Sunday, 29 May 2016

My Frugal Tasks 28/05/16

Foraged olives and lavender.

My apologies for posting this a day late. I had trouble transferring my photos from my phone to the computer. This week we've all been feeling a bit "meh".  The weather has been quite cold and it has been raining a lot which is great for the vegetable garden. I've been doing more projects indoors. I have had a bad toothache and needed some dental work during the week which didn't fix the pain, which is caused by a wisdom tooth so I'm off to another dentist tomorrow for a second opinion.

I don't feel like I did much this week, just the regular stuff but it usually adds up to more than I thought when I write it all down.

-Went to a subsidized dental clinic for dental work instead of private, my out of pocket expenses were $62, this saved me $187.

-Hubby Mr 10 and I went for a walk at a local dam. Mr 10 is learning about rocks and minerals and we collected some to bring home. Hubby packed a thermos and some morning tea. It was great to get some fresh air after a weekend of raining and it was my son's first real exercise since his surgery and he did so well.

-We are due for a pool gate inspection and there were a few things in need of repair-new hinges on the gate and a brick pillar needed bracing. Hubby was able to do this himself and this saved us at least $100.

-I baked another carrot cake because we have bulk carrots. I also baked a lemon slice with the gifted lemons we got last week.

-Picked up more free bread from the op shop and also got some gorgeous hankies for 20c each.

-Cooked vegetarian pizzas using some homemade frozen dough for dinner on Friday. The teens were out so Mr 10 and I watched a movie on Netflix. I also found a bottle of lemon soft drink in the cupboard, left over from my birthday so we had some of that with our pizza.

-Started sewing some felt ornaments for my gift cupboard.

-Harvested more kale, silver beet and rocket from the garden.

-Went to the library and borrowed some books for Mr 10 who is a bookworm! He loves books by Andy Griffiths and these are $12.95 each to buy so its a big saving if we can borrow them from the library. I also got a few free books from the discard pile.

-While out and about we saw a sign that said "Free Olives" so we stopped and it was a property with half a dozen olive trees! We picked 1.5 kilos and they are now soaking in water on my kitchen bench. I've never preserved olives before so I'll keep you updated. We also passed some big lavender bushes and I got out and cut some flowers. I will bundle and dry these and use them to make lavender sachets-thanks for the idea Annabel!

-Bought some small preserve jars from Kmart. They were $5 for 6 and will be used for gifts.

-Mr 10 spent some time working on a looming project. We found a video on YouTube and that is the process he used, except for we made a cardboard box loom like the one used here rather than a flat cardboard one. Looming is a great activity for kids and super frugal!

-This week our meals were:

Beef and vegetable casserole with dumplings
Chilli cheese fries
Egg fried rice with mixed vegetables
Potato croquettes with carrots and corn
French onion soup with cheese toast
Creamy pasta bake with pumpkin and peas

Hope you had a lovely week. xx

Carrot cake has become a new favourite here.

View of the dam.

Homemade veg pizza.

Vintage handkerchiefs.

Homemade lemon slice.

Mr 10 looming.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

My Frugal Tasks 21/05/16

Our free produce from the op shop

 The last couple of weeks have been a juggling act with our finances and extra expenses- I don't normally have an entertainment budget! So I've enjoyed getting back on track with our finances this week and have done quite a few things to help make our money stretch too. Here is what I got up to this week:

- A friend asked me to make 60 soy candles for her son's wedding. I've never made so many candles before! My house smelled amazing. The extra money I made went straight towards our debt.

-I refilled our liquid soap dispenser using Wendy's method

-Made a new batch of homemade stain remover and natural face scrub for my teens.

-Cut Mr 14's hair at home, saving around $20.

-I made a double batch of lentil soup for dinner and put half in the freezer for another meal.

 -Baked a double batch of banana bread, again one loaf went into the freezer for later. I also made a big apple crumble with stewed apples I had in the freezer and a carrot cake. I make a cake each time the oven is already on while cooking dinner.

