Saturday 30 May 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 30th May 2015

Finding lots of little ways to save money can add up to a sizable amount.  Adding these amounts to a mortgage or debt can reduce the interest and life of a loan.  More importantly,  you'll appreciate what you have and feel a great sense of achievement knowing you are doing the very best you can with what you have.  I'm hoping you had a wonderfully frugal week.  Here's what I got up to this week

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread.

*  Turned the heater down to 18 degrees Celsius when possible and also had the heater off for two days.

*  Sold some muffins and eggs to a friend.

*  Stocked up on the toothpaste and mouthwash on sale in Coles this week.

*  Cut up some old socks to use as garden ties.  I was tired of mending them so out they went to the garden shed.

*  Bought a double oven mitt from the op shop for $2.99 less 15% discount.  It was new too as it still had the price tag on.

*  Hand washed the dinner dishes a few nights as there wasn't enough to turn the dishwasher on.

*  Made a chicken flan using about 100 grams of cooked chicken,  leftover potato and the last of the pumpkin from the fridge..I also used some silverbeet from the garden.  A very cheap and tasty dinner.  Jessica took some to school the next day for lunch.

*  Jessica went to an 18th birthday party last Saturday.  She needed a present and nothing I had on the present shelf was suitable.  She found some beautiful flowers at a florist for $3 and the lady there wrapped them for free.  Jessica combined this with a few bits and pieces she had on hand and the present came in under $10.  A beautiful present for a bargain price.  Darren bought a bunch of flowers for me too.

*  Megan baked some Cranberry Hootycreek Biscuits for school snacks.

*  Saved lots of water from the shower for the washing machine.

*  Dried most of the washing on clothes horses and a few things went into the dryer.

*  Bought a couple of bags of mixed fruit for $1 a bag from my local fruit and veg shop.

*  Signed up with Australia Post to get cheaper stamps with my concession card.

*  Jessica will be turning 18 tomorrow.  Tonight she's going out to dinner with a couple of friends.  They are coming home after to have dessert and to watch a movie.  This is a cheap and better option than buying desserts and movie tickets.  The best part is they can be warm and cozy here and enjoy a comfortable couch.  I'll post some photos next week and let you know how we celebrated together as a family.

$3 flowers Darren bought. Jessica bought the same for her friend.
$2 worth of fruit
The muffins I sold to a friend.
Sorry I couldn't show more photos this week.  I've been in a fog for the last five days with a bad headache.  Hoping to be well in the next day or so.  xoxo

What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Grocery Specials Wednesday 27th May 2015

There isn't a lot of great specials this week.  Infact,  I struggled to find anything that was worth blogging about.  Sure,  you can buy chips,  lollies,  chocolate,  soft drink and breakfast muffins on sale but I couldn't find any specials on staples.  There are this week's specials -


*  Half price on Bonds products

*  Half price on a variety of vitamins.

*  Gold Choice Canola Oil, Vegetable Oil, Sunflower Oil 4 Litre or Alpha One Rice Bran Oil 3 Litre
1/2 PRICE Was $18.00, Now $9.00 each

*  Sanitarium So Good Almond Unsweetened UHT Milk 1 Litre1/2 PRICE Was $3.59,  Now $1.79 each


Sunrice Long Grain Rice 10 kg Now $11.00 each 1/2 Price, Save $11.00

*  Tresemme Shampoo or Conditioner 750-900ml Now $5.24 each 1/2 Price, Save $5.25

*  Fuji Xerox A4 Copy Paper Single Ream 500 Sheets Now $3.00 each 1/2 Price, Save $3.00

I couldn't take any photos this week as the only product I had at home was the TRESemme shampoo and you all know what that looks like.  Maybe next week will be better.


Monday 25 May 2015

How To Make Gift Tags.

As most of my readers would know,  I've recently taken up card making .  I love being creative and especially if it's frugal.  Annabel from The Bluebirds Are Nesting recently sent me some blank gift tags to decorate.   I used the pictures I'd collected from magazines,  brochures and a rose book I found at my local op shop.

