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 29 October 2015

Feather your Nest Friday, 30 October, 2015.

The last post for October! On the weekend I will get out all the Christmas presents I've made all year long and see what I have. This is a self imposed rule... I am allowed to haul it all out once its November. Our other rule is the Christmas tree goes up in the first of December.  Do you have funny little rules about when you do things?  I find this really exciting! I can't wait to see everything I've made and decide who is getting what! The ultimate is a surplus. Then I can give to more people and towards all the birthdays we have in January. Everyone was born in January apparently!

This week was good. I don't think quite as big as last week but still good.

Some of the ways I saved money were:

I turned some ordinary little jars into something nicer with a little paint and stickers...

And I painted some baby formula tins. Now I have another set of six canisters for free.

In the mail I got a letter that I could convert Flyby points to grocery shopping dollars and that I had $40 if I did. This is a scheme where shopping earns points you can redeem for stuff. I was surprised! So I did that and decided I would add $40 worth of goods to my pantry this way, for free. To do it I did a special trip and studied the specials catalogue first. I bought all half price or under specials so I got $80 worth of stuff for that $40. (this is another rule! Always double the value of gift cards by shopping for specials or waiting for a big sale!)
I had a great time and ended up with so much stuff including dish washing detergent, laundry liquid, bleach, toilet cleaner, toilet paper, canned goods, pasta, rice, flour etc all useful basics to add to my cellar. I lined it all up to show Andy what I had got fro free. He was amazed!

So now I think I will be more dedicated to collect these points as I had been casual about it.  On that note I took a leaf out of Rhonda's book ("If you do stuff, stuff gets done" blog. On my side bar)
We do not generally have coupons. But this is similar and I was spurred on by my $40 free groceries. As a promotion I was sent a sheet of vouchers to earn more points to get me another voucher. So I took ten minutes and got out my diary. I clipped these and stuck each voucher to the pages in my planner. There is a voucher a week and they must be used in the correct week. They go through to the end of January.  Already I used one yesterday and earned 500 flyby points. I purchased things I need on half price specials to do it. Yay! I'm organized and will make the most of this. Thanks Rhonda!

If all this clipping and sticking earns me another $40 voucher I will be very happy!

I have had it on my mind that I would love to get Bantams. They are basically little chooks. I love them. Andy also used to keep them.  I have a little yard for them but I also need somewhere I can lock them up and they can nest. I put in my "order" a couple of months ago. This means I prayed something would come my way and started watching for something I can use on the side of the road and asked Andy to watch out too. Usually when I put my order in I find things fast. But a few days ago I was thinking where is my chook pen? I had been talking with Tania about finding these bantams too assuring her I am ready!
Then on Wednesday on our own street, a few doors up voila!!! There it was!

Tania if you are reading... these are the ones I love. Pekin Bantams...

Or Wyandott Bantams...

Or something similar or mixed. Its the sweet plump shape of them and pretty colours that I just love! I thought if I find them impossible to get maybe I could get Quail? But I really want Bantams... Also if not I could get Silkies?

Or if anyone in SA knows where I could get some please let me know.

I made two birthday gifts for my sister in laws.

 These will grow a little before I give them and send up flowers. I added little signs instead of a card. To give I will add cellophane and a ribbon, copying how the florist does it.

I did our chemist shopping at the discount chemist. I have really noticed the difference since I started doing this. Many times it is a $50 saving.

Andy fixed my good broom for me.
He also trimmed the hedge. He always does this but I notice all our neighbors pay professionals to trim theirs. I should find out how much they pay so I know how much we save each time.

I got a beautiful classic perfume for $5 because it had a few sprays out of it as it was used on a display. It was a $200 perfume!

I used up getting soft apples in a roast with pork. They were beautiful.

Some ways I built up our home were:

Building up the pantry with all these free things plus several other really good specials. In fact I think this is the biggest amount I ever added in one week.

We did quite a bit of gardening, Andy trimming the hedge made a big difference. I've been bringing roses inside and we have enjoyed meals outside.

