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This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday, I mean, Saturday

Saturday, 29 August 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

Sorry for the lateness of getting this post up, it's been a big and tiring week and I feel absolutely wrung out with not much brain space except for getting only the very basics done at home. I even used the drier twice this week as I just didn't have the time or strength to hang out the washing. Now normally I will do anything to avoid using the drier but my fatigue and brain fog won this week.

You know how things can go wrong when you simply aren't paying attention, well I have a doozy of an example for you today. I planted out an Italian Parsley boarder out the front garden last year and it went gang busters, the most healthy parsley I have ever grown, it just must have been the perfect position  for it. Well, a while ago I noticed it had started to go pale and not looking as vibrant as it had been, on closer inspection I found some small yellowish flying bugs on the leaves and when you brushed past the parsley, those tiny bugs would fly about and then land again amongst the tall parsley grove.

I was so time poor that I didn't do anything about and I am so sorry that I didn't act in a more timely manner because the parsley became overrun with this small bug, sucking out all of the goodness and it was obviously struggling to survive. So last weekend I pulled out all the parsley and LH said he would run it through the mulcher, intending it to go into the compost.

That afternoon, I heard the mulcher going but didn't pay much attention until I had to go outside for something, I was greeted by a cloud of tiny swarming bugs everywhere I looked, I realised way too late that we had just unleashed thousands of those destructive bugs and invited them into our raised veggie gardens in the courtyard, where they were happily settling down to eat what ever they could find. Within a week my rocket, mustard green and chervil have all been sucked dry, leaving bleached and sad looking herbs and veggies.

I did try to look up what could the little bugs possibly be and how to get rid of them, but to no avail, so I used a dishwashing liquid solution of them, mixing it up in the watering can and dredging the plants and soil with the frothy solution. I think it helped a bit but there are still so many bugs, so tomorrow I will apply this garlic oil solution to try and kill these menacing, tiny, yellow, winged bugs. Any gardeners reading? Do have a clue what they could be?

PS. The bins of shredded parsley were dragged out the front and went straight to the dump the next day. What a terrible mistake to make.

Even though it was a busy and exhausting week, looking back I did manage a few things to save us money-

1. Made our usual 1 kg batch of vanilla yoghurt, the organic milk from Aldi costs $1.99, then I add 80 grams of powdered milk and 50 grams of sugar and a splash of homemade vanilla essence, which adds up to just a few cents really, so for just over $2 we have 1 kg of lovely, thick and creamy yoghurt.

2. Picked snow peas and beetroot from the garden, thankfully the bugs haven't touched either of those.

3. Picked the last of the dill, chopped it up, spread it in a thin layer on a lined baking tray and froze it, once frozen I popped it into a glass, container in the freezer. I also froze some in melted butter for things like soups, mashed potato and creamy sauces.

4. Fed the compost bin all the shredded paper from the office, the spent coffee grinds and all the fruit and veg peelings and waste.

5. I did dry most of the washing on the line in the sunshine, last weekend was so windy and the washing dried in no time. Swings and roundabouts even happen in the laundry I guess. Some weeks are just better than others.

How did you save money this week?

Have a lovely weekend,


  1. Oh Fiona what a horror story about the bugs! How annoying for you. It brings to mind a funny story from way back. My Mum and I were helping to provide teas at the church fete. My Mum had made big platters of sandwiches and before she covered them with foil she popped into the garden and picked some parsley, didn't stop to wash it and just put it around the edges as a garnish. Off we went but when we got there and took the foil off we found little black beetles had crawled out of the parsley and over the sandwiches. Moral of the story, always wash parsley!
    Frugal/ simple this week
    A neighbour gave us a punnet of field mushrooms she had picked from her horse paddock. My husband took some of our leek plants to a gardening client and planted them for her. In return she gave him a bucket and told him to help himself from the orchard so he brought home Discovery apples, two types of pear and a load of damsons.
    We have picked tomatoes, kale, spring onions, mint and cooking apples from the garden and I made several jars of apple and mint jelly.
    I needed to replace my everyday shoes and I like Skechers, although they're expensive they're so good for my feet. Happily my daughter had a discount code for 12% off so I ordered a new pair.
    Deal of the week - in a charity shop I found two brand new in boxes M & S bras, exactly the type I wear, my size and cup size , one white, one nude. Each one was reduced from £18 to £5. So pleased with them!
    During my decluttering I came across a little bon bon dish which belonged to my mother and I have repurposed it on my dressing table so I put my watch, ring etc in it at night.
    I made tomato soup with our own tomatoes.
    I bought a couple of packs of yellow sticker smoked mackerel, I will probably make mackerel pate for lunch one day.
    Autumn is definitely here now, I like each season especially the abundance that the autumn brings from the garden, hedgerows etc.
    Good luck with the bugs!

  2. I’m wondering if it’s the monolepta bettle?? Here’s a link to read up on them. They attacked my avocado tree last year, luckily it was still in a pot, and I used to bring it inside every night until they went away. My avocado is now planted in the orchard, I’m praying that they don’t attack again 🙏


  3. Hi Fiona,

    sorry to read about how tired and worn out you are feeling. Are you still working in your old role as well as the Eat Walk Engage program? Your days at work are too long and you do so much when you get home. No wonder you feel exhausted. I hope the situation improves soon. You need to look after yourself too Fiona.

    What a shame about the bugs getting into your raised garden beds.
    The only pest that I know of that sounds similar is Whitefly which behave just as you have described. Could you try trapping some in a container and taking them to a garden centre for identification and advice?

    My frugal tasks for last week were the usual ones.

    -cooked our meals from scratch

    -made bread, biscuits & other baked treats

    -used home-grown rocket, herbs, lettuces and silverbeet in our meals

    -used our home-grown blood oranges and lemons in cakes & biscuits

    -made yoghurt

    -dried the washing inside near our wood heater

    -cooked soup and meatballs in tomato sauce on the top of our wood heater

    I love that the heater can dry washing, cook slow-cooked meals and heat our living area all at the same time. Our two cats, Chloe and Ellie have their baskets near the heater and at times I also have bread proving on a table nearby. It is also cheaper to run than our air- conditioner. My favourite frugal thing and what I like the most about winter.

    I hope you have taken some time to rest or at least relax over the weekend and are feeling less tired. Take care.

    Best wishes, Maria. xx.

  4. Hi Fiona, you often mention how tired you are, have you had your iron and B12 checked? Might be worth a look if you haven't. Hopefully you get some help with this, it's not good being tired all the time.

    1. I think too that this is important to check, Fi. My iron and B12 were low a while ago and needed to be supplemented. I was so tired all the time and like a middle-headed wombat too. Much better now! Definitely worth looking into. MegXx

  5. Hi Fiona, I hope all is well and that you haven't been blogging because of 'blogger'. I do miss your posts, but your (and your family's) wellbeing is far more important. Do take care. Angela

  6. Hope all is well Fiona, missing your posts but sometimes life gets in the way. Hope you, DH and all your family are keeping well♥ xx

  7. Hello Fiona
    I hope you and the family are all well. We all miss your blog posts but it's more important that you are OK and taking a break if you need it.
    Sending you a hello and a hug.
    Take care

  8. Hi Fiona
    Just wanted to say hello and that I'm thinking of you. Hope you and your family are all ok. And I hope you are getting to recharge your batteries. Take care, Kelly