Saturday 13 March 2021

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 13th March 2021

We continue to make the most of the produce we are picking from our backyard. Over the last four weeks the only fruit and veggies we've bought from the shops are carrots,  cucumber and a few bags of lettuce ( our seeds weren't growing.  We now have seedlings we can harvest from ).  This has been a big saving and blessing for us.

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

*  Made 4 jars of pear butter in the slow cooker using pears from our little tree.  Two jars went into the fridge and two into the freezer.   From my research,  pear butter only lasts two weeks in the fridge.  By freezing some it means it will all be used up within a good time.

*  Descaled the kettle using citric acid.

*  Darren used the compost from one of the bins on the veggie garden and one flower bed.  The other bin now needs to mature ( bake ) for a couple of months while we start filling up the newly emptied one.

*  Turned a couple of sauce bottles upside down to get the last of the contents out.  

*  Baked three loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Added crushed up wheat bix and corn flakes to the dried seasoned bread crumbs to make it stretch further.

*  Made and sold a  double batch of raspberry and white chocolate muffins to a friend who had ordered them.  The profit I made has been put aside to go towards presents for next year.

*  Made plain dried bread crumbs from saved bread crusts.  I like to keep a jar of plain bread crumbs to add to meatloaves etc without the seasoning.

*  Picked zucchini,  pears,  tomatoes,  silverbeet and raspberries from our garden.  The zucchini was planted as seeds in mid January so it's only taken 7 weeks from seed to picking.  

*  Sold a dozen eggs to a friend.

*  Made a 10 litre bucket of laundry liquid from scratch.  As I pour it into smaller containers it's diluted down with water 50 / 50.

*  Made zucchini fritters and added zucchini to a tuna pasta bake to stretch it further.

Lettuce now ready to pick

Broccoli seedlings growing

Zucchini growing

Our latest potato crop

One mandarin tree is in bloom

Muffins from my kitchen.

What frugal things did you do this week ?

Have you tried making laundry liquid ?

Wednesday 10 March 2021

Silverbeet Will Save The Day

 If there is one vegetable you'd like to start growing,  then Silverbeet ( chard ) might be the vegetable for you.  There are so many reasons to grow silverbeet even if you think you might not like eating it.

*  Silverbeet is a cool climate plant but can be grown in warmer climates providing it gets extra water and shelter during heatwaves.  In most climates it can be grown all year round.

*  Leaves can be picked within 7 weeks of seedlings being planted.

*  The same plant can have leaves harvested year in,  year out.  My good friend Maureen from The Cheapskates Club has had the same plant growing for about 7 years.

*  It's a wonderful space saving plant that can also be grown in a pot.

*  When broccoli is too dear to buy in the shops,  silverbeet makes a wonderful green vegetable substitute saving you lots of money on your grocery budget.

*  Only 2 plants are needed to feed a family of four.

*  Silverbeet makes a great ' filler ' to stretch meals further.  Shred the leaves and add them to spag bol sauce,  lasagne,  chop suey and stir fries.  

*  When you only have sad veggies in your fridge crisper, don't go to the shops.  Just pick a few silverbeet leaves,  coarsely chop and toss in a little bit of water in a saucepan.

*  Silverbeet is a good source of vitamin A,  B6,  C and K as well as riboflavin and folate.

Picked leaves

The silverbeet plant

Silverbeet added to a tuna pasta dish

Do you grow Silverbeet ( chard ) ?

How do you use the Silverbeet leaves ?

Saturday 6 March 2021

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 6th March 2021

 This week has given us milder weather here in Melbourne.   Darren and I continue to work in our garden planting,  pruning,  weeding and harvesting.  Everything we harvest from the veggie garden is a real blessing and is helping to keep our food budget low.

Here's what we've been up to -

*  Picked a handful of raspberries each day.  Our strawberry plants are still giving us fruit every couple of days.

*  Saved the shower warm up water and poured it into the washing machine.  Saved kitchen water was used to water lots of pot plants and the mandarin trees.

*  Darren and I had a day out last Sunday to Phillip Island ( about an hour away ).  We took our lunch,  a thermos and afternoon tea with us which saved us quite a bit of money.  It was lovely to sit under the big trees on the sloping grassed area at the beach.

*  Wrote out our menu plan for the next 4 weeks.  It's always a relief to have it written out and really does make dinner time so much easier.

*  I took some homemade chicken stock out of the freezer and made a pot of chunky chicken and veggie soup.  I added broccoli crumbs from the bottom of a ziplock bag in the freezer.  Nothing went to waste and it gave extra nutrients to the soup.  We had the soup for 2 dinners this week at a cost of about 20 cents a serve.

*  Filled up both our cars with petrol for well under $1.20 a litre just as the price was going up to $1.65.

*  Picked the last of the sweet corn,  blanched and froze it to add to future meals.

*  Built a little fence to protect the lettuce and silverbeet plants from the ever growing bean plants.  I used gutter guard as the fence and scraps of timber and tied it together with cut up old socks.

*  Darren and Luka made scones together.  Luka is a fan of anything that looks like cake.

*  Dried all the washing on the line outside even when it threatened to rain.  I'm always full of optimism when it comes to the weather and my wash day.  The dryer is only used in emergencies.

*  Planted lettuce seedlings I bought.  I picked a punnet with more seedlings than the others to get more value.  From the punnet I got 20 seedlings instead of the usual 8.

*  Picked more lemons from our tree.  I know it's out of season but our tree has ripe lemons as well as baby ones.

The little fence I built to protect the lettuce seedlings

Protecting the silverbeet from the bean plants

More out of season lemons

Luka helping with the vacuuming

" I can do it myself "

Luka loves the on / off button.

Have you planned your Spring / Autumn garden ?

What was on your frugal list this week ?

Wednesday 3 March 2021

This Little Water Tip Could Save You Lots Of Money

Have you ever thought the shower warm up water draining down the plug hole seems like such a big waste ?

If you place a bucket under the shower head,  this clean water could be used elsewhere.  Of course you could pour it into the washing machine and this is something I do often.  It's not going to save you much money but you'll feel better about reducing the waste.

Here's an even better tip that will feed you and save lots of money.  Reuse the shower warm up water to water some veggie seedlings.  If you love lettuce, you can grow it all year round in many climates.   A $3 packet of seeds will last a few years and could save you over $100 a year.  This figure is based on buying one small $2 bag of lettuce leaves every week for one year. If you have a larger family,  you would be buying more lettuce so the savings will be even bigger.

Such a simple tip yet the impact is huge.

What could you use the saved water for ?