Wednesday, 17 July 2019

3 Ways To Use Bread Crusts

Have you ever wondered what to do with leftover bread crusts ?  Do you throw them out ?  Bread crusts can be used to make many delicious treats with little cost.  Here are three ideas to use bread crust that I personally use in my kitchen -

*  Blitz,  dry and season to make seasoned bread crumbs.  They can be used to coat chicken drumsticks,  salmon patties,  bind ingredients together in hamburger patties,  meatloaves and sausage rolls.  They make a great tasty topping for potato bakes,  tuna mornays and casseroles.  Here's my recipe for Dried seasoned bread crumbs

*  Make a delicious bread pudding in the slow cooker.  Spread the crusts with a jam of choice,  cut into large pieces then place in the slow cooker.  Add the liquid ingredients then cook for three hours.  A very thrifty dessert.  Here's my recipe for Bread Pudding

*  No pastry in the freezer ?  Use flattened out bread crusts instead of pastry in your pie maker.

tearing the crusts ready to blitz

Fine bread crumbs

Drying in the oven

coating salmon patties

Saturday, 13 July 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 13th July 2019

This week we made a conscious effort to use up what we have and to make sure we didn't waste a thing in the kitchen.  Next week I'll be doing my first monthly shop with the $100 budget for three people plus our cat.  So far I only have 16 items on the shopping list.  All are ingredients and the cheapest brands available.  I'll be researching cheaper baking recipes especially ones that use less butter ( which is so expensive these days ).

Here's our frugal list -

*  Made 14 bars of coconut oil and olive oil soap.  Most will be used by Darren and I and a few will either be sold or given as presents.  This pays for all of the ingredients.

*  Made pita chips for snacking on.

*  Darren bought a few shirts using gift cards he received through Velocity points ( Midas car services ).  A couple of the shirts were on clearance so the gift cards went further than we thought.

*  Made pumpkin scones using pumpkins bought for 99 cents a kilo.  I've cooked,  drained and frozen the rest of the pumpkin to make more scones later on.

*  Wrote another cheap menu plan and focused on using up bits and pieces in the freezer.

*  Gratefully received more lemons and mandarins from a friend.

*  Cooked up a roast beef in the slow cooker.  The three of us had it for dinner that night.  The leftovers were carefully portioned out for another two meals in gravy and the rest went into a Massaman beef curry.  In total I got 15 portions from the roast beef.

*  Stocked up on choc bits on sale at half price in Coles.  I'll be looking for cheaper biscuit recipes that use less butter.

*  I drove my Dad into the city on Thursday for a doctor's appointment.  Our usual car park has changed it's rates and conditions of entry making it impossible to park there for a couple of hours.  We found a much cheaper option that charges $5 an hour instead of the usual $16 + per hour.

*  This week I only needed to buy milk,  potatoes and carrots.  My local fruit and veg shop had a managers special on brushed potatoes for $2 a 5 kilo bag.  I also purchased a 5 kilo bag of juicing carrots for $5.99 instead of the usual 1 kilo bag for $2.  I guess we are eating more carrots for the next few weeks.  I was quite surprised at the quality of the carrots.  They are just as good as the usual carrots.

*  Jessica bought a roast chicken to help out.  I made a big pot of chunky chicken and veg soup ( 7 portions ).  A container of chicken stock went into the freezer for more soup making later on ( will make 8 portions of soup ).  The rest of the meat was made into a chicken pasta bake and frozen ( 7 portions ).  In total I made the chicken stretch to 22 portions.

*  Froze leftovers of chop suey for 2 people.

*  Topped up our cars with petrol while the price is still reasonable.

*  Turned lights and standby lights off where and when possible.

*  Dried clothes on clothes horses over the vent in the bathroom ( and closed the door )

Do you freeze the leftovers from dinner ?

How did you save money this week ?

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Our Low Budget Menu Plan

Due to a recent cleaning job loss I've taken to writing out super budget friendly menu plans to help keep our grocery costs low.  We are currently living off our stockpile and only spending $100 a month to feed the three of us plus our cat.

We have reasonable amounts of meat in our freezer,  bought at the best possible price and portioned out carefully.  We are not big meat eaters but we do eat meat 5 or 6 nights a week even if it's just soup with little bits of chicken in it.  We DO NOT eat leftover meat in sandwiches the next day or eat dinner leftovers for lunch either.  It's much dearer than an egg on toast,  soup or a crumpet / muffin.

