Wednesday 29 July 2020

In Our Garden July 2020

Just for something a little different I thought I'd show you what we have growing and blooming in the garden right now.  We have lots of flowers to enjoy and a few veggies still in their early stages.

Snap peas

We also have lemons,  silverbeet,  cauliflower,  snow peas and lettuce growing in our garden.

What do you have growing in your garden at the moment ?

Saturday 25 July 2020

My Sewing Machine Is Humming.....

I had planned on putting a post up on Wednesday as well as my usual Saturday Frugal Tasks List.  My week started out on Sunday with lots of sewing of hanging tea towels to put in my blog shop and for future presents.  Later that day our State Premier announced from Thursday,  Melbourne residents would need to wear a face mask at all times in public to help reduce the rising number of Corona virus cases.

Monday morning started with a trip to our local material store for supplies to make face masks.  Unfortunately many other crafty ladies had the same idea and the queues to buy material were about 1 -  1 1/2 hours long.  I grabbed some pipe cleaners for the adjustable nose wire then headed to the big shopping centre to hunt for elastic.  I encountered the same problem as the material.  Everyone had the same idea.

So home I went to make face masks with what I already had on hand ( material wise ).  Other than two big cleaning jobs that took me away from home,  the rest of the week has been spent at the sewing machine making or at my laptop taking orders.  It got so hectic I had to employ Darren to answer messages and take orders.

So I'm terribly sorry for not posting a Frugal Task List.  There just hasn't been time to be thrifty this week.

I'll post again as soon as things settle down here.  In the meantime,.....

What was on your frugal list this week ?

Saturday 18 July 2020

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 18th July 2020

We've had a quiet week at the Gower Abundant Cottage.  I haven't had any cleaning work this week and it was lovely to stay home and clean my own home.  Megan and I did spend some time in the supermarket stocking up on essentials just in case we go into hard lockdown ( which is a real possibility ).  I've also taken some time to make greeting cards and watch some tv every afternoon.

When I look back on my week I can't really think of any terribly exciting frugal tasks I've completed.  Everything has already been diluted,  portioned,  saved or reused.  The pantry,  fridge and freezers are full to the brim and everything else around our home is as organised as it can be with two babies in the house. 

Here is my VERY small frugal list for the week -

*  Darren picked lettuce from the garden for a lunch he was preparing.

*  Megan and I wrote a menu plan for the next ten days.  We'll be eating chop suey,  silverside,  carbonara,  tacos,  fried rice,  beef curry,  tuna casserole,  chicken pie and spag bol.

*  Froze any leftovers from our dinners.

*  We kept the curtains mostly closed or the colder,  overcast days.

*  Cleaned the dishwasher with bi carb,  vinegar and miracle spray.

*  I recycled one of Megan's dresses she was going to donate to the op shop.  I've cut it up and used it as the topper for some hanging tea towels I'm making.

*  I received 10% off a grocery shop I did at Woolworths.  I think it's because we have an insurance with them.

*  Bought 2 x 5 kg bags of washed potatoes.  Lately the price has been around 8 - 9 for a bag of brushed potatoes.

Lots of goodies in the pantry

Pretty tea cups I love to use.

Are you taking time out for yourself each day ?

What was on your frugal list this week ?

Saturday 11 July 2020

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 11th July 2020

This week has been a busy one for me.  I had two days of work plus travel which kept me out all day.  Another two days was spent helping my Dad get to and from medical appointments and a bit of food shopping for both my parents.  On Friday Megan and I did the grocery shopping. We tried to think and buy ahead in case we go into complete lockdown.

So my frugal list is a short one today.  Here's what I managed to do when time allowed -

*  Made plain,  dried bread crumbs from saved bread crusts.  When my container is running low I'll make them into seasoned bread crumbs for crumbing chicken drumsticks and salmon patties.

*  Picked our first lot of lemons for the season.  Darren heavily pruned the tree two years ago to get rid of the gall wasp.  This is the first time we've picked lemons since then.

*  Cut out some dinosaur pictures from a gift bag Megan was given.  The bag was a bit battered but I was able to cut out quite a few images.  They will be used in card making shortly.

*  Megan stocked up her freezer with so many discounted trays of meat from Australian Butchers.  I think we were there at the right time for a change.

*  I made a trip to Hindustan Imports on the way home from work.  I've stocked up on a few nuts and bread making supplies.

*  Sold a couple of handmade cards.

*  Made shortbread biscuits for having with a cuppa,.

