Wednesday 29 July 2015

Grocery Specials 29th July 2015

Here are this week's super duper specials -


*  Cadbury Favourites 320g 1/2 PRICE Was $12.00, Save $6.00  Now $6.00 each

*  Kraft Peanut Butter 500g 1/2 PRICE Was $5.68, Save $2.84  Now $2.84 each

Vegemite 380g Was $6.35, Save $1.35  Now $5.00 each

*  Heinz Big Red Soup 420g 1/2 PRICE Was $2.20, Save $1.10  Now $1.10 each

*  Imported Freshwater Basa Fillets Thawed From the Deli.Was $11.00, Save $5.50 kg Now $5.50 kg.  Ask the deli staff if they have any frozen out the back.  Then you can take it home and put it back in the freezer.

*   Listerine Mouthwash Total Care 500mL 1/2 PRICE Was $9.30, Save $4.80  Now $4.50 each

*  Morning Fresh Dishwashing Liquid 900mL 1/2 PRICE Was $6.95, Save $3.48  Now $3.47 each

L’OrĂ©al Elvive Shampoo or Conditioner 700mL 1/2 PRICE Was $13.95, Save $6.98  Now $6.97 each


 Celebrations 300g Now $5.00 each 1/2 Price, Save $5.00

*  40% off selected bedding

*  1/2 Price on selected Oral B products

*  40% off all Olay products.

*  Check in store for other beauty product specials.

*  U by Kotex Ultrathin Pads Regular Pk 14 or U by Kotex Tampons Regular Pk 16 Now $3.00 each Save up to $2.00

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

*  Clear Shampoo or Conditioner 350ml Now $4.74 each 1/2 Price, Save $4.75

*  1/2 price on all Nature's Way vitamins.

*  Dermaveen Everyday Soap Free Wash 250ml 1/2 Price All Dermaveen .Now $5.90 each 1/2 Price, Save $6.09

Please feel free to add any specials you see.

Monday 27 July 2015

Cobbler Dessert

This is a wonderful Winter warming dessert.  I originally heard about this dessert on the Oprah show years ago when she popped into her neighbour's house unannounced.  They were having this dessert with their meal that night.  So I googled it and came up with my version of this American favourite. 

1 x 410 gram tin of fruit in juice or stewed fruit
1 cup of SR flour
1/3 of a cup of sugar ( white or raw )
About 1  1/2 cups of milk - enough to make it a slightly runny batter

optional extras - 
chopped walnuts
cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle on top,
sultanas or other dried fruit.

Lightly grease a medium casserole dish.

Empty slightly drained tin of fruit into a casserole dish, cutting up any large pieces.
In a mixing bowl mix the flour, sugar and milk until it's a smooth, slightly runny batter.

Pour evenly over fruit and sprinkle with nuts,  cinnamon and sugar.
Bake on 180 degree Celsius for 40 mins. Serve with cream,  ice cream or custard.


*  A couple of weeks ago I made a cobbler using stewed apple from the freezer.  It was a big hit with the family.  Darren said it tasted like apple pie.

*  Other fruit I've used with success are plums ( make sure you take the stone out ), peaches,  apricots and pears.

*  This dessert can be cooked 2 - 3 days ahead of time and reheated as needed.

*  If you don't have any tinned fruit,  grab a couple of apples ( even the wrinkly ones ),  peel,  cut and slice into a casserole dish.  Cover with cling wrap and cook in the microwave on high for about three minutes.  Then pour the batter over the top.

Saturday 25 July 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 25th July 2015

We've had a wonderfully well rounded frugal week.  The sun has been shining and we've made the most of the "free " heat for our home.  We've managed to eat quite frugally, yet oh so well.  Here's what we got up to this week -

*  Made a big batch of pita chips for snacks.

*  Baked six loaves of bread.  Four were wholemeal bread with extra goodness and two were white with chia seeds ( for the girls ).

*  Picked some silverbeet to eat ( hide ) in a meal

*  Bought lots of beef mince and a large tray of sausages from Tasman Meats.  I portioned the sausages into meal sizes of six. The mince was divided into 300g lots of 400g lots.

*  Made chicken stock using the skin from the fillets and all the bits and pieces trimmed off.  I used my slow cooker to make the stock.  Megan made chunky chicken noodle soup the next night with the stock and one chicken fillet. I lived on this soup for two days after more dental work.   I froze two serves of the soup.

*  Kept the curtains open on the windows where the sun was shining through.

*  Stayed away from the shops for most of the week.  I sent Darren out to get milk..

