Saturday 27 December 2014

This Week's Frugal Tasks

No matter what time of year it is we always try to be wise with what we have and what we've been given. This week has been no exception.  Although my frugal list isn't very long, we haven't wasted anything.  Here's what we have achieved -

*  Made a jar of Anzac biscuits to give to a family as a Christmas present.

*  Hung up the Christmas cards using wool.

*  Diluted the dishwashing liquid by about 1/3 for washing dishes.  I use vinegar and diluted dishwashing liquid with boiling water to mop the floors.  The dishwashing liquid for the floors is dilued by about 3/4..

*  Sold some eggs this week.

*  Sold a few jars of strawberry and apple jam.

*  Cut up a cereal box to make page dividers for my price book.  I cut up  the cereal packet to use as go between for hamburger patties,  chops and single serves of frozen soup.

*  Recycled tissue paper from a present that was given to me.  I also recycled the gift bag to use in the future.

*  From Christmas Day I recycled lots of tissue paper,  some craft ribbon and eight medium sized gift bags.

*  Gratefully received some bread rolls from a friend.

*  Saved water from the showers and watered the pot plants with it.

*  Continued to pick beans,  letuce,  silverbeet,  strawberries and raspberries.

*  Bought enough wrapping paper for the next 5 years or so.  I was able to buy it in plain silver and gold.  This will be great to use for any occasion throughout the year.

My Nut Cracker collection

Freshly baked Anzac biscuits

Anzac biscuits for a present.

I love buying Christmas trees.

The cheapest way to hang up Christmas cards.
What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?


  1. This is the first time I have ever seen a Nutcracker collection - splendid!

  2. When frugal goes wrong- trying to reuse a broken gift bag as wrapping paper. It does not work.
    Had to drop child at work, so went to the sales. Had a good look and left with a loaf of bread and some discounted steak. Feel content

  3. Wendy your Nutcracker is wonderful, I too have never seen such a display. The Anzac biscuits are also packaged lovely.

    My frugal tasks

    *feed 2 lots of chooks for friends that are in return 3 eggs from each lot of 6 per day

    *line dry all clothes

    *collect ribbons from Christmas gifts

    *use the new gas kettle instead of the electric kettle

    *stay away from the sales (I have plenty of ribbon, wrapping paper, cards and a few gift tags to last me for sometime)

    *plan this years birthday list

    *diluted some conditioner when I opened it


    1. On the question of line-drying clothes: The lint you find in the lint filter in your clothes dryer is actually fiber broken away from your clothes as they bump against each other in the dryer. I.E clothes dryers wear your clothes out sooner.

      I have some great old plastic coat hangers that I tie onto the clothes line..hang my wet shirts on them and let the dry in a "natural ironed shape" than I just put them straight in wardrobe.

  4. Could you please put in the craft section how you make the Christmas Angels and Wreaths for the tree.
    Hope you are enjoying the Christmas season

    1. I will put the wreath instructions in the craft section next year. The angels are a lot harder and have very detailed instructions..

  5. Hi Wendy
    I would love your advice I also like to buy presents in advance but was wondering how you go about deciding what to buy so far in advance? Also I have a bad habit of over buying or forgetting what I bought. I'm really enjoying your blog kind regards

    1. I keep a record of presents bought for each year in an exercise book. At the start of each year write down all the names and occasions you need to buy for and keep the list in your purse.

  6. Hi Wendy,

    Will you be going on a family holiday this year? If so where? And do you have any frugal tips on holidaying with teenage kids.
    Also wondering when your next ACA interview would be so we can keep an eye out!

    All the best to you and the family

    1. We do go on holidays a couple of times a year for a few days at a time. Usually it's during school hloidays as my girls are going into year12 and 10.

      We've found it cheaper to stay in B & B's than to stay in motels and caravan parks. Always ask for an RACV discount.

      I let my girls know well in advance when we are going on holidays and ask them to save their spending money from pocket money and their jobs. We provide / pay for all meals but if they want to buy bits and pieces from the shops and icecreams etc, then they buy their own.

      The key is to plan activities ahead of time. Research the activities in the area you are going to holiday and plan what you can afford to do. Don't wait until you get there and the kids start the " I want, I wants ".

