The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Vicky Challenge. Saving with samples.

I am pretty excited about the amount we got done around the house last week and the savings for The Vicky Challenge! Doing household repairs, renovations, decorating or cleaning is worth a surprising amount of money when you look at hiring someone to do things. While there are some things we cannot do ourselves there are lots we can. Last week I saved $300 on fixing an outside wall crack. It was really easy. This week it was more!

But first, our subject of the week to add to our ways to save, is Samples. Vicky wrote to me on this and as usual inspired me!  This is what she wrote:

Samples. Such little bits of things, but they are very helpful with either building the pantry or saving money. And there are so many out there.  The ones pictured are just a small amount of what I have I could probably cover half my table. From pet food to hygiene products it is a good way of taking advantage of being able to try things before we buy them, but to use them to our financial benefit as well. No maybe not a huge amount, but if every penny counts in your household let's look at how they do help. 


 
If we run out of something they are handy in a pinch.
They make great stocking stuffers or basket fillers.
It's easy to make a small emergency kit with them from band aids to cold medicine and oral hygiene products.
Why do I have diapers and no baby? Many times someone has come with a baby to visit and forgot a diaper. I now have one to offer. Or if money is tight I can do a basket of baby themed items and still have a gift for a new parent. 
They can be a little something new to pack in a lunch.
They can be bartered or donated.
They are not always the small sized ones and are sometimes a full sized product. I have gotten coupons for free pizzas, makeup and juice for example. 
Sometimes the coupon that came with the sample netted me a free item at the store. Like stick packs of instant coffee. 
I have smelled good for free from perfume samples.

And one of the things I do is when I amass quite a few I give the grocery budget a little boost! I get them out and decide which ones will be used up and I use the money I was going to spend to add a few extra things to the pantry plus it helps to get my sample stash used up.
 
Example: Deodorant is not on sale and I am going to need it. I have enough samples to get me through 2-3 weeks without having to purchase any. I will use up my samples for those weeks and add a few small things for the pantry like on sale canned goods. Or I will put it into my savings account. Usually within a week or 2 deodorant goes on sale and I didn't have to spend extra on it. So by doing this I added a little to the pantry or savings and was able to not have to pay full price for an item I needed win win! 
Cheap? Yes! Smart? Oh Yes! 

XOXO
Vicky
 
Well, I had a review of my samples after this. I am a sample collector but not very good user.

This was what I had on hand in a couple of areas of the house:


I have a lot of perfume, mini makeup sizes, face creams, mini soaps and some tiny laundry power samples etc. Many of them are also beautiful/luxury brands.

But they are not saving me money if I am not using them! 

I have started to pack moisturisers, mini soap for our trip away.
Used several samples for hand and feet treatments.
Packed mini shampoos and conditioners to take away.
Put hand cream samples into my hand bag and car to use when waiting somewhere.
Sat some near where I sit in the lounge to egg myself on to rub into my hands while watching tv.
Some larger ones have gone into the gift cupboard to pair with a soap, wash cloth gift.

So that is my challenge, to use samples and let them be a money saver in various ways. I could use samples of moisturiser for several weeks at least. And also to collect more and keep using them!

Now to my Vicky Challenge this week...

We spent a day working on Andy's office. All the old carpet was removed and emptying the room also meant a clean out, spring clean, tidy and re arrange. I am not showing the horrible old carpet!  (seriously it was BAD) But this is what was underneath...


I think if we paid to have this done it would have been at least $400.

Andy rang a radio station with a tip about how to keep possums off your trees and won two movie tickets worth $30.

I sent all lunches $100.

The fish Andy caught and filleted were worth $24.

I sent a picnic on the fishing trip saving $50.

The Quince paste I made I compared to the Maggie Beer brand in the supermarket and by weight I had nine times the amount in a tub you buy. This equaled over $50.

Painting was a fail though as I had a really sore back and I just didn't paint.

I did sew... I made four large heat packs. These are $30 each in the shops. After buying the filling (barley) I will count $100 saving.


These are folded in half. One was for Chloe and one was for Mum. The other two are for me! I make them larger as they keep hot such a long time and longer so they wrap around your neck which seems to be our families achy bit!

This was the softest fabric which was a remnant at Spotlight. I also have enough for three more from a velvet remnant. Will get them done this week and one will be Lucy's.

