Saturday, 29 April 2017

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 29th April 2017

This week has been busy with work,  bargain shopping,  baking and general home tasks.  Now that the weather is getting cooler I'm thinking of ways to keep warm and save money on gas and electricity.

Here's what else I got up to this week -

*  Fed the compost bin with kitchen scraps.

*  I went into Savers op shop to donate a bag of bits and pieces.  Instead of being given a discount stamp on my card,  I was given a 50% off storewide voucher.  So I made the most of the offer and bought four pairs of jeans,  three tops, a jacket  coat,  three gifts and some bowls for my kitchen ( the same as I already have ).  I paid a grand total of $47.  The jeans were new or near new and well known expensive brands.  Two of them retail for $120. The jacket was near new and also a well known expensive brand that retails for $270.  YEP  !!! I'm happy  !!!

*  Filled up my car with petrol at $1.17 per litre.

*  Collected more feijoas from our tree.

*  Reused and washed a snaplock bag.  Reused bread bags,  freezer bags and shopping bags as bin liners and to store food in the freezer.

*  Found a few meat bargains in the supermarket.  I even found salmon at 50% off.  This will be a treat for Darren and I when the girls are not home for dinner.

*  Baked lots of pita chips.

*  Gratefully received a jar of olives,  a bottle of soft drink and some chocolates from our ANZAC day lunch visitors.

*  Sold a card in my Etsy shop last week.

*  The family all ate leftovers for dinner the day after ANZAC day.

*  Sold one dozen eggs.

*  Did the usual water saving tasks around the home.

* We had the showers recaulked this week.  So for the last few days we've been having baths with a little shower hose attachment.  I think we've saved some water by doing this.

*  Kept the heater off as much as possible.  I've made sure the curtains are open when the sun is streaming through the glass ( free heat ).

*  Made two batches of double strength Miracle Spray.  I wouldn't want to run out.

*  Saved a box and ribbon from an item Jessica bought.  I've cut up the box and will use the patterned cardboard to make a couple of men's cards.

*  Picked lettuce from the garden and used the last of our tomatoes to make a salad that fed us for two meals. 

*  Baked ANZAC biscuits for ANZAC day.  I doubled the recipe and froze the rest of the dough to bake at another time.

 
Homemade chunky chicken soup.


ANZAC biscuits


I'm still enjoying the feijoas.

What did your week look like ? Did you find a new way to save money ?

      

Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Frugal Life - Is It Worth It ?

For those of you who are thinking of starting the frugal life,  there are two questions you are probably asking yourself.

*  How do I start my frugal journey ?

*  Is it worth all the fuss and hard work ?


In this post I'll answer the second question and leave the first question for another time.

Of course I'm going to say YES  it's worth all the hard work but you probably want to know why ?  For my family there are many reasons why we live the frugal life.

Money -   We like money,  we wish we could get our hands on more,  we like spending and saving it too.  But the reality is we don't earn very much.  Our income is lower than what the government calls a low income.  Far lower.  Our low income is not from lack of work either.  Darren works so hard to provide for us.  Unfortunately the hospitality industry doesn't pay a lot and hours are cut when it's not busy  I clean a couple of homes each week. Yes that pays well but I can't do cleaning work full time.  I don't have the energy for such hard work.  Living the frugal life gives me the chance to make the dollars we earn go a long way.

I don't have to work full time - Infact,  I've never had to work full time.  Being frugal gives me choices about my life.  I chose to stay home to raise our daughters.  I also chose quality time with my family feeding them home cooked food.  Both Darren and I chose the smaller house,  local holidays,  keeping our cars for a long time,   restaurants and  movies as a rare treat and growing our own food.  This lifestyle might not be for everyone but Darren and I didn't want to work long hours to support a lifestyle we didn't have time for.

