Friday again already! I am pleased to say it was a pretty good week and with beautiful autumn weather!
Some of the ways we saved money were...
I cut Andy's hair for him. He would never go to a hairdresser so this is a must!! But who knows what it saves per year?
I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce. I let it simmer for almost two hours with fresh and dried oregano which I love. I have a "thing" that mince must turn out deep red not brown. Helen and I had this conversation once about when mince looks an icky colour. The other alternative is to make a deep brown gravy meat pie type mix and make pies...
Anyway, this is my spagheti bolegnase mix and from this I made a pasta dinner, froze several batches and made 2 lasagnes and 3 pasta bakes. Most went in the freezer and I gave Lucy one of them to help her out.
Then I made a crock pot full of chicken and loads of vegies. At the end of the day when this was really tender I made chicken pies. Also I had heaps of chopped celery in the freezer from when celery was $1 a huge bunch so I used some of that, We had chicken pie with relish and a side salad for dinner and I froze six chicken pies. The idea is that when the baby arrives I have back up. I might not be needed to help but then I might be!
These tasted really good. All I do is use chicken, loads of vegies... celery, onions, corn, carrots... whatever you have and a tin of chicken soup. Let it go all day so it is very tender. Use puff pastry to make up pies and bake. It is a cheat recipe really and very versatile but it works every time!
In the garden I have a huge parsley plant that went to seed. A couple of weeks ago I buried some seed heads to encourage it to grow. This week I saw this...
The top shows the seed heads I cut. I give loads of these to the birds, to the budgies and to Ricky. And then I buried heaps. And below are the baby parsley plants. I have clumps like this in a dozen spots. So I repeated this process in about 20 other places around the garden where I could fit some parsley! I was so excited to see this! If I had vast quantities I can give away bunches and all kinds of things.
I built up my home with more meals in the freezer, more items in my pantry and cellar. I keep a basket that I add items to. When this is full I take it down into the cellar and stock my shelves and bins. It is surprising how much it grows. It is starting to look like a little shop!
During the week I snuck into the florist. I have already collected a fair few ideas from there for myself and for gifts too. They had sold out again of the jars with succulents. Still $49. The simplicity and sweetness of this is so easy to copy and I am searching for the big old jars to make some.
But this time I got more ideas! They had another version of this which was old fashioned looking squat shaped jars with a succulent plant in them. Collecting succulents for these is just so easy. And as you can see they were $25!
Well, how simple is that? I can do that.
And... the simple posy is back. Like very simple. Like your five year old makes you!
But they are sweet and adorable and realistic in that many of us can make them up from what we can pick. Very small ones were $10.
Larger ones were $15.
These were $25. I would say the bowls were around the size of a dinner plate. Very simple, fresh and a nice gift!
Gathering ideas like this helps me heaps. Then I know what to collect.... succulent cuttings, big old jars, interesting smaller jars or containers... and bowls I could drill holes in for the herb gardens. So I start watching out. How simple, easy and cheap to do all of these! Love that. I just like finding ideas that are selling for heaps like this but I know I can do for a dollar or two!
During the week Kelly asked a question. I have thought about you a lot Kelly. I always say there are seasons in life for different things and you can't do everything at once. We need to set little goals each week that are reasonably realistic or we just won't do them! Also I think working as a team, as far as possible, in your family helps. Whatever the ages of your children teach them how to help. Lynette said that age appropriate jobs and responsibilities is helping them learn for the future. So true! Also responsibilities make children feel important. Laine called this "harnessing the energy" and her children had a lot of chores and responsibilities. This helped her and the family in lots of ways.
The next thing is to harness wider support and encouragement which might be your wider family, church and friends, books, blogs etc. I know that is possible as when my girls were young I would read a Laine's Letter and feel encouraged and energised! Up I would get and start cooking or doing the next thing. That half hour of encouragement, planning, a cup of tea, was like good fuel. It was like having a good coach.
Then as we do here, at the end of the week, consider how much you achieved and count your blessings. If we only look at everything that needs doing still we will never be happy. There will always be stuff to do! Life is made up of the ordinary weeks. There is a lot of joy and knowing you kept everything afloat, everyone fed, the household running and whatever other progress you feel you made this week! It is easy to forget how much you did. I do. But just now I thought wow I am really happy with all those pies in the freezer. What a good thing! That makes me happy. So consider all the good things. Appreciate them. Later we can go on and plan new things!
I hope you had a wonderful week. How did you build up your nest and save money this week?