Saturday 6 December 2014

This Week's Frugal Tasks

The bathroom renovations are now complete and our house is getting back to normal.  Our vegetable garden is thriving wilth all the rain we've been blessed with.  I just love to go outside and look around the garden to see what's happening.   At this time of the year it seems that the vegetable plants grow by inches each day.  There are weeds to pull,  plants to feed and produce to pick.  My heart swells with happiness when I bring a basket of food into the house.  It's pure joy.

Here's what I've been up to this week -

*  The heater has been off all week.  We've only had the evap cooling on a little.

*  Picked our first two zucchinis for the year.

*  Continued to picked strawberries and beans every couple of days.

*  Gratefully received some bread and croissants from a friend

*  Sold four dozen eggs to our nrighbour and a cleaning client.

*  Made strawberry and apple jam using strawberries I bought for 50 cents a punnet a few months ago.   I'd frozen them with the idea to make jam.  Some will be given as presents and the rest we will use ourselves.

*  Baked a triple batch of chocolate lunchobx muffins.  Most of them are for the freezer.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread.

*  Started saving water from the washing machine again.  When the machine was reconnected, last Saturday  we were so pressed for time with our busy week last week we couldn't save the water.  All is right in my world again. 

*  I started sorting out the birthday and Christmas presents for next year.  I've purchased or made about two thirds of the presents already.  When I know who I'm giving the present to I write the name,  occasion and year on a post it note and stick it to the present.  Then I record it in an exercise book.

*  Picked some lettuce from our garden.

*  Darren and Jessica made white christmas to give as presents.  Some were gift boxed and others were placed in cello bags.

*  Made more Anzac biscuit dough and peanut butter choc chip biscuit dough for the freezer.  GEE,  the freezer gets fed well doesn't it ?  I'm trying to stock up on dough and other baking for the busy Christmas season.

*  Saved some bread bags from a charity bbq and reused them.

This is what I picked from the garden on Monday

The gift boxes for the white christmas

White Christmas for presents

Our dining table flowers.  Megan took this photo for the blog.

The lettuce we are picking.
What frugal things have you completed this week ?


  1. Hi Wendy. Glad to hear that the renovations are over. Getting things back to normal is always a good feeling. This week has been a good week for us. We were blessed by lovely gifts such as eggs, a big bag of cherries, homemade honey, wafer biscuits and chocolates. I've also been able to bless others again with lettuce and zucchini's. We've also been able to enjoy the peas from our garden. I've made hedgehog and not needing to bake much as the wafers and chocolates were a real treat. I will also be saving heaps on petrol and Eastlink tolls as my children finished school yesterday. I would travel from Narre Warren North to Wantirna South twice daily. All the best for your week and for your readers. Regards, Liz.

    1. WOW, that is a long way to travel. I didn't realise we are almost neighbours.

  2. Hi Wendy,
    This week I: cooked all meals from scratch; baked all our bread; made yoghurt, & pita crisps; sewed Christmas presents; saved all our shower water for the washing machine & the toilet cistern; saved all the washing machine water for the trees; saved "cleaner" water from washing vegies, etc. for the new vegie garden; fed all scraps to the worm farm & compost; added another layer to the worm farm (they are such hard workers); used only homemade cleaning products & washing powder; mended some clothes for DD2; continued crocheting a rug from my Mum's scrap wool; dried all washing outside; turned off all appliances at the wall; helped hubby finish off the carport he built; transplanted sprouting pumpkin seeds from the worm farm to the garden and picked grubs off the pear tree by hand (yuk). Twelve months ago I would never have dreamed I would be living my life like this but thanks to you and Cath from CS - life is wonderful! Best wishes to you, Lorraine

    1. You had a very roductive week. It feels great to reuse the water doesn't it. What presents did you sew ? I'm fishing for ideas !!!

      Living a life of less, gives you more in other ways.

    2. I have 8 little girls under the age of 9 on my list (nieces & great-nieces) so I am making bunting in shades of pink with their names printed on them & a jar of home-made bath bombs (pink of course!) to go with each one. I have spent about $40 for the 8 presents so a massive saving but I am also really keen to try to reduce the commercialisation of Christmas by giving something with thought & effort in it. Not sure kids under 9 will care of course!

