Saturday 13 September 2014

This Week's Frugal Tasks

Another week has come and gone and I sometimes wonder what I did with my time. Thankfully I keep a list on the front of the fridge where I can record my frugal tasks as I do them.  Sometimes I suprise myself with how much I achieve.   I try to keep myself reasonably busy around the house.  I enjoy my days at home ( when I'm not at work cleaning other's houses ) and feel at peace here.  Darren and I have created a warm,  happy home where delightful aromas from the kitchen fill our souls with pure joy.

Here's my frugal list for the week -

*  Jessica bought a couple of ( as new ) dresses from our local super sized op shop.  I took up the hem on one as she wanted it a little above the knee.

*  Accepted some glass jars from a friend.  Some will be used to make jam for presents.  The larger ones will be used to layer ingredients to make a baking item and also given as presents.

*  Made lunchbox chocolate chip muffins.  We ate a few fresh and froze the rest for school and work lunchboxes.

*  Made brown sugar with the food proccessor.

*  Baked three loaves of  wholemeal bread.

*  Used up the last of a tube of lipstick.  I've been using cotton tips to get the last of it out which gave me another three week's worth.  I've also ordered two more lipsticks from Avon at half price.

*  Made yoghurt from scratch.

*  Picked more broccoli florets and used some in a stew.  I also picked some silverbeet and added it to a tuna pasta bake.  I chopped it up finely so the girls couldn't pick it out.

*  Made dried seasoned bread crumbs from scratch.  I use these to coat salmon patties and chicken drumsticks ( cheats KFC ).

*  Made gravy powder in bulk.

*  Cut broccoli stalks with my Nicer Dicer and froze them into meal portions for stews,  soups and casseroles.

*  Saved the shower water as usual and poured it into the washing machine..

*  Cooked all meals and snacks from scratch.

*  Had the heater off for a few days as the weather is warming.

*  Cut up some old socks to use as garden ties.

*  Scraped out the peanut butter and Vegemite jars.

*  Froze five single serves of leftovers from meals.When I get a good stash I add freezer meals to the menu.  Everyone picks their own and I count it as a free meal.  No cooking and no cost.

*  We had a lovely dinner at home on Father's Day.  I cooked a leg of lamb with roast vegetables.  Megan made a lemon meringue pie.  Total cost of the dinner was $10.  A fraction of the cost of a restaurant meal.  The leg of lamb was $15 but we made it do for two meals.

Mixed lettuce from our garden.

Hemming Jessica's dress.

Princess our cat watching over the chickens

Lots of wind to dry the washing for free.

Free garden ties made from old socks

Scraping out the peanut butter jar

Megan's lemon meringue pie
My piece of pie

Leftovers ready for the freezer
 How frugal was your week ?  Have you managed to squirrel away any leftovers for the freezer ?
Are you picking anything from your gardens ?  Did you pick up any bargains at the shops ?

Welcome to the new readers.  Would you like to share your frugal list ?


  1. What containers do you find the best for freezing meals?

    1. For leftovers I quite often freeze the food in Starmaid containers. I don't think they are being made any more. When it's frozen I pop it out and double wrap and label it.

      Darren takes leftovers to church for his lunch on Wednesdays. These are frozen in the takeaway containers photographed above. They are slim and I'm not fussed it the container doesn't come home. Darren turns the food onto a plate to heat it up.
      We have a stack of these containers as Darren use to work in a food court of a very big shopping centre. His food court neighbour would gives his leftovers away to him at the end of trade. We kept all the containers for future use.

  2. My goodness Wendy, brown sugar and gravy mix. Please share :) I was walking through Woolworths the other day and had a light bulb moment with the white sugar into Caster Sugar....... something I have known about for a while but never compreheneded. Duh!!! Such a huge saving.

    I'm really loving my laundry powder. My whites are lovely, I used up some of the little soaps that my hubby brings home from the hotels he's stayed in when he's been away, I did mix it with laundry soap though.

    I always scrape out what I can from my old lipsticks, it's so hard to find a good colour. I also buy the Avon roll-on deodorants when they're on special for $1.99 I find them quite good.

    Have a great week.

    Cheers, Deb

    1. All will be revealed in time !!!!

      I make castor sugar too. I also buy the Avon deod when they are on sale down to $1.50. At one time they were $1.29. You can bet I bought lots at that price.

