Thursday 30 April 2015

Card Making On A Budget - Part 2

I thought I'd give you an update on my card making progress.  I've been busy. Very busy with card making.  I find myself trying to get all my housework done quicker so I can spend a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday making cards and cutting out pictures.  Card making is now my reward for working hard during the week.  I also find it very relaxing.

My latest style of cards are inspired by Annabel from The Bluebirds Are Nesting Blog.  Annabel looks in op shops for flower books with beautiful pictures to cut out for card making.  She found a book on roses recently and sent me some pages to use.  I use a card as a template to trace around the image.  Then when I cut it out with a craft knife and ruler,  I cut it slightly smaller.  When the image is glued to the card,  it looks like it has a border around it.  At the moment I'm leaving them blank so that when an occasion arises,  I can add stamps and other bling to suit the receiver.

Unfortunately I'd thrown out all my gardening magazines about a year ago in a de - cluttering frenzy.  Who knew I'd take up card making and need those magazines.  I've taken to visiting my local op shop to source more magazines.  I've only found one so far that had eleven flower images to use.  It cost me 99 cents but was money well spent.

I've also been decorating cards with wrapping paper.  This option doesn't cost anything and it's a great way to recycle.  My girls now know to unwrap presents very carefully especially if I'm eyeing off the paper.

Some of the cards I'm making are made from A4 card from the $2 shop.  Each pack contains 6 sheets of card and I cut each one in half.  This gives me 12 cards for $2. They don't come with envelopes so I've been making them from photocopying paper.

Here are my latest cards -

These cards were made with pretty purple paper from a present and ribbon from the op shop bought on a huge 70 metre reel for $2.

I made this card for Megan's water baptism.  Down the bottom it says " With Love ".  Megan absolutely loved it.

The card on the left is made from wrapping paper I found in Megan's room.  The flowers are outlined in silver and looks very swish.  The one on the right is made from card stock.

This card is made from a magazine image.  I cut the card a little smaller to suit the image and made the envelope to go with it.

These are made from bits and pieces I had on hand.  The purple is a lovely color.

Megan made the one on the left.  The one on the right is a magazine image.

These cards are made from magazine images.  I made the envelope on the left.

The cards top and bottom are made from the rose book that Annabel bought.  So elegant..

I found this image in a brochure from the Garden Show.  Very girly and pretty.

I'm hoping this post inspires you to have a go at making cards. They are very easy to make and look much better than the mass produced store bought cards.  Costing under 40 cents each,  they are a real money saver.

Now to find some designs for men  !!!

Wednesday 29 April 2015

Grocery Specials Wednesday 29th April 2015

Here are this week's super duper grocery bargains.  Please feel free to share any other grocery bargains you find -


*  Dove soap 4 pack $4.10.  Although this is not the lowest sale price,  it is a very good price and wel worth stocking up.

*  Real Foods Corn Thins !25 - 150 grams half price at $1 a bag.

*  Gold’n Canola Oil 4 Litre or La Espanola Rice Bran 3 Litre half price Was $18.00, Save $9.00 now  $9.00 each

*  Dove body wash,  shampoo / conditioner and deod are half price


*  Cottee Jams 500 grams was $3.40 now $2.  Although I make all my own jam,  if you don't this is a great price.

*  Heinz condensed soup cans half price at $1.10 each.

*  Lindt Lindor Balls 150 gram box half price at $6.  A great present for Mother's Day.

*  Fresh Blue Grenadier fish fillets was $15 kg now $9.98. 

*  Broccoli $1.98 kg.  This is a great price considering it's been as dear as $8 kg lately.  Buy lots,  blanch and flash freeze then bag for future use.

*  40% off all Bonds

*  TRESemme shampoo / conditioner half price at $5.24 for  750 - 900 mls.


*  Chicken breast fillets skin on $5.99 kg

*  Yearling Beef Osso Bucco $6.99 kg

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Homemade Pizza

There is nothing like the taste of homemade pizza.  The smell,  the crispy base and the delicious toppings.  Yum,  yum.  Yes,  I've had many pizzas over the years.  Darren's first job after we were married was as a delivery driver for a well known pizza chain.  He was there for five years eventually becoming a store manager.

As you can imagine,  we went off pizza for many years.  We'd just eaten too many during those five years.  When we tried the takeaway pizzas again about two years ago ,  we were disappointed.  The topping were scarce,  you now pay extra for pineapple and no matter how quickly you pick them up,  they are lukewarm by the time you eat them.