So that is $754.

I know it was home DIY that bolstered that up! The Easter long weekend really helped us get things done.
Here we have a holiday Monday for Easter (I am not sure if everyone has that?) so it is still a day to get some more things done! 

This challenge has taught me a lot about the savings in repairs and maintenance type jobs. I was not familiar with how much these were worth at all. 

How did your week go? We are almost at the end of another month and I can count up my savings for March. Keeping track is fairly automatic now and it makes me think "how can I save on this?" all the time!

I hope you had a lovely Easter and have a great new week! xxx



49 comments:

  1. Annabel, the heat packs are beautiful! Can you give the size measurements for them? I too have samples and this post has given me some ideas that I hadn't thought of for using them. I spent a good part of last week working in the yard. There is so much to do to get it cleaned up from winter debris and being able to do it ourselves is quite a savings!

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    1. Dear Patsy, I got our my measuring tape so I can talk you you in inches. This is a flexible thing but these are about 16/17 inches long and 7 inches wider. The length means they can go across the shoulders or around the back of the neck. I would about 3/4 fill them. I have been known the have two going at once especially if I have achy legs AND an achy neck! But if you have smaller remnants then think of hand warmers for in pockets and smaller square ones. If I am going on a car journey and having trouble with a bad neck or back like I am now I will always set off with a heat pack on me in the car. The larger ones stay hot a couple of hours. Very helpful.
      Barb just suggested samples for on the bed of guests. I also thought of hospital stay kits as these would be good for a hospital bag.
      Have a great week Patsy, with love Annabelxxx

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    2. And, Annabel, how do you heat them? In the microwave? Roughly how long? And is it regular barley you use to fill them? Sorry for all the questions, but I have fallen in love with the idea of making these and I have tons of fabrics and regular barley in my pantry buckets, so........ This could be a perfect project for me to make!! Thanks so much for the creative ideas you keep sharing!!

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    3. Dear Gardenpat,
      Here is a link you might find helpful...
      http://tipnut.com/make-your-own-microwave-heating-pad/
      With smaller bits of fabric you could also make hand warmers.
      Yes they heat in the microwave. It is important to establish how long to heat them. For larger ones I would start with a minute. It is very important not to over heat them. My larger ones are really big and heat for three minutes. Smaller ones maybe a minute. But you need to see and do it in small amounts until you know as each one may be different according to the size and filling. You can also look at commercial ones and read the safety instructions. I think those instructions should be included into any used for gifts. I really love these and wouldn't be with out them! With love and thanks, Annabel.xxx

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  2. Dear Annabel, wow what a great week you had even with a very sore back. The floor I. And yes office looks great and I love those heat packs, they look so luxurious!. I have another suggestion of how to use free samples, if you have guests coming to stay overnight you could leave a little sample basket in their room or do as my mum does and have a basket in the bathroom full of shampoo and conditioner samples and moisturiser samples etc. my mum has a huge basket full that we have collected from hotels/ resorts when we go away and that we got from sample bags with magazines etc.
    my savings this week for the Vicky challenge have been amazing and boosted by my long weekend at my parents. I compared my stay to 4 nights at a B&B plus I added in 3 meals a day plus snacks and transport , pay TV, a heated pool, my own bathroom , use of the laundry etc. so for this stay I counted $1000 for 4 nights accommodation, $300 for meals based on B&B or resturaunt prices , $100 for transport and petrol, $20 for pay TV ( a rough estimate) $20 for electricity, washing powder etc. , $25 for the movie and lunch day out I was treated to , also the rest of my week included: buying a colouring book for $5 instead of $20 that it might cost elsewhere , so $15 saving, meals from my parents $14 ( not counting my time there as it was already counted) $14 , subsidised cleaning $36 saving for 2 hours cleaning, made/ making cards for a swap n cheapskates club forum using what I have at home. By swapping cards with others I will receive up to 7 or 8 cards pretty much for free $ 40 savings, I did my meal plan for the coming fortnight and I only need meat for 5 meals so that is a potential saving of about $45 based on $5 per meal for meat, this does me for a lunch too usually though. Bought only essentials today when I came home and using some foid in my freezer and pantry, saving me at least $30 .i saved about $30 in taxi costs by staying home a two days this past week. I also saved $25 in food costs by baking and freezing things for morning teas.i found 5 blouses / shirts that I had packed away and forgotten about, I was thinking I needed new tops so a saving of $200 approx. I think that is it this week Annabel. So a staggering total this week for me of: $1980 approx!!!. Amazing as I said!. That is my best total ever so far!.
    Take care Annabel, have a great week love Barb W.

