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.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 15 December, 2017.

Here we are ten days from Christmas!
I had a busy week!  Also I am sill replying on Wednesdays post but I will get there! And I appreciate your comments.  These days the comments form a really important part of the blog.  The ideas that come in and just the helpfulness to each other is what keeps me going.  I feel I have company in everything I do as I think of everyone!

Some of the things I did this week to save,  get ahead and build up the home were:

On Saturday I actually had a free day so I decided to cook.  I made two big pots of meat spaghetti sauce.

These were 2 kilos of mince (ground beef) per pot (2.2 lbs = 1 kilo) and by the time I added onion, tomato, herbs etc this about doubled it.  I simmer these for over an hour at least.  Lots of oregano!

With this I made five lasagnas.

Because of not eating wheat I thought I would use zucchini for one layer and egg plant for another.  I sliced them thinly and fried them.  It worked really well.  Next time I will factor in that these don't absorb moisture like pasta layers do though.... but anyway it was good.
Also Andy thought he is dying since he keeps losing weight and can't work out why.  Finally he mentions this.  I said it is because you haven't eaten wheat in two months.  He never noticed lol 

I made up freezer packs of the meat sauce as well.   Two lasagnas were for the girls.  This all went into the freezer.

A local cafe charges $15 for a take away serve of lasagna or moussaka.   I have over 16 serves here so they would charge $240 for the lasagna alone!  I like knowing these things.   This is what many people pay!

I was given some free lemons.

I made baked egg custards (using up more eggs) in the crockpot.

The two plain little ones were meant for Harper.  I have these beautiful little tea cups!

At the supermarket I got two trays of steak at half price.  I bought a tray of sausages and when I got home I repackaged these into BBQ packs and froze them.  It gave me heaps of meals for the freezer.

We started picking tomatoes.  

Since this first few they have come on fast, probably due to hot weather.  We pick a bowl full everyday and I won't need to buy tomatoes for a long time! 

Now I am up to Wednesday when I went to see Hilde.  Boy did we have a fun day!  It started out really hot but cooled as the day went on.  We hit the discount grocery store, fruit and veggie market and op shops! 

The biggest purchase I made was scotch fillet steak in a giant piece which I then cut up myself. This came out at half Aldi price and Aldi is already about half Woolworths price.  It is beautiful.  Andy was just like !!! when he saw this.  However once cut up it gives us steak once a week for six weeks.  

I got a really big bag of bananas for 43c!  

This one is crazy.  I got my hair colour for 33c per box.  It is normally $20.  I never pay that as I always buy it on sale but never for 33c a box!  I got 9 boxes saving $177 on hair colour alone.   These days are so worth it. Shopping around is so worth it!  If this was my saving for the day I would have been happy but I had many more!  Yes I had driven a bit further to shop.  Yes I spent most of a day doing it.  But my savings for one days "work" were hundreds of dollars!   To me that is fun.  With a friend it is even more fun!  Hysterical laughter plus big savings = good day!

At the fruit and vegetable shops they gave us free branches of Holly.  I will use this to decorate food gifts this week.

I also got a beautiful brand of sausages at half price.
I found a top for myself that I love for $5.
A Jamie Oliver cookbook for Chloe for $4.
This crystal lamp base ... it is huge.  It was $5 also.  Now to find a top for it...

I love it! 
6 crystal glasses (Waterford crystal) for $10.
A book for my Dad on Andrea Bocelli saving was $28.

Also five hair products i.e.  volumiser spray from a fancy brand saving several dollars per bottle. 

When in the grocery store I asked questions about what do they get in after Christmas?  When is the best time to come?  This place gets things the supermarkets want to move on plus things wholesalers and catering companies are finished with i.e. turkeys after Christmas!  So a trip is planned after Christmas!

Also Hilde and I hatched a plan.  She will go to her local supermarkets right after Boxing Day.  And to Rite Price.  If she sees turkeys for under $4 a kilo she will grab them for me. She has giant freezers.  So this is great I can cover more ground and different days!

