Saturday 1 February 2020

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 1st February 2020

I've had a very productive week in the kitchen with lots of cooking,  baking and bottling of goodies.  Darren has been kept busy out in the garden tidying things up now that Luka is on the move.  We are looking at everything with the eyes of a child.  Luka has become Darren's little shadow when he's over here visiting.  Mind you,  Darren is the one who takes Luka outside to feed the chickens, pull some weeds and to enjoy time on the deck with Darren drinking tea and Luka playing on his toys.

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

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.  We've been enjoying this as toast each morning with homemade jam on top.  Absolutely delicious.

*  Made up a bulk amount of salmon patties.  We had some for dinner that night and the rest went into the freezer in meal sizes.  From 2 tins of salmon we made 27 patties.

*  We've been picking one zucchini every couple of days.  I found a recipe on Facebook for zucchini fritters.  As per usual I changed the recipe to suit out tastes and to add more flavour.  Darren has been cooking them on the bbq.  They are delicious and super easy to make.  We've served them with tomato sauce or sour cream.  Darren also likes them cold.  The recipe will be coming soon.

*  Made 3 jars of jam using frozen berries Jessica left behind when she moved out.  I have a cleaning client who loves berry jam so 2 jars will be sold to her.

*  Made a big batch of cranberry hootycreek biscuits.  Some dough was cooked and the rest went into the freezer.  My brother,  sister in law and niece came over for a cuppa last Sunday.  I was able to give them a completely homemade afternoon tea of scones from the freezer served with raspberry jam ( yum  !! ) and the cranberry hootycreeks.

*  Picked silverbeet from our garden to add to the zucchini fritters.  We have also been picking lettuce to go in our salads with the warmer weather.

Cleaned the kettle with citric acid  It really comes up clean again. like it's new.  We've tried vinegar and it didn't work at all.

*  Made 7 1/2 jars of tomato relish from tomatoes we were given.  I'm very excited about making the relish.  Over the last couple of years I haven't had enough tomatoes at one time to make relish.  We enjoy it on chicken,  silverside and deli meats.  My Dad is a big fan of the relish so he'll be getting a jar with his birthday present coming up soon.  I'll also be selling a few jars which will recoup all the ingredients cost.

*  Saved the washing machine rinse water for each next lad.  I've also saved Luka's bath water when he's here.  Megan doesn't have a bath where she lives ( modern homes apparently don't need them ).  So Luka gets very excited to see the bath at our place and Nana is very happy to give him lots of water playtime.  We also saved the shower warm up water.  With the weather warming up we are trying to recycle as much water as possible for the garden too.

*  Bought more Sukin products from our local op shop at rock bottom prices ( $1.50 per bottle )  Both our girls have recently announced to me that they love everything Sukin so that's what they are getting for birthdays and Christmas.  I was also given a few bottles so they have been put away for presents too.  Just when I thought our gift budget was looking a bit grim,  I've had blessings come my way that have really helped.

*  Up until a couple of days ago we've had really mild weather.  We haven't had to use our evap cooling much at all this Summer.  We are hoping this is reflected in our next electricity bill.  I also got out a electric fan from the shed and Darren assembled it.  This really helps with airflow on the 40+ degree days.

*  Cooked all meals from scratch and froze leftovers.  We've also stuck to the menu plan and only moved a few meals around to suit the day.

*  Gratefully received a bag of plums from my Dad's tree.  Some will be eaten and the rest will be made into jam.

Homemade tomato relish

Zucchini fritters

Homemade bread

How have you saved time,  money and energy this week ?


  1. What a fabulous op shop find. I have all but given up on op shopping as the local ones are so expensive. This week we continue to plod through the huge amount of food that has stockpiled. However I bought chicken breast at $7.50 a kilo and mum's beloved eye fillet steak at $28 a kilo. I shopped without mum and I feel it was a much more in control shop even though I had my 2 year old granddaughter with me. we have stayed close to home with the associated savings of not going out. I filled the car when the price was at the bottom of the fuel cycle. My son is working in the middle of nowhere, on the border of WA and NT for the next month, and he left me his car to use. This car is far more fuel efficient than my mother's beloved behemoth.

  2. Great work, Wendy.
    This week I purchased some fruit off a local farmer for $2 kgs, I will use for jams and the rest for my four kids lunch boxes snacks.
    We have started our garden, I've never had a garden before so a lot of learning will be needed!
    My strawberry plants have done well. But tomatoes don't look great after the hot of late.
    I do hope to sell jams and use that money to buy a water tank to support our gardens water needs. With new and new gardens we do use a bit.

  3. Good morning Wendy and Darren,

    Thank you for your latest posts. I have only just caught up!

    I have a quick question in relation to drying Rosemary. Do you use the oven method to dry the stalks and leaves? I have a beautiful plant growing and besides a few Capsicum plants, it is the only plant to endure this summer!

    I look forward to your reply,
    onwards and upwards,

    1. I just cut the rosemary and place in a paper bag. Tie the top up with twine and hang it on a nail on top of a bookcase to dry. I check it after 2 weeks and usually it's dry. Then I run my fingers over the stalks to get the little leaves off. I've been giving it a quick whiz in the coffee grinder. This helps the rosemary stick to veggies when I'm roasting them.

