Saturday, 23 August 2014

This Week's Frugal Tasks

I've had a very productive week at my house.  Lots of cooking,  lots of baking,  some gardening and a few tasks that will help stretch my dollars a little further.  Looking at my list I'm feeling a great sense of accomplishment.  My freezers are full and the cookie jar holds some yummy treats.

Megan my youngest daughter was beside herself with excitement when she came home from school on Thursday.  There was a roast in the slow cooker with roast vegies in the oven.  I was making lots of cranberry hootycreek biscuit dough ( for the freezer ) and baking some to eat.  She proclaimed that "  Life doesn't get any better than this ".  You can bet that my heart swelled with happiness.

Here's my list of frugal tasks for this week -

*  Cooked three meals of spag bol for the freezer.

*  Cooked four meatloaves ( at the same time ) for the freezer.

*  Picked lettuce for homemade hamburgers and wedges one night..

*  Megan made forty scones.  Half went into the freezer and the other half were served for morning tea at church with homemade plum jam.

*  Cooked meat for two pies and froze it.

*  Made dough for eight pizzas and froze it.

*  Refilled and diluted the shampoo and conditioner bottles in both showers.

*  Made a lasagne for three meals.  We ate one meal that night and froze the other two meals.

*  Made two jars of lemon butter.

*  Made nineteen pumpkin scones .  They are now in the freezer for my morning teas.

*  Bought chicken fillets at $5.99 kg.  I bought $31 worth and portioned them into twelve meals and froze them.

*  Made seven jars of strawberry jam for $7.50.  I'm hoping that our strawberry plants give us lots of fruit this year so I can make more jam at a cheaper price.

*  Made chicken stock in the slow cooker with the skins from the fillets.  There is enough to make two batches of chicken soup.

*  Made a triple batch of cranberry hootycreek cookie dough.  Most of it was portioned into logs and frozen for future baking.

*  Made a triple batch of peanut butter choc chip cookie dough.  I portioned it all into logs and froze it.

Homemade hamburgers on homemade rolls with homegrown lettuce and homemade chips.

Scones with plum jam for morning tea at church

This lasagne will be portioned into twelve serves ( three meals )

Cranberrry hootycreek biscuits for afternoon tea.

What frugal tasks filled your week ?  Do you bulk cook some of your meals ?


  1. Hi there, I just wanted to say I am loving your blog :) I am very new to being frugal and living the lifestyle (actually just this week) as our lifestyle has changed a lot and we cant afford to live this way anymore. I have just started to make a weekly menu plan and even bought some little seedlings to start a vege garden with the kids. I love the ideas you come up with for saving money. Can I ask what the "normal" amount for groceries each week is? I spend about $200 a week for a family of 2 adults and 2 1/2 kids (pregnant so stocking up nappies ect) plus a dog, cat and bird. I don't really know how to cut this down or even where to begin living the frugal way to be honest......just a lot of guessing. I did use your foam soap idea which is amazing and the cloths for the kitchen but other then that I'm lost at how to do this. Any help would be amazing! Thank you :) Kayla

    1. Hi Kayla, you've already made the first step by reading my blog. Knowledge is power and with knowledge you'll be able to decide what is going to work for you.

      Menu planning is a great place to start. Also writing a shopping list from the menu plan. I did a post on it this week. Please check it out. I spend $270 per month on groceries and this is for two adults and two teenagers ( 17 and 14 ). . It also includes basic toiletries and the few cleaning products I buy.

      Hope this helps.

    2. Thank you for replying Wendy :) I sat this morning before kiddies got up and read your entire blog from start to finish and I learnt a lot already. It gave me motivation to make some cookies (normally would buy them) and also I had a loaf of uncut crusty bread in the cupboard that was all hard, normally the girls would throw this to the birds, instead I sliced it very thin, sprayed with oil and paprika and baked until it was crispy and had it with avocado dip for afternoon tea :) I also planted the seedlings I bought so heres hoping they work as iv never grown anything in my life haha. And because we were so busy doing all this we had no tv or heater on all day so I guess thats saving money to. I am getting very excited trying to think of new ways to save money! Thank you so much for this blog its changing my life already!!