At the end of the day my car was loaded up and Andy helped me unload.  Amongst all this I had op shop things that are on Chloe's list for the wedding.   I had huge luck there too!  This is secret stuff as to not give away the theme and style of the wedding! 
I had several cold packs and an esky to keep everything cold.  

I was still putting stuff away the next day!

Then I was faced with a huge bag of ripe bananas and still eggs in the fridge.  So yesterday I started on banana muffins.   I made 60 before I made dinner.   

This also used up a batch of homemade vanilla yoghurt for extra goodness.

I made one dozen in a smaller size for Harper.  For extra appeal I added my little ballerina cake toppers.  πŸ˜Š

I am delivering these this afternoon just in time for afternoon tea.

Muffins are usually around $3 each in shops here. So I feel I turned my free eggs, cheap yoghurt and 43c bananas into a lot! 

The rest are going into the freezer. I have two dozen for Chloe and farmer Luke.  

After dinner I made a triple batch of coconut ice.  It is still setting in my biggest baking dish.  Later I will start on slicing it up and packaging.  It has turned out the palest ever milk shake pink.  πŸ’—  We are invited to a neighbours tonight for Christmas celebrations so I will take a plate of this. 

So that was my week so far.  It will give my Vicky Challenge a boost as it was a lot of savings!  The freezer really got a big boost.  I love having heaps of meals to turn to if we need them. 

I hope you had a good week.  How did you build up your home?  It might have been more of a case of how did you keep up with things as this is such a busy time.  I remember when the girls were at school how extra busy December was.  It was exhausting. 

Have a beautiful weekend! xxx


  1. Annabel, this post makes me want to head to the kitchen and start cooking!! Such yummy looking food! Thrift store shopping/bargain shopping with a friend is so much fun isn't it? I'm glad you and Hilde had a good time and much success!

    1. Dear Patsy,
      There is nothing like a good cook up! I always feel very pleased and count how many meals ahead I am. I love it. And the shopping day was great. The rest of the week was busy. Now it is Saturday and I have hit the wall! I need a quiet day! Also... what you posted about bringing in extra money and different income streams I have been thinking on a great deal. We need to work on this and this will be one of my aims for the New Year. I am noticing a lot of people feeling the same. Have a lovely weekend with love

  2. WOW! Annabel, you`ve struck gold!
    You find the most amazing things at the most amazing prices - Waterford crystal glasses, $10, drool, and that lamp base is gorgeous.

    I`ve been away about a month, so have just caught up with your blog. Thank you for all that you do to inspire, especially being prepared. It`s so nice to come home knowing that I just need to wrap the Christmas gifts and do the Christmas baking.

    I have the fruit soaking for your tasty Christmas cake and next week is Christmas baking day with my two little grandchildren (they love to make goodies to give Mum and Dad).

    1. Dear Janine, I adore crystal. Even pretty cut glass... I have side plates and all sorts that are glass. But crystal is the best. I look at the prices in stores like David Jones. I see so much in op shops. I am just starting to realise maybe I could use some crystal as gifts (for those that love it) too.
      Thank you so much! I am glad you are feeling organised for Christmas. All the little bits we do ahead make a difference!
      Enjoy your baking day! That will be BEAUTIFUL. With love

  3. We love lasagna made with zucchini. I slice it lengthwise and bake is for a short time, then layer it like pasta. It works great this way!

    1. I did this too... I have a slicer thingy and it slices thinly and I did lengthways. So it was quite fast to make a layer. It was really tasty! I like making the zucchini noodles too. Really fast and easy and healthy! xxx