Here is the menu plan we just finished using -

Wed 26th June - Roast lamb in gravy ( already cooked and in freezer ) with roast veg and steamed veg

Thurs 27th June - Chunky chicken and veg soup ( stock with chicken bits from the freezer )

Fri 28th June -   We used some money from our treat fund to eat out before going to the movies ( voucher )

Sat 29th June - Chunky chicken and veg soup with crusty bread

Sun 30th June -  Homemade hamburgers with seasoned wedges.  We didn't have lettuce on hand so we went without.  The wedges were homemade and seasoned with salt,  garlic and rosemary

Mon 1st July -  Silverside ( already cooked and in freezer ) with roast veg and steamed veg

Tues 2nd July -  Lasagne with steamed veg

Wed 3rd July -  Sausages,  mash and steamed veg

Thurs 4th July -   Jessica cooked a gnocchi and chicken dish

Fri 5th July - Lamb chops,  mash and steamed veg

Sat 6th July - Chicken skewers ( on clearance ) with cucumber,  garlic bread and tomato.  We were going out to a party so didn't want to eat too much

Sun 7th July -  Eggs,  bacon,  spinach and mushrooms on toast.


*  The lasagne cost $1.30 per serve.  I used tomatoes from our garden that were cooked and frozen last season..  I get 12 serves from the lasagne and always fill up the plate with veggies.  The leftover portions are frozen for future meals.

*  Roast lamb,  beef and silverside is portioned out to 2 slices each for Jessica and myself and 3 or 4 slices for Darren.

*  1 lamb chop per person and they were bought on clearance for $7.99 kg.  They are put on the menu plan about once a month due to their dearer price.

*  Sausages are portioned to 1 1/2  each for Jessica and I and 3 for Darren.  Sometimes I jazz them up with 1/2 a tin of tomatoes seasoned with Italian herbs.

*  Homemade hamburger patties are 80 grams each.  If tomatoes are too dear I don't buy them to go in the roll.  Tomato sauce is used instead.   We usually include cheese,  cucumber and  lettuce in the roll and Darren sometimes fries an egg to put in his.

Here is June / July's grocery shop.  Milk,  fruit and veg were bought as needed each week.  We were gifted with lemons and mandarins. Because vegetables are so dear,  I've been buying carrots,  cauliflower, frozen beans and corn.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 6th July 2019

Our week has been a very budget conscious one.  Last week I lost a much needed cleaning job.  I love my cleaning work and it pays quite well.  Unfortunately the work can come and go without much notice.

We are staying positive and being proactive about cutting the budget back to the bare essentials to limit the damage.  I'm hoping to post our current menu plans shortly to give you an idea of what we are eating.

Here's our frugal list for the week    

*  Used downloaded Flybuys offers to get 10 cents a litre off petrol.  We used it a few times to keep our cars topped up just before the price increased by 42 cents per litre.

*  Gratefully received lots of lemons and mandarins from a friend.  This blessing came at a time when really needed.  God is looking after our needs.

*  Sold two bottles of Miracle Spray to my cleaning clients.

*  Saved washing machine water and shower warm up water to pour into the washing machine.  This reduces our washing machine water usage by 50%.

*  Created a cheaper menu plan for two weeks to help feed the three of us for $100 a month.  In the next day or so I'll be writing another cheap menu plan for the next two weeks.

*  Made a pot of soup using chicken stock from the freezer.  This fed the three of us for two dinners and one lunch.

*  Made lemon butter from frozen lemon juice ( last year's supply ) and our chicken's eggs.  I've enjoyed it on my homemade toast for breakfast every morning.

*  Jessica made decorated biscuits using leftover frozen dough from her birthday biscuit cake ( back in May ).

*  Made cranberry hootycreek biscuits from dough in the freezer.  We enjoyed them for morning and afternoon teas.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Made two batches of dried seasoned bread crumbs from saved bread crusts.  Salmon patties will be on our menu plan shortly so the bread crumbs will be used then.

*  Made a bottle of room spray for our bathroom using essential oil and cooled boiled water.

*  Used a gift card to buy much needed socks ( on clearance.  Aa surprise at the checkout ).

Jessica's biscuits

Homemade lemon butter

Hamburgers and seasoned wedges for dinner.  

Gifted mandarins

How have you saved money this week ?

