Saturday 7 February 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 7th February 2015

Now that my girls are back into the school routine I have a little extra time up my sleeve.  The house stays tidy longer and I can get the house work finished by mid morning as I'm not vacuuming around the family or waiting for the dirty washing to be collected. This gave me a chance to bake bread again,  to do more sewing and to do some de cluttering.

Here's this week's frugal task list -

*  Diluted a bottle of white vinegar by 50 %.  I had an empty bottle so I poured half into it and topped it up with water. It's great for cleaning but not suitable for cooking.

*  Made seasoned bread crumbs from scratch.  Some were used to make KFC drumsticks.

*  Made a muesli bar slice.  I would have taken a photo but it was a little over baked.  Still yummy though.

*  Saved the shower warm up water and poured it into my watering can and used it to water the fruit trees.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread.

*  Gratefully received two plum puddings.  I'll give one to a family member and the other one was portioned into single serves and frozen.  Darren is the only one in our house who really enjoys plum pudding. 

*  Made a children's Christmas apron and chef's cap as a present for Christmas this year.  The material panel was on clearance after Christmas a year ago for $1.

*  Saved some large glass jars.  I'm going to use them as presents by picking a bunch of flowers from the garden.  I'll tie twine around the flowers and place them in the jar.  The jar will be decorated with a wide strip of wrapping  paper and a ribbon.  I've seen these on The Prudent Homemaker's blog and they look lovely.  Cost is zero.  I'll post a picture when I make them up.

*  Picked strawberries,  raspberries,  beans,  tomatoes,  zucchinis and corn from the vegetable garden.

*  Darren used some of our compost on the veggie garden.

*  For some reason we didn't use as much milk this week and I had almost three litres to use with one day left on the expiry date  So I made creamed rice to use up about two litres.  We had it for dessert two nights running.  I had it for lunch two days and Jessica was in heaven eating it for breakfast. 

*  Gratefully accepted some free sandwiches.

*  Found some older face washers and hand towels in the linen cupboard to replace the tired ones I was using in the kitchen.  The really old kitchen ones were moved on to the laundry as mop up cloths.  I never buy kitchen sponges or wipe up cloths.  I use the slightly old and faded face washers instead.  It's great as I can change them over at the end of the day and throw them in the wash.

*  Baked a triple batch of chocolate choc chip muffins.  A few were eaten fresh and the rest were frozen for lunch boxes.

* Bought chicken fillets a $6.99 kg from Tasman Meat.  Bought Pineocleen  and Pantene shampoo and conditioner at half price from Coles..

*  Dried all the washing clothes horses and the line.

*  Kept the heater off all week and only used the evap. cooling for a couple of hours.
Chocolate choc chip muffins.

The bread dough before I cut it to put in the bread tins.

Wholemeal bread.

Face washers used as kitchen cloths.

A Christmas present for this year.
What did you do this week to save time,  money or energy ? 


  1. Hi Wendy. May I say I love the look of your bread and your apron creation is just gorgeous. If I was younger I would of been thrilled to have received that as a gift. This week has been good. We collected so many apples and pears from our trees with more still to collect. We also gathered cucumbers and zucchini's and were able to give much away to others. We were also blessed to receive a bag full of home grown peaches, pomegranate juice, a tub of lollies and a big block of feta cheese. Yum! I have cooked all meals from scratch and made four portions from my spaghetti Bol sauce. I went to Big W at Fountain Gate and bought clothes for my seven year old niece for half price. Trendy shorts and t-shirts to save for her birthday in Jan. They also had lovely pasta Christmas boxed gift sets which didn't look too Christmasy for $2 each, which I bought to give as gifts. The expiry date read November 2016 so they'll be given out throughout the year. I look forward to reading your blogs throughout the week. They help keep me focused and on track. All the best. Regards, Liz.

  2. Hi Wendy

    Wow your list is impressive :) I only managed a few things this week,

    - dried all of my washing on the clothes airer (so much easier for me to do a load a day and have everything back in drawers and cupboards pretty much as soon as they dry)

    - baked lemon delicious slice and muffins, the slice does not last long with my DD.

    - I have a small drip coming from my laundry tap so I save that water for my iron and steam mop.

    - found a cheaper place to buy my eggs from, I go through at least 1 1/2 to 2 dozen each week as my DD (health nut) has them every day.

    - bought marked down sausages from WW for $1.82 which was 3 meals for us.

    - sent laundry powder recipe to my DSIL who will be trialling it this week.

    - cleaned my bathrooms every day with my microfibre cloths.

    - took lunch and morning tea to work each day.

    - stuck to my menu plan.

    Thats' it for me.Have a great week.