  4. Well done on all your wonderful savings for this week. I love the idea of the eggplant instead of pasta sheets in the lasagne. I have lots of eggplant ripening so will be using this idea.
    It must have been the week for using up ripe bananas. I made two dozen choconana muffins. I had plans to put icing on them but have had a request not to. Turns out the muffins are being heated up and then placed in a bowl with ice cream for dessert. There are not many muffins left. Of course everyone is blaming Tilly. Poor baby.
    I went with the girls to Spotlight. The girls discovered the remnants bin and both hunted through the bins for the best of the fabrics. The discounts were amazing. One piece of cotton was $22/m, I got a .6m remnant for $1.50. I bought lots of fabric and have decided all Grand baby fabric requirements have been taken care of for 2018.
    A beautiful friend(I wonder who that was?) sent me a parcel of wonderful fabrics and trims. I can see many projects being completed using these fabrics. One project, has already been started.
    It is getting hotter and more humid by the day. The beach and the free water play park are getting quite the work out. Lots of fun for free.
    Have a wonderful weekend Annabel and Bluebird friends.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      I have stopped with the icing too... I just do a dusting of icing sugar.
      I saw your remnants haul!! Wow that was awesome! With the new sewing machine you are set!
      Oh :) I am glad you have something started! I have my things lined up and after Christmas when it is hot the sewing machine is coming out! I am looking forward to it!
      We also have heat coming, 40 on Monday. It was a great week but today (Sat.) I am exhausted! Have a good weekend there and stay cool! With love

  5. Annabel, what a fantastic week for you! I laughed out loud at Andy thinking he was dying and not realising he hadn't eaten wheat lol.

    I too used up ripe bananas, with two banana cakes, plus cake crumb truffles, caramel fudge and cookie dough truffles. I made the condensed milk for the fudge and it worked really well.

    School is finished and I am thrilled! Time for everyone to have a decent chill out :)

    Have a lovely weekend everyone

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, Andy got some wheat in with some banana muffins... but most meals are wheat free and being a meat and vegetable kind of guy he is just too happy to have noticed!
      We loved the end of term as everyone was tired, exhausted even with many events at the end of year etc. Everyone collapsed. Sleep ins and lazy days. This usually resulted in great growth spurts I noticed! So enjoy it!
      Have a good weekend! With love

  6. Hello Annabel & beautiful bluebirds :).

    Annabel I am so glad you and Hilde had a wonderful time together and got such wonderful bargains. I just adore that lamp base how completely divine is that :) .

    Our week we have been concentrating on picking up lovely plants for the gardens and nice garden related comfort items, building up our food supplies by picking up bargains all over the place whilst on other errands.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $236.18.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Roasted a small beef roast purchased on special to last us two meals with homemade pasta salad made with our own capsicums from the gardens and tinned corn from our pantry purchased on special saving $5.21 over purchasing the same amount in the shops.
    - Made from scratch a double layered chocolate mud cake like cake with buttercream icing filling and top icing for DH's birthday which lasted us 4 days saving $6.72 over purchasing it.

    In the garden -
    - Raked up more dried leaves and coupled them with grass clippings from DH mowing the lawns and ran over them with the ride on lawn mower to make another heaped 90lt wheelbarrow of mulch for the gardens. I have worked out by doing this we have saved another $60 over purchasing hay locally.
    - Purchased 10 large strawberry plants from Bunnings to replace other spent ones in the gardens saving $3.50 over purchasing elsewhere.
    - Bought a dwarf Imperial mandarin, Lisbon lemon tree and 8 more strawberry plants from two separate plant nurseries saving $41.25 over prices elsewhere. Yay we have started our first collection of fruit trees.
    - Purchased a 3mt cantilever garden umbrella for our back veranda for $58 from Bunnings for our joint Christmas present, to keep us cool in this hot summer weather so we can have some meals outside saving $21 over purchasing elsewhere.
    - We also topped up on silver beet and sweet corn seeds to up our supply of garden seeds for the vegetable gardens.

    Prepping or being prepared -
    - Purchased 10 x 10lt food grade food storage containers with lids and seals from eBay saving $27.45 over the prices we pay here locally.
    - Purchased another needed item in the home saving $56.04 over purchasing them locally as well.

    Have a fantastic week ahead everyone :) .


