Saturday 8 August 2020

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 8th August 2020

 It has been an interesting week here in Melbourne.  We are now in stage 4 lockdown for the next 6 weeks. We cannot leave home unless we are shopping for essentials like food,  medicines,  petrol or to go to work if you are an essential worker or care giving.  There are lots of fine details to the lockdown but that's the gist of it. We have a nightly curfew from 8pm to 5am.  The curfew doesn't bother me at all because I'd much rather be at home enjoying the ducted heating and my comfy recliner chair.

So with the latest lockdown,  I cannot continue with my cleaning work for the next 6 weeks.  My last day of work was on Wednesday.  I'm looking forward to staying home but I will admit the loss of income does hurt a little.  I'm not eligible for any government support from what I can gather due to me not being a registered business.

To make up for the lost income I'll continue to make and sell face masks for as long as people ask for them.  If you are interested in my 3 layer washable face masks,  please contact me via Facebook.  They sell for $11 including postage in Australia.  I'm also working on male greeting card packs,  hanging tea towels,  Christmas angel decorations and a few other crafts to sell.

I also have lots of cleaning,  baking,  cooking,  soap making,  Spring gardening preparation,  weeds to pull and general organisation around the home.  I'm sure the next 6 weeks will fly by.

Here's what else I've been up to lately -

*  Made and sold lots of washable face masks.  I've been getting quite a few orders for NSW residents who have been recommended to wear face masks when they cannot socially distance in public.  

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Make two bottles of diluted Dynamo laundry liquid.  I use this on dark clothes that  tend to smell in Winter.  

*  Made a triple batch of laundry powder.  Because I'd spent the time a few months ago blitzing lots of little bars of soap,  it was quick and easy to mix the three ingredients together.

*  Filled all the soap pumps around the home with diluted shower gel solution.

*  Froze lots of leftovers and wrote them into the menu plan for future easy no cook dinners.

*  Picked silverbeet from the garden as our greens on our dinner plate.

*  Gratefully received 48 small bottles of cream from a community pantry I volunteer at.  They had one day left on the use by date so they all went into the freezer for future butter making.  

*  Closed a few ducted heating vents in rooms that are not being used.

*  Ate leftovers for dinner a couple of times during the week.

*  Closed the curtains on the colder days when the sun wasn't shining.

*  Made butter using the frozen cream.

*  Stayed away from the shops for almost two weeks.  We have plenty in our pantry,  fridge and freezer stockpile so there was no real need to go out.

*  Picked lemons from our tree.

*  Fed the compost bin with kitchen scraps.  The bins are almost full and ready to be used.  The compost will be put on our veggie garden beds to top up the soil level.

*  Made a two litre bottle of foaming hand wash.  

Bread dough rising
Bread dough rising

One of the face masks I've been making

Our youngest grandson Bryson all snuggled up.

What frugal tasks have you completed during the last week or so ?

If you are in lockdown,  do you have a plan for keeping busy ?


  1. Your little Grandson looks so cute...hopefully the numbers will start coming down so Victoria can get back to a new covid normal. My relatives are in Melbourne as well. Stay safe and enjoy your down time pottering around the house. Kathy, Brisbane

  2. My days pass by while I care for mum and my granddaughter. I would love to be sewing but I have lost a lot of motivation. I am trying to prepare nutritious meals as mum has a lung condition and is constantly unwell right now.

    My little bit of brightness come from my little girl's antics, my children keeping in contact and the quieter times when I read.

    God bless and stay safe everyone.

    1. Suzan just wanted to let you know you are being thought of.
      Children and their antics are sometimes what keeps us going.
      Best wishes to you all and take care of yourself

      Aly xxx

  3. Bryson looks gorgeous all snuggled up there, Wendy.
    This current Melbourne lockdown is very hard on you and Melbournians in general Wendy. These type of adjustments are always difficult. When I was having chemo a few years back I was living in lockdown for almost 12 months and was not allowed to return to work for over 12 months and when I was allowed to returned to work it was a staged return so for the first few weeks I was only allowed to work 1 day a week and so on until I returned gradually to full time work. All I can say is that we humans are very adaptable and can not only survive but thrive through times of restrictions.
    The mask in the photo looks terrific. We are not required to wear them in the area of Queensland in which I live. However I did buy some fabric last week in a black and white plaid cotton fabric in case I have to make any in the future because I only had floral cotton fabric and some purple cotton fabric on hand which is fine for me but I think my husband would have objected to a pretty mask ;-)

  4. Hi Wendy - a minimal amount of frugality in our home was supplemented by your pita chips recipe. I’d made pizzas from Lebanese bread & had some left over & remembered reading about them here. They were so easy & so yummy! And made a frugal lunch with some leftover pate :) So thank you. Take care of yourselves in Melbourne. Lesley (in Perth)

  5. I didn’t think I’d qualify for any Coronavirus supplement, the amount your husband can earn has increased a lot. Go to the online assessment and fill in all the questions you may find for a time you do qualify.

  6. Wendy it is a challenging time for you and all others down in Melbourne and I am sorry you are unable to do your cleaning work but glad you are picking up income via your handcrafts and selling lots of face masks.

    What a blessing that cream was to you to make lovely butter from :). You have done so much around your home to keep cleaning supplies available and ready for use. Your grandson is adorable :).

    We live in Queensland so are not currently in lockdown in our small country village but do keep busy doing lots of things usually anyway.

    Our savings challenge added up to $36.77 in savings last week :) .

    In the kitchen -
    - Baked 2 loaves of bread using ingredients we had in our food storage saving $5.18 over buying them locally.
    - Cooked all meals from scratch.

