Saturday 21 March 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 21st March 2015

As the seasons change,  so too do my tasks around the house.  I've moved away from jam and relish making and moved onto the garden as we prepare for the next planting.  Here's what I got up to this week -

*  Gratefully received some raisin bread,  a few slices of fruit cake,  a couple of sandwiches,  breakfast muffins,  bread rolls,  dried soup mix,  dried onion flakes and lentils.

*  Continued to pick a handful of raspberries each day.

*  Darren planted silver beet,  beetroot,  lettuce and broccoli into a prepared veg garden bed.  He's added lots of coffee grounds to the soil and turned it over a few times.  I must say,  the garden smells lovely.

*  Gratefully received a 15 kilo bucket of white bread flour mix from a facebook follower .  My girls love white bread and I don't like buying the supermarket bread.  Now I can make my own and hide a few extras in the mix.

*  Gratefully received some glass jars from my sister inlaw.  I love receiving glass jars as they hold so much potential.  I could use them for jam,  relish,  lemon butter,  dry mixes or  biscuits.  A great way to recycle as I use them any times over.

*  Found and bought some plain card stock in Spotlight on sale for 35 cents a sheet.  I can get at least two cards per sheet making them very cheap.

*  Made lavender air freshener for the toilet.  Here are the instructions

*  Saved the shower warm up water each day.  Some was poured into the washing machine.  The rest was poured into a watering can and used on my mango plants.

*  Saved the washing machine water when possible for the next load.  I don't save water from a dark load of washing because it's not suitable to use for a white load the next day.

*  Sold a jar of jam and a dozen eggs.

*  Picked the last of the tomatoes before Darren pulled them out.

*  Made 20 hamburger patties for the freezer.

*  Made more dried bread crumbs from bread crusts.  The crumbs will eventually be made into seasoned bread crumbs when the container gets low.

*  Bought 4 punnets of blueberries for $1 each.  They have been washed and frozen in snap lock bags to be added to muffins.

Mango trees grown from seed. They are 2 years old.

Our tallest one is about 50 cms.

Raspberries I pick each day.

Bargain blue berries

Princess smooching my laptop screen.

Hello Mum.  I'm cute  !!!

She just likes being near me.

Hamburger making.

Ready to freeze.

What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?


  1. Wendy, I used to have one of those hamburger patty makers and got rid of it after the children grew up and left home. I'm wishing now that I had held on to it ... I'm thinking of all kinds of 'burger' possibilities that I could use it for! Love reading all the frugal things you do. It inspires me! patsi @

  2. Don't cats love to involve themselves when you work, mine always jumps into the middle of any papers I am sorting.
    Donated a box of washed and de-labelled jars to primary school for fete jam stall.
    Made turkey burgers from discounted turkey mince. I love my Williams-Sonoma hamburger press that I bought my Husband for Christmas
    Did a big shop - with a list
    Tidied a bedroom - by emptying everything outside on the back lawn. 3 boxes for the op shop and 3 bags for the bin. K

  3. You are so fortunate to recieve those food freebies! We get some freebies here and I make the most of them, but nothing quite like yours.
    I was wondering if you include your cat food in your grocery budget? I am a house of 1 adult, 3 kids, 3 cats and 2 dogs. I budget $115 a week, of which $22 is for dog and cat food and kitty litter. So $93 for human stuff. I only ever buy clearance meat (including for the animals), super specials only and cook everything from scratch. I make cleaning products too. It has become increasingly hard to stick to the budget. We have food intolerences and I try to feed us healthier options (like using alot of nuts and nut flours, coconut flour), only using pure olive oil and butter (making my own spreadable butter).
    I really can't figure out how to cut back anymore and so just wanted to check if your grocery budget includes pet food.
    Your blog inspires me and I look forward to your updates!
    I know you are a big fan of rainchecks too, so thought I should let you know that some Woolies are getting smarter (at least ours is) and will only give a raincheck on Tuesday now. I still make them work to my advantage and have a stash in my purse!