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, All your cooking sounds good but the Birthday cake sounds fantastic! I bet your husband loved it too.
      All the mulch for your garden is great. So many benefits from that.
      Meals outside in the garden are something we love to do too. I really like this. Having a shady space is like having an extra room on the house in the good weather.
      The fruit trees and strawberries are good investments. I think the first year is the hardest and once they are established they become easy to look after. Hopefully they will reward you i a couple of years!
      I hope you are having a good and relaxing weekend! I am having a quiet Saturday. All my get up and go got up and left! With love

  7. That lamp is identical to my bedside lamp - obviously bigger - but exactly the same design. I've had my lamp since I was 13, it was a gift from Mum and Dad on my birthday, they redecorated my bedroom for me. At the time it had a lovely orange shantung shade - can you just imagine it now! I still have base, it's carefully packed away until I find a new shade for it (or use my sewing skills and just make the one I want). You must be so excited, I priced a similar crystal base to mine a few years ago and it was $199! Have a lovely weekend,

    1. Dear Cath, This lamp is so pretty and sparkles away. And to top it off (literally) I have just been given the gift of a shade for it!
      I knew it would be pretty expensive! I love these finds as they are really luxurious!
      Have a good weekend to you, I hope things are going well. I think you are probably very organised for Christmas, with love

  8. What great savings this week Annabel. Well done for hunting them out and using them up quickly. So often bargains can end up thrown away if we're not careful.

    I was thinkng about your earlier today, when hunting for recipes for Christmas events. I found, amongst others, your shortbread recipe that I had printed off and used before. Thank you again for your generosity in sharing these things.

    1. Dear Mary,
      You are right with a lot of bargains there is a window of opportunity and then it is lost. I have stayed up late at night many times using fruit because of this factor!
      That shortbread is good. Also fast. Cutting it when hot is the key! Thanks so much Mary, with love,

  9. Dear Annabel,

    All of your cooking and baking looks so yummy! What incredible produce buys etc you had and your op shop finds too were amazing! I love crystal and cannot believe the prices you buy such beautiful items for! Here they price accordingly as they realise a lot gets bought up to be resold on eBay and other places these days. I find most op shops are overpricing items. We did find one little shop when away that had amazing prices though! I was able to buy a few items there at least. πŸ˜‰

    I had a laugh about Andy and his concern over sudden weight loss. Too funny he has not noticed being wheat free πŸ˜‚

    Love, Kaye xoxo

    1. Dear Kaye,
      This is happening at lots of op shops here too. The further away op shops are the best.
      Andy likes meat and veggies. Completely happy. So never noticed the lack of pasta etc. Because he is type 2 diabetic he is best off without bread etc anyhow. So this is working out good for him! Plus he is relieved he isn't dying hahah! Have a great weekend! With love

  10. Hi Annabel,iam typing in the dark in my office i keep forgetting to buy a light bulb,anyways i can save on the power bill, so if any mistakes u will know why lol.
    My tree is full with lots of presents i received from my work pals, so its been a busy month wrapping and giving gifts too.. your lasagna looks lovely and i plan on making a eggplant lasagna for the same reasons i think i have lost a few kilos i still have bread now and again I found a grain free eggplant lasagna so iam off to the big watermelon tomorrow to get some fruit and vegetables i have fruit soaking in brandy in the fridge for some more little Christmas cakes to give as gifts,thanks for sharing yet another fantastic blog post have a great weekend xxx

    1. Dear Melissa,
      I love that your tree is full of gifts! That is a happy scene.
      I used to make a moussaka and I need to compare that recipe.... the eggplant is good though. I hope you find lots of good veggie bargains.
      I am actually considering making more cakes also... mainly as I have a couple of dozen eggs to use up and got the mixed fruit at Aldi... and the cakes keep... so I just might!
      You have a lovely weekend too! With love,

  11. You have had a wonderful week! What deals! My husband always says that meals in the freezer are like money in the bank.

