09 August 2015

The Week that was

The roses along the driveway are starting to bloom again
Here's what I've accomplished this week. When I look at this list it's hard to believe so much was done, especially as I've been busy getting ready to go to Adelaide on Friday, but nothing took very long to do or was particularly strenuous. They're just everyday things I do to care for my family and our home so we can live happily within our means.

Sunday night: 

Put the veggie peelings from tea into the worm farm. Added the orange, grapefruit and onion peels to the bokashi bucket (worms don't like citrus or onion).

Used a tin of pie apple (bought for 40 cents a can a while ago) to make apple sponge. Made a stirred custard using powdered milk, cornflour, sugar and an egg to serve with the pudding.

Went through my craft drawers to find suitable papers for the male cards I'm making for the card challenge. Made the ten cards in under an hour using a production line method. Printed off a return address label for the envelope so Joy doesn't have to worry about it, she can just stick it over the label with her address and stick on the stamps.


Dropped Hannah at the station and stopped at Bushy Park for 40 kilos of potatoes on sale for the grand total of $8.92.  Yep, 20 cents a kilo! For my American readers that’s just 9 cents a pound! And as a bonus I was given 12 large bread rolls free! We have hamburgers on the meal plan for Saturday night so they'll be perfect for MOO burgers :)

Steamed, mashed and bagged 3 kilos of sweet potato, ready to be used in baking.
 Sweet potato, ready to be steamed

  Sweet potato, steamed, mashed and bagged ready to use in baking
Dried 4 loads of washing on the clotheshorses in front of and next to the fire. Between the rain, hail, wind and freezing day I decided the fire was never going to go out and the heat it generates not only keeps our house toasty warm but all the washing was dry before I went to bed.

Collected a large mixing bowl of water from the kitchen sink (waiting for hot water). I tipped it into the washing machine on Tuesday morning.

It was very cold, only 8 degrees again, so I added an extra layer of clothes in the form of a spencer under my t-shirt and stayed warm all day.

Enchiladas were on the meal plan but I didn't have any wraps or tortillas. Made 12 tortillas for around 50 cents using flour (Aldi) and MOO yoghurt.  To bulk out the filling I used one whole chicken fillet and two tins of baked beans with 1 teaspoon of MOO taco seasoning (Hannah doesn't like them too spicy). Total cost for 11 enchiladas was $4.40 or 40 cents each. The leftover tortilla was turned into an Elephant Ear for morning tea the next day.

Wayne was home late so I kept his tea warm by sitting his plate on a cake rack on the fire and putting a cloth serviette over the plate. Worked a treat, his dinner was piping hot and hadn't dried out at all. Saved turning the microwave on for 3 minutes.


Wayne was able to drop Hannah at the station, so no need to go out at all, saving petrol and time.

Collected water in both showers and the kitchen. Used it in the washing machine as it was clean.

Vegetable lasagne for tea made with zucchini, onion, celery, sweet potato, eggplant, capsicum and tomatoes from the freezer. Made the lasagne sheets using 1 cup of plain flour and one egg. No one commented and all plates were clean so it must've been OK. Hannah and Wayne bagged two of the serves that were left for their lunches the next day. The whole dish cost 40 cents or just 5 cents a serve (I cut it into eight serves) - the price of the flour and the egg (both from Aldi). The veggies came from my summer garden.

Signed up to Stan to get the 1 month free. Made a note in my diary and on Google calendar to cancel it before the month is up or I'll be billed $10. I don't watch a lot of television, but there are some particular programs and styles of programs that I like so I'm hoping I'll find some and be able to watch them of an evening for free. The shows on television at the moment don't represent my beliefs or ideals and as I firmly believe that what you watch and read (I'm fussy about books too) stays in your mind to continually influence your thoughts I struggle to find anything I think worth watching on free to air TV. A month of free movies and TV is very exciting for us.

Washed sheets and towels, using the water collected from the showers, and dried them over the clotheshorses next to the fire. They were dry before bedtime so I was able to fold and put them away.


Checked the Woolworths and Coles specials and decided there's nothing we need and certainly nothing cheap enough to make me want to rush to either supermarket.

Called into Mum's and picked up some jars she's been saving for me. The dishwasher had room so in they went and I ran an eco cycle. Added nine new jars to my stash for summer.

Finished off a dishcloth I started last week. My knitting was put aside so I could get some cards made while I watched an episode of Lark Rise to Candleford on Stan.

Kept Hannah's tea hot on top of the fire. She worked until 8pm so wasn't home until 8.30pm and said it was just right, not too hot, not at all cold.


Stitched a button back onto the jacket I wore for the Today show interview on Tuesday morning. It fell off as I walked around to the park (outside broadcast, boy was it cold!). Thankfully I heard it hit the path and picked it up. Two minutes with a needle and thread saved me having to replace all the buttons and at least $5.

