Wednesday 31 October 2018

Another ' Use It Up ' Challenge November 2018

Christmas is just around the corner ( or two ) so I thought it would be a great time to have another ' Use It Up ' challenge.  I'm sure we  all need to make room in our pantries,  freezers,  cupboards,  wardrobes and bathroom cabinets for the gifts we'll receive or the food we'll need to stockpile.

The idea of this challenge is to list your goals ( what you'd like to use up ),  how you'll do it and maybe a money saving along the way.

The challenge will last for the month of November which gives us all plenty of time to work out our strategy and to use things up.

My goals are -

*  To use up more toiletry samples like shampoos,  little soaps and shower gels.

*  Use up a few unusual ingredients in my pantry by writing them into the menu plan

*  Eat out of the freezer as much as possible.  I'll be writing bits and pieces into the menu plan.  I'll be needing room in my freezers in case legs of lamb,  chicken fillets or drumsticks come on sale ( I can only dream ).  We'll also need room to freeze our garden produce.

*  Use up scraps of card making papers.  Our card making group has made this a bit of a mission each month.  We all have too many little bits of papers.  The Christmas cards I'm making this year are following this theme.

*  Take a good look at my fabric stash to see if I can make some presents. I do need to make a Christmas stocking for a new family member.  Maybe I can research making Christmas decorations from material.

*  Try to reduce my stash of tissue paper and gift bags by using them for Christmas presents.

If you'd like to join in the challenge feel free to comment below with your goals and how you'll achieve them.

My fabric stash


  1. Dear Wendy,
    Firstly thank you for another challenge, it has come at a perfect time for me. I have several goals including :
    1.follow my menu plan ( I have been trying reverse menu planning which is simply using what you have at home and the specials you can get and what you can grow etc.
    I have made a detailed menu plan and will not need any meat, many pantry items, toiletries ( except toilet paper) and basically will be relying on my stockpile in my freezer fridge and pantry for at least 14days with a reduced spend amount on my shopping day when I will need fruit and veg ( I have been running that down to eliminate waste). And whatever else is on my list.
    My next goal is to make gift hampers and cards including sets of cards in a gift box or bag to use for people on my gift list. I have many many craft supplies including some new Christmas craft supplies which I was fortunate enough to be given at no cost to me. My goal with craft and gifts is to use what is in my craft area and gift cupboard to make gifts as well as finding those last minute gifts ( by last minute I mean in 4th he nexttwo weeks!).
    My final goal for this use it up challenge is to continue to be saving for my holiday and Christmas.
    I will do this by revising my spending plan and using every resource I have available to me including my clothes. I will commit to buying no new clothes in November, except I do need underwear!. Too much info!. So my goal is to go through my wardrobe and dresser drawers and see what I actually have to wear. I am not extravagant and only buy clothes on sale and not often however I have enough at present. I may need a few summer tank tops for the house but they are really cheap and I shop the sales as I said and last me for years because they are excellent quality.
    So overall for me with the exception of some budgeted for purchases it will be a low spend Novembe for me.
    Wishing everyone the best of luck with their goals. Thanks Wendy for being a role model and inspiration.
    Love Barb W

    1. You have some great goals Barb. Most of us have plenty of clothes to wear. I'm trying to only buy what I need.

  2. Great challenge! Here’s a link to some easy fabric star ornaments that don’t require any sewing!
    I’ve made dozens of these! Hope you enjoy!

  3. Wendy I have had a use it up challenge to not purchase any new fabric for the past two years. I was doing really well when I was gifted a friends Mothers collection of fabric. I have since been gifted so much fabric that it is out of control again. I sew a lot and only purchase iron on interfacing and thread when I have to.
    With your fabrics you might like to look at folded fabric coasters in You Tube. There are quite a few different, yet very simple techiques for this. My non sewing daughter is going to have a go at making some for friends this year.
    I want to explore different soap making and possibly some shampoo bars to use up the various soap making paraphenalia I have.
    I want to use up a lot of the items on the baking shelf. Will have to get a little bit inventive with some things. I have quite a few packets of pine nuts. The basil is just about ready for harvesting. Could be a bit of basil and home made pasta being gifted to some foodie friends.
    Love the idea of this challenge.

    1. Thanks for your ideas Jane. I'll look them up.

  4. Hi Wendy,

    I’m in!!!
    I have lots of things to use up which I bought back from overseas such as Shampoo/conditioners, soap, salt and pepper, coffee, tea, hot cocoa, sauce and coffee creamers.
    Also pantry items that need using up, make cards, use tank water, use things out of the freezer, use fabric, use gift bags, seeds and make up

    1. Maureen, A couple of years ago I ended up with so many salt and pepper packets. So I spent a little bit of time and poured them into the shakers to use up. No one wanted to use a little packet but they were happy to use a shaker.

  5. I have made many jars of jam for gifts but I will be using my fabric stash to create some quilts and hussifs (little sewing kits) for Christmas gifts. This should reduce the stash somewhat. I have been working diligently on reducing the overflowing cupboards. There is still along way to go.

    1. Suzan, my jars just multiply. I think we all have an overflowing cupboard in our homes. Well done to working hard on them.

  6. Hi Wendy and what a great idea on the use it up challenge :).

    I had previously made Christmas decorations from large flower prints of fabric (cutting around the flowers printed on the fabric leaving some room around the outside for stitching) with polyester wadding in them (the flat mat type) and machine satin stitched around the edge and added tie ribbons to the top to hang from walls and Christmas trees before. They sold well and we kept some for ourselves to decorate our own home with too. This could easily be done with Christmas star and other Christmas themed patterned fabrics too.

    As we are moving into our new home in early December the goals we have for our challenge are as follows -

    - Use as much older grocery stocks as we can in our pantries as we have a lot of tinned tuna, beans and carrots we need to rotate through. We have had tuna bakes a lot and used a fair bit of that.
    - Use most of the remaining stocks of meat in the freezer before we restock after we move.
    - Not spend any money unless it is necessary and leave the rest of the money in the bank to allow for other expenditure like having some new power points installed, buying some padlocks, buying some surge protector power boards, a house stump replacement, a new oven and paying the adjustment rates on changeover of the house that the current owners may have paid.
    - Declutter any household items we are not using by sending them to a friend who is selling them for me on Gumtree.

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Lorna, I hope your friend is able to sell some items for you. The extra money will be handy for setting up your new home.

  7. Hi Wendy, one thing I'm saving on is fruit. Its supplied in abundance at my new job. Also made a meatloaf and rissoles doing over 12 dinners for me. I buy only the aldi specials for the week in terms of veg etc.
    Megan will be glad to know she's saving $$$ by breastfeeding its free and so good for baby ! As health professionals we like to see a mum where possible : and I say this because I know not all can and that's absolutely OK ! Breastfeed for at least six months if possible. Its free ! Builds baby's immune system too! My week was excellent in terms of saving and with my new job I can save even more !
    Regards. Sonia

  8. I so need to do this. Way too much STUFF!

  9. Hi Wendy, I always read your blog but almost never comment! Your use it up idea is a timely idea, thanks. I have been working through my freezer, and will take another look around the house for other stores to get organized. Thank you for the idea and motivation!


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