Saturday 29 April 2023

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 29th April 2023

Well,  the week started with me charging out the gate getting heaps of frugal things done.  I was so excited thinking I'd have heaps to share but then my week went pear shape.  We have an extended family member in hospital who is very unwell,  then Bryson our 3 year old grandson was admitted to hospital with an infection.  I spent a couple of hours at the hospital yesterday entertaining Bryson to give Megan a break then picked Luka up from day care  for a sleepover at our place last nigh.  

I also had an extra cleaning job this week as well as trying to keep up with my own housework.

As I'm typing right now,  Luka is sitting on my lap patiently waiting for me to finish so he can make a get well card for his brother.

So,  here are the frugal tasks I completed in my crazy week

*  Poured the last of my shower gel into the foaming hand wash pump and added water.  It's quite luxurious and smells lovely.

*  I made large meals of Massaman beef curry,  chop suey,  honey mustard chicken and tuna pasta bake a few nights running for dinner and froze all the leftovers into 1 and 2 serve portions.  I don't have time to devote a whole day to cooking so just cooking a little extra at dinner time is so much easier.

*  Made stock in the slow cooker with a chicken carcass.  I cooked it for 24 hours then made a big pot of soup in the pressure cooker.  We had it for dinner that night and froze 13 portions.  This soup is super cheap to make and costs about 20 cents per serve.

*  Baked 3 loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.  I used saved bread bags to store the bread in the freezer.

*  I planted broccoli seeds and seedlings,  wombok seedlings ,   cauliflower seedlings and silverbeet seed in our veg garden. I've reused the netting,  tubing and small stakes to cover and protect all the seedlings from cabbage moth.

*  Made and sold another lemon slice for a friend's birthday party.

*  I picked feijoas and lemons from our garden.  Darren picked a handful of blackberries.

*  Baked wholemeal rolls for Darren's work lunches. 

*  Baked ANZAC biscuits for ANZAC day.  I made a double batch of dough and froze the rest for future baking.

*  Baked chocolate choc chip muffins for a church morning tea and a family in need.

*  Picked yellow chrysanthemums from our garden and placed them around our home.  They are like bright sunshine and bring us joy.

Feijoas from our tree

Chrysanthemums from our garden

ANZAC biscuits

Tuna pasta bake for the freezer

Chocolate muffins


Chop Suey

Honey Mustard Chicken

Tuna Pasta Bake

Massaman Beef Curry

Lunchbox Chocolate Choc Chip Muffins

Chunky Chicken And Veg Soup

Lemon Slice 

ANZAC Biscuits

How did you save time,  money and energy this week ?

Have you done any baking lately ?

Wednesday 26 April 2023

New Ways We Are Saving On Power Usage

 Power prices are soaring across the world making it difficult for many people to heat or cool their homes.  Bill shock is now a common thing for many as budgets are being stretched to the limit.

Darren and I have always been fairly wise about our power usage but increased costs have made us find new ways to save on our bills.

Here's what we've been doing lately -

*  Using solar garden lanterns at night when we are watching tv and moving around our home.  Before we had the solar lanterns we turned a lamp on in the lounge room or turned a light on when moving from room to room.

*  I'm using a solar phone charger as a light to move around our home when it's dark.  I bought it from Kmart a year or two ago and just put it aside for when my phone needed recharging.  The light on this charger is quite impressive.

*  I turned our hot water system temperature down.  I did this without telling Darren and he didn't notice a difference in the shower.  I did tell him a few weeks later and he was quite surprised.

*  Recharging phones,  razors,  headphones,  handheld vacuums, stick vacuums and laptops when the sun is shining.  When we  had the solar panels installed in 2014 we were advised to use electrical appliances during the day especially when the sun is shining to make the most of the power being generated.

*  I bought a stick vacuum from Kmart that I use to clean our floors when the sun isn't shining or at night time for quick clean ups.