  3. Wendy that apron looks great.

    This week amongst other things
    I queried a doctor's bill and saved $95
    Watered the passionfruit vine using water left over from an ice bucket
    Hosted my daughter's family birthday celebrations here and made everything from scratch
    Used left overs from birthday party for lunches
    Made all meals at home
    Shopped only highly reduced items and necessities
    Coloured my own hair
    Found a cheaper source of tomatoes and fruit (will be for next year)

    I am hoping to get stuck into Christmas gifts this week. Have a good one

  4. Hi Wendy
    My frugal tasks are:
    Baked bread everyday in the bread machine, there is something about bread cooking, it smells so yummy.
    Made orange butter and peach jam, I never knew that peach jam would taste good!! I added some to vanilla yoghurt for my breakfast..
    Made chicken snitzchels from scratch... There were no left overs.
    Your bread looks so good, have you ever made your bread in a bread machine? If so how do you adapt you recipe to suit a bread machine. I am no good at making bread the conventional way, it never works for me!!
    Best wishes for the weekend, hope you have a great week ahead.
    Regards Annette

    1. Annette, I've never had a bread machine. I just use my mixer and a little kneading by hand. All up I think it takes me about 3 hours to do four loaves.

  5. It is lovely to read everyones comments, I love all the produce Liz and Deb's bargain on sausages and just hearing what everyone is doing.
    Wendy your bread is just perfection! Beautiful.
    Slicing up the plum pudding into portions is a really good idea. I have one in storage and it is too big as it is. This is the perfect solution!
    I had a good week and yesterday I was given plums, quinces and figs. About a bucket each. Also I was given two big bags of clean washed jars! Well to me that is like gold. I was running low and I appreciated them so much!
    First I need to deal with the figs as they are the ripest. Tonight we are having roast chicken with roast figs, this is really good. I copied it from a meal I ate out once. I also made a friend who has a lemon tree and offered to make her lemon butter in exchange for lemons. I love this deal! Lemons are so useful. I find this all the time... swaps make the world go round!
    Have a wonderful weekend, I hope its not too hot there, it is warming up

    1. Two bags of clean jars !!! How exciting. I'm running low on smallish jars so I'm letting everyone I know that I need more. Hoping some come my way soon.

      Yes it's getting warner here too

  6. Hi Wendy, that little apron you made is just gorgeous! I hope you had a good week. This week we managed to do the following:
    - Woolworths was selling whole chickens for $2.25 per kg, they already sold out by the time I got there Wednesday morning. Luckily my husband was successful and bought 6 and we popped them in the deep freeze. That will feed s for a long time.
    - Coles had a special on deodorant, so I bought a few and these will last me a good while.
    - Made 1kg of yoghurt
    - Made up some miracle spray.
    - Made my own baby shower banner - cost me half the price and looks better than if I bought one. All the small scrap pieces of paper left over from the banner were then turned into confetti which will end up on the guest tables etc.
    - Baked GF choc-vanilla muffins, froze individually and have plenty of muffins to take to work.
    I will bake some more GF bread tomorrow and I am going to go through my pantry. It's starting to become disorganised again and I want to make sure I use what is in there before anything goes out of date.


  7. Hi Wendy.
    I really love the apron you made!! I would love to learn how to make something like this for my little girl. She is 4yrs old and loves to cook with me. As mentioned before, I gratefully received a free sewing machine last week. I will now not only have to learn how to use it, but I will have to start hunting for bargains in Spotlight, Lincraft etc!! Just love hunting out a bargain.
    I now only go to the shops once a week now. I do this on Saturdays and head straight to Woolies at markdown time. Today I got so many bargains that my freezer is full. I have enough meat for 2 months!! Todays bargains were:
    * 3 sides of Topside beef roast for $4.60/kg
    * 2 whole chickens - $2.25/kg
    * Pork and lamb mince - $4.50/kg
    After here headed straight to my local fruit and veg store, again at markdown time. Purchased large bags of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots at $1.00/kg.
    I was horrified when I saw broccoli at $8.98/kg in most places, so was blessed to find a great bargain here.
    Am looking to start growing some more vegies this week. Wendy, do you grow all your vegies from seed? If so, where is a good place to buy seeds from? Some packets around are really quite expensive now.

    1. Jil, did you see my reply to your comment last week on the frugal post ?

      Great price on the meat and veg. Broccoli freezes well. Just blanch it for a minute, cool it down and spread out on oven trays. Then you flash freeze it for about an hour. Then bag into freezer bags. If you do it this way it doesn't stick together.

      I buy lettuce, beans, silver beet, corn, zucchini and tomato seeds mostly from Bunnings or The Reject shop. I've found broccoli and cauliflower grow better as seedlings. It also depends on whether I plant the seeds early enough in the season. If I'm slow I buy seedling and always the cheapest from Bunnings.

