Saturday 28 July 2018

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 28th July 2018

Having a thrifty week doesn't have to take up much of your time.  It can be as simple as freezing dinner leftovers instead of leaving them in the fridge and perhaps forgetting about them.  Reusing a bread bag instead of grabbing a bin liner takes no time at all.  Even laundry powder and Miracle Spray only take about 5 minutes to make yet can save hundreds of dollars a year.

My workload outside of the home has increased over the last few months.  There are days I can't do anything thrifty and other days I can get 5 frugal tasks done in 1 hour.  However your week pans out,  trying to be thrifty is better than not being thrifty at all.

Here's my frugal list for the week -

*  Picked some lemons off our tree.  Our tree hasn't been well for a couple of years so any lemons we get is a big blessing.  I'll be juicing them shortly.

*  Froze leftover roast beef in gravy for another couple of meals.  Freezing it in gravy helps to prevent it drying out.

*  Bought craft tape on Ebay because it's much cheaper than retail.

*  Gratefully received bread bags which we recycle for all sorts of things around the home.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Made pita chips for snacks.

*  Ate freezer meals ( leftovers ) two nights this week.  I'm desperately trying to make room in my freezer for meat specials.

*  Saved water from the shower,  washing machine and kitchen sink to reuse around the home for plants,  soaking dishes and to wash clothes.

*  Added another $10 worth of points to our Flybuys card.

*  Fed the compost bin with kitchen scraps.  Shortly we'll be able to empty a bin onto the veggie garden.

*  Saved the tissue paper from shoes boxes Jessica was throwing out.

*  Fed handfuls of weeds to the chickens.

*  Bought a jumper from Savers for $6 and good quality jeans for $12.  I also found a Royal Albert cup,  saucer and plate for $24.99.  It retails in Myer for up to $150.  I'm being a good girl and putting it away for Darren to give me for my birthday in October.

*  Dried most of the clothes over the heating vents.  Stuck to the 2 light rule,  opened curtains when the Sun was shining and kept the heater off as much as possible.

My op shop find

In the garden

Pita chips.

How did you save time,  money or energy this week ?

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Golden Syrup Dumplings

I just love a baked dessert in Winter. It ticks all the boxes doesn't it ?  Golden syrup dumplings are  warm and hearty,  full of flavour and very easy on the grocery budget.  I'm not sure where this recipe originates from but my Mum made this for the family when I was growing up.  She wrote this recipe out for me as a newly wed and it has become a Winter favourite in my home too.


1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of Golden Syrup


1 cup of Self Raising flour
1 tablespoon of butter
1 egg
1/3 cup of milk

Add all the syrup ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil.

While the syrup is heating, in a bowl rub the butter into the flour until it looks slightly crumbly.

Combine the milk and egg in a cup then add to the flour mixture.  Mix with a knife until just combined.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead slightly into a ball.

Portion 8 equal dumplings from the dough and gently place into the heated syrup.

Place the lid on the saucepan,  turn the heat down to a minimum and cook for 20 minutes.

DO NOT LIFT THE LID until the 20 minutes are up.

Serve with cream,  icecream,  milk or a combination of your choice.

Serves 4 - 8.

May be refrigerated for a couple of days and reheated in the microwave.

Saturday 21 July 2018

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 21st July 2018

I'm counting down the weeks until Spring arrives.  I just can't wait to get into the garden again and grow some veggies.  Although I love the colder weather,  it's great to get out in the sunshine.
Here's how I saved money this week -

*  Gratefully received some delicious mandarins from a friend's tree.

*  Made a few baby cards with supplies I had on hand.  They will be put into baby packages to sell in my blog shop.

*  Gratefully received a gift card to replace a packet of biscuits that were damaged.  I contacted the company to let them know about the damaged biscuits which resulted in them discovering a fault in their production line.  With the gift card I was able to buy 2 packets of biscuits.

*  Darren filled up our cars with petrol at $1.33 just as the price jumped to $1.59.

*  Closed the curtains on dreary overcast  days and kept them open when the sun was shining.  This helped the house temperature to stay at 18 degrees Celsius most days without the heater on.

*  Bought two legs of lamb at $7.99 kg.  Lamb doesn't seem to get much cheaper than this.

*  Did some ironing for a cleaning client that earned myself some extra money.

*  Fed the compost bins with kitchen scraps and tea leaves.

