Saturday, 31 January 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 31st January 2015

Being frugal and wise with what you have can bring many benefits to your life.    For me personally it means that I don't have to work full time.  My dollar stretches a long way and that makes me feel good as I know I'm being a good steward of what God has given me.  My week can vary with different tasks.  Some weeks I'm cooking and baking by the truck load and other weeks I'm sewing,   mending and diluting shampoo and conditioner.

Here's what I got up to this week -

*  Made some brown sugar .

*  Made ten jars of tomato relish.  Tomatoes have been cheap to buy at 99 cents a kilo so I'm trying to make the most of it.  We are growing tomatoes but we are never sure how well they'll grow.

*  Made eight jars of peach jam with peaches bought at $1.99 a kilo.

*  Dried all the washing on the line or clothes horses.

*  Ate leftovers  for a lunch and dinner one night as they couldn't be frozen.

*  Picked corn,  tomatoes,  beans,  peaches and raspberries.

*  Used the water from the last load of washing to water some garden plants.

*  Kept the heater and cooling off all week.

*  Made four meals of spag bol sauce at the same time and froze into meal sizes.

*  After making the spag bol sauce,  I portioned the leftover tomato paste into an ice cube tray and froze.  This eliminates any waste.

*  Defrosted our small freezer and sorted out all the freezers.  I try to do this a few times a year so that I know what I have on hand.  I only threw out some old bread and fed some to the chooks.

*  Made soup with a frozen Christmas ham bone,  carrots,  corn and potato.  I didn't think there was any meat left on the bone but the soup was enough for two main meals.

*  Made a batch of double strength Miracle Spray.  When I decant it into spray bottles I dilute it then.

*  Mended and altered some clothes Jessica gave me.

*  Made a scarf from a top I no longer wear.  It's in apple green my favourite color so I couldn't donate it.

More peach jam

Ham and veggie soup

Yellow pear tomatoes

Our corn is growing well.

Not long now and we'll have lots of raspberries.

Our one silver beet plant.

Megan's birthday cake for the extended family

Inside the cake.  Megan loves sugar !!

A corner of my kitchen.
What did you get up to this week ?


  1. I'm so glad I found your blog Wendy. I have started writing down all of my frugal tasks, no matter how small, they all add up. This week I,

    - Mended two school skirts for DD, she had ripped both but she is now in Year 12 and I really don't want to buy any if I don't have to.
    - Cleaned my bathrooms every day with my micofiber cloths.
    - Bought my F&V at the local markets and only bought what was on my list.
    - Took lunch and morning tea to work each day.
    - Dried all of my washing on the clothes airer or line (it rained a lot this week so I just brought them inside).
    - Stuck to my menu plan.
    - Made breadcrumbs with ends of bread.
    - Made banana bread, muffins and brownies. used up old bananas and really old green apples.
    - Got an extra meal plus lunches from a turkey breast roll brought on special at christmas.
    - Stocked up on Mitchum deodorant on special at Woolies - this is the only kind DH and DD can use. I use Avon.
    - Saw a stainless steel thermos flask on a clearance table at big W - it had a small dent in the lid but wasn't priced. I had been after one for a while but they can be a bit pricey. When asked the manager how much it was I got it for $5 :) I can send DD to school with soup now.

    Have a great week.


    1. I'm glad you've found my blog too Deb. I appreciate everyone who comments as it builds a great community. I love hearing how everyone saves money. It inspires me to try harder.

  2. Not a good week, major dental work, back to school expenses, a $600 broken window and a $260 water bill. But nothing that wasn't budgeted for and paid for. Living within our money all year allows us to cope with the months where we know more will flow out than comes in.
    On the plus side, found a DVD in opshop of a movie I saw many years ago which I enjoyed. And I tried a new recipe which the family all liked. K

    1. These things happen at times. When I have extra expenses I challenge myself to spend very little for the next month.

  3. Hi Wendy. This week we have returned from our holiday and trying to get back into the swing of things. I've resisted the pressure of going to the shops more than once in the week and have benefited greatly by doing this, as it has forced us to use supplies on hand in the freezer. I now have more freezer space and more change in my pocket! I washed clothing and dishes, late in the evening, in the off peak times and hung clothes on the clothes horse to dry. I gave a gift of an expensive cookbook that I had never used at all and had stored for years and was going to throw out. Am putting every spare cent into debts to let my dear friend 'compound interest' do their thing. Eating and giving away cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and zucchini from our garden. Was blessed with two cooked chooks and biscuits. Stored furniture at my father in laws house (he has a big vacant room) and saved on storage costs. Converted fly buy points into real cash. Made all meals from scratch. A good week really. Thanks for every bodies tips and inspiration. Regards, Liz.