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    1. Dear Barb, I love and appreciate your ideas for the samples. For a guest is a great idea! Thank you.
      I really like that you appreciate your blessings so much. Yes a few days away in luxury and all the things like a pool etc are so nice and thats what it would cost at a nice motel, resort. I am so glad you did this as a change of scenery is very good for us I think.
      It is great discovering clothes to wear and work them into outfits!
      All these good things added up to a lot! It is wonderful you had such a nice Easter too! Have a good week Barb, with much love Annabel.xxx

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  3. Great savings there, Annabel. Your post recently on the DIY 'bamboo diffusers' was very timely. I used to use them years ago and thought I'd check them out at Freedom stores...$39 and $49 for the 2 types they had...and the box said they only last 5 weeks...hello! Homemade here I come!

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    1. Dear Maria,
      Yes these things are expensive. I really love the smell of vanilla. I add some natural vanilla to a cup of water and sit it in the microwave and boil it. The whole house gets to smell like vanilla then I wipe out the microwave as the steam makes it easy to clean. That is another good way to scent the home that is nice and natural.
      I hope you had a lovely Easter Maria. With love Annabel.xxx

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  4. Hi Annabel, it's amazing how the samples add up isn't it and the useful ways they may be used, as in Vicky's deodorant idea is clever. I love the hot packs. I've always used wheat or rice but hadn't thought of barley. I love the blue fabric you used in the hot packs too. The floor in Andi's office is superb. How lucky that it was there and you didn't have to polish it. Happy Easter Monday. Fi xx

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    1. Dear Fiona,
      I found barley easier to get than wheat so I started on barley and it works just the same. I get the packs in the soup department. The soft fabric makes heat packs. If they feel lovely and soft I think they are more comforting and yummy!
      The floors being already polished is amazing. Normally if you are lucky to have floor boards they still need polishing, staining and all of that. But no they are just like in the picture! Crazy! So lucky. Glad its done.
      Happy you had a nice trip over Easter and a good time! With love Annabel.xxx

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    2. it was bugging me last night that I forgot to ask you about your back. It must be bad if you aren't doing the physical things like painting because you are a rocket, nothing seems to stop you, so, I hope that as you wake today on Easter Tuesday that you feel a spring in your step and no pain. I'll have a look at barley in the supermarket. I agree that the softness is pretty important in something like that. I went to bed clutching a hot water bottle last night that was covered in fake fur. Gave it to my partner as I went for a shower with "here mind this" and when I got out of the shower he was very reluctant to pass it over, but he did of course. xxx Fi

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  5. That's a lot of samples, Annabel! Where on earth do you get them from? Also how DO you keep possums out of trees? Ours swing from the trees onto our roof in the early hours of the morning and sound like a herd of elephants on the tin roof :-)

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    1. Dear Nanna Chel,
      Well... cosmetic counters, magazines, the Avon lady, motels, fb or email offers of samples and I then apply for them... shops like The Body Shop are very generous with samples. The dentist. Also sometimes small sizes come free with a purchase of something else...There are also clubs you can join online and tick all the samples you want... just search free samples Australia. I am not in one of those but I know they exist. There is a lot of free product to be had.
      We had possums ruining our apricot tree. We tried the things they recommend i.e. sprays and it was a waste of time. So Andy set up a sensor light that stays on three minutes if set off. They hate light. Problem solved. After some time they also learn that the light is going to come on and stop coming. Meanwhile the light comes on and you see possums frozen as startled and babies and cute things then they turn around and move off. People get possums move into the roof. Its a simple as leave a light on in the roof for a while. If they bother you on the roof I would put the sensor light on the area where you think they climb up, if there is an obvious spot. I hope that helps.
      Have a good week! With love Annabel.xxx