In the next couple of weeks I am doing a freezer challenge. Kaye got me going on this. It is full. If I find a great special that needs freezing I can't buy it! And I remembered... after Christmas and New Year I have been able to buy turkeys at an amazing price. Under $4 a kilo, sometimes $3. If I don't make room I won't be able to get them.  So the plan is to do exactly what Wendy said in her blog about managing your economy. (I linked to that on Wednesday). I will largely make meals from ingredients in the freezer for two weeks. So I will spend less on food for our meals. The money saved will go in a fund for the turkeys and also after that into my pantry building. So it is a win/win!

Going through all the gifts I have made is the same as this. All the money I save this way can go into areas that really need it. Saving money in one area to bolster up another area is a great challenge and it is amazing what can be done sometimes. Plus it's motivating!

I hope you had a good week! It is wonderful to see all the little things add up and see progress. It is also good to feel your hard work has achieved something and to notice all the blessings you have.

How did you save, get ahead or build up your home this week?  Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Dear Annabel,

    You would be proud of me - I actually kept track (somewhat - LOL).

    This week we defrosted both freezers, cleaned out the three refrigerator freezers, and organized all of them.
    We added to the pantry in a large way by placing a big Vitacost order for flours and pumpkin. We have been reading about a future pumpkin shortage here in the U.S. and the article stated that after the Thanksgiving season there would be no more pumpkin available until next year's crop. We found out, due to the shortage, we could only order six cans of organic pumpkin puree at a time, so we placed two orders. That brings us up to the 24 cans we will need for the next year.
    I repackaged all the following large bags of organic fruits and vegetables into meal portions and vacuum sealed them: broccoli, mangos, strawberries, blueberries, sweet cherries, Normandy mix, and pineapple. We purchase the large bags of organics frozen vegetables and fruits at Sam's club for a ridiculously reasonable price for organics, them I repackage them and vacuum seal them, placing them in the freezer for future meal use. Out of two bags of organic broccoli florets I got twenty meal sized packages (packaged for two servings) and the cost was $14.36 total. We have always purchased in large sizes and broken them down. For us, it's a big savings when using the dehydrator, canning, freezing, and using our vacuum sealer.
    I, also, baked three types of cookies and froze them for future use.
    We accomplished a few more winter prep things, but nothing of interest for the blog.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      I am glad you kept track! You did heaps! As always though.
      We dont have canned pumpkin here. Or if we do I dont know about it. We do use a lot of pumpkin though, also Sweet Potato. I know winter preparations are a big thing and loads of work. Good to be getting it done. Have a great weekend! With love, Annabel.xxxx

  2. Oh Annabel, I am just thrilled for you and your points deals. You did so good!

    Lots of stores in the US have deals but I really only concentrate on CVS. I will do occasional deals at other stores but if they are very complicated, I skip them. Your store sounds like a good one. Being organized is one secret to getting the best deals too.

    Your repurposed formula cans are amazing. I need to post a photo of the awful rectangle shaped tubs that my grand babies formula is in. I have studied them and don't think there is any cute way to reuse these impractical shaped containers.

    My pantry stock up this week is canned tomatoes, sauces and crushed. I made 2 trips and got 80 cans for $40. That is less than half of the regular price,
    Now, I just have to figure out where I will store them all.........

  3. Hi Annabel,
    It's interesting you should say about your Christmas tree "rule". In our house, as DH's birthday is the 12th December, we have the rule that Christmas decorations don't go up until after the 12th. This was very handy when our kids were little as it meant they didn't have to wait too long before Santa arrived. Now that they are adults, the rule still applies.

    All our family birthdays fall between 28th Oct - 4th Jan, so I understand the gift situation. Thanks to your nudging, most of the gifts are ready to go, and the Christmas cake I made :-) :-). Thank you

    1. Dear Janine,
      After a while rules become traditions. I bet some of your children follow this rule in their own homes birthdays or not, because its tradition! We can be very sentimental about our family traditions, I know I am.
      I am glad you are doing well with the gifts. I think lots of Birthdays just before Christmas might be harder than January! Thank goodness for preparing ahead!
      Many thanks, Love

  4. I really enjoy your posts and love your creativity. They inspire me so much. Thank you!

  5. Annabel, you've had a really good week! We found a half off sale on whole spiral cut hams today and purchased 4 of them. We're all set for ham for the holidays and afterwards.

