Saturday, 16 January 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks 16th January 2016

Here's what we got up to in the Gower house this week -

*  Diluted a bottle of Windex.  I only use it on the kitchen window and there was about an inch left in the bottle.  I'm not really wanting to buy a refill so as soon as it's used up,  I'll try making my own solution with detergent,  vinegar and water.  I'll let you all know when I make it up.

*  Gratefully accepted two scarfs from Jessica when she was cleaning out her room.  One is a red check and great for Winter.  The other is a light weight cream one great for slightly warmer weather.

*  Donated lots of bags of clothes,  shoes and bedroom bits and pieces to Savers and received lots of discount stamps for future purchases.

*  Cut up last year's Christmas cards to make gift tags.

*  Fixed Princess's scratching post.  It was falling apart and Jessica wanted to buy a new one.  Out came my hot glue gun and it almost looks as good as new ( almost ).

*  Made another 19 hand towels to give as presents.  I have a wonderful stockpile now.  I'm thinking of giving them with a hand made soap wrapped together in a cellophane bag.

*  Bought a roll of tulle from Savers for $1.99 less 5% discount.  I'll be using it instead of ribbons on presents.

*  Took the soap out of the moulds.  In the warmer weather it seems the soap needs a few extra days to harden before touching.  A couple of bars will need a little smoothing to look better.

*  Bought another rose mould for soap making.  It was $1.99 at Savers less 15% discount

*  Bought two more Tupperware collapsable containers for $3.99 less 15% discount from Savers.  These will make great presents filled with biscuit and tied with a ribbon.

*  Stocked up on glue sticks from Big W at $1.21 per stick.  Bargain.

*  Picked a handful of beans every couple of days.   We also picked lettuce for quite a few meals.

*  Our tomatoes are ripening so I'm picking them just as they turn orange then ripening them on the kitchen windowsill.

*  Only spent $13 this week on milk,  fruit and veg.  We've been eating out of the freezers, pantry and fridge.

*  Sent a handmade gift of a couple of hand towels for a friend's birthday this week.

* Saved the shower warm up water to water all our potted plants and fruit trees.


Here are the rose soaps I made last week.  The rose petals look great here but a couple of days later they had mostly turned brown.  Not happy.  We'll have to use them instead of giving them as presents..

One batch of soap mixture made all of these.  So happy with the variety of moulds

I used the mould Mimi sent me.  They look great don't they ?

More hand towels were made.  This material had to be washed over and over again to get rid of the excess dye.

Using a different colored hand towel.  Darren likes this color.  Maybe we'll keep some for our kitchen.

Using material from a pillow case I found in the op shop.  So pretty.

I was reading Annabel's blog when Princess jumped up and started being cute with me.

With my de cluttering,  I came across the flowers from our engagement cake ( 21 years old ).  They were in a container in the back of my wardrobe.  I hadn't known what to do with them.  Putting them in a vase seems like a great idea.  They are now on displaying in the tv unit.

Collapsable Tupperware containers for $3.99 less 15% discount.  They'll make great presents filled with biscuits.

I found these for $1.99 each in Savers.  Much cheaper than the usual retail stores 

I found another rose soap mould.  I couldn't believe it.  And only $1.99 less 15% discount.

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


  1. Hi Wendy,
    The soaps look lovely and well done with the hand towel stockpile! Perhaps try dried rose petals next time you make soap? I'm not sure if that would work but you can give it a try. :)
    We are patiently waiting for our tomatoes to ripen, hopefully not much longer now! We have been very busy this week, but here is what we got up to anyway
    - we had roast pork during the week, so the leftovers provided us with two more nights worth of meals, we made Vietnamese pork rolls one night (big hit) and made yum cha style chinese pork buns (even bigger hit) which cost me about $5 in total to make 8 buns and they are very filling. Recipe is on my blog now.
    -chopped up spring onions and popped them in the freezer, these will still be good for cooking.
    - the spring onion roots were planted back into our veggie patch
    - used the air conditioning as little as possible
    - dried clothes on the line as much as possible.
    - gratefully received a 2 litre fresh milk and an avocado.
    - gratefully received a home-made candle from a friend at work (coconut, lime and elderflower scent and it smells divine!), so I gave her my biggest zucchini (about 700g) from my veggie patch. I'm now interested in candle making!
    - baked bread rolls for burger nights
    - made an easiyo sachet of natural yoghurt, froze the cultures to make several batches of yoghurt throughout the year.
    - took advantage of the bodywash sale at woolworths, I have enough to last us the rest of the year!
    - stocked up on mouthwash and tooth brushes at woolworths too.