*  Using the dry mop head to clean our bamboo floors instead of getting the electric vacuum cleaner ( not the stick one ) out.

*  Turning the bathroom exhaust fan off and opening a window after having a shower.  

Our solar lanterns

Solar phone charger with light

2 in 1 stick vacuum.

Have you found new ways to save on power ?

Saturday 22 April 2023

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 22nd April 2023

 This week I've spent time in the garden planting cooler weather crops and pruning bushes before it gets too cold.  I've also been cleaning the windows and installing new sheer curtains.  This is a long overdue task interrupted by lockdowns and lack of stock at Spotlight.  The windows look brighter and fresher with the new sheers.

Here's what else we've been up to -

*  Planted more potatoes,  carrot seeds and silverbeet seeds in our garden.

*  Picked feijoas,  tomatoes,  pears,  lemons and a few raspberries from our garden.

*  Used the solar lanterns every night after dinner.  One night I used them to eat dinner and wash the dishes by hand.

*  Saved the shower warm up water and washing machine rinse water and poured it into the washing machine for the next load.

*  Washed Darren's sneakers in the washing machine and dried them over a ducted heating vent.

*  Gratefully received icecream,  custard tart and passionfruit from a couple of people.

*  Kept the heating off as much as possible by keeping busy when I was home.

*  Fed bread crusts and a few dinner plate scrapings to the chickens.  We haven't had eggs for over a week so now we are rationing the eggs we do have.

*  Sold an item on FB Marketplace.

*  Made and sold 2 lemon slices to a friend for a party they were hosting.

*  Darren was notified that his mobile phone plan is increasing in price by quite a bit.  He's now in the process of switching to Aldi mobile and we are going on the family plan which allows for 2 mobiles and shares the data allowance.

*  Gratefully received a bottle of de-alcoholised wine from a friend in my card making group.  Darren and I don't drink alcohol or buy soft drink of any type so this will be perfect for a special occasion.

*  Made a new budget friendly slice to take to my card making group.  Darren and Megan have also tried it and love it.  I'll be sharing the recipe here in a few week's time.

*  Made up a bottle of surface spray using dishwashing liquid and cooled boiled water.

*  Dried the washing on clothes horses mostly outside when the sun was shining.  

Dahlias my Mum is growing

Chrysanthemums in Mum's garden 

Making lemon slice.

Do you have any flowers growing in your garden at the moment ?

Do you pick them to bring indoors ? 

How have you saved money this week ?

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Stockpiling Is A Way Of Life.

Over the last couple of years there has been a lot of talk on social media about stockpiling.  Just about every frugal / thrifty/ prepper YouTuber has multiple videos out saying " stock these 25 items NOW  !! " Or " Buy this NOW  !! "  If you listen to them all you'd be running to the supermarket to grab just about anything.

My advise is to stockpile slowly ( but not too slowly ),  surely and all year round.  Please don't wait until there is a shortage of something.  Don't wait until you see a news article about weather events or coming shortages.  Don't wait until you are running low on something.  You just never know what's around the corner and you can't predict growing conditions or worldwide sicknesses.

As a stockpiler of over 25 years,  I've been able to ride out the recent shortages with little to no disruptions to my monthly shopping trips.  If something's not on the supermarket shelf for a while,  that's ok.  I have plenty of backups.

Am I rich because I have a stockpile ?  NOPE  !!!  Up until recently our income was what the government considers a VERY low income.  Now we are considered low income. I've just made sure I looked out for the sales,  knew my prices and mostly bought ingredients.

Do we have a big home ?  NOPE  !!!  We live in a 15sq,  3 bedroom home with a carport ( no garage storing facilities ).  Even when our girls were living at home and in 2020 having 6 people and a cat living here,  we still had a very healthy stockpile.

Stockpiling is a way of life that looks after your family.  Nothing is more important.

While I don't post photos of my stockpile now, here are some old photos of items I've stocked up on.

