Saturday, 19 December 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 19th December 2015

This week I've spent some time finalising my Christmas preparations and menu.  Life is getting busier with parties to go to,  friends to catch up with and two teenage girls to drive around.  Here's what else we got up to this week -

*  Gratefully received a box of jam jars and some crochet wool from my Cheapskate and blog friend  Maureen.  She was over my way and came for a visit.  We had such a lovely time we talked no stop for over 5 hours.

*  Gratefully received some gifts from a friend to be given out as we see fit.  This will help us with our newly slashed budget for next year.  This is such a blessing for us.

*  Picked lots of raspberries.  I'm now starting to freeze them to make jam.

*  Cleaned a friend's holiday house.  This was a great bonus for the budget.

*  Bought three tray of mince and a few groceries using flybuy bonus dollars on my card.  With the price of mince doubling,  this is the only way I can afford to buy it.

*  Seasoned the dried bread crumbs I made last week.

*  Stocked up on Praise salad dressings on sale at 1/2 price in Coles.  I now have enough for this Summer and for Spring and part of next Summer next year.  The girls will be in heaven as I'll be able to make lots of pasta salad.

*  Filled up both cars using discount dockets to get the price down to $1.05 a litre for petrol.

*  Sorted out Megan's school books for next year.  I wasn't able to purchase any second hand as it's a new curriculum for 2016.  The good news is we should be able to sell them at the end of the year as 2016 is the start of a five year curriculum.  Jessica was able to pass down two of her novels for English and another three for the following year.

*  Closed up the house when the weather got hot.  We only turned on the cooling when really needed.  I came home from work on Monday and the house temperature was at 29 degrees Celsius.  Instead of turning the cooling on I opened up all the windows and doors to let a breeze in.  By the time Darren and the girls came home,  the house temp had reduced to 25 degrees Celsius.

*  Megan made some peanut butter choc chips biscuits from freezer dough while I was at work.

*  Gratefully received some crab apples and home grown beans from my parents.

*  Ate out of the freezer as much as possible.

*  Line dried all the washing.  Saved the shower water and washing machine water for each next load.

*  Poured the kitchen sink water on the hydrangeas

The cards Darren and I made.

Wrapped soap.
A potato dish made from bits and pieces,

 What was on your frugal list this week ?


  1. Hello Wendy, you have had a great week, I love the cards that you and Darren made they look great.
    My frugal tasks this week include:
    Gratefully received 5 meals from my parents
    Received a parcel in the mail from a friend of 2 heat packs which will help me greatly , I was going to buy some so it has saved me money.
    I Had 4 no spend days this week
    Used newspaper in the bottom of the bird cage
    Went out to lunch with family who paid for my meal.
    It was a fairly quiet week for me Wendy, but a good week.
    Love Barb.

  2. used the airconditioner as little as possible and with the thermostat set at 28, instead of the 20 that DH likes.
    gratefully accepted a pizza, I went to a party on Thursday where there was supposed to be 200 people, only 100 showed up. So pizza to take home for everyone who wanted it.
    shopped just under the budget for the second time, DH is slowly learning not to add things in the trolley without asking if it is on the list.
    recycled an icecream container into a benchtop compost bucket
    fixed the lid of the laundry hamper, after 20 years the hinges broke, so I tied the lid on with some ribbon. Not a permanent fix, the hamper is looking untidy so I will trim all the bits sticking out, then paint it, tie the lid on and hopefully it will last another 20 years
    finalised my Christmas menu, and the meat and a couple of items will be bought using a Woolies gift card and fly buys, all other items will come from the pantry.
    spent $1.50 at the op shop for 2 excellent quality children's books about Christmas, these are for 2016.
    bought some chocolates at half price, wrapped them with wrapping paper and ribbon from the 5 yr old stash, these are for the next door neighbour who is housebound.

