Sunday, 18 September 2016

Taking a break...

I am taking a short break from blogging. I've had mental health issues in the past and am currently struggling once again. I made the decision to go on medication a couple of weeks ago, and I am now working my way through the side effects which have me feeling exhausted at the smallest of tasks. Right now my only focus is to get well again.

Thank you to all my wonderful readers for your support and positive comments, it means a lot to me!


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

I have mentioned in a few of my frugal tasks posts, that I make a homemade hot chocolate mix. A few readers have asked for it, so I thought I would share it today. This is my version of a recipe found on which was not chocolate-y or sweet enough for my liking. I tweaked the ratios and am pleased with the result.

I have not worked out the exact price per batch, but it would be much cheaper than buying Milo and those sachets of hot chocolate!

We love drinking this in the cooler months and if packaged in a jar or cellophane bag, it would also make a nice gift.

1 and 3/4 cup of milk powder
3/4 cup of cocoa powder
1 cup of white sugar
pinch of salt

Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir through until well mixed.
Store in a sealed jar, tin or container. I store mine in an old medium sized Moccona coffee jar.

To use, add 2 heaped teaspoons of hot choc mix to a cup or mug. Add as much milk as you would like, I use the same amount as I would use in a cup of tea. Once the milk is added, stir well. Top your cup up with boiling water and stir again.

Adding the milk to the mix first, gives it a nice froth on the top.


Sunday, 4 September 2016

My Frugal Tasks 4/9/16

Frugal Father's Day gifts.

This week has been a super busy one in my house! My eldest son turned 15, it was also my stepsons girlfriend's birthday and then of course Fathers Day. Mr 10 has been really sick with tonsillitis so in between baking cakes and making gifts I've been snuggling on the couch with him.

Financially this week has been a great one. We found out due to an interest change our mortgage payments have gone down and thanks to buying things on sale, I saved over $200 on my sons birthday gifts. We set a budget of $100 for the kids birthdays, which when they are younger can buy a lot but teens, not so much! We gave him some cologne, a brand name jacket and a jumper which he was super happy with. It was so great to find all of those items on sale!
Thanks to in sourcing, this week we have saved over $800! I don't participate in the Vicky Challenge every week, but when I do I am always amazed at the savings.

So here are my frugal tasks for this week:

-Baked Mr 15's birthday cake. As requested it was a caramel cake. I made caramel icing, salted caramel sauce and some toffee shards to go on top. We have a tradition where the birthday person gets to choose what they want for dinner. He chose chicken, bacon and salad wraps with chips. These were really yummy and cost under $20 including drinks to make for the 5 of us. If we went out to eat this would have cost more than $100!

-Used my homemade bunting and decorations from our 'party box' to decorate the table for Mr 15. These get reused for everyone's birthdays! His gifts were wrapped with silver paper I bought in the post Christmas sales.

-Made another batch of garlic aioli and a jar of hot chocolate mix.

-Picked more kale, silverbeet and oranges from the garden and gave some to a friend who visited and also my parents in law.

-For my stepsons girlfriends birthday, I made a Harry Potter wand and hubby made a box for it to fit into. I also made her a chocolate frog in a box. We had most of the items on hand to make these, and I only had to buy the ribbon.  She is a huge Harry Potter fan and loved these!

-Used $22 worth of Chemist Warehouse vouchers I earned from completing online surveys. This meant our vitamins and prescriptions were free this week.

-Made hubby some chocolates and caramel nut popcorn for Fathers Day. We also gave him a toolbox which I bought ages ago from Kmart and stashed it away. The original price was $20, I paid only $1! He was so happy with this gift! Mr 10 made him a keyring at a Bunnings kids craft session and the teens both bought him chocolates.

-Cooked hubby a Fathers Day breakfast of bacon and eggs, clearly my boys miss bacon! I defrosted some orange juice we had to go with this too and also made spaghetti bolognaise and a chocolate cake  for dinner.

-Did the regular stuff like after boiling the kettle, storing the hot water in a thermos, hung clothes outside to dry and used my carpet sweeper and broom instead of vacuuming.

How was your week?

Mr 15 and the requested caramel cake.

Harry Potter wand, box and chocolate frog.

Cooked breakfast for Father's Day