*  Bought a bag of cut out card sentiments from Savers for $1.90. It looks like someone had been cutting up old cards.  From now on I'll be doing the same with discarded greeting cards.

*  Made a batch of blueberry and white choc muffins for Darren.  I used blueberries bought last Summer for $1 a punnet and frozen.  I also made a double batch of raspberry and white choc muffins.

*  Juiced some lemons and froze the juice.  I also picked another bowlful to juice later.

*  Sold two dozen eggs.

*  Gratefully received two metal planter boxes from my Dad.  He didn't need them any more and knew we could use them.  Darren has replanted our strawberries in them.

*  Refilled the foaming hand wash pump in the girl's bathroom with diluted shower gel.

*  Refilled the dish washing liquid bottle and diluted it.

*  Redeemed an almost 12 month old rain check for Dove soap. It was for packs of 4 bars for $3.60.  I got 10 boxes.  I think we'll be right for soap for the next few years.

*  Froze two single serves of left over main meals.

*  Made a mince pasta bake with 300g of mince.  There was so much left over it fed  us for two meals.

*  Saved the washing machine water and dried most of the clothes on clothes horses.

Chicken stock in the slow cooker.
Homemade bread. 
Sliced and in the freezer
Card making sentiments
Our " new " planter boxes
The strawberries have been replanted
Darren's tulips are flowering.

What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Grocery Specials Wednesday 22nd July 2015

Here are this week's best buys -


*  Cadbury Cooking Chocolate 200g-225g 1/2 PRICE Was $4.19, Save $2.10  Now $2.09 each

*  Campbell’s Condensed Soup 400g-430g 1/2 PRICE Was $2.09, Save $1.09  Now $1.00 each

Sargents Traditional Meat Pies 4 Pack 700g 1/2 PRICE Was $7.65, Save $3.83 Now $3.82 each.  Might be good for the footy finals.

*  Golden Crumpet Rounds 6 Pack 1/2 PRICE Was $3.10, Save $1.55  Now$1.55 each

*  Norsca Anti-Perspirant Deodorant 150g 1/2 PRICE Was $5.99, Save $3.00  Now$2.99 each

Duracell Coppertop Batteries AAA 14 Pack or AA 16 Pack 1/2 PRICE Was $19.50, Save $9.75 
Now $9.75 each

*  BabyLove Nappy Pants 20 Pack-28 Pack 1/2 PRICE Was $16.99, Save $8.50  Now $8.49 each

*  Palmolive Shower Gel 500mL1/2 PRICEWas $5.39, Save $2.70  $2.69 each


*  Arnott’s Shapes 160-190g, Sensations 180g or Shapes Extreme 130g Now $1.45 each1/2 Price, Save $1.54

*  Energizer Max AA Pk 16 or Max AAA Pk 14 Now $9.74 each 1/2 Price, Save up to $9.76

*   Tip Top Muffin Varieties Pk 6 Now $2.35 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.35

Please feel free to add any super duper specials you find.

Monday 20 July 2015

Card Making On A Budget - Part 3

As you've probably gathered,  I just love making cards.  For me it's a hobby that I'm enjoying and it's saving us money. Cards bought from the $2 shops and discount stores were originally sold for 3 or 4 for $2.  Recently the discount stores have put the price up to $1 or $2 each.  Whilst this is still a great price compared to newsagents and department stores, I can make them cheaper at home.

Recently I was on the hunt for a card for Darren's 50th birthday.  I didn't think I'd have the time to make one with all the party preparations etc.  So I went to the $2 shop to have a look.  I must say,  I was disappointed with the few cards on offer.  They didn't look nice,  some had pictures of alcohol ( we don't drink ) or they just didn't suit Darren.

I knew what I wanted to make for Darren.  It had to be black and white as he's a mad Collingwood supporter.  So I bough a packet of 8 black cards and envelopes for $2 and came home to make one.  I had some suitable black and white wrapping paper in my present wrapping box.  I cut it slightly smaller than the card and glued it on with a glue stick.

Then I googled " free 50th birthday sentiments ".  This took a fair bit of time as it had to look right and not have a copyright on it.  The one I picked was perfect and I printed off a few extras for future card making  Now I have a few options in my stash.

I cut this out and glued it on the front. Because the card is black,  I needed to cut some white card for the inside so I could write on it.    This part was quick and easy.  Megan made a card for Jessica and herself to give to Darren.  She used another sentiment I printed off and mounted it on black paper.

Darren was thrilled with both cards proclaiming they were the best we have ever made.  He just loves them and they only cost 25 cents each.

Since then I made a few other cards using the same idea  Here are some photos of a few of them -.