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Grocery Blowouts

Do you ever get " I want, I want " in your house ? Do your kids or spouse put an order in  for you to buy a particular grocery item that is out of the ordinary, too expensive or not overly healthy ?  How do you handle the situation ?  Do you automatically write it on the shopping list and just buy it ? 

When the girls were younger they'd ask for Uncle Toby's Sports Plus cereal. This was ( and still is ) a yummy cereal, but I must admit, it cost a lot more than the usual no name Rice Bubbles or Corn Flakes they ate. My trick was to never say yes or no straight up. . I'd always wait to see if it came on sale over the next few weeks. Then I'd look at my grocery slush fund to see if there was enough money to cover the extra cost.

Another way to prevent your grocery bill from blowing out on these unusual requests is to include these treats in their birthday present or Christmas present when possible. For many years I've been putting together Santa sacks for my girls, Darren and I each Christmas.  In the sack was a box of requested cereal ( when the girls were younger )  as well as other yummy treats. The only problem I had was finding room in my pantry for the extra cereal boxes after Christmas.

So, as the requests start coming in,  write a list of items wanted by the family so you'll remember them all for their Christmas stockings. The bonus is, it gives you plenty of time to find things on special. You could use money you've put away for presents, therefore leaving your grocery money just for buying the usual items.

No more grocery blowouts. 

How do you handle grocery requests from the family ?

Saturday, 29 June 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 29th June 2019

Darren and I had a lovely week away with my parents last week.  We stayed at a resort in Mildura ( northern Victoria ) just near the Murray River.  The mornings and nights were close to freezing cold but we did enjoy lots of delightful sunshine during the day.

Darren had his birthday while we were up there so we had a ride on a paddle steamer boat in the morning and a roast dinner at the resort that night.  The roast dinner was an event holiday makers can pay for to the resort and a two course meal is provided.  Twelve people attended and we had fun getting to know all the others on our table.

As you can imagine,  it's a little hard to be thrifty when on holidays but we did manage to save some money.

*  We used our thermos for morning and afternoon teas.  This is such a simple task that saves so much money.

*  Used our saved Flybuys dollars to buy a few holiday groceries for our meals.

*  I took a frozen chop suey and rice for dinner one night.

*  Space was limited in the car but I did manage to pack cranberry hootycreek biscuits,  muesli bars,  fruit,  water bottles,  rolls for lunch on the way up,  tea bags,  sugar and  chocolate.

Our paddle steamer ride

The mighty Murray River

The weir at Mildura

A tropical garden path at the resort

Yes it's cold

How do you save money when on holidays ?

Saturday, 15 June 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 15th June 2019

Here is my frugal list for the week -

*  Cleaned ( descaled ) the kettle using citric acid and water.

*  Cleaned the dishwasher using bi carb and vinegar on a long hot cycle.

*  Made a pot of chunky chicken and veggie soup using homemade stock from the freezer.

*  Bought a couple of pairs of jeans and a scarf from Savers and used a 20% discount stamp.  I always save the 205 off stamp for bigger purchases to maximise the savings.

*  Made a bread pudding in the slow cooker using our chicken's eggs,  bread crusts and a little jar of jam from a hotel breakfast.  It was a delicious dessert that was almost free.

*  Took snacks and lunches to my cleaning jobs to save money ( and to eat healthier ).

*  Gratefully received a bag of lemons from a friend.

*  Made another pot of chicken stock from a store bought cooked chicken.  The stock has been frozen for future soup making.

*  We had our annual family outing to the football at the MCG on Monday ( AFL ).  To save money we took snacks and water bottles with us.  I did buy a bucket of chips for my lunch which cost $4.50.

*  Made a double batch of cranberry hootycreek biscuit dough.  From that dough I made 1 1/2 dozen biscuits for morning teas and the rest of the dough was frozen into logs for future baking.

Chunky chicken soup for dinner

Cranberry hootycreek biscuits

Luka at his first AFL ( football ) game.

Making bread pudding in the slow cooker.

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


Saturday, 8 June 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 8th June 2019

It was lovely to spend a couple of days at home this week just pottering around.  Lots of little jobs and a bit of tidying needed my attention after our upside down life of the last few months. Over the last few weeks my spare time was used to look after my family and their needs.

Here's my latest frugal list -

*  Jessica baked and decorated her own birthday cake.  Like her mum,  she's not a fan of store bought cakes.  After doing some research,  she made a biscuit cake that was delicious.  There was lots of dough leftover so I froze it for future baking.