    1. Hi Amy. I used dried rose petals in the soap, so I don't think I'll try it again.

      Maybe candle making is your goal for the year.

      I'll check out your blog shortly.

  2. This week we had a party for my little one and everyone pitched in. It was a money saver for sure. So grateful for everyone's generosity! Your soaps look great. Pairing them with your towels will make a great gift.

    1. Thanks Melissa. It's great when others help out with the food.

  3. Hi Wendy,

    Not much got done this week as we had a few emergencies with my Mum and my boys (broken window).

    This week I had a haircut and used a voucher I had received for my birthday for this. I cleaned out my car and found a bag of coins in the glovebox. I made some cards for DS2 for a birthday party he is going to on Sunday. I received clothes for me from a friend abd DS1 passed some of his clothes down to DS2. MIL bought both boys lots of clothes for summer.

    Bought some plants from Bunnings with Christmas money and DS2 used a movie voucher to see a movie. Saved water for garden and the rain was a blessing. Cut up old cereal box for price book and a roast chook we had did us for 3 meals. Mooed Zucchini slice, pizza and all meals.Still picking lots of strawberries and Zucchinis.

    Had to payout for a new piece of glass for a window which my boys broke but at least DH could fix so we didn't need a glazier.

    Blessings, see you today,

    1. Maureen, I'm almost tempted to clean out my car but I'm sure I won't find any money - hehehe !!!

      It's good that DS1 passes down his clothes. My girls still swap clothes.

  4. Gosh, you have been busy. Certainly got lots of presents on standby.

    1. I'm now ready for any female birthdays that pop up unexpectedly.

  5. Another great week for you Wendy.

    You had some great finds this week. I love those little Tupperware containers, and what a good price you paid.

    Oh my, you are so lucky to have found another rose soap mold. It must have been just waiting for you to enter the store.

    Your soaps are looking so lovely and would make excellent gifts with the hand towels, and I think some pretty little puss is wanting some of your attention lol!

    My busy frugal week consisted of;

    ~I am sun drying grapes (sultanas) and tomatoes.

    ~I am picking capsicum, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, silver beet, celery, zucchinis and grapes.

    ~I made up some horse poo tea for the veggie garden. The poo was free, this saves on buying fertilizer.

    ~We were gifted 7kgs of home grown apricots. I have sliced some and put in the freezer, the rest are still ripening in a cardboard box. We will make more jam with them.

    ~I made some focaccia bread; this went down a treat with our home made pizzas.

    ~I baked a healthy banana bread and some of your hooty-creek biscuits.

    ~I cooked meals from scratch.

    ~I didn’t have any cream to use for a recipe, so substituted some full cream milk and butter for the same result.

    ~Line dried all the washing this week, and I only washed twice.

    ~I used fans instead of air conditioning where possible. I don’t put the air conditioner on unless it is over 35C.

    ~We sold excess eggs.

    ~I am cleaning houses for extra cash for our holiday.

    ~I sorted out my card making/scrap-booking and craft supplies and put into clear stackable boxes.

    ~I also organised my wrapping paper and gift bags and found a place to keep them.

    Have a wonderful week,


    1. Tania, Princess always like my attention. Especially when I'm on the computer. She loves to smooch the cord on the floor.

      Free fertiliser is a huge bonus for your budget. Will you be giving some of the jam as presents ?

    2. For sure Wendy. Jam is a fantastic item to give as a gift :)


  6. That's a shame about the rose petals turning brown Wendy, at least you are able to use them. Maybe dried lavender would work? Your soaps are turning out so well, you must be very happy with them. I remember you saying somewhere that you have sensitive skin, do you find this soap is gentle enough for you?


    1. Hi Jen. Yes the soap has been great on my skin. I was breaking out in itchy patches on my arms when I was using well known brands of shower gel. It's cleared up since using my own soap. I can't wait to tell my doctor the next time I see her.

      I have a friend who will be giving me some lavender to dry for my soaps. i'll let you know how it goes.

  7. Hi Wendy, and Happy New Year! I love the soaps and don't the leaf ones look great! As soon as I saw that mold, I envisaged roses and leaves packaged together. Well done. Love Mimi xxx

    1. Yes the soaps do look great and thankyou again for the mould. So happy with my assortment of moulds to use xoxo

  8. Your towels look great! I am wondering something though... do you wash the towels and the fabric before sewing the fabric on? I have attached fabric to towels and when they went through the wash, the towels and or fabric shrank. One thing I did this week was to make frugal use of ripe bananas. I posted about it on my blog.

