Saturday 18 August 2018

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 18th August 2018

This week I got into the swing of making a few favourites from scratch.  It's probably been two years since I've had homemade lemon butter on my toast in the morning.  I just love lemon butter but with my stockpile of homemade jam in the cupboard,  it wasn't a priority.  This deliciousness can be eaten by the spoonful and is so much better than supermarket bought.

Here's what I got up to this week -

*  Made two jars of lemon butter using the lemons gifted to us.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Returned a bag of soft plastic wrapping to Coles supermarket to be recycled by Redcycle.  Not a money saving tip but a planet saving tip.

*  Tidied up the pantry and revised my shopping list after checking what I already had.   I was able to cross a few things off.

*  Juiced more lemons and froze the juice for future use.  During jam making season I go through quite a bit of lemon juice.

*  Made chicken stock in the slow cooker overnight.  From the stock I made a big pot of chunky chicken and vegetable soup. Lots of singles serves were frozen.  I just love this soup and could live off it during the cold weather.

*  Fed the compost bin and worm farm everyday with kitchen scraps and teabags / tea leaves.

*  Fed young Spring grass to the chickens.  I grab a couple of handfuls every few days to vary their diets

*  Made yoghurt using this recipe.  It's getting harder to find natural yoghurt.  The small tub I found cost about $1.80. With very careful measuring I'll be able to get four portions to make four litres of homemade yoghurt.  The other three portions of natural yoghurt are in the freezer to use as a starter for future batches.

*  Dried most of the washing on clothes horses.  A few things were tossed into the dryer.

*  Cut open a tube of a facial  scrub to scrape out every last drop.

*  Froze four single serves of leftovers.  Shortly I'll be able to write ' free meal ' into the menu plan.

*  Darren made up a jug of powdered milk when we were running a bit low on normal milk.  I'm not a fan of powdered milk but it is cheaper than normal milk and is great for cooking and baking.

Flowers from Jessica

Homemade lemon butter

Making yoghurt

Freezing tuna pasta bake for future meals

Chop suey - lots of veggies

Thankyou for all your lovely comments on Wednesday's post.  It was a hard post to write but I know we have a caring,  supportive community here.  I'm truly blessed with your kindness.


  1. I spied some fresh beetroot on sale for $1.69 a kilo, and bought a big bag of it, and sliced and pickled it in jars, I made 11 jars for around $5!

    I also made a batch of your miracle cleaner this week, and used it to clean the bathroom.


    1. The Miracle Spray smells lovely doesn't it ?

  2. Hi Wendy and we are also blessed each and every one of us by the time and effort you put into this blog :).

    Your week was one of great accomplishments cooking all of those wonderful meals, bread and making yummy lemon butter too. What a blessing free lemons are.

    We too had a friend who had a tree with excess lemons just at a time when we were harvesting our sweet potatoes so we use that to blanch and freeze them and made a huge batch of orange and lemon marmalade for our food storage too.

    I thought I would start off with a tip for everyone located in Australia is that Woolworths that have a shop on eBay under the seller name woolworthssupermarkets has $240 grocery e-vouchers for $200 until the 26th of this month giving you a 16.66 % discount on all groceries when purchased online and picked up from the store :). They will have them again in mid November and when coupled with weekly specials you can save so much on your grocery bill.

    Our savings added up to $764.12 last week :).

    Here is what we did to feather our nest and get ahead last week -

    Home organisation -
    - Deep cleaned the whole house from top to bottom ready for our rental inspection, due to dust storms because of the current drought here saving $200 + over hiring someone to do it for us.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made 2.736 kg of magic mix to make white sauces and chocolate puddings with saving $83.71 over purchasing premade white sauce in the supermarkets.
    - Made a 3 kg quadruple batch of magic mix chocolate pudding from our magic mix saving us $16.50 over purchasing it in the local supermarket. This fed our 2 guests and us for dinner and the both of us for 2 more days for dessert.

    Finances -
    - Banked more money into our saving for our home deposit bank account bringing us to 27.65% of the way there.
    - DH banked his tax return money into the house deposit account.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 1 kg of organic Ceylon cinnamon powder on eBay for food storage saving $28.92 over buying it in the supermarket.
    - Bought 20 sets of sound deadening silicone ear plugs with cords on eBay saving $87.31 over purchasing them in the local hardware store.
    - Purchased 6 x $240 Woolworths supermarket e-vouchers on eBay for $200 each saving us $240 in grocery costs. As we need to use these we will couple this with any weekly specials we find for more savings.

    In the garden -
    - Picked 1.1 kg of cherry tomatoes and 2.165 kg of broccoli from the gardens saving $29.44 over purchasing in the supermarkets.
    - Separated out 239 g of rosemary picked and dried from the gardens saving $35.61 over purchasing it in the supermarkets.

    Hope everyone has a great week ahead.

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. I love those mixes too. I do a big batch of fruit crumble topping mix.

  3. Great list Wendy, thank you. Can I ask about what you do for lunches? I take my lunch each work day, DH buys supplies to take to work from the supermarket, and the kids lunches are made for school too. Do you vary your sandwiches with soup or leftovers? I find my leftovers go to lunches. I only manage to freeze my batch cooking. Sigh. Have a lovely week. Rachel:)

    1. For myself I'll have an egg on toast soup, toasted sandwich, cheese and pita bread chips, crumpets, English muffin, leftovers if it's too small to freeze, pasta, tomato sauce and cheese. In Summer I'm more inclined to eat a salad sandwich

  4. I always save a cup of my fresh batch of yoghurt as starter for the next. I have not bought starter yoghurt for at least a couple of years. Then again, I only use the base recipe and add extras to it afterwards.

