Saturday 4 February 2023

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 4th February 2023

It's been a couple of months since I last blogged.  I've had a wonderful time of rest and relaxation around our home.  I had 3 weeks off from cleaning over Christmas and into 2023 and it was bliss.  Usually we go away during this time to visit family in Tasmania but decided we needed a rest.

Our Christmas Day was a day of presents for Luka and Bryson at 4 different locations.  Jessica and Megan came over for a traditional Christmas lunch.  Luka,  Bryson and Kurt joined us in the afternoon for present opening,  then the boys had a splash around in their little pool.

I was up at the shops early on Boxing Day ( as I have done so for 27 years ) to grab a few bargains.  I made it to Spotlight in time to grab some Christmas tableware at 75% off.

Our veggie garden has struggled due to our mild weather.  The plants have only started to take off in the last few weeks and many seeds did not germinate due to lack of warmth and sunshine.  I've been planting more seeds in the gaps where others didn't pop up.  Our apricot and plum trees have had an abundance of fruit but it's been a battle with the birds and bats even though we netted the trees.

Darren has started a new job at the hospital.  He is now working in admin and his position is permanent part time 3 days a week.  He continues to work at the church 1 day a week doing pastoral care and also works with me on Tuesdays at a few of my cleaning jobs.

I'm continuing to clean people's homes.  Some of the jobs I had last year are now too big for me to do on my own with Darren working more regular hours.  I've had to let a couple of them go but God provided me with new clients and more manageable jobs.

I've been super busy in the craft room making lots of goodies to sell throughout the year as well as giving as presents.  Shortly I'll be starting to make candles for my own use,  to sell and to give as gifts. I've started planning out my year of crafting goals and look forward to trying new things.

Here are some of the frugal things I've done over the last couple of months -

*  Made lots of apricot jam and plum jam using our fruit.  I gave some at Christmas,  some as thankyou presents and sold a few to a cleaning client.

*  Baked 3 loaves of wholemeal bread every 2 weeks.

*  Sold lots of choc chip chocolate muffins,  knitted dish cloths,  Christmas tags and hanging towels to a couple of cleaning clients.

*  Picked raspberries,  zucchinis,  carrots,  potatoes ( 13.2 kg ),  beans and blackberries from our garden.  Shortly we'll be picking tomatoes and cucumbers.

*  Dehydrated zucchini chips and grated zucchini.  I did try dehydrating apricots and although they seemed to be very dry,  they all went mouldy over the next 2 weeks.  Maybe next year I'll try drying apricot pieces instead

*  Bought new dinner plates and side plates from the op shop.  They look really new and I bought a total of 18 pieces for just over $10 ( using a discount voucher ).

*  Our gas bills will be going up as of this month.  We are trying to lower all our utility usage so the first step was to start using our solar garden lanterns at night time.  We use them to give us a little light when watching tv at night.

*  Made a big pot of veg / chicken soup in the pressure cooker  We had it for dinner that night and the other 11 serves went into the freezer.

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

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

*  Made pumpkin scones using cooked pumpkin from the freezer.

*  Donated bags of unwanted items to Savers on a few occasions and received 20% off vouchers.  I've used a couple of these vouchers to buy sheets and doona covers to make crafts.

*  Recycled lots of Christmas cards and made them into new cards for next Christmas.  I had a few friends save their cards too so I can make more.

*  I found 1 x lamb shank in the freezer and cooked it in the pressure cooker.  I shredded the meat and made a stew that gave us 3 serves.

*  Collected an egg almost every day.  The chickens were fed lettuce plants that had bolted,  bread crusts,  weeds and grass to help supplement their ever increasing feed costs.

*  Sold a few unwanted items on Marketplace.  The funds have been put aside for gift giving in 2025.  The gift money for 2023 and 2024 is already fully funded.  I was able to do this through selling lots of crafts and unwanted items.

Plums from our tree.

