Saturday 6 June 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 6th June 2015

We've had a wonderful week.  Jessica turned 18 last Sunday and we celebrated as a family by seeing Strictly Ballroom the musical  Afterwards we went out for dinner at The Docklands.  It's been cold and wet in Melbourne this week but we've managed to keep warm,  dry and busy.  Here's what we got up to this week -

*  Made Jessica's birthday cake.  She decided to have  cupcakes which was easy to do.  I cut off the tops to make it easy to decorate.  I ate these tops for morning tea for a few days.

*  Jeesica went out to tea with a few friends for her 18th birthday. They came back to our place for dessert and a movie.  The cupcakes were for her friends as well as the apple pastry roses and choc coated strawberries I made for dessert.

*  Darren pruned the raspberry bushes in readiness for the next season.  He's taken 18 cuttings and planted them.  If they take,  we'll have more raspberries next season and maybe some plants to give as presents ( RRP $16  each ).

*  Saved the box,  ribbon and plastic from Jessica's birthday flowers.  These will be handy for giving bunches of flowers from our garden as presents.

*  Saved the shower water for the washing machine.

*  Cleaned the dishwasher with bi carb and vinegar.

*  Diluted the vinegar by 50% to make two bottles.

*  Saved a ribbon from a box of chocolates.  I'll use this to decorate a card.

*  Made dried bread crumbs with crusts I'd been saving in the freezer.  I'll season them when I finish using the last batch.

*  Gratefully received some flowers and homemade vegetable stock concentrate from a facebook and blog reader.  Thankyou Emily.  It was lovely to meet you.

*  Made muesli bar slice for school lunchboxes.

*  Fed the compost bin and worm farm with the kitchen scraps.

*  Made a batch of hot chocolate drink mix.  It's a recipe from the Cheapskates website that I've tweaked to suit our own tastes.

*  Saved lots of bread bags from a charity bbq.  They would have been thrown into the rubbish bin otherwise.

*  Made two loaves of white bread ( for my girls ) and two wholemeal loaves for Darren and I.

Jessica's birthday cake
Apple rose pastries for Jessica's party
Choc coated strawberries for Jessica's party
What we did as a family for Jessica's birthday
Muesli bar slice
Saved bread bags drying out.
Saving water from the washing machine.
Made from scratch.
Flowers from blog reader Emily.
Sorting my stockpile.
What frugal tasks have you completed this week ?


  1. Wow you've had a great week wendy!
    Happy birthday to Jessica!

    This week I don't feel like I did much.

    Worked 4 days this week

    Saved some breadbags from work to pass on to you wendy.

    Cooked all meals from scratch

    Great fully accepted another bag of oranges and manderines

    Picked up some great marked down specials from woolies some avocados potatoes capsicums. will be using some of those things tonight for nachos

    That's about it I think.
    Hope you have a great week next week wendy xoxox

    1. Under the circumstances, you've done wel Anne xoxo

    2. Haha thanks wendy :D xoxox

  2. Wendy what a beautiful week! It made me happy just reading it.
    The pastry roses are stunning! When you have time a tutorial on them would be a wonderful post. I bet Jessica's friends adored them.
    I had a good week too. It is very satisfying to be busy and getting so much done. Have a great weekend. xxx

