Saturday 26 February 2022

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 26th February 2022

Over the last couple of weeks we have tried to be super thrifty with what we have and trying not to spend money unless we really have to.  The work Darren picked up last month is starting to dry up and we are not sure if it will continue.  Darren is in the process of lining up more work but there could  be a wait time of up to 6 weeks while his applications are being processed.  

My cleaning work continues and we are very grateful for it.  It has been a bit challenging with the dreaded virus hitting 3 of our clients homes and our work has been cancelled.  I guess you could say that the Frugal February Spending Freeze has come at the perfect time for us.

Here's how we saved money over the last two weeks - 

*  Gratefully received tomatoes,  lemons,  oranges and a cucumber from a cleaning client. 

*  Made 1 x large lasagne and 2 x  medium lasagnes ( 24 serves in total ) using the gifted tomatoes as well as tomatoes from our garden.  I bulked out the meat sauce with TVP,  grated carrot and zucchini from our garden.  We had 2 serves for dinner that night and the rest went into the freezer.  We always serve lasagne with either steamed veggies or salad on the side so that the lasagne serve doesn't need to be too big.

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

*  Baked choc chip biscuits for our morning teas using dough from the freezer.

*  I made hooded bath towels for when our grandsons come for a visit.

*  Darren planted capsicum and spinach plants.

*  Sewed 12 tea towels from a cotton Doona cover.

*  Baked three loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  I found and replanted some plant seedlings in our garden.  They are great for filling in gaps and are free.

*  Made a bulk amount of beef stew in the slow cooker.  We had some for dinner that night and another 3 meals ( 6 serves ) went into the freezer.  I just love cooking once and eating many times.

*  Bought a few boxes of our favourite icecreams on a half price sale.  They will be rationed out and enjoyed for a long time.

*  I picked raspberries,  beans,  tomatoes,  strawberries,  corn and zucchinis from our garden.

*  Sold 2 jars of jam,  1 jar of relish and 1 bottle of plum sauce to a friend.

*  Donated a bag of unwanted goods to Savers and received a 20% off discount voucher.

*  Turned power points off when not in use.  I try to check them on a regular basis.

*  Saved water from our drink bottles and poured it into our watering can on the deck.  This is used to water pot plants and mandarin trees.

*  Finished 6 greeting cards at our card making day last Saturday.

*  Knitted 5 dish cloths.  I'm getting ready to sell lots of goodies for Mother's Day.

Handmade male greeting cards

Handmade female greeting cards

Some garden produce

Homegrown cherry tomatoes and raspberries

Cooking the tomatoes to make lasagne sauce

How have you saved money this week ?

What's growing in your garden right now ?


Wednesday 23 February 2022

Frugal February Challenge 2022 - Week 3

 Our Frugal February / Spending Freeze is going quite well.  Unfortunately life happens and sometimes money needs to be spent.  We are not perfect but we are trying really hard to limit our spending.  

It does feel good to stay out of the shops ( most of the time ) and our bank balance has reflected our hard work.  Darren is in the process of securing more work and until that happens we'll be continuing the Spending Freeze.  At this point it looks like the challenge will continue until at least the end of March.

Here's how the last 7 days looked - 

Day 15 - No Spending

Day 16 -  Monthly grocery shopping Aldi $1.80  Woolworths $56.65

Day 17 -  No Spending

Day 18 -  KFC $14.39,  Petrol - $92.90,  Chemist $7.50

Day 19 -  No Spending

Day 20 -  IGA $24.19

Day 21 -  No Spending


Day 16 grocery shopping was only buying essentials.  We are pretty much fully stocked up.  Every month I allocate $100 for groceries to feed the two of us and our cat.

Day 18 was lunch at KFC.  Unfortunately we had to go to the doctor for my infected eye and the appointment was over lunchtime after working all morning.  We tried to get a telephone consultation ( so I could eat at home ) but it was not possible.  Darren and I paid for lunch out of our pocket money,  not general household funds.

