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 ?


  1. You got the perfect presents Wendy! Supplies!
    I hope the workshop is wonderful although I know it will be!
    Your biscuits, tags and ribbons look stunning and so do the wrapped pots of flowers. Just so pretty.
    I hope everyone is better. You still got heaps done! Just then I recongnized the pretty tea towel!
    Have a great weekend. Your photos were extra lovely this week! xxx

    1. Yes, that's your tea towel in the background Annabel. I think it looks great xoxo

  2. Wendy, what beautiful gifts you put together for your mum's on Mother's Day! The tulle just sets off your beautiful tags! So pretty! I've been repurposing pickle jars and popcorn tins into storage for my sewing supplies this week.

  3. Hi Wendy,
    You were still very busy this week lol, regardless of what you say.

    I have made three loaves of bread this week (and enjoyed eating a lot of it)......three dozen muffins (I have been extra good and have only eaten one of each lol)...double choc chip and some banana ones using the bananas I got a few weeks ago and froze. I cooked them whilst baking the bread.
    We have used quite a few frozen meals this week as I have the flu. Thankful I had had the foresight to have these meals in the freezer.

    Not a frugal thing but we went to the theatre to watch and meet Geoffrey Robertson. We would never have been able to do this had we not saved our pennies. If you ever get the opportunity to see him in Theatre you should do so or read one of his books. Thought provoking. The late evening assisted nicely in getting my flu to kick in big time...but worth it lol.

    Gratefully accepted the assistance from my husband when I stubbornly tried to do all the housework by myself this week....

    Put bubble wrap on the downstairs windows and will do the upstairs windows today with Hubbies assistance. Unfortunately the sliding door will not take the bubble wrap willingly so I am experimenting with cling wrap to see if it helps curb the cold. Our mornings can be rather crisp here in the mountains at the moment. We have never done this before so it will be exciting to see if it works in cutting the heat loss. Rented properties are rarely energy efficient.

    My lemons are still green. You must get way more sun than we do here Wendy lol.


    1. Hi Linda,

      Our house faces north-south, with two huge windows on the north facing end, then two on the western side of the house. I bubblewrapped our windows a couple of years ago in the summer to try and keep the house a little cooler and it made a noticeable difference - dropped the average temp by 5 degrees, and when it's 40 outside that's considerable.

      We're in the process of saving to have all the windows replaced with double-glazing, my dream windows and I can't wait.

      Can you fit cardboard into the frame on the sliding door? Not terribly pretty to look at but will give good insulation, even if you only did the bottom panes of glass it would help. Cut the cardboard to fit within the frame and it should just slot in and not need to be taped or stapled.

    2. Hi Cath,

      I was wondering how the bubble wrap worked in the heat. I would love the double glazing but as a renter it just isn't going to happen :-( . I like the cardboard idea but the sliding doors are just amazingly close. I was thinking taping some material to the window as a fake curtain. If I leave the cling wrap on the window and then put the material up over it...I will give both a try over the next week, starting with the cardboard..
      I will also use the cardboard idea up stairs this summer. With the bubble wrap on the window and the cardboard as well we may be able to sleep instead of sweltering in the 40 degree temperatures we get up stairs in the summer. And at this point I don't think I care what the cardboard looks like lol. At least I am not going to use foil and really scare the neighbours..
      I am forever amazed houses here are not automatically built with double glazing as a minimum. Our temperatures are so extreme and yet it isn't widely used. shrug.

      Thanks again. I appreciate the advice and the information on how effective the bubble wrap is. :-)

    3. Hi Linda,

      I feel like I've scared my neighbours putting foil on the window lol but I fact they copied me hahaha. I actually think the cardboard works more efficiently then the foil. I live in the top unit in commission housing my neighbour down stairs doesn't get affected by heat much but I do because heat rises :( damn!
      I also try and keep the house as dark as possible. I feel the cardboard works just as good in both summer and winter. Half my house faces North so it gets pretty much sun on that side all day (good for my veggie garden but not good for me) so the windows on that side of the house have cardboard and foil on the bottom half of the window while the top just get covered with the blinds works pretty good.
      Good luck with your experimenting i think I might try the bubble wrap I have tons of it in a 1.5 metre long roll haha


  4. Hi Wendy. Your Mothers Day gifts were beautifully presented and have added value with such lovely presentation. On Morhers Day I received a $4 perfume from my son from the Mother's Day stall at school and wonderful homemade cards, a voucher each from my children to massage/scratch my back and my wonderful husband created a beautiful drawing of us that he framed with an existing frame we had. It was such a delight seeing the three of them together in the study working hard to present something special to me. Our treasures are in those small moments. I haven't done a huge amount this week except the basics such as line drying the clothes, buying no take away and keeping the grocery bill down. Our bank has just reduced our interest rate, so I'm very happy about any savings that I can keep channelling back into our loans. I have begun composting which has been a real pleasure to do and I can't wait to see the results. I had planted pumpkin seeds and have seen shoots that have sprouted. My avocado seeds are doing well but nothing yet on my mango seeds. How long did your seed take to sprout Wendy? A good week overall. Regards, Liz.

