Saturday 25 November 2023

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 25th November 2023

This week at the Gower Abundant Cottage has been a little slower.  Darren came down with a cold just over a week ago.  Then on Monday I could feel a sore throat coming on which became a cold.  I had to cancel my cleaning jobs on Tuesday and Wednesday.  By Thursday I was starting to feel a bit better but had Darren help me with the cleaning job that day.

The rest of my week was spent resting as much as possible.  I know it's just a cold,  but I tend to get chest infections as I get older so I try to take it easy when I can.

Here's how the rest of my week looked.  Unfortunately I didn't take too many photo.

*  We fed lots of silverbeet,  weeds,  grass clipping and a few crusts to our chickens.

*  I baked a double batch of Easy Coconut Slice for a few occasions over the weekend and leading up to Christmas.  Some of the slice was stored fresh in the pantry and the rest went into the freezer.

*  Made a big pot of chunky chicken and veg soup from a chicken carcass and leftover meat.  This big pot of soup gave us  13 serves.  Most of this went straight into the freezer.  I could almost live off this soup all year round ( except in a heatwave ).

*  Dried most of the washing outside on clothes horses or the line.

*  Picked the last of the mini cauliflowers growing in our veg garden.  We enjoyed it steamed with other veggies for a couple of dinners.

*  Saved leftover drink bottle water into a bucket in the kitchen.  The water was then poured onto plants outside.

*  I baked 3 loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Bought TVP through a wholesaler and got 10%  off the whole order on their Black Friday sale.

*  Sold more hand knitted dish cloths to a friend.   

*  Sold an unwanted item on Marketplace.

*  Made a quadruple batch of shortbread biscuit dough.  I baked about 15 biscuits for Darren and I to eat for morning teas.  The rest of the dough was cut into different shapes and frozen it without baking.  As the occasion arises,  I can get as many biscuits as I need from the freezer and bake so that they are fresh.  My plan is to be as organised as I can ahead of the Christmas season so I can relax and enjoy the festivities.

*  Sold lots of raspberry plants from our garden to friends and family.  Growing raspberries has saved us so much money over the years.  We no longer buy raspberries.  I make jam for us and some to sell,  I sell some of my baking with the raspberries in it and I have given raspberry plants as presents.  This is the second year I've sold plants.

*  Took advantage of the Black Friday sales and purchased some items from The Body Shop at 50% off.  These toiletries will be for Christmas presents this year and birthday presents next year. 

*  I planted more beans where I could find space in the veg garden.  I've noticed that frozen beans have been hard to get at the supermarket over the last few months.  Growing our own and freezing excess produce will help keep our stocks up.


Getting ready to bake

Selling raspberry plants.  I still have a few left

Hanging towels for sale $8 each

Have you purchased anything at the Black Friday sales ?

How did you save money this week ?

Saturday 18 November 2023

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 18th November 2023

 This week we've spent lots of time in the garden tidying up,  planting,  mulching and harvesting.  With all the work we've been putting in,  we hope to rest more during the warmer months and keep on top of the weeds and watering.

I've just about finished the Christmas present shopping with only stocking stuffers ( food ) left to buy.  I'm waiting until our favourite chocolates and biscuits come on sale.

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

*  Picked lots of fresh Spring rosemary tips from our bush in the garden.  I've filled another 2 paper bags with the tips and it's now hanging up to dry.

*  Darren and I planted our Summer veggie garden last Sunday.  We've planted Luffa,  lettuce,  tomatoes,  beans,  snow peas,  carrots,  more potatoes and zucchini.  In a few weeks time we'll plant lots of corn.

*  Knitted another dish cloth for my kitchen.  I find it relaxing to knit while I'm watching tv and resting.

*  Collected a few eggs from our chicken.

*  Picked more lemons and mandarins from our trees.

*  Recycled old Christmas cards by cutting them down to size,  matting them and gluing to new blank cards.  I then add a little bling to make them pop.  I now have enough cards for the next 2 or 3 years.

*  Took a few cuttings from a plant growing in our garden that we love.  We've successfully grown a few from cuttings previously and planted out in our garden.  Maybe if these cuttings take,  we can give a couple away as presents.

*  I found a few freebie / volunteer plants in our garden.  I dug them up and rehomed them to fill in gaps.

*  I dug up and potted 5 or 6 raspberry plants growing in odd places in our garden.  If the plants survive,  I'll sell them on Marketplace.

*  I made a bulk amount of chicken pasta bake using leftover meat from a roast chicken.  I added  potatoes and silverbeet from our garden to bulk it out.  We ate some for dinner that night and the rest was portioned into casserole dishes and frozen ( without baking in the oven ).  

*  I sold quite a few double sided kitchen cloths,  hanging towels,  knitted face washers,  jam and knitted dish cloths to a cleaning client and a couple of FB friends.  If you are interested in buying any of my crafts,  please visit my FB pages Wendy Gower or My Abundant Life to see what's available.

*  I visited a local op shop called Basic Treasures where everything in the store is $1.  I picked up lots of toiletries,,  kids baking equipment,  cleaning supplies and a sleepsuit for our grandbaby.  All were brand new.  Many of these goodies will be put in family Christmas hampers over the next couple of years.

*  Made up a bottle of foaming handwash using the last of Darren's shower gel.  Darren had already added water to use it up but the pump wasn't picking up the last little bit.  I added extra water and poured it into our foaming hand wash bottle.  The soap color even matches the label. 

                                                            In the garden

From the garden

$1 each op shop bargains

Op shop haul.  Everything in the photo was $1 each

Double sided kitchen cloth in use

One side microfibre,  one side cotton.

