30 December 2016

Cath's Meal Plan 1 - 7 January 2017


This week we will be eating:

Sunday: Roast Lamb

Monday: Lamb fritters, salad
Tuesday: Spag bol

Wednesday: Mexican Lasagne, salad

Thursday: MOO Pizza

Friday: Haystacks

Saturday: Toasted Sandwiches

25 December 2016

The Week that Was 25th December 2016

Merry Christmas!


This week has been all over the place, with lots to do in preparation for today and our holiday.

This week I've been hand watering the garden early in the morning.

The washing machine water has been redirected to the back lawn to keep it green.

I've been catching tap water in the kitchen and bathroom and using it to water the pot plants - they've really needed it in the heat and wind this week. The sun and wind have been harsh, especially on the hydrangeas, and they were so pretty. I've been moving the pots into the shade each afternoon to try and protect them.


The self-sown zucchini has some tiny little zucchini on it. I'll be watching them today and tomorrow so I can pick them before they get too big.


Used some stewed apple from the freezer to make crumble. There was enough for two, one for us to eat and one to share with a friend.


Timing hospital visits for first thing in the morning and later in the evening to avoid paying parking fees ($5 an hour!). If I haven't been able to find a free parking spot I've been timing visits for under 20 minutes to get free parking undercover. Mum isn't up to more than a quick visit anyway so it has worked out well.

Made a quick trip to the airport on Tuesday morning to drop of my aunty and uncle who have gone to Wyoming to spend Christmas with my cousin and his family and combined the return trip with a hospital visit.

Found a surprise waiting for me at the Post Office on Friday morning, a beautifully wrapped parcel of individually wrapped presents. Thank you Tania, they are all gorgeous.


Splurged on Friday and bought 5 kilos of potatoes, then made potato salad (yum!) and kept 14 aside for roast potatoes today and during the week. Turned the rest into wedges and froze them.

Cooked all our meals from scratch or used up some freezer meals.

Hung the washing outside to dry.

Recycled wrapping paper and gift bags to wrap Christmas gifts.

Downloaded some free e-books from Hundred Zeroes.

The loungeroom looked like a paper store had exploded this morning as we opened our Christmas presents.  Wayne gave me a set of cargo trunks and a garden hose that reaches from the tap to each corner of the backyard - no more dragging and swapping hoses to water. AJ gave me  a  scoreboard, Thomas a cutter with fancy blades and Hannah a new handbag and wallet and some die cuts I've had my eye on. And they all gave me lots of chocolates so I'm set for quite a while.  I'm itching to get some time to play with my new craft tools too.


And that's about it. Most of my time has been spent going between home and hospital and trying to arrange respite for Mum when she is discharged.

What have you done to save money, time and energy during this especially busy week of the year?



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23 December 2016

Cath's Meal Plan 25th - 31st December 2016


This week we will be eating:

Sunday: Christmas Dinner

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Leftovers/BBQ sausages, salad

Wednesday: BBQ steak, salads

Thursday: MOO Pizza

Friday: Rissoles, mash, veggies, onion gravy

Saturday: New Year's Eve BBQ

18 December 2016

The Week that Was 18th December 2016

It was a frugal week, and although I feel like a lot of money went out it was all budgeted and planned.

Saved the shower water to water the pot plants. With the warm days and the wind this week the pots needed watering every day.

Dried the washing on the clothesline.

Redirected the washing machine water to the backyard to try and keep the grass green.

Fed the fruit trees and garden with worm tea.

Added all kitchen scraps to the compost, worm farm or bokashi - free fertiliser is on its way.

Took the hem up on two pairs of new jeans for AJ - this saved him money and me frustration watching him wear jeans that are too long and dragging on the ground.

Used MOO condensed milk and half price choc melts to make choc mint fudge.

Picked up some great specials at NQR for our Christmas/New Year/Birthday celebrations.

Stocked the freezer with chicken fillets, wings and drumsticks on sale at Farmer Joes.

Used what we had to put together a Kris Kringle gift.

Cooked all our meals from scratch.

Heard on the TV that petrol will go up by at least 5c/litre before Christmas. It has been the same price for weeks so used my discount vouchers to fill my car, AJ's car and the Patrol before it actually goes up.

Used some of my Flybuys points to buy Christmas groceries.

Thomas moved the rocks from the back fernery so we can start dismantling it. The rocks will be re-used to landscape the front yard.

Yesterday was our last card making day for the year. I managed to get two cards made, thanks to Pamela who did all the hard work for me.


Joy Christmas card


Star card - closed


Star card - open. Hang it on the tree as a decoration.

Gratefully received a bunch of rhubarb from Joy. It's now cooked and made into a crumble for dessert tonight. Wayne is grinning with glee :)


Gratefully and excitedly received raspberry plants from Wendy - I've already put them in a bigger pot in a nice safe spot in the backyard.

Used a $10 off purchases over $60 at Target to finish off Christmas shopping by combining Mum's shopping with mine and split the discount.

Mum had a fall late yesterday afternoon. My brother called me just as we were finishing our card making party. I took my Kindle, bottles of water, fruit and some biscuits (from our afternoon tea) to the hospital with me. We were there until 11pm, about six hours, so we were very glad to have food and drink. I also found a parking spot right outside the ED, saving on paying for parking.

