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This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Friday, 29 January 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

I have really struggled to wake up every morning this past week, I have been waking sometime early in the morning, about 3am I think, then lying awake for a good while before plummeting back into the deepest sleep just before the 4.40am alarm goes off. I look and feel like a zombie, thank heavens for under eye concealer. I keep reminding myself that our holidays are only a few weeks away, that gets me through the day.

I have been doing a little bit of sewing each day, I am making some cute as a button bandana type bibs for my daughters dearest friends who have a beautiful baby boy called Will. We are yet to meet this gorgeous bub but hopefully we will soon, he is growing so fast. I have also been making some face masks for us and also for some co-workers, they are simple to make and I am using fabric from my stash. This is the tutorial I am following. 

Here is how we saved money this week-

1. Made a lovely light "Damper" type bread to take to work for a patient centred morning tea, it took hardly anytime to make and cost very little. It was a hit with everyone.


2. Re-used the baking paper from the last time I made muesli for the next batch, it lasts for ages when baking this type of thing.


3. Semi-dried some homegrown tomatoes and then froze them, I'm sure they will equate to a "can" of tomatoes for the next time a recipe calls for one.


4. Did an inventory of the pantry and freezer before writing up the menu and shopping list for the week ahead. I still had some roast potatoes in the freezer leftover from Christmas Day. I got creative and make a soup out of them. It's a combination of Broccoli Cheese Soup and a Potato and Corn Chowder and it was divine, best of all there is enough for dinner tonight. 


5. Hand pollinated another pumpkin flower on our Butternut Pumpkin (squash) vine, I want to have a good crop of pumpkins like last year, but this is only the third flower that has opened. Here is what the other two pumpkins are looking like.

Why yes, that is a snake skin but, NO we don't have a snake hanging around, thank goodness, the snake skin was donated to us by our SIL who found it on a job site. Apparently rats and mice take off when they see or smell any evidence of a snake. And as I have had my tomatoes nibbled by a rat or mouse I certainly don't want to lose any pumpkins to them thank you very much. 




Your turn, how did you save money this week?

Have a lovely day,
💚Fi

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Steamed Rice

Thursday, 28 January 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,


Hands up if you grew up eating boiled rice, I certainly did and it was fine as it was all we knew. We didn't eat a lot of rice anyway, in fact the only two dishes that we had rice with was Mums Sweet Lamb Curry which was made from left over Lamb roast (Mutton really)  and Apricot Chicken made with a packet of french onion soup mix and a can of apricot nectar. I think Mum would only use about half a cup of rice to easily feed the four of us and then boil the bum off it till it was soft. Also in those days, in Gympie, I'm sure there would have only been one kind of rice and that was plain white calrose rice.

Fast forward quite a few years and I met LH when I was 16 going on 17, when I started joining LH's family for dinner I was staggered by the amount of rice that was put on for dinner and also fascinated by the technique as I never seen steamed rice made before and that they even had a special rice cooker, again I had never even thought such a thing existed. 

Over the years I have grown to love rice and we have on average about two nights a week, here's how I was taught to cook rice-

Firstly wash the rice at least two times or until most of the starch has been washed off, then add water to the washed rice until it comes up to the first joint of your middle finger. Now in my rational brain I think that everyones tip of their middle finger will be a different length, but this method never fails. 


Then press play on the rice cooker. If you don't have a rice cooker, simply bring it to a gently simmer, turn heat right down as low as it can go, pop a lid on and let the water evaporate. Tell me, what was your experience with rice? Was it a regular on your family table when you were growing up and how was it cooked?

Have a lovely day,
🍚Fi
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What we bought, spent and ate this week

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

This weeks total was a little on the high side this week with a total of close to $180 spent between the usual places-Coles, Aldi and the Northside Discount Fruit Barn. The two things that increased the total at Aldi was a whole free range chicken (which I didn't use this week anyway) and a tray of beef mince that I use to make dog food, that was $30 just with those two items. I also needed laundry powder this week and the 4 kg of Earths Choice Laundry Powder sells for $17, not cheap but not dear either, I use it sparingly and it lasts for ages. Just for fun I have written the date on the top of the box when I first opened it so I'll know how long it is lasting us. 

We had a family dinner on Saturday night and I made a lovely Hot Sour Soup, Pineapple Chicken, Asian Greens and Steamed Basmati Rice and for dessert I made a Banana Caramel Pudding. I already had enough free range chicken thighs in the freezer for the Pineapple Chicken and had intended to make Chicken and Corn Soup but changed my mind at the last minute and made the Hot Sour Soup instead, hence the whole chicken wasn't used this week. 

