Saturday 22 February 2020

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 22nd February 2020

It's been an interesting week at the Gower Abundant Cottage.  We had family move in last Sunday.  Combining two households has been a little challenging and all our cupboards are now choc a block full.  We really do feel like the tv show called ' Packed To The Rafters ' ( one of my favourite tv shows ).

Wednesday night Darren and I had just arrived at a bible study when Darren received a call from Megan telling us she'd gone into labour and was home alone.  We arrived home to find that Kurt had taken her to hospital.  So off to the hospital we went to bring Luka back home for bedtime.  Kurt and Darren stayed on for another hour or two only to be told it was a false alarm and that the baby was moving around in such a way that it was causing .Megan extreme pain.

Friday morning Darren received a call to let him know that a very close family member had passed away after a 10 month illness. Although we knew the time was near,  nothing quite prepares you for the death of a loved one.

So with all this going on,  up until Thursday I didn't have anything on my frugal tasks list to share with you.  I also had 4 days of cleaning work and completed my monthly food shopping ( last Monday ).  Life just didn't allow for anything terribly thrifty to be done.  I guess when you've lived a thrifty life for so long,  some things become second nature.

Looking back on the week I did complete a few frugal things -

*  Diluted the dishwashing liquid and refilled the bottle.

*  Planted more bean,  lettuce and silverbeet seeds.

*  Made apple butter in the slow cooker using gifted apples.  I've had it on my toast for breakfast the last two mornings and have really enjoyed it.  Thankyou to the blog reader who suggested it last week.

*  Gratefully received more lemons,  pears and apples from a cleaning client.

*  Cooked all meals from scratch.

*  Saved the shower warm up water and poured it into the washing machine.  Saved kitchen water was used on pot plants outside on our deck.

*  Fed the compost bin and the worm farm with kitchen scraps.

*  Started picking beans from the garden.  Darren picked silverbeet to go in our spag bol sauce.

*  Went to the 50% off sale at Savers and bought 2  Summer tops for $3.50 total.  These are light and breezy and will be great for a holiday for our 25th Wedding Anniversary later in the year.

*  Diluted a bottle of foaming hand wash that was gifted to us.

*  Resisted  the urge to get takeaway last Sunday when our house was in chaos.  Instead, we made pizzas from scratch using what we had in the fridge and freezer.

*  Bought chicken thigh fillets for $3.99 kg and 5 kilo bags of potatoes for 99 cents from a friend who was at a cheap butcher shop.

*  Picked raspberries and strawberries from the garden.

*  Our strawberry plants are throwing runners ( small  new plants )  I've positioned and planted these runners to multiply our strawberry plants.

Potted color

Homemade apple butter

Planting strawberry runners

How did you save time,  money and energy this week ?

What is your garden producing at the moment ?


  1. Aren't strawberries amazing givers !I got about 15 plants from s-in-law about 4 years ago and every year since after gorging on them I've potted up at least 30 runners and sold them to workmates .
    From drought ridden Northern NZ. Karen

  2. What a crazy busy week you had! Sending best wishes for the soon to be new little family member, and so very sorry for your loss.

    Would you mind sharing your apple butter recipe? It looks amazing and tasty. Thanks so much!

  3. I am sorry for the loss of your family member. It is never easy.

    We joined two households and it was all sorts craziness. Too much of this and that, not enough space and hormone filled teens with a father with dementia added to the fun. We have survived.

    This week has been crazy busy. I have looked after my granddaughter five days out of seven. I normally look after her for two days each week. Yesterday was because she was too unwell for childcare. So on to savings. I am trying to shop from a list and without my mother as she buys many thing so impulse. I am beginning to see holes in the store pantry which is good because it was filled with stuff and I didn't want to waste the food. I have baked once this week which included lasagne for more than one meal and some biscuits at the same time. The oven was groaning. I have bought fuel at 20 cents less than the local prices. But other than that it is the regular stuff we do day in and day out.