*  Redeemed $10 worth of Flybuys points onto our card.  We are saving the money for our next holiday so we can buy our groceries for free.

*  Gratefully received lots of bread bags.  Some have been used to line the bathroom bins,  some were used for wrapping food for the freezer and others were used to store soft plastics to recycle.

*  Dried the washing in the bathrooms over the ducted heating vents.  Only the sheets went into the dryer.

*  Signed up to the NBN with a cheaper monthly deal than what we usually pay for the internet.

*  Ate leftovers from the freezer a couple of nights for dinner.

*  Took soup from home on the days I had lots of cleaning work.

*  Redeemed $40 worth of Coles vouchers for doing surveys.

Gifted mandarins

Princess snuggling Jessica's teddy bear.

Baby card I made

Damaged biscuits.  Some of the others were broken too.

How frugal were you this week ?

Did you try any new thrifty tasks this week ?

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Getting The Most Out Of A Toothpaste Tube

Do you have squeezers and twisters of toothpaste tubes in your home ?  Do you find it frustrating when a tube is in the bin when others think there's no more to squeeze ( but you know otherwise ) ?

Here are a few simple ways to get more out of the tube

Place the tube in both of your hands.  One hand at the top,  one at the bottom
Starting at the bottom end of the tube,  run it over the edge of a bench until you reach the top.
This should push all the toothpaste to the top of the tube.

Once you can't get any more from the tube after completing the above,  cut the top of the tube off.
Dig your toothbrush in.  There might be another couple of portions left.

Keep squeezing the toothpaste to the top of the tube every few days.  The squeezers and twisters in the family will see that there is more toothpaste to use.  If you leave it until the tube has been twisted to billyo,  they'll just throw it in the bin when you are not looking,

Saturday 14 July 2018

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 14th July 2018

Keeping warm has been my biggest task each day.  I find it helps if I keep moving.  Wednesday's post on this topic had lots of people chatting about their ways to keep warm.  There were some great ideas to add to the list.

Here's what else I've been up to this week -

*  Made dried bread crumbs from saved bread crusts.  When I need seasoned bread crumbs I'll add the seasonings.

*  Cut up a cereal bag to use as go between for crumpets and hamburger patties.

*  Fed the compost bin with coffee grounds from a cafĂ©,  kitchen peelings and used tea leaves.

*  Juiced lemons and froze the juice for future jams,  lemon butter and other meals.

*  Cut up a few odd socks to use as garden ties.

*  Froze tuna pasta bake leftovers for future meals.

*  Gratefully received lots of muffins from Jessica's work.

*  Bought an overlocker from Aldi on clearance for $129.  It was reduced from $199.

*  Made a bread pudding in the slow cooker using saved up bread crusts.  Such a frugal recipe and very yummy.

*  Made chicken stock in the slow cooker using a chicken carcass.  Today I'll be making up a big pot of chunky chicken and veggie soup.

*  Saved washing machine water, shower water and drink bottle water as per usual.

*  Stuck to the 2 light rule with some nights only needing one.  Also turned off standby lights,  closed ducted heating vents in rooms not being used and closed the curtains just before  dusk.

*  Received our latest electricity bill and it was $111.90 cheaper than the same time last year but does include a $50 credit for switching to a better discount.  So you could say we really saved $61.90.  The new discount is for part of the bill period so we hope to save more on the next bill.

A card I sold to a friend.

Drying bread crumbs

Cutting up odd socks for garden ties

Princess the supervisor.

Roast veggie pie.

What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Keeping Warm This Winter

Keeping warm in Winter can at times be a challenge.  Turning the heater up seems to be our first thought but it isn't very cost effective.  Here are a few super budget friendly ideas -

*  Drink a hot cup of tea,   coffee,  hot chocolate,  Bonox,  vegemite and water ( you get my drift ).  The heat of the drink seems to warm up our insides.

*  Heat up a heat pack and place it in your bed 15 minutes before climbing in.  This is a much safer option than an electric blanket or hot water bottle.  It's also cheaper and more comfy than an electric blanket.

*  Put on an extra jumper,  a scarf ,  gloves or hoodie jacket.  You might not look like the height of fashion but you'll be warm.

*  Wrap your hands around a cup of tea or coffee.  Be careful not to burn yourself.

*  Soak in a hot bath with bubbles. The bubbles seem to keep the heat in the water longer.  If your bathroom is close to the laundry,  bucket some of the water into the washing machine when you've finished taking your bath.