    I have to admit that I am in mourning for my turkey carcasses that I froze after Thanksgiving. Hubby sat them out of the freezer to find something else and did not put them back in. They were found 2 days later and into the trash they went. I had planned to have a broth making and canning day after Christmas was done. Another day I asked him to bring in some meat to thaw for the next day and he brought the wrong thing which I found after it had thawed. Quick adjustment to the menu there and he was disappointed that I could not make the other dish. This is how the week often goes with the brain injury. I try to not check behind every little thing he does because it frustrates him. But, the loss of all that wonderful broth was hard to take.

    We shopped at Publix on the day that Hubby can get a 5% discount since he is 60. We have intended to do this but had not. But, 5% off your grocery purchase is quite a bit really for just shopping on the right day.

    Maybe some would be interested in an update on shopping at Lidl vs. Aldi. We have done more shopping at Lidl lately since they have ad some really great sales. But, the quality is just not the same as Aldi. Not huge differences but enough that we are sure we do not want to make a habit of shopping there. Aldi continues to compete on prices and give out $5 off $30 purchase coupons so back to Aldi we go.

    Have a happy weekend, all!

    1. Dear Lana,
      I totally agree with your husband! I feel this way about the pantry too.
      Oh no re the turkey but thank goodness this wasnt WHOLE turkeys!
      I would take advantage of the 5% too. I hope it also applies to mark downs and sale items as this would make a lot!
      That is very interesting about Lidl. It is very good to compare though and be willing to shop around. This is what is saving me this year. Like with my Wednesday shop, well it took a day but it was worth a lot. It just pays to compare.
      Have a great weekend there. Thank you Lana. With love

  12. I am always amazed at how much you accomplish. We just presented our children's Christmas pageant last weekend which took most of my energies these past two months. But the kids did great!

    Now onto feathering my own nest. I have some plans for the new year, that I am starting to implement and will roll out on my blog after Christmas.

    Have you shared your banana muffin recipe on here? Hubby's doctor has advised that he change his eating habits plus we have at least 3 gf people in the family so I am always looking for new recipes for old favorites.

    They look delish!

    1. Dear Cheri, Thanks! It has caught up with me today and I am tired!
      I am sure the Christmas pageant was beautiful! These things make great memories!
      I will look forward to hearing what your plans are for the new year. I am working on this myself. So far I am mainly thinking over this year and a little bit on next year. We are also waiting on knowing our bigger plans next year .... I will be glad moving forward with these things. I like a plan!
      The banana muffins I made are ordinary ones not gf as they were for Harper and family. I do make them healthy with loads of my homemade yoghurt and double the banana. But not gf. I am not sure of the doctors recommendations but for us going grain free has been easy and has meant more veggies than ever i.e. zucchini in place of pasta etc. Next year we will have a lot more grain free recipes. A fav. just now is mini crustless quiches. I use sun dried tomatoes and things for flavour impact and they are so delicious. Also for me little baked custards, homemade yogurt and berries... my next thing is grain free wraps for things like enchiladas. Cookie told me just to do egg crepes and use those and but the time it is all baked no one notices. So I am learning and adapting! With love

  13. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    What a gorgeous lamp base and great find on the Waterford! I bet they are gorgeous.
    It was a light week for me, just very busy with the holidays coming up and trying to get everything caught up at work before holiday break.

    This week's efforts:
    Cooking and food: Sunday saw some batch cooking for the week: a big pot of pasta sauce and meatballs, brown rice, roasted chicken, broth made in the crockpot, and waffles for the freezer.I spent part of Saturday candymaking for gifts: peanut butter bark, shortcut fudge with walnuts, almond toffee clusters, chocolate crispy cups, and fudge grahams. All work lunches were prepared and brought from home ($150 value).

    Household: My husband took the car in for an oil and air filter change, and we had a tire replaced free under warranty (a $200 savings). He purchased a 3-pack of oil changes from the dealership as buying them up front saves $50 over paying each time the car is brought in.

    Shopping: I used a gift card to buy some wonderful tea and spices at the natural foods market. At Michael's, I stacked 2 coupons and saved $10 on the purchase of some lovely yarn.

    Entertainment: We enjoyed some books from the library.

