Saturday 18 January 2020

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 18th January 2020

The last 3 - 4 weeks have been quiet ( at times ) with lots of decluttering,  gardening,  jam making and family time out on our deck.  When the weather is mild,  Darren and I like to take our cuppas and a biscuit or two outside to enjoy the fresh air.

We had a lovely Christmas and hosted Christmas Day lunch at our place.  It was Luka's first Christmas and he really enjoyed the wrapping paper as well as his new toys.  Under the Christmas tree was choc o block full of presents especially for Luka.  Imagine what it will be like next Christmas with another baby joining our family.

Family will be moving in with us in 4 weeks time ( for the next 12 - 18 months ) so I've spent a lot of time decluttering and making space in cupboards and drawers.  There have been many trips to Savers with bags of no longer needed goodies.

Here's what else I've been up to -

*  Made a large jar of castor sugar by whizzing small batches of white sugar in the coffee bean grinder.  It was so easy to do and works out much cheaper per kilo.

*  Made 14 jars of peach and peacharine jam.  The fruit was free and came from my Dad's tree and a local community pantry.

*  Made Christmas cards by cutting up the old ones we had.  I think they look quite nice.  It feels good to have that task finished at the start of the year when life is a little quieter.

*  I went shopping on Boxing day to pick up a few bargains.  I purchased a couple of presents for this year,  bought sneakers at 40% off to wear to my cleaning jobs and used a gift card for a Kaisercraft store that had 50% off most items.

*  Saved the shower water,  washing machine rinse water and Luka's bath water ( when he was here ) and poured it all into the washing machine for the next load.

*  Diluted the dishwashing liquid by 1/3.

*  Redeemed our saved points at Coles supermarket to get 6 drinking glasses for free. We did not go out of our way to spend more money so they truly are free.

*  Used fuel dockets to fill up our cars with petrol just before the price went up.

*  Made chicken stock in the slow cooker from a chicken carcass.

*  Picked a few raspberries each day.  The fruit isn't as big or abundant this year but I'm hoping I'll have enough to make a couple of jars of jam.

*  Darren and I ate Christmas Day leftovers for 2 days afterwards.  Nothing went to waste and it was great to have a break from cooking.

*  Dried lots of rosemary and whizzed it in the coffee grinder so that it sticks better to roast veggies.

*  Picked about 8 apricots from our tree.  The birds got 4 of them.

*  Made butter with a small amount of cream I knew we couldn't use before it went off.

*  Made 9 jars of peach jam using free fruit I was able to access.  Made 6 jars of raspberry jam using fruit from our bushes.  Made 3 jars of apricot jam using fruit from our tree ( for the first time).

*  Picked up 4 rolls of Christmas wrapping paper from The Reject Shop for 25 cents each.  3 of the rolls can be used for birthdays and other occasions.

*  Found a cheaper plan for my mobile phone saving me $10 a month.

*  Bought Dove soap at NQR costing $4 for 6 bars.  Some have been put away for Christmas stockings.

*  Gratefully received potato chips from a family member who had access to slightly out of date stock.

*  Filled up our cars just before petrol went up.

*  Planted cucumber and   lettuce seeds.

*  Picked three zucchinis so far from the one plant my Dad gave me.  I'm hoping to make a zucchini slice.

Christmas Day table

Christmas Day table
From the garden

Peach and peacharine jam.

Making butter

Processing the dried rosemary

Boxing Day bargains.

What frugal tasks have you completed over the Christmas / New Year break ?


  1. Hello for 2020, Wendy! Your Christmas would have been extra-special with little Luka joining you for the very first time. Our Christmas was very simple with a lunch here at out place with all of our family. I have been doing lots of things to to save and make the most of our money here too:
    * purchased a few things from op-shops - a leather belt for my son's school uniform $4, 4 x extra glasses (50c ea) for Xmas Day drinks and a brand new summery dress ($9 - tags still on)
    * a new-to-us outdoor lounge setting ($500) in excellent condition off Gumtree. Our friend purchased a similar setting new for $2000. We used some savings and some xmas money we had been gifted to pay for it.
    * lots and lots of home cooking - roasted chickens, salads and desserts for xmas lunch and all our holiday eating
    * picked the one and only pumpkin from our garden and have been using the lovely deep yellow veg for roasting, in quiche and in frittata too.
    * using up lemon juice ice cubes whenever I've needed juice for a recipe
    * sewed possum pouch linings and bat wraps from old and soft flannelette sheets and pillowcases to donate to help animals impacted by bushfires
    * made my son's birthday cake with ingredients I already had on had plus the Kit-Kats I bought on special.
    * hooked up a very long hose so we can direct wash machine rinse water out onto our parched backyard lawn
    * checked through our son's school booklist and only purchased what was needed as there are some things (e.g. felt pens, colour pencils, stapler, scientific calculator) that he can re-use from last year.