  3. Morning Wendy. This week I have been busy cooking all meals from scratch, including ginger biscuits and choc chip muffins. Your blog last week inspired me. I have had the heater off, dried my washing on the line, and we have used travel mugs from home, for coffee and tea on the go. Yesterday we negotiated a reduced home loan with our bank which will save us thousands and today I will be planting potatoes in my green house. I also made miracle spray to clean away the last traces of our families gastro! I also bought strawberries really cheap and have frozen them for smoothies. Thanks for your posts, they're really helpful and motivate me to look for creative ways to save. Regards, Liz.

  4. Afternoon Wendy. I look forward to your posts each week as I am inspired with your ideas. Not feeling the best in the past few weeks the least I could do is save money on the shopping and I think I have already mentioned previously, that I shaved the budget by $50. I'm still working on shaving another $50. Its commonsense and simple techniques I have found in conjunction with your ideas. Bulk buying and price checking really does work. I purchased chicken thighs that were on special and got two meals from them which I froze. Bulk mince I got 3 meals out of that for homemade burgers, spag bol sauce and homemade sausage rolls. I made banana muffins for lunches. Fresh produce from the vege garden - lettuce, carrots, kale and tomatoes. The garden has gone crazy with the weather here. The kale I put in the blender and have frozen in the muffin tray for smoothies so it doesn't go to waste. Made Cath's pita bread chips which have been an absolute winner in my house. No more purchasing potato chips or corn chips for us! Fixed a large hole in my son's school backpack bag which cost only my time and a little power! Saved me approx $30 for a new one. A very productive week with my frugal tasks. My husband has taken a little time to get use to our new ways but he is enjoying the baking. Thanks again Wendy and I look forward to you sharing your recipes for brown sugar and gravy!

    1. Hi Wendy. I made seasoned pita chips the other day for the first time. Usually I make them plain. One batch i sprayed olive oil and seasoned with salt. The other I put olive oil and season all on Both very yummy.

  5. I love the sock idea Wendy, I have used stockings before, but not socks. I will remember this from now on. Lemon Meringue is my favourite dessert of all time. I don't make it that often because it is a bit time consuming, and usually it is eaten in five minutes flat in this house.

    I find myself consciously thinking about where I can save money now. It's like a disease lol!

    This week I made;
    -Toothpaste using Aloe Vera gel, bi carb and small amount of mint.
    -Fabric softener using citrus skins soaked in a bucket of water, oh my does it smell divine, I cant wait to try it next time I wash.
    -I didn't go to the shops last week, as I have been using what I have on hand. Will need to go soon though.
    -Did some more garden preparation, I need to add some more dirt to the beds, get some mulch and mushroom compost.
    -Cooked and froze more quandongs this week.
    -Dried the washing on the line
    -Collected the water before washing dishes and shower and put on my potted plants.
    -Made yoghurt
    -Made my dad a birthday cake instead of buying one, also made him a card.

  6. I Wendy, I always look forward to hearing about your week, I feel this week I took one step forward but 10 back. Saved at the checkout only spent $70 on food this week, believe me this is a huge step forward but unfortunately had to put in an enormous amount of hours at work so I used the drier more and somehow was in the car a lot this week, so saved on food but the heater, dryer and petrol will be more!! BUT did all my own meals from scratch and they were all delicious. Failed to put left overs in the freezer so waste there also. Will try better but did make weetbix slice, lemon drizzle cake and vanilla cup cakes so that was good. I think overall not too bad. Lovely to hear from you again Wendy, forever grateful for all your tips Simone

  7. Hi Wendy, love your post this week especially the old socks idea as I have lots of one legged people in this house. My week was mixed as DH car decided it needed some TLC $$$ later and we purchased a water tank we have been wanting for so long. At least we can save with the free water it will give us. Must remember to freeze leftovers instead of using them for lunches the next day.Had a big baking day during the week and also saved lots of water this week. Picked silverbeet and snowpeas from the garden and started our seedlings. Started a pricebook , diluted shower gel for handsoap and free haircut for my son (used a voucher). Looking forward to your gravy powder and maybe Lemon Meringue pie recipe. I also ordered 2 lipsticks from Avon and will receive a free gift with it to put away for birthdays or Christmas. Hope you can explain in future posts what the "layer ingredients in a jar is"? Love your moggie, so cheekie on the chook house roof. Thanks for your posts Wendy, Maureen

