Saturday 18 December 2021

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 18th December 2021

 The Christmas season is upon us and the last couple of weeks have been super busy.  I finished Christmas shopping a few weeks ago and the presents are all wrapped up and cards written and sent.

On Tuesday Darren's work situation changed drastically ( feel free to read between the lines ).  As a result our budget now consists of essential spending only (  food,  petrol and bills ).  We are grateful for full freezers,  a very healthy stockpile and a veggie garden that is producing.  Although the timing was poor,  we know God is in control and we will weather this storm.

We have a short holiday coming up soon which was booked and paid for early this year.  We will use this time to rest and when we get back we will regroup and plan our future going forward. 

Here's how we saved time,  money and energy over the last two weeks.

*  I picked beans,  silverbeet,  strawberries and raspberries from our garden.

*  Sold a dozen eggs to a friend.

*  Made mixed berry jam from berries I found in the freezer. They were odds and sods of strawberries and raspberries.  I forgot to weigh the berries when cooking them so I had to estimate how much sugar to add.  It ended up being some of the tastiest jam I've ever made.

*  Baked three loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.  I used recycled bread bags to store the bread in the freezer.

*  Our grandsons came over for a swim in our toddler pool.  We saved the pool water and used it over several days to water our garden.

*  Baked choc chip biscuits for our afternoon teas.

*  Sold a few apron greeting cards.

*  Gratefully received a handmade apron from one auntie and a bunch of  flowers from another auntie's garden when we held a family gathering out our home.

*  Picked more mandarins from Megan's tree.

*  Gratefully received quite a few packets of lamb chops from a friend.  Our friend was moving house and we were there to do a vacate clean for her.  She allowed us to pick bunches of beautiful hydrangea flowers and to take cuttings.  Darren has planted the cuttings and we are eagerly waiting to see if they strike.

*  Sold lots of dish cloths,  face scrubbies,  jam and hanging hand towels to a cleaning client.  She is adding all these goodies to her Christmas gifts for her family.

*  Fed silverbeet,  weeds,  bread crusts and snails to the chickens.

*  I planted cucumber,  zucchini and more bean seeds in our garden.

*  Used cut up old socks as garden ties in the veggie garden.

*  Saved shower warm up water and washing machine rinse water and reused it around our home and garden.

*  Gratefully received 8 mangoes from a new cleaning client ( who is also a regular blog reader ).

*  I made hooded towels for Luka and Bryson as Christmas presents.  I'll be sure to take photos on Christmas Day and share them with you next year.  The towels were $4 each and I needed 3 to make them.  I was also able to make one hand towel and two face washers from the towel I cut the hoods from.  Not a scrap was wasted.

*  Took up a couple of pairs of jeans for a friend who paid me.

Here are some photos of the lovely hydrangeas we picked at our friend's place -

The gifted mangoes

Mixed berry jam

This will be my last post for 2021.  It has been a difficult year for many of us right around the world. Thankyou for all your support,  messages and kind words,  especially when I couldn't post due to our challenges.

Many your Christmas be filled with joy,  peace and love as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  The greatest gift ever given.

Wendy  xoxo 


  1. Thank you for your weekly updates. Merry Christmas to you and your family

  2. I'm so sorry you're family is going through such a tough time. You are inspiring to me!

  3. Merry Christmas to you both and your family.

    Well it is a year i will be thankful to end.

    I've been off work for 6 weeks unpaid after having a very severe reaction to my 2nd Covid vaccine. I still feel like i've been hit by a bus and i just hope to feel better soon.

    Did an online shop at Coles got our regular shopping and a few things for Christmas taking advantage of a fly buys offer which returnded to me 6000 points which is equal to 30$.Need to just pick up a ham and another $15 worth of points. Very pleased.

    Went to Cheaper Buy Miles which is a shop much like NQR They had 4 and 6 packs of yoghurt at $1 with fantastic use by dates. So i bought a few extra and froze them. Bacon was $2 a pack and packets of honey leg ham $1. I really got value for my dollar.

    Making up a few small food hampers for presents. I would rather give the girls at work some drinks and there favourite biscuits as gifts rather than just clutter things.

    Dont have the strength to decorate this year. So a quite time will be had with mum who turns 92 today.

