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?


  1. I used an old doona cover to make aprons, wool roving bags, edging on a non slip mat for Spinning Wheels and small drawstring bags to hold the mat. I made two sets. These are part of my contribution to our Spinners and Weavers upcoming silent auction. I also made two craft totes using fabrics from my stash. These are also part of the fundraising silent auction. Several bids have already been made.
    Our GS is growing like a weed. He is 10 months old and is now wearing Size 3. I made him a sleep sack out of my fabric stash. His Mum bought the zipper for the sleep sack. I also made a number of bibs. The pattern was traced off one that still fits him.
    I have planted more seeds in my little greenhouse. These were the free seeds I just got from my Diggers Club subscription. I 3/4 filled one of two new raised garden beds using home made compost. It only needed one bag of potting mix to complete filling it. I purchase a $6 bale of sugar cane hay and run it through my mulcher. I get so much more from this than the mulch hay at the Nursery. I covered the new bed in mulch and then planted it out using seedlings I grew from seed.
    Bluey picked up a bag of plums for free. We gave some to our neighbours, some to our daughter for our Grandson who loves them(he just loves anything that is food) and we ate the rest. Bluey also picked up several day old loaves of bread for free. We ate some, made some nice bread crumbs and the chooks got the rest.
    I am still tossing up whether I will get some of those mylar bags. I think I will wait and see what you end up thinking about them. Have a good week.

    1. The mylar experiment is 50:50 - about half did what they were supposed to do. I tend to think of them for more long, long term food storage - think 25 years - rather than the couple of years our pantry holds at the moment. You had a busy week. I'm always surprised at what can be made from doona covers and sheets - just looking at the fabric as fabric and not a doona cover makes a huge difference. Your silent auction items sound lovely. The bibs are very cute, and how good is it that your little grandson is growing and healthy. Free seeds are always fun, and Diggers seeds are wonderful, but free fruit, with enough to share, is fun too. Plums were popular in our house too when the kids were little - they were "those purple things that are yellow with the rock inside" according to one little person, and that is what we still call them. I bet the chooks loved the bread too.

  2. For the past week I had been preparing myself, pets and home for my upcoming trip to hospital and for my return home. Batch cooking has now filled two shelves of my freezer with cottage pie x 6, fried rice x 4, zucchini soup x 6 and sunshine soup x 8. Plus today I added four meals of chinese style dumplings, a dozen egg muffins (crustless quiche cooked in muffin tins) and 8 serves of cooked rice to the stash.

    I'm still picking zucchinis, strawberries, spuds, chives, parsley (it's having a real growth spurt at the moment!) chard and the straggling tomatoes. I've been drying mints for herbal teas - peppermint, gingermint, applemint, spearmint and pineapple mint - also lemon verbena and lemon balm.

    Yesterday, I transplanted some self sown celery, sorrel, beetroot and parsley seedlings. There are hundreds more popping up between the pavers LOL and boy are they hardy little beggars.

    Due to testing positive to covid over the weekend, I am no longer going into hospital so I'll be keeping myself occupied with the frugalcentric activities I had planned for my homecoming including getting to know my vacuum sealer better!

    1. I hope you can kick that virus to the kerb quickly! Your freezer stash sounds wonderful and delicious, and comforting to have for when you're not 100%. Self sown food is free food and who doesn't love free food! Enjoy the vacuum sealer, you will LOVE it.

  3. I saw a recipe that said “Easy”, “3 ingredient” and “Instant Pot” to make my own ricotta cheese. Since I always have lasagna noodles and all the other ingredients except ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese that I might substitute for it)on my pantry shelves, I was intrigued! I had an unopened 1/2 gallon of milk in my basement fridge that I bought on sale for 88 cents a couple weeks ago, which is exactly what the recipe called for. It made about 24- 30 ounces of the most wonderful tasting ricotta! To buy it would have been between $3.49- $5.99 depending on brand. Even store brand cottage cheese wound have cost $2.99. And, best of all, after learning this new “skill”, I can have ricotta here at home whenever I want it without having to go to the store (spending time and gas on top of the purchase price!) I also got about 3 cups of whey! Here’s a link to recipe if anyone is interested- https://foreignfork.com/wprm_print/12868.