*  Filled up our cars just before the petrol price went up.

*  Saved the shower warm up water,  washing machine rinse water and kitchen water to reuse where possible.

*  We had the need to buy a baby car seat for car rides with Luka ( and future grandchildren ).  The one I liked the best happened to be on sale that week.  The sales person said they sold many of that particular seat due to it's features and budget friendly price.  A couple of days later Megan had gastro and Darren made a dash to Megan's at 4am to bring Luka back to our place while Megan recovered.

*  Baked a batch of ANZAC biscuits using dough from the freezer when visitors came to see Luka ( while he was staying with us ).

*  Lined our bathroom bins using recycled bread bags.

*  Cut the top off a conditioner bottle and vitamin E bottle and scraped out the remaining contents.  There was enough for another 4 - 5 days.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.  I costed these loaves a few years ago at about $1.60 for two loaves.  Similar loaves would retail for $4 - 45 each

*  Defrosted our little freezer and did a stocktake of the meat in there.  I used boiling water in plastic containers on the shelves to defrost the freezer.  Once the water cooled I poured it into the washing machine.

*  Froze the remaining contents of a jar of tomato paste into an icecube tray and froze for future use.

*  Megan did a clean out of her wardrobe and gave the clothes to me to donate to Savers. So far  I've received  three discount stamps for her future purchases.

Jessica's birthday cake

Scraping out the contents

Freezing tomato paste to avoid waste,
Nana and Luka watching tv together.

Do you like to potter around your home ?
How frugal were you this week ?

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Prepping For Winter Illnesses

Are you  prepared for colds and illness that arrive with Winter each year ?  I quite often hear about people being caught out unprepared when illness strikes.  Spouses and family members are sent out on mercy missions to restock the bathroom cabinets with much needed medical supplies.

Here are some ideas for being prepared -

*  Having a good supply of tissues,  hankies or homemade hanky / rags to wipe a drippy nose is very important.  Perhaps buy a box or two of extra soft tissues just in case you get a bad cold.

*  Stock up on headache tablets,  cold and flu tablets or any other medications you use to ease illness symptoms

*  Vicks vapour rub is great for easing a blocked nose.  Do you have any or do you know where your tub is ?  Does it still have a strong fragrance or is it well past it's best before date ?

*  Eucalyptus oil is a wonderful natural product for clearing sinuses and blocked noses.  Do you have any left in your bottle after making Miracle Spray ? ( hehehe ).

*  Tea Tree oil is a wonderful natural disinfectant that can also be used on cold sores.  If you need to buy some,  it's generally located on the bottom shelf  in the bathroom section ( next to the eucalyptus oil ) at your local supermarket.

*  Lemon and honey are great for relieving sore throats.  I freeze the lemon juice into ice cube trays  each Winter for use all year round.

*  Your choice of cough lollies to help ease a persistent cough.

Much needed supplies

Freezing lemon juice into icecube trays

Are you ready for the Winter sniffles ?

Saturday, 25 May 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 25th May 2019

This week's frugal list isn't as long as usual due to the continuing challenges we are dealing with on a daily basis. I'm happy to get through each day with a reasonable tidy home and to eat home cooked meals.  Everything else is a bonus.

Here are the frugal tasks I completed this week -

*  Refilled the dishwashing liquid pump and diluted it by 1/3.  I added a little water to the almost empty bottle and turned it upside down to get every last drop out.

*  Refilled the shampoo and conditioner bottles and diluted the conditioner by 1/3.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Purchased silverbeet,  lettuce and broccoli seedlings to plant in our veggie garden.  Darren will be emptying the compost bins into the garden,  then I can plant the seedlings.

*  Charged all our electronic devices including shavers,  fitbits,  mobiles,  ipads and laptops over the weekend when electricity is a little cheaper.

*  Kept the curtains open on sunny days to capture the warmth.  This helped to keep our heater usage down.

*  Fed our compost bins every couple of days with kitchen scraps.

*  Mixed rolled oats in with the chicken feed when we were getting a little low on chicken pellets.  We also fed them bread crusts and Darren tipped all the lawn clippings into their run.  Over the next few days the chickens had fun digging around for bugs.

*  Cooked all meals from scratch.

*  Froze lots of single serves of leftovers from our main meals.

*  Saved water from the washing machine and shower like we usually do.

*  Dried lots of washing on clothes horses and only used the dryer when really necessary.

