Saturday 11 April 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 11th April 2015

It's been a great week in the Gower house.  We've had some lovely family time celebrating Easter.  We've cooked, baked,  cleaned, crafted, gardened and shopped.  Here's my frugal list for the week -

* Mended a bath towel.  The side seam was coming apart with lots of loose threads.  So I got the sewing machine out and sewed a new hem before it got too bad. 

*  Made lots of pumpkin soup with the pumpkins Cath gave me.  Some soup was put in the freezer.

*  Cut up lots of pumpkin to put in the freezer.  My friend Cath told me you could freeze it if you are going to use it for roasts.  This is a great idea as sometimes I have a small bit of pumpkin left after a few meals.  Now I'll just cut it and freeze it before it goes off.

*  Bought lots of Lindt chocolate bunnies on sale in Kmart on Easter Sunday for $2.25.  I bought enough to put away for Mother's Day,  Father's Day,  Anniversary,  Birthdays and Christmas.  Yes,  we bought heaps but all will be used.

*  Gratefully received some glass jars from my sister in law.

*  Made a few birthday cards with bits and pieces I had on hand

*  Cut out lots of flowers from brochures I picked up at the flower show.  These will be used for card making.

*  Dried the washing on the line and clothes horses.

*  Refilled my kitchen foaming hand wash dispenser with homemade solution.

*  Gratefully received a whole cooked chicken.  There was enough meat for two meals of pizzas.  This has been frozen for future use.  All the bones were put in the slow cooker overnight and made into stock.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread.

*  Gratefully received some stationery from a shop that was closing down.  We were given two staplers and staples,  two calculators,  twine,  removable hooks and spare tabs,  sticky tape,  double sided tape and a stack of plastic stationery drawers that Darren will use to store his bulbs for the garden.

*  Picked about 10 raspberries most days.

*  Recycled all the wrapping paper and a gift bag from some flowers and chocs that were delivered.

*  Stewed some apples that were getting a little old.  The cooked apples were divided into containers and frozen.  This will be used for apple crumble.

*  Saved lots of water from the washing machine for each next load.  Also saved the warm up water from the shower.

Megan gave me morning tea on a tray.
Jessica took a photo of me in front of the feijoa bush
One of our beautifully fragrant rose.
Saving water from the washing machine.

What did you do this week to save time,  money and energy ?


  1. Hi Wendy Laine Here Another great Blog this is what i did this week

    * Started using up my freezer meals - Handy for quick meals after a long day at work

    * Used the local park for a couple of play dates rather than play cafes

    * Shopped from my pantry first rather than going to the shops and i had everything in there bah one thing and i used a substitution ingredient to make the meal complete no shopping trip required :)

  2. Hi Wendy
    I love the idea about pumpkin. I didn't know you could do that. I freeze it mashed for cake cooking but if I can freeze it for baked that’s great.
    I can’t believe you are still collecting raspberries…wow.
    I have been trying to work out what I have done to save money this week. I have been struggling. After writing these down I was quite surprised at how easy it is to rack up quite a list
    • I opened a jar of homemade jam instead of buying more.
    • I washed out and kept the empty jar for future jam making ventures.
    • Used up some previously frozen meals.
    • Cooked two meals at once in the oven to save on electricity…. Froze one for a later date.
    • Used residual heat on hotplates and oven for cooking meals (turned off early)
    • We ate greens from our garden
    • Made pumpkin loaf for Hubby for work. Sliced and froze. (pumpkin was cooked and frozen last year when it was cheap, for this purpose)
    • Made toffee for a treat
    • I made myself hot chocolate mix
    • Purchased discounted meat from the markets
    • Recycled numerous plastic bread and shopping bags in the kitchen and garden
    • I cleaned and polished all of my winter shoes to prevent deterioration.
    • I washed all of my clothes in cold water and with homemade detergent.
    • I used the sun and wind to dry the clothes and when it rained I used the clothes horse and hanger inside.
    • I gathered all of the strawberry runners and potted them for next year’s harvest.
    • Gratefully accepted plant cuttings so I can beautify my garden
    • Hubby planted two nectarine seeds in the vague hope they will grow one day
    • I used the available credit on my mobile to phone my mother rather than run the home phone bill up.
    • We both walked or bused everywhere as usual
    • Listened to free music downloads and audio book downloads from our local library
    • Threw on a thicker jumper and footy socks to combat the 4 degree morning temperatures rather than put on the heater (fan heater still lost in boxes in garage after move lol)
    • Used the afternoon sun to heat the lounge room tiles to warm the house for the evening.
    • Made more patchwork to be used for future projects
    • Repaired one of Hubbys work shirts

    Oh and re the chocolate. I filled the bottom of our freezer with Christmas sale chocolates for Easter. We traveled to my parents only to discover the chocolates were still at the bottom of the freezer and they remain there still lol.

