Monday 30 May 2016

Pizza Scrolls

Quite often I make mini quiches for the family or a catering order.  After the pastry shells have been cut out,  there's so much pastry left over.  It's always bugged me that the pastry goes to waste.  Just recently I had another catering order for 80 mini quiches.  With all that pastry left over,  I thought it was time to make something else from the scraps.  The following recipe is something I made up as I went along.  The result was yummy little pizza scrolls that my family enjoyed.  The rest were frozen for lunch box treats.

Scraps from puff pastry sheets
Sauce - I used tomato and bbq combined
Grated cheese
Mixed dried herbs.

Flour your kitchen bench then knead the pastry until it forms a ball.

Using a rolling pin ( or your hands ),  roll out the puff pastry until it resembles an oblong that's a few millimetres thick.  It might be a bit tough to work with.  When this happened,  I gave the pastry a 5 minute rest then continued rolling.

Spread the sauce over the pastry leaving 1 centremetre around the edges.

Sprinkle the herbs over the sauce and add the grated cheese still leaving an edge.

Roll the pastry lengthwise into a long log.

Cut the log into 2 - 3 centremetre pieces and place onto a lined baking tray.

Pinch the outer edge of the scroll to secure.

Cook at 180 degrees Celsius for approx, 20 minutes.

From the freezer
Fresh out of the oven
Pizza toppings just before rolling.

Saturday 28 May 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 28th May 2016

My frugal tasks list for the week doesn't have any big cook ups or major money busting jobs.  Instead I've spent a fair bit of the week looking at kitchens,  sinks,  door handles and bench tops.  Here's what I managed to get done in my free time -

*  Repaired a pair of Winter boots.  The soles were coming away from the upper.  So I used shoe glue to fix them.  I think they will last this year and next.

*  I went to the Cheapskates card making day and made 5 cards using what I had on hand.  I also gratefully received from the swap table - two mini stainless steel bowls I can use for cat food,  card embellishments,  card stock,  ribbons and Easter bags.  I also received a card making magazine with free stamps and a card making brochure.

*  Gratefully accepted some stickers someone left for me at church.  Thankyou.  They will be put to good use on my cards.

*  Lined both bathroom bins with bread bags.

*  Filled up my car with petrol at $1.08 per litre at a United petrol station.  At the moment they are about 7 cents a litre cheaper than the bigger petrol stations.

*  Dried the clothes on clothes horses over the ducted heating vents.  Only the bed sheets were put into the dryer.

*  Used a thermos to store boiling water in during the day.

*  Tried to keep to the two light rule whenever possible.

*  Fed the compost bin with kitchen scraps and fed the chooks some slightly old watermelon.

*  Gratefully received more silverbeet from my Dad.

*  Made a batch of dried seasoned bread crumbs.

*  Cut up school notices and other used photo copy paper to use as note paper on my mini magnetic clip board.

*  Gratefully received a fuel docket in the mail.  Thankyou Tania.

*  Found two more standby lights to turn off.  They were in the girl's bedrooms and I don't think they've noticed.

*  Gratefully received an envelope of card making stickers from my Cheapskate friend Chelsea.  Thankyou.

Lettuce ready to pick.
Daisies in the garden
Lots of rosemary
Making seasoned bread crumbs

What's on your frugal task list for this week ?

Thursday 26 May 2016

TV Story Links

Hi everyone.  I get countless requests for links to the stories I did for A Current Affair back in 2014.  Unfortunately the story clips only stay on their website for one year.  The producer I worked with has kindly given me a few links to share with you.  They will be available on  A Current Affair's website for the next 8 - 12 weeks.

I'm in the process of organising  permanent videos of my family's story and the Christmas story to be viewed on my blog.  Hopefully I can get that up and running with help from a friend in the next few weeks.

In the meantime,  happy viewing......

My family's story

 On the road helping families

Getting a good deal when shopping.

A Gower Christmas

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Grocery Specials Wednesday 25th May 2016

Here are this week's best grocery specials -


*  Streets Magnum 4 Pack-6 Pack 250mL-428mL1/2 PRICE Was $7.99, Save $4.00  Now $3.99 each.  You can't get them cheaper than this.

*  Nescafé Gold 190g-200g1/2 PRICE Was $17.99, Save $9.00  Now $8.99 each

*  Arnott’s Tim Tam Chocolate Biscuits 165g-200g1/2 PRICE Was $3.65, Save $1.83  Now $1.82 each

*  Dolmio Extra Pasta Sauce 490g-500g1/2 PRICE Was $3.29, Save $1.65  Now $1.64 each.  A great rice although a tin of tomatoes is cheaper.

