Wednesday 7 December 2022

A Luxurious Christmas For Less

 Have you ever looked at tv shows,  magazines and YouTube videos where people put on high end luxurious Christmas celebrations ?  They look so pretty and glamourous don't they ?    Bet they spent a fortune too.

If you are after a similar look but don't have the extra dollars to splash around,  here are a few ideas for you to try.  I've personally used most of these tricks in our home to make it look extra special.

*  Is your tree a little on the small side ?  Make a timber riser to stand your tree on.  Use a stack of books as a platform to lift the tree up.  This is a great way to add more room under the tree for presents as well as giving extra height.

*  If you have old tinsel that looks thin,  wrap two strands together for a fuller look.

*  A magazine worthy table decoration doesn't need to cost any money.  Place odd,  tired looking baubles into a clear glass bowl for a high end look.  Add a candle each side to complete the look.

*  Not enough decorations for the tree ?  Don't decorate the back of the tree if you can't see it.

*  Frame a Christmas card for your mantle,  buffet or lamp table.

*  Cut greenery from your garden to fill a vase.  Tie a Christmas ribbon around the vase to finish it off.

*  White bedsheets make great table cloths.  Add a Christmas tea towel to the centre if you don't have a table runner.

*  Op shops can be a great place to buy new or near new kitchenware,  books,  toys and homeware.  Sometimes the item just needs a quick wipe over.    A wonderful place to stretch your dollars for presents or to update your tableware.

*  Get more bang for your buck by cooking and baking your Christmas meal from scratch.  For example,  sticky date puddings are expensive to buy.  Make them from scratch in muffin size and you'll get a whole lot more for less.

*  Candles can be expensive to buy.  Pop a tealight candle into a small glass.

*  Fairy lights add glamour and sparkle to a home.  The cheapest battery operated ones cost $6 in Kmart or you can wait until Boxing Day to buy them half price.  These lights can be added to a glass vase,  bowl,  table,  mantle,  bookcase or greenery for a simple luxurious look.

*  Christmas cushion covers are super easy and cheap to make.  If you can't sew,  use a Christmas pillowcase and fold the extra material over the back.

*  Choose a Christmas dinner / lunch to suit your budget and plan how you'll serve it for the ' WOW ' factor    Serve it on your special platters and  crockery.  If you don't have any special occasion tableware,  they can be picked up quite cheap at op shops.  Classic white platters never date and can be used for years.

*  Pick a color theme and repeat it throughout your home.  For example - if you pick red,  add red bows to your tree,  red serviettes to your table and red wrapping paper on the presents.

Here are some of the color themes from years gone by -


Wrapping everything in the same paper

A simple yet festive table

Christmas lunch on a budget

The tree riser box underneath

Table decoration

Handmade bows to decorate a garland

Fairy lights in a Kmart garland

More table decorations

Our tree colors this year.

Keep in mind,  it's not the money you spend that counts.  It's what you do with what you have.

Do you have a Christmas tip to share that looks fabulous ?

Sunday 4 December 2022

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 3rd December 2022

 My frugal list is quite small this week.  Still,  a saving is a saving and it's far better than wasting money.  Here's how I saved money -

*  Picked the last of the lemons off our tree for the year.  I'll be juicing most of them and slicing the rest to use for baked fish and lemon chicken.

*  Picked lettuce,  radishes and rosemary from our garden.  The rosemary will be put into paper bags and hung up to dry.

*  Dried the washing on the line and clothes horses.  This might not be a big deal to most but with the wet weather we've had since may,  it's been a real challenge to dry clothes outside.  I'm very cautious about wet washing hanging around in the house for too long.  Firstly,  it starts to smell and secondly,  I don't want to promote any mould in our home.

*  Darren gave the chickens grass clippings to munch on after mowing our lawns.

*  Darren used an app to get a better price on petrol for our cars.

*  Used the thermos to store the remaining boiling water from the kettle each morning.  The water is used for morning and afternoon tea cuppas.

*  Last week I mentioned we had been gifted a bolar blade roast.  I cooked it up this week in the slow cooker and we had a roast dinner that night.  I cooked extra roast veggies in the air fryer and froze another 2 single serve roast dinners.  The remaining meat was turned into a Massaman beef.  From that we got 7 serves.  So a total of 11 serves of meat from a 1.1 kilo roast.

*  Cut up an old sock and used it as garden ties.

*  Darren started picking cherries from our tree.  He's hoping to get enough to make his favourite jam.


From our garden

Massaman beef in the slow cooker

The first harvest of cherries for the season.

How did you save money this year ?  

Are you picking anything from your garden ?