    1. Dear Patsy, I love hams. For us there might be specials after Christmas as people stop buying the really big ones. That is when Ill make my move! Very useful. Hence my making space in the freezer challenge!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love,

  6. I also realized I need to be eating some foods out of our freezer to make room for a large turkey, they are so inexpensive this time of year. Growing up, my brother had Bantams, they are really nice chickens and they produce sweet little eggs. We made on hen into a pet, named her 'Judy'. What was your perfume? Dying to know. I love perfume.

    1. Dear Joy, The perfume is Estee Lauder Beautiful large bottle of the perfume and you couldnt tell visually it has any out of it. Very happy. I love perfume too.
      I will remember Judy when it comes time to name my Bantams!
      I love turkey. We had turkey roasts, pie etc in winter thanks to the big specials after New Year. Love it. So I am on a mission to make room.
      Have a lovely weekend! Love

  7. Annabel,
    You had a great week it looks like! Your canisters are beautiful and I can't wait for you to get Bantams. Isn't funny how sometimes when we need things they appear? That has happened for us several times. We have been working on the deck in between rains to get the last of it painted, this has saved us 1000.00 in labor doing it ourselves since it's 900 square feet. I have the last of the cabbages fermenting and that is all of the garden produce for this year. I canned 10 pints of carrots that I got for free. I only have 1 shutter left to paint on that project still waiting for Rick to cut my wood rounds though! I got a bag of brand new measuring tapes free that I think might be good for small gifts. Thanks to you I cut and dyed my hair myself. And today I had to take Mama to do a few errands so I had a rain check and coupons and got 4 packs of Tena pads, 2 boxes of mac n cheese and a 2 liter of soda for 71 cents, but I got $8.00 back in store bucks. I love free money! I have that set aside for next week's sale if there is anything good and will use them to get something free next week. You did amazing by the way! I think adding to the pantry for free is the best.
    One of my little holiday rules is I bake a lot of cut out cookies and not small ones either, but nobody eats any until at least Christmas Eve unless it's a broken one. They are always tying to pinch my cookies!
    Rick put me up a shelf to serve as a temporary home to move pantry items to s we can get everything out of there and get the new floor down. We got these shelves for free from a company that was going to throw the out.

    Too bad you don't live near me! We grow pumpkins every year (part are pie pumpkins) and gasp! I hate pumpkins! Yep I don't like them so I put them in the freezer for dog food and grind up and freeze the seeds for the dogs and chickens as dewormer.

    1. Dear Vicky,
      I like your crowd control method with the biscuits! It builds suspense too!
      I wish I lived near you too. I love pumpkins. I am not sure if our pumpkins and yours are the same. I read a lot of sweet uses for pumpkin there plus canned pumpkin. Here it is savory ie roasted, mashed, in soups, scones.. and I use sweet potato the same way. Anyway I love it!
      All those free carrots were fantastic! You had a great week too!
      With lots of love,

    2. Annabel,
      I imagine they are the same. The smaller pumpkins are meant for eating and the great big ones although you can eat them are just bred for carving jack o lanterns. The savory is starting to really trend here now. Although I don't like either pumpkin or sweet potatoes I will cook them. have you ever made beef stew in a pumpkin or my Uncle loves if I make baked sweet potatoes, but they are stuffed with baked beans.
      If you lived near me you would have baskets and baskets of pumpkins and peppers! LOL

  8. I love your little hen house Annabel! I've put in a "wish" for chickens for Christmas - not sure I'll get them but I've let everyone in the family know that's what I'd really like and love and if they pool their resources I may be able to get them :)

    Our wreath goes on the front door first thing the morning of the 1st of December, then I spend the day putting out the decorations. Then the tree goes up when everyone comes home. We have a simple tea - usually bbq sausage sandwiches and ice creams - and we all oooh and ahhhh as the decorations come out and we talk about where they came from and whose is whose. Then down it comes on New Year's Eve, everything must be packed up and put away and the house cleaned top to bottom inside and out to start the New Year off right (a habit/tradition/eccentricity I've inherited from Mum).