  8. Hi Wendy, your frugal lists just keep getting better :)

    Those face washers are cute and what a great idea to use them as dish cloths. I have homemade knitted and crochet ones but mainly use fibre cloths purchased from the cheap shops. They absorb beautifully, not as pretty as your flannels though :)

    As usual your bread looks lovely. I am grateful for your recipe, my family are now lovers of homemade bread!

    Love the aprons, they would make wonderful gifts :)

    This week has not been as frugal as I would like. Hubby had to pay a visit to the dentist and so will have to watch our spending for the rest of the pay week. Lucky I have plenty of food on hand that I can use up.

    ~From our garden, I have been picking zucchinis, kale, celery, tiny tomatoes, tomatoes, cucumber and rock melon.
    ~I have picked 6lbs (2.7kgs) of figs off our tree and they are simmering on the stove as I speak getting ready for some yummy jam.
    ~I baked cakes, pizza impossible pie and apple slice. No bread this week as I had leftovers in the freezer to use up.
    ~No air conditioner use as it was cool, but now it is so hot it is on, and will possibly be on for days.
    ~The blinds are drawn to keep heat out.
    ~Dried washing on the line
    ~Sold excess eggs.
    ~Sorted through our boxes of jars, we have heaps. Wish you lived closer I would give you some. ~Made your yummy salad today and it was enjoyed by us for lunch with our salmon.
    ~Had some vegetarian/vegan meals, I can see this happening more often.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend Wendy :)


    1. Tania, I use microfibre cloths too but the face washers are free and too old for the bathroom. The ones pictured were used by the girls when they were younger.

      I wish I lived closer to you for the friendship and the jars

  9. Hi Wendy,
    Those muffins look delicious, and the bread looks divine. I'm sure that apron will be very much appreciated. You had a very busy week.
    This week I
    - made some washing detergent, (hubby is a bit heavy handed with the scoop at times)
    - made pea and ham soup and froze into portions
    - made some raw flat pack meals and froze. (ie: ingredients raw ready to throw in slow cooker , with exception of meat.)
    Have a great week.
    Warm Regards

    1. Kathryn, have you tried using a smaller scoop or a tablespoon ?

    2. I use a scoop from a old baby formula tin, so it's only small. Hubby just doesn't think it's enough to clean clothes even though I have told him numerous times. It's only once or twice a week he does a load so I shouldn't complain.

    3. Baby formula scoops are a good size. I wish I'd kept some from years gone by.

  10. Not much this week. But I got to pick some apples off the fruit trees at my work place (it use to be a residential home). They are so delicious. I am going to get some more if the birds don't get them first. Got some cheap vegies at a market just as they were closing. Took lunch most days. Took my water bottle everywhere. Started riding my bike again. Made a slice for "play lunches". Will hopefully get more time this week to do things.

  11. Hi Wendy

    I have the exact same kids apron and chef's hat to make up for my DD4 put away to make for this Christmas. Yours turned out beautifully.

    I have to agree with Annabel about how your bread looks so fantastic......mine never looks like this.

    This week I did a few frugal tasks and one that made me think of you and Annabel when I got it

    *bought plain silver and gold wrapping paper at 75% off so I we can decorate with a few simple items to pretty it up (this made me think of you both) Normally I would not get those colours but for 50cents for 10m I purchased 6 rolls

    * lined dried all the washing

    * save my fruit an veg plastic bags for veggie scraps for friends chooks

    *purchased pantene shampoo and conditioner for less than half price

    *switched the tv off at the wall so that standby is not on

    *had no tv whilst DD4 was at school

    *baked items to freeze for school lunches

    *started a menu plan

    *DP made a batch of spaghetti for friends coming for dinner and we had enough left over to freeze for 2 meals for DD4 and I when he is at work

    *saved some jars that had finished being used

    Looking forward to seeing what I can get done this week. A little bit of baking for both the school canteen and myself at home hopefully

    Wishing everyone a fantastic frugal week


    1. I'd never bought plain wrapping paper before last Christmas. I'm so glad I did. Mind you, I won't need any more for about 5 years or more.

    2. Oh so many things you can use to decorate the paper. Wendy I too had never thought of using plain I usually go for the 50c sheets at The Reject shop. Tied up with a colourful ribbon, with pretty pictures cut from magazines, or DD4 with some stamps of finger painting it will look a real treat .......fingers crossed


    3. Aly, I was a big fan of the $2 shop wrapping paper for birthdays etc. I think it sold for 4 sheets for $2.

  12. used the warm up water from the shower and kitchen to water the indoor plants, and the pots outside
    baked bread, cooked all meals from scratch
    had roast chicken 1 night, then froze enough for 4 meals, plus used the carcass for chicken soup last night
    shared a cup of coffee with DH when we did the shopping on Tuesday, and stuck to the shopping list that day too
    made yoghurt
    re-organised the kitchen cupboards and found several things I had been looking for since we moved in lol
    dried all the washing outside
    I have 2 plum puddings in the cupboard so freezing portions is a good idea, I usually only do it after eating some

    1. Hi Maggies and thankyou for your frugal list.

      It just doesn't seem like the right weather for eating plum pudding. I thought if I froze it Darren could have it in Winter with hot custard.