    Crafts/gifts: Some goodies were packaged up for my husband's co-workers and boss using tins, treat bags, and ribbon that I purchased on clearance last year and stored. They loved the sweets!
    I am working on knitting a big cozy shawl that will have a feather-and-fan edge, and another pair of worsted-weight socks.

    Our barn is having a big "garage sale" of tack and show clothes this weekend, so last night I spent some time clearing out my closet and labeling things for sale. Fingers crossed that someone else will want some of my items (priced well so they save some money, too) and we will bring home some extra money. :)

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy,
      You got heaps of cooking done! Beautiful. The candies all sound divine!
      The car savings were a lot! This was good planning.
      I think your husbands co workers would have loved these gifts! Big success and I bet he liked this!
      I hope you do really well in the sale. That would be great!
      This was a good week, you truly got heaps done. I hope you have some rest over the weekend as I am betting next week will be busy! With love,

  14. You really know how to stretch the money. Great buys and good for you! Merry Christmas

    1. Thank you! Merry Christmas to you too and I hope 2018 will be good for us all! xxx

  15. Hi Annabel
    Wow, you found some great things, at great prices on your day out. I keep looking around my area but haven’t found anything like this.
    This week our big freezer died, I’m so thankful a friend dropped off some heavily discounted, good quality milk (to make haloumi) and when my dh went to put it in the freezer he discovered it had stopped working. He quickly sourced a new (slightly used) freezer and the majority of the meat was frozen solid still.
    We had lamb mince that had defrosted slightly has now been turned into 2 large moussaka (to be frozen as individual serves), lamb rissoles and lamb and rosemary gf pies (also frozen). Gf pies are $5 each at Woolworths so those alone are a large saving, and so much nicer.
    Thank you for continuing to share your ideas, I find they are things I can do while looking after my family and working part time. It saves us so much! Next year I’m going to note the amounts down so I can see the savings.

    1. Dear Melissa,
      I am so glad you didnt lose everything in that freezer! That part was so lucky, not so good that the freezer died though!
      I would love to make my own Haloumi! We love it! Tell me is it herd and do you make little batches or a lot... ? I am full of questions on this. Better still when you are making some if you can and wouldnt mind taking some photos? Maybe we could do a tutorial on this!
      All your cooking sounds beautiful. So good, healthy and what a saving.
      Comparing the cost of things bought vs made ourselves does show how much we are saving. It is often a shock! I find it very encouraging because of this!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love,

    2. Hi Annabel
      Haloumi is very simple to make and takes very few ingredients. I often use discounted, full fat milk to make it (which makes it very inexpensive).
      I will take photos when I next make it and send you an email (with instructions).

    3. Thank you! So excited! I wont be the only one either! xxx

  16. Wow, what you have accomplished! And I love the lamp base! All you Bluebirds inspire me!
    I didn’t accomplish the volume of things, but it is just my husband and me. We got a good bit of snow, so though we were planning to go to market, I baked and we don’t really need anything there now. I made bagels, and then was reading a book that mentioned apple strudel, and described how to make it using handfuls. I took this as a challenge and had all the ingredients, so was able to make it- I stretched the dough so thin I could read through it! The “recipe”, if one could call it that, made two big strudels, so I can give one away or freeze it. My husband’s grandmother made strudel, and he loves the one I made.
    We’ve been eating out of our freezer. Usually in January, there are a lot of meat sales.
    Hoping that you all are having a good season!