    Well done on your Flybuys shopping. Keep an eye on the bottom of your Coles dockets too - sometimes they'll have a double points on your next shop coupon on them - I tear them off and slip them straight into my purse with the card so they don't get wasted.

    Your canisters and jars are gorgeous - such a simple thing to do, but they look just lovely and so pretty.

    Have a lovely weekend and enjoy sorting your presents next week :)

    1. Dear Cath,
      I have the exact same rule NYE everything must be away and all cleaned up as well. Then I can start a new year clean and fresh. Thats my logic! We must think alike!
      Thanks for the tip about the Coles docket. I am being very careful with this from now on it is worth it!
      Chooks are a great gift. The gift that keeps on giving! Thats what I think!
      Have a wonderful weekend Cath, many thanks, Love

  9. Dear Annabel. You are singing my song you know. I cottoned on to the Flybuy dollars and half price items earlier in the year after your comment on using gift cards on half price items. I now have the most amazing stash of pantry items and toiletry and bathroom items, basically purchased for free. It's a good feeling, isn't it! What a great week you had, and the henhouse, well that is just the luckiest find ever! We had Silky Bantams and what I think must have been your Pekin Bantams when I was a child. I adored them, so I understand your wish list. My sons girlfriend commented last week when I mentioned our new fruit trees...'Gosh Mimi, you'll have chickens next!"...I laughed because of course that is the next long term 'let him think it's his idea'! The little succulent gardens are clever and cute as well, and they really are the gift of choice at the moment, aren't they. Well my week was the first week in ages that we weren't madly rushing around for my daughters performing arts commitments so it was nicely paced for a change. I'm working on some large Church Dolls for my grandies (I had Looks-Like-Me dolls in mind and had actually started them, but life got in the way, so perhaps they'll be completed next year). My Church Dolls...Google these as they are adorable...are made from Thai Silk and will be embellished with lavish ribbon and lace and will be quite lovely I think. You saw my Refrigerator post yesterday, so you know I had a good day there, using odds and ends to make jam, refrigerator pickles, a yummy soup, and a gourmet lunch. I hope it inspired others to look at their odds and ends differently too. I spent time decluttering and finding new ways to store things (that was another post), and saw the bottom of my ironing basket for the first time since the start of the year! I don't iron much actually so it was like shopping for new clothes! I also shared my strategies for NOT ironing with my Daughter-in-Law after I babysat for them and saw her mountains of folding and ironing awaiting attention (which of course I attended to in her absence). It's funny how many things you imagine everyone knows, and then you discover they don't! So now, she's washing on the Delicate cycle and spinning on low to prevent wrinkles forming, hanging things straight on to hangers, utilising the dryer only as an alternative to ironing by spritzing ironable items with linen spray, and tossing them into the dryer on a hot setting for mere minutes, before removing and shaking or smoothing them quickly, and hanging or wearing them immediately. She was astounded as she'd never heard of this and could see straight away how it would work well with two littlies under 4 to manage. I made rose scrub for gifts and made lots of raw style dog food for our little doggie. So a busy but satisfying week. I like that we all share our achievements. It really makes it feel worthwhile. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      You just saved that girl years of wrinkles. (on her clothes... but maybe more!)
      The HOURS that can be saved by avoiding creases in the first place... a passion of mine!
      (all my tops and Andys shirts drying on hangers under the tree as we speak)
      I loved your refrigerator post and posted it on Bluebirds fb page.
      Now... I will google the dolls and I cannot wait to see yours! Being ahead of me in Granddaughter ages I will get lots of ideas from you.
      You had a wonderful week. Thank you so much for posting it here. With love, Annabel.xxxx