Day 20 was a slightly weak moment.  Our favourite icecreams were on a half price sale at IGA so we decided to stock up.  We did pay for it out of our pocket money.  I thought if we stock up now,  they might not come on sale during the coming cooler months.

How is your Frugal February / Spending Freeze going ?

Have you had any weak moments ?

Saturday 19 February 2022

Sorry, No Post Today.

 I'm so sorry but I'm unable to post my frugal task list this week.  I've developed a bad eye infection and need rest for the next few days.

Hopefully my list will be twice as long by the time next Saturday comes round.

I'm still planning on sharing a Frugal February / Spending Freeze on Wednesday if my eye improves by then.

Here are a couple of links to some blog posts from years gone by.  Enjoy reading.

Getting Your Budget In Order For A New Year

Budget Party Food For Kids ( Or Adults )

Ice Cube Trays - 5 Uses To Save You Money

Slashing Your Laundry Costs

Olive Oil Soap

How To Make Gift Tags

Wednesday 16 February 2022

Frugal February Challenge 2022 - Week 2

We've just finished week 2 of the Frugal February Challenge for 2022.  This week started off really well with no spending for 4 days.  

I've been dropping in the Savers op shop to donate unwanted goods and to have a quick look around.  I haven't found any knitting cotton yet but I've found cotton doona covers to make tea towels.  I've tried to stay focused when I'm in there and only look in sections where I can find things on my ' wanted ' list. 

The main objective of the Frugal February Challenge for Darren and I is to only buy essential items using our general household bank account  / debit card.  At the end of the month we are hoping to transfer a large amount into our  savings account.  We still get our monthly pocket money and can use this as we see fit.  The gift fund is fully saved for for 2022 so if I see something on special then I can buy it.   At the same time I'm trying to be really wise about what I'm buying and making sure it's the best price possible. 

Here's how our week looked -

Day 8 -  No spending 

Day 9 -  No spending

Day 10 - No spending

Day 11 - No spending

Day12 -  Spent $12  in Savers on a doona cover

Day 13 -  Spent $4 on Cruskits biscuits on sale for $1 a box. 

Day 14 -  Spent $12.20 on a Valentine's Day morning tea.

                Spent $16.20 in Big W on beach towels

                Spent $6.99 in Coles on salad ingredients

NOTES -    

*  The doona cover was paid for out of the gift fund.  I'll be cutting the doona cover up and making tea towels for presents.

*  The Cruskits are an essential grocery item.  Darren eats them often for his lunch and they were a bargain sale price.

*  The Valentine's morning tea was paid for out of our pocket money.

*  The beach towels were on clearance and paid for out of the gift fund.  They will be made into hooded beach towels for presents and to sell.

*  The salad ingredients will be used for at least 3 dinners.  

How is your Frugal Challenge going ?

Are you finding it easy to halt the spending ?

Saturday 12 February 2022

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 12th February 2022

 We are very grateful the hot, humid weather has disappeared and we can get back to normal living and tasks.  Our tomato plants are still fruiting although the plants themselves look like they are on their last legs.  

Here's what we've been up to - 

*  Made up a jar of French onion soup mix.  I used a couple of packets from the supermarket and added my own ingredients from the pantry to stretch it further.

*  I filled up both slow cookers with sausage casserole using the sausages I received last week.  From that one tray of sausages I made 12 dinners ( 24 serves ) for the two of us.  11 dinners were portioned out into containers and frozen for easy meals.

*  Made rosemary powder from the rosemary I picked from our garden a few weeks ago that I'd been drying.  Rosemary powder is great to use of roast potatoes.  The powder sticks far better than the usual dried leaves.

*  Refilled my herb and spice jars with bulk purchases from Hindustan Imports.  This is a huge saving over supermarket prices.

*  Made three loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Upcycled 20 + department store bags by decorating over their store logo / name.

*  Darren picked oranges from Megan's tree.  Some will be used to make 50 / 50 cordial and the rest will be frozen whole to use in baking.

*  Gratefully received tomatoes from my Dad's garden.  I cooked them down and made a big pot of spag bol sauce ( with meat ).  I added grated zucchini from our garden and a couple of carrots.  We ate spag bol for dinner that night and another 6 meals ( 12 serves ) went into the freezer.

