Saturday, 28 March 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 28th March 2015

Writing a list of all the frugal things I've done during the week gives me a great sense of satisfaction.  I know I've done the very best I can with the money I have without being stingy.  Here's what I got up to this week -

*  Gratefully received some sandwiches,  mini quiches,  salad rolls,  milk and bread, 

*  Dried all washing on the line and clothes horses.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread.  It's been about a month since I last baked as we've been eating bread that was given to us.

*  Made chocolate truffles with homemade sweetened condensed milk I had in the freezer.

*  Continued to pick raspberries each day.  I think they are starting to slow down in production.  Darren and I are thinking about a second location in our backyard so we can grow even more next year.  I'll be very happy if I never have to buy them again.  In one season we've got our money back on the cost of the two plants. 

*  Gratefully received two bags of glass jars with lids from a cleaning client.   There were 15 jars in total and all were just the right size.  I can see a bumper stockpile of homemade jam and relish next Summer.

*  Filled up my car with petrol bought at 108.9 cents per litre.  Everywhere else had gone up to 133.9 cents a litre.

*  Continued to only do five loads of washing a week.  I seem to have formed a new washing routine after 19 years of washing three loads every Mon,  Wed and Fri.

*  Picked up some reduced fruit and veg on the bargain table at my local fruit and veg shop. $1 a bag of carrots ( over 1.5 kilos ),  $1 a bag of apples ( 2 kilos ) and a huge piece of watermelon for 50 cents.

*  Made chunky beef and veg soup using 1 1/2 slices of leftover roast beef and the stock it cooked in.

*  Darren and I went to the Melbourne International Flower Show on Thursday.  Yes I do spend money from time to time ( hehehe ).  To save some money we took afternoon tea,  snacks and water bottles with us.  We also collected any free samples that were being handed out.  We'll be right for Powerfeed and Seasol for a while.

*  Refilled and diluted the dish washing liquid and shampoo / conditioner.

*  Saved and reused lots of bread bags for bin liners and to store food in the freezer.

*  Washed and reused some zip lock bags.

Here are a few photos from the Flower Show.  I'll post more over the coming weeks.  They really are a feast for the eyes.

Raspberry and white choc muffins with our own fruit.
Such a blessing to receive these glass jars.

What fugal tasks did you complete this week ?


  1. Wendy how gorgeous are those tulips! You've had a good productive week again. You should be really proud. I made a Frangipani Pie to cheer a friend up, made some Victoriana inspired cards which are so expensive in the shops it's ridiculous, made my own Greek yoghurt and drained so it's incredibly thick and almost like double cream in texture, and propagated at least a hundred succulents and echevarias for our garden and for gifting in terrariums, an idea I got from Annabel. These used to be popular back in the 1970s when I was a teen, so it just goes to show that everything comes back into style eventually. Mimi xxx

    1. Wait until you see the other photos coming over the next few weeks. The photos are beautiful.
      Annabel's garden ideas are great and a real money saver.

  2. Hi Wendy

    The tulips look beautiful, they're one of my favourites.

    This week I,

    Dried all washing on the clothes airer.
    Started washing up a bit more to cut down on my dishwasher usage, I only used it 3 times this week instead of everyday.
    Continued to clean with my microfibre cloths.
    Took lunch and morning tea to work each day (I actually went to the canteen one day in a moment of weakness and ended up taking it back and getting a refund, it was so inedible. I had 2 minute noodles in my drawer, not very nutritious but they did the job.
    Made lemon delicious slice
    Collected another 2 glass jars for my collection, I go on holidays next week so will start experimenting then.
    Last night (again in a moment of weakness) I asked DH if he wanted a pizza for dinner and he said he didn't want to spend the money - love that man :)

    Have a great week


    1. Takeaway food just doesn't taste right when you can make a better quality version at home. My girls have had takeaway pizza recently. They said it was ok. Darren didn't like it and he used to work for the company many years ago. How our tastes have changed.