We started off making our own pizzas years ago using pita bread as the base.  They are cheap and ready made.  As our girls got older we needed something more filling.  I went to a demonstration class at a local shop called The Mixing Bowl where I learnt to make bread,  rolls,  hot cross buns and pizza bases from scratch.  Here's Anne's recipe from The Mixing Bowl -

2 teaspoons of dry yeast
450 grams of unbleached bread flour - I use no name plain flour
2 teaspoons of bread improver
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
300 - 310 mls of warm water
2 teaspoons of olive oil.

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl or with a mixer
Add the warm water and oil and mix until combined
Tip the dough onto a floured bench / board and knead for 30 seconds to a minute.
Place back into a bowl and cover with a plastic bag. 
Put the bowl in a warm place until it has risen and doubled in size.
While the dough is rising,  prepare the toppings
Tip the dough onto a floured surface and divide into two.
Roll out into a circle keeping it floured and place onto a lightly greased pizza tray.  Press the dough out to the edges of the tray.
Put your sauce and toppings on.
Cook for approx 20 minutes at 220 degrees Celsius until brown underneath.


*  I make two double batches of the dough which gives me dough for eight pizzas.  Six are frozen for future use

*  Dough can be frozen after the first rising.  Cool the dough down first then wrap in cling wrap and freeze

*  My girls and I like a mixture of tomato and bbq sauce on the base with mixed herbs,  cooked chicken,  cheese,  tomato,  pineapple and cheese.  Darren likes capsicum,  chilies,  mushrooms,  chicken and cheese.

*  When we see ham at a cheap price,  we freeze into 300 gram lots in snap lock bags.

*  Pizza trays with lots of holes in the base are excellent for a crispy base.

The finished product
Mixing the dough
Letting it rise
The dough has doubled in size

Saturday 25 April 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 25th April 2015

Here's my frugal list for the week.  We are very grateful for the blessings that have come our way.

*  Gratefully received some bread,  focaccias,  sandwiches,  chicken and a few slices of cake. 

*  Ate leftovers on Sunday night.  There was lamb stew left over from two nights ago and party food from Sunday lunch time.

*  Made a bottle of air freshener.  I also made the bottle look nicer with a little bit of colored card stock.

*  Saved lots of washing machine water for each next load.

*  Dried just about all the washing on clothes horses and the line.  A few things were dried in the dryer because they were needed urgently.

*  Made a few more cards using wrapping paper I found in Megan's room.

*  Bought some bargains in the clearance aisle of Coles.  Darren and I found torches for $1,  silicon baking liners for $1 each,  cake decorating pen for $1 and a couple of DVDs for $2.  The DVDs and torches will be put in our Christmas stockings.

*  Picked some flowers from our garden to brighten up my kitchen.

*  Picked a handful of raspberries every few days.

*  Recycled 10 bread bags from a charity bbq Darren organised.

*  Bought three bottles of Imperial Leather shower gel for $4.50.  They are one litre bottles and smell divine.  I also bought another bottle of Pine O Cleen disinfectant for my stockpile.   Both bargains were bought from Coles.

*  Made a double batch of raspberry and white choc muffins.  Also made choc truffles and lemon slice.  Some of each of these were for morning tea at church last Sunday.  Megan was water baptised last Sunday and we had the family back for a lunch of sausage rolls,  mini quiches,  sandwiches,  lemon slice,  choc truffles and the muffins.  A very yummy lunch and a wonderful day.

Sorry,  I don't have many photos for this week.  It's either been too dark for good photos or too late at night when I think to get the camera out.

Flowers Megan and her little cousin Claire picked from our garden last Sunday.  Just lovely.

Flowers to brighten up my kitchen.

Jessica thought she'd be creative.  Raspberries and our first feijoa from our garden.

Princess just loves to lay on top of the clotheshorse.  She's smooching and rubbing / scratching her face on the pegs.  She has been know to fall asleep here.  Not very comfortable and the clotheshorse bars buckle under her weight.

Flowers given to Megan from the chef at the cafe they work at together.

What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?

Thursday 23 April 2015

Melbourne International Flower Show Part 4

I hope you've enjoyed this flower series.  May these beautiful flowers bring a little joy to your day.

Paint tins of color.

A meadow of flowers

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Grocery Specials Wednesday 22nd April 2015

Here are this week's great grocery bargains.  Please feel free to add an great specials you have found. 