    1. Annabel, the apple rose tutorial is scheduled for later in the month. I've been sitting on it for a while.

      I felt wonderful when I looked at my list. So much money was saved xoxo

  3. I should add that Jessica made the flowers for her cupcakes and I made the 18s.

  4. What a great week Wendy.
    Here I am after my first week (of many) very reduced working hours.

    Line or airer-dried-inside all clothes even though it took a few days.
    Took shorter showers - hard, because it's easy to linger on cold mornings
    Kept heating on 15-16 degrees
    Decided to not run an electric blanket this winter
    Came in $18 under weekly shopping budget
    Made a vegetarian meal for dinner, which will become a weekly event to save meat cost
    Saved shower warm up water for some hand washing
    Filled kettle and water drinking bottles with warm up water from kitchen tap
    Organised some vegetable seeds to plant this weekend.
    Picked up an excellent bargain at Kmart on some exercise pants and new underwear
    Cashed in some flybuy dollars on Groceries
    Cooked all meals from scratch apart from a lovely pre planned lunch in the Dandenongs during the week
    Enjoyed the lovely flowers Betsy received for her 18th birthday from friends during the week, they are still alive this weekend. (I usually splurge on a market bunch for myself each week)
    Made the most of 18th party food leftovers to use during the week.
    Gratefully accepted some greens from a clients garden during the week, cooked up with dinners
    Accepted a full days work this coming week to boost the budget
    Received an unexpected $ bonus from work last week

    Onwards to next week.

    1. You had a very frugal week Tania. Adjusting to a lower income can be a challenge but you seem to be on the right path. Do you have any flowers in your garden you can pick ? I also trim shrubs or pick lemons to bring inside to brighten up my home.

      I really look forward to your frugal list next week. Do you have a blog or fb page ?

    2. Hi, the only thing I could possibly pick is some purple sage. I'm in a single fronted cottage in the inner city with a small garden. My veggies will be grown in pots out the back. I think we are friends on Facebook, but I don't have a specific page for this stuff, Ill look into creating one. Is the idea that you have a separate page that only a few interested people can share/see? Thanks

    3. Would you believe, I was talked into the two facebook pages. Originally I didn't want anything to do with it. The lady at my church who helped me set up my blog said I needed two facebook pages because of my tv profile at the time. She said it would make it easy for people to find me.
      Maybe a blog would be good for you and others in your position. Just a thought. Also on the Cheapskate's forum, people create their own thread to document their journey through hard times.

      Let me know if there's anything I can do to help or offer advice. I'll certainly be praying for you. I know what it's like to go through hard times xoxo

    4. Thank you!

  5. Hi Wendy,
    So glad this week has treated you better.
    those cakes and pastries are so beautiful.
    In saying that I am a little embarrassed to post my successes this week. I am sure my cooking doesn't look quite as nice as yours lol.
    I learnt how to make puff pastry and have made 80 mini sausage rolls. I am cooking some for tea, saved some uncooked ones for tomorrow to feed guests for morning tea and the rest have been frozen for a later date.
    I have made muffins and cake also today and have to yet make more muffins for tomorrows guests. I thought I might do it in the morning and have freshly cooked muffins instead though. This way I can put both in the oven at the same time.
    Our grocery month finished last week and we did it for $5 less than normal...I am wrapped of course.
    Phoned the phone company about an error in our bill and got a reimbursement.
    Managed to get our washing down to four loads a week.
    Saved myself spending $40 on a book I wanted by borrowing it from the library.
    Saved my son and his partner some money by lending them the boxes for their imminent move.
    Managed without a heater on one of our minus seven days by using extra clothes (used a hoody with a huge front pocket) and heated a wheat bag up and put it in the pocket. I was so warm it was amazing. The wheat bag was given to me last year as a Xmas gift.
    Saved some seeds from the garden to use next spring.

