Saturday, 20 April 2019

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 20th April 2019

This week's frugal tasks are pretty much non existent due to the continuing challenges we are facing.   We've cooked our meals from scratch most nights.  Freezer meals have been eaten when cooking was impossible.  We've saved water like we usually do and stayed away from the shops.  Yesterday I baked bread and finished making a few cards.  A friend gave me some mini tomatoes which we've eaten with salads when the weather turned warm again.

So this week I thought it would be a fabulous chance for regular commenters and those who lurk around the edges to share their wonderful thrifty ways of the last week or two.

Here's your chance - Share away  


  1. Dear Wendy, thinking of you and your family.i am impressed that you managed so much actually.
    I have been doing my regular frugalthings such as buying things I use regularly on half price special and buying as many as I can afford and will use.i have also eaten freezer meals( home made),
    I went to my favourite clothing store ( Autograph) because I had seen online that they had a 40%off store wide off full priced items. I boughtboth a p,air of long black pants and a lovely blouse for a few $$ more than the blouses original price . I also got a $5 rewards voucher to use within the next month.
    I have been given meals by my parents homemade by mum .i have received a discount on a new walking stick this one is much better than my old one. Also in the last few weeks I was given what I call a claw , it’s a tool to help me pick up things , it also. Has a magnet on it ,and has a hook to help me get dressed . I have also cooked from scratch most nights , had no takeaway and bought no m,agazines which is a big thing for me.
    Other than that I have just lived as I normally do , trying to find new ways to save.
    Happy and blessed Easter to you and your family Wendy and to all your readers .
    Love Barb W.

  2. Good morning Wendy,

    Sending well wishes and prayers your way for the challenges you’ve been facing. You are a strong family and will get through this time.

    On the frugal front this week I have-
    Made a batch of thick and creamy vanilla yoghurt
    Line dried the washing
    Made a double batch of veggie loaded Chilli Con Carne which fed us for three nights
    Used home made cleaners around the home
    Bought a 10 kilo bag of bread flour for $13.49
    Made another loaf of light wholemeal bread
    Menu planned and shopped only to the list
    Rode my bike to work very day
    Made another batch of homemade toothpaste, I do this to lessen the amount of plastic coming into our home
    Kept to the 2 light rule at night time
    Stored all fruit and veg correctly to prevent waste
    Packed my lunch for work each day

    And that’s all I can think of at the mo.

    Hope the sunshine will breakthrough the clouds soon for you and yours.
    Kindest regards

  3. I was lucky to be taken away by a friend. I cleaned washed and cooked meals before leaving for the two nights. Made a batch of miracle spray and Italian biscotti for Easter. Biscotti have no oil or butter so cheap and healthy. Using movie vouchers and gift vouchers for holiday fun. Planning on a big chicken and meat shop so I can prep some meatballs schnitzel and bolognaise before going back to work. Was having trouble with water draining from bathroom sinks. I undid all the S bends and was horrified at the amount of hair and gunk that was there!!! Flushed them all with bicarbonate and vinegar after.
    Anyone keen to make biscotti beat 2 eggs with 1 cup of castor sugar fold in 2 cups SR flour. To that add 150 g raw almonds or whatever I did one batch with cranberry and white choc. Form into two long logs about an inch wide and bake for about 20 mins. When cool slice on an angle about 3-5ml and lay on baking sheet. Bake in a low oven 50-100 until crunchy. Buona Pasqua happy Easter and God Bless x

  4. When my bananas in the fruit bowl get a bit too ripe I freeze them in chunks. I mark how many are in each freezer bag. When I feel like a treat for desert sometimes, I blitz them in the blender with a little cold water and some cocao powder to make “chocolate nicecream”. I put in a container and freeze for about 30 minutes till it’s set and ready to serve.
    I do use frozen bananas for the usual cake, banana bread or muffins too, but not very often now that the kids have grown and left home.

    Hope you’re both enjoying the grandparent duties xx
    Julie D - Karratha

  5. I have been reading your blog for quite a while but don’t normally comment :). However, your request inspired me! I hope all will be well with your family challenges. I made two large pots of soup (black eyed peas and ham, and chicken noodle), used them for dinners on the day cooked and then portioned out the remainder into freezer containers for future meals. I checked the grocery sales and found ham for $0.77 a pound, and pork loin for $1.99 and hamburger for $0.99/lb. and so bought some of each for the freezer. I slice the pork loin into pork chops, as well as small portions of pork chunks for stews, all of which I froze for future meals.

