Saturday 17 December 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 17th December 2016

As we get closer to Christmas,  our days are getting busier.  There are last minute presents to wrap,  extra food to prepare for parties,  lots of work drop offs for Megan and general tidying around the home and garden.  Here's what else we got up to this week -

*  Dried most of the washing on the line.  A few things needed to be thrown in the dryer.

*  Picked approximately 920 grams of strawberries from our patch.  Picked a few handfuls of raspberries too.

*  Sold two dozen eggs to neighbours.

*  Sold a card from my Etsy shop.

*  Cut up a cereal bag to use as go between for chops etc.

*  Saved the shower water to water our pot plants.

*  Saved and washed some plastic containers from cobs of corn given to us.  These containers will be handy when I need to take baking to a party etc.

*  Saved all the washing machine rinse water for each next load.

*  I did the monthly food shopping this week.  Because I've been stockpiling for the Summer months on my $200 a month grocery budget,  I didn't need to buy too much.  The saved money is going into the grocery slush fund.

*  I only put in $15 worth of petrol into my car.  Petrol prices are so inflated at the moment so I'm just putting in a little bit of petrol here and there until the price drops then I'll fill up .

*  Jessica has started present shopping for 2017.  She's taking advantage of the sales and stocking up.

* Saved some colored cord from damaged gift bags.  I found a tutorial on Facebook that shows you how to make gift bags from wrapping paper.  The saved cords will come in handy when I make the bags.

*  Started writing out my list of wanted items for the Boxing Day sales.

*  Saved the plastic wrapping paper from a bunch of flowers Jessica received.

*  Jessica has been busy buying little presents for her friends.  He needed quite a few small gift bags to place then in.  after ricing them at the shops ( anywhere from 50 cents to $2 each ),  she decided to have a look at what we had at home.  She was able to reuse lots of jewellery gift bags that were the perfect size.

*  Cooked all meals from scratch.

*  Cleaned out my garden / household shed and donated some items to the op shop.  I received a discount stamp for the goods.  

Our "display" stockings

Strawberry haul

The boysenberries are slowly ripening.

The lettuce is getting bigger

Two mangoes have set on one of our trees.

Corn cob containers I saved.

   Has your week been busy ?  


  1. I surprised my self this week buy very unconsciously saving the alfoil wrapping off the top of a bake and using it to line the bottom of my oven. I just did it without thinking - a great feeling to know it is becoming second nature.

    1. If the foil is still good, then why not. It all helps to save a little more.

  2. Hi Wendy,
    You have lots of wonderful frugal things going on in your home, it is lovely when everyone is on the same page, isn't ? Wendy can I ask, the $200 for groceries, is that only for food items, or everything? I know you an amazing shopper and plan exceptionally well.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. The $200 is for food, very basic toiletries and basic cleaning ingredients. Our girls now buy all their toiletries except toothbrushes ( I have a stockpile ), Dove soap ( stockpile ) and Tresemme shamp / cond. If they want more expensive things they buy them.

      Keep in mind that I buy ingredients to make as much as I can. No prepackaged food unless it's chips or choc for a special occasion.

  3. Dear Wendy, yes it is busy here. I am hoping I have done most things and next week wont be too busy. I have a list Im working from!
    Have a womderful Christmas and I hope great finds on Boxing Day! With love

    1. Thankyou Annabel. This year I'm only shopping at Spotlight and Chemist Warehouse on Boxing Day.

  4. Wendy how do you afford meat in your budget? The prices for meat are sky high here in colac

    1. We portion control and don't have meat every night. 250 grams of mince is all we have for spag bol, meat pie, pasta bakes etc. Tinned tuna is eaten a bit more often and at about $2 a large tin, it hasn't really gone up in price. We still have chops from last Summer in the freezer bought at $5.99kg from Tasman. Chicken is really cheap too.

  5. Made cranberry and white chocolate biscuits, short bread and ginger bread for the girls' teachers. Took my lunch and coffee for the two days I was offered work. Siobhan has made our ginger bread house and we were blessed by winning a raffle prize at Siobhan's school. Lots of Christmas bits and pieces there. I got a free bread making machine. Tried to minimize my car travel. I am making 3 little aprons for my grand niece and nephews to put with their presents. Bought a beautiful doona cover for Siobhan's bed that I have put into her Santa sack from the op shop. I need to be very frugal over the next few weeks as I only have one day of work left this year. My regular place of work doesn't open up again til mid January. Luckily Tony (hubby) has extra work due to Christmas.
    Merry Christmas to all

    1. A great win on the raffle. Handmade aprons are so much nicer. I hope you put photos of the aprons on FB after Christmas.

