Saturday 20 June 2020

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 20th June 2020

Life has been quite busy at the Gower Abundant Cottage since the last time I posted about 4 weeks ago.  Darren and I have been in the garden every chance we get.  Our backyard makeover is almost complete with only a new shed for Darren and a new chicken coop to be installed late Winter / early Spring.
We've relayed garden edging that was looking a bit crooked.  Plants have been moved to better locations with some being ditched all together due to poor growth habits.  Lots of new plants are filling up the garden beds around our home.  Our Winter veggie garden  has now been planted.

Over the next few weeks we hope to tackle our front garden which has had little attention for many years.

Darren and I were blessed with an extra cleaning job that lasted 8 weeks while our friend completed writing her third novel.  This cleaning job helped to fill in the gaps left by other cleaning jobs that have been put on hold due to the lock down.

Our grandbabies continue to bring us great joy ( and busyness ).  Luka keeps us on our toes as he tries to get into everything he can.  He has enjoyed helping us in the garden with his own digger and watering can.

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

*  Grated lots of little hotel guest soaps we've collected over the last few years.  They will now be turned into laundry powder.

*  Cleaned the kettle with citric acid.

*  Made up a spray bottle of diluted dish washing liquid to use as a spray and wipe on the kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

*  Sold 2 bars of handmade soap,  a bottle of room spray and a bottle of Miracle Spray to a friend.

*  Froze lots of leftovers into single serves.  Some were given to Jessica to use when she's had a busy day at work.

*  Megan and I made a menu plan.  10 days at a time seems to work best with all the comings and goings in our home.

*  We filled up our cars with cheaply priced petrol just before it went up for the long weekend.

*  I received 10% off at Woolworths when I scanned my Everyday Rewards card.

*  Hung wet washing on the shower door rail to dry.  This works well for jeans and jumpers.  I just close the bathroom door and let the ducted heating do all the work.

*  Cleaned the shower with diluted dish washing liquid.

*  Picked silverbeet from the garden to add to a few dinners.

*  Planted broccoli and cauliflower seedlings.

*  Refilled the herb jars from bulk bags.

*  Baked two orange cakes.  The mixture was divided so we could eat one cake straight away and the other one was frozen for future eating.

*  Made chicken stock in the slow cooker then made a chunky chicken soup.  Some was frozen into single serves.  

*  Gratefully received lots of lamb chops from a friend who couldn't use them.

What do you do with the little hotel soaps ?

What has been on your frugal list lately ?


  1. I love reading your tasks. It reminds me that every little thing helps to achieve your goals. Very inspiring. Well done :)

  2. We don’t stay in hotels much but our son he does and he saves all the toiletries for us. I keep them in the guest bathroom and our grandchildren enjoy using them when stay with us for overnight visits, they think little soaps are such a treat

  3. Dear Wendy,
    Thank you for taking time to blog when you are so very busy, it’s much appreciated by me and I am sure by many others.
    I haven’t been to a hotel for awhile but I either give my little toiletries we get to a friends charity organisation to help people who are homeless and others in need or I use scented soaps in my drawers to give clothes a nice smell and repel bugs and then after awhile I take them out of their packages and give them to a relative to make her own scented soap wash but this hasn’t happened for awhile due to lock down.
    When my nieces were younger they loved receiving the little toiletries to use in their baths but now they are teenagers and have grown out of that we find other uses for them.
    I h ave citric acid in my pantry that I bought to try your tip on cleaning the kettle and when my kettle needs cleaning I will use that to do the job.Thank you Wendy for your wisdom and wealth of information.

    I have miracle spray in a spray bottle under my sink and use it on all kinds of things, Thank you for the reminder to refill my other spray bottle that I can use in the bathroom.Ihavemissed using that and it’s also a low cost , low environmental impact product that is friendly to some allergies, thankyou to the lovely lady who invented miracle spray, I am proud to say I know her and you and many other like minded people who are a wealth of information.
    My frugal list has included ,
    * buying a beauty product I know my nieces use at half price and getting a discount on a gift for one of my nieces birthdays on a gorgeous ( hopefully !) gift that is both practical and is related to one of her interests.
    My other niece has a birthday this month and for her I chose handmade products that were made by very special people and the lady said I could have two products for $15 in a lovely gift box that is beautifully decorated and I know my niece will love it .the products have very few ingredients and look great too.they were priced a lot higher but the lady said it’s a special birthday treat even though I insisted on paying more.
    Anyway , I have also done the usual little things I am capable of and have also done some decluttering and some sorting.
    Also finally I have done a little bit of craft including decorating gift bags , decorating a lot of gift tags and a couple of simple notebooks have been decorated.
    Have a great weekend Wendy and I hope you get some time todo something nice just for you.
    Happy weekend to everyone. Take care.
    Love Barb W.