    2. Love your tip on dryer to save on ironing. Will be trying that.

  10. Ooh Annabel the gifts for your sister in laws are lovely! And no doubt they will look even more beautiful once you have wrapped them. I wrote myself a very long to-do list last week, and am aiming to do one a day so that I start to feel like there is some organisation in my house! So far so good, most are not particularly big tasks, and by splitting them up it means I am more likely to stick to the plan. So I have cleared a few cupboards, have several bags of items ready for the op shop, and am feeling slightly better about it all! I'm quite sure I'm the only person who will even notice, but as so much of my time is spent at home it really will make it a happier place to live when I feel it's in better order. We settled our horrible mechanics bill last pay packet so have some breathing room with this one. I purchased some very much needed towels today at 60% off. To give you an idea of how overdue this purchase is, when we got to the counter my four-year old son exclaimed loudly, 'look mum, these towels have no holes in them!' Busted!!!!
    Have a great weekend :)

    1. Dear Jen, That is hilarious. Kids! This story makes me even gladder about your new towels! I am sure you are enjoying them.
      I am so glad that bill is paid and behind you. I know that feeling and it is good!
      It really works to divide daunting things up into small bits. I will often decide to do ten or fifteen minutes a day on something and it works, it gets it done. Out the front I pruned a large Mop top tree. It was daunting as the branches were thick and needed sawing. At the time Andy had worked six weekends straight so I decided to do this.... I could never have done it all at once. So each day I cut off ten branches. Yes it looked stupid for half a week! But after a week it was all done and looked good. Now it has all grown and looks amazing! I am so glad I did that.
      So keep at things in little bits you will be amazed and proud of yourself! With love,

  11. Beautiful cannisters. They take me back to my childhood. Both my Mum and Grandmother had recycled tins which they painted and decaled and added knobs. I think they were milk powder tins. There was a big set which stored cereal and rock buns and anzac biscuits and another glass set which stored cornfour, flour etc and the small tins had loose tea, sugar, and cocoa. I wish someone had kept them for me. Great haul with your free money, I used mine to purchase some marked down ( double score) rib eye roasts for celebratory meals as we don't eat out.

    1. Oh Barb, you've made me remember! Mum had coffee jars, Bushells I think? that she used for canisters and I loved them. She used decals of fruit and veg or chickens or flowers (it was the 60s afer all) on them and she'd change them every year or so as they became tatty. They were so pretty. And she'd put decals on glasses to pretty them up too. Thank you for jogging my memory :)

    2. Dear Barb, I think so many kitchens had tins and jars decorated back then. I love them. Mum had some. When contact came out then they were contacted. But your Mum and Grandmother adding knobs was a step ahead and I havet seen any like that. I would treasure them if they were still around!
      Well done on the beautiful bargain. That is my idea of a celebration meal. Gorgeous and better than eating out!
      Have a lovely weekend Barb, Love

  12. Annabel, Looking at your canisters makes me want all the formula canisters back I threw away! What are you going to put in them?
    I love that you found your chicks home before you find the chicks. I had some for a few years -the winter got to me though. After a few slip and falls on the way to the coop I decided to let them go. They are such fun though and you get eggs!
    Have a great day!

    1. Dear Vickie,
      The first set I did I am using for craft supplies. ie my glitters, glues, weird things I save like formula scoops!
      This lot are for setting aside spare bird seed, sunflower seeds, chicken feed etc for our budgie, cockatoo and hopefully bantams! Well I think, I havent got back up supplies for them yet.
      They are great tins. They seal well.
      I dont know how anyone manages in freezing conditions... I havent ever experienced that. It gets cold and wet but not so bad.
      Have a great weekend Vickie. Love

  13. I am so excited you are going to get chickens! I have found that a dozen fresh eggs make the best gift too! I package them up in plastic wrap with a vintage hen tag and it always goes well :) I also love your rose jars that you made. This has got me thinking... This week I have been shredding and freezing all the leftover produce from the last season's garden (the stragglers so to speak). These will be dropped into soups, sauces and casseroles. The freezer is filling up fast! Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Dear Jes, Thank you! Yes I am excited about the bantams. With Tanias help I have found some too... now am waiting to hear back...
      Im glad you liked my rose jars. I have made sets as gifts...
      All the last bits of a harvest are valuable. Many times people get tired of it all by the end. But really the non glamorous bits still make great soup, stock etc and are full of goodness. Then the last last bits the chickens will eat! No waste! Many thanks Jes, with love

  14. You had a great week! We have coyotes in our woods and chickens do not stand a chance here. Enjoy your new beauties!

    I stocked up on some things for next summer since we are going into winter and the items were way cheap since the stores wanted to get rid of them. I picked up some beautiful name brand sweaters from a clearance rack for $2 each! They will be lovely Christmas gifts. I also remembered to buy some new warm shirts for myself before all the ones for good prices were gone.

