Saturday, 12 January 2019

Frugal Tasks Since Christmas

I'm back and it's a brand new year of excitement.  I've had a lovely time at home with Darren pottering around.  I've been decluttering,  sorting,  making,  gardening,  sorting out presents for this year,  reworking the present budget as well as setting up the household budget for 2019.

I'm feeling on top of the world with all this organisation and believe I can travel through 2019 with confidence that I've put the right systems in place.

Here's what else I've been up to since I last blogged -

*  Used lots of Flybuys dollars to purchase Christmas grocery treats and New Years Day BBQ food.

*  Bought a pair of sandals during the post Christmas sales for 50% off.

*  Gratefully received some blood plums from my Dad's neighbour.

*  Picked 19 apricots form our tree and cooked them up to have as a dessert with homemade yoghurt.  This has been our best year for apricots since we planted the tree in 2014.

*  Made jam with plums in the freezer.  I reused the gift tags that one customer returned to me.  Some of the jars of jam will be sold or given as presents.

*  Picked enough strawberries to make smoothies as well as general eating.

*  Made up two bottles of diluted Dynamo laundry liquid.  The ratio is one part liquid to 4 or 5 parts water.

*  Made lots of gift tags from recycled Christmas cards.  I now have a shoe box especially for Christmas tags and one for general present giving.  I'm feeling quite organised this year.

*  Picked lots of beans,  silverbeet,  raspberries,  lettuce and a few cucumbers from the garden for our meals.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.  I reused the plastic bread bags and tags.

*  Gave Megan a haircut.  She doesn't like anyone cutting her hair but me.

*  Made 1 kilo of yoghurt using saved yoghurt as a starter from the freezer.

*  Made a batch of olive and coconut oil soap.  Some will be for our use and the rest will be given as presents or sold to a few friends.

*  Bought a new bedroom suite during the Boxing Day sales and saved 30% off the regular price.

*  Repaired and replaced the rope on Princess's  scratching post.

*  Sewed up sets of face washers and burb towels for Megan's baby shower using what I had on hand.

Apricots from our tree

Post Christmas bargain wrapping paper

Plum jam making

Fruit from our garden.

Our garden bounty

Christmas lunch of slow cooker roast beef with veg.  Yummy.

How have you saved time and money since Christmas ?
Have you started planning and organising for the year ahead ?


  1. Oh my, I am envious can't wait unlit we can garden again.

  2. Hello Wendy, and welcome back! 😁
    Just look at your homegrown produce! So abundant, and so vibrant, it's freshness just oozes out, even through a computer screen! There's just no denying that's got to be good for you!
    I look forward to another year of reading your blog.

    Cheers Cheryl

    1. Thankyou so much Cheryl. What have you been up to since Christmas ?

    2. Well I haven’t been doing a real lot, I haven’t been well, so keeping the washing up to date, a meal on the table every night, and a clean kitchen is about all the energy I can spare ATM, but I’m not grumbling there’s plenty of people worse off than me.

  3. it is sooo good to have you back, and I hope you feel rejuvenated ooxxoo

    1. Thankyou. I do. I also had 12 days off from cleaning jobs. Netfixs is great for relaxing.

  4. What a week of abundance Wendy! The girls and I all cut each others hair. It is great. No hairdresser expenses. Have a lovely weekend! I hope much more produce comes your way next week!xxx

  5. Welcome back Wendy. You've had a very productive break. I'm always in awe of your fruit and veggie harvests. I've enjoyed the holidays just pottering. It is likely to be a big year for us as a family. I've done our budget and I always keep a list of the years expected bills due for each month. That way if something hasnt arrived in the mail, I can chase it up without paying any late fees. Also it helps to budget for unexpected costs.
    Looking forward to another year of inspiring frugality. Happy New Year to you, Darren and your girls! Rachel :)

    1. Thankyou so much Rachel. Having a budget is peace of mind isn't it ? Hoping you have a fabulous year too.

  6. Wow Wendy you have a lovely abundance of produce from your gardens which is a real blessing. Home grown tastes so much nicer than shop purchased and you can't get any fresher. The plum jam looks amazing too :). Glad you have had time out with family and have got many needed things done.

    We went shopping on Christmas Eve and picked up some wonderful bargains being triple smoked shaved leg ham from the deli for $3.60 per kg (usually $22 kg) and cooked chickens on half price special for $4.50 ea of which we purchased 4. Christmas was lovely and just a nice quiet one with the two of us and our gifts to each other practical items we needed for the farm or house.

    Our savings last week added up to $1275.69 :).

    Blessings -
    - Our neighbour who was overrun with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and Chinese egg plant and beans gave us around 5 kg of tomatoes, around a kilo of cucumbers, 500 g of string beans and about 500 g of Chinese
    eggplant. We blanched and froze most of it in meal sized portions and washed the tomatoes and froze them whole. She also had some whiting fillets and cod as her family and boyfriend like fishing but she doesn't eat a lot of fish so she kindly gave us about .5kg of each and said she will bring us more from her family when she visits them. What a lovely neighbour she is too :).

    Finances & Purchases -
    - DH earned $20 from a mowing job he did which we will save to buy some more whipper snipper cord with.
    - I paid all of our home loan fees and charges and extra part payments too paying off 1.66% off the capital off the home loan.
    - We purchased 8 pairs of jeans for $9 per pair delivered, 12 pr of underwear on special for 0.75c ea including delivery from Kmart along with a 70 cm fan saving $181.89 over buying them locally in the shops. Jeans are getting horrendously high in prices here ranging for $19 - $40 per pair :o and we only want to use some for gardening and work clothing and some for good wear.