    1. Dear Megs, The apple strudel sounds so good! I think it will become a favourite in your house! It is wise making room in the freezer for meat specials! I only checked on freezer space today as I am determined to get meat specials too!
      Have a very happy Christmas to you too! with love

  17. Dear Annabel and bluebird beauties,
    Merry Christmas and wow what a week you had Annabel!. I just love that you look after your family so well, you remind me of my mum( not the age just the kindness) .
    My mum makes some meals for me as you all know and does this even though she is disabled too.
    This week I had a great week:
    I bought everything I need to finish offChristmas , gifts, decorations ( except major specials just before or just after the event) . I have all my gifts made, bought, I have two gifts on the way through the post. One is a special memorial bauble for me in honour of my Rob and I got a discount on it and it was cheaper than you would see in a gift shop , savings $20 .grocery savings, $40, used flybuys $$ to buy a few gifts, treats for me and a few gifts for wish tree at Kmart, savings $60 , I had $60 fly buys $$$ , yes I could save them but I wanted to " pay it forward and buy last minute gifts and treats. It cost me just under $4 out of pocket for at least 15 items, including all that I mentioned above plus two magazines that I used to always buy and hardly buy anymore so savings was $60 as itcost $64.
    I had my usual Centacare services,saving a lot , I had 6 hours of care , I estimate I saved $140 compared to private companies, I got some bargains and saved $75 ,
    I picked up cheap salad, mushrooms etc but cannot remember if that was last week or this week!. Anyway other savings this week included:
    Mum and dad gave me a freezer / cooker bag full of chicken, some treat foods, bacon, etc , savings about $50 , they were cleaning out their freezer.
    I also received the meals I mentioned from my parents, 2 individual chicken and leek and veg pies , bolognese sauce, enough for 3 meals, chicken and leek mix from pies and more shallots from their garden. Savings here was at least. $45 .piit has been a great week.
    I am using gifts out of my gift cupboard for a few last minute gifts and am making gifts / to send to friends, new friends etc. total savings on handmade gifts $40 , I have made quite a few things, well in process .today will be a craft day.
    I hope Christmas and 2018 is special for you and your family Abnabel and for all bluebirds. Sending love to all. I haven't added my savings up but it's a lot!.
    Love Barb W

    1. Dear Barb, That was an excellent week. The bonus frozen food was a lot too. It sounds like you are all organised for Christmas! With only a week to go this is a god position to be in! I am thinking now what do I have left to do!? Sunday is my planning day... and I can see it will be a busy week. Also hot! I hope you are having a lovely weekend and that this week will be good. It is starting to feel exciting! With lots of love

  18. WOW !!! You had such a busy week Annabel. Love the lamp base.
    Here's my frugal list for the week -

    * Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

    * Dried all the washing on the line and clothes horses.

    * Hand washed the dinner dishes most nights instead of putting the dishwasher on. Most nights it was just Daren and I home for dinner.

    * Refilled the dishwashing detergent bottle and diluted it by about 30% ( and put the pump back on ).

    * Used the two light rule as much as possible and turned standby lights off when I saw them. With electricity prices about to rise ( yet again ) I'll be rereading the utilities posts I've written over the last couple of years.

    * Picked hydrangeas from the garden to pretty up the kitchen. The photo below doesn't fully show their intense color

    * Froze leftover chop suey into single serves.

    * Took lunch, water and snacks to my cleaning jobs to prevent the takeaway urge.

    * Darren went to the movies for free using the movie money / points he's been saving. Darren books movie tickets for our girls because he gets a good price through Telstra. The girls pay him back but he accumulates the points. He tells me he has enough for another free ticket.

    * Saved lots of tissue paper from some department store purchases. Most of it had little Christmas tree on it.

    * Saved the shower warm up water and washing machine rinse water. Lots of it was poured on the hydrangeas to prevent them from dying in the heat.

    * Fed the compost bin with kitchen scraps.

    * Picked raspberries, loganberries, lettuce and cucumbers from our garden.

    * Gratefully received lots of bread bags.

    * Gratefully received a bag of glass jars from a friend. He'd been saving them for me. Before I know it, jam making season will be upon me and I'll need the jars.

    * Sold a couple of sets of Christmas angels and wreaths.

    1. Dear Wendy, What a good week! I am madly collecting glass jars too! With hope of fruit soon! We have some hydrangeas at the moment too and I need to do something with the flowers!
      Have a really beautiful Christmas! This is bound to be a very busy week! And hot too for us so far! With love,

    2. What do you do with bread bags? I throw mine out.


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