Time - It doesn't take too much time to do the frugal tasks I do each week.  For example

*  Making Miracle Spray takes 5 minute from start to finish,  costs about $1 - $1.50 for two litres of cleaning product.  I make it a few times a year and it saves me well over $100.  I don't need to buy toilet cleaner,  stain remover,  spray and wipe,  carpet cleaner,  shower cleaner,  stainless steel cleaner,  fridge cleaner,  sugar soap,  dishwasher cleaner or  floor cleaner.

*  Making laundry powder takes 5 - 10 minutes to do a quadruple batch.  It saves me another $100 ( or far more if I used those pods at 50 cents a wash ).

*  Baking a batch of muffins takes 15 minutes and costs about $2 for 24 muffins.    Supermarket muffins cost about $1 - $1.50 each. so I'm saving $22 - $34 each time I bake them.

Debt -    Being frugal can fast track debt elimination.    Making our dollars stretch allowed us to put extra money on our mortgage.  With our frugal lifestyle and low income we were able to be completely debt free just after I turned 40.

Food -  I'd much rather spend my time cooking a meal my family will love,  saving us money and our health.  The alternative is mass produced,  calorie laden,  salt and sugar rich,  preservative drenched rubbish food.  It really is a no brainer.

Savings in the bank -  A frugal lifestyle reduces waste ( of all kinds ) and allows our savings to grow.

If your current life is not what you want for yourself and your family,  give the frugal life some serious consideration.  The benefits are huge and the rewards are ongoing.  You could change the course of your family's future for generations to come.



Is the frugal life for you ?
What benefits have you found from being frugal ?

Monday, 24 April 2017

Savers 50% Off Voucher.

Savers op shop are running a promotion for the ANZAC long weekend. Donate a bag of unwanted items and receive a 50% off storewide voucher on your next total purchase.

This promotion ends Tuesday 25th April 2017.  Please check your local store for opening times especially for ANZAC Day.  My local store at Narre Warren is open from 1 - 6pm on Tuesday.

The voucher expiry is May 21st 2017.

Time to have a quick clean out and make the most of this great offer.



Saturday, 22 April 2017

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 22nd April 2017

My frugal list is a short one this week due to different circumstances.  I took some time off on Sunday and Monday to relax and spend time with my family and extended family for Easter.  Tuesday I worked due to the public holiday on Monday.  Wednesday was the monthly shopping day and fridge / freezer buying day.  Darren helped get the washing,  vacuuming and mopping done while I was out shopping.  Thursday I was unwell so I spent the day taking it easy.  Friday I was busy again with work,  a visitor,  work drop offs and pickups for Megan then the movies with Darren and Jessica.

So here I am.  Friday night and wondering what I did this week to save some money.  Here's what I managed to get done amidst the busyness -

*  Replanted 6 strawberry runners ( plants ) that were growing in the garden.

*  Saved the shower water to use on the veggie seedlings.

*  Picked lettuce to use in three of our main meals.

*  Wrote a menu plan for the next four weeks.

*  Fed lots of grass and clover to the chickens.

*  Picked a couple of feijoas from the ground each day.  I've enjoyed eating them as a snack.

*  Sold four dozen eggs.

*  Dried the washing on the line.  I didn't do as many loads this week so there's a saving on the water use too.

*  We put a deposit on a new side by side fridge / freezer this week.   After getting a quote at one retailer,  we went to another store and they bettered the other quote.  The fridge / freezer was already on sale at a very good price too  It always pays to ask for the best price possible.

*  I did the monthly food shopping on Wednesday and stuck to the list.  Always a bonus to stick to the plan.

* Found $1 in an abandoned trolley when I was taking mine back. A dollar is a dollar and will be used wisely.

*  Gratefully received a few capsicums from my friend Maureen's garden  a couple of weeks ago  I diced and froze them into small portions to go in casseroles.

*  Baked a few cranberry hootycreek biscuits and peanut butter choc chip biscuits using dough from the freezer.

Easter decorations in our entry.

Eater dccorations on the kitchen dresser

Feijoas ripening on the windowsill


 How did you save money,  time or energy this week.  I'd love to see your frugal list.      

