Saturday 20 February 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 20th February 2016

I tried to have a slower week but it just didn't happen.  I arrived home Saturday afternoon from the Aldi Adelaide workshop.  I was a little weary from the travelling and all the talking Cath and I did in 24 hours.  A big thankyou to fellow Cheapskater Laine who recommended the Aldi baby products to the people in my group.  It's been a while since I've bought nappies and wipes.

During the week I worked,  Megan got her second part time job,  got the car serviced,  did a food shop as well as the usual cleaning chores around the house.  Here's what else I got up to -

* Made lots of creamed rice to avoid throwing out lots of milk.  The use by was about to expire so I had to think of something easy and yummy that uses lots of milk.  This is one of Jessica's favourite desserts so she was in heaven.

*  Made 11 jars of tomato relish. I used tomatoes from my garden and made the brown sugar using sugar that was given to us.

*  Stuck to our $2 per person  budget for Valentine's Day.  Darren and I spent this amount on each other to buy a little treat.  Darren bought four cherries and coated them in chocolate.  He found a card in my card box to give me.  I bought $2 worth of cashews and bagged them up with a red ribbon to give to Darren.

*  Made brown sugar.

*  Picked raspberries,  beans,  tomatoes and a few strawberries.

*  Bought crumpets as a treat.  They were reduced to $1.12 a packet.

*  Bought home the toiletries from the accommodation in Adelaide last weekend.

*  Darren cooked up some cherry tomatoes given to us.  They have been frozen into meal size.

*  Bought 3 large Moccona jars from the op shop.  They were $3.99 for the three less 20% discount.   I'll be using them as presents filled with biscuits ( cookies ). I also purchased three light green vintage plates for $4.99 together less 20% discount.  I found some lovely pink,  white and green striped cotton material for $9.99 less 20%..  These will be made into tea towels for my new kitchen,  some to give as presents and some to sell.

*  Bought some knitting cotton from Spotlight on clearance for $2 a ball  I'll be knitting dishcloths for my kitchen,  some to give as presents and some to sell.

*  Made muesli bar slice for snacks.

*  Gratefully accepted a lovely present from Annabel.  After the Adelaide workshop she presented me with a pretty box filled with knitting  / crochet cotton and crochet hooks to get me started on crocheting.  Thankyou so much Annabel.  Such a lovely present.  You'll be pleased to know later that night Cath got me started on crocheting.  I'm still in the very basic stage but I'm hoping to get better.

* Kept the cooling off all week.  We did use the fan on the cooling a couple of times but this costs so little to run.

*  Cooked from scratch all week and ate out of the pantry,  fridge and freezer.

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

*  Sold one dozen eggs,  one jar of jam and one jar of relish to a cleaning client.

My $3 clearance plants are now flowering.
Darren's Valentine's Day present.
Making tomato relish
Cheap Moccona jars.
Vintage plates
Knitting cotton on clearance
From the garden.
What did you do to save money this week ?


  1. YOu did well! Can you share your recipe for the tomato relish please? I just did an update on how I saved this week on my blog. :)

    1. Just click on the words tomato relish and it will take you to the recipe.

  2. Dear Wendy, you have had a great week. You and Cath and Annabel have inspired me to take another look at Aldi , I will try and go there next fortnight and see how much I can save!.
    My week wasn't that busy but I managed to do a few things:
    I gratefully received 6 meals and some freezer and fridge items from my parents as well as a pineapple and some shallots( spring onions ) from their garden.
    I made 10 cards using my new sizzix machine , I just need to finish them off
    Received a magazine in the mail from a very kind lady
    Used newspaper in my budgies cage.
    Used teabags from my stockpile
    Still working my way through my bottles of pine o cleen ( I have 5 large bottles still, bought 50% off)
    Made cheese and bacon and shallot muffins ( most of which went into the freezer)
    I am Making sure I get the last little bit of dish washing liquid out of the bottle!.
    Bought some grocery items reduced to clear
    Saved some money in my money drawer/ tin and the bank
    I am in credit or up to date on all my bills
    I think that is all Wendy. Enjoy the rest of the weekend We do and everyone.
    Love Barb

    1. I'm glad you'll give Aldi another go. It's going to save you some money.

      Enjoy your Sizzix and I hope you put some photos up on the Cheapskate's forum.