  3. Went to a school fete just as it was finishing, got a big box of books for $3
    Wasn't anything good in supermarket flyers so will shop from my pantry this week
    Borrowed some blurays, magazines and cd's from library.
    Went to a free workshop, scored a goodie bag and some good ideas.
    Will employ some of those ideas whilst sorting a childs bedroom these holidays.
    Enjoying the cooler weather. K

    1. Hope there were some good books in the box.

    2. Some for me, some for my daughter, some to donate. Magazines to read and then leave behind at the Doctors. They were desperate to get rid of them as were packing up the stall.
      I miss White Elephant stalls, schools don't seem to have them anymore. Cost of disposal of leftovers I suppose. K

  4. Wendy I would have loved that flower show! I am so glad you went. Now I am loving that you got free food and jars! Really basically that is a dream week for me!
    Your muffins look delicious.
    I feel exactly as you do. By looking at our week and appreciating the blessings of it, the work we all did, it is just really encouraging! The joy is in our ordinary days. It is wonderful.
    We had our little break and I posted yesterday about ways we keep the cost of a trip away way down. I know you do the same.
    Some ways I had a lovely time for little were.... I bought heaps of gorgeous magazines at the local op shop for 5c each. I had so much fun, collected new recipes, craft ideas, samples etc. I got 40 and it was so good! Before that I saw one magazine I liked the look of in the newsagent. It was $15! I said no and we went to the op shop and I got 40 for $2 instead. It was fabulous. I also found two beautiful rose books with HUNDREDS of rose images. They were $2 each. They must have enough images for me to make so many cards and gift tags. I am sending you some so expect mail soon!
    How cheap is this? There is no need to buy expensive card making supplies. It is just amazing how gorgeous we can make our own cards for a few cents each! (Plus its fun and satisfying!)
    Our best fun thing was feeding the pelicans. I loved it. Talk about a cheap activity! I couldnt have loved it more!
    Now home I need to catch up on washing etc.
    Have a lovely weekend. I hope we might get some rain on the garden soon, that would be a huge

    1. I was so excited when the jars were given to me. All the right size too.

      Looking forward to your mail. I wish we had magazines that cheap here. We pay $1 -$2 at our local op shop. I did get lots of brochures at the flower show with pictures I can use in card making. Thanks for your encouragement.

    2. I never pay more than 50c for old magazines at opshop. My local sells for 20c. How awesome for 5c each !

  5. Hi Wendy, Liz here from W.A., Your photos are amazing and how wonderful to get free powerfeed and seasol! Its great stuff, my vege seedlings were transplant shocked last week as I bought them cheap because they were a bit big for transplanting, so I gave them a half dose of powerfeed ans seasol mixed in the watering can and within minutes, before my eyes the little leaves stood up and reached toward the sky, was amazing to see, and there still going strong! Some frugal tasks this week are we started a $2 jar, every $2 we bring home in change goes straight into the jar. Extra savings we dont miss and once it builds up I will take to the bank and deposit it into the investment property loan.We had a feast of maron from our dams for a special birthday meal, always a treat! Car pooled with my neighbour to drop off and pick up our boys for cadet camp, did all my weekly tasks in my one trip to town.Spent $14 on a few essentials at IGA this week, otherwise the monthly shop has surficed.I found I had been wasting half a tub of thickened cream as I freeze it when I do the monthly shop and you cant refreeze the left overs, so this week when I cooked carbonara which only requires half a tub I used the left over cream for a potato bake the next night. Was given some homegrown garlic which I added, yummy! Made chocolate brownies and froze for school snacks. Cooked all meals and home and hubby took leftovers at work. My son took frozen spag bol to cadet camp to heat up on the camp cooker, had defrosted nicely in time for dinner, my older son used to take the expensive packets of camp food that you just add boiling water too, expensive at $10 each! I cooked a few meals on the kitchen everhot wood stove this week saving some gas! I only had the wood stove for cooking for 15 years, but 5 years ago we installed a gas stove as well, that was lifechanging in summer, but I still enjoyed cooking on wood in the cooler months as we have a plentiful supply of fire wood on our property. I in the garden Ive been busy keeping my seed bed moist, and my neighbour kindly let me rake out the sheep manure from under their shearing shed. This will help build up the ground for my potato crop in a few months time. Also have started to rake the falling leaves up and adding it to the compost. Thanks for your great posts Wendy, really enjoying your blog, Regards Liz

    1. How wonderful to see your plants responding to their feed.

      I had a $2 coin tin a couple of years ago. It was a solo can and when Christmas came I wrapped it up and gave it to Darren as his main present. When he opened it he was a bit puzzled until I told him it was for a new BBQ. He had no idea I had the tin going. A few weeks later he went and picked out his BBQ and we had it conected to natural gas.

