Saturday, 19 September 2015

This Week's Frugal Tasks 19th September 2015

We've had a wonderfully frugal week in the kitchen and around our home.  Our garden is coming to life with the fruit trees blooming and growing.  So much is happening outside that we need to take regular " tours " to keep up with it all.  Here's what else we got up to this week -

*  Gratefully received some tomatoes.  I cooked and froze them into meal sizes for spag bols and pasta bakes.  I filled 11 takeaway food containers.  Tinned tomatoes were on my shopping list for my Summer stockpile.  I've now crossed them off.  Very grateful for the saving.

*  Baked two banana cakes with bananas given to us.  I took one to church on Sunday for morning tea and the other one is in the freezer for a future morning tea.

*  Used the lamb bone from a roast to make a big pot of soup in the slow cooker.  There was enough soup to feed the four of us for two meals.

*  Fed the compost bin very well this week with banana skins,  lettuce leaves,  and other veggie peelings.

*  Defrosted one of our freezers.  It's a 120 litre that was given to us as a wedding present and is the only one that isn't frost free.  It needs defrosting a few times a year to help it run effectively.  I find it helpful in sorting out what's in there and restacking it better.

*  Jessica bought a top from the op shop for her Year 12 muck up day.  They are dressing as film characters and Jessica is going as a pirate.  The top only cost a few dollars but had a rip on a seam which was easy to fix.

*  Darren needed a new pair of troussers for work.  He found some in the op shop for $8.50.  They needed to be taken up so my sewing machine was put to use again.

*  Blanched lots of broccoli bought for $1.99 kg.  I'm trying to build a small stockpile of broccoli bought cheaply so that when the price goes up,  we'll be eating out of the freezer.  We try to eat broccoli with most hot meals.

*  Started my Summer stockpile by buying extra toiletries and cleaning supplies.  I'll be writing a post on this shortly.

*  Darren chopped and froze lots of bananas given to us.  We'll be using them in smoothies,  fruit icecream and banana cakes over Summer.

*  Ate freezer meals one night and continued to eat out of the freezer where possible.  I'm gradually getting more room.

*  Had the heater off for three days and nights in a row.

*  Darren baked some Cranberry Hootycreek biscuits for his sister's birthday present.  We also gave her a tote bag I made for $2.  She loved her presents and I loved how budget friendly it was.

*  Gratefully received a plate of sliced cake from a friend.

*  Had shorter showers.  Saved the washing machine water and dried most of the clothes on clothes horses and the line.

*  Juiced and froze a big bowlful of lemons off our tree.

* Picked silverbeet for two meals.

*  Froze two single serves of Tuna Pasta Bake.

Using my Nicer Dicer to make the job easier.
Tomatoes and onion flakes
cooking away
Ready for the freezer
Silverbeet finally taking off
Our plum " stick " is blooming
Raspberry plants coming to life.
Handmade tote bag for Darren's sister
Banana cakes
Some of our broccoli harvest

What frugal tasks did you complete this week ?


  1. I think I will start journalling my frugal tasks (just privately) as often I look back in a week and wonder what I have done....writing it down is a great way to reflect and gain satisfaction. Love the freesias

    1. Phil, having a list is a wonderful way to spur you on to do more frugal things.

  2. Hi Wendy

    Love the tote bag. I still haven’t gotten good enough at sewing to make gifts that nice… Great score on the tomatoes. Do you ever bottle the tomato instead of freeze it. Just wondering as I am starting to bottle things and was hoping you would be able to do a post on preserving fruits and veg… unless you already have and I have missed it.
    Your raspberries are doing better than mine. With the cold here everything is just and I mean just starting to get leaf buds now. Our seeds in the punnet are just starting to shoot. Its slow going but I am ever hopeful.
    Your banana bread looks really great.

    I have had a relatively slow week but I managed:
    Made three bottles of sweet chilli sauce using home grown chilli and capsicum I had gotten on special some months ago and frozen.
    Made fruit fly trap all from ingredients I had in the house
    Used homemade bug deterrent from household ingredients
    Made bread
    Made damper
    Made 40 mini bread rolls for lunches
    All home cooked meals, making double amounts so we have quick meals ready in the freezer
    Dehydrated some fruit for healthy snacks
    Picked silver beet from garden, blanched and froze it for future use
    I have enjoyed the lovely weather by gardening as much as possible
    Sun dried clothes
    I organised an appointment for my free mammogram, which I would recommend for all women.

    We received our electricity bill which was lower than we had thought it would be but not as low as I would like. The winter quarters are killers. I will be working on lowering the bills further to allow for the winter spike.
    Have a great week Wendy.