  3. Hi Wendy
    It sounds like the Aldi workshop was a great success, are you planning on running anymore? And if so where?

    Also could you tell me how you get the coffee smell out of the coffee jars please.


    1. Kathleen, as far as I know there are no other Aldi workshops planned. If you'd really like one make sure you let Aldi know.

      I just washed the coffee jars in hot soapy water and pulled the lid apart to wash everything. I also let it air out for 24 hours before putting it back together.

  4. Dear Wendy, You did very well after such a big weekend! I thought you would be tired as travel makes me tired.
    It was so good to see you and such a great work shop. I really had a fantastic time!
    When you have your basic crochet stitches going ok try a Granny Square as these grow very quickly and are a good step as they encourage you along.
    During this week I finished using figs, painted, sanded and did a lot of things around the house.
    I would say that Aldi will account for the single biggest saving this year. So I am glad this has happened now at the beginning of the year as it will change the budget a lot!
    Have a lovely weekend! With love,

    1. Annabel, it was the travelling and TALKING that wore me out.

      I will try the granny square soon as I love those blankets.

  5. Wendy,I would have loved to been at Aldi's with the three of you! I too am learning to crochet. Youtube has some really great videos to view that are helpful. I made soap using the recipe on Annabel's post but instead of using Lux soap flakes I grated up pure castile soap bars and substituted them instead. I wrote about it here ...

    1. We have a soap revolution going on. Will check out your latest blog post xoxo

  6. Hi Wendy,
    Another very busy week for you.
    This week our daughter bought us four point of lay hens (to replace the old girls the fox took) and they certainly were point of lay we have had eight small eggs so far. They are still a bit timid about venturing outside but I'm sure that will change.
    I froze the remainder of the coriander bunch in ice trays in olive oil(haven't done this before) so will see how it goes.
    Froze pumpkin pieces, soup and made pumpkin scones, also froze some onions, kept the skins to make dye for some wool I've been spinning.
    Very gratefully received a beautiful chestnut coloured alpaca fleece, I can't wait to start spinning it up. My husband really admired it, so maybe something for him.
    Yesterday planted some turnip seeds, today some carrots and radish, trying to make the garden a bit more productive. Oh and I have been collecting the red rose petals for pot pourri for presents.
    So not too bad a week after a shaky start.

    1. Susan, I hope your new chooks give you lots of laughs ( and eggs ).

      Do you add essential oil to your pot pourri ?

  7. Hi Wendy
    - This week I've decided to become frugal (again !!) I too have my own business as a house cleaner and have recently lost 2 clients (1 due to their financial hardship and the second not needing me anymore as she has dropped to part time work). That really hurts in the purse! So I'm frugally shopping between Costco, Aldi and mainstream supermarket specials.

    - Later today I"m making a spreadsheet comparing all the items we usually buy between the stores and working out which shop sells what cheaper. I will also keep a copy in my handbag for quick reference when im out at the shops and see a special.

    - I took my youngest (13yo boy 6ft 1 inch with hollow legs) to Costco and bought snacks for school lunches and made him calculate and compare taking lunch from home versus school canteen - wow he was surprised in the savings and im confident he will stick to it!

    - Trawlling the internet for budget meals/slow cooker meals

    - Menu planning the abovementioned recipes!!

    I remember seeing you on a current affair and looked up your website. The specials you mention are great - will look forward to seeing those each week. I will enjoy scrolling through you old posts and picking up some great frugal tips!

    Thanks Wendy !!


    1. Amanda, I'm so glad you've found my blog. Welcome !!!

      My slow cooker chicken curry recipe is very frugal and really tasty. I sometimes get 6 or 7 serves from the two chicken fillets used. You'll also find all my recipes really are budget friendly. At the moment I'm feeding my family of four for $200 a month.