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  6. I was amazed at how beautiful the floor was under the carpeting! I love the heat packs. What type of fabric did you use? Is it a synthetic? I had read somewhere that in making heat packs that only natural fabrics can be heated in a microwave. I want to give making these a try. Also, how does one accumulate samples? I don't buy magazines (library instead)or travel. Is there another way? Thank you for another wonderful post. Hope you are feeling better. Shirley - Pacific NW USA

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    1. Shirley,
      If you poke around on the internet that is the easiest way. Just type in toothpaste samples(example) There are sampling programs like P&G Everyday(proctor&gamble)that you sign up for and log in and they have several to choose from each month. There are also sample sites that offer samples, but just want your info so I only sign up for ones that the manufacturer is offering like Purina(pets), Walmart offers samples on their website every so often as well. I have found tons of things just typing in free sample of.... I hope this helps.
      XOXO
      Vicky

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    2. Dear Shirley, Through Vicky and also reading If you do stuff, stuff gets done (see my side bar) I know there you can get not only samples but an enormous amount of free stuff with coupons. The free items are even better, many are full sized. They can be used, traded, gifted... very handy! We do not have coupons here but I am wishing we did!
      My back is heaps better thank you! Good luck with this I hope you find a continuous supply of samples and freebies and they help your budget. With love Annabel.xxx

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    3. Dear Shirley, I forgot to reply about the fabric. I never know it couldn't be synthetic so I have used all kinds of fabrics. This is a pinky, fleecy fabric. I have never had any trouble though and really have used a wide variety. Thickness and softness are my most important criteria. I hope that helps. Love Annabel.xxx

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    4. Thanks for all the help from all of you. I will start searching for samples a will cut up an old robe that is a fluffy pink. Shirley

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  7. The last time we traveled we asked the hotel clerk for shampoo samples and he gave us quite a few. We took these and the other samples in the room that home and used them. Seemed as though I quit for awhile and didn't send for samples but not I'm back into it again. Have a great day!

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    1. Ideas needed. Where do you send for samples? Just pick a product and email? Thanks! Shirley

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    2. Dear Vickie,
      Hotels are great for all the little bottles and samples. I love the little soaps. Knowing someone who travels is handy if they will collect them for us!
      Have a lovely week! With love, Annabel.xxx

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  8. What a hidden treasure those floors in Andy's study have turned out to be - they are absolutely beautiful.

    I can never seem to remember to track our savings each week, but I'll give it a go - a day out at the Royal Easter Show using our newly acquired seniors passes save $30(entry)+ $5(train fare), took our lunch to the show save $30, a tray of home baked sour cream slice to take to friends save $15, machine embroidered a towel for a new baby gift save $25. WOW! That's $105, on the things I remember. I really should keep better track.

    Have a good week Annabel,
    Janine

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    1. Dear Janine,
      The only way I have a hope of tracking savings is to write down the obvious ones everyday. I keep a list on the fridge. Or I forget! But it is totally amazing to see it add up. Really keeping track isn't important if you are already busy and inspired. I just find keeping track very motivating.
      Now I will add that things like your embroidered towel for the baby in a gift store would be more than double what you think! These are beautiful gifts and huge savings! Well done! Have a wonderful week! Love Annabel.xxx

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  9. Good morning Annabel, such an inspiring post! You and Vicky prove homemaking is so valuable. Have a good week!

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  10. What brilliant ideas that Vicky shared on samples!!! And you floor came out lovely! I am also wondering if the perfume samples can be used to scent our homemade powders, candles and room sprays too! :)

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    1. Dear Jes, Yes I think if its a scent you like these are handy for all kinds of things. I love having a tiny scent in my purse too.
      Have a lovely week! With love Annabel.xxx

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  11. Hi Annabel!

    You nearly had me stumped!!

    On the one hand, I don't think I live in the world of samples. On the other hand, Dad passes on freebies he collects at commercial and seniors shows. I also receive samples of family members' lives when they are de-cluttering! The idea is that I'll either use things or pass them on (even if I have to just get rid of them), which pleases the sentimental department of reluctant tidiers!

    In this way, I find myself collecting various useful items like neoprene stubby holders (so far, used on padding a stone bruised heel), little key ring & pen torches for the handbag, a cute little measuring tape (for when the usual one goes missing!), rain ponchos, a water bottle for the dog on a long walk, and so on! I find making uses for these both challenging and fun!! I do have plans for the stubby holders!! Some things I have kept just because they're so cute and practical, or just because they make me laugh. For instance, hanging from a pencil tin are two miniature hard hat key rings. This reminds me of how we were dressed as politicians for pole pruning of pine trees. I say 'dressed as politicians' because politicians are often photographed in hard hats, high visibility vests and safety glasses, just as we were. Actually, we needed the gear, except when the glasses fogged up!