    1. I washed the red towels because I was worried about dye coming out onto the material. I also washed the material used.

      I'll check out your blog shortly.

  9. Hi Wendy, love the soaps and hand towels - and it's always lovely to see your pets in your blog posts too!

    You've inspired my 20 year old daughter with your soap making - she was saying she'd love to take it up as a hobby and maybe use for gifts or selling, but couldn't afford all the supplies. I showed her your method and she's all fired up and ready to go!

    Just about the window washing liquid - I saw a recipe somewhere that says 2 litres warm water, 2-3 tablespoons of dish liquid and a tablespoon of dishwasher rinse aid - the rinse aid helps prevent residue and streaks. If you're doing the outside of your windows, you can just hose it off then and don't have to squeegee it down.

    1. How exciting about your daughter taking up soap making. It really is easy to make. Make sure she researches about selling soap. Phil from House of Simple blog said you need a licence to sell the soap and it costs over $400 a year. It's something to do with the soap having caustic soda in it ( a chemical ).

      Thanks for the window cleaner recipe.

  10. Dear Wendy,
    What a good week and the soap looks fantastic! That was great getting another mould like that.
    I am almost ready to go I have one ingredient to get for one soap which is white beeswax. I will keep collecting nice moulds though... a few more would be handy.
    It is a really good idea to use a pretty pillowcase for the fabric. Linen is great this way when there are lovely prints.
    Have a great new week! I have a week of doing things with peaches, pies, crumble, cakes, muffins etc will fill up the freezer so this is really good. Fresh peaches too of course.
    With love

    1. Have a wonderful week with your fruit Annabel xoxo

  11. this week I/we have kept the a/c and heater use to a minimum, and they were both used on the same day. Night time temps of 9, daytime 39 lol.
    I have almost finished using the cheeses I brought home with me from my Melbourne city stay. Friday night I made zucchini slice from niece's homegrown zucchini, the slice lasted for 2 meals, and I also used some in other meals.
    I diluted 2l of vinegar, started my compost bin with veg scraps and weeds, I am using a large plastic rubbish bin(minus the bottom) as we only have a small garden.
    Harvested mint and chives to add to meals, plus a couple of cherry tomatoes, started some seeds sprouting for sandwiches and salads. I am using the rinse water to water the indoor plants.
    Made birthday cards for DD and DGS, picked up DGS's presents when they were on special last year. All up presents for both of them would be less than $20, the postage will probably be about $18, depends what size prepaid satchel they will fit into.
    Recycled several things around the house.
    had the cat groomed at a young ladies home, cost was $65, we gave her $100, she cut his fur and claws, then bathed him. A professional groomer would have cost $250+, and last time we used one the cat had a large chunk shaved off his neck. This resulted in an abscess and $200 in vet fees. This young lady told us that one of his claws was digging in to the pad and he would need to be watched for any sign of infection. Obviously well worth the extra we paid, especially as he bit her and she just accepted the fact that before he came to us he was mistreated.
    Baked 2 loaves of bread, and used the oven for the zucchini slice, and baked apple and peaches.
    One of our cats is like Princess, she loves to help me on the computer.

    1. Yes, we had one day when I contemplated putting the heater on. So funny as we'd had the cooling on the day before.

  12. Wowie your week has been fab!

    Here's my frugal tasks

    Sold sold quite a few cookie jars for $5 $6 and $7 each though the lady barded with me and bought all for $65 there was about 13 jars

    Made some pest kill spray for the garden using garlic chilli and dish wash liquid

    Pollinated another pumpkin Though some of them aren't surviving pollination, I don't know why but I'll have to look it up. They just start to go yellow and die off.

    Made meals from scratch and stocked up my freezer a little bit

    Portioned out meals in mini containers for Stu junior - generally our left overs he gets in first cause he has quite a large appetite when it comes to dinner time so if I'm cooking dinner and he's getting to Hungry to wait we just heat him up one of those meals and what ever is left from our meals we just put one or 2 containers aside for him :)

    Have still been decluttering and sorting
    Managed to find some new homes for a few things I have. Stueys baby clothes are going to my sister because we just found out she was having a baby boy! Woo an Aunty again!