*  Picked a couple of handfuls of feijoas from under the tree.

The inside of feijoas that are scooped out to eat.

Home baked bread

Freezer meals

How frugal was your week ?
Did you try a new frugal task or recipe ?

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Prepping For Winter

Winter and the cold weather it brings is just around the corner.  Have you starting preparing for Winter so you can live comfortably in your home ?

Here are some ideas for warming up your home and getting your outdoor area ready -

*  Clean your outdoor furniture and pack away anything that is light weight.  This could include chairs,  pool toys,  garden tools,  bbq equipment,  rubbish and umbrellas. You don't want to be running around outside in the middle of a storm rescuing flying objects.

*  If your garden sheds or garages leak,  either fix the leaks or move everything away from potential leaks.

*  Get out your extra blanket and give them a wash.  Pick a windy day to dry them on the line or if they are polar fleece,  they'll dry quickly on a clothes horses within a day.

*  Get your door snakes out   Do they need filling up ?  Maybe you need to make new ones.  Scrap bits of material hand sewn or by machine and filled with rice,  sawdust,  old rags or sand make great door snakes.

*  Have your heat packs in an easy to reach location?  Do you need to make more ?

*  Service  your heater if it's due.  If it breaks down,  you could be waiting for up to a week for a repairer to be available ( from past experience ).

*  If you have a portable heater,  get it out of storage and check it over for damage.  If your main heater breaks down,  it's important to have your back up ready to go.

*  Do you have a good supply of hot drinks ?  Tea,  coffee,  hot chocolate,  cuppa soups or even Vegemite and hot water ( not a fan ) are a quick way to heat up your insides.

How do you get ready for Winter ?  

Saturday, 18 May 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 18th May 2019

Thankyou for all the lovely Mother's Day wishes from last week's post.  I surprised my Mum by appearing on her doorstep at lunchtime ( Dad knew I was coming ).  Jessica popped over to surprise her too and we had a lovely afternoon together.  Megan,  Kurt and Luka came over for dinner and I enjoyed lots of Nana cuddles with Luka.

Here's what else I got up to this week while having cleaning jobs from Monday to Friday -

*  Gratefully received a couple of cauliflower plants from my Mother Inlaw..

*  Made up a bottle of double strength Miracle Spray for around the home ( diluted as I refill the spray bottles ) and two bottles of usual strength Miracle Spray for cleaning jobs.

*  We had Mother's Day dinner at home instead of going out to a noisy restaurant.  For the price of one restaurant meal we fed five adults salmon or steak on a bed of mash and streamed beans,  roasted honey carrots with a citrus butter.  Courtesy of Darren and Jessica.

*  Saved the washing machine rinse water and shower warm up water to use in the washing machine.

*  Dried most of the washing on clothes horses placed over the ducted heating vents in the floor.

*  Gratefully received lots of glass jars from my Mum and Dad.

*  Stocked up on Cadbury blocks of chocolate on sale for $2.40 a block in Coles.  Some have been put aside to go with birthday presents.

*  Cut up an old dressing gown that Jessica was throwing out.  It had a few holes in it but will be great to line Princess' bed.

*  Picked about 60 - 70 feijoas from the ground under the tree.  They are not as big as they should be but the taste is still the same.

*  Stocked up on deodorants on sale ar half price.  We've been Avon deodorant users for over 20 years.  Due to Avon now not being available in Australia,  we've had to find out what's available to buy in the supermarkets.  There's so much choice that we didn't know which ones to buy. I guess time will tell us if the ones we bought are doing the job.

*  Found a bottles of body spray in the bathroom cupboard so I repurposed it into a toilet spray.

*  Bought a new jacket from Savers op shop and received a 20% discount by using my donation card.

*  Made a few men's greeting cards last Saturday at our monthly Cheapskates Club card making group.  I'm on a mission this year to learn new styles of men's cards and to use supplies I already have without buying new things.

Part of our chocolate stockpile.

Men's greeting cards

Almost finished

Did you stock up on any grocery specials this week ?

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

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Having A Well Stocked Pantry

As the temperature drops outside, I'm finding lots of comfort in hot casseroles , stews and soups. They warm the body and soul. My slow cooker gets used all year round, but in Winter it almost goes into overdrive.

