Wednesday 29 September 2021

Another 6 Ways To Use White Vinegar.

 Vinegar is SO cheap to buy and has SO many uses.  Here are another 6 for you to try - 

*  When your washing machine starts to smell,  clean all the filters and surfaces.  Give the inside a good spray of vinegar,  let it sit for 10 minutes then wipe down again.  If in doubt about using vinegar in your washing machine please read in the instruction manual.

*  Vinegar can be used to help remove rust from tools.  Soak the tools in white vinegar for a couple of hours,  rinse off and wipe dry.

*  Keep your cut flowers fresh for longer by adding 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar to the water in the vase.  Change the water every few days.

*  Vinegar can be used to help relive itchiness from insects bites.  Dab a little on the bite with a cotton ball / tissue every few hours.

*  Fill up your dishwasher rinse aid compartment with white vinegar.  This makes a very cheap and healthy alternative to the store bought varieties.

*  Spray your smelly kitchen bins with vinegar and leave for 10 minutes.  Wash as per usual and the smell should be gone.  This is really handy for plastic bins that can absorb bad odours.


How do you use vinegar around your home ?

Saturday 25 September 2021

I'll Be Back Next Week.

 Due to the continuing lockdown and Darren and I not working,  I will not be posting my frugal task list this week.

To be honest,  we haven't been motivated to do much at all.  Both of us are battling to get Covid disaster payments through Centrelink who have serious glitches in their system.

Yes,  I've done a few frugal things this week but there's not much to speak of.

Hopefully next week I'll have a super long list to post and lots of positive things to talk about.

See you shortly.  xoxo

Wednesday 22 September 2021

10 Ways To Use White Vinegar

 Do you have a bottle of white vinegar sitting in your pantry or laundry cupboard unused ?  Maybe you thought it was only good to sprinkle on fish and chips.  I did for many years.  Infact,  I use to buy the smallest bottle possible and poked holes in the top just for sprinkling purposes.

Now,  I've found so many uses for vinegar and buy 2 litre bottles that get used up very quickly.  The tips below I've personally used around my home with great success.

*  Spray underarms of clothes to get rid of body odour smells before washing.

*  Use as a natural fabric softener in your washing machine.  One cup or a good drizzle in the final rinse  should do the trick.

*  Keep your hard floors clean with a dash of vinegar and a few drops of dishwashing liquid in hot water.  I've been using this trick for over a decade on my own floors and in my cleaning clients homes.

*  Kill young weeds with vinegar.  Add one cup of salt to one litre of water. and drench the weed.  Be careful that the solution doesn't get sprayed on nearby plants 

*  Reduce the odour of smelly shoes by spraying vinegar inside.  Allow to dry before wearing the shoes.

*  Wash your fruit and vegetables in one part vinegar to three parts water to help remove potential bacteria..

*  Give your dishwasher a natural clean by splashing vinegar around the bottom.  Add bi carb to the tablet dispenser and run the dishwasher on a long hot cycle.

*  Clear minor drainage problems in your sinks with vinegar and bi carb.  Drop a couple of spoonful's of bi carb down the plug hole followed by one cup of vinegar.  Finish off with a kettle of boiling water.

*  For a streak free bench, make up a spray bottle of cooled,  boiled water.  Add 1/4 cup of vinegar and a small dash of dishwashing liquid.  Use either cotton cloths or microfibre cloths for a brilliant finish.

*  Rid your kitchen compost bin or general waste bins of smells by spraying with vinegar.  Leave for 5 minutes then wash as per usual.

Great for using in your washing machine


Saturday 18 September 2021

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 18th September 2021

 Darren and I try to stay busy each day with various tasks around our home and garden.  Spring arrived this month but we've had many days of high winds and cold weather.  Still,  we try to get outside each day even if it's just to do an inspection of the garden to see what's happening.  

Darren is now staying home every day due to the current lockdowns and the effects they've had on the hospitality industry he works in.   We are making the most of this situation by finishing off small home maintenance jobs,  painting trims,  doors and our bedroom.  I'll be spending more time crafting and posting various handmade items for sale on my Facebook pages in the lead up to Christmas.

Here's what else we've been up to - 

*  Cleaned the dishwasher using bi carb and vinegar.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Made pita chips for snacking.

*  Made plum sauce for the first time in 20 years.  I used the plums from the freezer that my Dad gave me last Summer.

*  Made chicken stock in the slow cooker then turned it into a big saucepan of chunky chicken and vegetable soup.  We had some for dinner that night and the rest was divided into single serves and frozen.

*  Made tomato relish using tomatoes we grew last Summer and froze.  We will be giving some of the relish and plum sauce as presents.  Some will be consumed by ourselves and a few will be sold to a friend.   