    2. What a great idea!!! I might keep the jar for my sons 21st, he would find that funny as hes been saving money madly, thanks again Wendy, regards Liz

  6. Wow love the pumpkins...hi Wendy

    I have had a quiet week...
    I spent a lot of time sewing scraps of material into sheets of patchwork so I could then cut it up again to make pot holders and key rings(with little pouches for earbuds or lip balm etc....)

    Cooked a batch of biscuits from dough that had been frozen from last cooking fest.

    Love using the slow cooker again. Made a batch of soy and sesame seed lamb (lambs necks) and a batch of chili and lime chicken from chicken carcasses. I have five meals frozen for a later date.

    did the usual...
    all home cooked meals
    extra food put into recycled margarine containers and frozen
    old vegetables used in slow cooker meals
    Garden supplied all or greens this week and or herbs
    washing in cold water and hanging out in hot sun
    swiffered the tiles down stairs using microfiber cloths instead of disposable cloths.
    watered down dish washing liquid before putting into a dispenser that slows down the flow allowing me to use less.
    Spent my spare time reading...managed to read four and a half books this week. As I said it was a slow week and I had no desire to waste all of my time on the internet when I could read and learn. :-)


  7. Hi Wendy, I have just discovered your amazing blog and want to say thank you so much for sharing.
    I have recently retired and need to live as economically as possible and master sticking to a budget as well.
    Today I made your Laundry Powder and am looking forward to trying your other ideas too.
    God Bless
    Anne xx

    1. You are very welcome. I hope you can comment here often. We are a friendly bunch.

  8. Gratefully received a free loaf of bread.
    Picked up a Cast Iron Dutch oven on kerbside collection and sold it for $20 on ebay.
    Picked up a terrific esky we'll use with wheels from same.
    Also a beautiful photo frame as new which we have had a family photo printed to give as a gift to Grandma when we see her. Total cost $1 for photo at Kmart instant.
    Car pooled again to take kids to far flung destinations with other families.
    Made your muesli bars to send with kids on camp.
    Sold another unwanted/outgrown kids clothing bundle.
    Sorted through my present shelf and organised gifts for upcoming family birthday and events for when we see family over Easter.
    Made yoghurt.
    Planning now for a trip away where we will take lunch fixings in car and one evening meal - probably a casserole I can freeze. Will then shop at our destination as an Aldi is nearby.
    Will download some free ebooks from library to listen to on our roadtrip.
    Cashed in some credit card points for fuel gift cards for trip.
    Washing line dried and all meals/snacks from scratch as usual.
    Making the most of seasonal specials with a massive cauli for $1.49 and half a butternut pumpkin for $1 being the bargains of the week to go with our roast chook which I had bought on special and froze. Still rocking the meal plan.
    Our trip obviously throws out the $300 month grocery budget - I was wondering how you incorporate this sort of thing into your plans Wendy?
    Loving your blog and reader's comments.

    1. Sue, we take, as much food as we can from home. I take frozen meals, frozen pieces of meat ( if I can ), milk from the fridge, fruit from the fruit bowl, cereal in zip lock bags and lots of homemade biscuits. If we need to buy anything it wil be fresh bread, milk, a cooked chicken and one or two very small trays of meat. Anything else like takeaway,etc comes out of the spending money put aside.

  9. Hi Wendy, ive read your blog for some months now and have tried a few things... tonight I was thinking about dinner for tomorrow and thought "must go to the shops to get something" and then thought "no im going to shop my cupboard, ive now got a roast chick defrosting and a pumpkin, bacon, leek, potato bake chopped ready to cook as a side.
    I now never buy meat full price, the defrosting chick was 40% off, and often think about how to be more frugal in my day to day tasks.
    Ive got 2 small chn and work part time so dont have a lot of spare time to shop as well as id like, but I can see small changes becoming habit and that makes me feel pretty good!