    1. What extras do you add Phil ?

    2. We all like different things, hence why I make a plain batch first then divide it up. We then fold in our favourite things and then pop in the fridge. We fold through berries or diced canned fruit, some just like vanilla bean and others like it infused with honey etc. Making the plain batch first means everyone gets what they want. One of my favourites is lychee

  5. Your list is impressive. I have stuck to my food plan and have spent less. My daughter moved out today so I guess the costs should drop further.

  6. Since I was running low, after making last minute cookies to take with compassionate service meals this week, I made another big batch of cookie mix! I love the convenience of just measuring out some mix, adding an egg, vanilla and peanut butter or chocolate chips and having the dough ready to drop on to my cookie sheets and bake!
    A sweet online friend sent me a quilt top she found at a yard sale and I sent her an extra copy I had of a book about growing fruit trees in small spaces. It was a true barter and we both felt like we got the better part of the barter, which makes it a successful trade!
    Another dear friend, who I first met in a pantry group online but met in person 2 years ago, gifted me a big box of celery, a big bag of fresh corn and a huge bag of potatoes! I was able to give her a big bag of cheese rolls and some bags of bagels and we both were happy with the unexpected blessings! I chopped up a dozen heads of celery last night and put them on my 9 Excalibur (dehydrator) shelves and will vacuum seal them this morning into half gallon mason jars for use in future meals! They take up such a small space on my shelf and when a recipe calls for celery at a time of the year when it is high priced, I can use this instead! I will blanch, cut and freeze the corn this morning! Then, dice and dehydrate potatoes as well as use many of them fresh!
    In an effort t “Use it Up” (per your challenge a while back), I looked around online for free ideas to use more of my fabric stash. I found a site that was new to me and tried a tutorial she had to make small tote bags from scrap squares of fabric. I made 1 quickly (although my shoebox of squares didn’t diminish after using 80 squares! In fact, it seemed to grow larger!). Then I changed the pattern and made a larger one. I posted a photo of the two bags on Facebook, mostly as a way for me to look back and see what I did later on and, without expecting it, two friends both asked if I would sell them! I made and modified the pattern even more because they had wanted a larger, Aldi size bag along with a couple smaller ones. So without trying, I made $61 in bags and used up some of my scraps!
    I had free baguettes so I used 6 to make up Stuffed Ranch chicken French bread! Used my homemade Ranch mix in it as well as some chicken I had precooked and shredded from my freezer and green onions from my garden!
    We enjoyed it for dinner and I had enough to gift 2 of them to a friend whose wife is out of state for a couple weeks and we put leftovers, wrapped in foil, into my “Lunches to Go” shoebox in the fridge!

    I am continually humbled and amazed at how abundantly we have been blessed with the resources/supplies to create things to make our lives lovely! It’s a wonderful time to be alive!!

    Thanks again, Wendy, for sharing creative and practical ideas to make life a little more wonderful and move us forward on the path of self reliance!

  7. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found
    a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She put the
    shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I
    had to tell someone!

  8. I suppose lemon butter is what we call lemon curd. I love it especially home made but I haven't made any for years. I used to use powdered milk for cooking as it was cheaper than fresh but now it is dearer so I just use fresh. Your meals look good.

  9. Made a batch of miracle spray.I use it to clean everything.Lovr it and the smell is so clean.

  10. Hi Wendy, sadly in life people will make mean comments. We just have to learn to ignore them.
    This week has been really tight for me financially , so I got creative and last night had beans on a jacket potato it was delicious ! Lately I will admit I've been struggling badly with depression so I've gone in for simple but nutritious meals. I'm applying for jobs but nothing seems to be happening ! Its pretty tough in sydney. I'm going for one today, whilst I look to the future. A wise person told me once be in today but plan for the future ! Sounds like you had a productive week as usual.

    1. Sonia

      Just wanted to wish you all the best on the job hunting. I hope things go your way really soon. It can be very draining on your mental state but please try to stay positive. There are knock backs and setbacks in life always and this is how we learn to claw our way through life.

      Remember that you are a strong person and will come through the other side a more resilient person
      Good luck

      Aly xxx

  11. A wonderful week. I just love that you write things like 'baked bread with extra goodness'. I swear sometimes 'love' is that extra bit of goodness. I had a couple of cookups too, and finally mastered a gluten free pastry. It only took me 45 years to make a decent pastry, never mind a gluten free We had a family celebration on Saturday night with lots of home made goodies including gluten free profiteroles...another first! When you're on a roll, keep rolling I say! Such a lovely supportive community we have. Don't worry about the naysayers Mimi

  12. Hi Wendy

    Not much on the savings this week but I did manage to use some points to get a free movie ticket and took myself off for a wonderful morning.

    Opened the blinds to let the wonderful sunshine in to warm up the room but the cold snap is here and I have had to have the air con on to warm things up today

    Best wishes

    Aly xxx

  13. Love your posts Wendy! This weather of late made us buy a dryer as a full time working mother of 4 it just getting to hard!
    However to help with the power cost our power company does a "free hour of power" so 6am I'm up turning on the dryer and heater.
    Anyway maybe a great tip to see if your power company does the same.


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