    1. I include cat food - wet and dry plus kitty litter in the grocery budget. I only buy no name and I think it adds about $15 per month.

      Do you buy as much as you can on sale like spreads, toiletries, baking items etc ? Do you buy fruit and veg in season and at it's cheapest ?

      I buy all my dried herbs, spices, nuts and dried fruit from Hindustan Imports and meat from Tasman Meats. Do you have shops like that near where you live ?

      Freeze all meal leftovers to use as a main meal on the menu when you have enough. It's too dear to eat for lunch. We only eat meat once a day ( so not in sandwiches ). Maybe include some really cheap meals like eggs on toast, toasted sandwiches, spag or baked beans on toast, pasta, tomato sauce and cheese, baked potatoes, pancakes etc. Just some ideas as I'm not sure what food issues you have.

    2. Thanks for your reply. I already do everything that you have suggested and more, but I guess it is the down side of living in a small country town. We have one Woolies and IGA. Our IGA is great for mark down meat and I don't pay anymore then $5/kg for any meat, usually less (and I get some yummy cuts of meat that we would otherwise not afford). Our fruit and veg is a big expense as there is no competition. I only buy in season and keep to under $4/kg (which some weeks is not much!). I take advantage of being in another town 40 minutes away once a fortnight that has an Aldi. They have some marked down fruit and veg when I go. I get our bread for free and some small freebies each Wednesday. My kids and I are simple eaters and love easy dinners (which are usually the cheapest). We have our own chooks too and fruit and nut trees (aren't producing yet) and veggie gardens. I even go as far as to find mark down cream (600ml for $0.99)and make my own butter!
      I am determined to keep to my $115/week no matter what! Actually for the next 8 weeks will only have $65/week to help save for our holiday!

      The bonus of our small town though is our op shop!! At least 3-4 times a year they have a $5 bag sale. As many clothes and shoes/bags/wallets/socks etc in a plastic shopping bag for $5! I have the next 10 years of bags and purses I will need for next to nothing! Not to mention clothing us all for around $50 a year (plus extra for shoes, socks and undies).

      Thank you for continuing to inspire people and showing there is a better way of doing things than the marketing professionals show us!

    3. You're welcome Samantha. I'll keep blogging as long as I have something to share.

      I'd love an op shop here to do a $5 plastic bag sale. Most of my handbags come from op shops.

      Just another thought, Do you have any neighbours or friends growing fruit trees ? Could you do a swap of excess fruit for a jar of jam etc ? Might be worth scouting / asking around.

  4. Hi Wendy

    We were lucky enough this week to receive two big bags (about 5 kilos each) of wholemeal flour and cornmeal from a neighbour. She's an older lady who cooks everything from scratch. DH mows her lawn each week and in exchange she does his ironing.

    This week we also stewed the yucky leftover fruit for our rainbow lorikeet, DH found it abandoned 3 months ago when it had just left its nest and bought it home. It's starting to talk now :)

    Made anzac biscuits and all meals from scratch.

    Took lunch and morning tea to work each day.

    Stocked up on morning fresh dishwashing liquid and their new brand of dishwasher tablets/sachets. I can't use the woolies brand or powder in my dishwasher, even the Aldi doesn't clean as well. These ones seem to be doing a good job.

    Dried all washing on the line and clothes airer.

    Samantha, we even have bacon and eggs once a month for dinner, its a cheap meal and I add maybe some grilled tomato (or even tinned) or a few mushrooms to include the vegies we need. DD and I will eat omelettes as well if DH has to work nights.

    Not much else this week I'm afraid, had another bad headache which took me out of action for 2 days.

    Have a great week


  5. Hello Wendy, great reading as always, love the look of your raspberries! Ive love to find out how to make breadcrumbs from crusts please!
    Kind regards
    Tania in Hawthorn.

