Saturday, 31 December 2016

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 31st December 2016

I hope you all had a wonderful week enjoying the Christmas festivities.   I've been quite busy this week doing lots of bargain shopping at the Boxing Day sales.  I've found so many bargains and made a big head start on next year's gift list.

At the moment we have Darren's dad staying with us.  He's bought his big telescope with him.  We'll be doing a little star gazing and planet gazing while he's here ( clear skies permitting ).

I received a new camera for Christmas from Darren.  The camera I'd been using was falling apart and I'd been struggling to use it for 18 months.  Due to all my shopping this week I'd almost forgotten to set it up and take photos for this blog post.  Here's what we've been up to and a few photos I've taken.

*  Sold two dozen eggs to a neighbour.

*  Fed the compost bin with kitchen scraps.

*  Baked peanut butter choc chip biscuits to give with birthday and Christmas presents.  I made a double batch of the dough and froze most of it for future baking.

*  I went to the Boxing Day sales at Fountain Gate Shopping Centre.  Jessica and I were there at 7.45am to get the bargains when the shops opened at 8 am.  I wasn't going to shop this year but I'd found lots of card making stickers and ribbons in the discount shops before Christmas.  On Boxing Day they were all half price.

*  Bought a pair of sandals at 1/2 price.

*  Used a gift card for Katies and bought two tops when they had their 50% off storewide sale on Boxing Day.

*  Saved lots of washing machine and shower water for each next load and to water some plants.

*  Emptied water bottles onto the mango plants.

*  Picked handfuls of raspberries,  strawberries and boysenberries.

*  Made lots of egg custard with leftover egg yolks from a dessert Megan made.

*  Bought a tester bottle of aftershave at a heavily discounted price on Boxing Day.  It comes in a plain box but doesn't look like it's been used.

*  We've had four days of humid weather here in Melbourne.  We have evap. cooling in our home so it doesn't work as well in this type of weather.  Instead of turning up the cooling,  we used electric fans to help keep cool.

*  Kept the curtains closed when it was hot.

*  Saved a piece of wrapping paper that can be used in card making.  I also save all ribbons from the presents.

Our first apricot growing

We have a couple of mandarins that have set.

The lettuce is ready to pick

Tomato plants are growing
 My Boxing Day Bargains bought at half price

Christmas dish cloths

Card making supplies

Christmas bling stickers

More ribbon $1 per roll

My father in law's telescope.

Our table setting

 A present from Jessica's boyfriend.
What was on your frugal list this week ?  Did you pick up some bargains ?


  1. Hi Wendy, I hope you've had a wonderful Christmas, your table setting looks lovely. We've had some great bargains at the boxing day sales too, I couldn't get everything we were looking for but we did make a good headstart for gifts this year. The few extra days off work mean I've been getting more frugal tasks done. Here's what we've been up to:
    - saved $140 worth of gifts this year. I bought a dining set for 55% off and that is a gift for next Christmas. We bought some items for birthday gifts and fathers day.Some shops started their boxing day sales on christmas day (online only). I took advantage of this for items I knew would be sold out quickly!
    - Bought 10pk Christmas cards for 75c
    - Grated a year's worth of laundry soap for laundry powder
    - Taken the plunge to do monthly shopping now that I'm confident with menu planning (I've been doing fortnightly shops). Discovered aldi sells discounted meat first thing in the morning. Picked up 2kg beef mince for $8, corned beef $5, 1kg pork mince for $6.
    - Gratefully received a coles/myer gift card
    - Gratefully received gold class movie tickets from my employer
    -used the air con as little as possible but with 40 degree days it has been difficult.
    - Picked kale and zucchini, they've been getting used up in pasta sauces etc.
    - booked a holiday after the school holiday rush and got great deals on flights, accommodation and hire car (we found coupons online which brought down the cost even further).

    I'm hoping 2017 will bring good cheer to you and your family. My new year's resolution is to keep up with being frugal and to continue pay off our mortgage as much as we can. Have a good new year!

    1. Hello I'm curious about the 'laundry soap' Where do you buy it from and do you use it in place of the laundry powders?

    2. Amy, I grate lots of laundry soap in one hit too. My theory is if I make a mess it must be worth the trouble.

    3. The laundry soap is bought in the supermarket in the laundry section. It's one ingredient used in the laundry powder recipe. The recipe is in the cleaning section at the top of the page.

    4. I also like the convenience of having the grated soap on hand so I can just make laundry powder through the year as needed because some weeks can get very hectic in my household! A little prep now saves me a lot of hassle down the track!

  2. Dear Wendy, Your table looked gorgeous! You have had a really good year. Thanks for sharing week by week and all the encouragement. I look forward to a new year!
    I really like this time of year for looking back over everything we did and thinking about new plans. I love it! Have a very Happy New Year! With love

  3. Oh Wendy - that table setting with the white tree is just the best idea. I reckon my girls could make that....beautiful.
    I have been thinking about washing machines - when are they going to invent washing machine that auto-save the rinse water and regurgitate it for the next wash.....dishwashers can do it so why not washing machines ?!

    1. I'm hearing you Phil. You'd think with all the technology available someone would be able to invent this type of feature on a washing machine. It might even save our water shortage problem.

