Saturday, 28 February 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 28th February 2015

I've had a much quieter week work wise.  This has given me plenty of time to shop for bargains, bake,  cook and potter around the house.  I love pottering.  Collecting an egg or two,  picking raspberries,  watering our edible garden.  Ohhhh,  such joy  !!!  Here's what I got up to this week -

* Made lots of pita chips to munch on.

*  Made lots of pumpkin scones for morning teas.  These have been frozen.

*  A fruit and veg shop opened up in the shopping centre where Darren and Megan work at the church cafe.  They had opening day specials of tomatoes for 99 cents a kllo and bananas for 99 cents a kilo as well.  Megan picked out some lovely produce.

*  Reduced the amount of clothes washing I do by doing one load every day and only if I really need to .  I've been doing this for the last three weeks.  The first week I did six loads,  last week I did five and this week I did six loads.  Usually I do 8 - 10 loads so I'm very happy with the reduction. Hopefully I'll see a reduction in my water bill too.

*  Gratefully received some bread rolls,  cheese,  sandwiches and small slices, 

*  Made a double batch of brown sugar.

*  Made 14 jars of tomato relish with the cheap tomatoes Megan bought.  Hopefully I won't need to make any more relish until next Summer.  I have over 30 jars of relish for us to consume,  to give as presents and to sell.

*    Saved the warm up water from the showers.  Some was poured into the washing machine and some was used to water veggie seedlings and my mango plants.

*  Fed the chooks some kitchen scraps.

*  We've been able to source some used coffee grounds.  Darren has been putting them in our compost and some around the garden.  I must say,  the compost smells divine.

*   This week we picked a few beans,  corn,  tomatoes and lots of raspberries.

*   Gratefully received a few empty glass jars. These came at a perfect time as I was searching for smallish jars to make the tomato relish.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread.

*  Made sweetened condensed milk.  Some was used in a lemon slice.  The rest was frozen into 1/2 tin and whole tin portions for future choc truffles and more lemon slice.

*  Planted some broccoli and cauliflower seeds for Autumn / Winter growing.

*  Picked lots of iceberg roses to make two posies.  I used recycled pasta sauce jars as vases.  I think they look beautiful.

Our iceberg rose bush / tree 

 Such beautiful flowers. 

Megan's pavlova.

Our lemons are growing well.
What did you do this week to save time,  money and energy ?


  1. Hi Wendy

    I've also had a quiet week, mainly due to having medical tests for my chronic headaches but I managed a few things,

    - Dried all the washing on the clothes airer.
    - Made white choc and macadamia cookies and chocolate muffins with a caramel centre
    - Bought a leg of ham reduced and have had pizza and lunches from it. Will cut up the rest today and freeze in portionas for soup, pizza's, pasta's and lunches......a bargain at $18.
    - Bought Imperial Leather Body Wash - 1 litre down to $4.67 from WW, I already had 9 other bottles of body wash but had a little money spare and this will now last me well over a year.
    - Made more laundry powder.
    - Bought some mango's from WW marked down 4 for $2 and will make some jam, I've never made jam before and am very excited.
    - Made all meals from scratch.

    Have a great week,

    1. I hope you get some answers from the tests. I suffer from massive headaches at times so I have an idea of what you are going through.

      You got some great bargains this week.

    2. Deb I am sorry about your headaches. I am a migraine sufferer... I just thought to say to you that I went through a really bad patch and couldnt figure out why I was so much worse. I had headaches for days and days on end. It turned out to be artificial sweeteners. I was drinking a lo cal soft drink. I changed that and I was better. Ever since I have noticed I get a violent headache if I have artificial sweeteners and they are hidden in loads of things! Its a long shot but I thought I would mention it. I hope you feel better soon.

    3. Thanks Annabel :)

      I gave up alcohol last year as it triggered such bad migraines (even a sip) and whilst they're not as bad they are still there. Have an appointment with the specialist next week.