Apricots from our tree.

Gift boxes I made for Christmas treats

Gift bags I decorated and tags I made

Our new dinner plates from the op shop

Getting rid of the 27 year old dinner set.

Christmas crafts I've made.


 How have you saved money of the holiday period ?

Are you growing something in your veggie garden ?


  1. Welcome back! So good to hear from you again!

  2. Nice to see you back Wendy!

  3. So lovely to see you back Wendy. Amanda

  4. Love how you turned the one lamb shank into a stew. I always tell my family that the meat is a flavouring not the main component of the stew. One son in law reckons my stew is a lucky dip, lucky if you get a piece of meat😂

  5. I have missed your updates. Very glad you had a rest! Lovely to see your frugal tasks. You are so inspiring!

  6. Welcome back and Happy New Year.

  7. Great to see you back also. Have you been to the St. Helens tip shop on your Tasmanian visits? Apparently, it is the best one in Australia and we have to concur.

    1. I Have only been to St Helens once but didn't know about the tip shop. I'll keep that in mind if I get back there. Thankyou.

  8. Great to see you back!! I really enjoy reading your blog posts🤗

  9. So glad to see your comments and that all is well! Really like your new dishes. When I married my husband 30+ years ago, he already had a set of dishes. We gave them to goodwill a few years ago and I was so excited to get a new set of white dishes, similar to yours. Funny how simple changes are so pleasing. Hilogene in Az

  10. Hello Wendy, so good to have you back. Keep on advising all of your so very useful tips, I am now more frugal than ever and just love your blog, thank you. Jan in Castle Gresley, Derbyshire, UK

    1. Thankyou for your lovely comment Jan. I'd love to hear how you save money especially with your electricity prices skyrocketing.

  11. I highly recommend you get solar panels if you can afford them. Over summer our electricity bills are down to less that $10 a month, we then try to utilise the sun and do washing/dishwasher during the day. The costs are an initial outlay but you get rebates and you can take a 4 year interest free loan for $1400 with the government.

    1. We've had solar panels since 2014. Although they do save us money, we live in Melbourne so they are not as beneficial as someone living in sunny Queensland.

  12. Welcome back Wendy. I have missed you.

    Yesterday I was lucky to find meat at 80% off. I came home and repacked the lot, vacuum sealed it and froze the lot. Will use the older meats first.

    I was very pleased that my efforts to keep power usage under control.We have solar and our last bill was $49 and the air con has been running almost 24 hour a day of late. Most fortnights I have managed to stretch my fuel for the two weeks. Petrol stings these done. I am slowly going through the pantry because it becomes very untidy. Then it is impossible to fine anything. I have given up ingrowing foods.Even my herbs have turned up their toes with the intense humidity we have had this year. instead I keep my eyes pealed for price reductions.

    I didn't manage a no spend month but hope to do much better this month.

  13. Welcome back Wendy! Christmas seems a while ago now. My vege plantings seemed to have gone backwards also .So far two small zucchini and a handful of cherry tomatoes. The power/cost situation is quite scary. I got some 'new' thermal tops from the op shop to help keep warm. When we were married over 40 years ago, heating our small flat was extremely expensive and we remember using blankets and hot water bottles but I feel less tolerant of the cold these days, our heating is barely effective and we will have to use it judiciously as the weather cools. Have a lovely week,glad your work situation has stabilised.

  14. Oops sorry think I forgot to put my name on my comment Regards JennyP

  15. like most of your readers glad you are back enjoy your posts and how you live on very little must feel good for Darren to have a permanent job to help plan for your future as well thanks again Mel

  16. Fully funded gifts for this year and next? Well done!!


This blog is designed to be a source of encouragement and inspiration.

Negative comments will not be published. Comments advertising businesses or goods for sale will not be published.

Please include your first name in your comment so that I can respond to you.

Comments are moderated manually. Please allow a few hours for them to appear.