Thursday 29 September 2022

Spring Cleaning Reading

 Just thought I'd pop in to say hello.   I'm posting  a few links below to articles I wrote that might be of help if you are Spring cleaning.

Dusting - 3 Ways

10 Ways To Use White Vinegar

Making Your Own Air Freshener

Kitchen Cloths For Free

Cleaning On A Budget

Saturday 24 September 2022

You'll Find Me In The Garden

Hi everyone.  Just letting you know I'll be taking a short break from blogging.  I'm behind in my Spring planting and need to get out into the veggie garden.  

Since my Dad passed away in April both Darren and I have been helping Mum keep her garden in order. The garden was generally Dad's domain so we've been transforming the garden with new flowers and plants to bring joy to Mum.  We've battled cold and very wet weather since April as well as working long hours at our day jobs and transforming our OWN front garden.  

Now that Spring is really here ( weather wise ) I'll be spending my free time planting seeds and doing some maintenance.  

Thankyou for understanding and I hope to just post a few photos from the garden over the coming weeks.  
Please feel free to read some of my older blog posts.  You'll find them in the heading section near the top of my blog.  There are over 900 posts I've written since 2014.

Saturday 17 September 2022

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 17th September 2022

 This week Darren and I enjoyed a trip to Gardenworld with my Mum.  We had lots of fun admiring ( and buying ) the wide variety of shrubs and Spring flower seedlings. We planted some of them for Mum in her garden,  then later that day I planted our own purchases.  

Slowly we are filling in the gaps in our front garden from when we did a makeover during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.  Back then we had to make do with plants we already had and took cuttings as well as digging up volunteer seedlings and replanting in gaps.  It sure is a delight to buy new varieties.

Here's our frugal list for the week -

*  Filled up both our cars when petrol was cheap and used a discount fuel docket.  I think we paid just under $1.50 a litre.

*  I've been busy booking accommodation for a holiday later this year ( from a cancelled one last year ).  I found it cheaper to ring the accommodation instead of booking through the online websites.  

*  Baked 3 loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Fed dinner plate scraps,  weeds,  crusts and new spring grass to the chickens.

*  Filled in a spot in our garden with volunteer forget me not seedlings.

*  Made up a jar of gravy powder mix using ingredients I had on hand in the pantry.

*  Baked a double batch of chocolate brownies from scratch.  Some was divided into a container for the pantry and the rest was frozen.  If I need to take a plate to a function then I can just pull out what I need.  Chocolate brownies defrost really well and taste like they are fresh out of the oven.

*  Printed off a photo and put it in a beautiful timber frame I found at an op shop.  This was given with a forget me not seedling from our garden as a birthday gift.

*  Used our thermos every morning to store extra boiled water from the kettle.

*  Gathered the freshest flowers from 2 bouquets we've had in our home for the last 2 weeks to make another fresh bouquet.  I'm also changing the water every day and have trimmed the stems.

*  Filled all the herb and spice jars using bulk packets I've bought from Hindustan Imports.

*  Gratefully received some flower and veggie seeds in the mail from a blog reader.  

*  Saved all leftover water from drink bottles and glasses of water.  All is used to water pot plants and seedlings.

*  Added the crumbs from a weet bix packet to the jar of dried seasoned bread crumbs ( homemade )


Chocolate brownies

Gravy Powder

Wholemeal bread with extra goodness

Dried seasoned bread crumbs

Saved flowers from 2 bouquets

Adding weet bix crumbs to bread crumbs

Making gravy powder.

How have you saved money this week ?

Wednesday 14 September 2022

Can You Spare 5 Minutes To Save Money ?

 I have another 20 quick and easy money saving tips to add to last week's 20 I shared.  If you can spare 5 minutes you'll be able to fit in one of these really simple tasks and save some money along the way.  Maybe make it a goal to do one each day.

Can you spare 5 minutes to -

*  make a bottle of Miracle Spray.