    3. Wow Lorraine I love what you are doing and the bunting is a gorgeous present!

  3. It must be wonderful having the renovations behind you Wendy. I hope you love the results!
    We recycle a lot of water. Our washing machine water goes out the window into a big drum with a tap on it. This has a hose and waters most of the back yard. The bath water (when I have a bath) goes via pump out to the front garden. Also my kitchen sink has a plastic bowl in it and I pour this onto my garden and cold water from the tap (when waiting for hot water) I collect in a jug and that waters my herbs near the back door.
    Tonight I made pizzas for dinner then enough for a picnic tomorrow and Mondays work lunch plus one for my daughter.
    I have made some inventive salads using ingredients I have in the garden and some oranges Mum gave me. I type my ingredients into the Taste website and see what suggestions come up. It is really handy.
    I loved the packaging of your white christmas. Also Megan's photo.
    Have a good week, it is getting busy being so close to

    1. Yes it's great to have the renos finished. It looks great but we still need to paint. The laundry had to be painted before the washing machine and dryer were put back in.

      Darren bought the boxes at a $2 shop for $1 each.

  4. Hi Wendy
    You mentioned making jam from frozen strawberries, does the jam go off quicker using frozen fruit and can u use any frozen fruit like raspberries?

    1. This is the first time I've made strawberry jam with frozen fruit. I've made raspberry and mixed berry jam with frozen fruit and it lasts for many months.

  5. Our Primary School does a grocery and gift charity appeal every December, was able to donate four gifts and a box of groceries. Needing less for ourselves felt good to give to others.
    Got lost whilst driving . Pulled over to get my bearings I parked outside an opshop. I found a new release book perfect for my eldest. Spent $3 not $21.

  6. Hi Wendy, I used to read your blog and find it very inspiring although I'm not as frugal as you are.
    I like your menu plan and I used to make my own for ages. Just I usually put down something for breakfast and lunch as well.
    I wonder what does your family usually eat for breakfast and lunch / or what kind of lunch the girls take to the school?
    Sorry, just ask because never saw this in your menu plan )))


    1. We eat toast, corn flakes, wheat biscuits, rice bubbles ( all no name ) , porriage or fruit for breakfast.

      For lunch it's usually sandwiches, veg soup, pita bread wraps for the girls. In Summer they take a salad box. My husband and I have toasted sandwiches, salad sandwiches / rolls or eggs, baked beans on toast.

      We have all these things on hand all the time so I don't need to put it on the menu plan.

  7. Hi Wendy, finally got a minute to post what I've done in my week(it's been a VERY busy week).
    I made: Cranberry Hootie Creek biscuits, brownies (xmas presents), pita chips, yogurt (Wendy's, yum), Hot Chocolate drink mix, allmeals from scratch and Tzatziki dip.
    Saved water and used tank water as it's overflowing with all this rain (DH now wants a second tank, yah!). DH won a ham from 3aw and i received 2 packages from Coles to sample some biscuits, free. Picked the last snow peas and strawberries from garden.
    Bought a bulk amount of meat frrm Tasmans meats for $82.00 ÷ 28 meals =$2.92 per meal.
    We had to buy DS1 an Ipad for school this week and as the new Ipad had just come out, the price of the previous Ipad2 air, dropped saving us $74.00 and we received a free case for it to sit in and found a cover to carry ipad in for $1.00.
    So i decided to do the $300.00 p/m challenge. I went shopping on Thursday, list in hand, and money in purse. All went well, although i was nervous at buying so much and shaking at the register. I spent $230.90 for everything and only have to do top ups. I'm not sure if i picked the right month to start being Christmas, but if i can do it this month, i can do any month.
    Wendy, does your White Christmas contain Copha? If so, can i use an alternative?
    Thanks again for all your help, blessings to you and your family, xxx Maureen

    1. Darren makes the white christmas and he told me it has a litle butter in it.

      Each month you'll get better at the $300 a month food challenge.

  8. You had another very frugal week! Your garden pickings are looking fantastic there Wendy. Amazing what rain will do for a garden. We are hoping for some more here this week.

    Love the roses on your table, and the boxed white CHRISTmas ideas are delightful. I think there is a recipe around that uses white chocolate instead of copha. I just cant remember where I saw it now though...

    Wish my hubby was more useful in the kitchen lol!



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