      Please have a go at baking some school snacks. They'll save you even more money. Check out the baking section on the recipes page. These are things I bake for school lunches and home snacks.

      Please comment again. I'd love to hear from you.

  8. What a big week you had Wendy!

    You will love learning to crochet, there are so many beautiful things to make on the internet. Granny squares are a great way to start.

    I am sorry I missed your Adelaide visit this time around. I had been down to Adelaide on the Wednesday of that week so couldn't make it to your event. However, I did get to ALDI and was pleasantly surprised by the prices and quality of goods in the shop. I will definitely make this my stop to shop place when I am in the city, I loved it!

    My savings this week included;

    Menu planning and cooking all meals from scratch.

    Searched you tube for cheap meals to try.

    Picking zucchinis, tomatoes, silver beet from the veggie garden.

    Cleaned three houses this week.

    Stayed away from the shops as much as possible with five no spend days.

    Sold excess eggs.

    Planned a gift to bless a sick friend.

    Made mini pizzas and scones for cafe church.

    Used up some old apples to make an apple cobbler.

    Made desserts from some of the free peaches we picked from the side of the road.

    Received our water bill and it was quite a bit cheaper than previous years, thanks to the water saving veggie barrels we are now using.

    Finding new ways to tighten the budget. Things aren't looking so good with hubby's work at the moment.

    Have a lovely week Wendy.


    1. I'll be praying for your husband's work situation Tania. I'm sure you've already tightened the budget.

      Apple cobbler is so yummy.

  9. Hi wendy
    You've had a great week I love your maccona jars what a bargain. I'm trying to build up a large maccona jar supply in my pantry to put things in though I don't drink too much coffee because I'm BF'ing I still have 2 full jars of coffee in my pantry haha though I did have a thought to empty both jars of coffee into a zip lock bag so I can use them.
    Here's what I got up to over the last 2 weeks

    Frugal tasks

    I'm feeling so grateful for the things that were achieved in the last 2 weeks.

    Went up to Bendigo for a night over the Valentine's Day weekend with family and friends. We celebrated my brothers 33rd birthday. He is no longer with us but this is now our tradition since his passing.

    Bought reduced Valentine's Day gifts from woollies and some chocolates these were 50c to $1 so I got myself a chocolate and heart wood banner things from Stu and I got Stu a monkey teddy on a box and some chocolates to put inside. He still insists on going out to lunch but I think I'm happy with the things I got for both of us

    Bought 3 bags of marked down fruit from safe way. Plums and nectarines.

    Made plum jam
    Made nectarine jam

    Made bulk taco seasoning

    Cooked all meals from scratch

    Did more decluttering

    Bought heaps of clearance clothes for $2 these will be for the girls for next summer and possibly the summer after. (They are slow growers)

    A friend gave me a bag of clothes for junior. They were all practically new and most still had tags they will last him the next 2 summers

    I've also been getting the kids into a better routine for the last 2 weeks will see how we go when we throw DD1 into the mix LoL...

    Stu has been picking his usual hand full of tomatoes every second to third day

    The kids and I picked 2 butternut pumpkins
    1 zucchini And picked and ate our one and only cantaloupe it was so tiny and cute but very tasty

    Gifted a jar of spicy tomato relish for the kids day care owners birthday

    We also gifted the kids grandma some home made jam

    Hope you have a lovely week next week :)


    1. Anne, I don't know when you find the time to sleep.

      Bet the cantaloupe was yummy. It's just wonderful to pick your own fruit and veg.

  10. Oh I forgot to mention that I bought a hug a Bub for $60 their usually $90 to $100 and I sold Ruby's guitar for $50 she won't ever use it again and it was still practically new

  11. It looks like you had a great week. It must be very rewarding, although tiring, to be able to share your tips and technics with other people. We don't have an Aldi in our area, so won't be trying it, but it sounds like a good place to save money!

    It's nice that you could think of such creative Valentine's gifts for each other to show you cared, without breaking the bank.