    2. Post Christmas discounted puddings are a default meal in Summer when I can't be bothered to cook. 2 litres of homemade custard with the remainder then potted up into tubs for lunchboxes or snacking. K

  13. I got a table spoon measure from the op shop for 10 cents for my washing powder, sometimes they have formula scoops too.

  14. Hi Wendy.

    Hope you are having a wonderful week!
    I love the apron and hat,it is so cute and will make a terrific present.
    I'm wondering whether you could post your recipe for white choc and raspberry muffins?
    I remember seeing them somewhere on your blog, but i dont think there was a recipe for them.


  15. Hi Wendy,
    It is good to be able to read your posts again. This last week has seen Hubby moving house whilst I went interstate to help out sick parents. I got home in time to clean the old place and to start unpacking...I am still working on this lol we moved one week ago today.
    I am just writing to tell you how my cleaning of the unit was done with vinegar, bicarb, a few drops of eucalyptus and a squirt of dish washing detergent... lol not all at once though (I had the liquid concoction of dish washing detergent eucalyptus and vinegar and water,and the paste of bicarb and eucalyptus and water)
    I cleaned everything with, mirrors, oven, cupboards, floors, walls, bathroom, laundry and today had the inspection and handed the keys back with a full bond return and a comment on how wonderfully clean the place looked.
    Simple works well and is cheap... I think this is proof it works..

    Ps... absolutely love the bread and apron.....

    1. Good to see you back Linda. It's true that you don't need toxic chemicals to keep a home tidy. It sounds like you have been very busy.

  16. Hi Wendy, I love your blog & tips! I'm 28 and live with my fiance - we are saving for our wedding early next year. We would like to do this debt free. And I'm so excited to find out more tips and ways to live that will help us do this. I'll be making your washing powder & miracle spray this weekend. Also will be doing our monthly food shop. We worked out our income & current expenses last night - WOW what an eye opener! What I love most about your blog, is that you love & appreciate what you do have rather than being focused on what you don't have (which is why I think so many people are miserable). Would be interested to know where you buy your Dove soap and Maybelline mascara on sale (I live in South East suburbs also). Looking forward to your next post - Christina xx

    1. Hi Christina and welcome to my blog. I'll be doing a wedding post sometime this year as another reader is getting married next year too.

      Please feel free to post your frugal tasks list each week. We love to share and help each other.

      Woolworths had packets of four bars of Dove soap on sale for $3.69 from memory. I think it was late last year. .They didn't have much stock left when I got there so I cleared the shelf then got a rain check for another 10 packets. I have a year to redeem this.

      Chemist Warehouse and the stalls in the middle od shopping centre aisleways occasionally have mascara on sale. It's generally older stock.

    2. Dove soap is often $1 a bar at Aldi. My daughter asks for the Rimmel gift pack for Christmas, which contains mascara, eyeliner, lipstick and nail varnish. $15 at Chemist Warehouse, $20 at Target or Priceline. She's happy and it seems to be good value. K

  17. Thanks for the great tips. Looking forward to the wedding post as well.
    Some other frugal things I’ve done this week along with our budget are:
    *Rolling all my superannuation into one (so easy on the My Gov website)
    *Trying the Curried Rice Salad recipe from the free Cheapskates recipe file. This is much better value and healthier than $1-$3 side dish sachets (i.e. satay rice, alfredo pasta etc) that I normally buy from Coles. My fiance enjoyed the bigger portion after his footy training! And I had some left overs for lunch.
    *Substituting meat for tuna patties. This was a hit!
    *Thinking about buying an Easiyo. I didn’t know about these but we love yoghurt and spend about $15-$20 a week on it.
    *Cleaned out my pantry, and did a stocktake of items.
    *Started writing a menu plan/meal ideas for next month.
    *Found out about my local NQR store and will be visiting this store & Aldi on the weekend to stock up on some staples.
    *Got given a GIANT zucchini from my neighbour and found a great recipe for zucchini slice. I can make without buying extras for another dinner.

    1. Christina, I have a recipe here for making yoghurt with the Easiyo. It costs just over $1 a kilo. It's in the recipe section at the toip of the blog.

  18. Thanks wendy it was that post that inspired me to get the easiyo! :)

  19. Hi Wendy - so excited bought my easiyo today and got the first batch going. Do you recommend Hindu imports in dandenong for rice? Thanks, Christina

    1. I haven't checked their prices for rice. Coles had 10 kilo bags of rice for $7 just over a year ago. We bought two as we knew our income would reduce last year ( good for budget meals ).. I'm now halfway through the second bag.


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