    1. You have a wonderful list Linda. The frugal things we do don't need to be big or profound but together they make a huge difference to our lives and the planet.

  3. can anyone please tell me that ratio for diluting dishwashing liquid and conditioner?

    1. It depends on the quality. Morning Fresh dishwashing liquid can be diluted by up to 50%. Mostly I dilute it by about a third. Good quality shamp / cond can be diluted up to 50% especially TRESemme conditioner as it's so thick.

  4. Hi Wendy

    This week I have been on holidays and taking advantage of some much needed rest. My thyroid problem zaps a lot of my energy and I am back to the specialist this week so hopefully will turn around quickly.

    This week I,
    - Collected another 3 glass jars.
    - Dried all washing on the line and clothes airer.
    - Went op shopping with my DD. I bought 3 long sleeve winter tops/jumpers, a cardigan and a cute little leather jacket all for $29. I think with what I have in my wardrobe I'm set for winter, although I do need shoes for work.
    - Cooked all meals from scratch.
    - Reworked a new budget where all money is allocated. DH has been told no more impulse buying, he is quite bad at that.
    - Bought some mark down meat from Woolworths - $21 worth and will do us 7 meals.
    - Started making Gozleme again for my DD, it is a pretty cheap snack and coming into winter she likes something warm for afternoon tea. It's also a great way to get rid of those last couple of spoonfuls of sauces like bolognaise and curries (more than that is frozen for meals but if there is only a spoonfull I use it for filling).

    Have a great week


    1. What a great price for all that clothing. I went clothes shopping yesterday and couldn't find anything. The clothes were drab and dreary looking.

  5. I think I just lost my comment Wendy so if you get two just delete one of them!
    You had a good week! I just noticed how long your hair has grown and think it looks beautiful.
    The pumpkins are so useful!
    We had a good and busy week. This weekend I am hoping to make some cards too with the rise pictures. Also I have something else in mind for them ...
    I have been sorting my cooler weather clothes, making myself a scarf in a good colour for me, cleaning out my handbag and changing over to a darker one, (Lucy gave me a new black handbag) I am crocheting a rug as a gift. Today I am cooking a corned beef in the crockpot and making up a bulk lot of spaghetti sauce. I love lookng back at the week and all we achieved. It adds up to huge savings. Have a lovely weekend.xxxx

    1. Annabel, my hair is due for a cut. I'm thinking of dying it. The greys are starting to be noticed by others.

    2. I do my hair, colour and all. It is really, easy. I could not see you have any greys! If you choose a colour really like your natural colour it is terribly, easy to do and even improves your condition and shine. I think it is better to go a fraction lighter rather than darker if you cannot get an exact match. It is low maintenance then and no greys. The first time follow the directions carefully and do your skin test etc. After that you are only doing the roots. Then you will know what to do and it is terribly easy. The first time you will need two boxes... After that only one. Two boxes as with long hair one isn't enough to get it even through your hair. Need any more help let me know! Xxx

    3. Annabel, thankfully the tv lights lighten my hair so you can't see the greys. In real life they are starting to show. I'm hoping to go to a hairdresser for the first time as I need a new style as well as color and maybe highlights. After that I'll try it at home.

