29 November 2020

Gathering the Fragments 29/11/2020

Life has been busy.

The kitchen has gone in. We are still putting the finishing touches on it - the new cornice, the tiling, deciding where everything will go. As we're being real Cheapskaters and reusing the existing tile, I've been chipping away at what was removed for the new cabinets, a little each day. It's almost impossible to match what we have (c'mon, they're 35 years old and even though they've aged well and are back in style, new tiles really do stick out). Little by little I'm getting there. We only need 33 to do the job, so it's gloves on and chiselly thing chipping away to clean up the old tiles so they can be reused. Doing a little each day, around the other things we need to do, is getting it done.

This week the fridge had lots of bits: some corn kernels, a couple of boiled eggs, a bit of potato salad, half a cucumber, one lonely barbecued sausage, that needed to be used up. These became my lunch for two days, and it was delicious.

For the first time in months we were able to meet face-to-face for our card making day. It was a beautiful day! And productive! Using what I had, by the end of the day there were 12 cards to add to the box for the nursing home. Fragments of paper and cardstock were used up to make the cards.

Each time a milk bottle was emptied, it was filled with water and poured over the tomato plants in the garden. Not only were they watered, but the little bit of calcium in the rinse water is good for them, it helps stop blossom end rot. It cost nothing and only took a minute to do, saving having to buy a specific fertiliser.

I was hoping to get some bread crusts to make crumbs, but it seems they're a popular snack this week. Oh well, maybe next week.

Priceline had an online sale over the weekend, so I took advantage and saved 50% on my make-up, Wayne's shaving gel that he especially likes, some toiletries for stocking stuffers and my moisturiser (when it's half price it's cheaper than the Aldi alternative and as Aldi doesn't do sales, I stock up). And to make it even better, I put it through Hannah's order, received another 10% off and free delivery! That's the bathroom stocked for the next twelve months.

 We really want it finished this weekend coming.

Another fragment that was gathered this week - jars! Lots and lots of lovely jars of all sizes and shapes, courtesy of my friend Joy. Now I have plenty for the summer pickles/relishes/jams/mustards and for the Christmas hampers.

15 November 2020

Gathering the Fragments 15/11/2020

I've just realised I skipped 6 weeks of blog posts.

I've been busy folks, and even the hour it takes to put a blog post together and get it uploaded has been an hour I haven't really had to spare.

But just because I don't post, doesn't mean I have stopped living the Cheapskates way. I've been busy gathering the fragments and building our pantry, creating a bigger veggie garden to feed us longer and for less, and gathering the fragments.

What did I gather this past week (I can't remember back for six weeks, after a while this lifestyle becomes habit and just happens)?

Silverbeet from the garden, to dehydrate.

A single serve of spag bol sauce to add to a tin of tomato soup to make tortellini for dinner. The tortellini was a half price mark down from the freezer. Wayne likes tortellini and ravioli as a change, and it was a quick and easy use it up meal.

Scraps of cardstock to make bookmarks.

The hard end of cheese that was grated into a white sauce to make cheese sauce. Don't throw the hard ends out, even if they look ugly and dried out and yellow - they are still good to use in cooking. I keep them in the freezer ready to grate into a sauce.

A jar of Decaf that was looking a little sad became the base of a bottle of Iced Coffee Syrup. Delicious and with the weather warming up, its nice to have a cold coffee in the afternoons.

Parsley that was starting to go to seed has been harvested and is hanging in the sunny kitchen window to dry.

Lavender from the garden is hanging in bunches to dry. The lavender was gorgeous this year, the first year it has really bloomed since it was planted. These are lavender plants I grew from strikes I took from my mother-in-laws garden three years ago and planted out. This year has been good for them, they have tripled in size and just looking at the side garden makes me smile.

It's been so long since I bought petrol or did a big grocery shop that I didn't have a discount voucher, but petrol was down to 112.9c, the cheapest it's been around here I think this year, so I filled all three cars (mine, Wayne's and Hannah's) up over a couple of days.  Not so much gathering the fragments as saving around $18 on my car alone, so well worth the effort.

All this adds up. Don't ever think that that one thing you do really isn't worth the effort. Saving lavender from the garden for instance means I don't need to buy it to use in the house. Picking parsley from the garden when it's plentiful and drying it (I just hang it in bunches in a sunny window) means I don't need to buy it. Taking five minutes to make a batch of washing powder and then another five minutes to make a batch of Miracle Spray saves over $100 a year! For 10 minutes of my time!

When you add up all the little savings you make each day, then each week, then each month, at the end of the year you have kept a lot of money in your bank account.

If you're not convinced, keep a record of the fragments you gather and how much money they keep in your bank account, and see just how valuable those little savings really are.