    1. Well done Charlotte. It feels amazing knowing you are doing the best you can with your money.

  10. How lovely Wendy being able to attend the Flower and Garden Show and receiving freebies, it's always a bonus!. Your week as usual was very productive. I have been admiring the photos of recent your raspberry harvests and have a few questions regarding the growing of them. How hard are they to grow? Are they labour intensive or can they be left to their own devices? How much space does one raspberry plant take up? I would love to make my own raspberry jam as it's my absolute fave flavour, in fact it's the only flavour I ever buy lol!
    My week has been quiet but a few frugal things were achieved- I made bread and yogurt as usual. I plan on making yogurt from scratch this week using your recipe as I have still been using the sachets. I didn't want to try it until the school hols as my son takes it to school as a snack and there would be nothing worse than sending him to school with something that he didn't like and then him being hungry, the appetites of 17 yr old boys are something to behold let me tell you :) I made home made pasties for dinner one night using mince bought on special from Tasman meats. I even made my own shortcrust pastry. It was my second attempt and it was much better than my 1st. I think it had to do with the fact that I let it rest in fridge before rolling it out. Anyway it was delicious, thumbs up from the family( which is always a good thing). so no more ready made pastry for me now. I made snacks for lunch boxes and morning tea for the week. I have finally found out how much I need to last us the whole week, meaning enough to go to school/work and after school snacking without running out mid week! Stuck to meal plan, just shuffled around a few dishes from one week to the next as their cooking time suited a few unexpected appointments after work/school better. My daughter made choc chip hot cross buns in food tech at school so she made us some last night as snacks for home, so we won't be buying them this Easter, a big saving there. I picked up Easter eggs on special at several different stores. I made a list of what I needed, with quantities and then did my home work before hitting the stores, well thought I did lol. Hubby came with me and even helped with the maths side of things and worked out I could get a better deal somewhere else ( so envious of people that can do quick maths in their heads. When I mean quick I mean like in 3 seconds as opposed to my five minutes lol) So a big savings there as well. There were other things as well, for example like line drying washing and washing in cold water but I have always done that.
    Anyway I hope everyone has a lovely and enjoyable week. Cheers Donna Z :)

    1. Darren and I bought two plants. The space we have them in is about 1 1/2 metres long by 30 cm wide. A few months after planting them they died down then lots of canes shot up out of the ground. Darren attached some chicken wire to the shed behind as the canes can get tall and it's good to have something to tie them to so they don't droop. They need to be in a garden bed by themselves as I've heard they can take over. Or you could dig up any little canes you don't want, pot and give to friends and family as presents. Considering they cost about $15 a plant, it's a great present for next to nothing.

      Other than that we just water regulary and feed every couple of weeks with Seasol. When it's hot we put a beach umbrella over them. You could put shade cloth. We pick the fruit every day so that the birds don't get a chance. In saying that, we haven't had any birds helping themselves.

    2. Thanks Wendy, I think I have the perfect spot for some plants, just need to invent a way for the possums to stop eating the fruit. They have killed our loquat tree and our now trying to eat my seedlings in the vegie patch...pesky things!

    3. hi
      possums! they are very pesty! i could suggest buying nets for your trees and putting nets over your seedlings if you have a buy swap sell page for your area you could ask on there.. i managed to get myself 2 compost bins from there for free and they are both in full action at the moment :)

  11. Hi Wendy,
    this week I received an Everyday Rewards voucher book in the mail from Woolworths. I have never really paid too much attention to these when I receive them, but this week I did - using it to my advantage and saving a tonne of money along the way. In the book there is a voucher for 20% off hair care products when you spend $15. I noticed that Tresseme was on special for half price. I brought 6 bottles and with my additional 20% off, purchased these 900ml bottles for only $4.37 each.
    For any of your readers out there who are Rewards Card members and have received these voucher books - don't throw them out! With so many half price specials, you can really take advantage and now save up to 70% off many categories. There is also a voucher for 15% off meat when you spend $25. Be smart - shop at meat mark down time when you can save up to 50%. Stock up, then claim your additional 15% off your already reduced prices. Most vouchers in the book are good until mid to end of April. There are heaps of huge savings to be had here.
    I hope there are readers out there who have these vouchers and can save a small fortune with them!!

    1. I'll have a better look at the voucher book next time.

  12. hi Wendy,
    you've definitely had a lovely week :)
    my dad managed to get into the flower show for free (business purposes)
    but still one lucky fella! i would have loved to have gone except i don't like taking the kids out in public for long periods of time.
    As you know ive been preparing and saving for aprils month meal planner and im actually trying to give the $300p/m spending challenge although not quite in april yet i have managed to save up a fair bit of money.

