Saturday 5 December 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 5th December 2015

I've just about finished my Christmas shopping this week.  Most presents have been wrapped and are under the tree.  It's such a good feeling to be organised.  Here's what else we got up to this week -

*  Gratefully received a bag of shredded paper from a cleaning client.  It was building up in their shredder so I asked if I could take it home.  This will help line the laying boxes in the chicken coop.

*  Recycled some old Christmas cards into gift tags.  They look great.  I only wish I'd done this years ago.

*  Darren cooked up some tomatoes and onions that was given to us.  It was portioned into meal sizes and frozen for future spag bols.

*  Continued to pick raspberries and strawberries each day.

*  Wrapped lots of Christmas presents using paper bought on clearance last year.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Gratefully received some uncooked sausages.  Darren cooked them on the bbq and portioned them into meal sizes and froze. Jessica has requested sausage casserole to be made ( her fav )

*  Saved a couple of gift boxes and bags to be reused for future presents.

*  Megan shopped from the present shelf for a last minute class Kris Kringle.  Men's toiletry packs bought on clearance in the New Year come in handy for unexpected occasions.

*  Cut open a very expensive hand lotion to scrape out the last of it's contents.  When this lotion was given to me I knew I'd be using every last drop.

*  Did the usual water saving tasks of saving lots of shower water for the veggie seedlings,  hand washing dishes,  used kitchen water on the pot plants and recycled washing machine water for each next load.

*  Both my girls have finished school for the year.  They have gone through their stationery and kept what they can reuse for Uni and school next year.  We are sorting through text books and novels and anything that can't be used will be advertised on facebook.

*  Both Darren and I filled up our cars with discount dockets when petrol was about $1.12 per litre then topped up again when it was $1.09.  A couple of hours later it went up to $1.30.  We are grateful for full tanks of petrol.

*  Collected half a bucket of water from the gas hot water system overflow pipe.  I used it to water 3 plants.

Hydrangeas,  such a lovely display

Recycled Christmas cards made into gift tags

Our strawberry patch
Climbing and dwarf bean plants
I think these are pumpkin plants.
Lots of little lettuce seedlings
New lemons growing

What did you do this week to save time,  money and energy ?


  1. Thank you for the great tag idea!

    1. It's so easy and costs nothing but a little time.

  2. Wendy, I too make gift tags out of the previous year's Christmas cards. Yours are really cute! This week I found a sale on canned vegetables plus I had coupons for them which made them a quarter a can. I added 8 cans to our pantry for $2!

  3. Replies
    1. So quick and easy. I don't use a template, Just cut.

  4. Dear Wendy,
    Your hydrangeas are the most gorgeous colour! The shredded paper will make great nesting material too.
    I also love your tags and that nice images to use can be old cards and there are so many basically free resources for card making.
    The had cream sounds like it was a lovely one... I cut them open too and its amazing how much is still in there.
    This week I made gingerbread biscuits and also shortbread mainly for gifts.
    I did a lot of cleaning, Christmas decorating and organising. There is a lot to do! I have done most of the wrapping now. It is very helpful to be ahead as you say, things are busy enough even when ahead!
    I hope you are having a great weekend! With love, Annabel.xxxx

    1. Yes it is great to be organised.

      I had a lovely weekend. All will be revealed later in the week xoxo

  5. Hi Wendy

    The tags look fantastic. Wow you have been busy this week. Wrapping of presents is on the cards for me this week hopefully (well at least the teacher gifts) as school finishes on Friday here. I am afraid that I am unable to put the presents under the tree until Christmas Eve as DD5 would be into or maybe it would be the cat as she thinks this is for her and has been playing with the decorations an sleeping underneath during the day.

    This week I have

    Won a whole ham (spend $6 on tickets) at the Christmas Fair
    Bought items to decorate the cupcakes for school on sale (half price)
    Hung all the washing out to dry
    Stockpiled on zymil milk on special
    Stockpiles on tins of beetroot on special
    Had a party for spices a few weeks ago and received all the free goodies as people spent lots and I ended up with almost $200 worth of free products

    Recovering from an illness so was grateful to receive help with DD5 from a friend and some lovely meals

    Hope you have a wonderful week


    1. I'm glad you are feeling better Aly. It's hard to be sick when you're a mum. xoxo

      Congrat on the ham. A great win.