  6. Hi Wendy, Liz here, thanks for the tip about freezing pumpkin for roasts! Another great week on our frugal path. As we live 45km from the neighbouring town that has both Coles and Woolies (we only have IGA in town) I shop monthly. This week I stretched it out to 5 weeks worth and still managed to save $150 compared to last months shopping bill, by being more frugal (still got a way to go tho). I checked out all the catalogues online prior to shopping and stocktaked the pantry and freezer before we went. Found a hugely marked down tray of porterhouse steak at Woolies which will be a treat! I used the Coles Flybuy bonus points offer that came in the mail and I do the Tell Coles survey online every month for extra Flybuy points or $5 off the next shop. I save my Flybuy points for Christmas. This week I bought a barely used Bread Making Machine off Buy Swap and Sell and we were so excited that our first loaf of homemade bread was perfect! I swapped a bag of passionfruit on Buy Swap and Sell for 2 dozen eggs (my new hens are not laying yet). I was given another bag of garlic, cant wait to make garlic bread in the bread maker, and also was gived 2 Queensland Blue pumpkins from our neighbour (to be made into pumkin soup and roasted with our homegrown lamb, yummy). Telstra rang to review our phone package and rearranged our mobile plans saving us $30 a month and more usage allowance! Been raining for days here in W.A. so dried all the washing on the clothes horses infront of the wood fire (has filled our water tank tho and not even winter yet). Saved $50 off our electricity bill since we rearranged the freezers and turned one off, leaving only our new chest freezer. I cooked all meals from scratch as usual and froze leftovers for hubby to reheat at work. Happy to say my husband and kids have embrased this new frugal life and we are really finding it rewarding, regards Liz

    1. Liz, you had a very frugal week. Well done. We do the Coles survey too. You had some great food swaps.

    2. My husband was very excited about your tip for freezing pumpkin for roast meals! Yes the Tell Coles survey is great, we get to thank the poor check out person that has to scan and pack our huge 5 week shop, regards Liz

    3. Yes I was excited when Cath told me.

  7. Hi Wendy. Thankyou for another inspiring post. My week has been patchy as it's school holidays and that always leaves me a bit breathless and busy. But amongst the usual cooking and cleaning, I've also managed to repot plants, paint some baskets a la Annabel, find some interesting vintage items for my husband for his birthday next week, and source some bargains at the fruit barn. Our local fruit barn has an 'ugly produce' section where locally grown tomatoes, plums and apples, that aren't quite 'perfect' are sold for 99c a kilo. I got several kilos of roma tomatoes, and slow roasted them with Balsamic vinegar, storing them to eat with pasta, risotto, salads and corn cakes with ricotta and roast tomato...a favourite healthy snack here. There were plums too, so I've poached and frozen a heap of those. Limes were also inexpensive, and I've candied some, and zested and juiced the rest. I also found some $3 cauliflowers, a special find just now, and tossed them with a sachet of Miso paste and roasted them until crisp and brown, to eat as a healthy alternative to chips. One cauli yield the equivalent for us of 3 large packets of Smiths crisps. A good haul, all up. Have a lovely week. Mimi xxx

    1. i'd love an ugly table in any store. I'd be the first to check it out.

  8. A great frugal post again Wendy, with such a lovely photo of you in your garden.

    My weeks have been busy lately. I have been filling my days with many things and still keeping in mind all things frugal.

    I went to my parents for Easter and came home with a car load of things including a box of apples. I cooked up some and made apple crumble, and gave some away to my friend, and I still have heaps left. I have covered the rest in newspaper and placed in a dark spot in my pantry. I also came home with some overripe bananas and some strawberries; I froze these to have in smoothies, also some tomatoes from my mum’s garden, and quinces that were given to her.

    I was gifted with items that mums neighbour was throwing out because she is moving; these included good quality clothes and household things. What I don’t want I will be adding to my list for having a garage sale.

    I have been cooking all meals at home. I gave my slow cooker a work out this week after finding a great site with easy recipes.

    I did not go to the shops for over a week; I think I broke a record lol!

    I am using up food from my freezer.

    I have been sorting through excess stuff to go in a garage sale I will be holding soon.

    I am using homemade laundry liquid for the washing, and line drying, folding and putting away straight away.

    I am picking tomatoes, rock melon, spring onions and celery from the garden. Things are slowing down out there, and I will be planting winter crops soon.

    I made my own bread and yoghurt this week using your recipes.

    I sold excess eggs.

    I paid leftover pay money off on the mortgage.

    Have a lovely blessed week,


    1. I'm trying to eat as much as possible from our freezers too. I need the room as we have some functions coming up.

  9. We have had a hard week as we had to travel up to my Father's home town for his funeral. So had to pay for extra fuel and some take away food. Worked the rest of the week. Sold an old set of drawers for $10 and gave an old working tv away to someone who needed it. Slowly de-cluttering. Made most of our meals and used left overs for my lunch. All washing dried on line. Looked at whether hubby could stop work or change jobs as having to drive over a 100 kms a day is starting to wear us out and our cars. No public transport available. Do you use a hair dresser to cut your hair? Will have a cooking marathon for school snacks tomorrow.