    Thanks for making me remember, which made me laugh!!

    Regards,
    Rachel Holt

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    1. Dear Rachel, Your Dad sounds like he probably comes across many samples. Very handy!
      The dentist usually gives out small toothpastes. These are great for travel bags. Keep your eyes out.
      Have a good week! Autumn has really kicked in here, it is lovely! With love Annabel.xxx

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  12. Annabel that floor looks wonderful and as you have said just to get the floor sanded and sealed would cost quite a bit of money.

    You have struck gold.

    My husband has noticed that when he has been away for work that not many places have the individual items for use like shampoo, conditioner and soap. They are making a change to the refillable wall hung containers.

    I must remember to ask my friend, who I have been helping, if she has any old Avon samples. She loads her brochures up with samples and has a big pile organised for her sale day.

    I have not been keeping tally this month - what with the trip down to Melbourne and the shock of last week but we are still making savings. My husband finished painting the entrance today and then looked towards the backdoor and saw how shabby and unfinished the back section looks. (It is still waiting to be done).

    There is lots of painting still waiting to be done so that will keep him out of trouble for a bit.

    Have a great week everyone

    Lynette
    XXXX

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    1. Dear Lynette,
      I know from friends the sanding and polish is both a messy and expensive operation so we are so fortunate to have all that done for us already!
      I didn't think of those dispensing containers but they might take over. I love the little soaps etc!
      It is really good that your husband has many important projects to go on with. We are experiencing the same thing... once an area is painted and looking lovely it makes the not painted area look worse! lol and crying out to be done! Its never ending.
      Avon is awesome for samples. They are really handy and some of their things are lovely. The face creams especially the syrums.
      I hope things go well for you this week. You need a nice normal good week. With love Annabel.xxx

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  13. Wonderful floors in the office!
    I too have tons of those samples that come from buying beauty products. I will need to go through them now to see what I can use.
    We always get samples from our hairdresser too.
    I too would be interested in your heat packs, are they filled with rice and essential oils and do you make a cotton liner pack to put inside the pretty outer fabric?
    I never seem to be able to track my savings either.

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    1. Dear Laurie,
      Yes use the samples up. They really add up to a good savings. Very handy for travelling and your purse.
      My heat packs I use barley (from the soup section) but you can use wheat or rice. This is a link that might be helpful...
      http://tipnut.com/make-your-own-microwave-heating-pad/
      You can make a washable outer and a liner. I don't usually. I like a very soft feeling cover, thats important.
      In the stores here the large sized ones are around $30. I can make them for under $5. (savings $25!)
      Many thanks Laurie, Love Annabel.xxx

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  14. Annabel,
    Those floors are lovely I think I would like those better than carpet plus with wood floors your not locked into a specific color like carpet and can change the look at any time with rugs. And I love your heat packs those look so soft. I used to heat a damp dishtowel in the microwave to put on my back, but quit when oops I accidently caught one on fire. So for my savings this week I sold 3 dozen eggs $6, was given a new full sized mattress for my son $200, got free bread and frozen vegetables with store rewards and saved $40 with coupons, had everything in the pantry for Easter dinner except fresh vegetables and sour cream. And I was given a Sunday paper $1.50. Not bad for my slow season. I hope everyone has a great week!
    XOXO
    Vicky

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    1. Dear Vicky,
      We don't have a cold climate so its easy to be without carpet. When we pull carpet up and even though I vacuums constantly it is dirty underneath! Floorboards I can keep clean there is no where for the dirt to go.
      A new mattress is a massive saving! That was good!
      Yes if this is your slow season I can't wait to see the fast season! With love Annabel.xxx

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  15. Beautiful floors! Wow, why cover with carpet! I had a thought about those samples: perhaps bag up an assortment in clear cello bags with a pretty ribbon and donate to a women's shelter? When people get to the point of living in a shelter, something like personal items in a pretty sack would sure boost their mood and make them feel 'human' and a person of value again. Bad times can strip our happiness and self confidence. Just a thought.