    1. Free pizza - YAY !!!What a blessing and no cooking for you Meg.

  3. Hi Wendy, I hope you had a good week. Those are lovely Christmas cards! It's a very busy time of year for all of us too. My frugal tasks for the week have been not too many but still managed all the same:
    - made a double batch of washing powder
    - gratefully received a big box of cherries from work, I have so many cherries I think I may have to make a cherry sauce or cherry jam. I'd hate to waste them
    - close the blinds and keep doors closed on really hot days to keep the house cool
    - use the air conditioning as little as possible, however baby doesn't do well in heat so on occasion had to use it for a little bit to cool the house down and turn it off again
    - made a batch of baby food and put them into portions and popped them in the freezer
    - made miracle spray
    - harvested 15 zucchinis (yes they were all ready at once!) will keep some, trade some for eggs and others we will give to friends/family/neighbours.
    - picked our own lettuce for dinners throughout the week. We plant more lettuce this weekend

    I agree that meat is getting very expensive at the moment. We are buying the cheapest cuts we can but even those are increasing in price. I'm finding that I'm using techniques to try and stretch meat dishes that little bit further. Hopefully it will get better once the festive season is over!


    1. Making washing powder and miracle spray saved you lots of money. So worth doing.

      I'm hearing it might take a while for the red meat to come down in price. We are eating more chicken to help.

  4. Hi Wendy,
    Yes we had a lovely extended afternoon tea with lots of chatting.How wonderful to receive gifts to help with your gift budget. I also bought mince yesterdayto make Rissoles for tomorrow's BBQ we are having with some of DHs family and it was $6.92 p/kg. We are also having people over tonight and so I had to amend the menu because of the price of meat. Instead we are having Rissole casserole, yum. I will also make your pasta salad tomorrow with the Praise dressjng (great price). Good tip when you came home not to turn on cooling straight away.

    This week I made Bickies, White Christmas, Condensed milk, Relish, bread, truffles and had three meals from the freezer to balance the menu plan as we ate out at La Porchetta for DS2's end of primary school celebration.
    Gratefully given bread, chocolate,2 minute noodles , pop tarts and handmade soap which is beautiful, thanks Wendy.

    I bought a second hand novel ffom Ebay, bought herbs and spices in bulk from Hindustan in Dandenong Vic and received $10.00 off in December. Lucky found crumpet rings in savers and a piece of Organza to make little bags. Bought tin canisters from Aldi's to fill will goodies as presents, thanks for the tip Wendy. Got petrol cheap and bought Avon deodorants for $1.99.

    I made some Christmas cards and used the concession stamps to post some as this was cheaper than Christmas stamps. Had a lovely day out with our church on Sunday which was free and they also supplied dinner of Pizza. Saved the shower water and watered the garden this morning with the tank water. Received the Electricity bill yesterday and didn't have to pay due to the solar panels and as I received the Gas last week, I can now use the credits from the electricity to pay the gas bill.

    Went to see Cats the Musical last night as we had won tickets for this in October. We had dinner at home and took our own snacks and got free parking, great night out as this was our belated Wedding Anniversary present.

    What do you use the Crab apples for? My mum used to make jam with them.

    Have a wonderful week and Christmas day to everyone and stay safe on the roads, xxx


    1. Maureen, you had such a productive week. I'm sure you are proud of yourself for all you achieved.

      We eat out of the freezer to offset the rising cost of meat( or if we've been out ).

      We are eating the crab apples as there wasn't enough for jam. Jessica is drying a pip to see if she can grow it.

  5. Dear Wendy,
    It was really good about a good chat with your friend and the extra cleaning work!
    Despite it being very busy plus terribly hot here I had a really good week with all kinds of good things coming my way! It was amazing!
    Today it is 44 here and hotter at the farm. I am inside trying to keep cool.
    Have a really good Christmas week. In this lead up to Christmas it can be really busy but exciting too!
    With lots of love,

    1. Yes it was great to catch up with Maureen. She's a big fan of your blog Annabel.

      Stay cool inside. I'm sure you are crafting the hot days away xoxo

  6. It sounds like you had a great week of savings. While you are sweltering in the sun, we are drowning in the rain. There have been torrents of rain, much more than usual rainfall, even though our area (Oregon, USA) is known for having lots. So, you are enjoying your garden produce fresh and we are enjoying what we preserved from ours during the summer.

