06 January 2008

Well that cool change was short lived….

The cool change I've been waiting for since Thursday hasn't arrived. I must be getting old because I really don't like this hot weather at all. I like cold days, where I can take a jumper off if I get too hot. I could apply that same thinking in reverse to manage hot weather but I'm not sure the neighbours could cope with me going topless in the heat.

Keeping the house cool enough to stay in has been a trial. Thank goodness we only have two north facing and two west facing windows, it really helps to keep the heat out. I've been getting up early every morning and closing the doors and windows and pulling the blinds and drapes shut to keep the sun out. The ceiling fans have been turned on early too to keep the cooler air circulating. Another thing that has helped has been closing the doors to rooms we aren't using. So bedroom, bathroom and laundry doors have been closed during the day and it's made a big difference to the temperature in the house. At night I've opened up all the windows and doors and kept the fans on until we've gone to bed and the house has cooled down beautifully, enough for us all to sleep.

There has been a musty odour in the laundry for a couple of days. At first I put it down to the pile of beach towels that never seemed to shrink so I put Hannah in charge of getting them all washed and onto the line. Still the odour lingered. I cleaned the inside of the washing machine with washing soda and vinegar. I wiped over the outside of the washing machine with white vinegar. I checked the freezer was still working (one of my greatest fears is that the freezer will die) and wiped it over too. I washed the floor with water and some eucalyptus oil. I could still smell that musty odour and it was really annoying me. This morning I bent down to get the container of washing powder out from under the trough and I found the cause of the musty smell.

Apparently the join from the washing machine hose to the drain wasn't quite water tight anymore. All the cleaning rags were damp and mildewy (yuk) and the cartons of laundry soap were a soggy mess. Luckily the ice cream container was away from the direct drip or I would be making washing gloop right now.

Thank goodness it was easily fixed. Wayne took his tool box and worked his magic with it. Well not really magic, he tightened the screw around the bracket that was holding it into the drain pipe and then wrapped it with waterproof plumbing tape. Problem solved and odour gone (I put the cleaning rags through a wash cycle with some vinegar and bi-carb).

The back to school frenzy has started, with flyers being dropped in the letterbox a couple of times a week. We've gone over the stationery lists and the flyers and there were only two things we needed to buy.

The first was a set of watercolour pencils. At Officeworks a set of 24 costs $19.95. Campion Books (an educational book shop) sells packs of 24 for $11.95. Our local $2 shop sells a pack of 36 for $6.00 so that's where we bought them, saving at least $5.95.

The other thing we need to buy is a scientific calculator. Again, Officeworks was the most expensive at $19.95. Kmart had a cheaper one at $16.95. Aldi has scientific calculators for $7 starting this coming Thursday so we'll get one of those and save $9.95. We'll spend some time this week re-vamping pencil cases, rulers and folders that we have and everyone will be set for the start of the school year. And I won't be battling the shops the week before school starts either.

There are some really cute school book labels available online. Hannah has been busy printing them out and using her new watercolour pencils to personalize them. She's also made some new labels for her pens and pencils too.

Today's Savings
I haven't been out in the car since Friday, so no petrol used for two days. In fact I haven't filled the car up since 11th December. I didn't believe it had been that long, I had to check the receipts to be sure. That's almost 4 weeks and I still have half a tank! That's $320 still in the fuel budget, just from walking to the shops and planning our trips. That's amazing.

I'm part of the January Grocery Challenge (it's in the Forum) and thoroughly enjoying it. This week so far I've only spent $16.65 of the grocery money, so a savings of $128.35 for the grocery budget.

We ran out of the orange cordial I made on Tuesday, it's been so hot. This morning I made some Magic Cordial instead of putting it on the shopping list. Saving of $1.69 on not buying cordial and using what we have at hand. And it's better for the kids too.

I found some carrots hiding in the back of the fridge so I washed them and cut them into straws and put them in the freezer. Have you noticed that carrots have been quite expensive lately?

Added 3 tsp gelatine and an extra 500ml water to the jelly to make 1 litre from 1 pack. Only saves about 30c but the jelly isn't as sweet and everyone can have a reasonable serve for dessert.

Took the shirts off the line as soon as they were dry and put them away immediately. No creases in them so no need to iron. Saving on electricity and my legs.

It's amazing how little things can save so much and without any extra effort involved.

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