*  Arnott’s Salada Crispbread 250g or Savoy Crackers 180g-225g Was $3.00, Save $1.00  Now $2.00 each

*  Arnott’s Tee Vee Snacks 175g 1/2 PRICE Was $3.65, Save $1.83  Now $1.82 each

*  Lindt Lindor or Creation Block 100g 1/2 PRICE Was $4.00, Save $2.00  Now $2.00 each

*  Arnott’s Shapes 160g-190g 1/2 PRICE NEW Hot Dog flavour only at Coles.Was $3.00, Save $1.50  Now $1.50 each

*  Golden Circle Tetra Drink 1 Litre1/2 PRICEExcludes Pineapple, Tomato & Nectar.Was $2.05, Save $1.03  Now $1.02 each

*  Mars Medium Funsize 144g-216g1/2 PRICE Was $4.60, Save $2.30  Now $2.30 each.  Do you have any birthday parties coming up ?

*  Peckish Snackers 100g1/2 PRICE Was $2.00, Save $1.00 Now $1.00 each

*  Gold Choice Canola, Vegetable or Sunflower Oil 4 Litre1/2 PRICE Was $18.00, Save $10.00  Now $8.00 each

*  Maharajah’s Choice Basmati Rice 5kg1/2 PRICE Was $17.50, Save $8.75  Now $8.75 each

*  Masterfoods Squeezy Tomato Sauce 500mL1/2 PRICE Was $2.85, Save $1.43  Now $1.42 each

*  Heinz Big Red 420g1/2 PRICE Was $2.20, Save $1.10  Now $1.10 each

*  Campbell’s Fully Loaded Soup 505g1/2 PRICE Was $3.79, Save $1.90  Now $1.89 each

*   Cottee’s Jam 500gWas $3.35, Save $1.35  Now $2.00 each

*  Tetley Extra Strong Tea Bags 100 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $5.29, Save $2.65  Now $2.64 each

*  Yorkshire Tea 100 Pack 220g1/2 PRICE Was $5.00, Save $2.50  Now $2.50 each

*  Freedom Foods XO Crunch 285g1/2 PRICE Was $4.00, Save $2.00  Now $2.00 each

*  Governor’s Estate Tea 20 Pack 40g1/2 PRICE Was $4.99, Save $2.50  Now $2.49 each

* Balfours Frozen Pies 4 Pack 680g1/2 PRICE Was $7.50, Save $3.75  Now $3.75 each

*  Tip Top English Muffins 6 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $4.90, Save $2.45  Now $2.45 each

*  Tip Top Raisin Toast 520g1/2 PRICE Was $5.40, Save $2.70  Now $2.70 each

*  Oral B Vitality Precision Clean Power Brush 1 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $50.00, Save $25.00  Now $25.00 each

*    Pantene Shampoo or Conditioner 350mL1/2 PRICE Was $7.89, Save $3.95  Now $3.94 each

*  1/2 PRICE OFF all Papermate & Sharpie

*  30% OFF all Décor Match Ups & Microsafe

*  30% OFF all Wiltshire Bakeware

*  Morning Fresh Dishwashing Liquid 400mL1/2 PRICE Was $3.95, Save $1.98  Now $1.97 each

*  Viva Paper Towel 3 Pack1/2 PRICE 82¢ per roll.Was $4.90, Save $2.45  Now $2.45 each

* Mars M&M’s or Maltesers 140g-180g1/2 PRICE Was $4.25, Save $2.13  Now $2.12 each


*  Smith’s Crinkle or Doritos Chips 330gLarge value pack.Now $2.94 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.95

*  Lurpak Spread or Block 250g Now $2.70 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.70

*  Uncle Tobys Flavoured Oat Sachets 350-420g Pk 12 Now $2.74 each1/2 Price, Save $2.75

*  Golden Circle Juice 2 Litre Now $2.00 each Save $1.59

*  Sakata Rice Crackers 90-100g Now $1.16 each1/2 Price, Save $1.24

* Belvita Breakfast Biscuits 300g Now $2.00 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.00