*  Put an extra blanket on your bed.

*  Close your curtains as soon as the Sun goes down.

*  Keep moving.  Our bodies warm up when we are doing something.

*  Wash the dishes by hand.  Ok,  this isn't my favourite  tip but the hot water really does warm me up.

How do you keep warm on the cold days ?

Saturday 7 July 2018

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 7th July 2018

Sewing,  shopping,  baking,  tea drinking,  cleaning jobs and bargain hunting were some of the varied things that filled my week.  I love living a thrifty life.  No I'm not stingy.  No I'm not counting pennies although there's nothing wrong with that.  I'm thrifty because our dollars stretch so much further.  We can afford more things,  take big and small holidays a couple of times a year but most importantly,  we can afford to pay all our bills and live a good life on a low income.  Here are the frugal tasks that helped us save time and money this week -

*  Sewed up some baby drool towels to sell.

*  Cleaned the kettle with citric acid.  Cleaned the dishwasher with bi carb and vinegar.  Cleaned the lint filter and everywhere else in the washing machine.

*  Took up the legs on a new pair of jeans for Darren.  We made the most of the mid year sales at DFO and he bought a pair of jeans at 60% off.

*  Redeemed a voucher for a free hot drink at  Muffin Break.

*  Froze two chop suey leftovers.

*  Gratefully received some muffins left over from Jessica's work.

*  Sewed a couple of buttons back on a cardigan.

*  Continued to use up more loose leaf tea that was given to us.  It's so easy to keep using the teabags and forget about the tea leaves piling up in the pantry.  To make sure we are using them up,  I've let the teabag cannister go empty.  There's nothing like a pot of tea and some home baking.

*  Baked four loaves of whole meal bread with extra goodness.  Reused bread bags and the plastic clips that come with bought bread.

*  Reused bread bags over and over again.  Putting the storage containers under the sink encourages us to put them back there after each use to use all over again.

*  Found a set of six Maxwell and Williams coffee mugs at Savers for $5.99 the lot.  Thy are brand new and usually retail for about $6 each.   It's great to have a set of  pretty matching mugs.

*  Filled up both cars with petrol at $1.37 per litre.  I'm pretty sure the price is about to go up ( again. )

*  Purchased a few more birthday gifts for next year at 60 % off.  Mid year sales might look great but you really need to know your prices.

*  Dried most of the washing over ducted heating vents.  Saved shower water and drink bottle water for plants and the washing machine.

*  Gratefully received a few glass jars and poppy seedlings from my parents.

*  Kept the curtains mostly closed on the cold,  overcast days to keep the heat inside.  I was also aware to only use the heater when really necessary and closed off unused rooms..

*  We received our first gas bill since securing a new discount from our provider.  Including the $50 credit they promised us for switching plans,  we saved $72.90 compared to the same time last year ( or $22.90 without the $50 credit ).  The new discount only applied to half the time period of the bill.  We should see a bigger saving on the next bill.

*  Sold a couple of cards and a soap to a friend.

Even Princess was feeling the cold.

Taking up Darren's jeans

Sunday afternoon tea in style.

This week's op shop find.

One of the cards I sold.

How thrifty was your week ?

Did you try something new to save money ?

Wednesday 4 July 2018

Chocolate Truffles

This recipe has been a family favourite since the 1980's.  I can't lay claim to the recipe but I've been known to make variations that include choc chips,  dried fruit and nuts.

I packet of milk arrowroot biscuits
1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
1 tins of sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder - sifted
extra coconut for rolling

Crush the biscuits until they are a fine crumb.  You can do this in a food processor or with a rolling pin on baking paper.

Add the crushed biscuits,  coconut and cocoa powder to a large bowl and mix well.

Add the sweetened condensed milk to the biscuits and mix until well combined.

In a medium bowl add the extra desiccated  coconut   ( 2/3 of a cup approx. ).

Using a teaspoon,  form small balls of mixture and roll between your hands to smooth out the lumps.

Roll the balls in the extra coconut and place on a tray.

Refrigerate for one hour until firm

Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.


*  Make sure your hands are wet when forming the mixture into balls. This stops the mixture from sticking to your hands.

*  I use generic ( no name ) ingredients to reduce costs. If I have time,  I make the sweetened condensed milk from scratch..

*  Add finely chopped apricots,  choc bits and peanuts for a different flavour.