Saturday 21 November 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 21st November 2015

Over the last few weeks I've had to slash our family budget due to a big reduction of income from my cleaning jobs.  My frugal list might not have big or grand savings but everything I do helps our bottom line.  Here's what I got up to this week -

*  Made a batch of yoghurt

*  Picked a small handful of strawberries each day. 

*  Made a double batch of pumpkin scones.  Most went into the freezer for morning teas

*  Made lavender room air freshener for about $1

*  Shopped for the first time with a reduced grocery budget of $200 for the month.  It was a challenge but I kept to budget by crossing items of my shopping list that were not really needed.

*  Watered my transplanted raspberry plants each day with saved shower warm up water

*  Bought two bags of mixed nuts in their shells for $5 a bag from Aldi.  Last year I bought them in Coles for $7 as I couldn't find them anywhere else.  Glad about the cheaper price.  These will be given as Christmas presents ( with other things ) to some of the men in my family

*  Picked and ate the first raspberry for the season.  So yummy and rich in flavour.

*  Dried all the washing on the line and clothes horses.

*  Kept the heater off all week.  I've now turned it off at the thermostat.

*  Only turned the cooling on when really needed.  I've kept the curtains closed on the hot days.

*  Bought a punnet of lettuce seedlings from Bunnings for $2.90.  I picked the punnet that had the most seedlings in.  Some had 10 but I found one with 14.  I've tried growing lettuce from seed twice this season but they just aren't growing.  I'll still be saving money with the seedlings because lettuces cost $1 - $3 each.

*  Ate out of the freezer a few nights this week.  Slowly,  slowly we are making room ( and saving money ).

*  Combined lots of little shopping errands into one trip

Homemade yoghurt and homegrown strawberries.
Picking strawberries each day
Lettuce seedlings
Our pears continue to grow
Pumpkin scones
Lavender air freshener

What's on your frugal list for the week ?


  1. baked 4 loaves of bread, (we eat lots of bread), and some biscuits
    only bought 2 pair of pants for DH when I went to a factory outlet, nothing suitable for me at a price I was willing to pay.
    line dried all the washing in between thunder storms, everything smells lovely and fresh now
    made all meals eaten at home from scratch, 2 lunches were eaten out
    used free vouchers for DH and I to travel into Melbourne
    caught some rainwater in buckets to water some indoor plants
    picked some native orchids from the front garden and placed them on the verandah
    didn't spend any money without considering whether I could find something cheaper or use something I already had
    borrowed some craft books from the library for ideas for next year

    1. Spending a bit of time thinking about a purchase can save a fortune.

  2. Hi Wendy,

    Wow!!! $200.00 shopping per month, what a challenge!!! If anyone can do it, you can and just think, more to write about on your Blog's. Thanks for the tip on the Nuts from Aldi.

    This week I cleaned out a cupboard and found some children's books which were my sons that were brand new so I put these away in the gift box for future presents. Cleaned out a cupboard what I call 'Tupperware Mountain" which houses all my reusable containers. Also made my own Baking Powder for the first time.

    Shopped the specials and bought 2 bags of mixed fruit and vegies at Woolies on their specials table. Both were $3.00 ea bag and had 4kg of produce in them. One bag had a pink Grapefruit in it, not sure what to do with this. Picked lettuce, silverbeet and broccoli. Garden is coming along beautifully with Zucchini's starting to flower also. I needed some snail and slug pellets but I had run out and they were eating my lettuce seedlings, so I put crushed egg shells around them and plain flour and so far so good.

    Only used the cooling 3 days, went thru school clothes for DS2 and only need to buy one item of clothing as he has everything passed down from his older brother for Secondary school. Did some sewing, well mending and kept up with housework all week as I stretched it out now over the week.

    Gave DH a wedding Anniversary gift yesterday, chocolate(bought on special) and tickets to 'Cats the Musical' which I won in a competition from the newspaper which we will see in December and a handmade card of course.
    The Mobile phone company I am with TPG have changed over our plan as they are now using the network Vodaphone. We have had to change as it was immediate although they did give us two months free savings us $40.00. Have to wait and see how this goes.

    In the bargain bags from Woolies, I got lots of Zucchini's. Can I freeze these?

    Have a great week, Blessings, xxx

    1. You can freeze zucchinis but they come out soggy. Only good for casseroles and stews then. Maybe make slabs of zucchini slice and freeze.

      Make sure you get the Aldi nuts ASAP as they can sell quickly.