*  Campbell’s Condensed Soup 400-430g Any 3 for $3.00 Save $2.94

*  Leggo’s Pasta Sauce Varieties 490-500g Now $1.50 each1/2 Price, Save $1.50

*  Golden Circle Corn 410g or Beetroot Slices 450g Now $0.85 each1/2 Price, Save $0.85

*  Campbell’s Chunky or Country Ladle Soups 495-505g Now $1.64 each1/2 Price, Save $1.65

*  Campbell’s Real Stock Varieties 500ml Now $1.14 each1/2 Price, Save $1.15 

*  Birds Eye Chiko Roll 650g Pk 4 or Corn Jacks 575g Pk 5 Now $2.59 each1/2 Price, Save up to $2.80

*  Imported Freshwater Basa Fillets Seafood may not be available in all stores.Thawed for your convenience .Now $5.49 kg1/2 Price, Save $5.50 kg

*  Imported Smoked Cod Fillets^Seafood may not be available in all stores.^Thawed for your convenience .Now $10.00 kg Save $5.00 kg

*  Fresh Blue Grenadier (Hoki) Fillets Seafood may not be available in all stores Now .$12.00 kg Save $3.99 kg

*  Australian Cauliflower Australian Grown.$1.50 each

*  Australian Kent Pumpkin Australian Grown.$0.80 kg

*  30% off All Winter Manchester

*  Fuji Xerox Copy Paper Performer A4 500 Sheets
May not be available in all stores. Colours, sizes and styles may vary by store. While stocks last.
Now $3.00 each1/2 Price, Save $3.00

*  Canon Printer Mg2965 Now $39.50 each1/2 Price, Save $39.50

*  Oral B Vitality Sensitive Clean Rechargeable Power Toothbrush Pk 1Now $22.30 each Better than 1/2 Price, Save $27.69

*  Oral B Vitality Precision Clean Rechargeable Power Toothbrush Pk 1 Now $22.30 each Better than 1/2 Price, Save $27.69

*  Oral B Pro Health Toothpaste 145g Now $2.90 each Better than 1/2 Price, Save $3.09

*  Dynamo Laundry Liquid 900ml-1 Litre Now $5.00 each1/2 Price, Save $5.00

*    Morning Fresh Dishwashing Liquid 400ml – Excludes Eco Range Now $1.97 each1/2 Price, Save $1.98

*  Golden Crumpets Rounds Pk 6 Now $1.65 each1/2 Price, Save $1.65

*  Continental Cup a Soup 2 Serve 40-75g Now $1.00 each1/2 Price, Save $1.00

*  Heinz Baked Beans or Spaghetti 420g Now $1.00 each1/2 Price, Save $1.09

*  My Dog 400g – Excludes Home Recipe Now $1.00
each 1/2 Price,$1.05 


Monday 23 May 2016

Hand Made Card Ideas May 2016

Here are a few more ideas for making cards on a budget.  These cards were made in April at the monthly Cheapskates card making day..

Cath Armstrong from The Cheapskates Club saw a similar card to this in the shops for $2.  The original only had a tutu on a blank card.   Cath thought we could do better than that and this is what we came up with.  We used a bit of fluff from a costume.  Only 1 cm of fluff was needed but a couple of feathers from a colored duster will do the job too.   I embossed a piece of card and cut it to size.  A  strip of wrapping paper could be used on the left of the card.  The bodice was cut from glittery card stock but you could use any card stock and decorate with glitter pens.  The skirt was glued on first then the bodice was mounted with sticky foam dots.

This men's card was made using three different colored card glued onto a grey card. The clock in the middle is a sticker bought from the $2 shop. I think 6 clocks come on a sheet. Alternatively you could use a stamp or a picture of a clock cut out of a jewellery catalogue.  The striped paper is card stock but wrapping paper will do the job nicely.

Continuing to reuse what we have,  this card was made using a map from an old Melway, street directory or atlas.  I'm sure most of us have an old school atlas on the bookshelf.  I also see them in op shops for a few dollars.  Alternatively you could go to tourist information centre and grab a couple of local maps.

Using up bits and pieces was the theme for this card.  We used circle punches to get perfect circles.  Alternatively you could cut squares out of scrap bits of paper.  The birthday cake is a stamp that was colored in.  We sponged on a little bit of ink around the edges and roughed it up.

The flowers on this card were bought from a craft shop for $1.99 with 40 in the packet.  The ribbon is a scrap glued on with a glue stick.

Here's the inside of the flower card.  The presents were cut and folded on the insert then decorated with scrap bits of wrapping paper,  ribbon and bows.  The insert was glued in last.