Here is what else we bought, spent and ate this week-

What we bought




What we spent 

Aldi-$72.67

Coles-$68.58

Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$36.87

TOTAL-$178.12

What we ate

Wednesday-Chicken Burgers on toasted Turkish Bread

Thursday, Friday and Sunday-Curried Pumpkin Soup made from leftover roasted pumpkin from Christmas day. I mashed and frozen the pumpkin on boxing day thinking it would make a fabulous soup and I was right.

 I served it with these Cheesy Savoury Muffins 

Saturday-Family Dinner-Hot Sour Soup

Followed by Pineapple Chicken, Asian Greens and Steamed Basmati Rice

Monday was left over Pineapple Chicken 

Tuesday-Baked Chicken Wings, Steamed Basmati Rice and Asian Greens

I'd love to know how much an average weekly spend is where you live, have a lovely day,
💗Fi

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My Current Blog Reading List

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,


Today I thought I would share my current blog reading list, I will have to amend the info on my blog to include these wonderful blogs. The photos are not really related, just some photos I took over the weekend and yesterday afternoon. 

The Bluebirds are Nesting on the Farm

I think Annabel is such an amazing woman, she achieves so much in a week, always building up her home and pantry's and feathering her nest.

Vintage Vixen-Confessions of a Second Hand Junkie

This is a fairly new one for me and adore reading about their, never dull, days in forced lockdown in the UK

Mel's Kitchen Cafe-Tried and Tried Recipes, Baby

I have read this blog for many years and her recipes are always perfect

The Prudent Homemaker-Making Life Beautiful for Less

Brandy is another woman I admire tremendously, she has a large family but still gets so much done. They are on a very tight budget and are in the process of overhauling their garden to make it even more abundant. They live in the Las Vegas desert but still managed to grow a large, abundant and green garden. 


The Frugal Girl-Cheerfully Living on Less

Another wonderful down to earth woman that has homeschooled all her children and thrives on a small budget. I love her approach to life and has a go at any home maintenance jobs that needs doing. Her quote of "You don't need whiskers to do that" is so true.

My Abundant Life

I have read Wendy's blog for a long time and love how they work together to achieve their goals. They were in hard lockdown in Victoria last year but adapted to not only get by but to thrive 

Treading My Own Path-Less Waste. Less Stuff. Sustainable Living

Lindsay is transforming her suburban block into an abundant garden, removing most of the lawns and replacing it with raised garden beds

Pinch of Yum-A Food Blog with Simple Tasty Recipes

Another Lindsay who brings fabulous recipes and wonderful food photography. She and her husband have just welcomed their second daughter into the world

Cooking on a Bootstrap-The #1 Budget Recipe Website

Jack is a mercurial girl who transforms her looks often but stays true to her strong beliefs and isn't afraid to speak her mind. I think she is simply wonderful as are her recipes. 


If you have any hidden gems of blogs that you read regularly, let me know as I would love to broaden my blog reading list. 

Have a lovely day,
💚Fi

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Cheesy Savoury Muffins

Monday, 25 January 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,


I was looking for a recipe to use some of my homegrown semi-dried tomatoes and I was thinking of a savoury muffin, I hit google and found quite a few that sounded lovely so I combined a few that I really liked and made these superb, plump and delicious muffins. They are made exactly the same way as a sweet muffin, you combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another or in this case a big jug. It is a simple as simple can be and the results are just wonderful.

Here's how they came together in my kitchen-

Preheat oven to 180C and line a muffin tray with patty pans. In a large jug add 1 egg, 1 cup of milk, 1/4 cup each of light sour cream and oil of choice, 1 garlic clove, grated, Whisk the egg, milk, light sour cream and oil first then add the following ingredients-1/2 cup each of chargrilled capsicum, stuffed green olives, spring onions and semi-dried tomatoes, all chopped chunkily, 1/2 a block of feta of choice (I use Aldi Danish Feta) chopped or crumbled and 1 cup each of grated tasty cheese and grated parmesan cheese. 

And combine well 

In a big bowl combine 2 cups of plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and bicarb soda and 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, whisk to combine 

Pour wet ingredients into dry and then add 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley 

And gently stir to combine, don't over mix

Spoon evenly into a lined muffin tin

And bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked through and smelling wonderful 

I loved them so much I made them two weeks in a row and to use up the other half a block of feta cheese, we had them the first time around with a splendid pumpkin soup and this week they will just be for lunches and snacking. 

Have a lovely day,
💛Fi
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This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Friday, 22 January 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

And hello to an almost long weekend. Australia Day is on Tuesday but I wasn't quick enough to request Monday off as well, but a four day work week will be most welcomed. We are having a one week holiday in the middle of February and are going to Fraser Island for the first time. We aren't camping as we've sold our camper and are waiting for our hybrid caravan to arrive in Australia, it is not expected till March or April. We are hoping it will be here before our May holiday.

