03 April 2016

The Weeks that Were 04/04/2016

Over the last few weeks I've:

Caught the shower water and used it to water the pot plants.

Cooked all our meals at home, using ingredients in the pantry, fridge and freezer.

Ran the cooler only on the three days it was really necessary. The other days the fans were enough to keep the house cool when combined with shutting windows, blinds and doors before the sun came up.

Dried the washing on the clothesline.

Tidied the bathroom cupboards and inventoried what was in them. No need to buy toiletries for a long while.

Put petrol in my car when it was down to 89c - only took $18 but the next day it was back up to $1.25/litre. Did this a few times over the last month, sometimes the car only took about 20 litres but  the 35c a litre saving is better in my pocket.

Combined errands to save time and petrol.

Made a double batch of Iced Coffee Mix and put it in the fridge for cold drinks.

Used powdered milk to make custard and saved the fresh milk for drinking.

Made fig jam.

Made plum jam.

Made plum sauce.

Stewed nectarines for crumble during winter.

Made the crumble mix, put it in a ziplock bag then put it and the bagged nectarines in another ziplock bag to make crumble kits. No excuses come winter - dessert just has to be baked.

Very, very, gratefully received an amazing gift of groceries (including the plums and nectarines used to make the jam, sauce and crumble kits). God is good,  He knew how to bless us.

Searched Pinterest for ideas and then modified them to make cards.

Sold jam, pickles, relish and some dishcloths for $50 total - just enough to pay for the craft supplies I've been wanting.

Found some silicone cake moulds at the op shop and bought them to use as soap moulds. Paid 50c, $1 or $2 (for the little loaf pans). I now have a nice assortment of pretty shapes: rounds, bars, scallops, teddy bears, santa, butterflies, hearts, rounds to use for soap making.

Parked around the corner from the hospital in free parking. All day parking is only (huh!) $10 a day, but  I've been there three days so far, with at least another four or five ahead. It was a bit of a walk but I figure the exercise is free too.

Cleaned out Mum's fridge and brought home a bottle of milk, some fruit and some vegetables that wouldn't last until she's home.

Took Mum a get well card from my stash and a new face washer and a pretty soap from the present box to use.

Fed the family from a modified meal plan and the very gratefully accepted replenished freezer meals (thank you, thank you, thank you card making ladies) while I was in hospital.

Was able to take meals to mum and my aunty who has come to stay with her for a couple of weeks until we're both back on our feet, from the freezer stash too. Again, saving money, but more saving the worry about them eating well.

Enjoyed a couple of days away over Easter, our last camping trip for a while. Bliss is the silence of the bush :)

Hannah went to Kmart on Easter Sunday and stocked up on Lindt Bunnies $2.25 each, half price, and other chocolate goodies. We now have our chocolate treats for birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Christmas for this year. All safely stashed in a box in my wardrobe.

Bought 10 packets of hot cross buns marked down to 50c a packet. Some in our freezer, some in Mum's freezer. These will see us through winter for weekend snacks.

With time on my hands and not being able to get about I've knitted some dishcloths, crocheted a couple of tea towels and made the cards for the April card swap.

Packaged up some boxes of cards into sets and donated them to the hospital kiosk to sell.

Very gratefully booked a wheelchair (free) at Knox City to make shopping a little easier with Mum on Thursday. She had appointments to get to, the boys took turns pushing her around and I didn't have to worry about her falling or feeling too ill. A great service and one I really appreciated this week.

Bought Borgs Puff Pastry 1kg for $2 (half price) at Woolworths. This is cheaper than Aldi pastry, and coming into winter we'll be making pies, pasties and sausage rolls for lunches. Having the pastry in the freezer means anyone can just thaw, cut and cook. MOO pies cost around 40c each to make if using leftovers, around 70c each if you use baked beans/spaghetti/tinned braised steak etc.Much cheaper than from a bakery and so good freshly made.

Made a triple batch of pie filling and froze two batches for winter pies.

Hannah was able to modify a card from the stash to use as a birthday card for a friend's two-year-old, saving at least $1.

Loved, loved, loved talking Cheapskating with the nurses in the ED, the lovely doctors on the ward and it was a treat to bump into a lovely lady whom I'd met earlier this year and catch up on how she and her daughter are changing to living the Cheapskates way. I hope you get well soon too!

The last month or so has been busy, and I've missed posting each week. Looking back I've still managed to get a bit done, although I haven't felt rushed or pushed at all.

What did you do to save money, time and energy this week?


  1. Hi Cath,
    Glad to read that your mum is home, it must be such a relief.
    I got a raincheck for the Borgs pastry, something that would't have occured to me to ask for prior to joining cheapskates. Petrol was 98.9 in Bendigo so we filled up. Bought some beautiful vegetables at a roadside stall, and was given a box of leafy backs( off the cauliflowers) for my sheep. Baked pumpkin scones and made soup for the freezer. Used leftovers from Easter for most meals last week. We always managed fairly well however we have managed to trim $25 a week which is going into building up our emergency fund after several years of hefty medical expenses so many thanks.

  2. Free haircut from the stage experts and not yet graduated
    Pantry invention for meals
    Had a meatless dinner one night
    Made do with what I had very tight budget week. Taking up extra night shifts. Hope your mum is better soon. I love the soaps but saw Wendy's recipe and I thought caustic soda !!! Lethal. Question ,: can't work full time sue to health and study issues.how will I ever get a place in Sydney the market is.gone crazy !!! Sonia mackellar


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