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    1. Dear Joy, That is a really good idea. A friend is in a group that collects handbags and purses. They fill them with feminine things for homeless ladies and ladies in shelters. Samples would be perfect for that!
      Lovely suggestion Joy. Many thanks, Annabel.xxx

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  16. Dear Annabel, Those floors are gorgeous! What a big difference something like that makes, and even better they were already there all along. I also really like the trunks you have stacked in your fireplace.
    This week my savings included using gift cards and earned credit to make an Amazon purchase; used frozen bread dough to make rolls instead of running to the store for bread last minute; returned two bar stools that had a recall on them for full refund (this worked in our favor as we wouldn't be able to take them with us when we move anyway); made a necessary trip to the city after breakfast and lunch to avoid eating out as much as we would have for an all day trip; purchased a couple of craft items on sale; shopped grocery specials; did laundry at Papa's (husband's grandfather); cooked breakfast and packed lunches and coffee on work days; and made five cards. We also had some friends stay with us for the weekend and I cooked all meals but one to avoid going out. My total for the week comes to $418.07. I am very happy about that!
    It is so nice to be back visiting this lovely blog. It was very much missed this past week, but hopefully this coming week will be less busy and hurried. I hope everyone is doing well and has a wonderful week to come. With love, Kelsey

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    1. Dear Kelsey,
      What good savings! I hope you had a great time with your friends.
      Also I hope this week is less hectic for you. It is harder when really busy. I keep finding that as then I just done get time to DIY and cook as much etc.
      Glad to have you back! With love Annabel.xxx

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  17. Love your floor, Annabel! When we bought our old Victorian home, there was horrid brown shag carpet on it that we had to pull out. After scraping the carpet pad off the wood floor, we discovered that the original white oak floors had been painted black back in the early 1900's! We had to sand down the floors to get the paint off and to restore the oak! Then several layers of polyurethane! Consider yourself very lucky!!
    This week for our Vicky Challenge, I made dinner from leftovers on two different nights ($42), made 26 breakfast burritos ($62.14), filed state tax returns for our 2 sons for free instead of through commercial preparers ($72), canned 13 pints of Sweet and Sour Sauce ($20) , made 6 sausage McMuffins ($12) , made sweet potato fries from our garden storage ($3), made 6 homemade hamburgers ($18). Made another baby quilt top ($40), bought 2 boneless hams for half price - ($36). Put 5 packages of free shaved ham into freezer ($15).
    A total of $343.64 for this week! I'll take it! I've been able to add an additional $2600 to my savings account simply because of the Vicky Challenge!!! Thank you, Annabel and Vicky!!!

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    1. That is so wonderful gardenpat!! You are doing a great job and I am so glad you are seeing results from your efforts!!
      XOXO
      Vicky

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    2. Dear Gardenpat,
      Sometimes you have to wonder... i.e. why anyone would put horrible carpet over these floorboards or in your case why anyone would put shag pile carpet in a Victorian home!
      You had awesome savings from your efforts. All sounded yummy too.
      With a week to go still and how you are going it is looking like you may hit the $10,000 mark by the end of the year. Did you think of that? You are on track to be very close! That would be amazing! Thank you for telling me this! With love Annabel.xxx

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  18. Dear Annabel,

    Thanks a million for sharing photos and ideas, especially on Vicky's Challenge. Love you both for this. I used to calculate my savings for a few years but only on grocery savings - i.e. when buying items on half price or specials. The total on differences were not bad but nothing like on this challenge.

    Though I don't comment much, I read your blogs and appreciate all you share. I felt nostalgic when you mentioned you were painting your home. I miss our home and yard so much. All I could think of was re-organizing and I took my time with it. It was an extreme cleaning session and taking inventories of certain things such as cleaning products and toiletries. I managed to put everything in order and now I know where almost everything is. I don't have to buy the above at least for another year and this would save me a lot. I too found lots of items which were great for 'presents' and put them in one place.

    I used to keep beautiful small bottles of hotel toiletries in a basket in the bathroom for easy access but not anymore. So I've forgotten what I had at hand. I don't have space for my basket and also thanks to Cath & Wendy I dilute my shampoos & bath gels now, so they have to be in bigger bottles. When I read this, I thought it's time to start using them up again along with sample sachets. Whenever my hubby goes away I always ask him to bring those bottles and slippers (which I use at home during winter). This is to get two birds with one stone. With limited space in his bag, he can't bring me store-bought presents as much as he wants. Saves money on free toiletries and not spending over presents.