*  Found a large toy truck for $7 and two hooded towels for $6 each.  All were on clearance and will be given as presents this year.

*  Darren has been feeding the large cardboard box from our mattress into the compost bin.  We were quite surprised that our mattress was delivered flat in a HUGE cardboard box as well as being wrapped in plastic on the inside.  The plastic was saved for veggie garden projects and the cardboard was cut into manageable pieces and soaked in water before putting in the compost bin.   

*  Baked ANZAC biscuits for our snacks using dough I'd made and frozen last week.

*  Planted 7 sprouting potatoes into the veggie garden.

*  I picked raspberries,  beans,  tomatoes and a zucchini from our garden.

Upcycled gift bags

Sausage casserole

Portioned for freezing.

French onion soup mix

Processing dried rosemary

We might be getting mandarins this coming Winter.

Wednesday 9 February 2022

Frugal February Challenge 2022 - Week 1

 Week  1 for our Frugal February / Spending Freeze Challenge has been fairly easy for Darren and I.  For the first few days I didn't go anywhere except to cleaning jobs.  Darren did go out to lunch with his sister but he paid for it out of his pocket money.

I have 3 exceptions ( other than bills ) for the challenge -

*  If I see grocery items that are bargain / clearance prices then I will be stocking up.  Otherwise I will be limiting grocery spending to essential items.

*  I'm looking for knitting / crochet cotton in op shops to make more dishcloths.  This is something I'm always on the lookout for and it's much cheaper than buying retail.

*  Buying presents or items to make presents that are bargain prices and cannot be made by myself. These are paid for from the gift fund which is fully saved for for the next 12 months  I've been waiting for beach towels to go on clearance so I can make hooded towels for Luka and Bryson. 

Here's a breakdown of how our week panned out with spending -

Feb 1 -  No spending

Feb 2 -  No Spending

Feb 3 -  No spending

Feb 4 -  Petrol for Darren's car $39.00.  

Feb 5 -  No spending

Feb 6 - No spending

Feb 7 -  Petrol for lawnmower to mow our lawn and Megan's $10.96

             Hooded towels x 2 and a toy truck  on clearance ( presents ) $19.00 

             Doona cover at op shop $14.99


*  It worked out cheaper to buy the beach towels already made into hooded ones instead of me making them.  They were on clearance and needed for a present.  Towel stocks are so low in department stores it's hard to find anything that is suitable for little boys.

* The doona cover was a surprise find.  It's a 100% cotton waffle doona cover that will make lovely tea towels for presents and to sell.

Large truck for $7

Hooded towels $6 each.

How is your Frugal February Challenge going ?

Is it hard to stay away from the shops or internet ?

Saturday 5 February 2022

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 5th February 2022

The weather has been quite warm and humid over the last couple of weeks.  During this time I try to find less strenuous jobs to do like decluttering,  filling up cleaning spray bottles and tidying up a cupboard or two.  At the end of the day I get great satisfaction knowing I've made my home cleaner,  tidier and a little more thriftier.  

Here's what we did this week around our home and garden -  

*  Scraped out some of the dirt from the chicken run and added it to a veggie garden bed. The soil level in the chicken run was getting too high.  The dirt is a combination of grass,  chicken poop and kitchen scraps that have composted down over a long period of time.  I'll be letting this veggie bed rest for a while in case the added dirt is too strong for seedlings.

*  Gratefully received a box of mixed lettuce.  We gave lots to our chickens and the rest went into the compost bin.

*  Sold a dishcloth to one of Jessica's friends.

*  Gratefully received about 3 kilos of plums from my Dad.  The weather was too hot to make them into jam so I frozen them for future use.

*  Made two jars of pita chips using pita bread from the freezer.

*  Gratefully received an ergonomic office chair and face masks from a friend.  Darren is using the chair for his new job.

*  Picked raspberries,  a couple of lemons,  beans,  a zucchini and tomatoes from our garden.

*  Dug up 13.3 kilos of potatoes from our veggie garden.

