Saturday, 8 February 2020

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 8th February 2020

Gardening and jam making have been in full swing at the Gower Abundant Cottage this week.  Whenever the weather was allowed,  we were out in the garden tidying,  pruning and pulling weeds.  It doesn't take long to keep a garden neat if you tend to it every now and then.

Here's what we have been up to -

*  Made another two batches of plum jam.  I almost have enough jam to last 12 months.  Some will be given as presents,  some will be sold and the rest will be for us to consume on toast each morning.

*  Picked more zucchinis from the garden.  I need to make more zucchini fritters and freeze them.

*  Made up powdered milk to use in mashed potato,  lasagne making ( white sauce ) and baking when we were running low on milk.  Powdered milk is a slightly cheaper option than bottled milk.

*  Sold 2 jars of berry jam and one of tomato relish to a cleaning client.

*  Picked lettuce,  strawberries and beans from our garden.

*  Cooked all meals from scratch.

*  Wrote out a menu plan until 2nd March.  I've added in a few cheaper meals like fried rice,  spag bol and soup to keep to our tight food budget.

*  Bought lots of beef mince from Tasman Butchers for $7.99 kg and froze it into meal portions of 250 g.

*  Saved the shower warm up water,  Luka's bath water and the washing machine rinse water to pour into the washing machine.

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

*  Darren used worm tea to feed our garden.

*  Made up a big lasagne and added a large grated zucchini.  As I was making up the lasagne I noticed the meat sauce seemed to be stretching further.  Instead of a 12 serve lasagne,  it made 16 serves.  I could put it down to a miracle like Jesus feeding the loaves of bread and fish to the crowd,  but it was probably the zucchini that stretched the meat.

*  Bought more Sukin toiletries at 60% off.  They have been put away for birthday and Christmas presents for this year.

*  Gratefully received lots of lemons,  apples and pears from a cleaning client.  I've already zested and juiced the lemons and placed it all in the freezer.  I'm not sure how to best use the apples and pears.  We are not big fruit eaters so I'm thinking of stewing and freezing the fruit perhaps for putting in cakes and desserts.

Our free blessing

I was making jam this week when Luka was visiting.  He wanted to be picked up and cuddled by Nana.  How could I resist ?

How did you save time money or energy this week ?

How would you best use pears and apples ?


  1. Make fruit butter with your apples and pears. Very popular here in the states. Peel and core your apples or the pears and pile into your slow cooker before bedtime. Add a very small amount of liquid, maybe 1/4 cup. I use apple juice or water. Depending on how sweet the apples are you may want to add 1/4 cup sugar. I add cinnamon and cloves. Again small amounts. Don't need to stir all together. Place a long handled spoon over the top of the apples and set the lid in place. You want the moisture to evaporate. Now turn on low and go to bed. The next morning run your immersion blender around to make a smooth sauce type consistency. Should be looking like a dark apple sauce. Turn on high and let it go a few more hours until thick leaving the lid off this time. Adjust sugar and spices. Bottle up and water bath. You can find exact recipes on the internet under crock pot apple butter or pear butter. Peach is just out of the world. No pectin, no standing over the pot stirring and zero failure. A win win! Toni from Tennessee

    1. Thankyou so much Tom. I'm going to try this.

  2. I was in Coles this past week, and they had just marked down uncooked free range chicken from $8/kg to $3/kg!! I was stunned, I’ve never seen it so cheap, but it was about to expire. That didn’t bother me, I took it straight home and froze it! They had 5 left in the fridge and I bought the lot!! What a bargain.

  3. You could make apple sauce from the apples. You could also save the peels and cores to make juice for jelly. I will sometimes add pear juice to make an apple/pear jelly.

  4. Hi Wendy,
    Thanks for sharing your frugal week with us all. Your jam making is very impressive and uka is such a cutey pie!
    They say things come in threes and we have had to replace our washing machine, my mobile and now our dishwasher within the last month. After following your lead and saving for such purchases we were able to pay for these with cash.
    We have been only buying food, fuel and other necessities. The much needed rain cooled it down enough to use the oven and I made lasagna from scratch too this week. I also grate a zucchini and large carrot or two into the bolognaise sauce to stretch it. While I had the oven on I made a batch of muffins and choc chip bikkies (a roll from the freezer). It's so nice to have some home baking to have with coffee or tea. Simple pleasures.
    Have a lovely week. Rachel:)

  5. I managed buy fuel before a price rise and saved well over 20 cents a litre. I have looked after my granddaughter five times this week. I am a very tired granny but I am also content and feel so grateful for these precious times. I have stuck to my guns about excess shopping trips. I am dutifully pulling stuff out of the freezer and using the excess. I am planning of making some nectarines into a small batch of jam. Despite trying to save I have had several very unexpected expenses. God lee.