  6. I have a leaking shower and cant fix it right now. Hubby is still recovering from surgery he cant do it. Our son arrives in January so we have to hang out till then. A bucket has been going under the leak and the water is used in the washing machine or on the pot plants.
    I had some left over minion fabric after making my minion mad daughter her 25th Birthday present of minion pillow cases and European pillows. I have made this up into bunting and added it to the present.
    I ran out of gift tags for Christmas presents to pulled some old card out of the craft cupboard, cut it into tag shapes, cut out the same in Christmas fabric scraps and then sewed the fabric to the card. I cut out a hole and used some old ribbon. They looked great and cost nothing.
    We only need to purchase a bit more seafood and Christmas is done for us. The seafood is on order and will be picked up just before Christmas.
    Have a wonderful week

    1. Great use of the fabric Jane. We cut up cards for gift tags too. I only wish I'd started doing this years ago.

  7. Hi Wendy, your strawberries look lovely and what a good idea for the corn con container! We have been very busy ourselves with Christmas fast approaching. I'm very grateful that I have been very organised this year and only braving the shops for a few small items here and there such as bread and milk.
    Our veggie patch is alive and well, we have picked zucchini and we have picked lots of kale! The kale not used will be blanched and frozen and put towards other meals. About two weeks ago we stocked up on dettol shower gel at half price and this will be used for foaming hand wash. We continue to dilute fabric softener and make our own washing powder.

    For boxing day shopping, do you look through catalogues to look at the best deals or do you just have a list of items you need to buy and then look at a few shops and then decide the best deal? I only just started buying gifts last boxing day but still a bit new on the subject.


    1. I keep an eye on tv ads leading up to Christmas and Christmas night to see what % off they are offering. I also ask the shops what time they are open on Boxing Day so I can plan which shop to go to first.

      I buy presents a couple of years in advance when I see items on sale. So yes, I have a list of people to buy for.

      Amy, I'm not sure if you saw the post on Monday but it was about planning for the Boxing Day sales.

  8. Hi Wendy,

    sorry for the late post, busy, busy!
    This week i used the tank water for the garden and the washing as the tanks are full. We
    hen we returned from holidays, we had freezer meals so no takeaway. I cleaned the kitchen drains out with boiling water, vinegar and bicarb. Refilled the dishwashing bottle, made and sent Christmas card and, bought a second upright fan to use instead if using air conditioner (thanks for this tip).

    Mooed bread, truffles , condensed milk and all meals. We were given bread flour (from you) and i have been using this to make my bread, it's great, thanks. We've been eating from the garden carrots, silverbeet, lettuce and capsicums.
    I got some great bargains from the shops this week, meat marked down and milk marked down to 0.40c. Meat is getting so expensive so i was in the right place at the right time for mince, sausages and bacon. I also got chicken drumsticks and fillets cheap this week. Dh bought home from work some magazine holders which i used to tidy up my cookbooks and i saved a stamp from a Christmas card which hadn't been stamped.

    I heard on the news, petrol is supposed to be dropping in price this week, so hold off if you can.
    I found out my surprise berry is a Boysenberry like yours. It's already had it's fruit on it and it was lovely.

    Have a great week, xxx

  9. We have gotten about 6 inches of very fine snow over the past week, and it has stayed cold enough that none of it melted. Today, it's coming down big and wet, and it isn't going to warm up enough to melt. I don't know if we are truly snowed in, but it feels that way.

    I had eye surgery on Thursday and have been in recovery mode since. Except for the usual frugal stuff, I haven't really done anything except declutter my house and continue to cook extra meals for the freezer. I will not be eating with the family for 3-6 months after surgery in January, and DH is not much of a cook. I have made about 22 frozen meals so far. I don't expect him to eat them every night, just the nights that he doesn't have a clue what to do. At the moment, I have a Crock Pot filled with Swiss steak cooking for tonight's dinner. Yesterday, I assembled two more recipes of Swiss steak that have been frozen and ready to pop into the Crock Pot. I am also making a huge soup kettle full of ham and bean soup today, to eat tomorrow and to freeze.

    The non-frugal thing I did was buy Crock Pot liners for the Swiss steak. It was easy to assemble the food in the liners and freeze it. When DH cooks it, he will just have to pop the liner into the crock, and there won't be any cleanup. Otherwise, other than a few pieces of foil and one zip-lock bag, everything else has been frozen in its eventual cooking pan, popped out, and wrapped in stuff I have around the house, such as cottage cheese cartons, bread sacks, etc. I have labeled everything well, since DH can't be trusted to identify it.

    I found a great sale on beef and bought my Christmas roast last week. It was cheaper than it has been in years. Here in the western US, we are seeing the price of food drop for the first time in years. Milk, eggs, butter and occasionally cheese have been cheap for sometime now, and we are beginning to see meats go down in price, too.


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