    1. I have post for the bread crumb recipe coming on Tuesday.

  6. Hi Wendy,
    Princess looks very patable.
    This week I
    - made yoghurt
    -all meals from scratch except 1
    -shopped the specials
    -made whole orange cake for cake tin
    -dried out Rosemary picked from garden
    -planted bulbs for perennial flowers
    -worked on quilt for nephew house warming present
    That's all . Have a great week

  7. Hi Wendy, do you know where I might be able to purchase a hamburger maker like yours. I would love to start making and freezing my own hamburgers. Love reading your blog posts. You're such an inspiration. Suzanne

    1. Occasionally you can find them in op shops. I have also seen another variety in those homeware / homecare catalogues. The one i have is Tupperware that my Mum and Dad bought me for Christmas a few years ago.

  8. Thanks for the link back to the air freshener - lovely.

  9. Hi Wendy,

    You have had a busy week as usual.

    I have made some jam from stone fruit that was looking old and sad rather than lose them to the bin.
    Made homemade yoghurt.
    Made a herb rinse/conditioner for my hair from herbs from my garden.
    I added lace to a nightie that simply didn't cover as much skin as I would like...I had stashed it in my cupboard and never worn it so now I have a very expensive silk nightie with a little lace to wear instead of hide..
    Planted lettuce and rocket...its already growing....
    Picked all but the last fig from our potted fig.
    Used home grown silverbeet and celery for meals.
    Cooked all of our meals.
    Hung all our washing outside to dry.

    I went shopping for four hours with a friend and spent the time trying on everything I could lay my hands on. We had a great time and I didn't spend a penny. Very proud of the money I saved.
    Made a point of making sure the managers of the store knew when their staff were exemplary in their customer service. Great service always deserves a pat on the back.

    Purchased a new phone...mine died spectacularly... After looking around we found a phone with 20.7 megapixel camera,(camera is an essential item for me) more talk time and more downloads for the same amount per month I pay now (the smallest amount at any store you go to) and it was half the price of what was being asked at other stores... all it took was a little foot work and a smile when asking them what they could do for me. I went back and let the previous stores know what offer I had from the last store I'd visited and asked them if they could better it... I surprised myself at my boldness.... it turned out no one could match the offer let alone better it lol... One store told me to go back and grab the deal while I could as it was fantastic lol... so I did.

    We had an outing where we visited Ainslie church... It was moved from Rookwood cemetery to Canberra and is quite spectacular. It cost us only the bus fare to visit it and have a fun day out.

    Re the burger press... I gave mine to my son when he left home and regretted it terribly.. Recently I stumbled across one at the markets and snapped it up... being without it for so many years was torture lol.....
    How big do mango trees grow?????


    1. You had a good week too Linda.

      I'm not sure how big the mango trees grow. We've already repotted them into larger pots and might have to keep doing that. I've heard it can take up to 20 years in Melbourne to get fruit. I hope it's not that long but they didn't cost anything and are lovely plants to look at. We try to keep them in the Sun as much as possible and water often. I think the trick is to create similar growing conditions to Queensland. I got the idea from Cheapskate member Amanda who is growing alot of fruit trees from seed.

      Good deal on the mobile phone and it doesn't hurt to ask for a deal.

  10. Thank you so much Wendy. Suzanne

  11. Hi Wendy, I'd love to know how many raspberry plants you have? Do they take long to produce much fruit? You seem to have had a pretty decent crop of them, and I'd love to have a go at growing them too :)

    PS, your kitty is beautiful! :)

    1. We bought two raspberry plants about July / Aug last year. We planted them straight away and then they died down. Then came up a couple of months later with lots of canes. We paid about $15 for each plant. So worth it when you consider the cheapest frozen raspberries are $10 a kilo, We've already picked about 2.8 kilos. Germ free too !!!

