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This weeks 5 Frugal things on a Friday OR 4 Frugal things and 1 really, really not, frugal thing on a Friday

Friday, 27 May 2016

Hello Dear Reader,

Okay, lets get the really, really NOT frugal thing over with first. I did an Introduction to Permaculture at Northy Street City Farm, on the weekend (not the un-frugal thing) and on the Sunday they have Queensland's largest organic open air market in their car park. I thought I would have a really quick look through the fruit and veg before the course started.

Now, this market is huge and I only got a glimpse of it, it looked really interesting and I am sure there would have been more than the one fruit and veggie market to maybe compare prices. Anyway I knew I wanted some red paw paws, as the ones we have been buying for the last two week at ALDI have been woeful (going off before they even ripen, so, going off, but still green = YUK)

I quickly selected 2 smallish Red Paw Paws and 5 Mandarins (I was so excited to see the puffy skin variety as these are usually super sweet and juicy) all the time being jostled along by people carrying armloads, baskets and shopping trollies full of beautiful fresh produce.

There were probably 5 checkouts with very quick and efficient attendants tallying up the fruit and veg for all the patrons, when it was my turn, the amount the lovely girl stated, almost made me fall over. "Thats $19.70" I said to her in my stupor "it's lucky I have just enough" I wasn't kidding, I only had a $20 note in my wallet. Now normally I don't carry any money, at all, but hubby had kindly put in $20.00 the day before as I was travelling into Brisbane both days for the course.

The price for the produce is clearly marked but I guess in my rush I didn't mentally tally up the produce. I felt like a complete idiot. Now I am not saying that organic produce isn't amazing, its just an amazing price. I understand that to produce a certified organic product costs big mega bucks, but I thought what I paid was outrageous. I don't know how people could afford to buy huge quantities of this organic fruit and veg, good on them if they can justify it, I can't. So there you have it, 1 un-frugal thing, now on with the Frugal stuff

The Red Paw Paws had better be amazing, they are still ripening, the mandarins have been quite dry, which is so disappointing

1. Line dried all the washing. The days are getting much shorter and the cold moist air is starting to come on about 4.30 to 5pm. So as long as the washing is off by then, I have very dry clothes

2. Made a loaf of light rye bread

3. I participated in a 2 day Introduction to Permaculture at Northy Street City Farm. I think that sustainable gardening and being frugal go hand in hand. I so enjoyed this course and I learned so much. It was lead by Morag Gamble, she is living and breathing a Permaculture life and you can find her blog here. Morag has been involved with this garden (Northy Street City Farm) since its inception, 20 years ago.

All the trellis supports are made from bamboo which is grown at the farm 

All the veggies and herbs are grown in raised garden beds for ease of planting and picking 

The gardens are so lovely and well set out, there is a grassed area where families gather on the weekend. It's a wonderful playground for kids 

More raised garden beds 

Making a wicking bed, the next day we planted seed potato's and lettuce seedlings. The lettuce will be well and truly finished by the time the potato's are ready to be picked 

Making a worm farm out of a broccoli box 

Morag and I 

4. Made a cake to take to work for "Australia's biggest morning tea" raising money for Cancer Council Australia. I made my Almond, Cinnamon and Walnut Cake the recipe is here.

So, tell me, what were you frugal or free accomplishments this week?


  1. I have thought of attending Morag's course. Do you think it is benefital to those with a small garden? I would be travelling from NSW so maybe need to combine it with a family holiday. I can't stand Paw paws but my husband adores them. Even at $4 per fruit at ALDI is a stretch for us and it is a treat for my husband. Fortunately they've tasted good so far. But I had been finding the mandarins at ALDI were tasteless so bought them at our local grocers for not much of a price difference and they definitely tasted better. I pretty much do the same frugal things every week. This our short week for money so I held off buying some wool and even though I really feel like take out tonight am using what is in my freezer instead.

    1. Hi Therese,
      I really enjoyed the course, however I really didn't learn anything new. It was a pleasure to be there and listen to this very wise woman who is so passionate about living a permaculture life, I found it inspiring and reinforced my knowledge of permaculture as a whole way of living. The main thing I took away was the benefit of composting, now we all know how good compost is for the garden and up until now I have been happy with my worm farm and worm tower, but now I am on the look out for a second hand compost bin to start this really beneficial process. Morag did mention a couple of really good permaculture books that she found informative without being too wordy. If you are interested I can post the book titles and authors.
      In the past I wasn't able to stand Paw paws either (thats the yellow ones) but I now just adore the red paw paw and often buy 2 a week to have with our breakfast.

    2. It would be wonderful if you could post the book titles with us(or maybe do a book review) I'm sure there are others who would be interested. I tried to borrow Jackie French's book from the library but they didn't have it. By the way keep an eye out at ALDI for composting bins. In the past they've had a double sided barrel rotating one for $99. It seemed to be very compact but I never had the money at the time to purchase it.

  2. That course sounds wonderful, I would love to do something like that. Check out 'Spurtopia' on Youtube if you have not already - frugal gardeners in Brissy, very inspiring. Have a lovely weekend.
    Tania in Melbourne

    1. Hi Tania,
      I actually visited Romans garden when they lived in inner Brisbane, quite amazing really, just a beautiful couple who are passionate about living a wholesome, healthy life. He appeared on Gardening Australia a couple of time too, if you go back on the archives you will find his stories.
      I hope you too have a wonderful weekend.

  3. You're very inspiring!! I don't know how you get everything done when you also work outside of your home. I am lucky as I work from home so I am able to do tasks to save money while working from home. This week I baked bread, a cake, made spaghetti bolognaise for dinner one night, which then morphed into Mexican the following night and mince pie the next. So one packet of mince (300g) did 3 meals. I also have been busy making preserves which I barter for my fruit and vegetables. My biggest weakness would be purchasing craft supplies, but nothing was purchased this week except some bees wax to make food wraps as a plastic alternative. I am hoping this will give me plenty to make some as gifts for friends and family and therefore saving more money. I love reading your posts, keep up the great work.

  4. Hi Andrea,
    You know the saying, if you want something done, ask a busy person. I love routines and schedules and I guess that is how it all gets done in the end. I also have good support with hubby, I am not saying he does a lot but he is always there to help.

    I love that idea of multiple uses of mince to morph into another completely different meal, good on you girl!

    Morag showed us how she makes her beeswax wraps on the weekend at the Permaculture course. Morag uses a mixture of beeswax and coconut oil, she cuts up a piece of material with pinking shears, grates over the beeswax and coconut oil and then pops it between glad bake and puts the parcel into a flat plated toasty maker. Ingenious, it literally took 5 seconds and it was done. How do you make yours?
    And thanks for the positive feedback, I am really enjoying the ride.

    1. Thanks for sharing the tip on the wraps!! I have yet to make some but will definitely give your suggestion a go.