  6. Hi Wendy and you reminded me I need to make some jam too to top up our pantry with :). Luka is adorable and you have got so much accomplished and what a blessing the fruit was to receive as was the sale of your jams and relish :).

    We are now getting so much rain here the yard is partially flooded but the good news is our 3 rainwater tanks are full to overflowing :), another blessing indeed.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $99.10 in savings last week :).

    Internet listings and finances -

    - Listed 10 items on an eBay free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual prices.
    - Paid an extra part payment off our mortgage.

    Hair cuts -
    - DH cut my fringe saving approx $20 at having it done at the hairdresser.

    In the kitchen -
    - Blanched and froze 5 bunches of silverbeet giving us 6 more meal sized portions for the freezer.
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Pantry stocking -
    - On half price special bought 1 x 500 ml of mouthwash and a 460 g tin of milo saving $6.50 on usual prices.

    Home deep cleaning and organising -
    - I deep cleaned all the tiled splash backs with methylated spirits in the kitchen and they are really shiny and clean now.
    - DH deep cleaned 2 sets of metal venetian blinds in the kitchen and 2 windows in the kitchen with 50/50 mix of methylated spirits and water and they are so clean and shiny.
    - I deep cleaned all the metal tap ware in the kitchen and shower downstairs.

    In the gardens -
    - Picked 5 bunches of silverbeet, 2kg of cucumbers and 150g of cherry tomatoes saving $52.60 over buying them in the supermarkets.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :) .

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  7. Hi Wendy!
    Long time reader, but never commented. We had an abundance of apples and pears last fall and I diced a lot of them in 1 cup increments then bagged and froze them. My children and I like them in cake; I use a cake recipe I like and just add the fruit at the end of mixing, bake and enjoy! We have been able to eat "fruit cake" this winter and didn't waste any that way.
    Anne - following from Indiana

  8. Another inspirational week!

    I harvest, rinse and grate our zucchinis, and put them straight in the freezer. Excellent for quick soups or for padding out meat dishes and pasta sauces.

  9. Luka is adorable! Nana time is so special.

    May I ask how you save your washing machine rinse water? Do you stop the cycle right before it spins and scoop it out? Such a great idea! I have a front loader so I don’t think I can do that but it’s such a wonderful frugal option.

    1. I point the hose into a large bucket just as the final rinse starts. I know the exact time on the machine when this happens.

  10. Another tough month and sad when you think 6 weeks of the year have almost gone.

    I bought 4 lovely brand new pairs of shoes from Savers for $28 after discount.

    Made croutons and bread crumbs to use up some bread.

    Defrosted some frozen apricots and mum has been eating them with jelly and custard.

    Dried a lot of parsley ready for winter soups.

    Bought some tea cup and saucers from Savers i thought they were very dear but Mum was happy. I got a set of glasses out of my supply to save from buying some new ones.

    Eating out the freezer and fridge and stretching an extra meal for the freezer.

    We bought some things at Priceline that were on special. I used Mums member card as she is now nearly up to a $6 voucher.

    Earnt $10 in survey money this week it slowly adds up.

    Got a bit lazy with one of my bank accounts if i deposit so much it pays currently $4.50 in bonus interest monthly i was earning 8 cents a month.

    Did the usual turning lights off, flushing the loo with bath water, put buckets out to catch the rain which watered all the plants under shelter. Picking produce from the garden and stretching every cent i can.
    Hope everyone had a lovely weekend Leanne

  11. Use your apples and pears to make applesauce and pear sauce. Great snacks for little ones. My grandmother would make applesauce popsicles for us in the summertime. Also, I frequently use applesauce as a replacement for oil when making cakes. It adds nutrition and reduces calories.

  12. Hi Wendy. I made a big lasagne this past week too. I always add a grated zucchini and a grated carrot which really stretches out the sauce. I get 8 serves from my tray and freeze leftovers.

    Lovely to have gift of apples and pears. I would stew up the fruit, adding cinnamon for the apples and nutmeg to the pears, and then freeze it for use in crumbles. I also use pureed pear in cupcakes I make. These always turn out nicely. The pear is creamed with the butter instead of sugar. Meg:)


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