*  Took up 3 pairs of jeans ( the legs were too long ).  I also converted an old pair of jeans into shorts and added a decorative stitch to the edge of the shorts.

*  Planted more bean and tomato seeds with the hope that they will grow and it's not too late for another crop.  I've also sown lettuce,  broccoli,  cauliflower and brussels sprout seeds for Autumn planting.

*  Made a quadruple batch of choc chip biscuit dough and a double batch of ANZAC biscuit dough.  Some biscuits were baked to have with cups of tea and the rest of the dough was frozen for future baking.

*  Gratefully received a tray of sausages that were leftover from a community meal.  Darren cooked them on the bbq last night.  Today I have both slow cookers going to make lots of sausage casserole.  We will be having some for dinner tonight and the rest will be frozen into portions for 2 people.

*  Darren and I tied up the raspberry plants  growing a little wild behind one of our sheds.  Now it's easier to pick the fruit without getting caught on the prickly canes.

*  Darren fed the compost bins with kitchen scraps.  He churns the contents quite often to help everything break down quickly.

*  Picked up quite a few 500g trays of beef mince heavily reduced to $1.60 in Coles.  Their regular price is $8.  Each tray was divided in half and frozen.  Each half ( 250g ) will feed 4 people or give us 2 meals.  Such a blessing as I was getting low on beef mince.

Our raspberries are finally ripening

World's smallest tomatoes - Tom Berries

The beans are growing.

The corn growing in leaps and bounds

Our meat bargain.

Are you starting to plan / plant seeds for the next growing season ?

How have you saved money this week ?

Thursday 3 February 2022

Frugal February Challenge 2022

Over at The Cheapskates Club,  many members are participating in the Frugal February / Spending Freeze Challenge.  This is a challenge where all non essential spending is halted for the month of February.  After watching this challenge for many years,  Darren and I have decided to give it a go.

During January we had expenses for our trip away to Tasmania.  We also had to buy a new mattress and a new laptop.  None of these expenses could be avoided but our savings has taken a huge hit.  Mattress prices have increased enormously since we bought the last one 10 - 12 years ago.  This time round we only replaced the mattress and kept the old base to save costs.  Let's just say if you want a comfortable mattress,  there's nothing much under $2000 and that's the sale price.  

Darren needs two computer screens for his new job so he took my old laptop that was running a bit slow.  Thankfully laptops were on sale for the ' Back to School ' season and we got a good deal for my new one.

As you know,  we are very frugal ( most of the time ).  We are not perfect with our spending and do like to have morning tea or a lunch out every now and then.  This spending freeze challenge has got us excited about increasing our savings account.  

The rules for this challenge -

*  Continue to pay all household bills as per usual.  This includes gas,  electric,  water,  rates,  insurances,  medical ( if needed ),  food,  petrol and mortgage / rent if you usually do this.

*  Only spend money on absolute essentials

You can't spend money on - 


Eating out

Going to the movies

Buying magazines


Clothes / shoes



Here's our plan of attack for a successful challenge -

* For us personally we will not be eating out at all for the entire month of February.   We are just going to resist the urge.  I'm happy to make hamburgers,  nachos,  pizzas and fish and chips at home all from scratch with what we have on hand.  

*  Making sure we take water bottles and muesli bars wherever we go as a back up for hunger pains.

*  Combining errands in one trip and when we are already on the road for cleaning jobs.

*  Using the seeds we already have to plant more veggies and flowers instead of shopping at Bunnings.

*  No birthdays fall in February but I will be looking ahead to future months to try and make the presents.

*  Using the homewares we already have and perhaps rearranging them for a new look.  

*  When the urge strikes us to go shopping at department stores, we will be writing a list of what we THINK we need and revisit the list at the end of the month.  Maybe we won't need that item after all.

*  I will only be buying essential food items.  My stockpile is very healthy.  Now is the time to live off it.    

I hope to give you a weekly update of how the challenge is going for Darren and I and how much money we are saving or spending.

We hope to have lots of this at the end of the month.

Using what we have.

Making our own takeaway / fast food

Baking from scratch.