Saturday, 4 June 2016

My Frugal Tasks 5/6/16

Homemade bath salts and soap sets

This week I have still been suffering with another toothache. Last week the dentist repaired a hole which I thought was causing the pain, but she wasn't convinced and thought it was in fact, a wisdom tooth. Yep, she was right.

Here in WA, if you are on a low income and have a health care card you can visit a public dental clinic and pay only 25-50% of the total cost. I had attended the clinic last month to have a tooth removed and they did the recent repair. You can receive emergency treatment there, but there is a waiting list for non emergency care. I was on that waiting list but recently got a letter saying that to take the pressure off the public clinics, for a limited time I can get dental work done at a private clinic but with the same subsidy.

I went for a consultation and was given a treatment plan of over $3000 worth of work-eek! As only cleaning, fillings and extractions are covered by the charter. I decided to book in to get some of the fillings done. This quote did not include anything regarding my wisdom teeth as I was told I would have to pay $50 to get the initial x-ray done to see where the roots are, then they could give me a plan for the wisdom teeth.

Meanwhile, I was in lots of pain with my wisdom tooth. I decided to call the government clinic for advice and told them about my treatment plan at the private dentist and the cost of the x-ray. I am so glad I made that call! I was told that they can do it there for free as it is covered by Medicare! I was booked in straight away to get that done and also consultation at no charge. They even provided an extra copy of the x-ray to take to the private dentist and recommended that I return there to get the extraction done as it is a tricky one. So instead of getting the fillings done next week, I am getting a wisdom tooth removed. This week I was able to save over $200 alone by getting this subsidized dental care.

I thought I would share this here in case you are on a low income and didn't realize you can get discounted dental care. I know in the past, I have avoided the dentist because of the expense! Each state in Australia is different but here is a link with a list of subsidized dental clinics.

Here are some of the other ways I saved this week:

-Bought a compacted bale of straw to mulch our vegetable garden through Gumtree. A local lady charges only $5 compared to bales costing $12 at City Farmers.

-Picked more rocket, silverbeet and kale from the garden.

-Hung the washing out on fine days and used airers inside when it rained.

-Made some lavender bath salts for myself and the gift cupboard. I used the cheap milk bottles I got a while ago as containers. I decorated the bottles with pretty paper, ribbon and labels I already had and . packaged up some $1 dove soaps from The Reject Shop to match which will make nice gift sets. I made more gift tags from white card and decorated some bottles of bubble bath I made earlier in the year with some wallpaper samples and embellishments.

-Used a $20 voucher for Chemist Warehouse by completing surveys. In my budget I normally allow $20 a fortnight for health so the $20 saved will go towards our debt. I usually buy our vitamins in bulk from there because it is quite a bit cheaper but this time I just filled a couple of prescriptions and saved $3.10 on these, compared to getting them filled at my local chemist. I also bought a box of 100 paracetamol tablets for $1.89. I normally buy Coles brand which is 79c for 20 tablets. Such a good saving by shopping there as even a few dollars here and there add up over the course of a year. I will make an effort to shop there now instead.

-Picked up free bread and rolls from the op shop.

-Sold some scobies, the extra money will go towards paying our debt.

-Finished sewing some felt bird ornaments for a gift.

-Baked cinnamon scrolls, bread and butter pudding, chocolate weetbix slice and rice pudding.

-Did the fortnightly grocery shopping and came under budget at $85-there were lots of specials at Spud Shed this week. I bought pumpkin, bananas, mandarins, 2 bags of zucchinis (I'll be cooking a lot with those!), a bag of capsicum, 4kg carrots, cabbage, 2 broccoli, cauliflower, peanut butter, noodles, 5 kg rice, 3 packs frozen berries, 2kg cheese, 3 dozen eggs, 12 cartons long life milk, 500g butter, 4kg plain flour, 4kg SR flour and 2 kg sugar. I will be working on building up the leftover money to use for stockpiling.

-Found a scarf and top on clearance at Kmart, which came to $6. I also bought 12 bottles of assorted bubble bath, moisturizers and body spray for the gift cupboard. I also got an 18th birthday sign and some glow paddle balls. This all came to $12.30. Love those clearance markdowns!

-Bottled and added brine and olive oil to the foraged olives. Now to wait 6 weeks to see if they taste any good!

Our meals this week were-

Cheesy corn crepes with salad
Mashed potatoes and vegetables with onion gravy
Satay vegetables with rice
Lentil soup and rolls
Zucchini slice and salad
Lentil pasta (leftover lentil soup with a tin of tomatoes tossed through pasta)
Chicken chow mein

 I am currently using up some meat in my freezer and we are eating it once a week, after this is used up I won't be buying any more unless it is a special occasion.

Did you get any bargains this week?

Mr 10 helping make dough.

Cinnamon scrolls.

Decorated bubble bath and soap packs.

Some of my fortnightly groceries.

Lentil and tomato pasta.

Clearance bargains.

Preserved olives.


  1. Hi Mel, the gift sets all look lovely, and you got some great bargains. Hope you are feeling better soon, toothaches are not much fun. Lisa xx

  2. isn't the govt dental scheme just wonderful? Also it's really nice to find another Perth blogger and learn more from your frugal ideas. Have a great weekend x

    1. Hi Sue,

      Yes it sure is. I would have gone sooner had I have known! You're from Perth too? That's great, I hope you find some tips here :) x