A story I filmed a while ago about washing powders aired on A Current Affair last week. I've been making washing powder for just about forever (well it seems that way, it's around 21 - 22 years). I started making washing powder because the boys just loved getting into the laundry gel I was using and smearing it everywhere. They were little, two and three years old at the time, so who could blame them. Jelly-like things are lots of fun for little boys. The cleaning up not so much fun for a frazzled mummy, and so I went looking for a solution. I didn't find one, so decided to experiment with the ingredients for the laundry gel and so my washing powder was created.
It costs me around $10 a year to wash all our laundry. Our clothes are clean. No, they don't smell "nice". No, we don't itch. No we don't get rashes from it. Yes, I do treat stains (I use Stain Removing Soap or Miracle Spray to pre-treat any stubborn stains). I had to pre-treat stains back in the commercial washing powder days too. I don't know how much commercial laundry powders cost, I haven't used them in years and as I only go down the laundry aisle once a year I have no idea what they're selling for today. I do know they cost a lot more than $10 a year!
I welcomed the rain this week. The sprinklers have been kept off, but the garden has been watered. The seedlings are growing, I can almost see them getting bigger every day. That really makes me smile.
I've also been watching the mandarins and oranges slowly change colour. I can't wait to be picking our own fruit again.
Remember back in November I bought lots and lots of oranges for 5 cents a kilo? Well the last of them were used this week! Timely, we can wait until our oranges are ready, and there are plenty of bags of whizzed oranges in the freezer for orange cake and muffins until they are.
Saved $80 by re-purposing pots to plant some raspberry and cranberry canes and some rhubarb crowns. I've put them in pots over the winter because it's easier to protect them from frosts and strong winds and will transplant them to the garden in spring.
Saved $20 on potting mix and fertiliser by using compost, worm castings and some homemade potting mix.
Picked a huge bunch of rhubarb while I was collecting the crowns. Stewed it and we've been eating it for breakfast. Tried a new recipe for a rhubarb and pineapple cake (the recipe is coming this next week) and it's a keeper. Used the last of it to make a small crumble, just enough for two serves.
Gratefully accepted three large jars of tomato paste (we were right out), some tea bags and two boxes of Uncle Toby's Strawberry & Vanilla rolled oats (which are just delicious, I had some for breakfast this morning and Hannah has claimed dibs on the rest).
Kebabs were on the meal plan for Monday night. At $10 each they're just too expensive so we made them. Thomas looked up a recipe online, we had all the ingredients except the lamb mince. We used some of the cooked lamb from the freezer, put it through the mincer and just shortened the cooking time. The recipe made enough kebab meat to make six large pita bread kebabs. With lettuce, tomato, onion and aioli they were delicious and cost under $2 to make! We've decided the recipe is a keeper and I have another way to use up leftover lamb.
I needed coconut cream for a recipe, but didn't have any in the pantry or the stockpile. I MOOed evaporated milk, added some coconut essence and once the recipe was finished you couldn't tell the difference. Saved at least 75c on a tin of coconut milk plus a trip to the supermarket.
Hannah picked up a huge (4kg) bag of soup bones marked down to $1.50 on her way home from work on Friday. There's a big pot of soup on the stove right now, and more bones in the freezer.
Spent a lovely day with the card making ladies last Saturday :) We all managed to make at least the five cards that were planned, some of us managed to make extras. Virtually free entertainment with good friends, lots of chatter and plenty of laughter with some beautiful cards to show at the end - a perfect way to spend a day I think.
Joy gave me a big ball of white crochet/knitting cotton, just perfect for face cloths and trimming face washers, hand towels and tea towels.
Used melted Easter rabbits for the chocolate topping on a caramel slice. I bought the rabbits for 49 cents each after Easter to use in cooking - much cheaper than buying melts or cooking chocolate.
Hannah needed a gift and a card for a baby shower. The card came from my stash, it was the sample I made for last week's card making get-together. The gift came from the present box - some face washers I'd trimmed and a crocheted baby blanket. Total cost: $2 for the face washers. The cotton for the trimming and the wool for the blanket were both given to me by Mum when she cleaned out her knitting stash.
Tipped the water from showers into the washing machine.
Added veggie peelings to the worm farm.
Repaired the tape on the drapes in our bedroom.
While the sewing machine was out I also fixed a cardigan and a camisole for Hannah.
Made lemon and lime cordial with limes given to me.
Saved a couple of envelopes to use in card making thanks to Wendy's tip (the insides are pretty patterns).
Cooked a double batch of burgers and put half in the freezer for another meal. Also made a double batch of marinated drumsticks and put half in the freezer for another meal.
Saved petrol by only using the car to take Hannah to the station or work, otherwise I was happily working here at home this week. Less than a quarter tank used all week. I've put $60 into the holiday account.
What did you do to save money, time and energy this week?