Took Mum shopping and she shouted coffee and lunch.

We've been living the Cheapskates way for 21 years this month and now we are about to go right back to the beginning, well almost, we'll still have an income, just a greatly reduced income (by about two thirds of what we currently earn) so tracking our spending and what we do to save money is more important than ever before!

I'm re-working our grocery spending, shopping lists, stockpile and meal plans and some other bills (petrol, phone, internet) as we have decided to fast forward some plans we had for the future to just next year. This means we'll need to boost our savings considerably in a very short time and that means cutting back where we can as we'll be down to half our current income. I look after the groceries so that's where I'll start. My aim over the next two months is to calculate exactly how much of every grocery item we use is already on hand and how much of each thing I'll need to build up to twelve months supply before the end of the year. The stockpile is currently between 3 - 6 months for most things and 12 months on cleaning and toiletries. And I need to do this on the grocery money I have, there isn't any extra at the moment. We've done it before, I know we can do it again.

Found four pizza bases marked down to $1.50 (37 cents each) so bought them instead of making pizza bases tonight. Three out for tea, one in the freezer. My freezer challenge is working, sort of. I am using freezer stocks but it's hard not to add to them too!

Hannah and I had freezer meals (so free meals) for tea. Wayne and the boys had MOO pizzas using scraps from the fridge.

Used a petrol discount voucher to get $30 of petrol for $134.9/litre - just enough to last the rest of the week. Petrol hasn't come down this week so I only bought what I will need until next week when it will hopefully be cheaper.

While the oven was on for pizzas I put a batch of muffins in, ready for the weekend. Made 16 muffins for $1.85 or 11 cents each. Used some stewed rhubarb from the freezer (from Mum's garden last summer) and white choc chips from the pantry to flavour them.


Bought three kilos of pickling onions for $1.50. They'll be made into pickled onions ready to add to the Christmas hampers.

Added orange peels saved from our morning tea to a big jar of vinegar to make citrus scented cleaner. When the peels have steeped I'll dry them to use as fire-lighters.
Orange peels steeping in vinegar to be used as a cleaner
Changed the meal plan slightly from zucchini slice to schnitzels with mushroom gravy. Still a meatless meal (I make our schnitzels, they are vegetarian). Used dried mushrooms and MOO cream of chicken soup to make the gravy. Made a double recipe so enough in the freezer for another meal.

Downloaded 14 free books for my Kindle from hundredzeroes.com. Love that I can get free books so easily.


A day at home is always frugal!
MOO burgers for tea
Hamburgers for tea. I always make the patties myself, using equal quantities of mince and rolled oats, seasoned with onion flakes and 2 beaten eggs to bind. I measure out 1/3 cup of the mixture and use my burger press to make nice, round, even burgers just like the bought ones. I've had the burger press since before we were married and it gets a regular workout for making burgers and rissoles. I used the buns I was given earlier in the week instead of making or buying them, and onion rings from the freezer.

Finished off my cards for the card swap and posted them to Joy.


Went to Tasman Meats and used my $5 off a $40 spend to stock up on chicken fillets and mince. Mince was still $5.99kg so only one tray bought, it's too expensive by far at that price. Added  three packets of mince and 10 of chicken fillets to the freezer but in light of the changes we are facing I thought it more prudent to take advantage of the low prices while they are available and I have the money.

Spent an hour weeding and digging compost into the garden to ready it for spring planting. More important than ever now to make sure the veggie garden is as productive as possible.

Made two loaves of English muffin bread, one for lunch and one for toast during the week.

Made brown sugar. The canister is full.

Made some caramel tarts using ANZAC biscuits and MOO condensed milk. The ANZACs turned out nicer than Butternut Snaps and I didn't have to buy them, they're easy and cheap to make.

Follow on Bloglovin


  1. I always read Cath but have never commented!
    A few things I can pick up here, thanks.
    Have a good week.

    1. Well I'm so glad you commented, and you've found something useful!

      Don't be a stranger, I love to hear from readers, so please keep in touch :)

  2. Another fabulous week Cath. I really enjoy reading all about what you have done. The little things sure do add up. Cutting down in preparation to half income is a huge undertaking. To have the know how to do this is an underestimated skill. You inspire me so much! Kaye xo

    1. Thank you Kaye. We've lived on less, and the children were, well children, so I'm sure we'll be just fine. This has happened a little earlier than we planned so we're in fast forward mode at the moment. Our final figures are just on 1/3 of our current income so I'll be using all my frugal and Cheapskating skills to keep us on track and living the life we want to live. We are blessed that having been in this position before we know what to expect, what to do and how we are going to feel about it so we can just get on with living :)


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment...I just love hearing from you!

Just a couple of things:

Please don't use your comments to advertise your business or goods for sale, any such comments will be removed.