  6. My week has putzed along. We have decided that Easter dinner has to come out of the freezer. I am pretty broke so are being forced to eat from stocks at home. That doesn't mean meals have not been tasty. Between rain showers the wash has been line dried. I managed to buy petrol at 10 cents less a litre. It is true how petrol prices are jacked up over the holidays. A present was made for my granddaughter instead of chocolate for Easter.

    Have a safe and happy Easter break.

  7. Hi Wendy, Liz from WA here. Sorry to hear life has been challenging for you, hoping things improve for you soon!
    Some of my frugal achievements lately have really added up -
    We had to do a 500km round trip for a night down south for my son's boarding school ball. With permission Hubby's work let us take his brand new work ute saving us a lot on fuel! We were surprised that the parents were invited to the college dining room pre ball with all the students for Hor dourves and punch. The college chefs provided the most amazing aray of food that hubby and I didn't need to go to a restruant for dinner that night, we were so full, saving about $100 on the meal we had planned. Also used flybuy points to buy goodies for the post ball hamper I put in the boys motel room, saving $20. Another $50 saved when my sister did a last minute trip to stay on our farm, so was able to cancel the kennels as she cared for the dog here!
    We put 2 of our sheep in the freezer this week and also sold one cut up to a friend, its completely full now, and have been eating a lot of lamb, which we never get sick of!
    The veggie garden is slowing down but have a lot of pumpkins ready, beans which I'm blanching and freezing, and tomatoes which I turned into pasta sauce in the slow cooker overnight, getting another 4 lots!
    I was gifted some Granny Smith Apples from a friend, and also lemons, and a bag of purple garlic which I shared with my sister and lots of avocados.
    Work is picking up slowly with another weekly client added to the list this week for a support worker.
    With the change of weather and thunder storms we have been having, we have kept warm with the wood fire, which also heats the hot water, completely free! I have also been drying the washing on the clothes horses by the fire.
    Brewed a tub of beer and will bottle that today.
    Hubby and I spent some time yesterday reloading bullets, which is a huge saving over buying them!
    Borrowed some dvd's and books from the library!
    After really trying hard this last few weeks, I managed my goal of paying an extra $1500 off the investment property loan for the month, and if we can stick to our credit card freeze, I will have another $1000 rental income to pay off it as well at the end of this month. The plan is to pay the loan off in 3 to 4 years rather than 10 years!
    My son has taken up forging and built his own blacksmithing set up in the shed. To buy the charcoal to burn is $20 a bag, but saving heaps as hubby has a lot of charcoal at the mine which he has been bringing home for him to burn! We also have a lot of scrap metal here for him to forge, I got a great fire poker the other day. Free school holiday fun, and lots of his mates coming over to have a go!
    Staying on the farm all Easter, so no spent long weekend!
    Have a good week everyone, regards Liz

  8. My household has shrunk from 7 to 3 in the last 5 years and it's taken me awhile to adjust to the smaller quantites needed to feed a smaller family. What has helped the most is to look through fridge and freezers before I shop and make plans for the little bits of things leftover from last week. Sometimes I make a note at the bottom of the menu list of things that should be used up. We also use freezer containers meant for meal prepping single servings to freeze up leftovers for ready made freezer meals. Since we have a warehouse membership and I really think through when making a list if we will be able to finish items before they go bad. Thinking about food waste before you buy helps reduce it.-Kathryn Washington USA

  9. Thanks Wendy,
    This week has seen me extremely grateful for the following:
    The lovely weather which has mean't I don't have to turn on either the heater or airconditioner.
    A wonderful food hamper including Easter treats..which means I don't have to purchase for the family gifts of chocolates.
    Good health which means I have the energy to be frugal and do somethings myself.
    The internet which has allowed me to connect with others for free and learning from them.


  10. Hi Wendy and you and your family are still in our prayers and we are thinking of you all :) . I am glad you spent some time doing some relaxing card making and tomatoes are always a blessing in our home too.

    We spent most of the week pulling down the last of the huge grapeyard vineyard so didn't get a lot accomplished. Our water restrictions here are now extreme and we are down to using 120 lts per person per day of town water as we are in severe drought here. Feeling for the local cattle farmers here whose dams are running dry and they are forced to destock to make the water last longer. Water saving here is high on our agenda here at the moment and every drop of water gets a second or third use for cleaning etc.