It's great to have a well stocked pantry, fridge and freezer. It makes it so much easier to feed the family or to change the menu around if things arise. My well stocked pantry came in handy a few years ago as I had a slight disaster in the kitchen. I'd gotten up early one morning to make a chicken curry to put in the slow cooker. I'd already put the cooked chicken in, the vegies were getting a head start in the microwave and all I needed to do was make the liquid up. I opened up a tin of cream of chicken soup to find that it was black and mouldy inside. YUCKY, YUCKY !!!!

I was so shocked at the color that I tilted the tin to make sure I had the right soup ( I thought it must have been mushroom soup ) Soup spilled all over the bench and kitchen floor. After cleaning up the mess I realised it was the right soup, but in the wrong condition. Thankfully I had another few tins of the soup in the pantry. I was able to continue making the curry. Phew !!! Later that day I returned the soup to the supermarket for a replacement.

Having spares of the soup meant that nothing was wasted and the meal was not a disaster. Just a slight hiccup in the making.

I've met many people over the years who love to have the bare minimum in their pantries. They have their tins and packages all lined up along the front of the shelves with nothing behind them. Easy to see everything yet so easy to run out. My pantry is not big by any means , but it is tidy, clean, well organised and WELL STOCKED !!!! Ready for any recipe, occasion or disaster. 

Do you keep your pantry well stocked ?  

Have you had a disaster in the kitchen ?

Saturday, 11 May 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 11th May 2019

This week has seen me in the kitchen doing lots of cooking and baking.  It sure does warm my heart and body to have yummy food to eat during the colder weather.  Having the oven on has laso helped to warm our home.

Here's my frugal list for the week -

*  Cut up a cereal packet ( the bag ) into squares to put between crumpets and hamburgers patties when I freeze them.

*  Our feijoa tree is dropping lots of fruit.  Each day for the last week I've been picking up handfuls of fruit from the ground.  I'm not a big fruit eater but I could eat a bucket of feijoas each day.

*  Made a big pot of chunky chicken and veggie soup from the stock I made last weekend.  I also had another chicken carcass on hand so I made another slow cooker full of stock.  I didn't need more soup at the time so the stock has gone into the freezer.

*  Made sausage rolls from the really cheap sausage mince I bought a few weeks ago.  Some sausage rolls were eaten for lunch by the family and the rest went into the freezer for snacks.

*  Made ANZAC biscuits for morning teas this week.  I used a couple of logs of dough I'd frozen a couple of months ago.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Baked pumpkin scones using cooked pumpkin I'd frozen last Summer.  Most of the scones went into the freezer for morning teas.  No wonder I rarely have room in my freezer with things being taken out,  cooked the placed in the freezer again.  It does save us lots of money though.

*  Donated another bag of goodies to Savers and received another discount stamp.  Jessica and I bought a few items of clothing for Luka in the next size up and received 20% off.  When Luka comes to visit or stay with us,  we like to be prepared with some changes of clothing.

*  Fed the compost bins with kitchen scraps almost every day.

*  Fed bread crusts and cauliflower leaves to the chickens.

*  Saved the washing machine rinse water and shower warm up water to pour into the washing machine for each next load.

*  Froze lots of leftover into single serves.  My stockpile seems to grow so quickly.  I'm thinking I need to write freezer meals into the menu plan for every Sunday night.

*  Mended a cardigan and Jessica took up a few pairs of trousers.

Homemade sausage rolls

ANZAC biscuits

Feijoas from our tree

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

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Cleaning On A Budget

Having a clean home is important to me. When my home is clean and tidy, everything is right in my world. My mind is at peace and I can relax knowing that if anyone showed up unexpectedly I wouldn't be embarrassed or be shoving things in cupboards out of sight.

Having a clean home doesn't have to drain the food budget. Yes, the few cleaning products I buy are included in my small food budget. As a hired domestic cleaner of over 20 years, I've learnt that the fancy cleaning products are not necessary to keep a home clean. More than anything, they are toxic, expensive and a complete waste of space ( and money ).

Microfibre cloths are a great invention. I use the cheap version at home and work. They last for years and reduce the need for chemicals.

Miracle Spray is the best cleaning product I've come by. It's great for cleaning showers, toilets, sinks, floors, stoves, laundry stains and carpet stains. I'll be forever grateful to Joyofquilting  from The Cheapskates Club for sharing her recipe.  It's changed my life, my health and my budget. For about $1 you can make up a large 2 litre bottle.

Bleach is used every few months to keep the shower grout looking clean.

A small dash of disinfectant is used in the washing if the clothes are smelly.