    1. Linda, I've never bottled anything unless you count jam and relish. I do have some preserving jars I received from an ACA story that I must use.

      The photo of the raspberries was taken early in the week. You should see them now.

  3. How lovely to receive free gifts Wendy, especially the tomatoes, as they aren't in abundance this time of year.

    The tote bag looks lovely and such a thoughtful gift.

    Your garden is looking great with all that new life happening. I was going to plant some raspberry bushes but I there aren't any available here. I think I read somewhere that they don't get planted until Autumn, do you know if this is right? I would have thought spring to plant them.

    My frugal efforts this week included;

    ~Sorting the pantry out and tossing anything old out.

    ~Got some curtains from the op shop for the windows in my pantry and toilet.

    ~Made a apple and sour cream slice from out of date cake mix and old tin of pie apples.

    ~Washed and filled jars (with pasta) that were gifted to me.

    ~Sorted my huge collection of cookbooks and culled them down to just the ones I use.

    ~I shopped the specials for the products I use.

    ~I have been outside pottering in the garden this week, and planted out some silver beet.

    ~I put in some cucumber, zucchini and basil seeds into punnets, just waiting now. I noticed the first sign of life yesterday. Yay!

    ~Hubby (Phil) made me a solar fruit dryer, so I have been busy chopping up quandongs to dry. The warm weather has been great for drying this week.

    ~Cooked meals from scratch, using what I had in my pantry and freezer.

    ~Dried all my clothes outside.

    ~Saved pre dish water for the pot plants.

    Have a great frugal week!


    1. Tania, we bought our plants from Bunnings last Spring or late Winter from memory. Even the cuttings Darren took early this year are sprouting new life.

    2. Thank you Wendy. We don't have a Bunnings here, but will be going to Adelaide again soon so will pop in there for a look. Because yours are shooting out now, I would say Spring would be the best time to get them in :)


  4. Planted some lettuce seedlings and parsley seeds.
    Sold a couple of items online from around the house.
    Bought some kids books for Christmas for $1.50 each at the Reject shop.
    Made muesli bars, orange marmalade (used one jar as a gift), lemon yoghurt muffins, yoghurt.
    Used the beautiful weather to line dry washing.
    Found a petrol voucher.
    Gratefully accepted some school socks and tights from a friend.
    Said "no" to some extra kids activities as there were so many things on during this week, all involving money and me ferrying them around. I'm counting this as a frugal thing as it saved my money, time and sanity, and they really didn't mind anyway.
    Took some bags of clothing to the op shop and didn't buy anything!
    Saved warm up shower water for the washing machine.
    Bought 99c kg bananas from Woolies on Monday. Enjoying those!
    DD2 wanted to buy tins of flavoured tuna, I suggested she make her own with ingredients we had already - she was very pleased with the result and I saved a few dollars.
    Walked with a friend one sunny morning and took our thermos to the park.
    Got a bit annoyed in Coles - spotted some marked down goods on a trolley but was told that they could not be sold as they were past date (only just). I know, protocols, protocols. The staff member said the goods would either be "waste" or possibly sent to "Second Bite". I do hope the latter.
    Car pooled with other families whenever possible.
    Here's to another frugal week!

    1. A well rounded week Sue. Good on you for saying no to extra activities. Think of the savings and your time saved.

      I'm sure you were pleased with yourself for not buying anything at the op shop. Although I love op shopping, I also love the feeling of having a strong will and not buying. I only buy what I can use or need. It's also free to look and so much fun.

  5. Two things I don't know - being in England we don't have Silverbeet and quandongs can you tell me what they are? Thanks.
    A frugal list was something I used to do on my blog but had forgotten about so I may reprise that thank you for the reminder

    1. It's also known as Swiss Chard. It's like spinach but much larger leaves. From memory quandongs are a fruit but not that common. Tania from Outback Tania blog grows them. She's talked about them on her blog.

      Do you still have a blog ?

    2. Ah I do know what Swiss Chard is, we have some in the garden, a very handy veg as it dies down over winter but comes back in the spring before running to seed.
      Yes If you click on my name and go to Our Quiet life in Suffolk - there I am!