I hope you've been inspired to gives some of these designs a go.

Saturday 21 May 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 21st May 2016

I love starting a new week.  It holds so many possibilities and I never know what's going to happen.  This week I started looking at new kitchens.  We are hoping to replace our kitchen in the next couple of months.  It's going to be fun to choose my own style and colors. 

I also had Channel Nine News come over for an interview at short notice.  You should have seen me fly around the house to get it " tv ready '. There were clothes horses everywhere.   Then I had to get myself " tv ready " as I was sitting at my laptop in my house clothes when I got the call.  I can laugh about it now.

Here's what else I got up to this week -

*  Gratefully received two wool doonas from a cleaning client.  Although they are not new,  they had been dry cleaned a few years ago and stored away.  Both are for double beds which is perfect for my girls pillow top single beds.

*  Made a triple batch of cranberry hootycreek biscuit ( cookie ) dough.  Some of the dough was baked and the rest was put into the freezer for future baking.

*  Used up the leftover roast veggies from a meal and turned them into a chicken flan.  Very,  very tasty.

* Picked young silverbeet leaves from the garden to add to two meals. I couldn't wait for them to grow any bigger.  Darren and I just love to add silverbeet to our dinner plates whenever possible.

*  Saved lots of washing machine water for each next load.  Saved the shower warm up water to put on our pot plants.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Dried all the washing on clothes horses over the ducted heating vents.  Only the sheets went into the dryer.

*  Reused lots of bread bags to store my homemade bread,  to double wrap the biscuit dough and to line the bathroom bins.

*  Mended Darren's work trousers as they had a big rip in them.  .

*  Made a conscious effort to avoid using cling wrap for storing foods in the fridge and freezer.  After years of using it to wrap everything,  I still need to stop myself from getting the cling wrap out.  I have plenty of containers of all shapes and sizes.  I'm limiting my cling wrap usage to storing raw meat in the freezer.

*  Kept the curtains open when the sun was shining to help heat up the home.

*  Saved the insides of a few envelopes from the mail to use in my card making.

*  Baked some ANZAC biscuits and peanut butter choc chip biscuits for snacks using my dough from the freezer.

*  Put $30 of petrol in my car when it was 113 cents a litre.  I know this isn't as cheap as it will get but it's been two weeks since I filled up at the low end of the petrol cycle.  By the time the price of petrol drops to it's lowest ( hopefully in a week ),  my car will almost be on empty again.  Then I'll fill it to the brim.

*  Made pizza from scratch instead of getting takeaway.  The temptation is still there but we do prefer our own.

Peanut butter choc chip biscuits
Lots of baking
Baby silverbeet leaves
Wholemeal bread
Homemade pizza

What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Grocery Specials Wednesday 18th May 2016

Here are this week's best grocery specials -


*  Lindt Excellence Block 100g1/2 PRICE Was $4.00, Save $2.00  $2.00 each.  I haven't seen this sale price for quite a while.  Well worth stocking up for eating and putting with presents.

*  Fantastic Rice Crackers 100g1/2 PRICE Was $1.95, Save $0.98 Now $0.97 each

*  Cadbury Boxed Favourites or Mini Blocks Chocolate 320g1/2 PRICE Was $12.00, Save $6.00  Now $6.00 each  Great for gift giving.

*  Golden Circle Corn Kernels 410g1/2 PRICE Was $1.65, Save $0.83  Now $0.82 each

*  Heinz Classic Soup 535g1/2 PRICE Was $3.49, Save $1.75  Now$1.74 each Handy for emergencies

*  Old El Paso Hard ‘n Soft Taco Kit 350g1/2 PRICE Was $7.00, Save $3.50  Now $3.50 each.  Keep a few in the pantry for home made takeaway.

*  Massel Liquid Stock 1 Litre1/2 PRICE Was $3.45, Save $1.73  Now $1.72 each.  If you can't make your own then buy it at half price.

*  Continental Value Pack Pasta & Sauce 135g-190g1/2 PRICE Was $2.99, Save $1.50  Now $1.49 each

*  Vitasoy Almond or Coconut Unsweetened Long Life Milk 1 Litre1/2 PRICE Was $3.79, Save $1.90  Now $1.89 each

*  Vegeta Stock Powder 180g-250g Was $3.59, Save $1.59  Now $2.00 each.  This is the lowest sale price.  Stock Up  !!