  4. So lovely to read your post again Wendy! Glad that you and your family are all safe and well. I was concerned that you hadn't posted and was hoping and praying that all was well with you all. Regards Robyn S.A

  5. Hi Wendy,
    So happy to see your post this morning. Your garden must be looking great.
    We have welcomed the cooler weather with open arms. It was a long hot summer.
    This week I diluted some liquid soap to fill the four foaming pumps we have around the house. So important to keep hands clean.
    I made a large batch of bread crumbs from lots of daggy ends of loaves I had in the freezer.
    I filled up with petrol at 108.9 after discount. That is cheap here in Qld.
    I have noticed meat is going up in price. The mince I normally buy was $8.99kg but it has gone up to $11.99 a kilo. More grated carrot and zucchini is going into my bolognaise etc.
    We are using our micro fleece blankets to keep warm while watching TV. So cosy.
    I've made lots of biscuit dough frozen into logs and cooked meals from scratch to freeze. Our freezer is well stocked.
    For cleaning surfaces I like 50/50 water and disinfectant. I always like to go over door handles, light switches, remotes and my phone with a cloth dampened with this mix.
    Tomorrow we are hoping to venture out for a long drive to the Scenic Rim for some lunch.
    Have a great week.
    Rachel :)

  6. So fabulous to read this post I was worried when you hadn’t posted for a month Thank you for giving us such a wonderful blog I’ve learnt so much from you love Shelley

  7. Glad to see you back
    Life in our part of the woods just as crazy.

    I tend to use those soaps for the bathroom especially for the children. Just the right size for them to hold in their hands.

  8. Hi Wendy and good to see you back :) . Sounds like you got so much done in the gardens and no doubt they look far better with lovely new plants too. What a blessing you picked up some more cleaning work and picked lovely vegetables from your gardens.

    Our savings added up to $256.45 last week :) .

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

    In the home -
    - Concentrated on washing all the new clothing, underwear and socks I had purchased at bargain prices as it arrived in the mail, replaced worn out clothing in my wardrobe and packaged the spares in vacuum seal bags in the storage room.

    Finances -
    - Used our $200 government electricity rebate and banked it along with another $72 that we were under on our electricity usage to replace chainsaws and clothing we purchased in advance due to impending shortages.

    Purchases -
    - Bought 15kg of popping corn from an online party supplies company saving $15.45 over buying it in smaller packages in the supermarkets.
    - By buying our e-gift cards for groceries and fuel from RACQ we saved 5% or $17.50 in total.
    - Purchased 2 new kaftan tops and a casual dress for $3 each saving $111 on usual retail costs.

    In the gardens -
    - Cut another .75 cubic metres of free firewood from our secret property saving us $112.50 over buying it in.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :) .

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  9. I actually use the little hotel soaps as hand soap in my bathrooms and kitchen. Since we are washing our hands so often now they are quite helpful. I keep each one on a folded washcloth (face washer) to keep the sink edge tidy and use that for the next bath, replacing it with a dry one.

  10. It sounds like you are doing a lot of work in your garden, Wendy. I'm sure it will be pretty and productive too. We have been saving money here by staying close to home:
    * menu planed for two weeks based on what I had in freezer & pantry & garden
    * picked snow peas, herbs, spring onion, silverbeet and parsley and little cherry
    toms to add to meals
    * filled car with fuel when price came down to $1.13per L.
    * bought a cardigan, pair of jeans and a book from op shop
    * knitted a washcloth for a gift
    * used $10 off at supermarket shop
    * cut and spread lemongrass as top mulch in our garden
    * raked lots of leaves and added to compost and also spread layer of these under
    mulch in one of our garden beds.
    * updated inventory of our toiletries supply. I don't need to by toothpaste for a long time!

    I hope you've had a lovely weekend.

  11. Dear Wendy,
    I am not sure if my comment from the other day came through so I wanted to comment again because I wanted to thank you for your beautiful blog are a wealth of information and I love hearing about your family and the ways that you continually save money. It doesn’t get tired after the years I have read your blog and had the chance to talk to you in real life , I still cherish those memories of our afternoon together.
    Anyway my frugal tasks this week included.:
    Spending less on groceries than normal and using the saved money to put away to stock up on needed things .
    Shopped out of my pantry and gift cupboard to provide two gifts.
    Decorated lots of gift tags using some new items but mostly things out of my craft stash.some of these will be used for gifts.
    Put aside a $1 or $2 every time I use the dryer and banking the money regularly, line drying where possible.
    Limiting takeaways , not that I have it that much but the money can be better spent.
    Shopping from my wardrobe before I buy clothes, don’t need too much at the moment.
    I use hotel soaps mainly to donate to an organisation I help with new toiletries, wooletc etc. but until recently they weren’taccepting donations for awhile for a reason we all know, the current pandemic.
    Another use for hotel soaps is to put them in my linen cupboard and in my clothes drawers , keeps moths away and other bugs plus smells nice.
    I hope everyone has enjoyed the weekend.
    Take care Wendy, ihope you all stay well and warm xx love Barb W
    Love Barb W

  12. Great minds must think alike!. Cleaning out cupboards and found a big container of old soap ends, got out all the tiny hotel soaps and while watching TV over the last week grated all the soap. Had a very old packet of bi carb soda so added the soap and soda to the cheap Coles soap powder we buy. Used up and made space.

