First of all thank you to everyone who participated in the swap party! For my part all the parcels will be ready and posted on Monday. I have been busy drying heaps of sour dough starter and that is all ready too.
I just published some more comments in the swap post so be sure to check and let me know if you need any more contacts. I think I will say Sunday it is closed down for this time and we will do it again early next year. I hope everyone gets lovely parcels in the mail!
This week I built up our home and saved money in lots of little ways...
I added a kettle to our BBQ set up for boiling water if the power is out. Previously we just used saucepans but this is easier for making cups of tea etc.
I got two sets of good sheets on a huge bargain!
My spray bottle was almost empty so I refilled it with miracle cleaner. To do this I simply put in about an inch of the cleaner into the bottle then fill the rest with water. Cost is a few cents! The recipe is here plus how to make your own cleaning cloths etc. This all saves a fortune and your house never smelled so good!
It was a week of roses! Our garden is blooming just now and it seems to have come all at once.
We have yellow roses down the side and over an arbour...
Yesterday I started picking them. Jane made me realise that I could use dried rose buds as gifts and in swaps! So while I usually dry lots to use on food like my coconut ice and on soaps and bath bombs etc. I am going to try and dry enough over the summer to make up packages for my gift cupboard. Jane also told me you can buy dried rose buds by the gram and they are expensive.
This is what I picked just yesterday...
The buds will today be hung upside down to dry. The flowers I will just enjoy and then dry the petals.
Out the front we have a tree covered in palest pink blossoms. It is now raining petals every time there is a breeze.
I just love all of this and the scents are beautiful too. I have honeysuckle at the front door and this is always open if the weather is ok so the whole house smells beautiful.
I made peanut butter biscuits again this week. I am making them every week as Harper likes them so much but also I am doing an experiment with going grain free. My whole life I have suffered aching legs. Some of my early memories are Dad rubbing my aching legs. That has been my normal. But since early this year when I got the spider bites and infections on my arms I have had badly aching arms. After months of this I found I was taking tons of painkillers as aching legs plus arms makes it seem like everything aches. I was getting fairly miserable. I read a lot that many people go grain free to reduce pain but that sounded mad to me. But then Laine told me she is grain free as she has a chronic condition which causes a lot of pain and by doing this she has improved her life and can still do things she couldn't otherwise do. And I was willing to listen to Laine as she gets so much done!
At this point I was desperate and thought I have nothing to lose! So I got organised and on October the first I went grain free. I thought as an experiment only.
On the fourth day my leg ache and arm ache disappeared. Today is the 20th day. I have had two days with mild aches rather than 20 days with major aches. I am amazed. I have more energy too. MUCH more energy. Each day I am still improving. And this week we started our summer swimming so now I added lapping the pool and still haven't ached!
I also went to the doctor this week. I told her what I was doing and I expected her to roll her eyes but she didn't! She said that apart from anything else for a woman my age (menopausal) this was the best thing I could be doing! WHAT? No one ever told me that before.
I am not telling anyone to do this or that it would be right for them. But this has amazed me and I cant believe the benefits so far so I thought I would share it as there might be someone reading who is suffering quietly and you just never know.
These cookies are just 1 cup peanut butter (easier to work with if it has been in the fridge) 1 egg and 1 cup of sugar rolled into balls. (I use much less sugar though)
Press with a fork, bake in a low oven (they burn easily) for about ten minutes or until lightly browned. They are very filling. No flour!
I am still baking things like scrolls and cakes for the family. If I have something for myself like these cookies I am ok and not bothered. That is not to say I won't fall off the wagon at some point!
This week I did a big spaghetti sauce cook up.
Chloe came home from her trip! I sent her home with two nights worth of the sauce. For us I made zucchini noodles and Andy likes these and so no pasta. This all gave me four dinners to give away, and eight batches to freeze plus two nights of dinners for us.
I made vanilla yoghurt.
At the discount chemist I got a cleaning product for one cent!
And we have hit our safety net amount and the rest of the years prescriptions will be only the minimum amount which I think is about $5.
We started having BBQ's. This keeps the kitchen clean, the power bill down, we eat outside in the evenings and it is lovely. Usually this time of year we do a couple of BBQ's a week maybe three times a week in summer.
My dried fruit is soaking for my Christmas cakes. This year I got most of the fruit from Aldi and it is lovely.
I have enough for four large cakes but I will make them up as 8 smaller ones. That is part of my work today. This will take 20 eggs!
I always make these in October as they improve with age. And they last a year so I usually hide a couple. That recipe is here.
Coles sent me a $40 voucher and coupons to save more points. I will sit and stick these into my diary this weekend. Usually it is one coupon per week. Doing it last time earned me this $40. I will use this on half price items and turn it into $80 value (at least) It is a great way to add to the pantry.
So that is my week! It was pretty good! The highlight was Chloe getting home!
I hope you had a good week. How did you feather your nest, get ahead, save... build up your pantry?
I am off to get these cakes cooked and hang up my rose buds.
Have a lovely weekend! xxx