*  Tip Top Café Raisin Toast 650g1/2 PRICE Was $5.90, Save $2.95  Now $2.95 each

*  Herbal Essences Shampoo or Conditioner 300mL1/2 PRICE Was $6.49, Save $3.25  Now $3.24 each

*  25% OFF $30, $50, $100 iTunes Gift Cards Excludes $20 iTunes Gift Card.

*  Energizer Advanced AA or AAA Batteries 10 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $16.70, Save $8.35  Now $8.35 each

*  Nescafé Café Menu 10 Pack 132g-185g1/2 PRICE Was $6.59, Save $3.30  Now $3.29 each

*  Dynamo Ultra Laundry Liquid 2 Litre1/2 PRICE Was $16.49, Save $8.25  Now $8.24 each


*  Pantene Pro V Shampoo or Conditioner 350ml Now $3.94 each 1/2 Price, Save $3.95

*  Arnott’s Shapes 160-190g Now $1.50 each 1/2 Price, Save $1.50

*  Mars Sharepacks 144-216g Now $2.30 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.30.  This is a stockpile worthy price

*    Cinnamon Donuts Pk 12**Only available in stores with an in-store bakery.$2.00 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.00

*  Alfa One Rice Bran Oil 4 Litre Now $12.00 each1/2 Price, Save $12.00

*  Peckish Rice Crackers 100g Now $1.10 each1/2 Price, Save $1.10

*  Australia's Own Almond Milk 1 Litre Now $1.93 each1/2 Price, Save $1.94

*  Tip Top Raisin Toast 520g or Wholemeal Raisin Toast 600g Now $2.70 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.70

*  Garnier Fructis Shampoo or Conditioner 250ml Now $2.72 each1/2 Price, Save $2.73

*  Nivea Deodorant Varieties 151-162g/250ml Now $3.24 each1/2 Price, Save $3.25

*  Easiyo Yogurt Maker – Excludes Mini Maker Now $11.49 each1/2 Price, Save $11.50

*  1/2 Price All Sistema Klip It

*  Tip Top English Muffin Varieties Pk 6 Now $2.45 each1/2 Price, Save $2.45

*  Oral-B Pro Health Toothpaste Clean Mint 145g Now $2.99 each1/2 Price, Save $3.00

*  1/2 price on all Olay

*  40% off all Maybelline

*  50% off all Clio ( I think this is pantyhose )

TASMAN MEATS - On sale until 30 / 5 / 16

*  Fresh chicken breast fillets skin on $5.99 kg.  This is a fantastic stockpile worthy price.

*  Regular beef mince $5.99kg

*  Yearling Beef Chuck on the bone $6.99kg

*  Pork Leg on the bone $6.99kg


*  Cucumbers 79 cents each

*  Snow gear and Winter clothing in store now.       


Monday 16 May 2016

Bulk Cooking

Bulk cooking is a great way to save time in the kitchen. For those of you who are new to this concept, it pretty much means exactly that. You cook multiple meals at the same time to store in the freezer. The benefits of bulk cooking are -

* It saves time in the kitchen at meal times.
* Saves on electricity / gas.
* Emergency meals on hand in the freezer
* Helps avoid the takeaway temptation.
* Meal preparation is simplified
* Older children can get tea ready for you if you are sick or faced with an emergency.
* Great for taking on holidays
* Unexpected visitors can be fed.
* Peace of mind
* Great for portion controlling the meat.
* Being prepared for sickness in the house
* Being ready for financial hardship.

The benefits I listed above really are wonderful.  Most importantly,  bulk cooking is about getting your house in order.  I cannot stress enough how important this is for you,  your family and your friends.  Here's a question for you to think about.  If an emergency came to your home,  would your family and friends have to feed you ?  Yes it's wonderful to have a meal offered to you,  but would you be relying on others to get you through a crisis or emergency ?

I've lost track of the amount of times I've been asked to provide meals for others.  I try to help when I can but often these requests come at a time when I'm away on holidays,  having a very busy week or I'm sick.  Also, to be honest my budget doesn't stretch to feed other families.  Then I feel a little guilty that I can't help. Then I worry that the person or family doesn't have food to eat.