    1. You have a wonderful list this week Linda. I always enjoy reading what you've been up to.

    2. Gumtree sometimes have moving boxes in the freebies section

    3. Try shopping centers for old boxes. It saves them paying a disposal fee.

  6. Hi Wendy,
    What a lovely birthday for your daughter!
    This week I took 8 pairs of free socks that we could use (as new) from the op shop.
    Made yoghurt, soup, your tuna bake (and leftovers kids took for school lunch - very nice), 2 date loaves.
    Took some soup to a friend's for a lunch date and she supplied the rest.
    Used paper from a sugar bag for lining cake tins.
    Dried all washing on clothes horses.
    My daughter wanted a jumper in a fashion shop and I noticed it had a pull on it. I suggested she asked for a discount - the shop attendant suggested 10% but my daughter said 50% and she got it. It was something I could fix.
    Went to an IGA near my friend's house on way home from her place and picked up a ton of RTC food items. At the checkout the cashier gave me the final item at half price because I'd bought so much reduced stock and she was grateful to see it go.
    Gratefully accepted some lovely croissants from someone we know who'd bought a bulk pack which we enjoyed for breakfast.
    Bought some stock for my present stash at the post office. They were clearing out gift lines for $1 and $2 - I bought some bird feeders, a girls cupcake journal, icecream maker, beach bocce set, books etc.
    Bought a traditional bocce set on ebay for 99c which hubby picked up on way home from work. We have recently discovered this game.
    Pleased that my $300/month grocery challenge budget is on track thus far.
    Used the library.
    Cheers, Sue.

    1. You've been busy Sue. Congratulations to your daughter for being brave and asking for a reasonable discount. It pays to ask.

  7. Hi Wendy,

    Jessica looked so happy and her cup cakes looked great. Is the 18's and flowers made from royal icing? The Apple roses look too good to eat also thanks for the tip about the raspberries, I'm going to do this also next week.

    Not the most productive week for me this week as i have been sick but i did manage a few things:
    Saved the washing machine water for the garden and used the tank water.
    Cleaned out 2 jars with the spatula and used the leftover ham from christmas which had been in the freezer.
    Grated a block of cheese to make it stretch further and cooked all meals from scratch.
    Gratefully received 9 loaves of bread and filled the car up yesterday morning for $1.19 (with the docket) before the price rise.

    Have a great week,

    1. Yes they were made with royal icing. We have some latex cake decorating moulds that we bought at the Morningon markets a few years ago.

      You still saved money even though you were sick. Hope you are feeling better Maureen xoxo

  8. Happy birthday to your Jessica. I can't wait for that apple rose tutorial.

    1. It's coming at the end of the month. I have it scheduled.

  9. Hi Wendy. Congratulations to Jessica for her 18th birthday. I was hoping you could explain what you do with the bi-carb and vinegar to clean the dishwasher. This week I have cooked all meals from scratch. Bought more reduced meat and food for the week. Next week my children will be sleeping over at their cousins home and so I bought some lovely discounted meat from the Jamie Oliver range and half priced gourmet chocolate for my hubby and I to enjoy together during their absence. Can't wait! I find this more exciting than going out to a restaurant! I dried all clothes on the clothes horses. Bought the most gorgeous slippers for 4 dollars. They look like Dorothy's red shoes but in pink. Last pair available. Bought three dresses and a top from the Coles clothes range for $32 and saved $74 as they were heavily reduced. We have made a few big purchasers from Bunnings and altered a hired trailer into a complimentary trailer to transport the items. Stocked up on hair colour and moisturisers which have been on sale and storing them for future use. Pulled apart the dishwasher and cleaned it. And lastly, having a ball watching my mango and avocado seeds grow. I have a collection growing in my bathroom. A fantastic week! Regards, Liz.

    1. I clean the dishwasher filters first. Then I splash vinegar around the inside and use it to fill up the rinse aid as well. Then I put bi carb where the powder / tablet goes and turn the machine onto the hottest cycle. This is the only time I use the really hot cycle as it goes for about 1 1/2 hours.

      I love watching things grow especially free things..

  10. Well my life was up ended by hubby losing his job this week. So I sat down and looked at where to trim our costs. We have a mortgage and a couple of personal loans. May have to cancel our private health extras. I need to add up our premiums and see we it does save us money in the long run or if it just costs us money.
    Went grocery shopping and managed to get a free bag of cat food because it scan at the normal price and not the on special price and I pointed thst out to them.
    Picked up two shifts at the hospice I work in on a casual basis to top up what I will earn at my regular part time job.
    Refused to buy take away when I was late getting home.
    Shopped only from my list. Got meat that had been reduced.
    Made all the girls' lunch box treats.
    Dried clothes on airer in the lounge room.
    Walked or took the bus to save petrol in the car for work (I work out of town so need my fuel for that).
    Plan on getting the vegetable garden ready for planting next week.