      We like to go to Ballarat, Phillip Island, Rosebud and Tasmania

  7. Hi Wendy, I love your Christmas decorations and I used your idea to make homemade Biscuits and put them in a Jar for a Christmas present. One friend loved them so much, she said she could get me orders from work mates and friends. All meals were made from scratch and all treats and desserts for Christmas occasions were homemade. Saved water to use on garden and washing machine and continued to pick Strawberries, Silverbeet and herbs.
    We received our first Water bill since we installed our water tank (2 months of the bill) and reusing the rinse water from the washing machine and water usage was down although service charges were up, but the bill was still cheaper than this time last year.
    I'm still one track with the $300.00 p/m shopping challenge. I spent $9.55 last week and still have $21.50 left with one week to go. We were given lots of food leftovers so I have been creative with these and froze lots of meat leftovers. I also took your suggestion Wendy and made my own Sticky date puddings for Christmas day, Yum!!!
    I also went to the Boxing day sales and purchased wrapping paper (for Xmas and B'day's) $1.00, Ribbon 0.50c, Bows 0.75c food items and presents for next year. When my DS2 (12yrs), went to the sales with DH, he would ask for a discount or more off if the box was damaged. It's rubbing off Wendy.
    I have made my Christmas list for next year and Birthday list and Menu plan also.
    Wendy when I saw the ACA Christmas story, the section where you were making the lists (Birthday/Christmas), you didn't have monetary amounts on these. So when you keep the list in your purse, do you have a set amount for each? You also gave your girls the Christmas stockings, do they also receive another gift/s from you and DH(maybe something they want?)
    Many Thanks, xxx Maureen

    1. Good to hear your son is getting the best deal possible.

      For the ACA Christmas story they only filmed the items I'd purchased for each person. That's written in an exercise book. I have another list that has the name, budget amount, each amount spent per item ( sometimes I buy a few items per person ) and the total per person. Down the bottom of the page I add up each amount for everyone to see how much I've beat the budget by for the year.

      The list in my purse has the monetary amount left to spend on each person - remember I buy all through the year and years in advance.

      The girls get other presents from Darren and I. Usually it's things for their rooms and items they want.

  8. Thanks Wendy, I will adjust my list as yours is better at seeing at a glance how much is being spent.

  9. Will you be posting something today Wendy?

    1. For the next couple of weeks I'll just be posting the weekly frugal tasks on Saturdays.

  10. I love your nutcracker collection Wendy!

    I have been away for a few days, so I haven't any frugal doings to add for the past week, I will be sure to have some next time though :)


    1. I'm sure you'll get into the swing of things this week Tania.

  11. Hi Wendy
    Christmas dinner.. we used the green vegetables from our container garden.
    Boxing Day sales - we purchased 2015 and 2016 birthday and Christmas gifts… oh and Mother’s day and father’s day. (we have to cater for 50 gifts per year..birthday, Christmas etc.)We also got Christmas paper and chocolates…frozen for Easter. We had allocated $100 but spent only a bit of that. All I have to do now is make some placemats and kids stuffed toys to complete the 2015 gift list. The left over money will be used for postage for certain gifts throughout the coming year.
    Leftover meat from Christmas day has all been sliced and frozen. Extra cheese cakes have been frozen for a later date as well. We froze some of the left over vegetables for the future and the rest we had bubble and squeak and today I made muffins using the left over pumpkin from Christmas.
    I have done some sewing repairs on three tops, salvaged a zipper from a pair of old jeans to replace a zipper in a better pair of jeans. I unpicked numerous items, washed and ironed the pieces of material and will be making those place mats from the material.
    Happy New Year

    1. What a frugal week you've had. What sort of presents did you pick up at the Boxing Day sales ? I didn't see much this year except tinned shortbreads.

    2. We got tee shirts, jackets, work shirts,trousers, large numbers. When you find items of quality going for $1 and $2 you stock up :-). The manager was following us around with a silly grin on his face lol.. I have never been to a boxing day sale before and I had so much fun.

    3. Great prices. I do the Boxing Day sales every year. I did notice this year that the discounts weren't as good as last year.

  12. Hi Wendy,

    How did you go at the boxing day sales? What kind of stuff did you buy? Also, what kind of gifts do you usually give for Birthdays/Christmas to teenagers?

    1. I bought lots of plain wrapping paper, Christmas cards, tea towels ( from Spotlight ) and beads to make more decos as gifts. The sales weren't that great this year unless you want lots of big ticket items. I found the discounts were lower than last year and retailers sold so much before Christmas.

      For teenage girls I do gift bags of shower gels and toiletries ( things that can be used not rubbish stuff ) For boys I buy Lynx deods / shower gels on sale and make giant biscuits and wrap them in cello bags. They are a big hit.

  13. My local Target has their Christmas hampers at " up to 70% off ", I got a small hamper with two bottles sauce and a small pudding in a decent reusable basket for $6. The basket goes to a friend who makes her own Christmas hampers.
    And I got three items reduced from $35 to $17 which I've had on my list for a year. Three presents taken care off for birthdays. Half price.
    But best of all I created a present drawer so I finally know where I put something, kept on finding forgotten purchases. K

  14. Love the Nutcracker collection. We started one for our son when he was a young boy, and add to it somewhat regularly. I am envious of all of you who hit the sales and got super after Christmas bargains.

    1. Hi Anne. It's hard to buy nice looking nut crackers in Australia. They all tend to look the same.


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