About Me

My photo
Fifty six year old empty-nester. Wife to one, mum to four and nan to three precious grandies. Living simply is my passion, I enjoy growing food, living healthy and playing with a variety of crafts. I am always up for a bargain and love to op shop for vintage treasures.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Little Frugal Fun

Joining with Wendy from My Abundant Life and sharing my frugal tasks from last week.

I have been preparing the garden beds for seedlings to go in. So far I have bought some zucchini, cucumber and lettuce seedlings. I gathered together the seeds I am wanting to grow, which include butternut pumpkin and tomatoes. These seeds were saved from our garden pickings last season. I chopped back our capsicums as they are starting to re-shoot with this glorious spring weather we are having. It was 30C (86F) yesterday. 
The chard is growing brilliantly.

 zucchini and cucumber seedlings

 mixed lettuce

 ready for the seeds 

chard or silverbeet

 getting a plot ready

 capsicum shoots

Our chooks are now laying about a dozen eggs a day.  Two new chickens hatched out and another hen went broody. 
We get our grain for free, but we pay for laying pellets and bran. I soak some of the wheat for a couple of days, until it swells and almost sprouts. It is very healthy for the hens and they love it! 
The money we get from selling our eggs helps to cover the costs for the upkeep of our girls.  

 two new chicks

 with mama

 enjoying some greens

another broody girl


I picked up some free sourdough bread from the Salvos (Salvation Army), which I sliced up and froze.  It is not the freshest, but okay for toasties, breadcrumbs etc. The Salvos collect various kinds of bread from Cole's every week and it is given away to whoever wants it.

sourdough toasties

I was also lucky enough to find five loaves of raisin bread for 75c each at Woollies, reduced down from $4.99. I gave some away, made bread and butter pudding with half a loaf, then put the rest in the freezer. I spread the raisin bread with homemade apricot jam instead of butter J

bread and butter pudding made with raisin bread

I have been squeezing oranges, mandarins and grapefruit from our trees every morning for breakfast. I mixed the three juices together and it tastes delicious. I even made some mandarin curd J  





mandarin curd

Our quandongs are ripening by the day, so I have been stewing them up and putting in two cup lots in the freezer.

on the tree

 on the ground

in the bucket

in my tummy 

As always our clothes were line dried.


 I made some of Wendy's Cranberry Hootie Creek biscuits to enjoy with our cups of tea, and they are yum! I had white chocolate and cashews leftover from last Christmas, so I added them to the mix. 


I asked hubby to dye my hair, thus saving money and time by not going to the salon. I cant believe how expensive that has become. I also cut hubby’s hair in return.

I stayed away from the shops as long as possible, therefore not spending as much money. I had three spend-less days, so I am happy with that.

Hubby (with the help of our electrician son) has installed some LED floodlights outside. We had five 100 watt floodlights but now they have been replaced by seven 10 watts and two 20 watt LED's. That means we have gone from 500 watt lights down to 110 watts so that will be a saving on our electricity.  A saving 390 watts, and the lights are way brighter :)

 up the ladder

new lights

What about you? Do you live a frugal/simple life?  If so, what are some of your tips? I would love to hear them J
I am always looking for ways to cut down costs, as things are getting very expensive, especially the essentials, like electricity, water, land-rates and phone etc. My goal is to pay off our mortgage in about two years and be debt free!

If you are interested in some great frugal ideas, please visit Wendy's site at My Abundant Life. If you live in Australia, you may have seen her recently on A Current Affair as Australia's Tightest Family 



  1. Sounds a lot like us only citrus won't grow here. I used to get reduced bread at the grocery store but it is harder to find it anymore as the economy is so bad that it is grabbed quickly. Our winter will kill everything except kale and of course we are heading into fall now. I haven't had my wife cut my hair yet but it is getting expensive, she stopped dying her hair and it looks fine, lots of nasty chemicals involved. I am trying to get ready for cold weather and an economic crash that has to come, what with our leadership or lack of.

  2. Hi Tania,

    So nice to see a new post from you. As your weather is heating up, ours is rapidly cooling down. Actually, our summer never got very hot this year, only 3 90 degree F days.

    I hope your garden does well this year. I look forward to photos of all the beautiful bounty.


  3. Have a peek into my blog and you will see our last of summer days.
    Love your posts

  4. Thanks for link Tanya. I did want to follow up on that story. Gosh, you are the frugal queen on Oz. So much going on and id love to try mandarin curd.
    Imagine being free of mortgage.

  5. Hello Tania,
    Great message here for all :)) We grow our own veg and some fruits.. freeze or dry what we can.. use them year round ,, sure has been a bonus for us..:)) Our garden has been prepared and some vegies are waiting in the tunnel for warmer weather..we still have parsnips and carrots and spinach on the go still oh and a couple of pumpkin in storage.:))
    I make our soap..I found a recipe which sounds easy will let you know when I try it.... Keep up the great work you are doing an inspiration to us all:)) hugs pat ..

  6. Hi Tania,

    Thankyou for the link to my blog and story. You have had a vety busy and frugal week. I love weeks like that. I feel like I've made my time count when I see a long list of frugal tasks.

    Wendy Gower from My Abundant Life.

  7. Tania, did you use the same recipe I did for the Mandarin Curd? If so, did yours thicken as DH said mine was too thin:-)

    Have you decided to grow vegetables again this summer? I thought you had changed your mind about that after the heatwaves earlier in the year. Hopefully it won't be quite as hot this summer although we are in a cool temperate region here and don't get anything like the temps you have to cope with.

  8. I am not sure if your mandarin curd recipe is the same Nanna Chel. Mine is really thick, I think I may have over cooked it though. So long as it is edible that is the main thing lol.

    I am going to grow veggies again. I have asked hubby to make me some deeper beds, but that hasn't happened yet as he is in the process of building his shed. Just going to grow the veggies I will use the most this year like tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, pumpkin, kale and mixed lettuce. I am hoping to get in early this year and have all the veggies finished before the real heat hits. I picked tomatoes all winter this year, so was happy with that :)

  9. My wife has cut my hair for more than thirty years. Since a man's haircut costs about $15.00 now, that's a big savings.

    We buy food in bulk, as much as we an. That saves money.

    We have cut back on things like trips to Chattanooga to the bookstore. Now we limit our "treats" to dinner out and a movie on an infrequent basis.

    I wish I could get sour dough bread, of any kind here. They don't make it. Once our county gave surplus cheese out to people, but then the State had some kind of fight with the Feds and the Feds cut off the supplies of cheese until the State "complied." Since our governor refused to go along, no cheese. But the State was right, we can't kowtow to the Feds or they'll be telling us how to live every aspect of our lives in no time.

  10. What a score with the bread. Love sour dough bread toasted. It's the best!
    Nice to see you back with some more posts. Love all your bounty and how you combine the citrus to make a delicious drink.
    I have some very new citrus trees planted so will have to wait for my crop!
    Keep up your wonderful ways of saving and your mortgage free plan. You'll get there.
    Love all your Australian scenic photos and the panorama shots. Australia is avast and beautiful land. We have just driven again from a Sydney to Adelaide and marvel at the differing landscapes even in that drive .
    Alexa from Sydney, Australia


I love reading your comments and will do my very best to reply. PLEASE NOTE that if using an anonymous account to comment, you MUST add your name within the comment otherwise I will not publish them. Thank you for understanding.