Shower gel foaming hand wash.

How are you going with your Christmas shopping ?

How have you saved money this week ?

Saturday 11 November 2023

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 11th November 2023

 This week's frugal list is a list of ways we've saved money over the last few months when I was absent from blog writing.  I feel like I've kicked major goals lately so that when Summer comes,  I'll be able to relax more.

Here's the latest list -

*  Baked pumpkin scones with frozen pumpkin puree from earlier this year when pumpkin was cheap.  The scones were enjoyed for morning teas and extras were frozen for future eating.

*  Darren made pork sausage rolls.  He added potato and silverbeet from our garden to bulk them out.

*  Picked lemons from our tree and froze the juice.

*  Gratefully received extra groceries from Megan when the supermarket accidently delivered the same order twice.

*  I made dish drainer cloths from microfibre cloths and cotton material.  These are used to drain delicate items that need handwashing.  This prevents accidental chipping.

*  I picked up a couple of items of clothing from Savers when they had a 50% off sale on a couple of months ago.

*  I made a big batch of raspberry and strawberry jam.  The raspberries were homegrown and the strawberries were a bargain price bought last Summer and frozen.

*  Baked and sold some muffins to a cleaning client.

*  Charged the vacuum cleaner and Darren's shaver on sunny days.

*  Gratefully received lots of plastic and paper shopping bags from a friend.  It's been well over 25 years since I've bought bin liners.

*  Darren and I used a gift card to go to the movies.

*  I stocked up on butter using the Woolworths 10% off offer and a $10 in rewards money.  Most of the butter was put in the freezer.

*  I made 2 + years worth of laundry liquid for $8.50.  I now add a good squirt of Dynamo laundry liquid to the big bucket of homemade liquid.  This seems to help stabilise the liquid so that it doesn't clump as much.  I also dilute the liquid down even further than the original recipe.  Each 2 litre bottle has 500mls of liquid and 1.5 litres of water.  I do this because I now have a front loading washing machine and any laundry liquid used must be fairly runny.   

*  I picked lots of rosemary from our bush.  It's currently hanging up in paper bags to dry.  I'll then blitz  it into a powder so that it sticks better to roast potatoes.

*  Gratefully received enough mulch for FREE from a ' buy nothing new ' FB page.  Not knowing how big this mulch pile was or how many people would be grabbing it,  I couldn't wait until Darren was home to go and lad up the car.  So I grabbed 3 x large Ikea bags and 2 x 60 litre buckets and raced over to the location.  I made 2 trips there that day ( only 7 minutes away ) and was able to get enough to mulch all our flower beds with some left over.  This was a saving of maybe $200 or more.  

*  I resprayed some outdoor side tables that were looking a bit rough.  I used Rustoleum spray paint with is also a primer.

*  I made a big bowl of egg custard with milk we couldn't use up quick enough.


Pumpkin scones

Chocolate choc chip muffins

Laundry liquid

Egg Custard

I just uploaded photos of handmade items I'm selling on both my Facebook pages.  Please go over and have a look.  You might find something to buy for Christmas

Rosemary from our garden

The leftover free mulch

Homemade laundry liquid

Egg custard

Revamped side tables

                                                            In the garden

Do you make your own laundry powder or liquid ?

How have you saved money this week ?

Saturday 4 November 2023

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 4th November 2023

 Thankyou to everyone for your kind words regarding last week's post.  All is good in our world right now and we've had calmness and normality for over 2 weeks - YAY  !!!

Although we are a little late,  we've started preparing our vegetable garden beds for Spring planting.  We still have silverbeet growing in abundance and we pick it regularly for our own meals as well as giving the chickens a treat. 

Here's a list of what we've been up to over the last few weeks ( or months ).

*  I made a batch of coconut, olive and rice bran oil soap from scratch.  The ' batter ' was divided in half to make natural soap.  The other half became colored / fragranced soap.  I've already sold 4 soaps to a friend and many will be given as presents at Christmas. 

*  Dug up well over 5 kilos of ' free ' potatoes from our garden.  The starter potatoes were sprouting supermarket potatoes we planted wrist deep in a raised bed.  Others just popped up unannounced.

*  Picked silverbeet,  sugar snap peas and cauliflower from our garden to provide veggies for our meals.

*  Made enough air freshener / room fragrance to last the next 12 - 18 months.

*  Baked wholemeal bread rolls for Darren's work lunches.

*  Dug up 6 small raspberry plants that I will be selling in a couple of weeks.  

*  Sold a couple of unwanted items on Marketplace.

*  I've knitted quite a few cotton dishcloths over the last few months as a way of relaxing.  Most will be for use in my kitchen and some will be given as presents.

*  Picked flowers from our garden on numerous occasions.  The colors we have growing are just gorgeous and really do brighten my day.

*  Found quite a few gifts and craft items at Savers ' op shop '..  I always use a 20% discount coupon when buying to help lower the cost even further.  Op shop prices have more than doubled over the last couple of years so it really pays to donate and receive a discount coupon.

*  Made a big bottle of vanilla extract.  It's now in the pantry ' brewing ' and will be ready to use in a couple of months.

*  Made brown sugar from scratch.

*  Gratefully received lots of gift bags and some glass jars ( for jam making ) from a few people.

*  Baked wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

Homemade air freshener

Handmade soap

Natural handmade soap

From our garden

The latest potato haul

Huge potatoes

Getting ready for Spring planting

Picked sugar snap peas

Knitted dish cloths

Luka still loves the free entertainment


How have you saved money this week ?

Are you Spring planting or getting ready for Winter ?