    This weeks frugal tasks

    - gave my mum $100 to do my meat and veg shopping (my life saver!) she knows where all the meat specials are and shops around at many different butchers and supermarkets. i got....
    4kg chuck steak, 6kg mince meat 4kg chicken wings, 4kg chicken drumsticks, 1kg bag beans, 10kg bag onions @ $4 & 5kg bag potatoes @ $4.

    - bought 5 x 1kg bags of crazy carrots at woolies for 98c each and a large full kent pumpkin at 98c per kg cost me around $4 in total then i bought more chicken drumsticks on special @ $3 per kg (i missed out on the 1.99 special) i have a woolies staff discount card so i got an extra 10% off the total of my shopping

    - de cluttered some parts of the house with the help of a friend

    - spent some time in the garden

    - handed in a bag to savers for my next discount stamp

    because im not in 100% set budget yet i bought myself a breville scraper mixer from big W which was $260 and with the help of my staff discount card i got 10% off the total price. i wish it was a kitchen aid but this seems to work just as good and is alot cheaper!
    with this i managed to mix together 2kgs of the mince i bought and turned it into burger patties and rissoles ready for april meal planner which i portioned and froze.

    - spent most of my week at mums so didnt cook much but a friend was over de cluttering with me and she made us some nachos.

    - did 4 loads of washing this week and dried them on clothes horse

    - turned the tv on 4 times this week which is quite good

    - tried to enforce the 2 light on rule (will get there, kids are still getting use to it)

    - saved my toilet roll cardboard and cut them in half so i can sprout my seeds in (i don't buy the newspaper so i cant use that method, although i have done it that way before)

    - got a bonus from centrelink and put it straight onto bills that i fell behind on last month

    have a lovely week coming wendy and have a happy easter! im looking forward to it because of easter and i will completely start my month meal plan yay! (my mum and her friends are very impressed with me!)


  13. love the look of the raspberry and white chocolate muffins. We had a lot of raspberries at our old house. The flower show photos are great.

  14. Hi Wendy, This week I gratefully received 6 loaves of bread and continued picking Toms, Silverbeet, herbs, strawberries, beans and snowpeas.
    Yesterday DS2 and I went to a local fete at my Mum's Nursing home and scored some bargains. A suitcase on wheels for DS2's camp next term $5.00, 2 x watches for him $4.00 and a clock $1.00. We went about an hour before closing and they were just discounting like crazy.
    Received the Water bill and as I have been saving the rinse water to use again, I was very happy that my bill had come down by $30.00 in that quarter. Also my Electricity bill came in and the solar credits paid for this saving about $240.00.
    I also made Truffles this week to give to DS2's teacher as an Easter present at school and I also made MOOed the Condensed milk.
    Wendy, spotlight have a sale at the moment and they have plain card stock for 50c each. I know you got it for 35c each, is this a good price? You could easily get two cards from one sheet. (check the catalogue, sale on till this Thursday 2/4)
    Blessings, Maureen

  15. Well done everyone – some great money saving tips here this week.

    I had a very eventful weekend with some family stressors but we still managed to do okay in the circumstances. It is challenging to stay focused on your goal when things get stressful.

    Unfortunately I had to do a big drive to the other side of the city using much more petrol than I would have liked, and got stuck travelling on Eastlink without an Etag (iphone doesn’t show toll free routes).

    I did get treated out for dinner last night with a beautiful roast meal, and delicious cherry ripe cake so that was really a blessing.

    I didn’t get to my fruit and veg shop for a stock-up but I think I’ll be okay for the week. Just need to buy some more yeast and flour for bread this week.

    *Made a batch of yoghurt this morning.
    *Baked your choc chip muffins and muesli slice for lunch box snacks.
    *Made a lovely zucchini slice with some left over roast pumpkin, and corned beef for extra tastiness.
    *Used frozen left overs for emergency meal.
    *Waited for the sunny day to wash & air dry towels.
    *Stocked up on Magnums at Woolies at 1/2 price (partners vice).
    *Put a woollen blanket on sale ½ price on lay buy for winter. I really feel the cold so this is a long-term purchase and will save electricity costs with electric blanket.
    *Picked up some pre-read magazines from a friend to enjoy.

    Have a good week - and enjoy the lead up to Easter.
    Christina xx


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