06 December 2016

The Week that Was 4th December 2016

Refilled the foaming hand-wash bottles in the kitchen and both bathrooms using shampoo we don't like to use on our hair.

Finished making the Christmas cakes and puddings. Four large cakes, twelve small cakes and three puddings made. Whew! Over for another year :)

We put the Christmas tree up and decorated the house. This is a big job and took three days but it is a lot of fun and when the childults join in the memories and laughter the hard work is worth it.

Took some cuttings from a geranium (or pelargonium - I get them confused!) from Mum's garden to pot up. When they're big enough I'll use them to fill in blank spots in the garden.

Fed the fruit trees with worm tea from the worm farm.

Gratefully accepted some rhubarb from Carol (thank you so much!). Cooked it and portioned it into crumble sizes and it's in the freezer.

Found some surprises in the garden. One self-seeded tomato and four zucchini plants and three iceberg lettuce.

Lots of strawberries. I've been picking a small bowlful each morning.

Dried the washing on the clothesline.

Bought a Christmas gift I've been watching on half-price sale that brought it down to my gift budget limit. Yay!

Recycled two gift boxes to send Christmas gifts interstate.

Cooked all our meals from scratch.

Bought legs of lamb @$6.99/kg from The Australian Butcher. One for Christmas, two for the freezer.

Used Officeworks Mailman to send parcels interstate - much cheaper than using Australia Post.

Finished working on my shopping list for 2017.

We have started to review our budget for next year. We are going to increase the grocery budget to $200 a month - double what we've lived on for the last 14 months. I almost feel giddy with extra in the grocery budget.

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


  1. Hi Cath,
    I have really enjoyed the resumption of your blog posts! Now that we are almost at the end of 2016, is it possible for you to share how your strict budget for their worked out in real life? I am especially interested in how your food pantry (stockpile) lasted and what your grocery plans are for 2017.
    With many thanks for the work that you put into this website from Melanie in NZ

    1. The stockpile lasted almost perfectly. I ran out of SR flour - we either baked too much or I didn't calculate it properly. Not a problem, there was plenty of plain flour and baking powder and I was given 2kg that a friend wasn't sure about. We also ran out of peanut butter but that's only because He Who Thinks He's Boss didn't pace himself and at it all in about 9 months. Otherwise it was perfect and the shelves are almost bare at the moment :)

      I'm working on next year's shopping list this week. The plan is to stick to once a year shopping, with a reviewed shopping list and I'll post it when it's finished. I'd like to get the shopping (or the bulk of it) done next week while I have Hannah and Tom to help me.

  2. You had a busy week Cath.

    Your Christmas tree looks very pretty. Ours is up too and I still have a few decorations to put around. I made a big wreath similar to Annabel's, and now to find a spot to put it :)

    I have not heard of the Officeworks mailman. No good to me here but still worth knowing about.

    My veggie garden is looking good and I have been picking cucumbers, spring onions, strawberries, kale and silver beet. I am hoping to have tomatoes by Christmas but I dont think they will be ready.

    The weather has been perfect for drying clothes on the line.

    We had a bit of rain last night so no need to water the garden for a few days.

    I have self seeded tomatoes and capsicums too. They came up in the new compost I used in the beds. Obviously I didn't leave it sit long enough, but that's okay, I will enjoy the extra produce.

    This time of year is always hectic, no matter how organised I try to be lol!

    Next week we are travelling (by car)to Melbourne for our daughters graduation, so that has put the Christmas spanner in the works. I am sure it will all turn out well. Christmas day will come and go and as always I will promise myself to be more organised next year!

    I am looking forward to the new year and new beginnings. 2017 will be the year I will become an empty nester. My job is almost done...

    Much love and many Blessings to you and your family this Christmas Cath xx


    1. Lovely to hear from you Tania hope the graduation goes well, you must be very proud, I know we were when the boys graduated.

      Merry Christmas and here's to a brilliant and beautiful 2017.

  3. Hi Cath do you do your grocery shppng once a year? Obviously not perishables I was blown away by your new budget of 200 a month and that you had survived on 100 a month before that I have so much to learn. Well done on your frugal ways I hope I can implement some of them in our life Hope you have a merry Christmas Janet

    1. I've always bought cleaning supplies i.e. dishwashing liquid, dishwasher powder, laundry soap, borax, washing soda and eucalyptus oil in January and enough to last the year. Last year due to a hiccup with our income I went to not shopping this year other than for milk, bread and some f&V. Living off our stockpile has been an amazing journey that we have survived without a hitch. I'm looking forward to doing it again next year.


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