    My good friend who works at a Krogers texted me during her break to let me know that 16 Oz Barilla spaghetti noodles were clearanced to 25 cents each and Creamette pasta (several varieties) were marked down to 50 cents. They also had 4 pound bags of sugar marked down from $2.49 to 99 cents! I texted my daughters and another friend and picked some up for them as well! I thanked her that night and she told me that oatmeal was going to be priced on clearance. It was 99 cents for 42 Oz (2 pound,10 Oz)cartons of Quaker brand! That’s less than 38 cents a pound!! My daughters are thrilled as I am to add it to our pantry! I actually prefer the regular old-fashioned rolled oats that these were because you have complete flexibility to convert them into quick or instant oats/oatmeal! Their regular price is $6.99! !https://pin.it/7kLPhIy I bought 27 cartons to split between us and at first it rang up as $188.73 ($6.99) but Then it discounted and we saved $162 on something that we regularly use and store!
    Hubs found a used trailer on Craigslist and it was wonderful ! https://pin.it/1sUCZcZ. As you can see, we loaded it with the rotted wood that we replaced from our raised bed garden and were able to take it to the dump ourselves. It cost us $16. at the dump, but it would have been over $200 to hire someone to load it up and haul it away for us! Think this is going to be a good equipment investment for us!
    Then on Saturday, our daughter came with us to an estate auction where I saw a chest freezer in the preview photos. We took our trailer and she ended up getting the 23 cubic foot Kenmore freezer for $255!! https://pin.it/6Fualax. It is older but works perfectly and has a good gasket seal. We loaded it in our trailer and hauled it to their home. Her husband had cleared a spot in the garage along a side wall and it fit exactly! They are excited about getting some freezer sale things today to start filling it! Looks like the trailer will be getting some good use!
    My 6 month old grandson was admitted back into Childrens Hospital late Saturday night and I was able to take ham salad sandwich, granola bars, cheese crackers, grapes, cookies, bottled water and a mini beef pot pie to his mom on Sunday (she’s been staying with him at hospital) and the only time it took was for me to pack it into a bag to hand off to her! She has access to a fridge and a microwave by the nurses’ station across from his room.
    So that’s been my frugal week. A few different specifics, but mostly, nothing out of the normal routine here.
    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Prayers your little grandson will be well very soon and for his mother and father. What a week! Love that you added making ricotta to your skillset. And a trailer is such a handy thing to have - you never realise how much you'll use it until you get it :) What a blessing the freezer will be to your daughter, I know we wouldn't live near as well as we do if we didn't have the freezers. I hope she can fill it with bargain priced food quickly.

  4. Sounds like you had a good frugal week Cath.

    I made bulk potato and leek soup for Dad and myself with leeks from my veg patch. Also made an impossible pie for Dad {using his eggs} and Chocolate pudding for Phil. I dried onion and leek greens and chives for the pantry. Picking guavas at the moment, eating fresh and will be drying some. Also picking capsicums and dragon fruit. I have planted out broad beans, beetroot, cabbages and chard in the veggie patch and have more seedlings growing nicely to go in soon. We have had rain, and yes doesn't the garden love it? I have harvested most of my spaghetti squash, and ended up with quite a few. I mended/darned over a hole in a pair of Phil's jeans. I made two loaves of sourdough bread and zucchini bread using up excess zucchinis from Dad's garden. And I processed a heap of tomatoes from dad into 400gm lots and froze for using in place of tin tomatoes, the flavour is so much better.

    Have a lovely week!

    1. What a busy week! Potato and leek soup sounds good and that chocolate pudding, well I bet that went down a treat. You added so much to your pantry! I love your garden, it inspires me so much. I'm glad you had rain, hope not too much! It's either a flood or a drought isn't it. Homegrown tomatoes are always better than the bought tins, I'm sure you'll enjoy them.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment...I just love hearing from you!

Just a couple of things:

Please don't use your comments to advertise your business or goods for sale, any such comments will be removed.