Saturday 22 July 2023

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 22nd July 2023

 We've had a busy week of work,  helping my Mum with her garden,  rearranging the laundry for a couple of new purchases ( photos below ),  a trip to the football,  food shopping,  church,  hosting an afternoon tea,  general housework  a sleepover for the grandsons and running errands.

Here's how we managed to save money even when we had a crazy busy week - 

*  Dried most of the washing over the ducted heating vents.

*  I 'needed' to get another Lego mat for our grandsons to play with.  Sharing one just wasn't working.  After doing some online research,  Kmart seemed to have the cheapest price.  So I went to my local store but found they were completely out of stock.  As I was looking through the toy section,  I came across Kmart's brand of mats.  They were much cheaper at $13 for a pack of  5 compared to the Lego brand at $10 each.  The boys loved the different colors and they are compatible with the Lego bricks.

*  Darren and I went to the football last Saturday with Luka and his Dad Kurt.  We took all our snacks and water bottles and only bought lunch.  If the weather had been a bit warmer than the 12 degrees Celsius  that day,  we would have packed salad rolls for lunch.

*  I baked ANZAC biscuits and choc chip biscuits using homemade dough from the freezer.  We took some to the football,  some were for a family afternoon tea the next day and the rest were for our lunch boxes during the week.

*  I saved the shower warm up water and drink bottle water and Darren used it for the pot plants outside. 

*  I did my monthly grocery shop on Monday and used the 10% off Everyday Rewards offer to save extra money.

*  Our laying chicken got a bit excited about the sun and slightly warmer weather we've had lately.  Over the last week and a bit she's decided to lay again and we've collected 6 eggs.

*  I turned the heater down to 19 degrees Celsius most days and when the sun was shining through the windows I turned it off completely.

*  We had family over for dinner on Sunday and I cooked a 1/2 leg of lamb.  The next day I made a big pot of veggie soup and used the last of the lamb meat.  This soup gave us 14 serves and the dinner gave us 4 serves.  In total we got 18 serves / meals with the meat costing just over $12.  That's 66 cents for each meal that included meat.

*  Darren fed the compost bin every couple of days with kitchen scraps.

*  I fed bread crusts,  weeds,  leftover watermelon and veggies to the chickens.  No food is wasted in our home.  It all has a purpose.

*  Portioned out and froze any leftover gravy from the roast lamb dinner.

*  Recently we bought a new washer and dryer which we stacked on top of each other.  This means I no longer have the same spot to put the ironing.  I needed a basket to place it in,  then stack it at the very top of the dryer.  I was about to go out and buy a new one,  but remembered I had a wicker basket in my shed that I was trying to sell on Marketplace.  It was our cat's first bed when she came to us as a kitten.  Now it's been repurposed in the laundry.

*  I used a $20 Concierge Rewards voucher from The Good Guys store to get a 4.2 litre of Omo laundry detergent for $17 ( full price is $37 ).  This works out cheaper than any branded laundry liquid even on sale in the supermarkets. 

*  I dug up a few potatoes and the last carrot from our garden.

Our potato patch.

In the garden
In the garden.

Luka and Bryson watching the new washing machine


Bryson is thrilled to 'help' Nanny.

Homemade biscuits.

Luka playing with the new mats

Compatible with Lego

The colors included.

I dug up our last carrot.

Are you on the look out for any great deals / discounts ?

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

Saturday 15 July 2023

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 15th July 2023

 We've had some lovely mild, sunny days in Melbourne this week.  It was so mild that it felt like Autumn instead of the depths of Winter.  The curtains were flung open and the heater turned off to enjoy the free warmth.

Here's how we saved money this week -

*  I made a big batch of pita chips.

*  Dried almost all our washing on clothes horses over the ducted heating vents.  I did dry one load in the dryer after having a very tiring day at work.  I'd scrubbed and cleaned a home for almost 7 hours and by the time I came home I could barely move my hands.  Throwing the washing in the dryer was easier than pegging it on a clothes horse.

*  Limited our heater usage on the sunny days and turned the thermostat down to 19 degrees Celsius.

*  Made a large amount of chop suey and added TVP to stretch the 250g of beef mince further.  I added in a large carrot,  capsicum and wom bok from our garden ( as well as other veggies ). I carefully portioned it out and got 10 serves.

*  Saved the washing machine rinse water and shower warm up water to pour back into the washing machine.