We've had a few emergencies visit our family over the years.  Five years ago I was hospitalised for a kidney stone.  Thankfully my sister in law and her mother were able to take care of our girls at short notice.  Darren took food out of the freezer to bring into the hospital for him to eat while he sat at my bedside.  After I'd been home for a few days,  we remembered we had a visitor coming for lunch. This had been organised a week earlier.  Thankfully I had lots of soup and chocolate brownies in the freezer to serve.  The visitor didn't know I'd been in hospital a few days earlier.  She guessed something was up when I had to sit down while Darren and the girls organised lunch.

Both Darren and my Mum have been hospitalised right on Christmas a few years running.  During those times, I had to drop what I was doing to be with them.  Thankfully I had a menu plan and plenty of meals in the freezer to defrost and eat.  It was one less thing to worry about.

Most of the meals I bulk cook are made with beef mince or chicken.   I buy a couple of two kilo trays of mince at a time. I try to plan this when I have a couple of days off from work. I then weigh out the amount of raw meat I need for the multiple meals I plan to cook.  The other option is to cook a double amount of food when you are preparing dinner each night.

For spag bol I use 300g for the four of us. If I want to make four meals for us then I weigh out 300g x four meals = 1200g. I cook the mince in a large electric fry pan and add four tins of tomatoes, four serves of tomato paste and four times the amount of seasonings. Once cooled it is spooned into four containers and frozen.

I use 400g of mince to make pie meat. This is eventually made into a family sized pie that serves the four of us. If I want to make pie meat for four pies I weigh out 400g x four meals = 1600g. It is cooked, seasoned, thickened with gravy powder and corn flour. When cooled it is divided into four containers and frozen. When frozen I empty it out of the container and double wrap it, label and date it and pop it back in the freezer. When I want to make a pie, it's defrosted in the fridge overnight then spooned onto a pastry lined pie plate and topped with cubed potato. A pastry lid is placed on top then cooked in the oven.

I use 400g of mince to make a meatloaf. To make four meatloaves I weigh out 400g x four meals = 1600g. I need 3 tablespoons of uncooked rice x four meatloaves = 12 tablespoons. This is cooked and added to the raw mince with salt, pepper, onion, parsley, four eggs and large squirts of tomato sauce. Mix well and divide into four meatloaf / baking tins and cook at the same time in the oven. When cooled double wrap and place in the freezer.

I hope these recipe ideas give you inspiration to give bulk cooking a go. It only takes a few hours to have 15 - 20 family sized meals ready for the freezer.  It's a small sacrifice to make for your family's peace of mind in a crisis.

Chocolate brownies from the freezer
Single serves for the freezer
Hamburger patties in bulk
Trays of zucchini slice ready to portion and freeze
Soup for the soul and freezer.

Do you bulk cook for your family ?  How has bulk cooking helped you in a crisis ?

Saturday 14 May 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 14th May 2016

I guess there are some weeks when you feel like you've done nothing of frugal significance.  This week was one of those weeks.  I plodded along doing what I normally do saving a little bit of money here and there.  In the long run it all adds up to a sizable amount of  money.  Here's what I got up to -

*  Made an whole orange cake for a Mother's Day lunch at my Mum and Dad's place.

*  Gratefully received a bag of silverbeet.  Asian greens and Spring onions from my Dad's garden.  They were added to three meals this week

* Saved some shower water to use in the washing machine.

*  Dried the washing on clothes horses when I could.;  Some things had to be dried in the dryer.  To offset the dryer expense,  I kept the heater and laptop off a little longer.

*  Megan made me a Mother's Day card from herself and Jessica using my card making supplies.  The girls also reused some tissue paper and a gift bag for the presents ( which I saved to reuse again ).

*  We had takeaway fish and chips on Tuesday night that was budgeted for from our treat fund.

*  When to Savers to donate more household items ( got my discount stamp ).  I found a savings book I'd been looking for the last couple of years. It only cost me $3.60 but retails for $20.

*  Filled up my car with petrol just before the price went up and used a discount stamp.

*  Started using a thermos to stored boiled water in during the day.  I fill and boil the kettle in the morning,  make a cuppa then pour the rest of the water into the thermos.  There's enough water in there for a couple of cuppas or to use at dinnertime to cook the potatoes / veggies.

*  I gained another regular cleaning job.  The extra money will help me save for a new car sometime in the future.

*  Made a bottle of Miracle Spray and sold it to my new cleaning client.

*  Saved the cereal packet liner and cut it into squares to use as go between for crumpets and frozen soup portions.

*  Darren picked a couple of roses from the garden for my Mother's Day breakfast tray.