I started with the blank gift tag or scrap bit of card or card stock. Megan found an art sketch pad in her room and gave it to me.  She needed it for school a couple of years ago and only used a few pages. The card in this is perfect for making cards and gift tags.  Next I choose a picture to use and cut it to size if the picture was too large.  I used my trusty glue stick to stick the picture to the tag.

If the picture is too small,  use a scrap piece of lace or ribbon to fill in the space at the bottom of the tag.  You could add extra embellishments in the way of a bow,  sticker or a little bit of bling.

To make a tie to attach the tag to a present,  use little bits of ribbon,  lace,  material or cut up lace curtains.  I save every piece of ribbon or lace that comes into my home.  It could be from a present,  a toiletry gift box or the ribbons found inside clothing.  This ribbon is for retail shops to hang the clothes on coat hangers. Perfect for gift tags.

Gift tags are wonderful to attach to a gift bag,  wrapped present or a homemade bag / tin of biscuits.

I hope this gives you some inspiration to make your own gift tags.  They only cost a few cents each to make and can really jazz up a present.

Saturday 23 May 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 23rd May 2015

I must admit,  it's been a challenging week to get through.  Jessica hasn't been well for a few weeks but thankfully is much better now.  I had a funeral to go to on Wednesday.  On the way home from picking up the girls from school that day,  we came very close to being in a serious car accident.  I'm very grateful for good brakes on my car that stopped us a few centimetres away from a car that wrongly turned in front of us.  The next day I narrowly missed being hit another two times.  All this sudden stress gave me a massive headache.  I'm very glad that God was watching over us and keeping us safe.  At the moment we have no internet and have been told it could be out for another four days.  I'm using Darren's hot spot on his phone to get internet on my computer.

Through all this stress,  there was a highlight this week.  Last Saturday I had the honour of speaking at Cath's Cheapskate's one day workshop.  It was lovely to meet some of my blog readers and fellow Cheapskaters.  We had such a wonderful time sharing information and learning to live well on a budget.

Here's what else I got up to this week -

*  Gratefully received some sheet music from my blog reader Maureen.  I'll be using it to make some cards.

*  Gratefully received some bread bags and freezer bags from my blog reader Anne.

*  Refilled the foaming hand wash with shower gel and water.

*  Diluted the kitchen detergent by 50%

*  Scraped out the peanut butter jar with a spatula.  There was enough for another piece of toast.

*  Picked two bunches of flowers from my garden to brighten up the kitchen.  I used pasta sauce jars as vases.

*  Gratefully received some cupcakes leftover from Cath's one day Cheapskates workshop last Saturday.

*  Picked silverbeet from our veg garden for two meals.

*  Picked lettuce for a meal of tacos.

*  Made an apple cobbler dessert  from three apples that were looking a bit sad.

*  Made my own version of Season All to use on wedges.  I read the ingredients list on the side of the jar and found that I had most of the ingredients on hand.

*  Refilled the herb and spice jars with the same products bought in bulk.

* Mended a couple of socks with holes in them.  If they need mending again,  I'll be cutting them up to use as garden ties.  I'm almost ready to move on to new socks.

*  Mended a cardigan that had a few very small holes in it.

*  Saved all the washing machine water for each next load.  The shower water was used to water some plants outside.

*  Made lots of peanut butter choc chip biscuits for school lunches.

*  Kept the heater on 18 degrees for two days during daylight hours.

Flowers from our garden

Princess staying off the wet floors
The jars Leesa gave me last week.
Peanut butter choc chip biscuits.
What frugal things did you complete this week ?

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Grocery Specials Wednesday 20th May 2015

 Here are this week's super duper grocery specials.  Some specials are so good it's worth getting a year's supply if you can.  Don't forget to ask for a rain check if the item you want is out of stock.


*  Lindt Block Chocolate 100g 1/2 PRICE Was $4.00,   Now  $2.00 each

*  Australian Kent Pumpkin .$0.70 kg

*  Vegemite 380g Was $6.35, Save $1.35  Now $5.00 each   Vegemite hasn't been on sale much in the last six months.  Worth stocking up.