  2. Hi Wendy, Megan's Pavlova looks magnificent, what a fantastic cook she is. My DS1 does Baking as one of his subjects at school and yesterday bought home a big tray of Vanilla slices he had made, such a yummy treat. It's so wonderful that we know our children can cook things for themselves and be independent.
    I had a much more productive week this week, here's my list:
    Cleaned the inside of kettle, using Wendy's method and is now perfectly clean, thanks Wendy.
    Cut up an old sheet to use as cleaning cloths.
    Refilled the hand gel bottles.
    Saved all water from shower and washing machine for garden of washing.
    Used tank water on garden.
    The birds were eating my Tomatoes so I tied plastic bags and pieces of foil to the Tomato stakes and so far, no birds dining in!!!!
    I picked Beans, Snowpeas and silverbeet from my garden.
    Gratefully received Pears and bread from friends.
    Made yogurt and froze the rest of the Natural yogurt in 2 Tblsp portions for later.
    Grated half a block of cheese and froze the other half.
    Started the $300.00 challenge again this month and I have only spent just under $150.00 so far for the month. I'm finding the more I do this challenge, the easier it's getting and the more I want to beat last month's spending amount.
    Received Gas Bill but was able to pay with credits from the Solar panels , saving $58.66 which I deduct off the amount it cost us for the panels.
    Went to Savers on Monday as they had a 1/2 price sale on all clothing. I donated a bag of goods and now I am up to getting 10% off when I purchase something from there. I bought two tops, two skirts and one dress all for $16.00, Wow!!!! This is helping to keep my clothing budget on track.

    Would love your Relish recipe sometime Wendy.
    Your Roses look beautiful. Are these Iceberg roses a climbing rose?
    I'm listening to the rain water my garden as I type this out, so lovely. Well off to make a Birthday cake for my mum for tomorrow. Wendy, I am going to use Megan's Birthday cake idea, and fill the Bundt cake with lollies in the centre as my Mum has Dementia and loves lollies, so I think she will just love this cake. Have a great week, xxx Maureen

    1. You had a great week Maureen.

      The iceberg rose isn't a climbing one or a standard ( I thought it was ) Darren tells me it's a normal rose that's grown so tall over the years that it looks lie a towering bush.

      The relish recipe will be posted soon. I have a backlog of requests for recipes that are ready to go shortly. I post it after them.

  3. Hi Wendy
    This may sound like a strange question but when you make pita chips do you use bought pita breads and just bake in the oven? Or am I totally off the mark. Lol. Do you flavour them or just eat them plain? Megan's Pavlova looks yummy and has reminded me I promised my teenage boys one this weekend - better go and get that started. Thanks Helena

    1. I use pita bread cut up. Bake for 20 mins at 150 degrees celcius. Mostly we eat them plain with dip or cheese. I've only flavoured them once with olive oil spray and sea salt or Season All.

  4. You had a great week Wendy! Beautiful pavlova! You are teaching your girls well.
    I had a good week. At the end of the month I usually am trying to do a few extra things to finish the month off well. Mainly I was cleaning, organising and re arranging to create more space for my pantry. And it worked. I have freed up a lot of space to build my pantry up further.
    I did quite a bit of cooking plus made more cards, picked herbs and made Quince Paste from my last Quinces.
    I love being home and pottering as you said. Those days I feel I catch up and make progress and make things nicer overall. They are very happy days. I had two days like that this week.
    Have a lovely weekend and tomorrow we will be into March! I hope March is going to be a very happy and productive month for us all! xxx

  5. Had a $15 loyalty card voucher from local pharmacy which I used to get some items we use regularly.
    Went to NQR and get a few things. However a 3kg tin of two fruits for $2.99 was left because no one likes it but me. A great bargain for someone.
    Got about 60 litres with rainwater diverter from that big storm last Monday so have been giving lemon tree extra Hoping it will rain again soon. K

  6. You sound like you have had a very productive week Wendy. Megan's pavlova looks yummy and your roses are gorgeous!

    My frugal tasks this week included;
    ~Harvesting six pumpkins from the garden and left two on the vine.
    ~Pulling up all my beetroot and making twelve jars of scrumptious pickled beetroot. (I have included pictures on today's post on my blog)
    ~Picked Rhubarb and poached for a yummy dessert.
    ~Other pickings included rock melon, celery, kale, tomatoes, spring onions, sweet potato, zucchini.
    ~Baked two cakes, chocolate and vanilla.
    ~Made an easy lemon cheesecake (requested by my son).
    ~Baked veggie pasties for family lunch.
    ~Cooked homemade meals.
    ~I had FOUR no spend days.
    ~Paid extra on the mortgage.
    ~Started catching up on my housework,
    ~I am learning to become more organised.
    ~Cleaned oven by using bicarb soda and soaking racks in hot water and washing soda.
    ~Sold excess eggs
    ~Made breadcrumbs from leftover sour dough loaf.
    ~I kept up with the washing.
    ~Washed in cold water, and dried clothes on the line.
    ~Saved rinse water for garden.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend Wendy.