    I used lots of my frozen and canned produce this week. I've been sewing quite a bit, working on Christmas presents. We broke the glass on our wood stove and were able to replace it. It cost over $100, but a new stove would have been over $2,000. This wood stove was a discard when we got it, so I don't know how old it is, but it is showing some serious wear and tear. We have certainly gotten our money's worth -FREE- for over 8 years now. We get all of our firewood for free, except for the cost of gas to drive to cut it, and the chainsaw fuel (and labor). So, running the furnace was pricey, but at least we got it fixed quickly.

    1. Your wood stove is a blessing that keeps on giving Becky.

      It's funny how we are sweltering and you have so much rain. God knows our needs though.

  7. You always do so well with your shopping! I finished up the last bit of Christmas grocery shopping yesterday and plan to avoid the stores as much as possible, hoping only to run in and out for milk until after Christmas.

    My joy this week has been in giving things away. We gave candy bouquets I made to the staff at a family member's health care facility. I gave a basket of goodies to a friend. I made and gave a set of felt "paper" dolls to a little girl for whom I babysit. More gift-giving and happy visiting is to come in the next two weeks. There is so much fun to anticipate at this time of year!

    Merry Christmas, Wendy, to you and to your family! May you be blessed in 2016!


    1. What a wonderful week you had Leigh Many blessings to you xoxo

  8. Love reading about everyone's week of frugality.
    In my house we are declutttering, advertising all unwanted items to sell and trying to be frugal.
    We have a well stocked house freezer and deep freezer so we have decided next months food shop will only be $80 for fruit, veg, milk and eggs saving us $320... We budget $400 a month but have been spending $200 a month for quite sometime. This extra goes into an envelope and will mean our boat will be paid off Christmas 2016 only a 2 and a half year loan!
    We've also saved washing machine water for plants, used rain water to water lemon tree and orange tree, regifted a few items as Christmas gifts, used a fuel docket to receive $1.04 a litre, no take away meals all made at home this week. Visit to the library for some books and magazines. Borrowed a book for my husband that he nearly bought when we were on holidays saving $25. Bought a paint sprayer and as my parents have Bunnings discount was able to get $27 off. Finding new ways to spend less everyday and enjoy our money better..

    1. How wonderful that you'll have your boat paid off so soon. Good on you.

      We'll be spending less on food for the next few months. Like you, we have so much stockpiled.

  9. Hi Wendy

    Absolutely love your cards they are awesome!

    Frugal tasks this week

    Bought 6 big bags of fruit and veg from Safeway they were all marked down to $2 each

    Cooked most meals from scratch

    Made salt scrubs with a friend to give as Christmas presents

    Picked bunch of beans around a kg

    Hosted my best friends baby shower and got to take home some left over food I also made salt scrubs as baby shower game prizes

    The usual watering and caring for the garden

    Washed and hung out the clothes it's been good weather to do it

    Received some horse and cow manure for the garden off my dad

    Received 4doz quail eggs from my neighbour shared half with my dad and step mum and the other half with my mum

    Picked a nice bunch of beans to give to my dad

    That's all for now

    Hope you have a wonderful week next week and merry Christmas xxx


  10. I finished up my kitchen towels, a throw pillow for my father, and a quilt for my brother. I used a cotton tablecloth (from a thrift store for $3)for the kitchen towels and got 6 towels out of it which I appliqued with fabrics cut in the shape of coffee mugs. I added hearts, and stitched 'steam' coming out of the cups. To each kitchen towel I added a crocheted dishcloth. I made the throw pillow out of fabrics I had on hand, and a pillow form I had. I plumped up the pillow with (clean) fiber filling from another old pillow. I got a super, super deal on the fabric for the quilt, saving close to $100 because the (new!) fabric came from the thrift store. I washed it and got to cutting and sewing. I would certainly think that with these home made gifts, I saved at least $200. Happy! Happy! Merry Christmas everyone!


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