    1. Hi Liz, I've had a lot of no spend days this week and it feels great. I was too busy at homebeing frugal to go out and spend.

  4. Hi there Wendy,

    I just realized that we have the same kitchen tiles :)

    Sounds like you have had a great week. Your garden is looking going fantastic. This nice weather is helping things along nicely.

    I love Megan’s birthday cake with the yummy surprise, and I wish someone would give me peaches because your jam looks so lovely.

    My frugal tasks for this week were;
    *Made all meals from scratch, I even tried some new simple recipes.
    *Dried all my clothes outside.
    *Tended my veggie garden and picked kale, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes. I am using rain water from storage to water the plants now.
    *We are also picking figs and grapes. I am hoping to get enough figs for jam. Not sure what to do with all the grapes though. Will freeze some.
    *Made two loaves of bread.
    *Baked two cakes.
    *Used miracle spray to clean bathrooms, toilets etc.
    *Sold some eggs.
    *Filled the car up with petrol while we were in Adelaide, so much cheaper than here.
    *Hubby has made me some containers for growing veggies in. He cut down an old council garbage bin, and one half will be used for veggies, the other half for a compost bin. He also cut a blue barrel in half for growing veggies.
    *Paid excess money off on the mortgage.
    *I managed two no spend days in this short week.


    1. Tania, the mild weather is great because we are not using the cooling and heating. But it's not good for ripening tomatoes.

      It sounds like your husband is very industrious.

  5. By the time I was 23 (68 now) I'd had all of "God's blessing" and "(dysfunctional) good Christians" I could stomach.
    Nevertheless I'm glad that some of you can make it work. You are clearly the vital, commendable centre of your home....but it's a life I'd rather avoid.

    1. What a shame you feel this way and a shame you are anonymous. Next time please post a name.

      My life isn't always peaches and cream. My husband and I have known hardships throughout our lives - probably more than others. A positive outlook on life has helped us to rise above these times and bought us to the place we are now. We are not victims of these hardships and we've never played the victim card

      Our positive attitude and hard work has improved our qualitiy of life.

      I'm not a dysfunctional christian. I'm hard working, goal focused, multi tasking and very organised. I have no weird quirky traits. Most of all, I'm not just a christian in namesake, I'm a born again christian who loves the Lord, follows the bible and tries to be a Godly example like Jesus was.

      Remember, this blog is available to inspire others, not to pull them down. In future, please keep your comments positive or they will not be published.

      I hope you can find some good in your life because life is SO WORTH LIVING !!!

    2. Oh dear I feel so sorry for you that you can't see life as a gift and feel blessed with love and goodness around you anon. No I am not a Christian but a Buddhist. Who believes that by being kind of heart then kindness and love will surround you even in hard times. Please don't join this forum if all you do in bag out the people on it. The world is not always a fun place to be but we are all just trying to tread a little lighter on it.

    3. Wendy you answered anon with such grace. Kudos.

  6. Hi Wendy

    This week has been a good week. I set my frugal goals weekly and i must admit i feel it is running smoothly!!!
    Here are my tasks:
    I have been making bread daily in my bread machine. Guess what my family really love the bread I make and there are no bread left over, so there is no waste!!!
    I made lemon butter, using your recipe and I didn't realise it was so easy!! So thank you for sharing this recipe.It is better than the one I bought from the shop!!!
    I went shopping this week and I saved $40.00 this week, that was a bonus!!! I am no longer struggling from week to week!!!
    I check my pantry first before I decide to cook a meal and to my amazement I often have most of the ingredients in my pantry!!!
    I am going to plan my meals out better. so I can continue with the savings!!!
    Thank you Wendy for sharing your tips and recipes I'm really enjoying the challenges!!! Oh I found my yoghurt maker at the back of the cupboard. I will need to start using it again!!!

    1. Homemade bread is so much better than anything that can be bought.

      The lemon butter is so easy isn't it. I'll never buy it again.

      It sounds like you are doing really well with your groceries. Do you have a stockpile ?