  8. Hi everyone, this week has been a roller coaster to be honest! My youngest daughter hurt her leg the other day and we thought it may have been broken so 2 hospitals, 5 drs visits and xrays later she is NOT broken just badly sprained. She started walking on it today which was awesome to see as she hasn't for most of this week! And being 21 weeks pregnant and carrying a 3 year old around everywhere has taken its toll! Plus the waking up every hour through the night crying because it hurts poor thing sooooo getting back to point I havnt been as frugal as normal........petrol, hospital parking, drive through on the way ect ect has wrecked the weeks budget but I did only spend $120ish on groceries this week, filled up petrol for $1.30 with docket, refilled soap thingy, baked a choc cake, picked more snow peas off the forgotten plants, hubby made a new vege patch so I can plant some more seeds - he used free wood! I have also been looking for second hand baby clothes ect as we found out the gender the other day which was amazing because its a BOY!!!!!!!!!!!! So after having 2 girls we need to buy a lot of boy things :) I did get 2 winnie the pooh newish cot doonas for only $5 each and am bidding on bulk clothes on ebay. Hoping this week is back to normal and much more frugal! Kayla :)

    1. Kayla, i'm glad your daughter's leg is getting better. Jessica badly sprained her ankle a couple of years ago at school. It was the day before we were going on holidays to Ballarat and Sovereign Hill. I had to find a place that had crutches for children ( she was 13 ), go home and finish packing and shorting out the house etc. I was exhausted by the time we left the next day. Then we had to hire or borrow wheelchairs wherever we went. Sovereign Hill is not designed for wheelchairs. It's all up hill, down hill, steps and small shops. Poor girl. We went back earlier this year to make up for it..

      It sounds like you managed quite a few frugal tasks in spite of a challenging week.

  9. Hi Wendy love the idea about the socks for garden ties.
    Me this week

    *made pear jam
    *homemade custard
    *homemade piklets
    *banana muffins
    *hung washing on line to dry
    *watered down the new conditioner


  10. Good morning Wendy. Thanks for another inspiring blog.
    I have made my own dry gravy mix in the past but it tasted very floury. I have just googled it and have found a few with onion powder, garlic powder and pepper to go with the corn flour and powdered stock but I would like to try your version if you would be willing to share it.
    Like you, I stock up on Avon deodorants when they are on special, they are half the price and twice the size of shop bought ones and work well too.
    I visited Bunnings yesterday and bought potting mix (on special) and potted colour petunias and have done all the pots in my back garden for $24 so a nice colorful summer to look forward to. I gave chosen red and white so the colour theme.
    I made two lots of strawberry jam as strawberries were on special again in Coles. I cut circles of pretty fabric and secure with a rubber band to disguise the jam jar lid and have already given 2 away as little gifts. A saving on going out to buy a gift.
    I am crocheting shawls with wool bought very cheaply when Sam's closed down. My DH is getting very nervous as word is going around our town that Spotlight is opening up in the old Sam's warehouse. Spotlight is my VERY favorite shop ever so I have to think frugally when I visit.

  11. Great blog Wendy. Have been reading for a while but first comment.
    I made chicken stock in slow cooker with bones etc I freeze after a meal & now have 8 cups of stock in the freezer. Also made breadcrumbs & bread pudding & 2 desserts in the freezer for another day. Still have some for tonight & will make custard.
    Look forward to the gravy mix recipe....please!
    I have been living out of the freezer as I want to defrost soon before stocking for Christmas. Coming too quickly!

    1. Welcome to the My Abundant Life blog MaryJo. I hope you visit often and comment along with the others.

  12. Hi Wendy,
    I enjoy reading your blog and implementing money saving strategies wherever I can. Would you mind sharing your home made yoghurt recipe? With thanks, Marguerite.

  13. Thankyou Wendy for the laundry detergent and miracle cleaner recipes. I am now a true convert. I have made both products for my adult granddaughters who like so many families are struggling, this saves them a considerable amount at the checkout. I am now making body wash/hand cleanser and body lotion for next to nothing in cost, and its FUN, making it. When I married John 43yrs ago his grandmother only ever used Velvet soap for laundry and dishwashing which at that time I thought was very strange, I now realize how smart that lady was, keeping things simple, she died well into her 90s with very good health. Patricia.

    1. There is a lot to be learnt from previous generations.


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