Saturday 24 February 2024

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 24th February 2024

Thankyou for your patience while I try to get back into regular blogging.  Sometimes life gets in the way and last week it was a massive storm that hit Melbourne quite unexpectedly.  We are fine and our home and garden didn't sustain any damage.  Thankfully we didn't lose power either.  It just flickered off for a second or two.

Unfortunately my Mum's power was out for almost 10 hours on a hot day.  We ended up bringing her back to our place for the night to keep her safe and cool.  We also made quite a few trips back and forth to Mum's place to rescue food,  buy new food and to help pack and unpack   Slowly,  life is getting back to normal.

Here are some of the frugal tasks I completed over the last two weeks -

*  Now that grapes are in season,  reasonably cheap and quite delicious,  I'm freezing them to eat later on in the year.  This is a wonderful tip my Mum shared with me last year.

*  I made apricot jam and raspberry jam using fruits from our garden and lemons from our tree.

*  I continued decluttering and donated to our local Savers.  I received a few 20% off discount coupons and used them to help purchase beautiful Christmas and birthday presents.  It really is amazing what people get rid of.  I've found new cup and saucer sets,  crystal,  reed diffusers,  sewing kits,  coffee mugs and craft items.  Some of our drinking glasses were looking a bit ratty and I was able to pick up new ones even cheaper than Kmart and IKEA.

*  Picked lots of rosemary from our garden and dried it in paper bags to avoid it getting dusty.  I then put it in a coffee grinder to turn it into a powder.  The powder sticks better to meats and vegetables when I roast them.

*  I made a cushion cover for our rocking chair in the loungeroom.

*  I replaced the elastic on two baby sun hats for our granddaughter Naomi.  These are hats our girls wore when they were babies about 24 - 26 years ago.  The hats now look brand new.

*  Picked a handful of raspberries from our garden each day.  I almost have enough in the freezer to make more jam.

*  I picked lemons,  silverbeet,  carrots and  beans from our garden and dug up over 5 kilos of free potatoes.

*  Darren has been picking blackberries from a couple of locations near our home.  He will be making his favourite jam very shortly.

*  Made pita chips from cut up pita bread.

*  I bulk cooked spag bol sauce.  From 750 grams of beef mince,  I made over 20 serves for dinner.  Adding TVP,  grated carrot and shredded silverbeet really helps to stretch the meat out and make it super cheap. 

*  I made cranberry hootycreek biscuits for Darren as part of his Valentines Day present.  I've also made choc chip biscuits using dough I'd frozen earlier.

*  We used our thermos to store boiling water for our morning cups of tea.

*  I altered a couple of dresses for Megan that she purchased from Savers.

*  I was given old Christmas cards from a cleaning client.  I've upcycled them into new cards for next Christmas.

*  We saved water from the kitchen to water our plants outside.


Pita Chips

Choc Chip Bickies ( Cookies )

Upcycled Christmas cards

Luka and Bryson's birthday cards.

Making 2 cards from 1

Summer fun at Nanny and Poppy's

Spag bol in bulk

Freezing grapes

Do you upcycle anything around your home ?

How have you saved money this week ?

P.S -  I've had a few people ask me for the shortbread recipe I use. The recipe is posted in the recipe section under baking.  Rice flour is used because that's the recipe on the rice flour packet of a well known brand.  I'm new to shortbread making so I just followed the recipe.

Saturday 3 February 2024

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 3rd February 2024

 Hello friends.  My blogging break is over and I had lots of time to rest and relax at home over December and January.  I took 3 1/2 weeks off from my cleaning work and it was absolute bliss to just stay home and potter around the garden.

Our December was busy with lots of end of year functions to attend.  Darren was in our church's Christmas Eve play and Kurt was one of the backstage crew.  Darren's brother came down from NSW just before Christmas for a visit and we caught up with him a couple of times.

Our grandchildren received a blow up pool and slide set for Christmas from their great grandparents in Tasmania.  The pool lives in our backyard so the family came over for swims when the weather finally warmed up a little and it stopped raining.  We enjoyed lots of bbqs here and at Megan and Kurt's place.  There were lots of cuddles with our granddaughter Naomi who is now 4 1/2 months old and testing out her vocal chords and trying to roll over.  She's a sweet little girl with a big smile that lights up the room.

Our oldest daughter Jessica came over for a few visits and took every opportunity to hold Naomi and play cars with Luka and Bryson.

My frugal list below is written in order of when I completed each task.  I did get quite a few things done so I'll share my December / January list over this week and next week.

*  I planted heaps of beans,  corn,  zucchini and potatoes in our veggie garden.  

*  I've picked silverbeet to add to a few meals as our green veggie.

*  Over the last 4 months I've been using a small,  lightweight handbag from Kmart.  It's been great  and very comfortable to wear,  but unfortunately the strap came off at one end.  Thankfully the material is soft enough to repair so I was able to stitch it back on and reinforce the other end too.

*  I mended and cleaned 2 pairs of sneakers.  Hopefully I can get another 6 months out of my cleaning sneakers.  The other pair just needed a clean and the laces washed.

*  I upcycled quite a few retail store gift bags so they can be used for birthdays.  It's been years since I bought wrapping paper for birthday presents.

*  I made almost 1 kilo of rice flour for shortbread biscuit making.  I did this by putting uncooked white rice into a coffee grinder and ground it until it was floury with a little bit of texture.

*  I've picked about 5 kilos of beans,  lots of lettuce,  a few tomatoes here and there,  lots of potatoes,  lemons,  strawberries,  zucchinis,  raspberries,  apricots and a few plums ( the wind and birds got the rest ).  Carrots are about the only vegetable I regularly buy at the fruit and veg shop.

*  Recharged the vacuum,  handheld vacuum ( dust buster ),  Darren's shaver and phones when the Sun is shining.

*  I made a big jar of dried seasoned bread crumbs from saved breads crusts I dried in the oven.  I use these for coating chicken drumsticks and salmon patties.   They are also great in rissoles,  hamburger patties and as a topping in potato bakes etc.

*  I made up 2 big batches of brown sugar as needed when I was doing some baking.

*  I made cranberry hootycreek biscuits and choc chip biscuits.  Lots of the biscuit dough was also frozen for future baking.

*  I made up a half batch of yoghurt from scratch.

*  Darren picked blackberries at a couple of locations.  As soon as he has enough berries frozen I'll be making jam for him.

*  I made wholemeal bread with extra goodness to have as toast for our breakfast every morning.  I also make rolls for Darren to use in his lunch for work.

*  I shopped the Boxing Day sales and got some fantastic deals on presents for this year and the next.  All the presents have been allocated in my present book and all were budgeted for.  In fact,  I'm coming in well under budget for this year.

*  Darren and I went to the movies using points he'd accumulated at Village cinemas.  We rarely go to the movies so this was a wonderful treat.


Cranberry Hootycreek Biscuits

Choc Chip Bickies ( cookies )

Wholemeal Bread With Extra Goodness

Dried Seasoned Bread Crumbs

Brown Sugar

Making Your Own Yoghurt

Bread making day

Upcycling store bags

A well earned morning tea

One of many bean hauls from the garden

Christmas Day with our family

Cuddles with Naomi

Australia Day photo

Making rice flour.

How have you saved money over Christmas and the school holidays ?

Did you get any bargains in the post Christmas sales ?