Darren's birthday card
Megan made this one
For the inside of a black card
Stamps mounted on paper.  I used sticky foam squares too.
Men's card using wrapping paper
Using scrap booking papers bought on sale and a stamp
Using a printable sentiment and gluing it to a punch out.
A printable sentiment glued straight onto a blank card.
Adding embellishments to pretty up a card.

Saturday 18 July 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 18th July 2015

With the weather being so cold this week  I've tried to stay busy on my days at home.  I just love cooking and baking good wholesome food for my family and as Annabel says " feathering my nest ".  I had a lovely day with Cath form the Cheapskates Club.  Of course we talked about all things frugal as well as the up coming Adelaide workshop.  So exciting  !!!  Here's what else I got up to this week -

*  Made a couple of cards for my stash.

*  Made up lots of biscuits using a packet mix bought after Christmas for 5 cents. It was meant to be a gingerbread house but I don't have time for such a fiddly thing.

*   Emptied the bottom of the wheat bix packet into the Dried Seasoned Bread Crumbs container and gave it a good shake.

*  Kept the curtains 90% closed during the cold days.  They were open just enough so that we could see our way around the house.

*  Hand washed the dinner dishes a few time this week.

*  Fed the chickens handfuls of grass and clover to keep their vitamins up during the cold weather

*  Finished using up two lipsticks by digging down into the tube to get every last bit of it.  I got another 6 weeks use out of each one.

*  Found an old eye shadow in my travel toiletry bag that didn't have enough in it to take away.  So I've put it in the bathroom cupboard and have been using it every day.

*  Bought my mum a bunch of flowers for her birthday.  The tissue paper the florist used went soggy straight away and wasn't a nice color.  So I used some of my stash of florist colored plastic wrap to make it look better with craft ribbon I had on hand.  Gave my mum a handmade card from my supplies.

*  .Made a bulk batch of fruit crumble topping mix.

*  Redeemed a rain check for 4 litres of Moro olive oil for $20.  I've had this rain check for almost 12 months but waited until I was low on stock in the pantry ( and I needed the room to store it ).

*  Wiped out the fridge using water and a microfibre cloth.  I saved the water from rinsing out the cloth and used it to water some pot plants outside.

*  Came in under budget for groceries from June 16 - July 15.  I only spent $237 out of $270.  The left over money went into the food slush fund to buy future food specials.

*  Bought lots of chicken fillets from Tasman Meats for $5.99kg.  They were portioned into meal sizes and frozen.

*   Made a double batch of pumpkin scones using cooked and mashed pumpkin I'd frozen last year when it was cheap.

*  Saved the washing machine water and dried most of the clothes on clothes horses.

*  Made 1 litre of homemade yoghurt.

*  Froze 3 single serves of left over meals.  I'm trying to get a stash together as next Tuesday is the last of my major dental work.  I'll only be able to eat pureed vegetable soup and custard for a few days so I won't be wanting to cook for the family.

My 5 cent gingerbread biscuits for church morning tea.
My favourite morning tea.
One of the cards I made.
Left overs for the freezer
Making my own yoghurt.
What frugal things did you complete this week ?  I'd love for you to share your list.

Wednesday 15 July 2015

We're Coming To Adelaide For A Workshop

Hi everyone.  I have some exciting news to share.

Cath Armstrong,  tv star and owner of The Cheapskate's Club and myself are coming to Adelaide to hold a one day workshop.  We are also being joined by Annabel from The Bluebirds Are Nesting blog.

This is our first ever interstate workshop and we are just so excited to be able to share our money saving tips,  recipes and skills with you.  This will be an inspiring day where you'll make new friends,  share ideas and learn some important life changing skills.

If you have friends and family who live in South Australia,  please share this post with them.  We look forward to spending a great day together.

Here's the information that Cath put up on her website with the booking link.

"The Art of Living the Cheapskates Way 1 Day Workshop is coming to Adelaide!

Come along and Cath, Wendy, Annabel and your fellow Cheapskaters for a day of fun, frivolity, food and frugality as they refine the Art of Living the Cheapskates Way.

During the day we'll discuss the art of living the Cheapskates way and share favourite Cheapskating tips and tricks for saving money, time and energy on your journey to living life debt free, cashed up and laughing.

The programme includes workshops, demonstrations, Q&A sessions and special guest speakers Wendy (moderator, $300 a Month Food Challenge) and Annabel (our very own frugal pampering expert).

Places are limited for this workshop to be held on Saturday 15th August 2015.

Click here for more information and to book your place now."

