an as new plastic canister / container for $2.99( for Jessica ).  All items then had a 15% off discount.

*  Gratefully received several glass jars.  These will be used for jam making.

*  Gratefully received some veggies and meat from a couple of friends.

*  Gratefully received lots of bread bags.

*  Made egg custard to use up an excess of eggs and milk that was going out of date.

*  Dried the washing on the line.

*  Saved the shower water to pour into the washing machine.  Saved the rinse water from each load and poured it back into the washing machine for the next load.

*  Wrote a menu plan to use up stocks we have in the freezer.

* Topped up my car with petrol at $1.19 per litre.

*  Bought a few meat markdowns in Coles.  I also found a loaf of bread for 37 cents and four large blueberry muffins ( for Darren ) for $1.19 a pack.

*  Bought blank cards in Kmart on clearance for $1 a pack of 10.  The envelope were the same price.  These will be used to make wedding invitations.

*  Found items for the engagement party and wedding in a couple of discount stores.

*  Jessica used the left over pastry from the catering order to make scrolls for Uni snacks.  She made cheese and Vegemite,  cheese,  ham and herbs and cheese ,  ham and tomato sauce.

Mini quiches

Sausage rolls

Jessica's scrolls

Darren gets a treat too

Lamb shanks ready for the oven

What was on your frugal list this week ?

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Reusing Old Socks

Just about every household has a collection of odd socks.  It seems such a shame to throw out perfectly good socks just because the pair is missing.  How about those old socks that are getting thin,  or the ones you don't like anymore ?

 Here are a few ideas to give the socks a new lease on life -

*  Old socks make great dusters for skirting boards and table tops.  Just pull the sock over your hand and dust away.

*  Use old socks,  odd buttons and a few pieces of wool to make a hand puppet for your littlies.

*  Store safety googles / glasses in a sock to prevent scratching in the garage.

*  Use old socks to cover golf clubs to prevent scratching.

*  Make a soap pouch for outdoor hand washing.  Just place a bar of soap inside an old sock,  close it up with a knot and hang it from the tap.

*  Slip a sock over an ice pack to prevent freezer burn.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 17th March 2018

My week has been a little quieter so I've taken the time to potter around my home and straighten things up.  I've also taken some time to rest which is a rarity for me. Engagement party plans are coming along and plates,  serviettes  and decorations have been purchased or sourced from around our home.

Here's my frugal list for the week -

*  Bought a big bottle of Dynamo laundry liquid at 1/2 price then made up a couple of bottles of diluted laundry liquid.  I use two capfuls of liquid to 450 mls of water.

*  Dried all the washing on the line and clothes horses.

*  Diluted a bottle of vinegar with water at a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water.  This is only good for cleaning purposes.

*  Filled up my car when petrol dropped to $1.23 per litre.  I generally only need to fill up every three weeks.

*  Picked white roses from the garden for the kitchen and bathroom.

*  Due to the mild weather we didn't use the cooling or heating this week.  We just kept the doors open to get a fresh breeze.

*  Picked and froze raspberries from our garden.

*  Megan was able to source for free a wishing well and 67 glass jars with lids.  The glass jars can be used as wedding favours and the wishing well will be used at the wedding.

*  Received a refund in the mail for Listerine pocketpaks that were faulty.  The refund will more than cover replacements.  It's certainly worth letting companies know when their products fail.

*  Dug into my glass jar stash and found enough glass jars of the same style and shape to use as candle holders at Jessica and Eugene's engagement party.

*  Fed the compost bin with tea bags and kitchen scraps.

*  Froze all leftovers for future meals.

*  Put a few little hotel bottles of shampoo,  conditioner and shower gel in the shower to use up as part of the ' Use It Up ' challenge.

*  Gratefully received lots of bread bags.  With Coles phasing out single use plastic bags in a few months,  the bread bags will come in handy for kitchen rubbish as well as lining the bathroom bins.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

In the garden

Dinner one night

Fresh baked bread.

What was on your frugal list this week ?

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Grated Cheese Tip.

Have you ever grated to much cheese and popped the rest in a container in the fridge ? Does it stick together ?  Here's a great tip from Cath at The Cheapskates Club.

Add one teaspoon of corn flour to a container of grated cheese.  Place the lid on and give it a good shake  The corn flour finely coats the cheese preventing it from sticking together in clumps.

If you have a large amount of grated cheese.  place it in a large freezer bag and add two teaspoons of corn flour.  Twist the top of the bags and give it a good shake.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 10th March 2018

This week just flashed before my eyes.  I worked four days,  hosted an engagement party planning afternoon tea with Eugene's family,  made more invitations,  wrote lists and kept the home tidy.  Here's what else I got up to this week -

*  Gratefully received a big bag of beans.

*  Sold 8 jars of jam and 3 bars of handmade soap to a friend.

*  Gratefully received some tomatoes,  a zucchini,  a cucumber and glass jars from another friend.

*  Saved the shower water for the washing machine.  Saved the washing machine rinse water for the next load.  This week I only needed to do three loads of washing.

*  Picked beans and raspberries from the garden.

*  Found some artificial flowers super cheap in an op shop.  These will be used as part of the decorations for Jessica and Eugene's wedding.

*  Only bought milk,  lettuce and mushrooms from the shops.

*  Cooked all meals from scratch.  Froze leftovers when possible.

*  Cleaned the inside of the kettle with citric acid.

*  Gratefully received lots of bread bags.  Most of them were used to line the bathroom bins.  I put five bread bags in at a time so I don't have to do it each week.

*  Sold two dozen eggs.

*  Picked up more cleaning work to start in a few week's time.  I'll be roping Darren in to help me due to some of the jobs being big ones.

*  Made a deliberate effort to use what we already have in the pantry,  fridge and freezers.  That's why my shopping list had three items on it this week.

* Finished using a lipstick by digging down to the very bottom. By doing this I've doubled the life of the lipstick and saved about $8.

*  Jessica and I picked up about 20 freebie pouches of yoghurt when we were at the shops.  The staff handing them out gave us handfuls at a time.

*  Made a big batch of scones for the planning meeting.

Op shop find for $`1.99

Freebie yoghurt from the shops.

Bread bag bin liners

Scones for the planning meeting.

There was a great response to the ' Use It Up '  Challenge posted on Wednesday.  Will you join the challenge and save some money ?

How did you save money this week ?