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

*  Darren baked 10 wholemeal bread rolls for his work lunches.

*  Gratefully received a large whole watermelon and some croissants.  

*  Used the solar lanterns every night after dinner.


Chop Suey - Aussie Style

Wholemeal Bread With Extra Goodness

Pita Chips

Home baked bread

Sewing I did for a baby shower

Bath towel,  hand towel and face washer set

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

Wednesday 12 July 2023

10 Ways To Turn Power Off In Your Home - Part 2

Darren and I just received our latest electricity bill the other day.  Thankfully we didn't experience bill shock and our provider said we are using 6% less than the same time last year.  Compared to other similar household in our area,  we are using far less than a household of one person.  That's pretty good considering we have 2 people living here and family that visits a couple of times a week.

Following on from last week,  here are another 10 items you can turn off at the power point -

1.  Turn off your electric doorbell.  How likely are you to have someone knocking at your door ?  It's even better if you don't know there's a pesky salesperson is at your door.  I only turn our doorbell on when I'm expecting visitors.

2.  Turn your electric toothbrushes off when not charging.  From memory they only need an hour to  recharge.

3.  Turn off your electric reclining chairs.  That function doesn't need to be available 24 / 7 unless you are sitting in the chair.

4.  Turn off your floor lamps,  table lamps and bedside lamps when not in use.  While they might not have a standby light,  it's just good practice to turn things off at the wall when you don't need them.

5.  Turn off your toaster oven at the wall to eliminate any standby lights.  The reality is,  you'll only use it at meal times.

6.  Turn off your heated towel rail.  Usually towels dry naturally in between uses.  If you have a ducted heating vent in your bathroom,  just close the door and let the vent do all the work.

7.  Turn off your outdoor porch lights / security lights.  They are great for night time use if you really need them especially when navigating steps and locks on the doors.  We have many neighbours who have their outdoor lights turned on during the day for no reason.  It's such a waste of electricity and I'm sure they have no idea they are on.

8.  Turn your gaming consoles off at the wall.  Those little standby lights don't need to be on 24 / 7 when the family might only use them for an hour or so.

9.  Turn your bar fridge / drink fridge / garage fridge off at the wall if they are empty.  If you only have a couple of bottles / cans being chilled,  perhaps move them to the main fridge.

10.  Turn off your robot ( automatic ) vacuum at the wall.  You might only use them once or twice a week for an hour yet I've seen many turned on just waiting for someone to need them.

Has this list been a timely reminder for you ?

Have you tried to decrease your electricity usage ?

Saturday 8 July 2023

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 8th July 2023

 Our Make,  Bake,  Sew and Grow life is a little slower during the winter months.  The garden doesn't need too much attention but I do try to pull a few weeds on the milder days.  I've been doing some sewing for a new family member coming soon ( photos in a couple of months ).  We've been eating some of our morning / afternoon snacks like muffins and slices from the freezer to make room for the next baking day. 

Here's how we saved money this week - 

*  Megan gave me a haircut.  It was getting a bit long and the ends were dry.

*  Cleaned the kettle with citric acid.  It never ceases to amaze me how clean it looks after doing this.  It's like a new kettle. 

*  Fed bread crusts,  lettuce plants and grass to the chickens.

*  Made 3 loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Made up 2 bottles of surface spray with cooled,  boiled water and a small dash of kitchen detergent.  One bottle is for the kitchen and the other is kept in the laundry to clean the bathroom sinks and toilets.

*  Filled the thermos with boiling water every morning for our cuppas during the day.

*  Took my lunch and snacks with me when out and about doing my cleaning work.

*  Made sausage rolls and a chocolate brownies for a family gathering.  I made a double batch of the brownie so I could put some in the freezer for us to eat later.

*  I made a bread pudding in the slow cooker using bread crusts ( heels ) I'd been saving and frozen.  It's not very often I make dessert so it was thoroughly enjoyed and warmed us up on a cold night.

*  I cooked a 1/2 leg of lamb in the slow cooker.  Jessica came over for dinner that night.  After slicing it up there was enough for the 3 of us,  another 2 serves put in the freezer and I made a big pot of soup with the leftovers.  The soup gave us 10 serves.  So that was a total of 15 serves from a 1/2 leg that cost about $12 ( bought on sale for $10kg late last year ).

*  I picked up some household bargains in Coles.  They were clearing out nail brushes,  bath sponges,  small buckets  dusters and cleaning equipment as well as other bits and pieces.  Some of the items I'm using straight away and the rest went into the gift cupboard.

