25 April 2022

The Week That Was 24th April 2022

Each week we try to live as frugally as possible. We have to, we don't have an unlimited income, we have a very, very limited income and a rather tight budget.

But that doesn’t mean we go without the things we need; we live the Cheapskates way deliberately. We long ago ditched the stuff that wasn't important to us, so we could have the things that are. It works.

We have everything we need, and after talking to Wayne, we have everything we want too. We have been and are truly blessed.

This week I stopped eating the raspberries and started putting them into the freezer. When there are enough I'll make jam.

Processed orders for dishcloths and started knitting more to replace them in our shop, Home Among the Gum Trees.

I have been checking the daily power usage on my phone. Our bill was going up, and our usage was going down. Something didn't add up, so I've been tracking it each day, and when the next bill comes in I'll be checking it to make sure it is correct. A phone call to our power company will follow, to discuss rates.

Placed a bulk order with Hindustan for soup mix and beans. Combined with a friend to get the free delivery (orders over $90 in Melbourne metro area), otherwise I'd have had to drive to Dandenong to pick the order up and with the price of fuel, that wasn't something I wanted to do in the Patrol.

Made a bulk batch of chilli. We had some for dinner on Monday night and the rest has been frozen for future meals.

Made a bulk batch of spag bol sauce by turning 500g mince and two cups rehydrated TVP into pasta sauce. Used some on Tuesday night, and bagged up another three meals for the freezer.

Packaged rice, soup mix and beans in mylar bags for long term shelf storage. Interesting experiment; the oxygen absorbers have worked in some of the bags, and not in others, yet they all came from the same packet and were opened and used at the same time.

Dropped Hannah's car at the mechanic for her. Twice.

Was very grateful for the rain we had on Monday and Tuesday. Rain water seems to really give the garden a boost and it saves watering.

Dried the washing on the clotheshorses on wet days.

Used the lamb bones to make soup. Put some in the fridge for lunches and bagged some up for Hannah. The rest is in the freezer.

Added a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the mop water to freshen the house.

Bought reduced Easter chocolate at Aldi to add to the baking stockpile.

Kept an eye on the garden to make sure the areas that have been seeded stayed damp. As a result there are already beetroot, turnips and parsnips peaking through.

Found Shapes marked down to 13 cents a box at the Reject Shop, with three months on the date. Bought six boxes and put them away for treats and birthday celebrations through the year.

Too good a bargain to pass up and they will keep for months past the BBD

 Used capsicums from the garden to stretch burrito filling.

Used canned potatoes, dehydrated onions, celery and carrots and the last of an A10 tin of tomatoes to make tomato vegetable soup for lunches.

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

17 April 2022

The Week That Was 17th April 2022

Time gets away from me, especially if I don't add to my list as things are done.

One reason I've not posted is I've been busy! Strange that, considering it is the busy time of year, with the garden and preserving happening.

This week:

Stale bread was dried to make breadcrumbs.

Oranges and lemons were sliced and dehydrated for winter.

Dehydrated pizza sauce.

Dehydrated pasta sauce.

Laundry was dried on the clothesline on sunny days.

All our meals were cooked using ingredients in the pantry.

I finished a couple of dishcloths for the gift box, and two hanging kitchen towels that will be a gift.

I set AJ the challenge of researching printers. My printer stopped working and while I don't print a lot, when I need to, well I need to. I did price getting printing done but boy is it expensive so I'm hoping he'll find one, otherwise I wait until the EOFY sales and see what pops up.

I dropped my car at the panel beaters, they'll have it for three weeks. After waiting over three months, another three weeks is nothing.

Fed the fruit trees with worm tea.

The first Pink Lady apple on this tree and it's a beauty!

 Little oranges on the trees fed with worm tea this week

Put the veggie peelings into the compost.

Saved the cardboard from some parcels for the garden.

Planted up three limes and a lemon tree that Hannah bought me on clearance.

Ate fresh raspberries, straight off the canes, for my breakfast every morning.

Replanted peas, parsnips and mini turnips that were eaten by something.
Squashed a snail - at the very top of the orange tree! This particular tree is in a pot, on raised bricks and it's about 130cm tall. I can honestly say I have never had snails at the top of my fruit trees before, or at least I've never found them.

Made a triple batch of focaccia filling. We had some for lunch on Saturday and I bagged up the rest. Hannah took some home, and the other packets are in the freezer. Used capsicums, zucchini and eggplant from the garden and garlic, onion and mushrooms from the preserves pantry. Only bought ingredient was tinned tomatoes, bought in bulk and cost 40c. Total cost for 8 meals for two: $1.40 (everything other than tomatoes were grown in our garden, from seed).

The eggplant were very slow this summer, but they are making up for it now. I'm picking 5 - 6 every day, good thing we like it.

Worked on Home Among the Gum Trees.

Bought a half leg of lamb from Aldi ($11.99/kg) for Easter Sunday dinner. Wayne is cooking it on the barbecue as I type, and the veggies are ready to go into the oven. The bones will be used to make soup for the coming week - it's going to be cool.

Planted a little wooden wheelbarrow with lavender grown from slips. The wheelbarrow is made from scrap pine, and I whitewashed it to take away the bright yellow-ish colour of the pine. Embellished it with a little wooden birdhouse I painted and distressed. We are thinking of adding both the wheelbarrows and the bird houses to Home Among the Gum Trees - what do you think?

Labelled Lacey's water bucket so everyone knows it is her drinking water.

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

13 April 2022

How do I recycle these jumpers?

Here's a mid-week challenge for you: how can I recycle four of Wayne's old work jumpers?

The problem is the logo, it is embroidered on two and stamped on the other two. Because of the work he does they can't go to the op shop with the logo on them (for security reasons), but I can't get the logo off them.

They are otherwise in good condition (two are too big for him the other two are two small) so I'm looking for ways I can use them that won't be a security issue.

I've thought of using them as padding in pot holders and to make hot water bottle covers, even though they're not the prettiest jumpers they are pure wool.

So I need your ideas. What can you suggest? How can I recycle these jumpers, without compromising his company to stop them just going to landfill (which is what the other employees do - cut the logos out and then toss the jumpers).