Mirrors only need to be cleaned with water and a microfibre cloth for glass.  

Floors are cleaned with vinegar, detergent and boiling water. Or you can just use boiling water. 

It's worth having a think about the cleaning products you have in your home. Do they really work as well as the advertising claims ? Is it worth the money ?  Could a bar of soap do the same job as the expensive products.

How do you keep your home clean ?

Saturday, 4 May 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 4th May 2019

Our frugal week has mostly consisted of keeping the house running and cooking all our meals.  I've worked five days this week due to the public holidays the previous week and Darren has been getting into his Bible College studies in his free time.  Here's what else we got up to -

*  Used old bread bags to line both our bathroom bins.

*  Decorated department store bags using papers I already had on hand.  They are then reused for gift giving for all occasions.  This week I had three gifts to get ready for giving.  I was able to recycle one gift bag from my stash and reuse two department store bags.  It must be years since I bought gift bags and birthday wrapping paper.

*  Fed bread crusts and old lettuce to the chickens.

*  Sold one dozen eggs.

*  Sold one hanging hand towel,  five decorated face washers and a hand towel to a friend.

*  Made up two bottles of diluted Dynamo laundry liquid.  We've had extra house guests for the last few weeks and they love scented clothes.  My homemade laundry powder doesn't have a scent so this was the next best thing for them.

*  Made up foaming hand wash for some of my cleaning clients when cleaning their homes.  They have the foaming pumps but bought the hand wash gel.  I'm saving them money too.

*  Froze all leftovers into single serves.

*  Made a triple batch of laundry powder.

*  Gratefully received a couple of discount fuel dockets in the mail from a friend.  Thankyou so much Tania.

*  Bought a couple of Lilydale cooked chickens in Coles for just over $7 each.  Darren peeled the meat off the bones to make lots of yummy meals.  The bones went into the slow cooker to make stock.  Over this weekend I'll be making big pots of chicken soup.

*  Donated two bags of goodies to Savers and received a discount stamp for future purchases.

Making laundry powder

Slow cooker chicken stock

Diluting the laundry liquid,

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

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Chocolate Ring Cake

This chocolate cake recipe has been a favourite on our home for over 15 years.  Iced or un iced,  it doesn't really matter.  It seems to disappear before my eyes.  Great for lunchboxes,  gatherings or to freeze for future occasions.

90 g of softened butter
2 eggs
dash of vanilla extract
2/3 cup of white sugar
1 1/4 cup of Self Raising flour
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
3/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of canola oil

Cream the butter,  sugar and vanilla until light. 
Add the eggs and beat in well. 
Add all the other ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.  Add extra milk if mixture looks a little stiff.
Pour into a greased and floured ring tin
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 40 - 50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
When the cake is cold,  invert onto a cooling rack.
Ice with chocolate icing and sprinkles ( or coconut ).

 This recipe is easy to double. 

Saturday, 27 April 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 27th April 2019

We hope you had a blessed Easter with your family and friends this week.  Here's what we got up to at the Gower Abundant Cottage -

*  Made up two bottles of diluted Dynamo laundry liquid.  The ratio is one part Dynamo to four or five parts water.

*  Cleaned the kettle with citric acid.

*  Ate freezer meals for dinner on two nights

*  Gratefully received lots of card making papers from a friend.

*  For Easter I gave Lindt bunnies and small Easter eggs I bought on clearance after Easter last year.  For Luka I bought a baby book from Savers for $1.99.  It looks new too.

*  Diluted a bottle of dishwashing liquid to clean the shower.  Combined with a microfibre cloth,  it's quite easy to clean the shower if I do it every 4 or 5 days.

*  Fed the compost bins with kitchen scraps.  We've been making chicken and vegetable soup so there's been lots of peeling going into the bin.

*  Cooked all meals from scratch using what we already had on hand.

*  Opened and closed the curtains during the day to make the most of the milder weather.  The heater only came on at night for a very short period of time.

*  Took a plate of chocolate brownies ( from the freezer ) to a card making day last Saturday.  I also gratefully received some fancy patterned scissors from the swap table.

*  Bought a big bag of sausage mince from Australian Butchers for $1.99 kg.  This is a fantastic price and Darren's eyes almost popped out of his head when he saw the big bag.  He can't wait for the first batch of sausage rolls to be made.

Happy Easter

Diluted Dynamo liquid

Cleaning the kettle

What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?
Did you grab any Easter bargains during the week ?