*  Made a tuna casserole on Thursday night.  The recipe needs cooked rice so I cooked enough for three casseroles at the same time and froze the other two portions for future casseroles.

In my home
Our silverbeet is almost ready to pick
Cupcakes my sister made for a Mother's Day lunch at Mum's.
Our rosemary bush is doing well.
Color in our garden.

What frugal tasks did you achieve this week ?

Wednesday 11 May 2016

Grocery Specials Wednesday 11th May 2016

Here are this week's best grocery specials -


*  Continental Cup a Soup 2 Serve 40g-75g1/2 PRICE Was $2.00, Save $1.00  Now $1.00 each

*  Smith’s Crinkle Potato Chips 170g 1/2 PRICE Was $3.20, Save $1.60  Now $1.60 each.  From memory,  I think this price is better than home brands.

*    Ocean Spray Fruit Drink 1.5 Litre Was $5.69, Save $2.69  Now $3.00 each

*  Golden Circle Tetra Drink 1 Litre1/2 PRICE Excludes  Pineapple, Tomato & Nectar.Was $2.05, Save $1.03  Now $1.02 each

*  Campbell’s Country Ladle or Chunky Soup 495g-505gWas $3.29, Save $1.29  Now $2.00 each.  These are handy to have in the pantry instead of buying takeaway.  Throw a handful of small pasta shells into the soup as it's heating up to make it stretch further.

*  Gold Choice Canola, Vegetable or Sunflower Oil 4 Litre1/2 PRICE Was $18.00, Save $10.00  Now $8.00 each

*  Fountain Tomato or Barbecue Sauce 2 Litre 1/2 PRICE Was $6.00, Save $3.00  Now $3.00 each.  Use this size to refill the squeezy bottles.

*  Golden Crumpet Rounds 6 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $3.30, Save $1.65  Now $1.65 each

*  Tip Top Raisin Toast 520g1/2 PRICE Was $5.40, Save $2.70  Now $2.70 each

*  Pyrex Measuring Jug 500mLOn sale for 2 weeks.Was $10.00, Save $4.00  Now $6.00 each

*  Dettol Liquid Handwash Pump 250mL1/2 PRICE Was $2.90, Save $1.45  Now $1.45 each.  It's still far cheaper to buy a foaming hand pump and refill with diluted shower gel.

*  Palmolive Naturals Shower Gel 500mL1/2 PRICE Was $5.39, Save $2.70 Now $2.69 each

*  Norsca Anti-Perspirant Deodorant 150g1/2 PRICE Was $5.99, Save $3.00 Now $2.99 each

*  Brut Original Long Lasting Deodorant Body Spray 150g1/2 PRICE Was $6.49, Save $3.25  Now $3.24 each

*  Handee Ultra Paper Towel 4 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $5.20, Save $2.60  Now $2.60 each

*  Tresemmé Shampoo or Conditioner 700mL-900mL1/2 PRICE Was $10.50, Save $5.25  Now $5.25 each

*  Cold Power Laundry Powder 2kg or Liquid 2 Litre1/2 PRICE Was $15.00, Save $7.50  Now $7.50 each  


   -*   Old El Paso Meal Kits 290-520g Now $3.24 each1/2 Price, Save up to $3.75

*   Heinz Chunky Soup 520-535g Now $1.79 each1/2 Price, Save $1.80

*  Kellogg’s Sultana Bran 730g Now $3.39 each1/2 Price, Save $3.39

*   Moccona Mixers Pk 10 Now $2.79 each1/2 Price, Save $2.80

*  Heinz Classic Soup 520-535g Now $1.74 each1/2 Price, Save $1.75

*  Fantastic Rice Crackers or Delites 100g Now $0.97 each1/2 Price, Save $0.98

*  Vaalia Yoghurt 900g Now $3.00 each1/2 Price, Save $3.15

*   Dove Bodywash 1 Litre Now $6.85 each1/2 Price, Save $6.85

*  1/2 Price All Decor Thermoglass and Thermostone Realseal*

*  Energizer Max AAA Pk 8 or AA Pk 10 Now $6.58 each1/2 Price, Save up to $7.00

*  20% off Inspire Bakeware.

*  25% off All Oates brand products

*  1/2 Price All Essentials Storage

*  Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain 500g Now $3.14 each1/2 Price, Save $3.15

Monday 9 May 2016

Cleaning The Toilet

Having a clean home is something most of us like to have. If you believe TV advertising, cleaning products can perform miracles. Showers are clean with one wipe and toilets are sparkling with one fragrant little disc. All is not what it seems to be.