*   SunRice Jasmine Rice 5kg 1/2 PRICE Was $13.60, Now $6.75 each

*   NestlĂ© Cooking Chocolate 180g-375g Save $2.96   Now 2 for $5.00

*  Pacific West Fish Fillets in a Crispy Batter 425g 1/2 PRICE Was $7.65, Now  $3.82 each

*  Natures Organics Shampoo or Conditioner 500ml Was $1.90, Save $0.90  Now $1.00 each.  This is a rock bottom bargain price and well worth stocking up.  If you don't want to use it to wash your hair,  then you could use it for foaming hand wash.

*  Viva Paper Towel 2 Pack Was $3.50, Save $1.50  Now $2.00 each

*  Energizer Max AA 16 Pack or AAA 14 Pack 1/2 PRICE Was $19.50, Save $10.50  Now $9.00 each

Colgate Fresh Confidence Toothpaste 80g, Extra Clean Toothbrush 1 Pack or Plax Freshmint Mouthwash 250mLWhile stocks last.Now $1.00 each  A fantastic price and well worth stocking up.


*  Cadbury Dairy Milk Block 190-200g or Old Gold 200g Now $2.49 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.50

*    Lipton Black Tea Bags Pk 100 Now $2.34 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.35.  This is a fantastic price and well worth stocking up.  Tea lasts for years past it's best before date.

*  Campbell’s Real Stock 500ml Varieties Now $0.95 each Better than 1/2 Price, Save $1.14

*  Half price on all Sistema plastic storage containers.

Monday 18 May 2015

Making The Most Of Broccoli -A Savings Tip

I just love to eat broccoli and thankfully so does my family.  Broccoli is rich in dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants and can help prevent some forms of cancer.  Are you sold on broccoli yet ?

We try to grow as much broccoli as we can to save money and to have it often with our main meal  Unfortunately supermarkets charge as much as $8 kilo when it's out of season.  That's when it stays on the shelf.  When it's cheap we buy lots to blanch and freeze for future use.

Another way to make the most of broccoli is to use the stem.  Cut or peel the outer layer off as it's quite tough.  Dice the stem into small pieces.  It can be frozen in freezer bags or containers and used in stews,  soups and casseroles.  It makes a great substitute for celery.  If you are making a vegetable soup,  put the whole stem into the soup pot and cook for about an hour.  Blend with a stick blender for extra goodness you can't see.

Scraps at the top for the compost, Diced at the bottom for the freezer 
Blanched and ready to freeze
Home grown.

Saturday 16 May 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 16th May 2015

My list is not as long as it usually is this week. I've been busy with Mother's Day preparations,  work,  sickness in the house and getting ready for the Cheapskate's one day workshop today.  I received some lovely Mother's Day presents.  I asked for card making supplies and a paper cutter.  SO EXCITING !!!!.  Here's what I got up to this week -

*  Cut up some scrap netting and soft tulle to use as ties and bows for some Mother's Day presents.

*  Recycled all kitchen scraps.  I divided them between the compost bin,  the worm farm and the chickens.

*  Gratefully received some glass jars from my friend Leesa.  Thankyou so much.  You know how much I love those jars ( and given on Mother's Day too ).  xoxo

*  Baked lots of Cranberry Hootycreek biscuits for snacks.

*   Made a double strength batch of Miracle Spray.

*  Saved a cereal bag to cut up as go - between for chops,  hamburgers and portions of frozen soup.

*  Dried as much washing as possible on clothes horses.

*  Darren gave me two gardening catalogues so I could cut out the pictures to make cards.  I've already started cutting.

*  Saved the wrapping paper,  bubble wrap and one envelope from my Mother's Day presents.

*  Bought four gift bags for 37 cents each and two rolls of ribbon for 75 cents each from Woolworths.  They were clearing out some Mother's Day stock this week.  When I get a chance I'll have a look in Coles.

*  Gave Cranberry Hootycreek biscuits as part of the Mother's Day presents for my Mum and Mother In Law.

*  Darren grew some chrysanthemums from cuttings to give to our Mums.  I used plastic wrap'I'd saved from Megan's baptism flowers and tied it with ribbon I had on hand.  They look just beautiful and didn't cost us anything but time and love.  Both Mums loved them.

*  Juiced some lemons and froze the juice in ice cube trays.

*  Gratefully received some single serve desserts

*  Found four tops at the op shop for under $17 total.

Homemade and decorated presents for the Mums.

Handmade gift tags and ribbons.