    1. Dear Lana,
      What amazing bargains! well done!
      We do not have coyotes... they are something out of the movies to me! But we have foxes. Chook houses have to be fox proof or you are doomed. They do come into the cities but so far we are ok. On the farm they are everywhere and come out at night.
      Have a wonderful weekend! With love

  15. Dear Annabel, I love your canisters! Now I know what to do with my empty coffee tins. Are the roses on those stickers also? What a blessing to be able to add that much to your pantry for so little cost. If you get chickens, they will add to your pantry too :) We have Buff Orpington hens, and all of the eggs we don't eat are sold and the money is put aside for savings. Every little bit helps. Not to mention chickens are so much fun to watch, and they add a special farm/cottage feeling to the backyard, which I love.
    And now on to my first ever Feather Your Nest Friday! I laundered some fabric I got for free and folded it onto cardboard to make my own mini fabric bolts. My friend's mom was cleaning out her quilting stash and told me to take whatever I wanted! Some were scraps, but there was also quite a bit of yardage as well. I know it's over $100 worth of material. I added several cans of soup to the pantry that were on sale and I had a coupon for them. I have been canning apple butter, as well, and hope to finish up today. I had 40 lbs of apples to work with, so I admire all of the ladies on here who preserve food on a regular basis :)
    Have a wonderful weekend! --Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      I think Im as excited as you about your first FYN Friday! It is very true that chickens add to the pantry. I love yours! Very nice. Also that apart from eggs you get a little income as well. What could be better? Also I like chickens... they have personality and always seem happy!
      The fabric is a wonderful bonus! Well done on the folding it like that too. I can imagine so many things you could make! Someone asked the other day what presents could they make from their fabric stash... I suggested personal pillow cases, napkins, draw string bags as gift bags that can then be used as shoe bags or laundry bags... over the years I have made pot holders, tea towels (kitchen towels) etc. little bits I make into packets of jam toppers. This doesnt mention the obvious... quilts! Anyway the thing is you can turn that $100 or so of fabric into 10x that value once it becomes things! I love that!
      Well done on adding to your pantry and making apple butter! 40lbs of apples is a lot! The good thing with apples is usually you can tackle them in batches as some can be kept in the fridge and they will be ok for a while. I am working on a post on how to tackle big lots of things and make it easy (ok easier) maybe that will be next Wednesday. But apples are so useful! Well done! I would think apple butter would also make a lovely gift.
      You had a great week! Thank you for sharing it and have a lovely weekend! With love, Annabel.xxxx

  16. annabel
    i am emma. i am 7. grandma vicky is helping me write to you. i love all your pretty stuff and we are going to make your bags soon for presents. i like to see what you do and read on my tablet. grandma always has to watch my brother and sister they don't help. i like the birds you made they are pretty. when i grow up i am going to have a pretty house too. i just wanted to say hi

    1. Dear Emma,
      I think you are officially my youngest reader! With Vickie for a Grandma you will learn a lot of things! When I was seven I loved to crochet and sew, colour in and anything to do with glue, scissors and glitter. I still love all that stuff!
      Right now I am getting out glitter to make Christmas cards with glitter all over. Usually it gets in my hair and everything but I dont mind.
      The stuff you learn from Grandma you will be able to use to get your house very pretty and have a lovely time!
      Thank you for writing. I hope I get to see the bags you are making. With lots of love,

  17. This entry is way out of order since we all posted about what disposables to have in case in another post. I just heard of one though some may not realize they should keep. Aluminum foil. When you are low on water to line your pans and skillets with it when cooking will sure help to save water when washing up. course there are other uses for it too. Heavy duty and regular should be in our stock ups.
    One of our families always listens to the same Christmas songs when they trim their tree. Each is sent to their own homes with a cd of these songs as they are now part of their holidays! :-)
    How many chickens can you house in your new coop? Sarah