  7. Wendy, you have had such a busy week. The roses look lovely, icebergs are such a prolific rose.
    Megan's pav looks great, bet she's an asset to you in the kitchen.
    This week I have picked up a little more work so although I am happy with the extra hours and pay, I feel quite tired. Sorry for whinge!!
    -Made yoghurt
    -made all meals from scratch.
    -walked to worked two days to save petrol
    -Made sugarless fruit cake and bran and berry muffins froze half
    -bought tissues on sale in coles and a few peckish brand biscuits pkts for a dollar each. (Nice for a change from pita bread)
    -made cordial from frozen juice and zest. (We were getting quite low.)
    That's all for now, have a great week.

    1. No need to say sorry. I had a hard week last week.

    2. Hi Kathryn,
      How do you make cordial from frozen juice and zest. That would be great


  8. Hi Wendy. I too love pottering at home and feeling the peace that that brings to my spirit. This week I organised my laundry and made pre-wash stain remover. I made all meals and made choc chip biscuits. I also converted credit card points for a Coles voucher and have bought either generic products or items that were reduced. Wendy I have also discovered that I have an allergy to cows milk. I'm therefore cutting it out of my diet for a while and may slowly re-introduce it in a few months. I have substituted butter for nuttelex but would you or your readers know what I can substitute in the recipes that call for cream and milk? I am abstaining at the moment but would love to make an ice-cream or cake that I can eat. Regards, Liz.

    1. There is a recipe of the Cheapskate's forum for whole orange cake. It's the only cake I can bake that is dairy free.

  9. nice wendy!
    pav looks delish :) your roses are lovely
    my week was ok

    partner picked tomatoes from the garden with the kids
    lessened the amount of washing for this week
    greatfully accepted loaves of bread, pancakes, crumpets and chicken breast
    got offered a $30 dan murphys gift voucher if i worked an extra shift at work so i greatfully accepted (although i dont drink i was kind enough to pass it on to my partner and he bought something for himself)
    i cooked meals from scratch and froze some left over potato for bubs future feeds :)
    while at work i managed to get myself a great deal of bread loaf bags
    we have a major american car show function happening tomorrow (sunday) and all the scraps from the food that was prepared (mostly corn skins) went straight into the compost bin
    greatfully accepted some worms for the compost bin YAY!
    made some cola and soda water using the soda stream (great invention)
    didnt need to water the garden because of the beautiful rain
    greatfully donated some rosemary and mint to work from my lovely mini garden

    hope you have a lovely weekend im watching harry potter with the kids :)

    1. Oh yes I also forgot to mention that I finally became a member of the cheapskates club 😁 and I printed off the booklet of the 31 days of moo

  10. I love this blog! It makes me want to get busy and be productive! Two questions, What is a chook? I've heard several girls mention them, but have no idea what they are. And the second question is what is a pavlova? It looks like a cake, but looks delicious. Can a recipe be posted? Looks divine! This week I attacked all of my paper work. Cleaned out all of my files, put last years in the basement and created new folders for this year. I prefer to keep paper copies, as I have now broken 3 computers in 6 years. Don't ask me how I did that, they just completely crashed on their own lol. So I am just old fashioned and use paper. De cluttered several cabinets. They looked so nice until the family went in to get something lol. Have a great week! Hugs, Doreen

    1. Doreen, a chook is a chicken. I didn't realise it was just an Australian slang. So sorry.

      A pavlova is a dessert made out of egg whites and sugar. You bake it in a slow oven to form a crust. Imagine a merigue that's crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It's decorated with whipped cream and usually fruit.

  11. we are a dairy free house and these are the ways we save money:

    * buy full fat soy milk and water down by one third
    * buy the aldi margarine as it is dairy free (canola spread, 99c)
    * just make cakes and biscuits using your milk and margarine
    * also made custard using your milk
    We do lash out sometimes and buy either soy icecream (chocolate flavoured is the best) or sorbet(aldi is the cheapest)
    Hope this helps