*  put a bucket in the shower to save the warm up water.

*  cut up an empty cereal packet to use as go between for meat,  muffins and crumpets for freezing.

*  save and reuse your bread bags around the home instead of using bin liners and plastic wrap.

*  close your curtains on a cold day / hot day to help with temperature control.

*   put a chicken carcass in the slow cooker with water and herbs to make chicken stock,  then soup.

*  write a menu plan for the week using what you have on hand.

*  hang washing on a clothes horse instead of using the dryer.

*  cut up old holey socks for garden ties or use whole as dusters.

*  transfer old towels,  hand towels and face washers to the kitchen or laundry for further use.

*  make up your own herb blends ( taco,  Italian etc ) in bulk then store in a container.

*  make up an extra batch of biscuit dough to freeze for further baking.

*  take cuttings of plants in your garden to eventually fill in gaps or give as presents.

*  plant a few veggie seeds in your garden or a plant pot.

*  dig around in the garden looking for volunteer seedlings.  When found, dig up and plant to fill a gap.

*  grate a 1 kilo block of cheese yourself.  Add corn flour,  shake and freeze excess.

*  spray paint and old item to give it a new look.  Vases,  frames,  jars and jugs are quick to do.

*  portion out bulk buys of meat before freezing.

*  put shopping bags in the car for the next grocery run.  No need to buy bags ever.

*  juice and freeze those lemons you grow or were given.

Making the most of lemons.

Cut up cereal packets

Freezing biscuit dough

What's old.......

is new again.

Can you think of anything that takes just 5 minutes and saves money ?

Thursday 8 September 2022

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 10th September 2022

 It's been a busy week for both Darren and I with our jobs.  We are grateful for the work and equally grateful for times of rest.

Here's our frugal list for the week -

*  Darren fed the compost bins with our kitchen scraps

*  Made a batch of cranberry hootycreek biscuits.  Darren requested them for a Father's Day treat.  I didn't have many cranberries left so I added some sultanas and cut up dried apricots.  Darren was still pleased with the flavour.  I baked some of the biscuits and the rest of the dough went into the freezer,

*  Used the leftover roast veggies and a little lamb from the Father's Day dinner and turned it into a flan ( impossible pie ).  I'll put a link below for a chicken flan I make that's similar.

*  Cleaned the washing machine by putting it on a long,  hot cycle.  I added Epsom salts to the wash cycle and citric acid to the rinse cycle.  I'd watch a YouTube video where a repairman cleaned a machine using citric acid.  It works for kettles so I thought I'd give it a go.

*  Baked 3 loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Took a couple of lavender cuttings and cuttings from another plant that has silvery green foliage and white flowers.  Hopefully the cuttings will take.

*  Made a spray bottle of surface spray with cooled boiled water and kitchen detergent.

*  Sold our excess cat food and accessories on Marketplace.

*  Made a bread pudding in the slow cooker using bread crusts ( saved ends of loaves of bread ),  eggs from our chickens and my jam ( as well as other ingredients ).

*  Used the thermos each day to store excess boiling water.

*  Picked the last of the mandarins from our tree.

*  Bought a tray of strawberries ( 18 punnets x 250 g ) for $10.  So far I've made 11 1/2 jars of strawberry and apple jam.  The rest of the strawberries have been cut up and frozen for future jam making or for desserts.

*  One of my Mum's local fruit and veg shop had trays of 20 avocados for $10.  Darren wouldn't be able to eat that many in a week so another customer said she'd go halves with me.  So I go 10 avocados for $5.  I gave a few to my Mum to enjoy.

*  Collected 4 eggs from our laying chicken.  The other chicken is a freeloader.


Strawberry And Apple Jam     

Chicken Flan

Cranberry Hootycreek Biscuits

Wholemeal Bread With Extra Goodness

My strawberry haul

Cooking strawberries and apples to make jam

Flowers from Luka and Bryson

Cranberry Hootycreek biscuits

How have you saved money this week ?