One of my monthly shops from years ago

$1 each on clearance,

1/2 price and I dilute them

1/2 price and I dilute them

Laundry soap to make laundry powder

Knitting cotton 1/2 price to make dish cloths

1/2 price for casseroles only.

1/2 price and an everyday item.

Are you an long time stockpiler or a recent one ?

What's your strategy for keeping your stocks up ?

Links to previous stockpiling articles

Saturday 15 April 2023

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 15th April 2023

 I hope you all enjoyed the Easter break last weekend.  Darren,  Jessica and myself flew over to Tasmania for a 4 day visit.  We visited Darren's Dad and family in Devonport,  did some bargain shopping, as well as lots of eating and talking.  We stayed at a lovely B & B in Latrobe which is about 7 minutes away.  We arrived back home Sunday night,  unpacked then got a good nights sleep.

We celebrated Easter with Megan and the boys on Monday.  Darren made hot cross buns from scratch.  My contribution was to make the crosses on the buns,  bake and glaze them.  We've been enjoying them toasted with lashing of butter.

Here's what else we've been up to -

*  Cleaned the inside of the dishwasher with vinegar and bi carb and ran it on a long hot cycle to clean out the pipes.

*  Made chicken stock from a carcass then make a big pot of chunky chicken and veg soup.  We had the soup for dinner and the other 11 serves went into the freezer.

*  Used the solar lanterns each night after dinner instead of turn lights on.  Out latest electricity bill says we are using 11% less electricity than for the same time last year.

*  Cleaned the inside of our  kettle with citric acid.  It comes up looking like new for just a few cents.

*  Saved the washing machine rinse water and shower warm up water.  It was all poured back into the machine for the next cycle.

*  Darren made a dozen hot cross buns.  One of the dried fruits Darren included was pears from our tree that I dehydrated last year. We've been enjoying the hot cross buns for morning teas.

*  Baked three loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.  I reuse the same bread bags over and over again to store the bread in the freezer.

*  Made Massaman beef curry using beef stir fry meat Darren picked up on clearance a few months ago for $2.80 down from $14.  I used beans and potatoes from our garden to keep costs down.  For a total of $5.85 I got 9 serves from that meal.  We had Megan over for dinner that night so the remaining 6 serves went into the freezer.

*  Made up 2 bottles of diluted Dynamo laundry liquid to use for the washing.  I find it works perfectly well diluted and saves a lot of money.  I only use it for smelly washing.

*  Picked raspberries,  tomatoes,  blackberries, pears,  beans,  lettuce and 1 small feijoa from our garden.

*  Bought 6 pairs of socks when in Tasmania for a total of $2.50 ( on clearance ).  I needed some new ones too.

*  Mended Bryson's bunny soft toy and gave him a washing in the washing machine.  He how almost looks new.  

*  Made chop suey using 250g of beef mince and 2/3 cup of TVP to stretch the meat.  It still seemed quite meaty ( Darren didn't notice a difference ) and I got 11 single serves from the meal.  We ate it for dinner that night and 9 serves went into the freezer.  Who needs a day of batch cooking when leftovers are frozen after each big meal ????   

Dahlia's my Mum is growing

Easter cupcakes from the men in our family.

Luka and Bryson decorating the cupcakes

                               Roses my father in law is growing in his garden in Devonport

Bryson's bunny gets mended

Massaman beef meals for the freezer

Homemade hot cross buns

My bargain socks


Cleaning Your Kettle

Wholemeal Bread With Extra Goodness

Massaman Beef Curry

Chop Suey

How have you saved time,  money or energy this week ?

Wednesday 12 April 2023

White Chocolate, Apple And Custard Muffins

This muffin recipe is a great one if you have some apples that need using up.

2 cups of Self Raising flour
1 cup of plain flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of custard powder
100g melted butter
1 cup of milk

¼ cup of canola oil
1 egg beaten
2 large apples - grated or finely diced
white choc bits - as many as you want

Mix all dry ingredients together
mix all wet ingredients into dry .
Add white choc bits and apple.
Stir until just combined

Bake at 180c for approx 20 mins
Muffins freeze well.