    We have the heater going each night so i have been drying the clothes on the clothes horse. I hang herbs i am drying in the reusable vegie bags on the clothes horse as well.

    Saving wash water for toilet flushing, collecting rain water for the pot plants.

    Keeping busy reusing, recycling and using up which is saving a surprising amount of money. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Leanne

  13. It is good to see you blogging again! It is worrisome when someone says they feel a bit sick and then stop blogging for a month! (This is not a criticism, it is just that with this pandemic I worry more than usual.)

    I have loads of hotel soaps and pop them in between our clothes in the wardrobe. Recently, I have started using them up, starting with the smallest ones, just to get rid of fiddly items in my home.

    The lockdown during the pandemic has gotten me down last week, and meal planning failed, resulting in throwing out 3 leeks, 4 carrots, half a loaf of bread and other items. I hate it when that happens and have resolved to do better.

    Our garden is looking nice, a mixture of flowers and veg, although the veg is struggling with the drought.

    Daughters (9 and 11) have been roped in to help more with household chores, and they seem to be doing well (sometimes they need a bit of persuasion). They are responsible for unloading the dishwasher, hanging up the laundry, making their beds, cooking dinner at the weekend, making pancakes on Wednesdays, joining in the weekly houseclean on Saturday mornings, and washing windows. They also have to figure out their own homework, and help each other out before asking me to help them. Husband and I are still working fulltime from home, and just cannot be disturbed every 5 minutes.

    1. Siebrie,
      I just wanted to say WELL DONE on getting your girls helping around the house more! In our home I refer to it as Life Skills.

  14. Hi Wendy

    I hope you and your family are all safe and well.

    I am sorry I have not been around to comment for a while. I have been reading along as much as I can and today I have finally caught up. Sometimes I just need to take some time away to be in the present for my family.

    I was sorry to read that things have been somewhat difficult for you, but was delighted to see your garden taking shape, along with revisiting some of the older photos from your garden trip.

    During Covid-19 we got to work in our garden also. You think you are on top of things just by doing a weekly or fortnightly weeding but this is just kidding ourselves. As we rent we are usually not able to do a lot just keep the gardens tendered. However during this difficult time we had discussions with our landlord as he was coming up to mulch the gardens and we were having trouble with a plumbing issue. There was a massive bush growth behind our shed so he was going to pay for a gardener to come in an do some clearing. We spoke with him and were able to do this task with him allowing us to do what we thought best for the garden and him paying for the waste fees and a few other bargains we made. We took before and after shots of the garden and he is impressed at what we have managed and will visit when he can to do the mulching .

    So far this week I have managed to

    Change DD10's coat hangers over to make more room
    Done some weeding
    Hang washing out early for good drying
    Been gifted a dozen eggs (in return I made a batch of ice cream for our neighbour)
    Walk to school Mon both morning and afternoon and again Tues afternoon (saving petrol)

    So so far a good week.

    Hope everyone is safe and well
    Take Care
    Aly xxx

  15. I save the hotel soaps and use them for when I travel. I also stayed at a fancy hotel that used loccitane soaps, so I saved them up and added them to my Xmas gifts!

  16. Hi Wendy,i have broccoli growing and doing very well I will have so much of it and the silverbeet when it's finished I made your meat pie last nite for dinner it was really nice and some leftover for the freezer.

  17. Hi Wendy, so happy to catch up on your blog! Liz here from WA. Well hasn't it been strange times lately.. but served to kick us into being as thrifty as we can here on our hobby farm and prepare for tough times. As a result we have a wonderful winter veggie garden, and harvesting snow peas, kale, spinach and broccoli, and have cabbage, cauliflower, carrots nearly ready. We bought 6 hyline hens at the beginning of the pandemic for $12 each, each producing an egg a day, so selling the excess eggs for $4 a carton (aware I could get more but think people need a bargin and if they go to the effort of meeting me in town to collect, I'm happy). A few tasks this week -
    collected firewood, making our heating and hot water free
    Meal planning around our home grown lamb and veggies, tonight meal was lamb loin chops, sauted kale in garlic and chilli and a packet pasta.. cost $1 for 2 people.
    Bottled home brew beer, and put another tub on to brew by the fire.
    Hubby sold a couple of unwanted items on gumtree, making a handy $800, although this will be saved towards a new breed of sheep.
    I was gifted a couple of bags of oranges and lemons which I grated the lemon rind and juiced the lemons for the freezer.
    Dried all the washing on the clothes horses by the fire...lots of welcome rain here as its our free water supply!
    With the hotel soaps, I use them as is in the shower!


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