*  I dug up a few potatoes and carrots,  picked a capsicum and Wombok from our garden.  The weather has been quite cold so I hadn't been in the garden for a while and the produce was a lovely surprise. 


Bread Pudding In The Slow Cooker

Cleaning Your Kettle

From our garden

Bargains from Coles

Bread pudding in the slow cooker.

Are you picking any produce from your garden ?

How did you save money this week ?

Wednesday 5 July 2023

10 Ways To Turn Power Off In Your Home.

If you are living in Australia,  your electricity and gas bills are about to go up ( again ).  If you live elsewhere in the world then you've most likely already faced rising power bills.

No one wants to sit in the dark with no heating on.  It's just not right and it's not good for your health.  There might be a way to you to afford your power bills by turning off appliances you haven't thought of before.

Over the next 4 weeks I'll be sharing over 40 items you can turn off at the wall when not in use.  This will eliminate standby / phantom power which is a complete waste of money.  Some of these items you might not have in your home  but your friends and family might.  This could be a timely reminder for them so I'd encourage you to share these posts with everyone you know.  You could be helping someone who is struggling.

1.  Turn off the air freshener plug ins.  These are the ones you plug in to the power point that have a glass bottle with liquid fragrance that heats up ( refills are available ).  Perhaps turn them on when you have visitors coming.

2. Turn off the coffee machine and coffee grinder.  You only use it a couple of times a day for a minute or two.  No need to have it on all day.

3. Turn off the phone charging station.  If there are no phones charging,  don't keep the standby light on.

4.  Turn off your computer / laptop when not in use.  Gone are the days when you need to keep them on for the health of the device.

5.  Turn off the wine cooler fridge.  How often are you really needing the fridge ?  Remember,  there was a time when people stored wine without these appliances.

6.  Turn off your printer.  How many times have you printed a page then walked away without turning it off /  It happens in our home from time to time.

7.  Turn off the dishwasher as soon as the cycle finishes.  Perhaps it needs to be used when you are going to be home for the duration of the cycle.  As a cleaner I've seen many,  many dishwashers left on even though the cycle finished hours ago.

8.  Turn off your sewing machine.  I always sew with the machine's light on as a way to know if the machine is on or off.

9.  Turn off your exercise equipment ( treadmills etc ).   My guess is they are only used for a short period of time,  if at all.

10.  Turn off portable heaters.  If they are not in use then turn them off at the wall.  This is an extra safety step too. 

Do you have any of these appliances you could turn off ?

Saturday 1 July 2023

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 1st July 2023

 At this time of the year,  it's all about saving gas and electricity.  Power prices will be going up by 25% on average as of today ( 1st July ) and we will be doing our very best to avoid bill shock.

It's been too cold to go outside most days so I've concentrated on decluttering,  tidying and cleaning our home.  I don't need to use any electricity for these tasks,  it keeps me warm and gives me a sense of purpose.  To be honest,  it's too hot in Summer for these jobs.

Here's my frugal list for the week -

*  Emptied the kitchen compost bucket into the outdoor compost bin every couple of days.

*  Turned our heater down to 19 degrees Celsius during the day ( when we ARE home ).  Since we put in the heat / vent deflectors we've noticed the house is much warmer.

*  I've been having trouble finding trackpants in my size at the major department stores.  After searching for weeks I thought I'd look in the girls section instead of the ladies section.  They had more stock there,  it was a little cheaper and I now know I can fit into a girls size 16.

*  Used our thermos every day to store boiling water for our morning tea cuppas.

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

*  Used the dishwasher every second or third day.  When we are eating meals from the freezer,  it doesn't create many dishes and it takes a few days for the dishwasher to get full.  Another bonus of bulk cooking.

*  Used the solar lanterns each night.

*  Made sure everything was turn off at the power point after dinner.  The only exception is our fridge,  freezers and one tv.

*  Used blankets when watching tv at night.  This eliminates the temptation to turn the heater back on after it turns off at 9pm.

*  Darren found petrol for $1.66 and filled up his car.  He then used 2 apps to get another 8 cents a litre off.

*  Darren used various sales offers,  discounts and vouchers to get a  $40 scarf for $4 from Myer.

Charging our solar lanterns

Blankets ready for cold nights.

Do you have a plan to help offset rising power prices ?

How did you save money this week ?