    Repurposing, making things, house repairs and maintenance -
    - DH made a coat and hat rack out of a 1.39mt piece of Merbau decking and varnish we had and coat hooks we purchased for a good price saving $40.42 over buying an equivalent sized one in the hardware store.
    - DH fixed 2 leaks in outdoor pipes and taps by not buying any parts and using electrical tape and screwing a tap fitting tighter saving us $160 over calling a plumber to do it for us.
    - We fixed one of the shed doors that wasn't shutting due to ground swelling from the previous owners running the grey water into the sullage pit. We took the door off, cut it down shorter, cut a nitch in it so it closed around the pipe coming out the door and painted the hinge area that had no paint and the bottom of the door (with paint we had) and rehung it with new screws we had as the others were falling out. This saved us $135 over hiring a handyman to do this for us.
    - We purchased sullage hose, connectors and a sprinkler to link the grey water to a sprinkler to water the lawns and fruit and berry trees with it. This saved us $80 over getting a plumber in to do it for us.
    - We filled in huge dog dig holes from the previous tenants in the shed by chipping the dirt with hoes, picks and shovels and levelling it with our levelling tool saving us another $360 over hiring a handyman to do it for us.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made a double batch of white sauce mix we also use for making homemade chocolate pudding from food storage saving $93.02 over purchasing the premade powder in the shops.
    - Cooked a double batch of chocolate brownies from premade brownie mix saving $66.18 over purchasing them by the slice in local cafe's.

    Hoping everyone had an equally good week :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Lorna, that's a wonderful list of savings. The gifted garden produce is such a blessing. God certainly provides for all our needs.

  7. Great to have you back Wendy ... Happy and healthy 2019 to you and yours.

    1. Thankyou so much. Hoping your 2019 is fabulous.

  8. Welcome back sounds like you had a lovely break, I had money and gift cards left over from Christmas so in the New Year I hit the shops and was able to buy most of my gifts for next year at bargain prices. I did really well at Kmart buying 6 tops for myself at $2 each of the clearance rack and a swag of Christmas goodies for 50 cents each. I was really surprised Priceline had 10 and 15$ gift sets for $3.79.
    I went to savers did some great shopping using my 20% donation discount card. If anyone goes to Savers Seniors card holders get 20% off each Monday.
    Our apricot tree was loaded so I made heaps of jam and stewed and froze tubs. Tried drying some they were an improvement on last year. Made plum jam from the tree next door that hangs over our fence as well.
    I shopped at our discount store. Ham portions were $2 and tinned spaghetti and tinned pineapple and yoghurts were all 3 for $2. Am planning some very cheap meals.
    I worked out my budget Im aiming to save $1500 a month/ Its tight but doable.
    I hope everybody is enjoying the beautiful weather today Leanne.

    1. Leanne it sounds like you had a wonderfully frugal time at the sales. Well done on buying so many gifts.

      Do you give the jam as gift too ?

    2. Not as such, When its apricot I just share. My tree grew from a seed in the compost pile many years ago. I easily picked 30 kilos and left plenty for the birds. I make several batches of jam, I stewed apricots, made apricot nectar. made coconut and apricot muffins, did apricot puree. I don't drive so the girls at work who help me out with lifts get some of the above, a friend does simple maitenence jobs on our house he gets some. Friends get a share and I well and truly stock my freezer. Saves me a fortune and every body is happy. I give preserves like chutney, relish and mustards as gifts, I won a lot of prizes at the Royal Show with preserves and enjoy making them. I was so happy watching my friends leave work with huge tubs of stewed apricots. A friend bought in a slice of her apricot pudding she made it was lovely.

  9. So glad to see you back posting again, Wendy! You’ve been quite busy even with time off cleaning jobs! Glad to hear you’re feeling great. Breaks at home are so restorative, aren’t they? I have been busy with my job, trying (not very successful yet) to make my oldest grown child a scrapbook/memory book, and finding amazing post Christmas deals to give as presents this year. So far I have two presents for my husband and one for my middle son. I completely emptied my gift closet over Chrismas. It’s such a joy to build it back up in anticipation of sharing more this year. Blessings to you and your family! Love, Teresa

    1. Teresa you've made a great start for 2019's present giving. Unfortunately ( or not ), my present cupboard is never emptied. I have presents for the next three years stored in there.

  10. I have saved an enormous amount of money since Christmas, simply by not going anywhere near the shops. Our Katie took me out for coffee to a beautiful beach cafe, I have been to the Library on a couple of occaisions both for the books and for the air con and lovely cool surrounds. I go for a ride with the sidekick most days. I'm not staying at home like a hermit, I simply dont go to the shops. When we run out of something, I write it on the blackboard in the kitchen. Bluey does the shopping based on this list. It is only what we need. Many dollars saved.

    1. Well done for staying away from the shops. After the post Christmas sales finished I've stayed away too.

  11. Welcome to 2019 Wendy ! Look forward to hearing all of your bargains and tips. When is baby due ? Aldi have a baby week coming up . sonia

    1. The baby is due in March. Megan has already seen the Aldi catalogue and has her eye on a few things.

    2. My sister uses their nappies and says they're the best and won the can star and choice awards ! I'm sure you're looking forward to it all and best of all breast feeding is free !!!


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