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Ice Cube Trays - Another 5 Ways To Save Money

Do you have ice cube trays sitting in your cupboard unused ?  Then here's another 5 ways to use them and save a little money -

*  Make your own baby food and portion it into the ice cube trays.  This is great for when you are introducing a new food to your baby.

*  Make chocolate covered strawberries without the mess.  Pour melted chocolate into each cube.  Place a strawberry in each cube pushing down slightly.  Refridgerate until the chocolate hardens.

*  Freeze pureed fruit to make your own smoothies.   This is a much cheaper option than the supermarket bought,  prepackaged frozen fruit cubes.

*  Use ice cube trays as snack trays for your children.  This is a wonderful way to portion control and present healthy food.

*  Novelty shaped ice cube trays make wonderful soap moulds.  The soaps are a perfect size for little hands and make great presents..


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Grocery Specials Starting Wednesday 18th April 2017

Here are this week's grocery specials -


COLES -

*  Arnott’s Salada Crispbread 250gWas $3.00, Save $1.00  Now $2.00 each

*  Vege Chips Original 100g1/2 PRICE Was $3.40, Save $1.70  Now $1.70 each

*   Bonne Maman Jam 370g1/2 PRICE Was $5.00, Save $2.50  Now $2.50 each

*  Maharajah’s Choice Basmati Rice 5kg1/2 PRICE On sale for 2 weeks.
Was $17.50, Save $8.75 
Now $8.75 each

*  Golden Crumpet Rounds 6 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $3.30, Save $1.65  Now $1.65 each

*  30% OFF Poise

*  30% OFF Carefree & Stayfree Pads, Liners & Tampons

*  Palmolive Naturals Shower Gel 500mLWas $5.39, Save $2.39  Now $3.00 each

*  !/2 price on selected Dove products.

*  Macleans Extreme Clean Toothpaste 170g1/2 PRICE Was $5.00, Save $2.50  Now $2.50 each

*  Morning Fresh Dishwashing Liquid 900mL1/2 PRICE Was $6.95, Save $3.48  Now $3.47 each

*  Ansell Handy Disposable Gloves 100 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $11.00, Save $5.50  Now $5.50 each

*  Chux Heavy Duty Scourer Scrubs 3 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $3.20, Save $1.60  Now $1.60 each

*  Sard Oxy Plus Stain Remover 1kg1/2 PRICE Was $7.29, Save $3.65  Now $3.64 each

*  1/2 PRICE D├ęcor Microsafe

*  30% OFF Mix Socks & Underwear

*  Adrenaline or Spa & Wellness Gift Cards 40% OFF

*   1/2 PRICE All Maybelline MakeUp

*  30% OFF Neutrogena Facial Skincare

WOOLWORTHS -

*  Moccona Classic Freeze Dried Coffee 200g – Excludes Indulgence Range Now $9.00 each1/2 Price, Save $9.39

*  Arnott’s Shapes 160-190g Now $1.50 each1/2 Price, Save $1.50

*  Campbell’s Real Stock Varieties 1 Litre Now $1.99 each 1/2 Price, Save $2.00

*  Vanish Napisan Gold Oxi Action or Crystal White 2 kg Now $9.99 each1/2 Price, Save $10.00

*  Edgell Corn 420g Now $0.88 each 1/2 Price, Save $0.89

*  20% off All Be Natural

*  Freedom Foods Active Balance 350g Now $2.99 each1/2 Price, Save $3.00

*  Golden Crumpet Breaks Pk 6 Now $1.99 each1/2 Price, Save $2.00

*  Tip Top English Muffin Varieties Pk 6 Now $2.45 each1/2 Price, Save $2.45

*    30% off All Maybelline

*  20% off All Glad Cling & Bake

*  Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid 700-750ml Now $2.74 each1/2 Price, Save $2.75

*  30% off All Jamie Oliver Kitchenware

*  30% off All Arcosteel Cookware

*  1/2 Price All Sistema Coloured Home Storage

*  30% off All CLiO, Razza Matazz & Sheer Relief

*  1/2 Price All Sistema Klip It

*  15% off $30, $50, $100 iTunes Gift Cards.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 15th April 2017

Happy Easter to all of you. May you enjoy the small break from work and your normal routines as we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Here's what we got up to this week in the Gower home -

*  Made 1 kilo of yoghurt from scratch.  My starter was some homemade natural yoghurt that I'd frozen from the last batch.