Toilet cleaning products are so expensive and can easily increase your food budget by about $10 a month. It doesn't have to be that way. I've been a domestic cleaner for about 17 years and on average cleaned more than 10 toilets a week. I've used every toilet cleaning product on the market. This is what I've learnt over the years -

* Toilet cleaners do not keep mould from growing under the rim.
* Disinfectant wipes are too thin to do a good job. At approximately 8cents a cloth often you need to use two.
* Toilet brushes do NOT get into all the crevices.
* The stick on toilet discs get in the way of cleaning the bowl
* Toilet blocks without the cage disintegrate when you move them to clean the bowl.
* Cheap liquid toilet blocks do not last very long.
* Blu loo ends up splashed all over the walls.

Here's how I keep my toilets sparkling clean on a budget.  I use no name chux type cloths. If they are big I cut them in half.  I spray a couple of squirts of Miracle Spray or disinfectant into the toilet bowl and onto the cloth. I wipe the outside of the toilet first, folding over the cloth when it gets dirty so that I  get a clean surface. I then wipe the inside of the lid,  then the seat,  then the underneath of the seat then the top of the toilet bowl where the seat rests.   Using your rubber gloves and cloth, wipe over the toilet bowl digging down as far as you can go into the pipe. Then wedge the cloth up under the rim ( if your toilet has one ) to get out the grime.


I throw the cloths into a bucket with disinfectant to soak until my next wash day.   The cloths are put into a linen bag and thrown in the washing machine with the towels. These cloths are so durable they can last up to six months. All for about 10 cents per cloth. Combine that with the budget friendly Miracle Spray which costs about $1 per litre.   Cheap and easy as.

If you keep your toilets clean, then you'll find that toilet blocks and other products are not that necessary after all.

Saturday 7 May 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 7th May 2016

I've had a lovely week pottering around the house refilling this and reusing that.  We also received some wonderful blessings.  Here's what happened in the Gower house this week -

*  Put all the pot plants out in the rain for a good ' free " drink.  Praise God for the drenching rain.

*  Gratefully accepted one large tray of cooked chicken pieces,  18 chicken carcasses,  a bag of bread rolls and a big bowl of potato salad from a catering job I helped at.  All the carcasses were frozen to make soup some time in the future.  The meat was divided into 5 meal sizes and frozen as well.

*  I wrote out a menu plan for the first time since October last year.  Life was way too busy and unpredictable to stick to a menu plan during that time.  Now that we are in a new routine,  it feels great to know what we are eating ahead of time.

*  Cleared the shelf in two supermarkets to stock up on toothpaste.  I bought about 30 tubes on sale for $1.30 a 147g tube.

*  Refilled the foaming hand wash dispensers in the kitchen and both bathrooms.  I also refilled all the spray bottles with Miracle Spray.

*  Dried the washing on the line when windy and on the clothes horses over a ducted heating vent when it was cold outside.

*  Reused bread bags to line the girl's bathroom bin.  I also used bread bags for the outer wrapping on the chicken carcasses.

*  Started picking lemons from our tree.  WOO HOO  !!! The juicing season has started.

*  Picked a few raspberries and our three feijoas fell of the tree with the high winds we had this week.  At least the feijoas grew a little bigger this year.  Ohhh to have a tree full of fruit.  Hopefully that will come in a few years.

*  Kept the curtains wide open when the sun was shining.  This reduced the need for the heater to be on.

*  The family ate leftovers twice this week.  Mince pasta bake seems to go a long way.

*  Cut up the inside of three envelopes to use for making cards.  They were all different shades of blue. 

*  Saved the washing machine water for each next load.  Saved the kitchen water to soak pots and swish out the crumbs in the sink.

*  Used a netting curtain bought at the op shop to tie bows on the Mother's Day presents.

*  Gratefully received a fuel docket in the mail.  Thankyou Tania  xoxo

*  Opened a jar of tomato paste to use in a dish then froze the rest into an ice cube tray.  No waste  !!!

My mountain of toothpaste.
From the garden.
Netting used as a bow.
Tomato paste.
Cupcake blessing
Chicken carcasses and chicken pieces blessing.
Mountain of carcasses ready to freeze.
Mango trees getting a drink.
Raspberry plants in the rain.

What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?