Grocery Specials Wednesday 15th July 2015

This week's supermarket catalogues didn't have a lot to offer in specials on basic food items.  If you love junk food,  convenience or dearer products then you'll have lots of specials to choose from.  If you're like me and buy ingredients to make meals from scratch,  then you'll have slim pickings.  Here are the few specials I found -


*  Sorbent Toilet Tissue 12 Pack 1/2 PRICE Was $9.00, Save $4.50  Now $4.50 each

*  Duracell Coppertop AA 10 Pack 1/2 PRICE Was $13.49, Save $6.75  Now $6.74 each

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


*  Cadbury Dairy Milk Block 190-200g or Old Gold 200g Now $2.45 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.54

*  Alfa One Rice Bran Oil 4 Litre Now $12.20 each 1/2 Price, Save $12.27

*  Cinnamon Donuts Pk 6 or Mini Donuts Pk 8 Now $1.00 each 1/2 Price, Save $1.00.  As a treat,  this is a great price and they freeze well. 

*  30% off selected Arcosteel cookware.

*  Handee Paper Towels Pk 2 Now $1.75 each 1/2 Price, Save $1.75

*  Cadbury

*  Cadbury Cooking Chocolate Melts 225g, Chips or Block 200g Now $2.50 each Save up to $2.00  

*  Cadbury Favourites or Favourites Mini Blocks 320g Now $6.00 each 1/2 Price, Save $6.00

*  Mission Pizza Base 200g Pk 2 Now $1.99 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.00.  I don't buy these as I make my own pizza bases.  These did seem like a great price though.


*  Chicken Breast Fillets skin on $5.99kg

*  Pork leg on the bone $6.99kg.

On sale until 20th July.


I was in Aldi today ( Wednesday ) and they have lots of kitchenware in stock.  I saw toasters for $7,  slow cookers 3 lts for $19.99,  old fashion radios,  saucepans,  woks and lots more.  If you have an Aldi near by it might be worth having a look.

Monday 13 July 2015

Fruit Crumble Topping Mix For Desserts

Jessica's favourite homemade dessert is apple crumble.  She could happily eat it at least once a week.  She's been known to eat leftovers for breakfast the next day.  When you think about it,  it does make a healthy breakfast too.  Having this bulk mix on hand in the pantry helps to get a quick dessert in the oven.

1 cup of plain flour
2 cups of rolled oats
1/3 cup of brown sugar ( MOO )
1 teaspoon of cinnamon ( approx ).

Mix all ingredients well and store in an air tight container.

To serve use 3/4 cup of mix and add two tablespoons of melted butter to a bowl.

Mix well and pour over cooked apple, or any tinned / stewed fruit and bake in the oven as per your recipe

This dry mix recipe can be doubled or tripled to suit the container size you'll store it in.

Saturday 11 July 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 11th July 2015

I'm not sure where my week has gone.  I seem to be busier in the school holidays that when everyone is at work and school.  In the midst of all the comings and goings,  I did manage to get a few frugal things done.  Here's this week's list -

*  Cleaned the inside of the dishwasher with bi carb and vinegar and wiped it down with Miracle Spray

*  Made muffin sized quiches with tomatoes given to us and silverbeet from our garden.

*  Made some apple rose pastries with apples given to us.  The pastries were for a church lunch.

*  Made chunky roast beef and vegetable soup using left over roast beef and vegetables given to us.

*  Megan made a double batch of lunchbox chocoalte choc chip muffins for school and home snacks.

*  Picked a big bowl of lemons from our tree.  I'll let them sit for about a week before juicing.  I did juice some older lemons and froze the juice in ice cube trays.

*  Picked silverbeet to put in a spag bol sauce.  My girls were not happy about this as they don't like silverbeet.  I'm in the process of having major dental work done and I can't chew things very well so the shredded silverbeet was perfect for me.

*  Megan made a big pot of chunky chicken noodle soup to help me feel better after the dental work on Tuesday.  She used chicken stock I'd made in the slow cooker and frozen months ago.  I lived on this soup for a few days.  Very yummy.

*  Picked a bunch of daisies from the garden to brighten up my kitchen.

* Mended and altered two tops for Megan.

*  Only spent $4 at the shops on milk.  This is the third week running that we've only needed milk.  We still have plenty of fruit and veg in the fridge and freezer plus we have been blessed with some.

*  Did the usual frugal things with saving the washing machine water and drying clothes on clothes horses..

Daisies from the garden.
Muffin sized quiches
Dinner of quiches and some for the frezer
Daffodils Darren is growing. A little bit of sunshine in Winter. 