  6. gratefully received some lamb and baked potato leftovers from last night's Christmas party
    all washing dried outside, the white pillowcases are still out there being bleached by the sun
    used the coffee pot dregs and tea leaves in the garden
    had a free glass of water instead of coffee while waiting at the dental hospital with DH
    used homegrown lettuce, chives and spring onions on salad sandwiches, the spring onions were bought in the supermarket and then planted
    started making Christmas cards, and bought the concession stamps to post them
    wrapped empty boxes(op shop bought paper) to make the house look more Christmassy.
    kept curtains closed to keep heat in or out depending on the day
    posted DGS's 12th birthday present, I bought him some stationery for high school and clothing on special.
    Bought a couple of books for next year's birthday presents, from the op shop of course.

    1. Meg, you are so organised with your present giving.

  7. Love the photos of your garden.
    This week I bought a bunch of leeks for $1 and made 3 frittatas with potato, leek and bacon.
    Got a $3 bag of produce (assorted)at Woolies by just happening to walk in at the right time.
    Used petrol vouchers for 2 cars to fill up.
    Gratefully received some cleaning products and new cloths from a relative moving house.
    Made yoghurt, anzacs and a banana/coconut/date cake.
    Sold text books and bought next years second hand where possible.
    Sold some school uniforms pieces. Used the money to buy more pieces second hand.
    Shopped from the present shelf for a teen birthday party and a 21st birthday. Cards handmade.
    Bought reduced sausage mince, made sausage rolls. Took some to a Christmas drinks party.
    Gratefully accepted some fuschia cuttings.
    Picked up a box of free Christmas decorations on the kerbside in our street which we have plans to make a few things with. Saw a lovely bauble wreath on UTube which we'll have a go at, for starters.
    Washed and dried my huge woollen underlay today in the heat.
    Your tags look great. I just get the children to cut up last years cards for tags, punch a hole and ribbon - they get thrown out anyway. But yours look really special.

    1. Selling text books and uniforms then buying secondhand again saves so much money. We only buy new if it's new for that year.

      Free decos - how good is that ?!?!

  8. I've been sewing Christmas gifts, and embroidering dish towels all week. I've been sick, so lost a couple of days to that, but am back on track now.
    I got a marvelous deal on chicken yesterday, at $5 Friday at Safeway. It was 10 pounds for $5. It came frozen in a big lump, so I bought 3 and am thawing one to cook today and the others will be used later.
    I made white chicken chili and navy beans and ham. I soaked an awful lot of white navy beans, so we've had those 2 things several times and I have frozen a couple of meals as well.
    I have been sorting fabric scraps from previous projects. I have way too many. I've either been finding a use for them (doll clothes and gifts), throwing them away, or keeping them if I think I will ever use them. I have a lot more to sort.

  9. Having to be frugal for the next few weeks as I have taken some time off unpaid from work to rest as my fatigue levels have gone through the roof. Saving fuel by not using our vehicles and walking or riding most places. Almost finished our Christmas gift buying. Paid off all our bills and debts so only have the usual utility bills and the mortgage now. Our payments are a lot less than rent these days.
    Paid my DD1's school fees for next year and saved 10%. Check the book list out for next year and only had to buy a couple of ebooks and textbooks as I had a stock pile of stationary from the sales at the start of this year. Dried the clothes on the hills hoist. Been harvesting snow peas and butter beans. Been getting the odd strawberry and can't wait for the tomatoes. The plants have lots of flowers. Let some of the lettuces go to seed so I can get more free plants. The chooks have been laying off and on due to the changeable weather, but I still have plenty to use in baking. Plan to make a heap of biscuits for the teachers as a thank you. Been cleaning out our wardrobes and donating the clothes to the op shops. Gave two gift cards to the Salvo's wishing tree.

  10. Look at your sweet gift tags! They turned out lovely! I'm jealous of you ladies who are enjoying warm weather right now but I still like to see your flowers and gardens, so thank you for sharing pictures.

    I thought I was done Christmas shopping but spotted some fun candy bouquets in the store, realized I could make them for far less, and decided on the spot that some people who would have otherwise received home canning would receive those as gifts instead. I had a marvelous time picking out treats and assembling the bouquets! I posted pictures if you'd like to see them.

    We're hosting a Christmas dinner for my husband's staff next week, so I've been shopping sales and prepping ahead for weeks. I've been able to get what we need from my regular grocery budget and my pantry. Some of the candy bouquets will serve as both centerpieces and gifts for that party.

    It's winter here, so we're wearing layers in order to keep the heat turned back. We've enjoyed lots of soups made from "junk stock" made from Thanksgiving turkey bones. I have enough of a reputation that people save their turkey carcasses for me and I gratefully accept as many as my freezer will hold. The greater blessing from this is that I have stock and soup to share, most recently with a sick neighbor.