-Picked some baby silverbeet, rocket and kale from our garden.

-Made more soy candles and melts for the gift cupboard.

-Refilled my container of homemade hot chocolate mix and made a small jar as a gift. I also made a jar of relaxing herbal tea blend for gifts.

-Ran out of yoghurt but made some milk jelly for snacks instead.

-Saved rain water in large tubs to use on our vegie garden.

-We were set to have a big storm on the weekend so on Friday I did all our washing and hung it out. A few things didn't dry so I put those items on airers and brought them inside to dry. I really miss the smell of sun dried washing in the wet months!

-Cooked pikelets for a weekend breakfast. 

-Bought some new pillows for $1 each at the op shop. Hubby sleeps with a special orthopedic pillow so didn't need one, but the rest of us were excited about new pillows!

-Did our fortnightly grocery shopping and only spent $75 out of my $100 budget. I could have spent less but I like having a good supply of pantry staples like tinned tomatoes, flour, sugar etc and also buy our carrots onions and potatoes in 10kg bags. The surplus money I save up and use to buy items on sale.

-Picked up some free reclaimed bread from the op shop. I got 2 loaves of sourdough, 1 loaf of cheese bread, 2 loaves of wholemeal bread and some rolls. This week they also had free vegetables that a lovely person had brought in. We brought home silverbeet, potatoes, lemons and mandarins.

-I also picked up a skirt style apron, some doilies and a sewing pouch with a built in pin cushion, that you hang over the couch. All for $3! 

-Visited a friend and she gave me a huge bag of lemons, a packet of chicken and a large bag of fish. She gets the fish from her neighbour and because it is only her and her son at home they cant eat it all.

-Its been cold and stormy here so we have been using blankets when sitting on the couch and also putting on extra layers like socks and warm jumpers instead of turning on the heater which is expensive to run. I also put our flannel sheets on the bed.

I'll include my dinner list here too, because I thought some of you might like some meat free meal suggestions. We are now eating primarily vegetarian with a meat meal maybe once a week or on a special occasion.

Steamed potatoes with  broccoli and cheese sauce
Vegetarian lasagne
Vegetable fritatta with salad and cheese bread
Roast vegetables
Lentil and vegie soup with sourdough
Sauteed cabbage and onion with fried potatoes
Spanish eggs

How was your week?

Banana bread and apple crumble.

Free reclaimed bread

Soy candles in vintage teacups-ready for gifting. 

Spanish eggs and sourdough for dinner.

Lemons, chicken and fish from a friend.

My op shop finds.

Hot chocolate and herbal tea mixes for the gift cupboard.

Friday, 20 May 2016


Mr 10 and Miss 3

Sorry for my absence here and lack of posts. My intentions were to enjoy some time offline with my best friend and her Miss 3. Which I did, we had a great time and went to the Zoo, Bounce, visited our old neighborhood and childhood homes and had lunch from the fish and chip shop we used to go to. Lately I've been feeling very drawn to the house I grew up in, despite not having a great upbringing. I feel such a strong connection to that place. My friend and I walked the path from her house to mine and were amazed it was such a short distance! We remember it to be further away!

 On Mother' Day my husband made a fabulous high tea at home of finger sandwiches, scones, biscuits and cake. My sweet kids gave me some homemade gifts. I then cooked a roast chicken for dinner. It was a great day.

But then last Thursday Mr 10 was rushed to hospital with severe pain and ended up needing emergency surgery. It was a long and sleepless night! I spent the night in hospital with him and the next day was my birthday.

It was quite scary and it all happened so fast but thank goodness for amazing hospital staff and free healthcare we have here. He has been so brave and is recovering very well.

Hubby baked an orange cake for my birthday- my favourite, and I cooked homemade popcorn chicken and vegetables.

I hope you are all well and have had a great week