  4. The tomato relish looks great...such great gifts for people. Is there any chance you can put a "Search" function on your blog. I know you have lots of categories however I was looking for cordial recipe and couldn't find a search function to get to it to see if there was one there. I know with my blog I just went into the settings and added it and I'm with blogspot too. Love your productive week. Kathy, Brisbane

  5. Hi Wendy,
    Thanks for sharing your week with us. Always inspiring!
    It has been hot and humid here in QLD so I try not to use the oven because it's just too hot. I'm missing my homemade baking. Packet biscuits aren't nearly as good!
    We cooked from scratch and kept to our grocery budget.
    We had an Australia Day BBQ and I'd bought a Greens packet cheesecake on special for $3. It was lovely for dessert. I topped it with a crumbled up a Flake bar and served it with ice cream. It fed 8 with left overs. No oven needed, all chilled in the fridge!
    I picked up a small job 3-4 hours a week. It was gratefully added to our budget figures. When I started in the office, the coffee and tea area was, let's say "unsanitary" so I thought I'd have to buy coffee. Nope, I marched in there with my thermos and water bottle. My hubby laughed and said I should treat myself to a cafe coffee but I'm sticking to my guns.
    I also filled the car at $1.35L with a 4c off voucher. It was around 1.70 for a while!
    Have a lovely week. Rachel :)

  6. Hello Wendy, I purchased 6 nice tops from the op shop this week. One almost new, two for winter. I love cotton ones for summer as they are cool. We have a self sown peach tree which is in abundance!! I am continually making peach jam and stewed fruit and bottled. I also give some away as people love home grown. Thankfully they don't all ripen at once! Wendy would you like a simple recipe for Bacon, corn and zucchini soup? It is so tasty. We have been growing ginormous ones in the vegie patch! Love your posts Wendy. Yours and the bluebirds are the highlight of my week. Regards Robyn S.A

  7. Wendy if you have a kettle with a larger opening, removable lid etc. You can just cut a lemon throw it in and boil the kettle. If it's really bad I just wait a while and re boil. Then tip it out and rinse. Works a treat and I always have lemons on the trees.

  8. You have done so well with your lovely jam and relish making, getting gifts on super special and making the most of your garden produce for many meals Wendy :).

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $120.77 in savings last week :).

    Free samples -
    - Got a 300g bag of mixed lettuce, cabbage and carrot salad and a 250g of shredded cheese free for being a supermarket taste tester saving $7 over purchasing them.

    Internet listings and earnings -
    - Listed 26 items on an eBay free listing promotion saving $42.90 on usual listing fees.
    - I earned $8 from the sale of dried thyme from my previous gardens.
    - DH earned $90 from a mowing garden job.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    - Bought on special 1 x 6pk of Jumbo rolls and 1 x 6pk of mixed grain jumbo rolls for $1 per packet, 3 x 420g of sultana bran for $2.47 ea, 200g of sliced mushrooms for $1.82, 1 x 8.5w led bulb, 2 x old gold chocolate bars for $3 ea, 1 x kelloggs 805g box of nutrigrain for $4.25 saving $25.97 on usual prices.
    - Purchased 1 x 6pk packet of fruit buns and 400g of sliced button mushrooms on markdowns saving another $4.81 on usual prices.
    - Bought a 5lt bottle of fuel preservative on eBay using a promotional code saving 15% or $35.75 on prices we pay locally for it here.

    Home deep cleaning -
    - Used save rainwater to clean half of the kitchen and 1 side of the house windows outside.
    - Polished the stainless steel bench, stove and sink with methylated spirits and water 50/50 mix.

    Gardening -
    - DH sprayed the whole property for weeds using 120 litres of saved rainwater from runoff from our back patio from the overfull swimming rainwater tank.
    - We watered the vegetable patch by hand one night also using the saved rainwater from the tank.
    - All potted fruit trees were watered all week with saved rainwater from runoff off our tank stand shed roof.

    Have a wonderful week ahead :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  9. Those fritters on your bbq look great, Wendy. Zucchini fritters are on my meal planner for this week too. I am going to make a sour cream and garlic chive dip to go with them; using up the sour cream I bought for the homemade nachos I made on Friday night and the chives I grow in my garden. At our place this week:
    * made all meals and snacks at home including large tray of lasagne, rice salads, wombok salad, pizza with mushrooms, omelettes, granola and a sweet potato chocolate cake
    * picked ceylon spinach and basil from our garden
    * received a big bag of lemons from a colleague - squeezed and froze all the juice
    * made ice-cream and yoghurt from discounted litre of organic milk
    * added 6boxes of Weetbix, 2 tubes toothpaste and 4bags dog food to our stockpile after shopping specials
    * wiped over and aired my son's school bag - in great condition and no need for new one
    * sold two pairs of my son's too-small-now formal school shorts for $10 ea
    * filled car when petrol dropped from the $1.70mark down to $1.32
    * combined errands/grocery shopping/library to minimise need to use car to save fuel and time
    * put together a birthday gift from my present box with a pretty $2 card then posted in plenty of time to avoid needing expensive express post

    Have a lovely Sunday, Wendy.


This blog is designed to be a source of encouragement and inspiration.

Negative comments will not be published. Comments advertising businesses or goods for sale will not be published.

Please include your first name in your comment so that I can respond to you.

Comments are moderated manually. Please allow a few hours for them to appear.