    Have a lovely week!

    1. Your candy bouquets look fabulous

    2. Thank you so much, Janine. I'm tickled that you like them.

    3. Janine, Thank you so much for your kind comment about the candy bouquets. I'm tickled that you liked them.

      (I tried to reply to Janine earlier and am not sure my computer, which is being touchy of late, sent it, so if this is a duplicate I'd be grateful if Wendy would not post it. Thanks!)

  11. Hi Wendy, I read your post yesterday and wanted to think of a few more things I have done this week to add to my list that I wrote in my comment on Annabels blog post from Friday. Anyway some of my frugal tasks this week included :
    Gratefully received pumpkin soup ( made by mum) , fruity tea muffins ( also made by mum but from her freezer) , and 3 meals( made by mum and dad ) all from my parents.
    Made a few more cards ( I posted a photo of some of them on the cheapskates forum)
    Did less loads of washing and made sure my loads were full loads to save on water and power.
    Used some Christmas gift boxes that I bought in the after Christmas sales last year
    Stuck to my menu plan all week
    Started a shopping list for next week ( to shop for a fortnight) , started by seeing what was in my pantry , fridge and freezer and did a menu plan for the fortnight.
    Bought 3 more Christmas gifts and 2 gifts for a charity giving tree. All items were on special
    Drank more water instead of cordial, soft drink ( I don't really drink much of that anyway) or soda water.
    Used newspaper in the bottom of my budgies cage.
    Recorded shows and movies from TV to watch instead of going to the movies or buying DVDs
    I can't think of anything else right now Wendy. The gift tags you made look great, I do the same thing .
    I would love to grow lemons , maybe I will get a dwarf lemon tree to grown in a pot if that is possible.
    Take care Wendy, have a great week. Love Barb.

  12. Hi Wendy

    You've had a lovely week
    I absolutely love your growing garden!
    I still dream of my own back yard but good things come to those who wait so I'm doing it patiently LoL...

    Frugal tasks this week

    (Last week) Got home from dads house and noticed a bath on the nature strip HOLLY MOLLY I said! I'm taking it! Boy I was happy! Another bath to add to the collection for planting in and getting some beautiful fresh produce and I can move it around to places I want yessssssss!!!!!!

    Received some gifts (teddy bear money boxes) for the kids

    Picked up some great bargains from the fruit shop

    Used my $10 off voucher at Tasman

    Enjoyed company of the kids running around with the rabbits out of the hutch
    The rabbits get quite excited when we let then run free around the back hehehe.

    Picked up some great marked down specials and clearance items for chrissy and birthday presents

    Received some fresh food and bread off my mum

    Great fully accepted the offer of a small portable shed and and bath tub, oh my the obsession I have for bath tubs at the moment woooooo! Love them so excited

    I have a project happening to make the shed into a chicken shed/home can't wait!

    Bought some herb seedlings from Macleod fete for $1 - $2 each it was to support the new community garden they were building there.

    Think that's about all

    Hope you have a lovely week next week Wendy xoxox

  13. Hi Wendy,

    I love your gift tag idea and your Hydrangeas look beautiful.

    Not much cooking this week as I had lots of outings to attend this week.
    I made bickies and doubled the amount to put some in the freezer. Made heaps of castor sugar and brown sugar ready for more Christmas baking. Also I made bread with extra goodness.

    I shopped the specials, Saved water for the garden or washing machine, planted more seedlings and bought from the fruit shop in Highpoint shopping centre, Tomatoes for $1.99 (to make Christmas Relish) just a few jars, Nectarines for .099c and a 5kg bag of Potatoes for $2.00.
    I picked Silverbeet from the garden to put into the Spinach (silverbeet) and ricotta cannelloni which did use for 2 meals and as I got the ricotta for $3.99 kg , this made both meals about $3.00 ea.

    I bought a text book for DS2 for next year on Ebay saving me $11.00. DS1 is on camp so less washing and saving on meals this week. I cleaned out the fridge and was ruthless as I wanted to make plenty of room for Christmas foods.

    I attended a bead making day at my local Library for free and made a Christmas tree ornament to hang on our Christmas tree. Also went to Sovereign Hill's Christmas shopping night. We met up with a special friend and her lovely family and had a wonderful night.

    Also we put up our Christmas tree that I purchased from Aldi's a couple of weeks ago for $30.00 and it's lovely.
    What did you decide was your colour theme for Christmas this year Wendy?

    Have a great week, hope your feeling relaxed,
    Blessings, xxx


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