    1. I think it took about 6 - 8 weeks from memory. Just keep them moist.

  5. Those Mothers day gifts look fantastic Wendy!

    They are so very pretty and just right for special Mums :)

    I didn't keep track of my frugal efforts this week, sometimes they are second nature and I just do them without thinking. I did however make some cheapskates washing powder and happy to report that I love the way it cleans the clothes. Even without borax it works fine. I added bicarb instead :)

    Have a lovely weekend,


  6. This week has been very busy, but also very kind to me in regards to shopping. I could not believe my luck at Woolworths on Wednesday, when I literally found everything I needed on clearance! I now have a freezer completely full with meat and vegetables for my family for close to 2 months. And what is even better is that I paid less than $50 for the lot.
    My bargains included:
    * Potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, pears, apples and bananas - $1.00kg
    * Beef sausages - $2.25kg
    * Boneless legs of pork - $3.20kg
    * Legs of lamb - $5.90kg
    * Bacon - $5.00kg
    * Roast turkey - $5.00kg

    All I will need to restock over the next few months is bread, milk and fruit. I have a pantry full of baking ingredients, so I can make cakes, muffins etc for the family as snacks.
    I hope the "bargain fairy" has been kind to others out there this week!!

    1. WOW !!! That was a great haul Jill. I bet you feel good with all that food stockpiled.

    2. Hi Wendy,
      Yes it does feel good. I just wish I could have brought more, but I knew I just wouldn't fit it all in my freezer.
      Over the weekend I was gifted some fresh lemons. I saw your pic of the lemon juice in the freezer trays. After you freeze the juice, do you leave it in the ice cube trays, or do you transfer the cubes to a zip lock bag or container? I've never frozen the juice before, but want to try it as I am trying to cut down on food waste. What are some uses you have for the lemon juice you save?
      Many thanks,

    3. I store the lemon cubes in takeaway food containers or snap lock bags. I make lemon slice, lemon chicken, lemon butter ( recipe in recipe section ), juice for fish, lemon and orange cordial.

  7. Can't put a copy of the painting that Caitlin gave me for my birthday today on here. Cost her zip. Took lunch to work and made sausage rolls for two meals. Cashed in my Free Subway birthday voucher and converted my fly buy points to fly but dollars. Hope the workshop went well. It was outside my budget unfortunately as I would have had to add fuel costs or public transport costs to have gotten there from Colac.

  8. i love the mothers day gifts! Just absolutely wonderful :)

    You still did a fair amount this week.
    I feel like I've done nothing to be honest.

    This week I

    Cooked all meals from scratch

    Dried most of my clothes on the clothes horse

    Worked most of the week so I haven't been home much and when I am I feel that I need to be relaxing

    House is a little messy I must admit but I think caring for myself and the kids first works so much better. My frontal weight is getting slightly heavier each week Hahahahaha that's exhausting.

    Attended the workshop today, it was lovely and such a privellage to meet you! I'll be sute to save some more bread bags hehe.


    1. Thankyou again for the freezer bags and bread bags. The freezer bags you gave were exactly the same size I use and I was running low.

      Take care of yourself as you will be very busy soon with the new bubba. It was great to meet you too.

    2. Your welcome, I was actually thinking on the way home that they would fit 300g of mince perfectly "lol" they will definitely last you quite some time! And I can always get more from work cause we don't use them at all. :)
      Thank you I definitely will be that's for sure but thankfully dinners won't be much of an issue! :D

  9. Hi wendy, I hope you had a good week! My frugal tasks this week include:
    - made 1kg of yoghurt
    - made my own cottage cheese for the first time which I will include in my lasagne tomorrow night, I had no idea it was so simple and incredibly cheap to make
    - was lucky to buy two beef silversides for $2 each at coles
    - gratefully received a lamb shoulder for roasting by a family member
    - dried as much clothing on the line as possible
    - made some homemade spicy bbq sauce for chicken, I had all the ingredients in my pantry and it was a huge hit

    I also made wedges and seasoned with season all as you suggested, these were a raving hit and will definitely make again!


  10. Hi Wendy,

    First of all I apologize for my ignorance on 'bubble wrapping windows'.