    In the gardens -
    - Harvested 2kg of capsicums and 200g of cherry tomatoes from the gardens saving $20.60 over purchasing them. We blanched and or froze them in meal sized portions in the freezer.

    Side gigs -
    - DH and I had been doing volunteer cleaning work for a local club and they have now insisted since it is a big job to pay us to do it. They will pay us in a grocery e-gift card so I will bank the amount we are getting paid from our grocery budget into our 6 monthly living expenses emergency fund account to build that up quicker.

    Finances -
    - Paid an extra part payment off our mortgage.
    - Deposited extra money into our home maintenance fund bringing us to 36.6% of the way to our goal.
    - Deposited more money into our 6 month living expenses emergency fund bringing us to 51% of our goal.
    - We put in our yearly tax with an accountant and asked if there were any more deductions we could get and there was as DH being on a white card does not have to pay a medicare levy and only has to pay for me instead. The accountant sent us an email with forms to amend last years tax for the medicare levy and we questioned about whether our donations were put in and it turns out they weren't so she amended that too. All up by asking a few questions we will get and extra $1848.50 back from last and this years tax on top of our normal tax refund cheque.

    Purchases -
    - Bought a laptop battery with a lower best offer option saving $6.99 over the listed price.
    - Found 4 loaves of 680g wholemeal bread loaves on half price quick sale at Coles for $1 ea saving $4 on usual prices.

    It certainly pays to ask questions to see if there is more tax deductions you could get too for your family :) .

    Have a great week ahead everyone :) .

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  7. It sounds like your are going to make the most of your time at home during the lockdown, Wendy. We are not under lockdown restrictions where I live but we are staying close to home anyway. This week at our place:
    * made homemade meals including spaghetti bolognese, lentil shepherd's pie, soup
    * froze leftovers
    * picked lettuce, spring onion, leeks and herbs from garden
    * baked a chocolate cornflake slice, chocolate chip & prune cookies (to use up some prunes I had in my pantry) and an ANZAC slice. Froze some of this baking.
    * used vanilla essence in baking that I made from vanilla beans I was gifted:)
    * topped up car with petrol at lowest price I could find ($1.27per L)
    * mended my son's school hat and a t-shirt
    * bought a pretty and light red top from op-shop for $3 and a set of 4x pasta bowls
    for $8. I love these deeper bowls.
    * printed out a sewing pattern for a top on reverse of some scrap A4 paper
    * stamped some salvaged brown paper to make a piece of wrapping paper for a gift
    * diluted some cheap shower gel to refill soap pump packs in kitchen and bathroom
    * cleaned dishwasher with vinegar and bicarb

    Your grandson looks like he very warm and snuggly in the photo you've posted, Wendy. Stay warm and well and safe. MegXx

  8. Hi Wendy, you are So positive despite the mammoth challenges your're all facing and your grandson is just gorgeous; such a fabulous blessing for you. How do people buy face masks from you as I have a friend who'd like some but I'm not sure where exactly to look (I tried the links in previous blog for The Crafty Mum's Co Op fb page/Etsy shop link, but I couldn't find anything just yet to direct her to). I'm trying to make some masks for my family and intrigued by what exact fabrics are best recommended for all the 3 layers, and what kind of wire to use? Thankfully I have elastic but wondering what to use if I run out (it seems to be sold out in ACT and I'm sure elsewhere) but did you use hair elastics too, such a clever idea. I hope and pray you and your family all stay well and safe (I can't believe nor fathom that there are people choosing to go out whilst still infected). Take Care, Corinna (in Canberra).

    1. Hi Corinna. You can message me through My Abundant Life Facebook page or Wendy Gower Facebook page for info about buying face masks. DHHS recommends water resistant fabric ( which can be hard to get unless you cut up green shopping bags ), cotton fabric next to the face and Poly / cotton as the middle layer. I use a cut up pipe cleaner as the nose wire. Hair ties can be used as elastic but they are not as stretchy.

  9. Hi Wendy,your grandson is a cutie you must be proud. I am working most day & busy i have a permit to get to work or it's a big fine without a permit I have taken on some extra shifts so iam tired but still injoy baking at home & my slow cooker is a gr8 helper take care x

  10. Love seeing your beautiful little grandson Bryson, he is gorgeous.

    Have been thinking of you all in Victoria. I pray your sacrifices pay off at the end of six weeks. We are concerned that the virus may have spread to South Australia and we will be put back into lock-down. Our restrictions have tightened once again. I am avoiding shops as much as I can anyway, and will be getting more masks made for family members this coming week. My daughter is Sydney has put in a request for some also as they have been advised to wear them.

    Some of my frugal tasks were:

    ~Cleaned three houses this week. I was lucky enough to get another cleaning job so now will have extra money coming in.
    ~Cooked all meals from scratch.
    ~Organised a space for putting extra supplies.
    ~Mended hubby's yard jeans to get more wear out of them.
    ~Cooked from scratch each day.
    ~Had quite a few no spend days.
    ~Made sourdough bread.
    ~Gratefully accepted more jars for preserves and pantry storage.
    ~paid extra on mortgage.

    Take care and God bless,

  11. Hi Wendy

    What a positive mindset you have. Plenty of around the house jobs to get done during your lockdown. Such an awful situation for you all to be in. Whilst there is not much around us we are still being very cautious and only going out when necessary and a friend and I meet up and go for walk after grabbing a coffee about twice a week just to get out doors a little.

    Your masks look wonderful and I am please that they are selling well for you, just not that they need using under these circumstances.

    Bryson looks so cute all snuggled up.

    On Sunday I managed to bake and make all of the school snacks and lunch items, as we are going preservative and additive free. This was a big win as there are no packaged food in my child's lunchbox.

    To everyone in effected areas please stay safe and look after each other.

    Take care to all

    Aly xxx


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