    1. I'm sorry to hear your husband lost his job. It's a shock to the system isn't it ? xoxo

      The first thing I did when Darren lost his job was to count up how many pieces of meat I had in the freezer. We had about 50 so I knew I'd be able to feed us for more than two months with milk, fruit and veg top ups.

      The second thing I did was to cut all unnecessary spending - takeaway, movies and shopping. Then I looked to see where I could trim the budget. Presents, food and petrol spending was slashed.

      The more spending you cut now, the better you'll will feel because you know you're doing the very best you can with what you have.

      Can you apply for a low income health care card ? It will help with bills, doctors and hospital trips.

  11. I'm stopping by this week to thank you and your reader, Maureen. A couple of weeks ago, after you both had attended a Cheapskates workshop, Maureen mentioned in the comments that she had been squashing T.P. rolls, as had been suggested in the workshop, and you both discussed it when other readers asked why. Although I was originally hesitant to try this tactic in anything other than our master bathroom because I don't always want our cheapskate ways to be on display to guests, I was aware that we were low on the T.P. stockpile and had grandchildren coming for the weekend. That tip made SUCH a difference and now two and a half bathrooms all have squashed T.P. on the rollers. Thanks so much!

    1. Good on you Linda. The toilet paper tip is really good for children. And hey, if guests use the toilet, they might just think the roll got squashed in the packet.

    2. Great to hear Linda,xxxx

  12. Hi Wendy,

    Happy Birthday to Jessica. The cupcakes and roses look beautiful.

    I made your tuna bake, yoghurt, biscuits and muffins. I bought lots of
    specials including $1.49 Mandarins and $1.99 Bananas from Aldi. Cashed in
    Flybuy points when shopping at Coles.

    DH fixed a plumbing problem although it might only be temporarily and we might
    have to call a plumber at some stage.

    My hairdresser has recently increased her prices to almost double for a haircut. I was disappointed until I heard that the landlord increased her rent a lot and that she had no choice. She looked at
    other options including mobile hairdressing and working from home, but it wasn't suitable. Her salon is in an old and dated small suburban shopping centre which hasn't seen any major renovations or improvements in decades and I don't understand how a huge rent increase is justified. I will go back, because I like having some "me" time and I want to support local business. I just won't be able to go as often anymore and will have my hair cut shorter to make it last longer.


    1. Can anyone in your home cut your hair ? Both my girls have cut the bottom of my hair saing me $30 last year.

  13. Wow Wendy what a busy week you have had.

    I adore Jessica's birthday cake, it looks so pretty and girly.

    I hope Darren's raspberry bushes take off. I am still deciding whether to give them a try here as you suggested.

    I do the same thing with plastic bags, very rarely do I buy any.

    My frugal week included;

    ~I used up out of date cream to make some delicious scones, with homemade apricot jam and whipped cream.
    ~Mum gifted me a big heap of bananas, some pomegranates, a couple capsicums, one eggplant, a bag of apples, one avocado and two bags of grapes. These came from the local shop in their home town. They take excess and tired food around to mums. It is a blessing to be friends with the owner.
    ~I have chopped the bananas up and placed in the freezer for smoothies and cakes.
    ~I am going to make a delicious apple pudding with the apples for dessert. And I might try drying some outside.
    ~I bought and chopped up a whole pineapple and put in the freezer. I will use this for smoothies and pizza. I am so tired of not being able to buy Australian tins of pineapple.
    ~The weather here has been beautiful. Nice sunny days and I am getting my washing dry outside on most days.
    ~I was gifted a free soy candle as the maker wasn't happy with how it turned out. Looks fine to me and smells divine.

    Have a great week Wendy!


  14. Hey there! I've been following your website for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Texas!
    Just wanted to say keep up the great job!


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