What did you do to save money, time and energy this week?

16 December 2016

Cath's Meal Plan 18th - 24th December 2016


This week we will be eating:

Sunday: Roast Chicken

Monday: Italian Sausage Pasta Bake, salad

Tuesday: Sticky drumsticks, rice, veggies

Wednesday: Cream cheese patties, salad

Thursday: MOO Pizza

Friday: Pasta bake, salad, garlic bread

Saturday: BBQ and salad


11 December 2016

The Week that was 11th December 2016


Here are the ways I saved money, time and energy this week.

Saved the warm-up water from the showers and used it to water the pot plants

Planted some petunia seedlings - then had to dig them up two days later so the Council could check  the stormwater easement! Thankfully they let me take them up and I was able to save then replant them.

Dried the washing on the clothesline.

Had the kids scrub their shower with Miracle Spray. It gets dried after every shower and spritzed on Mondays, but it's been a while since it was really given a hard scrub. Because it's cleaned every day it wasn't hard to scrub.

Made a quick cheats stir-fry using chicken and veggies from the freezer for Friday night's dinner.


Re-potted some plants into bigger pots using MOO potting mix and compost.

Cooked our meals from scratch.

Finally managed to get the spice cupboard sorted, tidied and cleaned. It looks much better and makes me smile when I reach for a spice or herb. I've posted an inventory of the herbs and spices on the inside of the door so I know what I have and what I need to buy or grow.

Went to Spotlight to buy some craft materials on sale and went through the self-serve checkout. I noticed that the total wasn't what I'd calculated so queried it. Turns out, and here's a warning for you, if there is a "store" special, one that is just for that particular store, then the item will scan at full price. For store specials you need to go to a regular checkout so the discount can be applied. I was overcharged $18.47 so I'm glad I noticed. It would have been better if I'd known before I chose self-serve but it's not advertised anywhere.

Petrol price has been stagnant for weeks. Thankfully I'm not doing too much driving, last time I filled up was three weeks ago. I've been putting the petrol money aside, this will pay for our trip in January.

AJ received a parcel and the packing was brown paper - lots of it!


I've carefully ironed it and cut it into lengths, some to share with the card making group, some to put in the kitchen to use for lining cake tins and some to put in the wrapping box.


Wayne and the boys cut down a small tree that was in the wrong place and making a huge mess, then moved a large tree fern into that spot for me. More light in the kitchen and less mess under the verandah.

Wayne trimmed the rose bushes along the driveway.



This week I made a quadruple batch of MOO condensed milk and froze it for Christmas baking.

This week I made cupcakes, shortbread and taco seasoning using pantry ingredients.

I recycled a small box into a gift box for a tiny, odd shaped gift.

What did you do to save money time and energy this week?

09 December 2016

Cath's Meal Plan 11th - 17th December 2016


This week we will be eating:

Sunday: Roast Beef

Monday: Cheesy Stuffed Beef Burgers

Tuesday: Steak and salad

Wednesday: MOO KFC, coleslaw

Thursday: MOO Pizza

Friday: Chops and salad

Saturday: Muffin surprise

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06 December 2016

The Week that Was 4th December 2016


Refilled the foaming hand-wash bottles in the kitchen and both bathrooms using shampoo we don't like to use on our hair.

Finished making the Christmas cakes and puddings. Four large cakes, twelve small cakes and three puddings made. Whew! Over for another year :)

We put the Christmas tree up and decorated the house. This is a big job and took three days but it is a lot of fun and when the childults join in the memories and laughter the hard work is worth it.


Took some cuttings from a geranium (or pelargonium - I get them confused!) from Mum's garden to pot up. When they're big enough I'll use them to fill in blank spots in the garden.

Fed the fruit trees with worm tea from the worm farm.

Gratefully accepted some rhubarb from Carol (thank you so much!). Cooked it and portioned it into crumble sizes and it's in the freezer.

Found some surprises in the garden. One self-seeded tomato and four zucchini plants and three iceberg lettuce.

Lots of strawberries. I've been picking a small bowlful each morning.

Dried the washing on the clothesline.

Bought a Christmas gift I've been watching on half-price sale that brought it down to my gift budget limit. Yay!

Recycled two gift boxes to send Christmas gifts interstate.

Cooked all our meals from scratch.

Bought legs of lamb @$6.99/kg from The Australian Butcher. One for Christmas, two for the freezer.

Used Officeworks Mailman to send parcels interstate - much cheaper than using Australia Post.

Finished working on my shopping list for 2017.

We have started to review our budget for next year. We are going to increase the grocery budget to $200 a month - double what we've lived on for the last 14 months. I almost feel giddy with extra in the grocery budget.

What have you done to save money, time and energy this week?


02 December 2016

Cath's Meal Plan 4th - 10th December 2016


This week we will be eating:

Sunday: Roast Chicken

Monday: BBQ Chicken Quesadillas, salad

Tuesday: Hawaaiin Meatloaf, veggies, sweet'n'sour sauce

Wednesday: Chicken & Spinach Enchiladas

Thursday: MOO Pizza

Friday: Schnitzels, potato bake, greens

Saturday: Tacos



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