26 July 2015

The Week that was

Some of the flowers from the beautiful bouquet Wayne surprised me with this week

This week has been busy with a capital B!

Lots of frugal tasks accomplished, some started and still in progress and others on the drawing board. The beautiful day last Sunday meant I could nag gently ask the boys to spread another layer of mulch and compost in the front garden beds for me.

I also took cuttings of the lavender to strike new plants. I love this lavender, the fragrance is beautiful, so if I can strike even one more plant I'll be so happy.

Transferred the small amounts of moisturiser and toner left in the bottom of the bottles that I couldn't get out easily into the new bottles. Now I can use every drop.

Kept the fire stoked and the ducted heating off. House has been warm, most noticeably in the early mornings.

Shopped around for firewood. We haven't been wood cutting this year so we've been buying it. Found a tonne delivered for a price Wayne was happy to pay. The boys moved it all around to the woodpile for me then raked the small bits off the grass and put them into a kindling pile.

Closed the blinds and curtains as soon as the temperature started to drop in the afternoons and kept them closed a little longer in the mornings to keep the warmth in.

Then on the couple of beautifully sunny days I opened the drapes on the  north facing windows right up and let the sun stream in. It was so warm we were able to let the fire burn down. I put the clothes horses in front of the windows to dry the towels and bath mats.

Accepted a petrol discount voucher from Mum and used it to get petrol for $119.4c yesterday. I haven't been shopping for 7 weeks so I didn't have any vouchers.

Opened some new soaps and put them through the linen cupboard and the shelves in my wardrobe to harden before using. They'll also freshen the cupboards and help to keep any bugs that dare to try invade away.

Rearranged some droopy flowers into a smaller vase to get another few days of prettiness out of them.

Spent an hour with my garden book planning the spring garden and working out the sowing and planting schedule for spring.

Sorted my card supplies and tidied them up then made some Christmas cards and a few gift cards to match the Christmas themed wrapping paper for this year. Started getting ready for next week's card making afternoon :)

Stocked up on shampoo for 50 cents/500ml bottle on Thursday (on clearance at Coles). Eighteen bottles is enough for two years of shampoo for my family, and all for the grand total of $9.00.

12 bottles of 50 cent shampoo and 4 bottle of half-price bodywash ready to add to the stockpile. 6 bottles of shampoo have been put in the bathroom cupboards

Stocked up on Shapes and CCs for the Christmas hamper and stockings, both on half-price sale at Woolworths this week. They are safely stashed in the box in my wardrobe until needed in December.

Ate out of the freezer all week. The freezer challenge is going well and my freezer stocks are dwindling, slowly, down. It will be at least another 4 - 5 weeks before the freezer is empty enough to even think about re-stocking but by then I'll be in Christmas and holiday planning mode.

The freezer is still full,even with the freezer challenge. Lots of veggies, bread, fruit, chicken and roasts. No mince though!

Printed the meal plan for the rest of the year out and stuck it on the fridge. No need for anyone to ask what's for dinner now, but I know they will :)

Picked mandarins, oranges, grapefruit and lemons off our trees. Made grapefruit and orange and lemon marmalade and lemon butter and froze the lemon zest. The mandarins are beautiful and taste so much better than what I've been buying.

Mended a pair of shorts, a pair of Wayne's jeans and sewed buttons back onto a couple of shirts and one of my caridgans. No more mending pile!

Made some no-bake slices for snacks. No oven has meant no baking. Normally not a problem and I'm sure it is purely psychological but since I've not been able to bake everyone has been craving biscuits and cakes and muffins!

Continued to use up the UHT milk left over from our holiday instead of buying fresh milk.

Saved shower water and the "cold" hot water from the kitchen to water the plants and clean the floors.

Cut down two bathmats that had gone to holes to make pot holders for the kitchen.

My oven was fixed yesterday and I've been baking up a storm! The new fan is so fast,I had no idea the old one was so slow. Baking time has been slashed by 5 - 10 minutes on the things I made yesterday, and that has to mean a power saving.

Experimented to create a slice we had while we were away.It was so delicious, totally not good for us in any way, but so good. Just thinking about it starts us drooling. Everyone has given it the thumbs up so I'll get the recipe typed up and take some photos and post it over the weekend.

The Piglet - a treat we had while we were away. I've never had one before so I created my version of the slice we enjoyed. Thomas said it will be hard, but he'll force himself to eat it so no one else has to suffer the joy agony of The Piglet.

Best of all, apart from picking up the grocery specials on Wednesday morning as I took Hannah to work and Thursday shopping with Mum, I've stayed home, saving on fuel, my time and money.

That's about it, or at least all I can remember. Living frugally is a habit so lots of the things we do are automatic but I'd hate to see how much our budget would blow out if we didn't do them.

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  1. Dear Cath,
    I wish you lived near by. We have a farm with more wood than you cold use in 100 lifetimes and I have seen people buying wood here for huge amounts per ton. But I cant exactly post it!
    50c for shampoo! You were in the right place at the right time! I love your week and am happy you have your oven again!
    I just love to look at what we achieved in a week. It pushes me to do a little more each day. I think its a joy to see what we achieved.
    I am hoping for a good new week. The last few I have been really pleased. Also... I am working on a project from your blog... when I am done I will post pictures and the directions for it will just be a link to your instructions... you will have to wait and see lol!
    With love, Annabel.xxx

    1. Oh how blessed we'd be if we were closer! We usually go out cutting firewood but we weren't sure we'd be replacing the fire. It was so cold when we came home from our holiday that it was a no-brainer - we had to have a wood fire. Wayne and the boys were able to remove the old one and install the new one, then of course we realised we only had a little bit of firewood left!

      I was in Cheapskates heaven when I spotted that shampoo - I cleared the shelves! I dilute it 50:50 with water and usually put it in a pump bottle but I've been thinking of putting it in a foaming bottle instead to see if that stretches it further.

      We had a lovely roast beef dinner tonight, all cooked in the oven, with apple crisp and ice cream for dessert - Wayne is very happy :)

      I don't often post about what I do in a week because most of it is just automatic. But I love reading your lists and Wendy's, they get me thinking about my week and what has been accomplished.

      I can't wait to see your project, now I have a surprise to look forward to, thank you :)

  2. Hi Cath,

    How do you strike a new plant from a lavender cutting? My lavender got really bad winter kill winter before last and has limped along, mostly dead, ever since. I'd love to propogate from the type I have! Do tell, please! Jen.

  3. Hi Jen I'll be doing a post on this later in the week. I have half a dozen strikes going at the moment to replace my old lavender plants. I ended up pulling out most of them, they were here when we moved in so I've no idea how old they were but they weren't doing much, very woody and scraggly even with all the TLC I've given them. Time to start anew. I'm hoping to turn the driveway bed and the beds under the front windows into lavender under roses but it won't be a quick job. I need to strike the lavender and then save up for or ask for roses for birthdays and Christmas as there's no room in my budget for buying new plants.

    1. HI Cath,

      Oh, fab...I'm looking forward to your post on the lavender. Speaking of roses...many of ours suffered from winter kill, too...the first time in the seven years we've lived at our house. Even our beautiful climbing rose has nary a bloom this year! Luckily the rugosa is hardy...still gave us ample blooms for our annual rose syrup for lemonade and other drinks, enough blooms to mix with clover flowers for "clover honey", and even a few to dry for tea and to flavor sugar for delicate tea cookies (or even to stir into a cuppa).

      Just love your blog, Cath...your style is so upbeat and energetic and always inspiring!



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