15 December 2015

The Week that Was 13/12/2015

The last couple of weeks have been busy, busy, busy with moving to the new Cheapskates website and finalising Christmas plans, but through it all I've pretty much managed to stay true to my Cheapskates lifestyle (although one day I was tempted to just call a cleaning service and go out for dinner!).

Even being busy some things get done because they are habit: things like catching shower water, putting veggie peelings in the worm farm, emptying the vacuum into the compost, freezing planned leftovers as soon as they're made so the fridge fairies don't eat them or they get forgotten, filling the car up with a coupon when petrol was down to $1.08 a litre, picking and eating veggies from the garden, making lunches and so on. They're just normal things that are done out of habit.

Some other ways I've saved money the last few weeks:

Recycling wrapping paper and ribbon by carefully ironing it. Even Thomas is on the "iron the paper" bandwagon to reuse what we have rather than buy new.

Picking beans, peas and zucchini every morning and processing and freezing them straight away. It only takes a few minutes to do small batches and nothing is wasted.

Picked a giant zucchini - this is what happens when you don't get to check the veggie garden for a couple of days! I diced it for stir-fry and bagged 15 cups from it - told you it was big!
Planted more seeds for lettuce, beans and peas. The wind last week destroyed the peas.

Picking the last of the oranges, mandarins and grapefruit off the trees for the fruit bowl.

I bought a tablecloth and eight serviettes in Christmas green from the op shop for $10 and it fits our dining table perfectly. Our table is slightly bigger than normal and tablecloths to fit are expensive. The plan is to embroider Christmas wreaths onto the serviettes using threads I have in the sewing cupboard so we can use them on Christmas Day.

Put the Christmas tree up and decorated the loungeroom. It's not quite finished, hopefully I'll get to it this week. I won't need to buy any new decorations, I've used the things we bought at last year's Boxing Day sales to decorate the tall boy in the entrance hall and it looks pretty.

Made gift tags for the Christmas presents from the wrapping paper used and Christmas stamps I had.

Made bows for the gifts from ribbon in the craft drawers.

Made a double batch of shortbread and AJ took some to a get together for supper.

Made double batches of Cranberry Hootycreeks, Lunchbox Cookies, Choc Chip Biscuits and Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls and froze the dough ready to bake just before Christmas.

Gave some handmade cards to my mother to use. She was going to buy cards, and I had some leftover that as it turned out were just the number she needed. Win, win - Mum had nice cards and I cleared my stash.

Found a lovely gift set of a wallet and key chain in the present box for a 21st birthday present (the original price was $69.99, the sticker over it was $10 - bargain). Used paper we had and I made a card to go with it.

Gratefully accepted wraps, tomato sauce, noodles, rice, pop tarts (the kids will love them), cream and rolled oats (that are very yummy, I tried them for breakfast yesterday), a wonderful boost to the pantry and an amazing blessing.

Spent a lovely day with Wendy on Friday. We talked and laughed and ate and drank tea and talked and laughed some more and drank some more tea, it was a wonderful day.

Wendy gave me a raspberry plant, I am so excited at the thought of having our own raspberries, and it's already sprouting a runner! I've been watching it grow the last couple of days and I can almost see it growing before my eyes.

I'm still making Christmas cakes and puddings. These ones are orders from friends and the profits will be a nice boost to the slush fund. One more cake, three big puddings and four small puddings to go - they should be finished this week before the heatwave arrives - 39 degrees predicted for Saturday! I do not want to have the oven on and pots bubbling away on the stove all day.

I'm so grateful I live in Australia with the healthcare system we have. The last few weeks I've had a lot of different tests done and they have all been bulk billed. If I'd had to pay for three lots of blood tests, two x-rays, and a biopsy and five doctor's visits I'm sure it would have been hundreds of dollars.Instead I presented my Medicare card and could relax and concentrate on keeping well
, knowing I wouldn't have a huge bill.

I'm sure there are lots of other frugal tasks accomplished over the last three weeks but I can't think of them, I really need to write things down as I do them!


  1. Wow Cath you've had a really busy time to and accomplished a lot. Your vegies look amazing, i cant wait to pick our zucchini's. I have had to buy asparagus for the last couple of months and im very happy about that. With all those Doctors visits i hope your ok. Just going through something myself with quite a few doctors visits, blood tests and getting cut into. Not fun. Stay Well Cath xoxo

    1. It was over a few weeks Karen. Those zucchini are just coming and coming. I picked another three this morning. I'm watching the egg plant and capsicum, I'll be making moussaka soon :). Homegrown asparagus - lovely! Now they're producing you'll have them for years and years. I'm very grateful for Medicare at the moment Karen, our budget would be completely shot if I had to pay for everything.

    2. haha Cath im glad you realised that i meant i hadnt had to purchase asparagus for months lol So much better home grown and bought to. I havent picked any zucchini's yet but hopefully in the couple of weeks i will be, lettuces almost ready to, flowers on my cucumbers green tomato's on the bushes. Ive had to pay for Doctors but not pathology. No bulk billing clinics down this way which isnt really good. Take Care Cath xoxo

  2. Dear Cath, that was a busy week. That sounds like a lot of tests and doctor visits i hope you are ok amd nothing serious? From what some of the ladies from overseas write to me all those tests could possibly have been a huge cost, thousands even. Yes i agree so thankful you could have them here fro free.
    Your vegies look beautiful and to me especially the peas!
    It is very hot here now and a terribly hot night so i hope this doesn't come your way! Have a good next week in the lead up to Christmas, with love, Annabel.xxx

    1. Hot here on Saturday Annabel, 39 in the city which means 41 - 42 out here! I may spend the day soaking in a cool bath :) We would never survive without the garden, it saves us a fortune on veggies and we eat a much better variety. I've planted more peas and beans to replace the ones that are getting to the end of their productive life. Lots of packets in the freezer for winter - makes me feel good. If I get enough beans from the next plants I'm going to bottle them. Mum always bottled beans and froze peas and the beans were delicious in winter. I have lots of tomatoes coming on, the next few hot days might help to ripen them.

      If all goes according to plan, next week will be easy, just pottering to finish off Christmas bits and bobs and delivering gifts - I like that part :)

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    1. I have no complaints at all about Medicare, we've always had prompt treatment by the appropriate health professionals and am very grateful for it.


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