    1. Becky, once upon a time we would spend a fair bit of money on Valentine's Day. The budget just doesn't allow for that be we like to acknowledge the day.

  12. This week DD2 complained of uncomfortable shoes (expensive school shoes) - problem was solved with Rejext shop $2,50 memory foam heel insoles.
    DD1 needed navy "dress pants" - I found a pair of mine and shortened them for her which fit the need.
    Used the leftover roast lamb bone to make stock and a delicious soup using soup mix and just a few veges.
    Made yoghurt and cupcakes for lunchboxes.
    Have another great week.

    1. I'll have to look at the memory foam insoles. It's a great price.

  13. Hi Wendy,

    Congratulations to Megan on her second job, she's such a great example to other teens.

    Could you put on your list of things to post your creamed rice recipe please? I do make my own but very rarely and i would like to try yours.
    Love your Valentines day presents.

    This week i Mooed cupcakes, bread and all meals from scratch. Picked Tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and lettuce from the garden. I'm doing the February no spending challenge and stuck to this this week, although i did buy some fruit and veggies from Caths local fruit shops when attending the card making workshop as this was budgeted for and they were great bargains ie: Bananas for 39c kg, Broccoli for 99c kg.

    Didn't use any heating or cooling this week and gratefully received 5 kg of sugar which I'm going to use for my jam making and relish.

    Attended the card making workshop and made three cards, some embellishments and did lots of punch outs. Received from the swap table pea seeds, dried rosemary and some packets of food.

    Do you have to use a certain type of knitted cotton for the dishcloths?
    What sort of flowering plant is that, it's gorgeous?

    Have a great week,

    Blessings Maureen

    1. Maureen, I'll try to type up a recipe for the creamed rice. It's all in my head xoxo

  14. Very productive week you had, Wendy! My savings were mostly on not eating out and cooking at home instead: over the past few years I have fallen into a very expensive habit of eating out multiple times per week due to stress and hectic jobs/lifestyle. This week I also saved by shopping at thrift stores for a nice pair of leather work shoes (bought a pair that cost less than $5), made corn bread with milk that was about to expire, and saved money (on interest) by paying an extra payment on my college school loans. Total saved is well over $100. Thank you for the inspiration to do more thrifty things! Oh, re: the photos of the cards you created a short while ago and posted here on your blog...I totally copied the black, white and red one (my daughter's favorite colors) and she loved it! Blessings! Teresa

  15. Sounds like a great week Wendy! I also found some great op shop bargains and did some crafting. My frugal tasks are up on my blog :)

  16. Sounds like a great trip. You found some good bargains. I especially like the bright spring colors of that yarn! Have a great week!

  17. Sounds like a very productive week! :~) Your raspberries look so yummy. Here in the mid-south (Tennessee, US) we are having some nice warm air up from the Gulf of Mexico...lovely 70* weather in February. Crazy, but so wonderful lol

    I am thinking about the upcoming spring and my plans for planting. You've reminded me I have a smattering of raspberry plants that were swallowed up in overgrowth in the last couple years when I was working outside the house and just did not have time or energy to maintain them as I should. I'll did them up and relocate, Lord willing, I'll have some beautiful berries once again :~)
    Have a blessed day!

    1. I hope the raspberry plants survive the relocation. They can be quite fickle

  18. I'm so glad you all get to enjoy Aldi! I just love it.
    We've been cooking and eating at home despite the fact that our kitchen is a construction zone, which has been challenging but helpful. I've done very little shopping and have mostly used what's in the pantry and freezer. We've also eaten up the amazes me that some people refuse to eat anything rewarmed!
    My daughter went to visit her brother at university so some of his female friends were kind enough to co-host her since she needed to stay in the ladies' dorms. She and I picked out items to make a gift basket for each of the hostesses as a thank-you gift.
    I also made two batches of "beginner" soap. One recipe was something I'd done before but the other was new to me. I'm pleased with the results and encouraged to try more.
    Have a lovely week, Wendy!
    Blessings, Leigh


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