    Finances & listings -
    - Paid our 6 monthly water bill for the property and we used only 70lts of town water per day average for the two of us :) as the house operates mostly on rainwater tank water.
    - Paid our usual fortnightly mortgage repayment.
    - Listed 10 free listings on eBay saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Home organisation and cleaning -
    - Cleaned out and swept the garage where my car lives after we sprayed it for Redback spiders last week.
    - Vacuumed my car and DH washed it and now it doesn't look like a red dust ball anymore :).
    - I swept the cement paths down one side of the house to get rid of dust and leaves.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and 3 loaves of bread saving $10.47 over buying it locally.

    In the gardens -
    - Pulled down the rest of the grapeyard vineyard and cut the post in half where a tap was connected and put all the good posts in the leanto shed.
    - Cut the not in good condition wood up with the chainsaw making just over a cubic metre more of firewood to add to our winter firewood supplies saving $240 over buying it.

    Hope everyone has had a great week too :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  11. Shopping for groceries online so I don't have the supermarkets encouraging me to spend more money than I can afford.

  12. Hoping things get better for you my dear. You are having a rough go.

  13. Wendy, I lost your blog when we moved and then I changed computers awhile ago...found you again through a link on Life After Money. I'm sorry you've had such a rough go lately. I enjoy reading your frugal accomplishments each week because it reminds me that the little things add up.

    I had a good, frugal week. In addition to the usual frugal stuff--
    (1) We are fortunate to own a vacation home, although we have been talking about selling it. While cleaning the garage there last week, I discovered two 10 ft. 2x12s. (I thought I had one 14-footer). This means that my new raised bed can be 10 ft. long instead 7 ft. (I have 4 ft. scraps for the ends). I already have an L shaped bed with the same square footage, so I will have 80 sf of strawberry and veggie space this year! I am busy making plans for what to plant in 4-6 weeks.

    (2) Then we uncovered the compost, and it is all finished! Black gold! And a lot of it...enough to mostly fill the future raised bed. Not only will the quality of the soil be excellent, but it will save me from buying $200 worth of topsoil

    (3) My strawberry plants came in the mail but I haven't planted them yet (they are living in my rerigerator while I get the ground ready). Yesterday we planted two dwarf fruit trees. Not a cheap purchase, but a good investment.

    (3) I bought two 12-packs of Scott 1,000 sheet TP on sale for $7.99 each. At the register, I received a $5 coupon toward my next purchase. I went back yesterday and bought another 12-pack. I don't use coupons much because I can usually do better buying store brands, but earlier in the week I saved another $7 using coupons.

    (4) I bought some reusable TV dinner/bento boxes. I plan to package up the leftovers from Easter dinner and freeze them for lunches and easy dinners when no one feels like cooking (yes, that happens at my house).

    (5) I figured out how to work the system with Fred Meyer (Kroger) fuel points, which I give to my adult son by using his phone number at check-out. Freddy's is giving 4X points for the purchase of gift cards, including their own. I bought a $100 GC and earned 400 points. Then I bought $39 worth of stuff with the GC and got 2X points = 478 points, worth nearly .50 gallon discount.

    The real saving was that Freddy's has fully stocked its garden center and I DIDN'T BUY ANYTHING!

  14. Hi!
    One of my new frugal activities this week was picking some basil, which I’ve put into unused plastic containers until they grow roots, to propagate them!
    Used crushed eggshells around new lettuce seedlings.
    Saved my family’s teabags, emptying the used leaves around veggie seedlings.
    Saved shower water to water veggie seedlings.
    Have a great weekend!

  15. Cut husbands hair. Nice enough to finally dry clothes on the line. Started raking the lawn. Cut the sod back off the side walk that was overlapping about 6 inches, so approx 15 feet done. I am planning to do a bit at a time on my next days off. Used gift card to order husbands Birthday gift. Worked 9 hours overtime to help pay for trip to visit son next month.
    Hopefully life settles down on a positive note for you and your family.
    Sheila Michigan USA

  16. Pray that you and your family will be able to get through whatever challenges are in your path right now!

    This week huge pineapples were on sale at Meijers for 77 cents each so I bought a dozen and 2 of my daughters came over on Saturday to learn how to can them so they aren’t “borrowing” mine! For the $9.24 I spent on a dozen pineapples, we were able to can 38 pints!!