*  Baked lots of cranberry hootycreek biscuits using dough I'd frozen a while ago.

*  Sold one dozen eggs.

*  Gratefully received a bag of apples from a local fruit and veg shop.

*  Stocked up on chicken drumsticks bought at $2.49 kg.

*  Made bread pudding using saved bread crusts.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Filled up with petrol at $1.19 per litre before it went up for the Easter holidays.

*  Made two bottles of  50 / 50 cordial.

*  Made two dozen hot cross buns.

*  Dried the washing on the line.

*  Picked a bowl of feijoas from our garden.  Very yummy.

*  Gratefully received a handmade lemon myrtle room freshener spray from a friend.  It smells divine.

*  Gratefully received milk,  capsicums,  cucumbers and eggs from various friends.

  
Feijoas from our tree



50  / 50 cordial

Hot cross buns being glazed

Bread pudding

Cranberry hootycreek biscuits baking.


What was on your frugal list this week ?


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Bread Pudding In The Slow Cooker

    
 I found a similar recipe  to this in a slow cooker cookbook years ago.   I had to adapt it as the original recipe was American - which means LOTS OF SUGAR. I'm guesstimating the amount of milk I use as I never really measure it. I always seem to pour a bit more over the bread if it looks like it needs more.

I use the crusts from the end of a loaf of bread. I save them up in the freezer until I have 6 - 8 truly making it a cheap dessert.   You can use wholemeal, multigrain or white bread. I have also made the milk up using powdered milk. It works out just fine.

6 - 8 slices of bread
600 - 800 mls of milk
4 eggs
1/3 cup of brown sugar
Dash of vanilla essence
Good shake of nutmeg and cinnamon
Jam - any flavour
1/3 cup of chopped walnuts

Turn on slow cooker first - high if it's a slow,  slow cooker or low if it's a fast slow cooker  
Spray the slow cooker with canola oil
Very lightly spread the jam over the bread and cut into large squares - perhaps 6 per slice. Place evenly in the bottom of slow cooker with jam facing up.

In a bowl mix eggs, sugar, vanilla, milk, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over the bread in slow cooker dunking the bread under the mixture.  
Sprinkle the walnuts on top.

Cook for 3 hours and serve with cream or icecream.

Leftovers can be refrigerated for 2 days and heated up in the microwave as needed.

Bread pudding starting to cook.

Bread crusts with jam

Poured the egg mixture over the bread.

Dessert with cream.  Yum  !!!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Grocery Specials Starting Wednesday 12th April 2017


Here are this week's best grocery specials -

COLES -

*  Cadbury Melts Cooking Chocolate 225g1/2 PRICE  Was $4.19, Save $2.10  Now $2.09 each

*  Tip Top English Muffins 6 Pack1/2 PRICE Was $4.90, Save $2.45  Now $2.45 each

*  Cheezels Snacks 110g1/2 PRICE Was $2.00, Save $1.00  Now $1.00 each

*  Mars Maltesers 360g or M&M’s Peanut 440g1/2 PRICE Was $10.00, Save $5.00  Now $5.00 each

*  Cottee’s Jam 500g Was $3.35, Save $1.35  Now $2.00 each

*  Buy Any 2 Get the 3rd FREE Colgate Total

*  1/2 PRICE Mum Deodorant

*  1/2 PRICE Decor Microsafe

*  30% OFF Wiltshire Gadgets & Bakeware

*  30% Off Black Swan Classic or Crafted Dips

* Bic Soleil Twilight Lavender Razors 4 Pack Save $4.98  Now 2 for $6.00

WOOLWORTHS -

*  Mars Gift Boxes 300-440g Now $5.00 each1/2 Price, Save $5.00

*  20% off All Dr. Oetker Baking.