    1. Dear Sarah, That is a really good point, foil or even non stick paper saves a heap of washing up and therefore water. Makes life easier too! I also decided to keep some paper plates etc for emergencies to save water. (I dont normally use them but I can see if the water was off this could help so much!)
      Christmas family traditions are wonderful!
      I am only planning on two chickens. They will also be allowed to run around on the lawn during the day. I used to always keep six or so but we have less room now.
      With love,

  18. You have had a wonderful week, Annabel! What a blessing having the chicken coop come your way! :-) You did so well with the flybuy $ from Coles also. I wonder why some people only need spend $30 for bonus points though? They want me to spend $80 or $100, and I rarely do! It is worth checking the dockets though, as they often have 1000 bonus pts offers. I also activate the Telstra bonuses at Coles, I have one in my purse now to use for 1500 bonus points next month when I buy phone credit.
    Woolies have a new rewards card program, but generally don't find they are as good as Coles!

    We also have traditions here. 1st November, everything gets in full swing for Christmas. The Christmas club becomes available. I do buy some items as I see them throughout the year. After Christmas, often from the boxing day sales, items are purchased and put aside. I buy these with what remains of my Christmas funds. If nothing (or not much) is purchased, the funds roll over to be surplus the next year. I have had the Club account many years, and there is a good surplus built up now. I am seriously thinking of redistributing like Wendy suggested in her post! I think somehow I like to squirrel funds away, but not always use them in better ways!

    We put everything away 1st January. The tree is usually lit up even NYE, then it is goodbye to another season, and everything away 1st January.

    I had a bit of a costly week. My husband left the freezer door ajar, it really was overdue for a defrost, and lesson learned. :-) I save everything, and must get better at using, not continually stuffing the freezer! I think our losses were minimized to $50, thankfully no meat lost, apart from bacon. There was only one big chicken in there, as I have been trying (attempting) to defrost that freezer and restock with meat. At least I have room to now do that before Christmas.

    We also have our hot water service being replaced next week. The money has been aside for this, as we have nursed it along a few years extra! It is 15 yo. :-) (good by today's standards I am told!)

    I have saved by not needing to take my now newly licensed daughter around everywhere! This has been fabulous, as I have had longer at home and can be more productive each day!

    I made miracle spray and also a bench spray from my orange vinegar. We were given 3 lemons, so the rinds are now in a jar starting off a lemon vinegar.

    I bought fruit and veg on the way home from our short holiday. A big trolley full for around $18! Getting some produce for 50c or $1kg is a great saving to us.

    Maybe it is time for me to overhaul and rework the budget! I really think that it is due to all the wonderful ideas I glean from the sharing here and many blogs I follow from here. It is obvious this year that I have learned to live on even less! Thanks everyone! xoxo

    1. Dear Kaye,
      Firstly well done on having a Christmas surplus! Yes I usually shift that kind of surplus to either something I really want, emergency fund or holiday fund. I get really excited by that!
      Im sorry about the freezer loss. At least it was fairly minimal. As you know my freezer is full plus a bit more lol. I am on a challenge to use stuff up so I can fit in cheap turkeys after Christmas plus other bargains. This will save me heaps over the next two weeks. The money saved will help with big bills we get in November. So it is very helpful.
      It is so good you already set the money aside for the water heater. 15 years is a fair innings.
      You always do well on your points and shopping. I have learned a lot from you on this.
      You had a good week. The fruit and veg specials were great.
      Have a wonderful weekend! With love,

  19. What lovely canisters, Annabel! And how fun that you're getting ready for chickens! I can't have them in my community but enjoy reading about them and admiring other people's pictures. My big project this week was clearing out my vegetable beds for winter, and thankfully it was done just before we had several days of rain. My stock-up purchase of the week was flavored coffee that I was blessed to find for $2 and $2.50 per 12-ounce bag. I'll enjoy my warm beverages on the cold days that are sure to come. Have a wonderful week!