Homegrown flowers for the Mums

Presents my family gave me.

I have everything I need.

Cards my girls made for me.

The start of the lemon juicing season.

What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Grocery Specials Wednesday 13th May 2015

 Here are this week's super specials.  It's also worth having a look at the Mother's Day gifts in the supermarkets as they will be clearing them out very shortly.


*  Lynx Deodorant Body Spray 96g-100g 1/2 PRICE Was $5.99, Now  $2.99 each

*  Coles Frozen Fruit 300g-500g , Was $4.50 Now $4.00 each OR   3 for $10.00.

*  White King Bleach 2.5 Litre Save $3.50  Now 2 for $5.00

*  40% Off  Pyrex. Excludes Clearance Items. On sale for two weeks.

*  Norsca and Brut deodorant half price.


Arnott’s Shapes 160-190g, Extreme 130g or Sensations 180g Half price at $1.49 each Save $1.50

*  Fantastic Rice Crackers or Delites 90-100g $0.99 each 1/2 Price, Save $1.00

*  Creative Gourmet Frozen Fruit 300g $2.82 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.83

*  Half price on all Pantene products.

*   Morning Fresh Dishwashing Liquid 400ml $1.97 each 1/2 Price, Save $1.98

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Sausage Rolls

These sausage rolls have become a party favourite in the Gower house.  They are full of flavour and very tasty.  Once you've tried homemade sausage rolls you'll never want to eat store bought again.

4 sheets of Puff Pastry defrosted.
I egg beaten

To a large bowl add - 

500 grams of sausage mince, 
good squirt of tomato sauce,
Salt, pepper, chives or parsley,
finely chopped onion ( or dried ),
Garlic ( I use dried )
Half a cup of seasoned  bread crumb
Mix all ingredients well by hand or with an electric mixer

Lightly spray baking trays with cooking spray

On a floured surface cut 1 pastry sheet in half ( thirds if you want tiny bite sized ).
Spoon mixture along each pastry half, - not too much.
Brush edge closest to you with a beaten egg.
Roll pastry over towards you

Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg.
Cut to desired size.
Cook in oven on about 200 degrees Celsius for 20 - 30 mins until golden brown


*  Grated carrot and zucchini can be added to the sausage mince.

*  Sausage rolls can be frozen.

Saturday 9 May 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 9th May 2015

I've had another well rounded week this week.  It was great to get out the sewing machine to make a few things for my home.  Here's my frugal list for the week -

*  Picked lots of lemons from our tree and blessed a friend with some.

*  I cut up some bath towels that looked dirty in the middle section.  From the two towels I was able to make six hand towels.

*  A week or so ago I bought a length of cream damask type material from the op shop for $1.99 ( less discount ).  From that material I was able to make a table runner for our dressing table,  a smaller one for the dining table and two squares to go under our lounge room lamps.

*  Blanched and froze lots of broccoli for future meals.  I also cut up the stalks and froze to put in casseroles.

*  Bought a few more sheets of the beautiful rose wrapping paper for $1 each to make more cards.  When Father's Day comes around I'll be looking for suitable wrapping paper to make men's cards.

*  Gratefully received some bread, mini desserts,  foccacias, teabag samples, 

*  Blessed some family and friends with loaves of bread that was given to us. 

*  Ate a few meals from the freezer ( leftovers ).  I'm desperately trying to make more space in the freezer to store food for Darren's 50th birthday next month.

*  Saved lots of water from the shower for the washing machine.

*  Picked lettuce and silverbeet from our veg garden.

*  Made some gift tags with bits and pieces I had on hand.

*  Dried most of the washing on clothes horses over ducted heating vents. 

*  Made a quadruple batch of Cranberry Hootycreek Biscuit dough.  Some of the dough was made into biscuits for Mother's Day presents.  The rest of the dough was frozen into logs for future baking.

*  Picked flowers from the garden to brighten up our home.

Towels made into hand towels.
Blanching and freezing the broccoli.
A runner for our dressing table.
Hand made gift tags
Our lemons.
What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Grocery Specials Wednesday 6th May 2015

Here are this week's grocery specials.  Please feel free to add any others that you find.