    Using empty pad bags from work (nursing home) for our rubbish. Recycling or reusing what i can. Cooking from scratch and saving every dollar i can to hit my savings target.

    Merry Christmas to all the readers Hope you all have a wonderful remember if it gets to overwhelming for you you can always reach out for help there is always someone to listen to you.

    Peace, Joy, Tinsel


    1. Leanne I do hope and ask the Lord to heal you soon.

  4. Thank you for your blog, I love it! Best wishes to you both and Happy Holidays.

  5. Merry Christmas to the Gower Family. Enjoy your break and here’s hoping 2022 will bring exciting and new horizons for you. One door closes and another opens!! Janine

  6. Wishing you a happy and restive holiday with your family and friends. I hope your cuttings do well, such beautiful flowers. Looking forward to your posts in 2022. Cheers

  7. Wishing you a very Happy Christmas Wendy. Thank you for always being positive and coming forth with ways to save and manage. I am very sorry that a job loss should come at this time of year. I know God will send something else and pray it is soon. The paddle pool is so much fun for kids and good to use the water on the garden. Flowers are beautiful. Enjoy your time away! xxx

  8. Mangoes! What a great gift. The hydrangeas are beautiful too, Wendy. I'm sorry to read about Darren's work situation; I do think that you are more prepared for those challenges than many would be but hope something comes up quickly in the next little while.

    We are on holidays at the moment. We are not far from home and staying in self-contained accomodation. I brought most of our food with us; I have a holiday meal plan that I use each year and shop to that. I make slices or muffins using ingredients I premix at home and put in old ice-cream containers. Then I just have to add eggs or milk or butter and bake them. Beats buying expensive snacks though we do enjoy an icecream occasionally. That's a special treat!

    Have a lovely Christmas time with your family and may your new year hold the hope and the promise of good days ahead.


  9. Dear Wendy and Darren I wish you and yours a very blessed Christmas and a wonderful break to follow. As usual I do not feel prepared and some of my plans have gone awry. I should not buy things off the internet, even with Amazon I have problem. You have taught me so much about trusting God and doing the best to be a good steward of resources. I also pray that something perfect comes Darren's way.

  10. Thank you for your posts during this challenging year. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and that 2022 brings better times. X

  11. All the best for your family Christmas and I'm sure some new work will pop up in the New Year. If anyone can survive on a low budget it's your family. I first saw your interview on ACA years ago and honestly you are an inspiration to many. Enjoy your holiday which is well deserved and being away from home out of the normal environment gives you time to think. Merry Christmas from Brisbane.

  12. Merry Christmas to you Wendy and to all your family. Here's hoping 2022 will be a fresh start. Sometimes when one door closes a better one opens as the old saying goes. Thankyou for your posts during the year, often educational and always inspiring, I know they have helped many over the years negotiate lifes challenges. Have a lovely holiday, see you next year! πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ₯‚πŸŽπŸ™

  13. Merry Christmas, Wendy! Thank you for your very inspiring blog and sharing your life with us. I hope 2022 brings innumerable blessings to you and your family :)

  14. Hi Wendy your hydrangeas are lovely we have them too ,,your ones such beautiful colours thankyou for sharing your posts throughout the year,,wishing you a your family a Merry Christmas & love and peace

  15. I enjoy your blog, but LOVE reading your Frugal Tasks posts best. They are so encouraging. Keep up the wonderful work...and enjoy your vacation.

  16. Wendy thank you for all your positivity and information available in your blog throughout the year I have been following along but not commenting :) .

    So sorry to hear about Darren's work situation but glad you have a holiday in coming up that you can rest and regroup and find away ahead.

    God will provide and I am glad you have a well stocked pantry and producing gardens.

    Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and have positive outcomes on the horizon for 2022 :) .


  17. Dear Wendy, thankyou for all your hints and tips throughout the year. I wish you and your family a happy and holy Christmas and pray that 2022 is much better for you all. God bless you all, love from Sandra.

  18. If I am reading between the lines correctly, I understand what you are going through. I went through a similar thing 5 years ago. God walked with me through it and I constantly reminded myself, God was allowing it for a reason; and through it, He would be glorified and I would be blessed. And after 9 months I was.
    I am praying for you both as you walk this journey with Him.
    (And what a blessing that God showed you how to be frugal before this to help you weather this storm.)


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