*  Imported Smoked Cod (Hake) Fillets Now $10.00 kg Save $5.00 kg Seafood may not be available in all stores. Thawed for your convenience. ( I ask for frozen )

*  Golden Crumpets Rounds Pk 6 Now $1.65 each1/2 Price, Save $1.65

*  Castello Cheese 150g Now $3.70 each1/2 Price, Save $3.70.  Wonderful for a treat.

*  Praise Traditional or Fat Free Mayonnaise 365-410g Now $1.70 each1/2 Price, Save $1.70

*  Praise Dressings 330ml Now $1.74 each1/2 Price, Save $1.75.  Check the best before dates.  You might be able to stock up for next Summer.

*  Always Fresh Wedges, Sliced or Pitted Olives 220g Now $2.50 each1/2 Price, Save $2.50

*  Always Fresh Baby Cucumbers 350g Now $1.75 each1/2 Price, Save $1.95

*  Golden Circle Drink 1 Litre Now $1.07 each1/2 Price, Save $1.08

*   30% off All Inspire Bakeware

*  20% off All Deeko Disposable Picnic

*  30% off All Maybelline Cosmetics.

*  30% off All Lynx

*  Morning Fresh Dishwashing Liquid 900ml Now $3.45 each1/2 Price, Save $3.50

*  Energizer Max AA Pk 16 Now $9.75 each1/2 Price, Save $9.75

*  Energizer Max AAA Pk 14 Now $9.75 each1/2 Price, Save $9.75


          

Saturday, 8 April 2017

This Week's Frugal Tasks Saturday 8th April 2017

Our time outside is now spent getting our garden ready for Winter.  Veggie plants are being pulled,  new seeds are being sown and shrubs are being trimmed.  Here's what else we got up to this week -

*  Cleaned the dishwasher using vinegar,  bi carb and Miracle spray.

*  Made 10 1/2 jars of raspberry jam using our own fruit picked from the garden.  I now have 40 jars of assorted homemade jam.  Most will be eaten by my family and some will be given as presents.

*  Darren and I had frozen leftovers for dinner one night.

*  Planted three strawberry runners.  One planter box had better performing strawberry plants than the other ( different varieties )  I'm hoping to eventually get rid of / give away the under performing plants and replace with the better ones for free.

*  Planted three daisy cuttings to fill empty spots in the garden.

*  Planted lots of broccoli seeds in the veggie garden.

*  Replanted some cos lettuce seedlings amongst the established lettuce plants.  The seedlings came from plants that had gone to seed.

*  On Thursday I made 10 1/2 jars of tomato relish using our own tomatoes.  I must say,  it's the best tasting relish I've ever made.  That night we had Krispy Fried Chicken drumsticks with our dinner and there was lashing of relish on our plates.

*  Around our home we reused and recycled bread bags,  freezer bags,  one zip lock bag,  pita bread bags and supermarket bags.

*  Picked the last of the tomatoes,  lettuce,  raspberries,  a few strawberry guavas and one feijoa ( so excited about the feijoa ) .

Cleaned the kettle using citric acid and water.  The boiled water was poured on grass growing in concrete cracks.

*  Fed both the compost bins with lots of coffee grounds and grass clippings.

*  Baked cranberry hootycreek biscuits for snacks.

*  Dried all the washing on the line.

*  Saved the shower warm up water for the pot plants.  Saved the washing machine water as per usual.

The last of our tomatoes ripening.

Tomato relish

Afternoon tea with for Jessica and I

Corned beef ( silverside )  cooking in the slow cooker.

I've updated my shopping list with the latest grocery tops up.  The view the photos and receipts please click on this link.

http://myabundantlife07.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/my-grocery-shopping-list-march-2017.html


Please feel free to share you frugal week with the other readers.