  7. Did major shop this week. Paid school fees up front and saved 10 % (my girls go to government schools ). Made most of our lunches. Plan to de-clutter and give any clothes that don't fit away. Plan to unpack boxes left from our move 12 months ago. Bet lots of things get tossed. Have a great week.

    1. I've been decluttering too. The manager at my local Savers now knows me because I'm there so often donating.

  8. Hello!! How strange it is to me to hear of your veggies and fruits as where I live we have 2 feet of snow! Wanna trade?? lol. Great post today, I enjoy hearing how everyone saves and cooks. I do to, every little bit helps. Have a great week end. Hugs, Doreen

    1. Hello Doreen, no I don't want to trade weather. But thankyou very much. We don't get snow in Melbourne. Most people travel to the snow in Australia.

      I hope you can post your frugal tasks one day. I'd love to know what you do to save mony.

  9. Wendy I love the surprise in the cake! And your vegies all look so good.
    I did some op shopping that was really good and got some lovely things toward my winter wardrobe. Years ago I spent heaps on clothes now I spend hardly anything but I like to dress nicely. I just do it for a few dollars and its wonderful! Plus its fun. I found the most gorgeous cardi for $4 and I love it so much!
    I cooked up my last peaches and made a crumble in the same way you would do apple crumble. It was beautiful. I tried new recipes and new ingredients all for very low cost.
    Overall I was very happy with January despite a few challenges we came through well. I feel I got the year off to a god start. Now to Feb.! I think joining in here with you helps me stay on track and on Feather your Nest Friday. All week I try to do more things to add to these lists!
    It is amazing how small things add up. Its amazing. I feel encouraged! xxx

    1. Annabel, Megan didn't have time to do her usual great cake decos. I baked the cake as she worked all day on Saturday, had visitors for tea Sat night, church the next morning then a staff meeting straight after. She had 20 minutes to decorate the cake before the family came over.

      I saw your cardi on your blog. I'm a cardi girl too these days and always look at op shops for a new one.

      Isn't it great to have a blog communtiy where we can all share and comment on each other's blogs ? Love it !!

  10. Hi Wendy.
    I had a great week as I scored a free sewing machine. Admittedly, I do not know how to sew yet, but this will be my goal for the coming year. My daughter starts school next year, so I figure if I can learn to do hems, then I will save myself a small fortune. I just hate paying someone $10-15 to take up a pair of pants!!
    This week I also cooked all my meals from scratch and baked a chocolate cake. I am also starting to grow a few vegies/herbs. So far I have rosemary, chives, parsley, basil and lettuce.
    Did my grocery shopping for this coming week and only spent about $50. Saw a few good 1/2 price specials on a few pantry items, so I stocked up.
    Continuely love reading your blog!

    1. How exciting Jill, a free sewing machine. Just start with straight sewing and you'll get the hang of it. Maybe start with a library bag using scrap material. The face washers I featured on a post are very easy too and make great presents.

  11. Hi Wendy,
    You have been busy!!! The cake looks great.
    My frugal tasks this week are:
    - Made bulk biscuit dough and froze
    - Made bulk meat sauce and froze
    - Was gifted …2 Doz eggs at use by date, so made Whole Orange cake with 1 doz, then froze in portions. Made a couple of loaf tin fruit cakes and froze. Made a large quiche which was used for 2 dinners and a lunch for hubby.
    - All washing dried outside or on clothes horse in garage.
    - Worked extra shift to add money to Slush Fund.(Don't know if this counts Wendy)
    -All meals except one made from scratch at home.(Fish and Chips takeaway, it was a nice change)
    -Walked to work a couple of days this week saved on petrol.
    So fortunate this week, neighbour left basket of plums, tomatoes and zucchinis from her garden at my front door. It was a lovely surprise to come home to.
    Have a good weeks.
    Warm regards

    1. That was thoughtful of your neighbour.

      Yes the extra shirf counts especially if the money is put to good use.

  12. Hi Wendy, that cake looks delicious! I'll be making a cake myself soon as well. I inquired at a local cake shop on how much a cake for a baby shower would cost and they quoted me about $280 (!!!!). Certainly something I could not afford, especially since the cake I want is quite simple. I've only done a few frugal tasks this week since we've had lots going on:
    - gluten free cereal was selling for $2 a box a coles (this NEVER happens), so I bought as many boxes possible. I saved over $40 in cereal and have enough to last me a long time.
    - Adding shredded carrots to my bolognese sauce to stretch it that little bit further
    - froze left over corned beef for sandwiches
    - made more GF bread
    - gratefully accepted a bag of apples from a neighbour, will take these to work during the week.
    - saved money by not going to the cinema, instead stayed at home and enjoyed a movie with hubby with homemade popcorn (not the microwave stuff) and fresh fruit. Saving us a good $40.
    - bought dried herbs and spices from the local asian grocer. These are so much cheaper to buy from an asian grocer than a supermarket (some spices are more than half the price) and the quality is actually very good

    I hope you have a great week. I look forward to your next blog!