    Just wanted to say thank you. Though I've been frugal as much as I knew how to with all the things I've learned from my family; you, Cath, Wendy, Patsy, Vicky and Rozanne have helped me a lot to change my attitude and ways of doing things. I'm very grateful to all of you and love you all very much.

    Lots of love and hugs,
    Millie

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    1. Dear Millie,
      Thank you so much! it is great you are so far ahead with cleaning supplies and toiletries. Each way you are ahead is a saver. Now you will only ever have to buy such things on specials. Also if you make Miracle Cleaner then many thing you will never have to buy again.
      I think its lovely your husband will bring home all the little bits and pieces. They come in very handy!
      Thank you for your encouragement to me Millie I really appreciate it! With love Annabel.xxx

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  19. I really thought I had written a comment. Oh well I must have forgotten to hit publish. Oops. Annabel I am so envious of those gorgeous floorboards. How could anyone cover such beauty in carpet? Your hard work in this room has really paid off. Well done. The heat packs look divine and once again I'm adding something you've posted onto my Christmas/ present making list. I have quite a few nephews and think some heat packs in suitably male fabric would be a great idea. Yep definitely giving that one a go. In fact Dad is off to hospital for some skin cancers removal and skin grafts. He always complains how cold he gets in hospital. I'm going to make him a heat pack to take in with him. Thanks for the great idea.
    Last week was a busy one with it being the final week of the school term. I functioned on auto pilot at home. I'm glad I listed things as I did them as it all adds up. The highlight of the week was I finshed the shawl I was making for Mum for Mothers Day. In total, between hubby and I, we saved $316. Not huge but not too shabby. Life is good.

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    1. Dear Jane, Thanks for re trying..sometimes I don't get an email notification but still a comment is on blogger... but I checked and not there either. So thanks for having another go!
      I hope your Dad gets on ok in hospital. An extra blanket might be good for him too.
      Well done on the savings and the shawl! What a beautiful present for your Mum! Have a great week Jane, with love Annabel.xxx

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  20. The wood floors in the office are beautiful! And I know getting rid of old carpet is a relief.
    Blessings, Leigh

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  21. Hi Annabel, reading through the comments again made me think of something, a savings, and actually, it's kind of funny but some may think it's rather stingy. On special occasions, my husband buys me cards and I do appreciate them so much and the kind and loving sentiments he writes in each one. I've told him in the past that he doesn't always have to buy me a card, as I know he loves me. So when we had our wedding anniversary in January, he bought me a card. When Valentine's day was near, I still had the card on display. I told him that we could just use the same card... lol. We both looked at the card, re-read it, and talked about how we still love each other and this one (!) card could be used over and over as a frugal reminder. That might sound pretty 'cheap' and stingy, but we got a laugh out of it and saved a bit of money! Now, nearly two months later, the card is still on my kitchen counter, and when I look at it, I am reminded of our love and commitment to each other. It's a good deterrent to an argument also as I can point to it and remind him that he does love me... even if he is mad at me at the moment! Just a way to lighten things up and be reminded of what is really important in life.

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  22. Hello Annabel. Those floors are stunning! What a find! Also your blue heatpacks look very lavish, as always. Now these samples. You don't appreciate what a lovely thing they actually are, until you're the recipient of some. I received a gift today from a blog friend, that included samples from L'Occitane...one of my favourite stores. I was as thrilled with those as I was with the rest of her lovely package! So don't underestimate the pleasure they can give. And don't forget that some of the glossy magazines, often have a full sized product with purchase, that can mean it's actually worth buying the magazine! I hope your back is better today. Love, Mimi xxx

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I really appreciate your comments thank you! The aim of my blog is the be a place of encouragement and happiness. Very rarely is anyone rude. Actually only twice so far! If you post a rude or aggressive comment I will read it but not publish it, thanks for understanding.xxx

Spam is never published... if you are advertising a product or selling website your comment wont be published. I am inundated with stuff about drugs, horses and weird things! I am not going to publish this stuff! Thank you.