    We moved to Melbourne recently and are renting at the moment. As Linda has commented, rental properties are hardly energy efficient. I have tried using 'snakes' at the bottom of doors but have had to use heaters in most days. I'm a bit worried about having to use heaters this much with 'winter electricity prices'.

    If you have a spare minute, can you please explain what 'bubble wrapping windows' means. May be I too can use that technique to keep our current home a bit more warmer than it is now.

    Thank you so much for your inspirations and advice. I thank you in advance for this info too.
    Have a lovely week!


    1. Millie, as far as I know it's using bubble wrap to stick to the inside of windows. It helps with insulation.

      this might help...hope the link works
      -- Linda

    3. Hi Wendy,
      Thank you so much for you time and info. At least now I have an idea what it is about. Will give a try asap after doing a bit of search on this.

      Guess what? I was looking for your lunch box choc chip muffin recipe when I saw your answer. Honestly, I didn't expect to get an answer from you this soon. Didn't mean to be mean or rude at all, sorry.

      Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary. I've already made a beautiful homemade card and wrapped a homemade present for my husband - hope he would like them. All the sweets including the cake and meals will be made from scratch. I'm so happy with all this frugal thing.

      Thank you so much once again for inspiring us on card making. I love it. Actually I use a lot of pressed flowers and leaves from my yard instead of magazine pictures as I don't have that many magazines - but am going to keep an eye on secondhand magazines with good quality pictures.

      Thank you once again.
      Best regards,

    4. Millie, of course you'll get an answer from me and no, you were not rude at all. I answer all questions and if I don't know the answer I let my readers know.

      I'm glad you love card making and being frugal. It's a wonderfully content life when you know you are doing the best you can with the money you have.

      By the way, I love your name. It's very pretty.

    5. Hi Millie,
      Pressed flowers are wonderful! I remember doing it as a child with a flower press and card making kit I got for Christmas one time.
      I have heaps of pressed flowers at the moment and they have been in between the phone books for quite sometime now, thanks for bringing back my old memory! Now I have a reason to use them xoxo

    6. Thank you all so much for trying to help me with bubble wrapping window technique and encouraging me with card making and being frugal.

      I tried Googling 'using bubble wrap to insulate windows' and a number of websites came up. Those who are interested in this technique could easily find the way to do it by doing a bit of search. It didn't click me at first to try it on Internet but I'm happy I wrote to you, Wendy, because it was such a pleasure having you all in my life. Just the way you all responded made my day and I'm so happy - it is more like finding a new family.

      Thanks a million once again. Wish all of you good luck with being frugal and enjoying life!

    7. I hope you feel very welcome here and make new friends. xoxo

  11. Gratefully received a loaf of bread.
    Made soup, yoghurt, muffins, pizzas, casseroles. Will need to investigate making cottage cheese??
    Cleaned shower with Miracle spray.
    Kids made a few cards.
    Kept ribbons from gifts for future gifts.
    Car pooled when could for kid's parties/outings.
    Got out the extra rugs for the loungeroom - using these to keep warm where possible and save energy.
    Asked for a raincheck from Coles when the advertised $2/kg imperial mandarins where "unavailable".
    Used the clothes horses and saved the towels for the sunny Melbourne weekend!
    Froze tomato paste into ice cube tray which works well as was tired of finding mould in the jar - now just pop out a cube when required and no waste.

    1. I freeze tomato paste in ice cube trays too. So easy to pop a cube in with a casserole.

  12. Try the foil emergency blankets you get cheap in reject shops or auto stores on your sliding doors. They will be thin enough and still insulate from the cold

    1. Janine thanks that is a good idea. Never thought of it. :-) Everyone has such great ideas and all so helpful. Thanks.

  13. Hi Wendy,
    You never cease to amaze me with your beautiful gifts and ideas, so pretty and practical, loved them.

    This week my list wasn't as productive as DS2 fractured two of his fingers, one on each hand. So it was lots of doctors appointments and hospital visits, but he's in plaster and on the mend.

    Tried to keep the heater to a minimum and dried all the washing inside on the clothes horse. Used the tank water for the washing and saved the rinse water for the 2nd load.
    Picked silverbeet and strawberries and gratefully received lots of bread.
    All meals were made from scratch and dinner was cooked for me on Mothers day.

    I attended the workshop yesterday and it was a fantastic day! Thank you so much to you Wendy and Cath for sharing all your wonderful knowedge with all of us.
    It was so lovely to meet you ,i felt like i could have spent hours more talking to you.

    Have a great week,
    blessings, Maureen

    1. Yes, I would have loved a few more hours too. There's so much to talk about and share.


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