  4. Dear Wendy ,
    What a lovely week you have had, your photos always looked good but they will look excellent with the new camera, these photos on the blog today look like professional photos.
    I hope you have a happy, safe, peace filled,abundant year in 2017 and that life treats you and Darren and Jessica and Megan well. I look forward to reading your frugal tasks every Saturday and love the Wednesday posts about the grocery specials forward the fact Wendy, I love your blog totally!.
    Ok my week was very good, I saved over $150 on craft items for myself and for gifts plus I am going to use some of my purchases today to make my own wall art. I got two canvases for $4 each at spotlight for a decent size and I bought a pack of 36 images to use with watercolour paint. I might have to use acrylic paint or oil paint on the canvases and use the images / pictures for cards and other projects as the canvases say use oil or acrylic so. Oh well it will not be wasted. I bought lots of craft items for a total spend to me of $14 as I got two gift cards for Spotlight s gifts for Vhristmas.
    I was also given ham, fruit, Pringles chips, a bottle of soft drink, a meal and a large chicken and leek and other vegetables pie by my parents.
    I also saved in many other ways but this post is getting long!, I did all the usual suspects though, meal planning, minimal waste, saving money on groceries which will be banked, subsided cleaning etc.
    Take care Wendy .
    Love Barb w.

    1. Enjoy your new craft items Barb. Thanks for your support this year.

  5. Happy New Year and all the very best for 2017 to you and your family Wendy. Looks like you are having a wonderful time with your new camera. What a great gift. Thanks again for all your ideas and encouragement. Cheers, Jo

  6. Hi, Wendy. You sure did pick up some bargains at the sales, I tend to avoid them as I'm not a big fan of crowds though if I got there as early as you it would probably be fine. On the frugal front here this week, we've been eating lots of Christmas leftovers with salad from the garden as it's been soooo hot! I've also had lots of ripe bananas that I've used for banana bread and also just frozen chunks of for smoothies. I've started to think of gifts for birthdays and just downloaded a free pattern for a little stitching that I'm going to make with cloth and cottons I already have here. This year, I hope to keep on menu planning as I'm in the swing of that now and I have looked at an online budgeting tool that's simple so will be using that to update as we go through the year. I hope your new year has started well and that the rest of the year's days unfold happily for you and your family. Meg:)

    1. Meg, I get to the shops early to avoid the crowds.

  7. Hi Wendy,

    Your garden is producing well and i love your Christmas things you purchased, you'll have stock for a few years.

    This week i looked over my goals for the year 2016 and realized i hadn't achieved everything i had on the list. So these will carry over to 2017. One of the things on my list was Moo Crumpets, so i made a large batch of these. They are very inexpensive and made around 30. We had them for lunch with ham and cheese and froze the rest. They do take awhile to make, but if made in a big batch and then frozen, you wouldn't have to be making them alot. I made some gifts but most i bought on sale very cheaply but i hope to make more this year. I did do some Crocheting but i can onky make a straight chain and haven't advanced any further than that. Our garden was producing mostly all year round, i just need to continue to succession plant. No chickens yet and no soap making done as yet but this is on the list.

    This week we also did our budget and goals for 2017 using your post 'Getting your budget in order for a new year' . I added up my Christmas budget, and came in under budget so i was able to buy some things at the boxing day sales like a new Themos for half price. Still need to write out Birthday and Christmas list/budget for 2017.

    I mooed this week Crumpets, fudge (thanks Cath, lovely), White Christmas, chocolates, all meals, stock (from the turkey bones) , pasta salad and i blanched heaps of cheap broccoli.
    We were given lots of leftovers as we had Christmas lunch at my inlaws and they don't eat leftovers, so i froze lots of the meat , used the veggies up and we ate the desserts. So all week, my menu plan for meat, didn't cost us anything.

    Darren and Brendan went to the movies and used a movie voucher and my son bought me a 2nd hand Iphone 5 for Christmas for $50.00 as my old phone was starting to die. Still getting used to this, Ahhh!
    We received the electricity bill, nil to pay due to the solar credits, your post on reducing the electricity bill and keeping cool/warm without spending heaps is paying off Wendy, thanks. I had bought a
    portable fan, we used this instead of putting on the air conditioning some of the time.

    Saved the Christmas wrapping paper, bags and ribbons for card making. We pulled out all the carrots and have 2 1/2 big buckets full which we will bless others with and planted lots of seedlings.

    Enjoy the holidays, xxx

    1. You've had a very frugal year Maureen. It's always good to look back on our goals to see what we've achieved.

      Have fun with your new phone.

  8. Hi Wendy, your bargains sound great ! I have picked up lots of shifts as everyone is on holidays and stashing the money for when I go back to uni next year, made a zucchini slice and had with salad for several meals. Eating cold cuts and salad other meals. I know your girls like treseme shampoo but did you know aldi have their own version called "tresses" for the same huge bottle same every day price of $3.99 each ? I'm convinced its the same as aldi don't make their own they just repackage it. I made more of my own washing powder and want to try soap making in 2017 without caustic soda it just sounds scary ! . I'm not going to go away until Feb where I just hire a house and make all meals at home . The best thing is just being on the beach and enjoying time out of Sydney. Happy new year !

    1. Sonia, I'll have a look for the Aldi shampoo Thanks for letting me know.

      Have you found a recipe for soap without caustic soda ? I did a fair bit of research into it and all the recipes I found had caustic soda.

  9. Looks like you picked up some fantastic bargains Wendy.

    I love your father in laws telescope, bet you have enjoyed star gazing with it.

    And your garden is looking great with everything doing well :)


    1. Tania, we saw the moon quite close with the telescope. We even saw lots of craters.


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