No doubt I will be spending the Australia Day holiday in my sewing room, I have got all of my scraps out and will have fun getting creative with them. I have been watching Karen Brown from Just Get It Done Quilts and she has this great idea to make the quilt back from all the left over scraps from the quilt top, she calls it an after quilt, I am thinking I might have a go, so this quilt will be scrappy front and back. 

Work has been busy and demanding as I am still establishing myself in this newish role, the new role is only for four hours a day, but honestly I could fill my whole day with it, hopefully there will be some more funding for longer hours in the next financial year. The rest of my day is spent with the Physio team helping out where I am needed, so I am never bored.

Here is how we save money this week-

1. Cut open the bottle of mayo to get every last bit out


2. Used left over crumbed chicken for another meal. 

Chicken and Salad on Toasted Turkish Bread

3. Used the paper that our toilet rolls are individually wrapped in for foundation paper for string quilting, up until now I have been shredding this paper and putting it in our compost bin.  


4. As mentioned above, I got all my quilting material scraps out (truly didn't think I had much left) and started sorting and ironing them. Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or go without. 


5. Packed my lunch for work each day, I do this every single afternoon when I get home. I will use what ever there is. LH always has left overs, from the dinner the night before, for his lunch. Todays lunch is Ryvita's with hummus and tomato and my little square of chocolate as a treat. I have been trying to eat less as my clothes are getting a bit snug. I especially feel too snug in my uniform that I wear everyday, so it is time to eat a little less and move more. 


How did you save money this week?

Have a lovely day,
💜Fi

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The Little Woofs New Beds

Thursday, 21 January 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,


As regular readers will already know we inherited our little woofs from my late In-Laws and they have proved to be the most welcomed addition to our family and really can't believe that they haven't lived with us forever. The little woofs are Jack Russells and have oodles of personality as well as energy and when they were younger were quite destructive. I put that down to not enough stimulation and not being exercised enough, don't get me wrong they were well loved and very, very spoilt, my late In-laws were just not well enough to provide the extra care that this breed needs.


Because of this destructive nature they have, over the years, chewed the edges of their strong plastic dog houses and also their soft beds, they even destroyed a timber outdoor setting by chewing all the legs and tops of the chairs. Even though I really wanted to buy them lovely new beds I knew that they would be chewed so it would be a waste of money. So when our son and future DIL gave me some curtaining that they didn't want anymore I knew what I was going to make with it...Slip Covers for the existing dog beds.


I simply took a pattern off the beds, added seam allowance, cut out the panels and sewed it all together. It took my brain a while to think of how it would all go together but in the end it all worked out. Only one little glitch, I only took a pattern off one bed thinking they would be identical, unfortunately the second bed was slightly longer across the front bottom panel so the second slip cover I made doesn't sit as well.


I am going to make matching pillow cases for the inside from the same curtain material, but at this stage I am just using pillow cases sourced from Op shops as Lulu loves to chew the corners of them. She will probably do the same to the new ones I make but it is a much thicker fabric and I will reinforce the corners so they should last longer. Here's hoping, anyway.

Have a lovely day,

🐶Fi

2

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

I'm thinking that I will stick with just taking a photo of the receipts from our weekly shop instead of asking  LH to start laying out all the groceries again once he gets home from shopping, he has enough to do. And as Maria pointed out last week it allows you to see what we pay per kilo for fruit and veg. The most expensive item on last weeks fruit and veg shop was ginger at an eye watering $55 per kilo and this week it's the snow peas that take the honour of most expensive at $19.99 per kilo, the docket was a bit bendy so you can't see the price clearly near the top of the docket. 

Here's what else we bought, spent and ate-

What we bought




What we spent

Aldi-$59.14

Coles-$22.55

Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$41.80

TOTAL-$123.49

What we ate 

Wednesday-Smoked Trout Pasta (the trout was left over from the Smoked Trout Pizzas last week) 

Thursday-Aldi Kransky with Sauerkraut and Semi Dried Tomatoes on Rolls (the Kransky had been in the fridge from a previous shop)

Friday-Baked Beans and grated Parmesan on Toast

Saturday-Stir Fried Prawns and steamed Basmati rice

Sunday-Creamy Dill Potato Salad and Rissoles 

Monday-Honey Prawns, Asian Greens and steamed Basmati Rice 

Tuesday-Crumbed Chicken in the Airfryer, Creamy Dill Potato Salad and roasted broccolini 

What was on your menu last week?

Have a lovely day,
💚Fi

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