    3. You go girl !!!!! I promise there will be lots more to come on my blog.

  2. Hello Wendy, I'm absolutely loving your blog also! I have made a lasagne this morning and it is in the fridge for Sunday nights dinner. Friday in my house is "get your own" but I have always cooked a proper dinner on Sunday night, just brought up that way with a roast on Sunday (English back ground) I have also made a batch of choc chip cookies, I shopped this morning, with weeks menu plan in hand and my food bill totalled this month at $1000, so $250 per week. So still a long way off from but a work in progress, I will go again next week for the start of a new month, and work very, very hard at getting this down. I too have two teenage girls 16 and 15, so similar age to you Wendy, my girls are constantly standing in front of the fridge and pantry and unless a roast dinner pops out they are also saying 'What is there to eat, there is never any food in this house"! Have you any tips here? Warm thank you Simone

    1. Well done on your shopping bill. It's come down by $400 hasn't it ? Have a look at any prepackaged food you buy. Can you cut some of it out or make it yourself. As you can see by some of my posts, I bulk bake and freeze most of it.

      My girls love to make nachos with pita chips, tomato sauce and grated cheese. Very cheap. Homemade popcorn is also cheap and filling. Fruit, cheese and biscuits, fruit icecream and scones are what my girls eat too.

  3. Hi Wendy, yes $400 already so better in my pocket than Coles! I do popcorn but that did remind me as I haven't done that in a while, I saw you pita chips and I will give them a go. I definitely am mind-full when I'm putting things in my trolley I am saying to myself "I bet Wendy doesn't buy this"! Like Kayla I am making changes already and I have also read your blog from start to finish, it is very kind of you to make the time in helping others like myself, I'm so very grateful. Simone

  4. Hi Wendy

    I too am loving your blog. Since I first saw your first TV appearance I have really knuckled down on what I buy. My normal budget is around $500 so already doing better than most but what I have been doing is going through the local paper and specials brochures each week and stocking up on the things I would normally buy that are on special. I have a really good stock pile :) So far this month I've only spent $200 but still have Aldi's to go and that should come in around $90.

    Today I made cookies and also protein balls that cost a fortune at the shops but are something my DD loves and I finally found a recipe that works.

    I just have one question. Do you have frozen pureed oranges in your freezer. I bought a big bag yesterday for this and was wondering what the ratio of frozen oranges you would use for a recipe ie whole orange cake and what other recipes would you use them for. Is the rind is included ??

    Thanks in advance for your help.


  5. Well done on the stockpile. Once you have a really good stockpile you'll rarely buy anything at full price.

    Yes I do have frozen pured oranges in the freezer. I include the rind and use one whole orange in an orange cake. When oranges are on special I buy a bag and puree a few at a time and pour them into containers ( single oranges ). Once they are frozen I pop them out of the container then wrap and label them. Frozen pureed oranges keep for a year in the freezer.

    1. I also make 50 / 50 cordial in Summer which is made with oranges and lemons.

    2. Wendy why don't you use borax in your laundry powder?

    3. When I first started making washing powder I couldn't find borax. When I did find it, it was far more expensive than buying bi carb from the pool shop. The bi carb gives extra cleaning power.

  6. I *love* how your daughter said "Life doesn't get any better than this."

  7. Hi Wendy,

    Thank you so much for starting this blog. You motivated me to bake my own treats a lot more than I used to do. Last week I baked some rocky road muffins, zucchini & sesame seeds muffins, banana cakes etc. I'm sure we managed to save a lot as a single banana bread costs around $7.50. I would continued this habit and improve our healthy eating habits too along with more savings.

    I was very interested in your fruit ice cream the other day. I have no clue how to make fruit ice cream using overripe fruits and thick cream. Most of the time we end up with overripe fruits at home and when no one else likes them I make my own smoothies but I've been getting a bit fed up with smoothies. When you have a spare minute, could you please either reply to this or post your fruit ice cream recipe on you blog. I'm sure this would help a lot of your fans including me.

    Thanking you in advance. Keep up your good work motivating others.

  8. Cut up your soft fruit and store it in a container in the freezer. Add to it when you get more fruit. Just wizz it in a food processor and add a little cream and honey to taste. If you have lots of banana in the icecream, you might not need cream. If it's mostly stone fruit then add a little cream. There's no real recipe. Just add what you have.

  9. Well the inspiration is still coming from you Wendy. This week I have made a lasagne and frozen 4 meals, ate one from it, made a batch of white choc chip cookies, dried my washing in the sun( do not have and never want a dryer) when it rained I had them on the clothes hoist, made another foaming hand soap for the second bathroom, bought a big bag of chips (on special) and made up individual packs for my daughter I got 8 bags out of 1 pack as she does not eat lots.

    I am really enjoying challenging myself to see what I can do each week. My daughter is on a special diet and I do find shopping hard as the fruits and veg that she can eat are more expensive that the in season items but as it has only just started I will stock up when they are in season.

    Sometimes all it takes is one persons idea to get others into the swing of things....Kuda


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