*  Cooked all meals from scratch and froze leftovers when I could.

*  Megan bought a few baby Christmas presents on sale from the supermarket.  With shopping for gifts being quite limited right now,  these were a great find.

Our lemon tree is looking very healthy.

Homemade shortbread biscuits

Do you have a stockpile ready in case of a hard lockdown ?

What was on your frugal list this week ?

Saturday 4 July 2020

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 4th July 2020

My frugal list is not as long as it usually is this week.  I've spent time pottering around our home,  cleaning and watching Hoarders the tv show with Megan.  This show really gets me in the mood to declutter all over again.

Here's how I saved money this week -

*  Made dried seasoned bread crumbs from saved bread crusts.

*  Made a jar of mixed herbs from herbs given to me that I dried myself.

*  Saved a few glass pasta sauce jars.  These will be used for future pantry storage when needed.

*  Took a couple of bags of unwanted items to Savers and received a 20% off discount coupon.

*  Sold a greeting card.

*  I made shortbread biscuits for the first time.  I was surprised at how easy it was.  Some were given to Jessica as a treat and the rest were enjoyed by Darren and myself at morning tea times.

*  Hung lots of wet washing on the shower door rail to dry.  We have a ducted heating vent in both our bathrooms.  The vent is in the floor which is great as hot air rises.  We just close the door and the washing dries in 24 hours.

*  Picked silverbeet from our garden to put into a large lasagne I made.  My lasagne serves 12 people so any leftover portions are frozen for future meals.

*  Stocked up on Campbell's tinned soup for 97 cents a tin.   I occasionally use a tin when making tuna casserole,  chicken curry and chicken pasta bake.  Otherwise I make soup from scratch.

*  Saved a couple of gift bags to reuse in the future.

*  My local op shop had a 50% off store wide sale.  I purchased bars of soap to make laundry powder and shampoo,  conditioner and toothpaste for my stockpile.

Enough for the next 12 months

Have you enjoyed watching any tv shows lately ?

How did you save money this week ?

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Keeping Busy When Stuck At Home

So many of us are spending more time at home than we ever have.   While some are extra busy juggling home schooling,  working from home and running a house,  others might have too much time on their hands.

I've personally had more time at home due to the loss of some of my cleaning jobs and Darren had no work for eight weeks.  Each day at breakfast we made a plan of what we were going to do that day.  We knew we had to make the most of this unusual situation and use our time wisely.

Here are some ideas to keep you busy,  organised and motivated -

*  Clean out your pantry and make an inventory.  Are there items that need using up ?  Do you have too much or too little of an item ?  Once you've done an inventory,  write out a shopping list for the next few weeks or months.  Being prepared and shopping ahead of time gives you peace of mind knowing you can feed your family no matter what.

*  Take up a craft or hobby  YouTube is a wonderful and easy way to learn something new.  Do you have a craft or hobby already on the go that you could finish ?  If you have free time on your hands,  now could be the time to complete something.

*  Declutter a cupboard or wardrobe.  How many times have you wished you were more organised or had more space ?  Op shops are starting to open up again and would love your unwanted items.

*  Write out your Christmas present list. No matter what's happening in the world,  Christmas is still on the 25th of December and presents will need to be bought or made.

*  Search for new recipes and expand your repertoire in the kitchen.  Megan has cooked a few new dishes for us.  Tuna mornay,  curry beef casserole and chicken pie are now regulars on our menu plan.  I've just made shortbread biscuits for the first time.

*  Start a veggie garden or expand on what you already grow. Veggies can be grown in pots,  polystyrene foam boxes,  old shoes,  icecream containers,  old guttering,  timber pallets or in your garden beds.

*  Watch a tv series you haven't seen in a long time.  With free to air channels expanding their catalogue,  you are sure to find something you like.  I've been watching A Country Practice,  Homestead Rescue,  Hoarders,  Packed To The Rafters ( I've just finished )  and Tiny Homes.

*  Get your filing in order.  Record all your bills onto a spreadsheet to keep track of how much it costs to run a home.   Make copies of important receipts before they fade.  Gather your receipts for tax time.

*  Start your Spring cleaning a little early.  How often do you wish there was more time to get your home really clean before the hot weather arrives ?

*  Clean out and organise your garage, carport or shed.   Are you storing too much stuff that isn't used.

*  List and sell your unwanted items on Buy , Swap,  Sell ,  Marketplace,  Gumtree or Ebay type of sites.

Out in the garden

Being organised

How have you been using the extra time at home ?