      Juice the grapefruit and freeze. I did make a sauce with the juice using sugar, butter and cream. It was great over fish. I don't have measurements. I tasted as I went.

      A huge saving on the Cats tickets. Have a wonderful time xoxo

    2. Hay Maureen,
      I've never herd of using flour before I too dos the egg shell thing and I herd salt works and beer too

      Wouldn't recommend freezing zucchini unless you were throwing it straight into your cooking :) I have grated zucchini in my freezer.

      Also how do you make baking powder?

    3. Thanks Wendy for those tips, will do.

      Anne, we don't drink so I didn't have any beer but i have heard it works great for snails. I'm not sure i would use the salt as it might burn the plants.
      To make Baking powder : Mix two parts cream of tartar with one part bi carb soda. You just make up as much as you want that way.
      Maureen xxx

    4. Hi Maureen, I cook up the zucchini in the microwave.. lots of it.. blend when cool and freeze in containers. I add this to soups in the winter. I do the same with excess pumpkin, tomatoes. leeks. Does not take up much room and uses up quite a lot of excess produce. Cheers.

    5. Hi Maureen,
      I'm not a big drinker either but I'd buy a cheap beer or wine etc if I'm using it for cooking I figured with the salt I'd use it in the outskirts of my beds that way they won't get to my plants and egg shells around the plants cause that give nutrients I'll have to post pictures sometime of my garden.

      And thank you for that sounds easy peasy! I just learnt how to make cake flour too! How awesome :D have a lovely weekend xoxox

  3. Hi Wendy,
    • I went online shopping for audio books and saved myself a small fortune…hundreds of dollars… I had the bookshop page open and I had the library site open. I would find a book I liked on the book shop site, skip to the library one and request it or put it into my wish list … without exception the library had every book I wanted
    … so I saved myself hundreds
    .. I was stoked
    • Made marmalade
    • Made muesli for Hubby…cost practically nothing compared to buying the premade stuff
    • Sliced, blanched and froze 5kgs of carrots for later meals
    • Made biscuits for friend in hospital, picked my first open sunflower to give her as well.
    • Gave my son some of the home made biscuits as well…everyone has a food they make that is ‘good’…these particular biscuits are mine…
    • Made bread
    • Made yoghurt
    • Dehydrated oregano and sage from the garden – bottled it for my use, and gifts for daughter in-law and my mother for Xmas
    • Picked yet more peas twice during the week… blanched and frozen for later meals
    • Repotted seedlings that had sprouted from compost
    • Ate greens from garden …spinach, rocket, celery, peas, pak choy and kale
    • Picked strawberries and froze for another day of cooking
    • Dried all washing outside
    • Sewing repairs and alterations on a skirt and a top
    • So busy living life I forgot it is grocery week this week (monthly grocery shopping) lol… Only have a few top up things to get so all good
    • About to send off first Christmas box to family… office works is cheaper for big postage as long as there is an office works in the town( if no one is home they have to collect it from the closest Officeworks) … I have bundled up ten kilo of parcels for one family…Christmas for this year and all the birthday gifts for next year.. $20 for postage..

    You have had a tough week Wendy… hang in there. Things will improve and with your skills you will probably end up wondering why you were concerned …


    1. Linda, I'm sure you are enjoying the fruits of your hard work from the garden. I just love picking things.

      Once again you've had a great week. Thankyou for sharing your list. xoxo

      Thankyou for your kind words. We'll be fine. We are still able to save money for my new kitchen so all is good. Because we are hard savers, we have lots of room in our budget if we need to change things.

    2. I have absolute faith in you Wendy thats why I follow your blog :-)

  4. Hi Wendy!
    I am sorry to hear about your loss in income, you can do it though! I don't have a long list, but I got 3 boxes of hot chocolate free I am putting up for Christmas. I traded a quart of my tomato juice for another 25 pounds of shelled sunflower seeds and made chicken soup and blueberry and blackberry cobbler for the adoption party all with stuff from the pantry and freezer. I also found out my son and his wife are expecting baby number 4! Oh and I got lots and lots of sticky tape for stockings! My 17 year old is always snitching mine!

    1. LOVE sticky tape and now is the season to have lots in the house. I hope the adoption party goes well. Please put a photo or two on your fb page xoxo

  5. Hi wendy,

    Wow what a challenge $200 a month!
    Hope it all goes really well for you and hopefully maybe work can pick up a little for you.