I'm sorry but I don't have a photo of the muffins once baked.  It's been a few years since I've made them and at the time didn't think to take a photo.  Still,  they were enjoyed by my family.

Saturday 8 April 2023


Hi everyone.  I'm taking a few days off and spending some quality time with family. 

I hope you all enjoy the Easter break and take some time to remember why we celebrate.  Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again so that those who believe in him will have eternal life.  For that I will always be grateful.

Wednesday 5 April 2023

10 Ways To Recycle / Reuse Flat Sheets

 Over the last decade ( or there abouts ) it has become the trend to ditch flat sheets on beds.  Maybe for some of you,  you've never used them.  For others,  the fitted sheet has worn out before the flat one and you've been left with a small pile of flat sheets.

Please don't throw those flat sheets out.  They are great source of material that can be made into a variety of crafts or even repurposed around your home.

Here are 10 ideas to help you use up those sheets and save money along the way

*  If they are 100 % cotton bed sheets and in excellent condition,  cut them up,  hem and use as tea towels.

*  Flannelette sheets are great for wrapping around a clothes horse full of wet washing.  Use clothes pegs to fasten all the openings closed then place over a floor ducted heating vent.  The clothes will dry quicker.

*  Cut the sheets up to make kids dress up costumes.  I made princess skirts and wedding veils for my girls when they were little.

*  Repurpose the sheets into table cloths.  I have an old bed skirt that is the perfect size for our folding trestle table.  

*  Let your kids make a cubbyhouse with a flat sheet and your dining table.  Give them a couple of torches and let them play camping.

*  Make curtains from flat sheets and line with block out material.  If you don't have the width,  make them into side curtains ( for decoration ).

*  Make pillowcases.  This is a very simple sewing project.  Personalise the pillowcases and give them as presents.

*  Flat sheets can be made into super cheap cushion covers.  The envelope style cushion cover is super simple to make.  Have you seen the prices of cushion covers in the shops ?  You'd be likely to pay $20 or more.

*  For the environmentally conscious  person,  make them a set of hankies.

*  Make a library bag for your children to use at school.  You could personalise it with a colorful pocket on the front made from a scrap bit of material.

Have you found ways to reuse your flat sheets ?

Saturday 1 April 2023

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 1st April 2023

Not a thrilling long list of frugal tasks to share with you this week.  I had a few days when I didn't feel well so I took it easy and watched a few movies during the day ( oh such luxury for me ).  We cooked all meals at home ( except 1 lunch ) and used freezer meals on the days when I couldn't cook.

Here's what else we did to save money -

*  Picked raspberries,  pears,  beans and blackberries from our garden.  I also dug up a few potatoes.

*  Darren picked a bunch of hot pink roses from our garden for my bedside table.

*  Used the solar lanterns at night.

*  Saved the washing machine rinse water and shower warm up water.

*  Put all scrap paper and toilet rolls into the kitchen compost bucket.  This is emptied very second day into the big compost bin outside.

*  Fed bread crusts and leftovers to the chickens.

*  Donated a bag of unwanted items to Savers and received another 20% off discount voucher.  I have a few of these vouchers and their expiry is the end of April.  I'll be holding off on donating until May for when the new vouchers come out.

*  Baked 3 loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Bought sheer curtains on sale at Spotlight.  They had 40% off this week ( sale still going ) and I so desperately needed them for 4 of our windows.  The old curtains were disintegrating and looking dirty..

*  Collected a few eggs from our chicken.

*  We filled up the thermos with boiling water each day and used it to make our cuppas.

*  I found 2 boxes of pulse plus mix in Coles for 50 cents each.  I'll be using them in soups over Winter


Roses Darren picked from the garden

Our thermos in use

My 50 cent a box bargain.

How did you save time,  money or energy this week ?