    They also wanted to learn how I can Sweet and Sour Sauce, so we made 26 pints of that using tomatoes and pineapples I had previously canned and onions and bell peppers I had in my freezer. They were amazed that I had all the ingredients to make this without going to the store for ingredients or supplies! I think they are now converted! We spent 4-1/2 hours for our canning and came away with 64 pints processed!! And we had lots of time talking and laughing! They are both also converted over to using a steam canner rather than a water bath canner for the savings in time and energy!

    I always bought 2 boneless hams for $1.99/pound and used my slicer to deli-slice 1-1/2 of them for sandwiches and wraps and the last 1/2 I sliced and cubed for putting into entrees/salads, etc. Since, even on sale, deli ham is well over $3.99/pound, I know this saved me over $40 on ham! For Easter, since there were over 35 of us - our kids and grandkids that are local- we always do a pot luck and I bring the main entree- usually turkey or ham or both. But the last year and a half, especially for holidays in milder weather, I started making ham and cheese hoagies and chicken salad croissants and PB&J sandwiches for the kids to make it easier to hold a plate and eat without the need to try to cut up meat ! We all seem to enjoy the easier, less stressful food prep and can focus on visiting and enjoying our time together more!

    I cooked up 27 pounds of ground beef that I bought on sale and then after it cooled down, I put it into my Kitchenaid mixer to crumble it more uniformly . Then I packaged it into 2 cup increments and froze the packages! What a time saver when I’m getting dinner made!

    Fresh Thyme was having a sale on 85% lean ground beef (with a limit of 2 packages per customer) so I went Friday night and hubby and I went Saturday morning and got a total of 18 pounds! This will mean that we won’t have to buy ground beef for a long time and certainly not at the regular prices!

    Strawberries were also on a weekend sale at Fresh Thyme that was ending on Saturday for 99 cents/ pound with a limit of 2 but apparently people didn’t buy much because of the limit, so when we went for the ground beef, they had a delivery early that morning of a pallet’s worth of flats so they put out a sign that said 99 cents/pound - NO limits! Called my 2 daughters that were coming for canning and picked up 2 flats for one daughter, 1 flat for another and 1 flat for me! Mine are now frozen and in quart size bags for smoothies now!

    I completed a baby quilt for a client using blocks that she embroidered. She wanted it within 2 weeks (which included Easter weekend) and supplied all the materials, but I charged her a premium for it being a rush order. I knew I could do it without any stress but I feel like if someone has an order that they need more quickly that they need to realize that it will cost more. She was thrilled to pay the price and have it finished! So that was $ into my savings cushion for Hubs retirement in just over 5 weeks!

    I started a new quilt just for fun to add to my gift cupboard using a MSQ tutorial- Tilted 9 patch. I made mine 16 blocks which is smaller than the 1 in the video and I made it random scrappy rather than using coordinated jelly rolls. This is another way to use up my scraps and it was easy to put together because my scraps are all sorted by size into shoeboxes and I just pulled out the sizes needed! Easy-peasy!

    Thanks for your continuing inspiration!

  17. Hi Wendy

    Hope things get better for you and your loved one's soon.

    Here's what I got up to this week.

    Went shopping on Tuesday and got some great meat markdowns - 3.5 Kg's of Rump Steak, 1.2 kg of Organic chicken breast fillets, 3 large chickens, 3.5 kg's of mince, 1.5 kg's chicken thigh fillets, 1 kilo of bacon - all up my meat total was around $85 it has filled the freezer and I will have so many meals. My husband loves his steak and I can stretch it even further with one of my new favourite dishes called Korean Bimbimbap so yummy. When my husband first got sick I was ordering Hello Fresh for a few of our meals each week. The food was delicious but it got quite expensive for a few basic ingredients so I still use the recipe cards and the Bimbimbap is one of them.

    I also cooked up some Beef Ragou which I got 3 plus meals out of. With home made ricotta gnocchi I had in the freezer in pies and a small amount left we had on toast. I still have half in the freezer which I plan to serve with homemade Papardelle pasta and also vegies and mash.

    I also checked my Everyday Rewards points. I always activate the offers they send to me which enables me to get bonus points. So far I have $130 towards my end of year/christmas shop, I'm hoping to have around $200 which is what I had last year. I also do something similar with our credit card which also has rewards points for everything you purchase. I was able to negotiate a no annual card fee as we are long standing customers. Everytime I purchase or pay for something I transfer the amount back onto my credit card when I get home, so no interest payment. I was able to get a $200 gift card last year as well so I didn't actually pay for our groceries at all at Christmas. They offer Coles and Woolworths giftcards. It's something that requires discipline but I haven't paid interest for a couple of years now.