    1. Amy, I live in Melbourne and buy all my herbs, spices, nuts and dried fruit from Hindustan Imports in Dandenong. You can shop online and if you spend over $90 and live in Melbourne metro, it's free delivery.

      $280 for a cake. Oh my goodness. I could feed my family for a month on that. When you make the cake, could you please send me a message through my facebook page. I'll give you my email address as I'd love to see a photo

      It doesn't matter how big or small your frugal list is as long as you've done something frugal during the week.

    2. I have had a good look at the website you recommended and it looks really good. Unfortunately I don't live in Melbourne. However I am lucky that there are lots of asian and indian grocers a few suburbs away and they are quite competitive and goid with their prices (very similar to the website you gave).
      I was quite shocked by the quote i was given for a cake! I'll definitely send you a picture of the cake once made. I'm lucky that I will have help and will have access to cake decorating tools.
      What herbs and spices do you use to coat your wedges (if any)?


    3. I use seasonel on my wedges. It's an orange seasoning that was the Hoyts brand, Now I just refilll the container with something similar from Hindustan. I also spray the wedges with olive oil.

  13. Hi Wendy,

    I'm only just starting my frugal living journey but I'm learning so much from your blog and your readers who kindly share their tips as well.

    This week I have :

    * picked fresh basil to freeze for use later in the year
    * used my kids bathwater to make chook poo soup for my pot plants
    * used my chook poo for the poo soup
    * clipped some overgrown grass around my house to feed the chooks and use less grain for their food
    * made a massive basic mince pot and bulked it out with finely grated zucchini and carrot and finely chopped mushrooms then turned half into bolognaise and the other half into chilli con carne. I got 9 meals out of it for the freezer.
    * cut some lovely roses and brought them inside to brighten up my table

    Tomorrow I'll turn 4 brown bananas into muffins for the school lunches and go through the fridge to make sure I use up things before they need to be thrown out.

    Have a lovely week and I look forward to next weeks list for more inspiration!

    1. That's a great list. What is your name so I can address you properly ?

      How long do your let the chook poo soup sit for ?

    2. Hi Wendy, my name is Stella.

      I started the soup with a very compacted lump of chook poo and just covered it with water and let it sit for a day, then diluted and used the water on my plants. Over time the compacted lump is slowly breaking down to a murky sludge but I'm still getting lots of goodness out of it and it hasn't completely disappeared yet.

      I dilute it as it can be a bit strong for the plants and burn them if the concentration is too much.

    3. Thankyou for the info Stella. I'll have to give it a go with the goodies my chooks leave in the pen.

  14. Hi Wendy,

    You've had a very frugal week! Your peach jam looks so good and love Megan's birthday cake idea, what a cute suprise! What did she get for her birthday? It's my nieces 17th birthday this week and was hoping i could get some pressie ideas from you!

    I am wondering whether you could suggest a few tips on keep wedding costs down to a minimum - the wedding day and all that goes with it, the bridal shower and hens shower.
    I'm currently in the middle of planning my wedding, and everything is so expensive!

    Many thanks,

    1. We gave Megan some new canvas prints for her bedroom walls, Sims computer games ( bought from Savers op shop ), cushion covers, Dymo labeller tape ( she got one for Christmas ), deod, Macaroon cooking set.

      Perfume is always good if you know what she likes. Or movie tickets.

      When is the date for your wedding so I can post something before then ?

    2. Hi Wendy,

      They are great gifts! Thanks for the tips :) Our wedding is on the 16th of April next year!

    3. Thanks, I've got a little time up my sleeve.

  15. Hello Wendy. What a great week you had. I am awed by your garden. What a success! I had a lovely productive week and baked to save money on school lunches, sewed and knitted some gifts and altered and mended some clothing. All things that many families don't do any more and which save us hundreds if not thousands, as you would know. Have a lovely week!

    1. When you mend an item you get better dollar value.


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