10 July 2016

The Week that Was 10 July 2016

I didn't post last week because we were away.  Wayne and I went to Ballarat last Saturday and stayed overnight for the Winter Wonderlights event at Sovereign Hill. It was cold! But so enjoyable. We stayed in one of the older hotels in Ballarat, full of history and just beautiful and then went to the Mill Market this morning. We took snacks and drinks and of course the picnic basket and thermos. I booked the hotel and bought our Sovereign Hill tickets online using my RACV discount.

Winter Wonderlights show at Sovereign Hill, Ballarat - it was cold but well worth the wait, the lights were beautiful and the carollers were gorgeous.

Sunday we woke to a cold, miserable, foggy and soggy day - typical Ballarat in winter. It was perfect for a trip to Mill Market, where we spent a very happy couple of hours oohing and ahhing and drooling over all the pretties.

Then it was time to head for home. I dropped Wayne at LaTrobe Uni in Bundoora so he could help pack up the stand at the Hobson's Bay Club train exhibition and headed on home.

We had no power on 30th June, from 8am until 5pm. It was cold, thank goodness for the fire. Of course no power meant no modem and no Internet unless we used our phones. It was such a peaceful day. I think we should have one power-free day every now and then, it does a soul good to listen to the silence and have time to think one thought at a time, slowly.

Collected water from the showers and added to the washing machine.

Kept the fire going and the ducted heating turned down to 15 degrees during the day. It only came on if the house was really cold. Turned it off completely overnight. I'm expecting a slightly lower gas bill next round.

This week I've had some beautiful op shop finds for a grand total of $10.  I found a double doona cover to turn into a tablecloth for the kitchen table. It will also make 10 serviettes, two tea towels and two new pot holders. There's still fabric left so I may make more tea towels or perhaps a runner for the table. It's blue and white (of course) and coordinates beautifully with my blue and white plates on the wall.

Excuse the creases, I was in a hurry to get this post finished! The doona has washed up beautifully, now to just hem it and the tablecloth will be done!

I also picked up some flannelette pillow slips and a pretty flannelette sheet. I'm going to make pot holders from the pillow slips and re-usable make-up wipes from the sheet. The make-up wipes are going into gift baskets for Christmas.

I found two new vintage embroidered tablecloths, a doyley and a cushion for our bed too. We're in the process of redecorating our bedroom and this little pillow will fit right in to the colour scheme and style and I just love it.

I went to a couple of paint shops to collect colour chips and to price paint. Now to make a final decision and get started.

I measured the window in our bedroom. It's an odd size - 4.5 metres wide. I have some lace curtain I've been saving ( or hoarding, depends on your point of view). If I'm very careful and don't make the curtain quite as full I may just have enough and that will save at least $150. I can reuse the tape off the current curtains which will save more.

Made breadcrumbs using crusts from the freezer.

Added three extra single serve meals to the freezer.

Last week I double batch cooked Sweet'n'Sour Chicken, curried sausages and mac'n'cheese and froze half for future meals.

Picked lettuce from the garden for sandwiches.

Used 50:50 cordial base from the freezer to make cool drinks this week.

We've eaten all our meals cooked from scratch using ingredients in the pantry, fridge and freezer. The freezer is gradually emptying as we go through this year of minimal grocery budget.

I planted some more broccoli and cauliflower seedlings and fed the growing plants with worm tea.

All the kitchen scraps were either fed to the worms, composted or added to the bokashi bucket. It makes such a difference to how full the garbage bin gets.

Dried all washing on the clotheshorses next to the fire.

Getting the most from the firewood - heating the house and drying the washing!

Took advantage of the rain to wet my car, then I raced out with a bucket of soapy water and the broom and quickly gave it a wash. Then a quick squirt with the hose and it was shiny and clean again. Saved $8 at the car wash and only took 5 minutes. And yes, I'm sure our neighbours think I'm mad!

Took the hems up on some trousers for Mum.

Made some vanilla room freshener for the bathrooms.

Downloaded some free ebooks for my kindle.

Downloaded some free embroidery patterns.

Downloaded some free card making templates.

Downloaded some free scrapbooking papers to use as backgrounds for  cards.

Made a baby card for Hannah to take to a baby shower next weekend. Put a gift together from the present box and wrapped it all in a recycled and redecorated paper shopping bag. Saving - up to $30.

Revised our spending plan for the last six months and the next six months. It's the start of a new financial year and a good time to review budgets to make sure they're on track. If they're not it's early enough to catch and make any necessary adjustments so you end the year on track financially.

What have you done to save money, time and energy this week?

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