*  Pantene shampoo and conditioner half price at $3.94 for 350 mls.  This is a great price and can be diluted by up to 50%.

*  Carrots $1 for a kilo bag.

*  Tip Top Cafe Raisin toast half price at $2.90 for 650 grams.

*  Sun Rice brown rice half price at $6.80 for 5 kilos.

*  Nuttino Hazelnut Spread half price at $3.15 for 750 grams.

*  Selected DVDs half price at $10.  Might be worth checking out for Christmas,  Mother's Day and Father's Day.

*  Imperial Leather body wash half price at $4.50 for 1 litre.  This is a fantastic price and well worth stocking up on.

*  Pine O Cleen Disinfectant half price at $2.48 for 1.25 litres.  This is the best possible price and well worth stocking up on.


*  30% off selected kitchenware.

*  20% off all stationery.

*  Golden crumpets half price at $1.55 for a 6 pack of rounds.


*  This week Tasman Meats have legs of lamb for $6.99 a kilo  A fantastic price.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Curried Sausage Casserole

Darren loves curried sausages and had been asking me for years to make some.  I didn't have a recipe so after doing some research I made up my own to suit our tastes.  I love using my slow cooker for this recipe as it's quick and easy to make.

1 x 420 g tin of diced tomatoes
1/2 packet of french onion soup mix
1 teaspoon of curry powder
1 stick of celery, finely diced ( can be from the freezer )
1 - 2 carrots peeled and sliced thinly
1 1/2 cups of frozen beans
6 small mushrooms sliced
season to taste with salt, pepper, onion flakes ( or fresh ), dried parsley ( or fresh )

2 cups of water
6 sausages
cornflour and 1/4 cup of water

Place tomatoes, veggies, curry, soup mix and seasonings into the slow cooker.

Cover ingredients with the 2 cups of water and mix together.
Cook on high for 4 - 6 hours or medium for 6 - 8 hours.
Half an hour before serving, cook the sausages under the grill, in a fry pan or on the bbq until dark brown ( good flavour ). 

Cut the sausages into approx. 1 cm slices and place in the slow cooker.  Give it a good stir.
Thicken with the cornflour and 1/4 cup of cold water.  
Serve with mash or on toast.

Serves 4 - 5 people.


*  Six sausages is plenty for this recipe as they stretch a long way when thinly sliced.

*  The casserole can be frozen.

*  Other vegetables can be added or deleted to suit your tastes and what you have on hand.

Megan made the sausage casserole in this photo.  She likes to add chunks of potato to the slow cooker at the beginning of the cooking process.

Saturday 18 April 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 18th April 2015

*  Made about 150 - 200 sausages rolls for a couple of future family events.  I lost track of how many I made.

*  Bought Shapes biscuits on sale for $1.49 a box.  We don't eat much in the way of ready made food.  This is one of the few exceptions.

*  Sold a dozen eggs.

*  Gratefully received a card making parcel from my friend Annabel.  Her blog The Bluebirds Are Nesting is a wonderful source of inspiration for making beautiful things on a budget.

* Picked about 10 - 12 raspberries every second day.

*  Made about 150 mini quiches for future family events.  Of course we all had to sample them and I got the thumbs up from Darren and the girls.  The rest of the quiches are in the freezer.

*  Gratefully received some breakfast quiches and pumpkin soup from a friend.

*  Bought some " new " cushions from the op shop for $3.80 each.  They are jst the right color for my bed.

*  Made about a dozen more cards with supplies given to me.  At this stage they are blank on the inside.  I'll stamp them when the occasion arises.

*  Went through some old magazines I have at home and ripped out pages I can use to make more cards.

*  Made a double batch of pizza dough.  Each batch makes four pizza bases.  We had pizza for tea on Sunday so the remaining six dough balls are in the freezer.

*  Saved lots of warm up water from the shower and poured it into the washing machine.  We also saved lots of washing water for the next load.

*  Diluted and refilled the dishwashing liquid bottle.

*  Megan picked up some Easter twine and noodle boxes at 75% off for 60 cents each.

*  Made a double batch of peanut butter choc chip biscuits.  I baked some and froze the rest of the dough.

Grown from a cutting.
Mini quiches
Peanut butter choc chip biscuits
Megan's 60 cent Easter bargains
Card making
Found growing in the veggie garden
Our first small feijoa fruit
Silverbeet almost ready to pick

What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?