  4. I hope this week is better for you all.

  5. Hi Wendy. It sounds like there's a lot going on for your family at the moment. I hope your Megan is doing well again. You've done lots of frugal things in amongst all that's been happening. At our place:
    * worked three days and did some dog sitting for extra $
    * picked ceylon spinach, basil, rosemary, flowers and one cucumber from our garden
    * made all meals and packed all lunches here at home
    * made choc-chip cookies with ingredients I already had in the pantry
    * cooked up large pan of stir-fry to use up odds and ends in crisper
    * saved 40% off 6x replacement heads for my son's electric toothbrush as they were on sale at the supermarket

    Have a great weekend, Wendy.

  6. Dear Wendy,
    Sincere condolences for your loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all at this said time.
    Thank you for sharing your frugal list, especially during such a sad time.
    It has been very hot and humid up here in Qld. It is tempting to get take away but we did cook from scratch. But I was in Brisbane all day yesterday for a course so we did get takeaway last night as a treat. We can't remember the last time we had fish and chips. It isn't as cheap as it used to be either but we enjoyed it thoroughly. Treats are important.
    You scored some great bargains with your summer tops and chicken thigh fillets. I would love to find bargains like that. Well done.
    All the very best for Megan and the safe arrival of your new grand baby.
    Wishing you a lovely week ahead. Rachel :)

  7. Life was rather tedious this week. My breaks have been shortened at work and the lack of rest makes me tired. This coupled with waking up at night for hours at a time, has made for a rather tired Mumma!
    However, apart from one night of take away to celebrate one of our children reaching a major sporting goal (first take away in four weeks), all meals were cooked here at home, all food and drinks were taken with individuals to school and work, I saved money on a trip to the hairdresser by not getting a trim (saved $25), did a NEED ONLY fortnightly grocery shop, researched $2 meals on The Cheapskates page, diluted the washing liquid and then only used half a capful, researched free courses for my PDP for work, purchased preloved clothing on Ebay with our precious environment in mind, tipped the kids drink bottles into the pet's water bowls, short and quick showers and did nt use the a/c on a very sticky day midweek.

    I hope you are able to rest when you can Wendy and that way you can be an amazing tower of strength when needed. xxxxx

  8. I didn't realise Granbub number two was on the way. How wonderful!!!! I hope Meghan is able to get comfortable and pain free.
    Bluey has a new to use, ride on mower. He ended up mowing our place, the neighbours place(their mower died a week ago) and the verge for half of the street. The mower has a catcher. All the clippings are now on the pathways of my veg garden as mulch. It keeps the weeds down and makes the garden look much tidier.
    I made 'Ouchies', healing balm with what I had here at home. Hand sanitiser for my handbag and the daughters has been made. I also made another batch of Luscious Body Butter using what I had.
    I am excited for you with your packed house and your Grandies so close.

  9. Hello!
    Condolences on your sad news.Loss is never easy and must be harder mixed with the anxiety about Megan and the work of blending two families in one house.
    You work so hard but are much admired and I am constantly grateful for your hints. Ages ago your wrote about adding spinach whenever possible and now I do; the amazing thing is it grows and grows even in this desiccating heat we're experiencing in WA. And the spinach haters in this household eat it happily in total ignorance.
    Take care of yourself,

  10. I'm sorry for your loss, and wish you a lot of strenght and patience with the new combined household.

    Have you all sat down and discuss household rules? Are they as frugal as you, or willing to be as frugal as you? Have you planned regular meetings to discuss how everyone is feeling/doing/implementing rules? I have several books of bound women's magazines from the forties and fifties, right after WW2, when housing in The Netherlands was limited, and many young couples were looking for a place to live. the government commandeered living space for new couples; anyone with a large spare room had to rent it out to a 'homeless' couple. Quite a few of the articles in the magazines deal with living arrangements: who gets the living room at which night, how many meals are shared, how to calculate heating/gas costs, which modifications can be made to the room, how much noise, when is lights-out, can they smoke inside, etc.

  11. I'm so sorry for your loss of a family member, it's always hard even when you know it will happen soon.

    Hubby and I and out 1st daughter moved back in with my parents when I was pregnant with our 2nd, I needed the help due to horrible, painful pregnancies and having a 1 year old when baby number 2 came along (who's silly idea was it to have them so close lol our idea). In the end it was a God send because we could save really fast for the deposit to buy our own home while we were there........ combining households is still really tough though and I hope you guys get through all the craziness ok 😊


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