    Have a lovely weekend, Wendy.

  2. Just wondering if you have a blog post for drying your herbs - what's the best process as I have heaps of oregano in the garden. I can't seem to find a search bar in your blog to search it up. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

  3. I managed to fill the tank at $1.29 before petrol before it went to $1.76. Sadly the tank needs filling again.
    I, too, bought wrapping paper at steep discount and have plenty for the next few years. The packs I bought include stripy paper for throughout the year.
    I always look at the scrap packs of meat. This week I hit a jackpot. There were very badly butchered loin chops for $7 a kilo. Some were simply cooked. Some are curried and some frozen.
    I changed some of my health plan to try and minimise costs.
    Some fabric was bought at $8 a metre. This quilting fabric is often over $25 a metre. Now I need to sew.

  4. I too purchased wrapping paper that I can use all year. Mine came in a large roll and is double-sided so the Christmas side can be used for the holiday and the red with white polkadots can be used the rest of the year. I also have another double-sided roll that is silver-grey zebra striped.
    Good for you on all the jam/jelly/preserves made.

  5. Hello and Happy New Year!
    I'd like to dry some rosemary as we have a huge bush and I use dried rosemary on roasted meat and vegetables. Do I just pick it and dry it inside still on the stem, then strip it and whiz it? Thankyou.

  6. Carol
    Wendy I grind sugar to a powder and then you have icing sugar.
    I only buy white and make my brown,caster and icing sugar.It certainly saves heaps.

  7. The first Christmas is so special! It will be even better next Christmas! I love your jams Wendy, and your garden produce! Have a lovely

  8. It’s lovely you are able to welcome family into your home. We had a three generation home for a number of years and the blessings outweigh the challenges. Take care.
    Patti from California

  9. Wendy you have done so much to increase your pantry, preserve and declutter, organise and pick up bargains this week :).

    This is what we got up to last week -

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals from scratch.

    Cleaning the home and getting rid of drought dust -
    - DH deep cleaned the outhouse with saved grey water from the washing machine and rinsed it with fresh water and it smells so much fresher in there now :).
    - I deep cleaned the bedroom moving furniture I swept underneath them and swept and damp dusted the skirting boards, damped dusted the furniture and put them back and cleaned the windows. It is lots cleaner in there now.
    - Having more water I also damp dusted the downstairs toilet and bathroom, spot cleaned walls,and gave the shower recess a really deep clean too.

    Free samples -
    - I got two lots of precut salads being 200g of coleslaw and a 300g mixed lettuce blend saving $5.

    Internet listings -
    - I listed 10 items on eBay on a free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual prices.

    Purchases -
    - Bought 6 pairs of shorts for DH and a packet of pens on special and combined specials and 5% off using our Wish e-gift card saving $33.41 on usual prices.
    - On special we also purchased 6 x 1.25 lts of soft drink and combined specials and using our gift card saved $2.93 on usual prices.
    - Filled up 4 jerry cans of fuel at a larger town we had an appointment at and combining our gift card and using our rewards 4c per litre further discount we saved $14.78 in total. This town is so much cheaper for fuel than the normal smaller town we usually fill up our fuel at so we got just over a half a jerry can free.

    In the gardens -
    - DH and I weeded 3 garden beds and gave the weeds and green grass to the wallabies to eat and they had a field day for two days eating them :) .
    - Separated carrots growing too close together making two more rows in our garden bed.

    Have a great week ahead :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  10. Congrats on the new baby coming this year!

  11. Welcome back Wendy,

    It’s lovely to hear about all the things going on in your busy abundant life.

    I also bought wrapping paper and a few other bits and pieces in the after Christmas sales. Whilst DS has been on holidays, I’ve been busy decluttering and sorting out recipes and photos.

    Blessings for the coming year ahead


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