    1. Have a wonderful week to you too. Enjoying your budgeting posts, thank you!
      Well done on the work on your vegetable beds. Now you can enjoy other projects like crafts! With love,

  20. Here we put up our tree on Thanksgiving night (fourth Thursday in November) but it is not decorated, just lit. Slowly over the next two weeks I'll decorate it and like yours it comes down before NYE. I will slowly decorate the house too, but never go too fussy, just try to make things look seasonal and cozy like. Here's what I did this week to save and make do:

    1. Dear Terri, I think Thanksgiving is such a nice thing.. we dont have it here. Thanks for sharing your week of savings. I hope you have a lovely weekend. I loved the story about your wrapping paper! With love,

  21. What lovely tins! Just enjoying stretching meals ie. using leftover baked potatoes to make a yummy cream of potato soup or leftover oatmeal to make oatmeal dinner rolls!
    So thankful to the good Lord for preserving my family during a time of trials. Also he still gave me the strength to plan ahead and have meals at the ready in the crockpot for the family even when I wasn't at home. Send up a prayer for the McKinleys, we've had two deaths and an emergency appendectomy this month.


    1. Dear Leslie,
      I am so sorry you have had a dreadful month. That is awful. I do hope things improve from here. Well done on being ahead with things and managing in spite of it all. I certainly will pay for your family.
      Creative stretching of meals can be such a big help. Potatoes have so many uses.. like fritters! (love)
      I really hope you are having a nice weekend and will be thinking of you. With love,

  22. Annabel, everything you make looks so beautiful..

    If you want chickens that are great egg layers make sure you do a google search. Backyardchickens website is great for info Also when you find a supplier take a photo with you of the chicken coop. The supplier will be able to tell you how many will fit in.

    Here's my frugal list for the week -

    * Stocked up on TRESemme shampoo and conditioner at half price. I think we have enough stockpiled for one year.

    * Darren and I went to the movies for free by using a gift card from last Christmas. Darren bought the tickets online through Telstra for $11 each. We also bought our snacks and bottles of water from home.

    * Watered the fruit trees with the shower warm up water.

    * Picked silverbeet for two meals.

    * Ate freezer meals twice this week. Because we freeze all leftovers, they pile up quickly. The more we eat out of the freezer, the more we seem to put in !!

    * Only spent $2 on milk this week ( other than the shamp / cond ). We didn't need any fruit and veg.

    * Sold some eggs

    * Made a batch of vanilla yoghurt using a starter I'd frozen a while ago.

    * Gratefully received three avocados from a friend. Darren and Jessica are in avocado heaven as we rarely buy them.

    * .Made another batch of homemade soap using a different recipe from Phil at the House of Simple blog.

    * Picked some roses that were growing in the chicken coop.

    * Saved water as per usual.

    * Filled up my car for $1.08 per litre using a fuel docket.

    * Stayed away from the shops except to buy the milk, shamp / cond.

    * Watered five small bushes using water we collected in a bucket under the hot water system overflow pipe.

    * Fed the chickens some bread rolls that were given to us.

    * Made lots of muffins to raise funds at church for our Christmas hamper program. I used supplies I had on hand.

    * Darren repotted some raspberry cuttings from last season. If they take off we'll have lots of raspberries for muffins, icecream and jam.

    1. Dear Wendy, Thank you for sharing your week! I thought your muffins were amazing. Not to mention the flowering chook yard!
      I hope you are having a great weekend. with love,

  23. Lovely post again Annabel. I've covered formula tins too,but with paper and fabric. Yours are nicer. What sort of paint did you use? Looks sort of shimmery.
    I too have a stack of Christmas pressies on the dresser in the lounge and now it's November I think I would like to wrap some up and get sorted.
    Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      First I had to paint the tins white (two coats) to block out all the writing etc.
      the paint is a pearlescent pink for $2 from the cheap shop. I love it! I did two coats of that. So took four days to paint them. But just a quick job really. Then pink rose transfers from arwen moore on Etsy.
      I am going to start gradually wrapping as its going to be a big job! Too much to do all at once in December anyway.
      I hope this week is better.... With lots of love, Annabel.xxxx


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