*  Baked and sold chocolate choc chip muffins to a friend who needed them for a couple of vulnerable family members.

*  Sold a few jars of homemade jam and tomato relish to a friend who requested them.

*  Sprayed white vinegar on a couple of bathroom towels that were getting a bit smelly.  I let them sit for about 10 minutes while I sorted out the washing then washed and line dried them.  They now smell like the great outdoors.

*  Took a few more cuttings of plants in our garden.  I'm not sure of the names ( other than lavender ) but I will post photos when they grow. 

*  Darren planted out many flower and vegetable seeds from the Woolworths seed give away ( 2019 / 2020 ).  He is pleased to announce that many of them have sprouted.   When you can't go to Bunnings to select and buy plants,  you make the most of what you have on hand.

*  Saved the washing machine rinse water and shower warm up water and poured it all into the washing machine.

*  Used old bread bags to line our bathroom bins.  This saves me from washing the bin inserts.

Tomato relish

Plum sauce

Do you have plans to makes sauces,  jams and relishes this Summer ?  Do you give some as presents ?

How did you save time,  money or energy this week ?

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Homemade Laundry Liquid

 Just recently I thought I'd make laundry liquid for a change.  I've been making laundry powder for more than 10 years and although it's great,  I do get powder residue on the clothes from time to time  

After doing some research on YouTube I gave it a go a few months ago and have been quite happy with the results.  Keep in mind Darren and I do not have filthy,  grotty clothes and if we do have stains,  I treat them with Miracle Spray.

Here's the recipe I've come up with

400 grams of finely zested pure laundry soap

2 cups of bi carb of soda

2 cups of washing soda

1 cup of laundry soaker powder ( I used Aldi Di San brand )

Lots of water

In a large saucepan place the zested laundry soap and 2 litres of hot water.

Place the saucepan on a low heat and stir until the soap has dissolved.

Take the saucepan off the heat and pour into a 20 litre bucket.

Add 10 litres of warm to hot water and add all the other ingredients

Stir until well combined then add cold water until it reaches almost to the top of the bucket.

Stir well.

Half fill up 2 litre plastic bottles with the laundry liquid and top up with cold water. I used old vinegar bottles.

Give the bottles a good shake to combine.


Give the bottle a good shake then pour about 150 - 200 mls of liquid to your load of washing.

Soap and water dissolving in a saucepan

Some of the ingredients

Have you made laundry liquid before ?

Do you have a recipe to share ?

Saturday 11 September 2021

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 11th September 2021

It's been another week in lockdown and boy,  have we been busy.  We are trying to make the most of the extra time at home knowing that when things open up,  I'll be working again,  shopping ( just a little bit ),  visiting and going on small road trips.  

This week I've spent some time at the sewing machine,  tidied my craft room ( just a little ) and wiped out a few cupboards.  It's Spring cleaning time after all and I'm trying to get different things cleaned each week before the Summer heat sets in.

Here's what we've been up to this week -

*  Made and sold some face masks for people in Sydney and South Australia.

*  Picked silverbeet,  lettuce and broccoli from our garden.  

*  Made up a 2 litre bottle of Miracle Spray and sold it to a friend.

*  Baked a batch of ANZAC biscuits using dough from the freezer.  I bagged up some of the biscuits to add to my Dad's Fathers Day present that Darren dropped off on his doorstep.  I also added a box of bread improver from my stockpile knowing Dad would use it to bake his bread.   Dad rang later and was thrilled with the present.  He was so low on bread improver and had no way of getting more due to the lockdown restrictions.  God knew my Dad's need and prompted my heart to add the bread improver to the gift.

*  Darren cooked 5 individual chicken and vegetable pies using 1/4 piece of bbq chicken leftover from Father's Day.  The pies were delicious and the rest were frozen for future eating.  I think Darren has his eye on one for the AFL Grand Final.

*  Saved more Penstemon seeds by putting the seed head in a paper bag and giving it a good shake.  I'll be planting the seeds in the next few days.

*  Sold almost all of the apron cards to friends on FB.  Thankyou for your support.  It's helping us more than you'll ever know.

*  Cooked up a big pot of spag bol sauce.  I added TPV,  silverbeet and carrots to stretch the meat.  From 1 kilo of beef mince I got 20 serves of sauce.  We had spag bol for dinner that night and the rest of the sauce was divided up into portions for two and frozen.  

*  Darren baked a batch of raspberry and white chocolate muffins for our morning teas.  Some were kept in the pantry and the rest were frozen.  By freezing most of them they don't have a chance of being wasted or spoiling.