Thank you to everyone who left kind words and wishes on my face book pages and blog.  I'm very blessed to count you all as friends.  You are very important to me       


I'd love to hear about your week.  Did you do anything frugal ?

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Happy 1st Blog Anniversary

Happy 1st Blog Anniversary.  It was one year ago today that Darren and I ventured over to our friend Tanya's place to set up this blog.  About a year earlier I'd been tossing up the idea of starting a blog and wondering if I had anything of interest to say and if anyone would take the time to read it. Then my family's story appeared on A Current Affair back in June 2014 and Tanya had a quiet word to me saying that I needed to get my blog going because people would be googling me.  I still laugh at that now - PEOPLE GOOGLING - ME  !!!!

So that cold Winter's night Tanya helped me set up this blog.  I'm very tech challenged but Tanya was gentle with me and wrote instructions down so that when I was on my own,  I could keep the blog running.  Thinking of a name was the first challenge.  I knew I wanted the word " abundance or abundant " in the title and after a bit of research I came up with the name My Abundant Life.   It describes my family's life to a " T ".  Not abundance of money,  but abundance of blessings that fill our lives with joy.  God's abundance and God's joy.

Tanya then talked me into two facebook pages.  I was not a big fan as I'd seen so much rubbish, bullying and time wasting through this area of the media.  Once again,  Tanya said that people needed to be able to find me.  To say that I was nervous was an understatement.  Who was going to find me ???  Mmmmm  !!!!

So my blog and two facebook pages made their debut that night and a whole new world opened up to me.  My first few posts were a bit clunky and awkward and I had to learn to use my family's digital camera to take half decent photos.  It was and still is a big learning curve.

I remember getting excited the next day to see that a few people had looked at my blog and taken the time to post a comment.  To this day I'm very grateful for every comment made.

Within a few weeks I started checking out other people's blogs that had the same simple living theme to mine.  I found the same people commenting on each others blogs so I took the plunge and introduced myself.  I was excited to see others living like I do with the same values.  These blog writers have now become firm friends.  We email each other,  we pray for each other and most importantly,  we've created a community that cares.

Annabel from The Bluebirds Are Nesting became one of my first blogger friends.  She has a generous spirit and is full of encouragement.  Her card making posts led me to start making my own cards.  We pray for each other and I know when my life is hectic,  she cares.    One of her parcels arrived in the mail when I was filming a story.  Ben the reporter wanted to know if it was from a fan or stalker.  I proudly said it was from a blog friend.  I wanted to stop filming right there and then to see what was in the parcel ( her tea towels,  wrapped soap,  face washer / dish cloth and other things .  Have a look on her blog ).

Since then I've connected with Tania from Outback Tania.  She lives on the edge of the outback in South Australia and grows lots of veggies and fruit.

Joolz from Simply Joolz loves to cook and bake and I just love looking.  She's posted some of my recipes on her blog and others are using my recipes.  How exciting.

There's Mimi from A Tray Of Bliss and  Brandy The Prudent Homemaker.  Lately I found a blog called A Working Pantry.  Patsi loves to stockpile and stockpiling is one of my favourite subjects.

Cath from The Cheapskates Club has been a wonderful supporter of everything I do.  We are blogger friends and real life friends who share the same values and way of life.  It's like we've been cut from the same cloth.

Most importantly,  I'm very grateful for the friends I've made here on my blog.  I'm grateful for the amazing community we've created ( how awesome is that ? )  I'm gobsmacked that you cook and bake my recipes and love the food as much as Darren and my girls do. I'm grateful that you share your frugal tips with others.   I'm grateful for the spirit of encouragement over this blog.  My goal was ( and still is ) to offer hope to those who are struggling financially or wanting to live a more fulfilling life  I wanted to show that saving money isn't about penny pinching or going without. In fact,  once our needs are met we have freedom to do the fun stuff without guilt.

To all my blog readers,  Take a bow,  pat yourselves on the back and send virtual hugs to each other.  You make my day, every day.  You give me so much joy that my heart is over flowing.

Thank you

Here's a snap shot of the past year -

One of the first pictures for the blog
Bread making
Doing an interview with Denis Walter on 3AW
Miracle Spray
Pumpkin scones
Lettuce from the garden
Cranberry Hootycreek biscuits - a big hit with you
One of our chickens - Becky
Making face washers fancy for gifts
Tv ads for my Christmas story on ACA

Making jam
First attempt at card making
A days pickings from our garden.
Melbourne Flower Show - oh what beauty. 
My card making is getting better.
Flowers from the garden
Home made gifts
Apple Rose Pastries
Darren and I
My family