    Picked up some stationary at Aldi

    Have been jotting down some pressie ideas have taken up annabels Christmas challenge

    Made sausage rolls, LCMs and peachy ice tea with some fruits and tomato relish for card making day

    Think that's all for this week Wendy

    Hope you have a lovely week next week

    Anne xoxox

    1. Good work on selling the jars. The LCM bars were very yummy thankyou very much. My girls loved them too.

  13. Hi Wendy, love to read your frugal list as it gives me ideas of things I may not have thought about. Our tomatoes are ripening too - do you have a recipe for a pasta sauce you could share. With so many ripening it won't be long until we have a big glut. Thanks so much, Helen

    1. Helen, I just cut and cook the tomaotes and add onion flakes, salt and pepper. Then I freeze it in takeaway food containers. When I'm making spag bol etc, I add the Italian seasonings. If I do that before freezing, I can't taste them.

  14. Hi Wendy, I have just discovered your blog and I can't wait until I have time to read through all your frugal lists for ideas! I really love the hand towels where you have sewn a panel of fabric on. I might have to make a couple of those! Meg

    1. Welcome Meg and thankyou for commenting. I hope to see you around the blog. Best wishes for a frugal life.

  15. I love those hand towels! This is what I did:

    -Made paper toppers for jam and used my 50c twine and tag kits I got last week to make labels. These will go in my gift stockpile.

    -Made some bleach resist tees with shirts I bought on sale months ago. A couple are also for gift giving.

    -Tidied up my gift stockpile and added some bows, pretty labels etc to some homemade candles, lip balm, bath bombs and furniture polish. These are now ready for birthday presents.

    -Made our own mouthwash using 300ml water, 1tsp bi carb soda and 1tsp peppermint essence.

    -Finished hand sewing a birthday gift for a friends little son.

    -Picked some grapes, leeks and the last of the silver beet and cherry tomatoes from our garden.

    -Took Mr 9 to the library for a presentation on worm farming. The kids all got to make and bring home their own mini worm farm and we borrowed some books.

    -I helped a friend's elderly neighbours by tidying up their backyard and putting rubbish into a skip bin. There were 5 of us and we got it all done in no time. The couple were so grateful, and I really enjoyed helping them.

    -Mr 9 won a competition he entered. He received 2 DVDs and was over the moon!

    -Am re reading The Tightwad Gazette, which I got for my birthday last year. It is full of money saving tips.

    -Baked some jam donut muffins, sultana tea cake muesli, made chocolate pudding, custard and fruit juice jelly for snacks.

    - Went out for dinner with some girl friends and came home under budget.

    -Made some soy candles. Some of these are for a friend who pays me to refill her jars and I also made a couple for gifts.

    -Did a small grocery shop- we are still eating out of our freezer. I shopped for the specials and bought a whole watermelon, 5 kg of carrots (I will peel, blanch and freeze some), 1 kg fish, 4 kg potatoes, 8 zucchinis, eggs, 2 minute noodles, icecream (for Miss 16's birthday) and cooking chocolate.

    -Received a beautiful book of Gustav Klimt's artworks from a lovely human who follows my blog and IG. Such a kind gesture!

    1. Mel, you've had a great week. How wonderful for your son to learn about worm farms. Start them off young !!!

      Your presents sound wonderful. Have you joined Annabel's Christmas challenge ?

    2. Thank you Wendy. No I havent. Does Annabel have a blog?

    3. She certainly does. Annabel was one of the first bloggers I connected with. She's become a great friend and I met her when Cath and I travelled to Adelaide last year to hold a workshop.

      Her blog is called The Bluebirds Are Nesting. You can click on the side of my blog. Annabel got me started on card making on a budget. You'll love her blog. It's so pretty and uplifting. ENJOY xoxo

    4. Thank you, I will check it out. I've been inspired by your card making and have a big box of craft supplies so I've invited a friend over on the weekend for some lunch and card making :)xx

  16. Hi Wendy,
    I love your soaps!!! They look so beautiful.
    I am going to try your recipe and wondered if you used essential oils to perfume them and if so how much per batch??
    Also wondered where you shop for your rose mounds...I have only been able to find them on line..
    Kind regards Helen

    1. I haven't tried essential oils yet as I have sensitive skin. I will make a scented batch to give as presents. I think you need about 20 drops of the oil but please check. There might be something on the Greening Of Gavin blog as he makes soaps and sells them. Look under his little green shop ( I think that's what it's called ).

      I found the rose soap moulds at Savers op shop. I think they might be Willow brand. Op shops seem to have lots of silicon moulds for $2 - $4.

  17. Thanks so much Wendy. I love your blog and get much enjoyment reading it each week..
    Kind Regards


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