*  Cleaned the kettle with citric acid.

*  Fed weeds,  aphid infested kale and bread crusts to the chickens to supplement their feed.

*  Made up 40 litres of laundry liquid using ingredients I had on hand.  I'll be posting the recipe shortly.

*  Darren emptied one of our compost bins and added it to one of our front yard garden beds.  Darren has been pulling out old plants that had become overgrown.  The soil is lacking in nutrients so the compost will be a welcome addition.

*  I took cuttings from a few different plants in our garden.  If they strike they'll be planted in the bare garden bed mentioned above.

Raspberry and white chocolate muffins

Darren's chicken pie

Princess enjoying the sun

Melting soap for laundry liquid

Cards I've been selling

How have you saved time,  money or energy this week ?

What are you looking forward to when lockdown finish ?

Saturday 4 September 2021

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 4th September 2021

It's been a mixed bag here in Melbourne.  We've had a few warm days of 26 degrees which was wonderful and great gardening weather.  We've also had cold days and lots of rain which has been  good for the garden. 

Our lockdowns have been extended until late September with a possibility of October.  I don't mind the lockdowns but I'd really like to get my hair colored.  I know,  first world problems.  It's my only luxury  Darren is getting desperate for warm weather clothes.  He's lost a lot of weight this year and pretty much nothing fits.  Our grandson Luka is growing out of his clothes and Megan is having to buy everything online instead of shopping at the op shops first.

At least the lockdowns are giving us extra time to grow more food,  makeover our front yard and do small maintenance jobs around our home.

Here's what we've been up to this week -

*  Went to the supermarket to buy mushrooms for a slow cooker meal.  The ticket said $3 for 500g.  I was charged $6 at the checkout.  Thankfully I noticed the mistake and went to the service desk to have the difference refunded.  They refunded the whole amount.  Such a blessing.

*  Megan found heavily reduced beef steaks in the supermarket.  They were just under $4 each for a large steak with a saving of $18.  She dropped one of on our front door step.  From that one steak I made two casseroles that gave us 13 serves in total.  I made Massaman Beef and Beef Stroganoff.  I cooked them in my slow cookers and all leftovers were frozen.  Cook once,  eat three times is fantastic.

*  Planted the Dutch Cream potatoes I bought last week.

*  I had a catering order for spag bol sauce for a cleaning client.

*  Dried the washing on the line and clothes horses.  

*  I was able to work one day this week.  One of my clients organised a work permit for me ( our current lockdown requirement ).  Their home was getting a bit dirty and they had gone to their farm for the weekend so I was able to clean with no one in the house.

*  Picked the last of the lemons off the tree.

*  Fed kale and broccoli leaves to the chickens.

*  Turned standby lights off when appliance were not in use.  I also went around the house each night turning the landline phone chargers off and the doorbell.

*  Made hamburger patties in bulk to freeze.  We had hamburgers for dinner one night to satisfy a slight takeaway craving.  We are only human.

*  Saved water as per usual.

*  Lockdown saved us money by eating at home for our wedding anniversary on Thursday.  I cooked lamb shanks in the slow cooker with a tomato and veggie  sauce / gravy.  They were served over a bed of potato mash.  The dinner cost $11 plus our bottle of Appletiser ( sparkling apple juice ).

Casseroles in the slow cooker

Lamb shank anniversary dinner

Hamburgers at home

How do you satisfy takeaway cravings without spending extra money ?

How did you save money this week ?

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Furniture Makeovers - My Very First Attempt

 Earlier this year I purchased a timber chest of drawers on Marketplace for $40.  When Darren arrived home with the drawers,  I was quite surprised to find the drawers have metal runners which is a bonus.  There was a lose handle,  a little water damage on top and some sticker residue that needed removing.  Other than that,  the drawers were in pretty good condition.  I just didn't like the color.

Over the last 3 or 4 weeks I've spent many hours working on the drawers.  I've learnt to use an electric sander,  filled in little nicks and scratches and painted 2 undercoats and 3 top coats ( 4 in some places ).

Darren helped me with attaching the new handles.  I'd bought these from Bunnings before our previous lockdown.

Just as I was nearing the finish line with the drawers,  a certain little grandson thought it would be a good idea to paint his Mum's bedside table with nail polish.  Megan can't paint furniture with two little toddlers on the go so she gave the bedside table to me to restore for our use.

Late last week I finished painting both pieces and I must say,  I love the new look.  We now have beautiful furniture for our spare room.

Drawers in original condition.

Just finished sanding

The finished product

The new handles

The bedside table Megan gave us to restore

The paint I used.

Have you restored / upcycled old furniture ?