  12. Wow Wendy what a very busy and productive week you have had. I love how you used the pasta sauce jars as vases, what a super idea, one I will definitely borrow next time I pick roses from my 2 rather sad looking bushes. My week was pretty good too :)
    *grated and froze zucchinis from our vegie garden in bags that will be used for zucchini slice and zucchini cakes in the future, 4 bags
    *made 2 zucchini cakes with other zucchinis from our garden
    *chopped and froze red capsicum from our garden to be used on homemade pizza, fried rice, zucchini slice, pasta sauce, 8 bags
    *made a fresh loaf of bread most days only had to purchase a bought loaf once as I had a very busy day that day
    *I have started to wash/dry and crush egg shells to be put on our vegie garden as well as tipping tea leaves from my teapot and coffee grounds from our coffee machine onto vegie garden. These were all things that I used to just throw in bin - I know shock horror. I have learnt many things from reading your blog Wendy- so thank you!!!
    *we picked beans, tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini and capsicum from our garden
    * made a meat pie with left over meat from our roast and even made the pastry(a big success family were impressed-thank goodness) I got the recipe from the Cheapskates recipe file.
    *I shopped around for a new dishwasher got a good price but they were going to charge for delivery. So asked for a price match from another place that had free delivery as well as them taking away our old dead dishwasher also for free. I saved $66 so this will go towards having it installed, win, win! This is the very 1st time I have asked for a price match I was so nervous. But as you have said Wendy on ACA, you never know unless you ask and it costs nothing to ask. Thanks for making me feel braver to ask Wendy.
    Have a great week Wendy Cheers Donna Z :)
    PS Wendy I am looking forward to your tomato relish recipe being posted in the future, yummy!

    1. Donna, it's well worth asking for a discount. I had to buy a freezer a week ago. The second retailer I went to offered a discount $100 less than the other retailer.

  13. Wendy what a great, productive week for you, yet again. Your Iceberg rose posies are sublime, and that pav...gorgeous! It sounds like last week was full, for better or worse, for many of us. For my part, I was frantic with staff training for my disabled sons support team, and was asked on Wednesday to provide a wedding cake for a family wedding on Saturday. I obliged of course, knowing that the happy couple did not have a lot of money for trimmings (hence the late notice on a cake), and was pleased with the result, which cost under $70 and provided wedding cake as dessert for 50 guests, with some left to take home. Our refrigerator finally expired, having been nursed along for the last nine months, and we took delivery of a new one, which was an expense we had catered for, so thank goodness. The new one is slightly smaller though, so my challenge is to pre-prepare more food that does not necessarily require refrigeration. I'm thinking I'll make up some of the Miracle Baking Mix to keep on hand rather than making and freezing dough for cookies and so on, and revise some of the things I now buy in bulk, either eliminating them or finding alternatives. I love that within my blogging community, I have the resources to revamp things regularly, without compromising on health or budget. Thankyou to all the ladies here, and to you, Wendy, for continuing to provide inspiration...Mimi xxx

    1. Mimi, I use my fridge like a train station. Food goes in and food goes out very quickly ( like trains at a station do ). The only foods that stay there a while are the sauces and cheese.

  14. Well it is great to sit back, relax and reflect on how I’ve enjoyed an abundant life this week:
    • Baked first loaf of bread today – hurrah. Great recipe Wendy, thank you!
    • Made muesli slice – yummy and a great power snack before a long run.
    • Didn’t go mindless shopping this weekend buying more things I just don’t need.
    • Enjoyed all meals at home with no eating out.
    • Have organised 2 week meal plan before next monthly shop.
    • Picked up big bag of lovely bananas & yellow nectarines for $2 each today.
    • Made first roast chicken tonight with enough leftovers for rolls tomorrow.
    • Made own yoghurt.
    The savings that have come with taking control of our finances have been significant, but I feel like we are so much more relaxed & happier. We’ve started to talk more about things we have, and how lucky we are rather than constantly talking about what we don’t have, what we need and feeling empty. How did that happen!! That’s been the biggest satisfaction from living simpler. Have a fantastic week everyone – I love reading Wendy’s post and all replies. C xx

    1. C, that how Darren and I see our life together. We appreciate what we have and our needs are met. Everything else can wait or we don't really need.

  15. Such beautiful flowers Wendy. What a fantastic pavlova.....hmmm pity I can only drool over it (diabetic)

    This week I have

    *received my Kogan pantry order and saved heaps by buying this way

    *dried all washing on the line

    *made and put cupcakes in the freezer

    *saved the leftover icing for next time

    *bought a bulk of cat food (fussy cat only eats on brand) I bought 24 cans $24 so this is a saving of $16.56 in total

    *saved scraps for chooks and received half a dozen eggs in return

    *turned off all lights except a hall light when possible (DD4 likes the light near her on) I can work by candle light when on computer

    Just wondering also if anyone here has any cupcake recipes made from scratch for different flavours.....the school canteen has them on their menu as a treat (we only have canteen open once a week) but as I have now taken over and they purchase the pre mixed I was hoping to perhaps finds some inspiration to change this and also save money at the same time

    Thank you all

    Have a great frugal week


    1. You could start with my Choc, choc chip lunchbox muffins.

    2. Thanks Wendy that is a good place to start


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