  12. Gratefully received 2 free loaves of bread.
    Used dishwashing detergent when ran out of laundry liquid and it did the job.
    Found brown pears at $1/kg so bought 4 kgs instead of apples.
    Drinking tap water.
    Found yoghurts for school lunches cheap at NQR.
    Sold some out grown kids clothes on ebay cheaply, but at least got something. Bundled them in lots of 10 items for $10.
    Stuck to meal plan and $300/month grocery budget for 4 of us.I work part time and find meal plans so helpful.
    Made tomato relish - will give as gifts at Easter and to eat ourselves.
    Cleaned windows with microfiber window cloth - love it. water only required.
    Made all meals at home. Family enjoyed your muesli bar slice in lunches.
    Found a bird bath and succulent plants on hard rubbish which I can use.
    Car pooling with other families to take children to far flung destinations for camps and outings where I possibly can.
    Batching errands where possible to save time/petrol.
    Found a 4cent petrol voucher in the Coles carpark right near my car and used it.
    Watching free to air TV series 2 nights a week with hubby. Broadchurch and Hiding.
    I'm going to have to dig out my op shop Tupperware hamburger maker this week - you have reminded me.
    A friend gave me some as new clothing she had outgrown (she'd gained weight) which I gratefully received and am wearing.
    Knitted a hat for a neighbours daughter's baby shower with wool I already had.
    Card made by kids to go with it.
    Made yoghurt.
    Added the shower gels you pointed out to my shopping list to put away for my kids Christmas gifts.
    Stocked up on the $1 shampoo/conditioners you pointed out last week also. Great value.
    Had to buy quite a lot of new gear for school camps - found thermals for $10 at Anaconda and Aussie Disposals and new sleeping bags on sale, also head torches.
    Used worm castings/dirt to top up a garden bed.

  13. Another wonderful post Wendy. Love your kitty, we have 2 and they are so different. The male is such a love bug, and the female loves to help craft and sew. She sees me at the table with my supplies and comes running. (both are fixed, no kitties for us). You put me to shame, I did not do much this week. I did go to the Goodwill and found some cute stuff on he cheap. Our local Dollar General store had a 70% off sale and I picked up 3 pairs of summer shoes for 71 cents each, some items for the Easter Baskets this year, and my fav, 3 pairs of gloves for next winter for 31 cents each. Love those bargains. Have a good week end. Hugs, Nana

    1. I'd love some Dollar stores in Australia. I'd be shopping there all the time.

  14. Hi Wendy,

    - made choc icecream
    - made choc brownies
    - made yoghurt
    -all meals from scratch except 1
    -shopped for specials
    - made weed killer

    I needed to buy a new school blazer for DD grade 10. I went to the second hand uniform shop but couldn't decide (still expensive, new blazers cost approx $200). I spoke to a mother who told me that she has a blazer that her daughter had outgrown, but is very dirty and badly stained , and that she wasn't sure if the stains would even come out. Well, she doesn't know me. I worked on the stains at home and had it dry cleaned. The blazer looks like new all for the total price of $30 including dry cleaning.


  15. Hi Wendy, Your pussy cat looks like a real 'Princess".
    We gratefully received Bread, Apples, Soft drink and a large box of Quiches my son made at school.
    I Made: Muesli bar slice( I didn't need to freeze Wendy as it didn't last that long) ,Lunchbox muffins, Breadcrumbs, Shake and bake, Raspberry and white choc muffins, cup cakes and Cranberry hootie creek bickies.
    I picked out of the garden: Strawberries, snowpeas, beans, Toms and silverbeet.
    Found glass jars at my mums house and a book holder at the op shop for 50c to hold my receipe books in.
    DS2 went to a party and I gave a popcorn maker I had bought on special for $4.00 and gel pens for $1.00 , total $5.00 present. DS2's school asked for donations for the school easter raffle so I gave a small basket I had received at Christmas and put into it a big block of chocolate $3.00 and gel pens $1.00, total $4.00.
    Saved water as always although our water tank is getting low, we need rain, I will need to be careful how much I use in the home.
    I mended some socks after watching a tutorial on how to on You Tube.
    Have a great week and may it be productive before the school holidays start,xxx Maureen

