01 November 2015

The Week that Was

Welcome to November! The year is almost over, where has it gone?

The past week has been quiet. I've not been 100% fit, Mum hasn't been 100% fit and Hannah hasn't been 100% fit. I think our illnesses are a reaction to the hectic and stressful few weeks we've been through, our bodies' ways of telling us we need to drink more water, eat better food and get more sleep (well that's what I'm being told!).

This bug we've all had is stubborn and lingering. We are treating the cough with lemon and manuka honey tea. The stash of lemon juice in the freezer is quickly shrinking, but thank goodness it was there. Lemons are 80c  - $1 each from the greengrocer at the moment and I'm using six, sometimes eight, a day at the moment. Juicing lemons and freezing the juice may not seem such a big money saver but this week the few minutes I spent juicing has saved us between $42 - $48! Lemon and honey is a great sore throat soother and cough suppressant, I'm so glad I've been able to make it for us.

I pottered in the garden on Monday afternoon for an hour or so, weeding and watering and checking mulch levels. I found a few vacant spots amongst the beans so planted more seeds to fill them in. Turned over a couple of empty beds ready for tomatoes, basil and cucumbers to go in. Stomped on a few ants - I hate doing it but they are just everywhere, even in the grass under the clothesline and hanging or bringing in the washing is horribly painful.

Picked my daily fruit portions from the garden. Fresh from the tree oranges, mandarins and grapefruit and a handful of juicy, sun warmed strawberries - nothing you can buy even comes close for flavour and juiciness.

Bought 6 huge bunches of celery from Bushy Park (99c a bunch) and diced and bagged it then put it all in the freezer.

Downloaded some more free ebooks for my Kindle.

Trimmed the bottlebrush that hangs over the clothesline. It's in full bloom and stunning, but it's also dropping blossom on the washing! I just cut back the few branches enough that they don't get the clothesline.

Made some white oil and sprayed the citrus trees and roses. Cost 75 cents to make, saved $12.61.

Watched the weather forecast and checked the BOM radar each day to work out if I needed to water or not. Didn't water Friday as rain was forecast. Listened to the thunder and then rain early Saturday morning and prayed my thanks for the showers - just enough to water without drowning my little plants.

Embroidered Hannah's initials on her towels for trade school  so she doesn't lose them. Apparently these towels have legs and go wandering from time to time, saves replacing them at $8 a pop when they do  :)

Gratefully accepted some samples of cornflakes, chocolate biscuits (which the kids didn't like, they said they're not as nice as homemade), tea bags, honey, mints, tuna, hazelnut chocolate, cranberry drink and dishwasher tablets, a nice boost to the stockpile and some treats I wouldn't normally buy.

Used leftover wrapping paper to make the curly bows for this year's Christmas presents. Saving? Depending on the type of bows you buy between $7 and $60. They're quick and easy, I did them while watching a free DVD of a trip Wayne and I have on our to-do list - the Madigan Line across the Simpson Desert. A girl can dream and plan.

Worked on some more Christmas presents using materials I already had. Made five gifts, saving the $50 that was budgeted for these gifts. The retail price is around $100.

Cooked our meals from scratch, using ingredients in the pantry, fridge and freezer.

Skipped my usual top-up shop on Tuesday and just stretched the milk and cheese to last until yesterday when I called in to Aldi after picking Hannah up from work - combining trips and saving a week's milk and bread money. I'll stretch this lot to last until 10th.

Used some donated card stock and some from my stash to make kits for the charity Christmas cards. Can't wait until next week to see if the card ladies can get them all finished, ready to hand over to Wendy's husband. What an effort that would be :)

Made a batch of simple soap, some for us and some to use for gifts. Scented it lavender (my favourite at the moment) and it smells lovely.

Saved the hems off some towels I'm crocheting around to use as ties in the veggie garden. They're strong, but soft so they won't damage the plants.


  1. Dear Cath, I hope you are feeling better plus your Mum and daughter. It is probably true that you need sleep and rest.
    In spite of this you had a good week. All the little things add up. Like the lemons in the freezer. Lemons are expensive here now too. Luckily I have bags full frozen also for summer drinks.
    I love free ebooks! And when I originally wanted a kindle Lucy said to me Mum that is not a present to ask for its a free thing you download. Oh I didnt know that. So onto my ipad I downloaded kindle. And free ebooks constantly ever since! A lady on A Working Pantry fb page posts free ebooks daily. I pick from them often. Anyway it is great!
    Have a good new week. Now it is November things are getting serious! I got out all my Christmas presents I have made so far. I had forgotten lots of them. This is a really fun thing. But a mess as I spread them out to survey what I have, who for etc. I have enough for Christmas and then some for January birthdays! (yay)
    With love, Annabel.xxx

    1. Thank you Annabel, this bug is just lingering, just enough to be annoying and slow me down, not enough to send me to bed! Little things do add up. I have a Kindle and love it, but I don't have an ipad! I used to read on my laptop but it's a bit bulky for reading in bed or the car :) I started to go through the Christmas gifts too, mainly the ones for the kids (24, 22 & 20 and they still want their stockings from Mum) to make sure their stockings are full - they are of course! I buy or make little things through the year. I've been checking the hamper items too, making sure everything is ready to pack - I have a post about the hampers coming up soon. Well done on having gifts organised for January birthdays, it's a nice feeling isn't it? I also have a post scheduled for dealing with big birthday months - November is ours with six family birthdays this month - sure keeps me organised. Have a lovely week.

  2. Awww i hope your all feeling much better soon Cath, nothing worse than one of those bugs that keeps lingering on. I would love a kindle (one day), i have downloaded the kindle ap on my computer but its a desk top so i have to sit here to read anything. . January is our biggest birthday month with 5 of my family's birthday, next jan is also my second son's 30th birthday and he's getting a wife :) so now we have a wedding to plan. Take Care xoxo

    1. January is a heavy birthday month for us too, not as heavy as November though. 7th, 8th, 18th, 2 on 26th, then our wedding anniversary on 29th. And you have a wedding to plan as well as a 30th and they're on the same day - you'll be so busy :)

      I love my Kindle. The kids gave it to me for Mother's Day last year, when I was sick and spending most days in bed. Then when we did our Cape trip and I was still spending most of my time in bed (we need to re-do that trip, I can't remember the first 3 weeks) I had plenty of reading material, otherwise I'd have gone crazy from boredom. From my point of view it was a great investment. I've just downloaded another 18 free ebooks - it's saving me a fortune :)

  3. Sorry to hear you had been ill Cath, it sounds like the bug I caught earlier this year.

    So many good things in this post. You have so many great frugal ideas :)

    Hubby wants to do a trip through the Simpson Desert too. We have friends that have already done the trip and highly recommend it :) We are going up north next June. Phil has six weeks holidays so we are hooking the caravan up and hitting the road. Up to Darwin, then across to WA and work our way home. Cant wait :)


    1. Oh Tania it is so beautiful, and we've only seen a little from the Birdsville side. It's been on our bucket list for the last 5 years. This winter our trip was up through NSW and Central Queensland, across the Gulf and down the centre with a side trip to Uluru then home. It was beautiful and the time went too quickly.You'll love it. When you're self-sufficient it is surprisingly cheap. Our biggest cost of course was fuel and then caravan parks every 3-4 days for real showers and a washing machine. I froze and vac packed meat/meals/vegetables and that saved a fortune too. You'll have wonderful trip, I wish we were coming with you!


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