    1. I usually go to a hairdresser about once a year to get the length cut. In saying that, with Darren only working one day a week last year, Jessica cut my hair back in June just before we appeared on tv. We were trying to save costs. Now I'm thinking of going to a hairdresser to get it styled properly and colored with highlights for the first time.

      Janine, I hope you have a better week this week. Sorry to hear of the passing of your father.

  10. Hi Wendy, I didn't know that you could freeze pumpkin. I always made sure to just use it up within a few days to make sure it doesn't go bad. The frugal tasks we got up to this week:
    - made 1kg of yoghurt
    - made my own hot chocolate mix (tastes much better than store bought and very easy to make)
    - planted some garlic, hopefully we will have a successful harvest at the end of the year
    - husband rang around insurance companies, electricity and phone companies to get a better deal, we are now going to save an impressive $300 a month just because we asked for a better deal
    - bunnings had a special on led downlights, we bought lots and replaced our current downlights as these ones use much less electricity
    - grateful that I received several loaves of GF bread
    - took advantage of coles gluten free weetbix special, bought a few boxes. These will last me a long time


    1. Well done on the monthly saving. Do you have a purpose for the saving ?

    2. At this stage we are just going to put the money towards the house. We are just trying to save as much as we can and don't want to spend more than we really have to :)

    3. I can't remember if you have a mortgage or are saving for a house. We were able to pay off our mortgage fast by cutting all our costs to the bone. Short term pain for long term gain.

  11. Hi Wendy, this week I
    . Dried all clothes on line.
    .made yoghurt.
    .shopped specials
    All meals made from scratch. A first as usually once a week hubby wants takeaway, I made pizza and hamburgers.
    .finished relabelling of pantry containers. ( at last)
    .made vanilla essence (Cath's recipe)
    . Bottled up some rosemary I had dried into tiny jars, made some pretty labels and string to finish off. Will use these as gifts in the near future.
    What a lovely tea tray your daughter made up for you.
    Have a good week.

  12. Wendy your rose looks wonderful....I love the colour.
    I bet your enjoyed your morning tea.....what a delightful daughter you have

    This weeks frugal tasks

    *finally only have to have the air on for 3 hours late at night when the house is closed up

    *collect eggs from friends chooks and fed them and the dog in return

    *line dried all clothing and bedding

    *bought pumpkin on special for $1 kg

    *made 2 batches of pumpkin soup and froze most of it

    *made nann bread

    *made banana & pear bread

    *made minced garlic

    *made apple sauce

    *bought some magazines very cheaply from the op shop to make cards with

    *used up some of those jars that DP was wondering why I was keeping

    Wishing you all a wonderful week


  13. Hi Wendy, Love the pumpkin idea so much i did some today, thanks.
    Well this week i made Yogurt, muffins mustard powder, noole pasta sauce mix and tomato relish.
    Cut up celery and froze and made doubke batch of spaghetti bolg.
    Received Zucchinis and picked strawberries, tomatoes, beans, silverbeet and herbs from the garden.
    DS1 cut flowers from the garden to bring inside.
    MOOed gel freshners for the toilets, refilled dishwashing liquid bottle and cut up old socks to use in the garden for garden ties.
    Saved washing /shower water , did some sewing and pulled out thungs i could use to make my own cards. I suprised myself with the things i had, so now i just need to get started.
    DH fixed hot water pipe by asking plumber at Reece how to fix it and only cost $20.00 instead of them coming out and charging $$$$$$.
    Coloured my hair myself and had DHs birthday during the week and i had won tickets to IMAX so we used them and then went next door to the Museum.
    Movies for free during the school holidays as we use movie vouchers from our award pts and Easter was much cheaper this year as i bought chocolates on sale in November last year and bagged them up. (Thanks for this tip Wendy).

    When i was at Coles today, they had the Lindt gold bunnies 100gms for $1.37 each. I dont usually buy these so i wasnt sure if this was a good price for 100gms?
    Were your Lindt bunnies 100gms or bjgger Wendy?
    Have a great week,


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