    3. I've already checked out your blog. I'll be back.

  6. Dear Wendy, Great work on those tomatoes, how handy they will be.
    I have a nicer diced too. I love it. What a help it is, so fast.
    The weather was beautiful here today. It gives me a burst of cleaning energy! I have been spring cleaning. I washed all my lounge covers and today the wool underlay, linen etc. Plus cleaning under and behind things as I move them. Overall I got a heap done last week although one day I was out of action with a headache.
    The things I've planted are growing so well especially the tomatoes. I have more gardening to do and over the next week hope to do some re potting etc.
    I finished all my kitchen towels and now are making lavender sachets and cards. These will go towards Christmas. Hopefully some craft posts coming up!
    I hope you are having a lovely weekend. Lots of love, Annabel.xxxx

    1. Annabel, I'm REALLY looking forward to your craft posts xoxo Can't wait !!!

  7. Quiet week. Received fly buy points just by shopping the specials- At least $50 of fly buy dollars all up. Will save them for Christmas specials. Bought some punnets of vegie seedlings for $2.50 each (8 plants in each tray). Started to get my garden organised.
    My raspberry canes are very slow too. Perhaps not enough sun.
    Took my lunch everyday.
    Hubby has started his new job. It is part time but he is loving it.
    Reviewed our budget and it is looking better.
    Died when the power bill came in. But hopefully with us getting ducted heating soon we will save more next year by not needing extra fan heaters to warm the house.
    Making our new gate for the back yard from the old gate bones.
    Dried clothes on the line.
    Used 5 of our own chook eggs in a zucchini bake.
    Both my chooks are laying now.
    Will check out my pantry and freezer this week and see what I need to stock up on.

    1. Yep, blower / fan heaters will do that to your power bill.

      We are saving our flybuy dollars for Christmas treats too.

  8. Your tomatoes you cooked and froze... how do you get the sauce so thick? Do you add something else to it? when I cook tomatoes, they are so watery. I am wanting to make tomato sauce as that is something I purchase quite a lot of, and I have tons of tomatoes in my garden now.

    1. They need to be cooked down for a least an hour. I used one jar of tomato paste between two large saucepans.

  9. Hi Wendy,

    Love your Tote bag and all those gifts of goodies from others, so lovely.

    This week we were blessed also with goodies given to us, Bananas, Muffins, Apples, Lollies, Small Chocolates, Butter, Cake and Lemons.

    I coloured my own hair at home, shopped the specials and found a petrol docket in the trolley. Use the tank water for washing and garden and juiced more lemons which were given to us.

    Shopped at IGA for the Chicken specials and whilst there, they had Meat trays for $10.00 which when I bagged up, I got 5 meals from each tray($2.00 Per Meal).
    I bought 2kg of Broccoli for 0.99ckg and just over 4kgs of Oranges for 0.19ckg ( which only cost me 0.78c) from a fruit and vegie shop near Cath(Cheapskates) and whole Pumpkins for 0.69kg.

    Saved a cereal box for my price book and the inside bag and received 2 coffee samples which I will use in hampers at Christmas. Use some of my birthday money to buy card supplies.

    I received my cards from the card swap and attended the card making workshop yesterday where I was taught lots of card making techniques and budget friendly options for card making and received lots of free goodies. It was so much fun. We also did a swap of things we bought with us and I received a candle, some card paper and a stamp all for card making.

    Have a great week everyone, xxx


    1. Yes the card making afternoon was great fun. The swap table was a good idea too as we all have something to share.

      Great prices on the broccoli and oranges.

  10. Hi wendy banana cakes looks amazing.
    Have a great week

    1. Thankyou Kathleen. Have a wonderfully frugal week xoxo

  11. Hi Wendy

    I have a very expensive month coming up (all of which are planned, but still some savings need to be had). DD's graduation, DD's birthday, car registration, DD's formal, wedding anniversary, etc etc.

    One of the items on my list is Ironing Spray and I thought I would have a go at making my own. I know it doesn't cost a lot to buy, but these days I'm trying to stay away from the shops :) Have you ever done this? The recipe is basically corn flour, water and essential oil.

    Thanks in advance.


    1. Deb, I haven't made ironing spray. Infact, I've never used it. When my girls were babies and wearing lots of cotton dresses, I used a spray bottle with water.

      We've had a few big expenses this year too. Jessica's 18th, Darren's 50th, wedding anniversay and Jessica's end of school dinners etc Plus both girls have friends all turning 16 and 18..

  12. Hi wendy

    Been a busy week here with the arrival of Baby Isaac but we have managed to have a fairly good frugal week.

    * Received some homemade meals from my sister enough for a couple of weeks
    * Havent used the car as much and filled up when it was a good price
    * Played outside and used the local Parks took a soccer ball and some other toys Mr J had an awesome time
    *Saved the water from the shower and bath and used it on the garden

    The tote bag looks amazing so do the cakes YUM
    Have an Awesome week <3

    1. Laine, I'm sure you have been busy looking after Issac and your other little one. Make sure you take care of yourself. Staying home and resting can be very frugal xoxo.


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