Saturday 21 December 2019

My Latest Frugal Tasks List Nov / Dec 2019

It's been over a month since I last posted my frugal task list.  Life has been a bit of a roller coaster with a family member in hospital after suffering a stroke just before starting a new,  stronger round of chemo treatment.  She's recovered quite well from the stroke but the chemo has knocked her about a little.  We are grateful for all the prayers from caring people around the world.  God is watching over our family.

I've tried to be frugal when time and energy has allowed me to be.  We did get takeaway once or twice when we got tired of frozen leftovers in the freezer.  Some days I was on the go from sun up until sun down and Darren was quite happy to get fish and chips to make life a little easier ( no dishes to wash ).

Here's my frugal list of things I remembered to write down -

*  Saved Luka's bath water and bucketed it into the washing machine.

*  Made up two bottles of diluted Dynamo laundry liquid.

*  Saved the washing machine final rinse water and poured it into the machine for the next load.

*  Refilled the foaming hand wash pumps around the house with diluted shower gel.

*  Made a couple of batches of chicken stock in the slow cooker when a cooked chicken came into our home via the girls or shopping day.

*  Picked bunches of iceberg roses from our garden to brighten up our home.  There's no point in buying flowers that wilt within a couple of days when we can pick flowers for free that last longer.

*  I was a very good girl this Christmas season and didn't buy any decorations for our tree.  This would be the first time in 24 years of marriage.  I love Christmas and all the festivities,  but we don't need any decorations and they just didn't appeal to me.  They all seemed cheap and tacky this year.

*  Made 2 batches of lemon butter to have on my toast each morning.  I ran out of homemade jam a couple of months ago and don't like buying it ( I don't like the taste ).  I have plenty of lemon juice in the freezer and we still have one chicken laying so the lemon butter is quite cheap to make.

*  Picked silverbeet as much as possible to have with many meals as our green vegetable.

*  Used a 20% off discount coupon to buy a doona cover for Luka for about $6.  It's an Elmo doona cover in very good condtion and will be a bright addition to his bedroom when he goes into a big boy's bed late next year.

*  Darren picked the last of the hot pink roses from our garden for my bedside table.  We could smell their  scent  all throughout the house.

*  Made choc chip biscuits for afternoon tea snacks.

*  Gave Megan a haircut.

*  Picked strawberries from the garden to have with icecream a couple of night after dinner.

*  Made a big batch of sausage rolls using sausage mince I bought for $1.99 kg earlier this year.

*  Printed off a few photos to frame for Christmas presents.  The frames came from op shops for $1.

*  Made a large batch of spag bol sauce.  We ate some for dinner that night and froze the rest into serves for two.  This became our ' go to meal ' on busy days.

*  Used wrapping paper I already had to design this year's Christmas cards.

*  Froze leftovers of Massaman beef curry,  lamb and veg soup and chicken and veg soup.

*  Cooked up the last of a hoarded leg of lamb ( from last Spring ).  After having it for dinner,  I froze the leftover meat into portions for two.  The bone went into the pot and I made lamb and veg soup.  That leg of lamb gave us a total of 22 serves of meat.

*  Gratefully received a bag of peacharines from my Mum and Dad.  They are super juicy and delicious.

*  Gratefully received lots of rubber craft stamps from a friend.

*  Kept the heater and cooler off as much as possible.  The windows and doors were flung open wide on the milder Spring / Summer days.

*  Gratefully received a couple of tubs of margarine.  We don't usually use margarine but it is a cheaper option to use in mashed potato when we can't taste any difference to butter

*  Made ANZAC biscuits using dough from the freezer.

*  Made a whole orange cake using oranges I froze from last Winter.  I divided the batter into two cakes.  One was to eat fresh and the other was frozen for future eating.

Other pink roses from our garden ( not the hot pink ones )

Christmas card I made using wrapping paper as the background mat.

Lots of sausage rolls

Lamb and veg soup

Whole orange cake

A card I made for Kurt's 21st birthday.

We wish you a joyous Christmas Season with your family and friends.

Thankyou for your continued support and friendship. Somehow Darren and I made it through a very difficult and challenging year.  Having a network of friends,  family and blogging friends made it a little bit easier to get through each day.

This will be the last post I write for the year. I'll be back mid January 2020.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Gifts For Under $5

Gift giving at Christmas does not have to break the bank or home budget.  Quite often homemade / handmade gifts are very budget friendly and generally better received than the mass produced gift packs found in department stores.

Here are a few ideas that could save you a small fortune.  I personally have either made these gifts or gratefully received them.

*  Wrap boxes of Dove soap ( or similar ) in pretty paper.  Thread a bling buckle onto a small length of ribbon and attach it around the box.  Hide the ribbon seam underneath.  Alternatively you could hot glue gun a button or flower to the ribbon.

*  A vintage saucer or bread and butter plate can be sourced from op shops for under $3 and makes a beautiful present.  Add a candle to the gift and it becomes a useful gift too.  In Australia,  Spotlight stores sell a range of candles for under $2 each and they smell amazing.

*  Wheat / heat bags are super easy to make.  Use cotton material to sew up a pouch and fill with wheat,  rice or  barley.  Sew up  the opening  and tie a luscious ribbon around it into a bow for a professional look.

* A framed photo is always well received.  Discount shops sell a variety of picture frames for $2 or $3.  If you are wanting a more substantial timber frame,  try looking in op shops.

*  I know I mention this often,  but jars of homemade biscuits are super cheap and well received.  Recently I've been able to get lots of large Moccona coffee jars for free on my local Buy,  Swap,  Sell Facebook page.  Add a ribbon for an elegant touch.

*  Pot up a punnet of lettuce seedlings for a gift that keeps on giving.  Lettuce seedlings cost about $3 per punnet.  $2 discount shops sell plastic garden pots or you could recycle one you already have.

*  Make your own food hamper.  I recently purchased new colanders for $2.50.  I added a packets or two of pasta, a couple of tins of tomatoes and made up a jar of Italian herbs for the receiver to make spag bol.  Try your local op shop for stainless steel colanders.  With so many people buying ready made foods,  it's amazing what new or near new items people donate to op shops.

Spag bol hamper

The contents

Italian herbs for the hamper
From memory this gift cost about $3

Vintage plates bought for $3 each at op shops
A jar of biscuits.

What are your super budget friendly gift ideas ?