    DH asked for a homemade vanilla slice for Easter so no shopping there as I had everything on hand. We had my grown up niece and nephew over last night and served a lot of nibbles which I had on hand and served a Feta and Caramalised onion loaf (it was amazing and I got it on a great special). We all had a great time and DH was so happy to see them.

    I've still got more than half of my grocery budget left and will no need no meat and only a few top ups over the next couple of weeks.

    Enjoy your week.


  18. Hope all is well soon,

    Catered a lunch for 8 with 1 chicken Maryland & some sweet potatoes bought on special, by making soup & adding rolls, was really tasty and so easy.
    Have crock pot on making vegetable stock using the scraps from this week, I'll use the stock to make more soup as well as a risotto.

  19. Wendy sorry to hear you and yours are facing some challenges. Have faith, keep strong, and know that the big fella upstairs will always be watching out for you. And to quote Dory from finding Nemo, "just keep swimming".
    Always trying to improve on being frugal, but have finally gotten hubby to leave things unplugged when not in use. We've always had a one light rule at night if our 21 year old is out, but its been an uphill battle getting hubby to leave things unplugged. Small wins :-)
    Hung the washing on the ropes under our patio as won't have a clothes dryer. Dishes washed by hand as won't have a dishwasher either. (grumbles from the gallery here about that one, lol)
    Made two batches of hot cross buns. Make them just the way we like it and so much nicer than the shop bought. All the ingredients already in the pantry and I know whats in them.
    Bought the piece of roast beef for Easter Sunday on special, and sausages marked to half price. Apart from Christmas and Easter the only other meat that comes home from the market has a 50-60% off sticker, gets frozen right away and I meal plan around the marked down meat. It has to come in under $8 to $10 a kilo at the marked down price.
    Have been reading more so telly has been switched off for most of the day till the evening.
    Planted some lettuces, silverbeet, kale and herbs as the we've been blessed with some good rain so things are growing well. I've taken to putting them in pots as we're going to be knocking our house down to rebuild as it was cheaper than the extension we were quoted on. So will getting my veggie patch in the ground again when the new house is finished.
    All meals cooked from scratch, and only bought couple of easter chocolates for hubby and I at half price. (Daughter didn't want any and was away for the weekend) Only grocery items purchased part from the beef and sausages were either on half price special, generic or from Aldi. And only what was needed. Am going to try and cook out the freezers before we have to shift out during the build.

    Things will get better Wendy. Hold onto your loved ones, and let faith and your strength pull you through.
    Claire Butcher

  20. We have been removing the cement driveway to install drains as everytime it rains as house floods due to the increase in neighbourhood hard surfaces.( We are at the bottom of a slight incline). Instead of taking it to the tip and paying exhorbitant fees to dispose of, we are recycling it as crazy paving around the outside edge of the new area to be cemented. Lots of work but a saving of $6000 and an environmentally friendly option makes us happy. I believe the term is called urbanite.

  21. As the house clears to just 1 extra adult after the Easter rush I am making sure we work through the freezer to use the food we have in stock. No baking for this week as I found a few scones and half a passionfruit bar cake I had made and then frozen.
    Our son bought us a bucket of limes so lime marmalade is made and shared among family. Our daughter gave me some of her saved bottles when we visited in the Easter break. they will be handy soon as the citrus start to ripen here.
    I asked hubby to wash down an old wooden airer which has been in shed for some years as I trial not having a dryer. I have a modern airer too but a bit more space between items is good at this time of year. Our veranda faces north so it is lovely and sunny during a winters day.
    Hubby is busy planting up his veggie garden for our vegie growing time.
    The vase in tv room is full of home grown flowers.
    Our new POL hens have settled in well with our older girls and we are getting 1 extra perfect small ivory coloured egg each day. Since we were down to 1 egg from the oldies the egg production has doubled :)
    We have just bought a smaller car for me off our daughter and I have did a linen cupboard search and found a good rug to put on the back seat. I will wash it tomorrow.
    No grocery shop here for a while except milk and perhaps flour. so a good opportunity to fatten up the little side bank account.

  22. I made my own sweet n sour sauce thats another jar i dont have to buy,and adding more space to my pantry, i love sweet n sour chicken or pork.

    sending prayers your way
    Melissa k xx


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