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 ?