  16. Hi Wendy. What a lovely post. Your kitty is just gorgeous. There's some great bargains on your list and what a lovely gift in that flour! My savings were mostly food related as they always are, but I also saved this week, by washing and grooming the dog, and washing and cleaning the car, which alone saved nearly $100 over having the 'professionals' perform the same task. I made a gift for my great-nephew (swim bag) and included a navy and white striped beach towel bought on sale at Coles a few weeks ago for just $7. I love seeing how everyone is saving and there's always something I hadn't thought of before. Thankyou. Mimi xxx

  17. Cooling down here in southern W.A., not cold enough for the fire so we take wheat and lavender hot packs to bed. Nice and warm plus the lavender helps with a restful sleep. I no longer use the hairdryer (have decided to not replace my broken one) and let my hair dry naturally. Also keep my hair long to save on haircuts! We did all our own earthworks using our neighbours tractor, getting ready to concrete the shed floor (a saving of $1500 if we had hired a bobcat). My husband intends to use the shed to restore cars as he used to be a spraypainter/panelbeater by trade, in his sparetime. Got given 2 huge pumpkins from a neighbour in exchange for cleaning his fire flue ready for winter, as he is elderly and can no longer get on the roof.I planted broccoli, cabbage and spring onion seedlings. Planted seeds in seedraising mix for califlower, onions and more broccoli for succession planting. Seeds straight in the ground were parsnip, turnip, swede (for soup), carrots and peas. After my sons football game he volunteered to be boundry umpire for the next age groups game, and my husband volunteered to be medic also, so they were both given a free lunch from the canteen saving $16.My youngest son spent a few hours in town on Sunday with a friend who is a very talented guitar player, so they decided to have a bit of fun busking. My son plays the drums but improvised with a cardboard box instead.They made $20 which paid for there day out and had a heap of fun also.I tagged along with my husband when he went to the regional city for work purposes, free fuel as my husband has a work ute provided, so stocked up on some neccesities while there at city prices, and spent a lovely cheap day out together. Won a small hamper in a raffle, chocolates, jam, biscuits etc. Been a busy week, Regards Liz

  18. -Picked up grocery deals mid week – Vita Brits half price, morning fresh half price, fruit and veg for good prices. Thanks to this blog for the specials.
    -Had a leftovers night with no cooking.
    -Used shower warm up water for plants.
    -Received a beautiful loaf of fruit bread. Cut it up into toast portions and froze.
    -Picked up $1 cauliflowers at Coles last night. I got some broccoli for $2.50 at Coles on Thursday night – should have bought more but didn’t realise the special would end.
    -Baked bread. Still playing around with recipe variations- enjoying seeing the difference in how they turn out.
    -Baked muffins using leftover apple puree – made up my own recipe apple, cinnamon and strawberry jam. Froze for work snacks.
    -Visited Tasman Meats and stocked up. Got a great BBQ chicken pieces pack discounted for quick sale at $2.90 which was lovely on the BBQ last night.
    Have a great week xx

  19. I think your kitty wants some of your attention Wendy, purr, purr :)

    You will need to do a post on how to grow your own mango trees, they look so healthy and lush.

    I haven't really been keeping track of my frugal efforts lately, sometimes it is just second nature. I still managed to get a couple of bargains.

    ~I picked up a large bag of strawberries for $3 at woollies on the reduced table. I soaked them in a little vinegar and water before freezing them (hopefully to remove pesticides) and popping them into ziplock bags.

    ~I went to a farmers market and picked up heaps of veggies and fruit, some sourdough loaves of bread and some olive oil.

    ~I popped into a local op shop today and picked up four nice tops for $1 each. All clothing was $1, it was my lucky day! I will be checking the other op shops tomorrow to see if they have the same special on :)

    Wishing you a lovely productive week!



This blog is designed to be a source of encouragement and inspiration.

Negative comments will not be published. Comments advertising businesses or goods for sale will not be published.

Please include your first name in your comment so that I can respond to you.

Comments are moderated manually. Please allow a few hours for them to appear.