*  Garnier Fructis Shampoo or Conditioner 250mL 1/2 PRICE  Was $5.44, Now  $2.72 each

*  Lots of vitamins are half price.  Please check the catalogue for more details.

*  Palmolive Naturals Shower Gel 500mL 1/2 PRICE Was $5.39, Now  $2.69 each

*  Cadbury Large Block Chocolate 270g-350g 1/2 PRICE Was $6.30, Now  $3.15 each

* Golden Crumpet Rounds Pk 6 $1.55 each  1/2 Price, Save $1.55

Fountain Squeezy Sauces 500ml 1/2 Price,  Now $1.00 each Save up to $1.45

*  Riviana Basmati Rice 5 kg  $10.00 each 1/2 Price, Save $10.00 

*   Dickies Plain Bath Towel 68 x 130cm 1/2 Price at $7.99 each save $8.00 All Dickies Bathroom Manchester.1/2 price.



*  Legs of Lamb $5.99 kg.  A real bargain.

*  Whole Roasting Chickens Size 16 + $3.99 kg 


Tuesday 5 May 2015

Chunky Roast Beef And Vegetable Soup.

This soup is a great way to stretch a couple of leftover slices of roast beef.  I cook my beef in the slow cooker with beef stock and half a packet of french onion soup mix.  I always keep the leftover liquid to make this soup.  

2-3 slices of roast beef cut into very small pieces
reserved beef and French onion stock from slow cooker approx 600 - 800 mls
3/4 cup of soup mix rinsed well
4 large potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
2 large carrots peeled and cut into small cubes
5 or 6 button mushrooms sliced
1 stalk of celery cubed
1 broccoli stalk. Remove outer layer and dice the remaining stalk
1 small onion diced or use dried onion flakes
2/3 cup of small shell pasta
parsley and pepper to taste
Boiled water

Beef stock powder - maybe 1 tablespoon if needed to enhance flavour.

Place all ingredients into a large saucepan. Top up with boiled water until everything is just covered. Bring to the boil then simmer for 1 hour or until carrots and potato are soft.

Serve with buttered bread or toast or have it on it's own

I'm sorry,  I forgot to take a photo of it cooking.  This photo was taken when it had been frozen.


*  As always,  you can chop and change the vegetables to suit what you have on hand.  If you need more potatoes to make it thick,  then add more.

*  If roast lamb is what you have,  then use that.

Saturday 2 May 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 2nd May 2015

I've had a lovely week this week.  I've cooked,  sewed,  worked,  op shopped,  baked,  gardened and crafted.  It doesn't get any better than that  !!!  The bright lights of the shopping centre don't call out to me unless it's for an advertised bargain that I need.  Here's what I got up to this week -

*  Mended two pairs of socks.  The quality of the socks I buy has declined over the years.  The price has stayed the same so I'm trying to make them last a little longer.

*  Made lots of cards with a gardening book I bought at the op shop for 99 cents

*  Baked four loaves of bread.

*  Sold thirty raspberry and white choc muffins to a friend.

*  Made chunky roast beef and veg soup with two slices of left over beef..  This pot of soup usually makes 8 - 10 serves.

* .Bought a bag of oranges and pears together for $1 and a bags of apples for the same price.

*  Froze a few leftovers from our dinner.

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

*  Gratefully received some English muffins,  raisin bread,   and about six loaves of different types of bread.

*  Made a quadruple batch of laundry powder.  I have the grated soap,  lectric soda and bi carb in three separate buckets ready to scoop out and make up as needed.

*  Bought some new towels from Spotlight.  Although this might not seem like a frugal task,  their original price was $11.99 less 40%.  A bargain in my eyes.  Of course I bought apple green and white towels.

*  Dried most of the washing on the line. Some was dried on clothes horses and a few things were thrown in the dryer.

*  Picked silverbeet for two meals.  I shredded some to put in the honey mustard chicken and some for a bits and pieces flan.  The flan had a few left over roast veggies and roast beef.  Very yum.

*  Baked a couple of trays of Anzac biscuits.

Our silverbeet plants
Bits and pieces flan
Anzac biscuits
Raspberry and white choc muffins
Making laundry powder.
Beautiful wrapping paper I bought to make cards.
My laundry powder supplies

What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?