24 May 2021

Gathering the Fragments 23 May 2021

What we did to save money, time and energy last week, and to use up what we have:

Went to card day and came home having learned a new card layout, and with a big tub of margarine (thank you Maureen and Joy).

Cooked corned beef from the freezer and used the leftovers to make Corned Beef Pie. It was a small piece, so not enough left for another meal of corned beef, putting it into a pie stretched it to another dinner and two lunch serves.

Cooked fish cakes to use up the soft potatoes in the pantry. One large tin of tuna, a large onion, a good pinch of herbs and an egg combined with six mashed potatoes made 15 large fish cakes.  Total cost: $4.70 To buy the same would have cost $42.00 from a local deli!

Made a big pot of chicken soup using up veggies from the fridge, MOO chicken stock and a half a small chicken fillet. This was lunches for four days, with toast.

Made choc coated peanut butter fat bombs and brownies for afternoon teas.

A yarn order arrived so I've been restocking the basket in the kitchen and the shop with dish cloths.

Used an app to find the cheapest fuel in our area. I used to top up once the needle hit the half-way mark, these days I'm topping up when it drops under 3/4 tank. Now that may seem like I'm always at the servo, but I don't drive very far or a lot, so it can take a few weeks for me to use that quarter of a tank of petrol.

Made a batch of Lunchbox Cookies using margarine a friend gave me and MOO condensed milk. That brought the cost for the whole batch down to $3.05 for the batch. I baked half the dough and froze the other half for later.

Made vegetable soup using up carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, potatoes, onions, spring onion, celery and beans from the crisper and a jar of tomatoes. I didn't have any stock in the freezer so I added two good tablespoons of Vegeta stock powder. It was delicious, and even though the days were a little warmer this week, it was still cool enough for soup for lunch.

Hannah and I shared a take-away meal on Thursday night. The boys were having pizza, and we don't like pizza, so we always have something they don't like. This week I was tired and achy and frazzled so we ordered a pasta dish from a local pizza shop and she went and picked it up. The serves are enormous, we both ate our fill and there was enough left for her lunch on Friday. So $14.95 made three meals. $5 for a take-away meal isn't too bad and it was a treat (and really, really nice pumpkin gnocchi).

A friend shared the instructions to make pot protectors, so I've been crocheting a set for Hannah, and a set for me. I'm going to use them in my Pyrex bowls and to separate my good serving bowls so they don't scratch or stick (as glass and Pyrex does occasionally when it is stacked).

We still caught shower warm up water.

We still ran the dishwasher only when it was full.

Laundry was done when the washing machine was full.

Washing was dried inside by the fire.

We kept the fire lit and the ducted heating off.

On sunny days I made sure the blinds were wide open to warm up the house, and closed them around 4pm when it started to get cool.

All our meals except for Thursday were made from scratch, using our food storage. All our breakfasts (pancakes, oats, muesli, McMums), all our lunches (toasted sandwiches, soup, ruebens, eggs on toast) and 6 of our 7 dinners. I kept a thermos of boiling water next to the kettle for tea and used iced coffee syrup to make coffee in the afternoon.

Lastly, I had a brilliant idea on Thursday, of course all my ideas are brilliant! I suddenly realised it was almost the end of May and for whatever reason I started to panic that the present box was empty. Off I went and dragged it out of our wardrobe and tipped it out onto the floor. It wasn't empty! Little piles of things started to appear. You know, like with like. Dishcloths, tea towels, hand towels, soaps, pot holders, jar openers, pens and notebooks, socks, hankies and all sorts of things. The piles had me thinking I needed to streamline my gift book so I could see at a glance (a shorter glance than I had been using) what I had for who for which occasion.  So I'll fess up and say that was a tad more complicated than I thought, or rather, than it needed to be. But I'll soldier on. And in the meantime I'll keep adding to the present box, and Christmas, birthdays and the expected new babies will be well and truly covered for the next year at least.

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