    Frugal tasks this week

    Watched my garden grow hehe

    The other night (Monday) I herd my neighbour crying I don't usually like to socialise with her much because she's a little troubled although she does respect me and my family. I went out and asked her what was wrong and she said she was really hungry and couldn't buy anything for herself to eat till later in the week, I felt really bad so I gave her a container of bolo sauce that I had made the previous night and some pasta, cereal and some migoreng noodles these are items I have an abundance of and I felt so bad that I had to share (it really breaks my heart to see someone starve)

    Stu and I went up to Warrnambool for a couple nights for my birthday (of course Elisha tagged along LoL...) I bought the tickets off the living social app for $195 value $395 at the start of the year but kept putting it off. So now we had my birthday as the reason to go away.

    While we were up there I noticed that a shop had 50% off store wide. I took advantage of this and bought 4 Himalayan salt lamps (stu bought one for me) of course it was bigger then the rest hehe. The smaller ones will be Christmas presents for my mum and stus mum.

    We walked the whole town of Warrnambool every day we were there to save money on petrol :)

    Wrapped Christmas presents these gifts are things I've been picking up on clearance and sales

    Bought 5 tubs of yoghurt and a bottle of juice from the reduced price shelf in Safeway

    Gave my dad 2 framed pictures of Ruby and her calisthenics group. he loved them!

    That's all I can think of for now
    Hope you have a lovely week next week Wendy! Xoxox


  6. Sorry to hear about your income loss! My 16 year old daughter got a job last week- hooray! Because she needed suitable dress pants I only had time to run out and buy some from Kmart. I can do the alterations myself so will save some money there. Today I found a spare pair of pants for her from the op shop for only $2 :)
    I harvested some tomatoes and silver beet from my garden. Sadly my lettuce seedlings which were planted the previous week died. We've had a bit of a heatwave here in WA.
    I love reading your frugal tasks Wendy.
    Also, I loved your segments on ACA and was wondering where I could find them online to re watch? I've tried YouTube but they dont show the entire segment.

  7. I saw a yoghurt machine at coles for $15, not easy yo though the sachets are not cheap, your recipe looks lovely and thick with no sachet! Love to see your monthly shopping list
    I made veggie lasagne and 2 doz chop chip muffins for lunches.
    Goy a bed head hat Ive wanted for ages for $120 free delivery! Cathy

  8. Dear Wendy,
    If anyone can make $200 stretch so far it will be you. I am excited to see your tips from the experience. thank you for your prayers for my Dad. He is still in intensive care but coming out this week I think, the improvement is amazing. I can't report getting much done this week.
    with love,

  9. Hi Wendy. I know how it feels to lose hours of work. Hopefully it is only seasonal for you.
    We recieved some money from my Dad's estate. I have paid off our vehicle loans and credit cards. I wish I could have saved the money instead. But at least now we only have our mortgage. I contacted our car insurance company and they reduced our premiums now that they are no longer under finance.
    Bought some presents from the op shop.
    Hubby got some free light fittings for our shed.
    Saved money by only shopping the specials. Got a rain check on some shampoo that was on special but the supermarket had run out of. Got some free cards for Christmas.
    Have a good week.

  10. Hello Wendy, if anyone can meet the challenge of $200 a month for groceries it will be you. I am continually inspired by you Wendy, thank you for your blog and your role at the cheapskates club . My week looked like this:
    Made honey mustard chicken using your recipe ( which I love by the way) and put aside enough for 2 more meals.
    Gratefully received some more cuttlefish for my budgies Pink and Floyd from my Aunty and a friend.

    I will be using my magazine loyalty card from the newsagency to get a free adult colouring book ( as they are made by a magazine company and count as a magazine. This colouring book will be used as a Christmas gift.

    Made 4 more Christmas cards and 4 birthday cards.

    Gratefully accepted a meal from my parents

    Did a pantry , fridge and freezer inventory and realised things are pretty good stockpile wise
    I am in the process of writing my shopping list for Wednesday and so far it looks good, hopefully I will come in under budget this fortnight.
    Re Did my budget for the first few months of 2016 and it looks better than I thought.
    I used last weeks Sunday paper ( parts of it) to line the bird cage ( this is sort of a frugal task)
    I think that is it for the week Wendy. Barb

  11. You can freeze grated zucchini. I grate it fresh, wring it out between tea towels and freeze it in cup sized portions. I use it for zucchini cake. It makes chocolate muffins moist, and I use a carrot cake recipe but use zucchini instead. Very very tasty, and kids eat it cause the zucchini basically disappears. Loads of recipes online. You could also make zucchini pickle with the fresh stuff.


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