Wednesday 7 September 2022

Can You Spare 1 Minute To Save Money ?

When I talk to people about saving money and being thrifty,  the most common reply I get is "  I don't have time to do that ".  Guess what ?  We all have the same 24 hours in a day.  What we choose to do with those 24 hours heavily impacts our lives.

I've chosen to stay off my phone ( it isn't a smart phone ).  I've chosen not to sign up to Instagram and  Twitter.  I've chosen not to check Facebook every five minutes.  Instead I've chosen a purposeful life that allows time for me to do so many money saving tricks every day.  These choices mean I don't have to work full time.  While none of the 20 frugal tips below singlehandedly paid off our mortgage 12 years ago,  they did help stretch our low income and freed up extra money to make extra payments.

Can you spare 1 minute to -

*   stick a sliver of soap to the next bar of soap.

*   turn a near empty bottle of sauce,  shampoo,  shower gel etc etc upside down to get every last drop out.

*   pour leftover water from a drink bottle into a bucket.

*   put a lid on a saucepan when cooking.

*   double wrap meat and meals for freezing to prevent freezer burn   

*   fill a thermos with the remaining boiling water from the kettle.

*   use a bread bag as a bin liner.

*   cut a flower or small green branch from the garden instead of buying flowers.

*   turn off a standby light on an electronic item.

*   buy 2 half price grocery items instead of 1.

*   grab a blanket for your chair or bed instead of turning the heater on or turning it up.

*   turn a light off in a room not being used.

*   save a gift bag and reuse it again.

*  ring family / friends to invite them over for a cuppa instead of going out.

*  pour a glass of water from the tap instead of drinking soft drink,  juice or alcohol.

*  buy a generic grocery item instead of the dearer branded item.

*  pop your leftovers in the freezer instead of letting it be pushed to the back of the fridge and spoiling.

*  choosing to be happy with what you have and not buying the latest ' trend '.

*  weigh / measure out your pasta and rice for each meal instead of always cooking too much.

*  use a squirt of dishwashing liquid in your mop bucket instead of using floor cleaner.     

Blankets for warmth

Freezing leftovers

Buying generic branded food.

Using bread bags as bin liners

What little jobs take you 1 minute and helps save you money ?   

Saturday 3 September 2022

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 3rd September 2022

 Due to Darren and I being out all day yesterday ( Friday ) with our cleaning work and trip to the city,  my list is a  little shorter this week.  I typed up my frugal tasks Thursday night making my week a little shorter.  Still,  we did manage to make the most of what we have here at the Gower Abundant Cottage.

*  Cut up 3 old socks that had holes in the heel.  These will be used as garden ties.

*  Gratefully received some chicken and roast potatoes leftover from a lunch meeting.

*  Gratefully received some card making supplies,  a couple of pillowcases and steel wool pads from a swap table at my card making group.  The pillow case material will be used in a few crafts ( maybe apron pockets ) and the steel wool will be used to clean my oven racks.

*  Cleaned the kettle with citric acid.

*  Cut more broccoli from our garden.  I've blanched and flash frozen it for future meals.

*  Fed broccoli plants, a lettuce plant,  bread crusts and weeds to the chickens.

*  Made up a bottle of Miracle Spray to sell to a friend.

*  Used a Gold Class movie gift card ( given as a present in 2019 ) to watch a movie in the city for our wedding anniversary on Friday. 

*  Mended my reusable shopping bags.  I bought them about 10 years ago and they are made from a nylon type of material ( like rain parkas ).  They are lightweight and I keep them in my handbag for department store type purchases.  Occasionally the seams start to split so I run the sewing machine over them before the hole gets too big.

*  Oiled our wooden chopping boards with olive oil and a paper towel.  They've come up looking like new.

Darren's flower display on the deck

Plum tree in full bloom

An oiled chicken chopping board.

How did you save money this week ?

Do you have fruit trees in blossom or bearing fruit ?