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 31 January 2016

The Vicky Challenge. Week 4.

As it turns out the calendar works out just perfectly to wrap up the savings for January and move on to February! AND do my first months total.

Two things... one, it was much easier than I thought to keep track and do this weekly than I imagined. It is basically habit now. I keep a notebook on the fridge and that makes it easy to jot things down plus my savings book where I add it all in a few times a week.
The other thing, having worked savings out many things are really easy to just add in with out thinking. So there is minimal figuring things out. And when I need to it is actually fun. i.e. I confess I have paid to have windows done a few times. As I did my windows over the weekend I wanted to know what is the going rate now? I found it is $125 for an average home in Adelaide. So it sort of made me jump for joy that I DIDN'T pay that and saved it!

It was a big week. Tuesday was Australia Day and we used the day to do home and garden jobs. A lot of money was saved that day!

So the last week needs adding up:

I dealt with the last of the peaches! I still had some in the fridge and finally used them up. It was wonderful having so many and it took me three weeks to get through them but I did it. The last few I made two more crumbles. I love peaches but if someone gave me more right now I would probably cry!

Andy cleaned up the yard and out the front on the street etc. I am counting $80 as that is what our neighbours pay weekly.

Andy cleaned the gutters, $100, that is what we paid last time we had someone else do it.

Being the end of the month I am adding in my months worth of hair trim, colour etc and that is $225! Still recovering from when I worked this out!

I cleaned the windows $125

I did my nails $38

Savings on bargain turkish breads and focaccia rolls was about $20. These are the kind of bargains you save on twice. First on the really cheap rolls. Next, later, on a fast focaccia or pizza dinner and not getting takeaway.

I needed bottles as I have been making bubble bath. All my bottles were full of things! So I headed to the bargain store. Beautiful bottles that had been a few dollars each were all out for 50c so I got 12. 

That was more than I needed but I will put them away to make herbed vinegars or olive oil and other gifts. It was about a $30 saving.

Made all the work lunches $100.

I did more painting... I concentrated on doors and skirting boards this week. I will count $200. 

So thats about it... and it adds up to: $934 ! 

AND now to add up the whole of January...

That is $3997. 

I would never have believed that. 

Some of these things I do to save money. Some of them I just do. But I did not count cooking meals house work etc. Some things we thought about and did because of the challenge! 
All of it means we live much better than we normally could and can add to our emergency savings. It all is building up our home and getting us ahead.

Next time someone says "oh, you don't work then?" I am going to slap em in the face with this! 

I hope that keeping track of your savings has been helpful and interesting! And as full of shocks as it has been for me. Much of what I count people routinely pay for. Everyones lives are different but I cannot fathom paying over $100 out on work lunches... adding that to tax and other work expenses how do people have any money to bring home at the end of the working week? I don't get that.

The other day I was talking to a lady in a shop and she was saying how hectic her life is. I asked her if her working made them economically better off? She asked me what did I mean? I said that if she deducted tax, travel, clothes, dry cleaning, child care, takeaway food or whatever else it costs her what is the end profit? She said she didn't know. She actually did not know if there was any point! You have to wonder! 

How did your week go and how did your month turn out? I hope you are encouraged to see that your work at home or outside work hours adds hugely to your household.  
What is exciting to me is the number of things I am still finding that are amazing savings. I wonder what I might discover next! 

Now to February! xxx


  1. Dear Annabel,

    You saved some serious money. Your total was very impressive.
    It would be interesting to carry a small notebook in one's purse with all of the savings listed and when someone asks, "Do you work?," of course meaning outside the home, a person could whip out the notebook and show how much they save by doing the work at and around the home. I'm sure people's mouth's would drop open, but the main thing would be to give them an entirely different viewpoint.

    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      I need a notebook on me all the time so I could do this! I don't think a lot of people think it through, what is the end result of different ways of doing things. It can be surprising. I know people who have worked hard for years to make a loss as they didn't work it out! Years ago I read Crown Financial Ministries and that helped me to see the costs you have to take into account. Interesting!
      Have a great week Glenda, with love

    2. I think it would be a real eye opener for people who think two people in the family "have" to work in order to make ends meet. Actually, many times they are going in the hole and sacrificing a peaceful, loving home and secure children.

      There is a wonderful story that illustrates just how much more a woman helps her husband by providing a clean home, taking care of the children, and providing hearty meals. It is a classic and the best I've ever read on the subject. I do think it's on line for free, but if not, it's only .99 at Amazon as a download. The title is: When Queens Ride By, by Agnes Slight Turnbull.

      Everyone is doing great and I am so excited to see people's savings.

      Love and hugs,

  2. Dear Annabel, hello!, what a wonderful month you have had !. . I had a very quiet week this week but this is what I saved: was given some clothes $50 saved approx. , gratefully received them and made a list of clothes I need for coming seasons , I bought some of what I needed at my favourite clothes shop at 40% off , saving me $85 , gratefully received meals from my parents $30 savings, was sent a parcel of items to make toys for my budgies $40 savings at least. De cluttered an area of my unit , I counted this as I have previously paid for similar decluttering help so a saving of approximately $50 , I did it slowly over the weekend . I got my phone bill and it was $25 less than last month so a $25 savings for the month. That is it besides usual things this week Annabel, as I said a quiet week. This weeks total is $280 which brings my total for January to around $2000 , which I am very happy with!. Thank you Annabel and Vicky . I always used to worry that I could not work so I was not contributing anything but I save myself a lot of money as this challenge has shown!. Have a great week Annabel and everyone love Barb.

    1. Dear Barb,
      I love that you are making budgie toys! They love things to play with! Mirrors and bells seem to be big hits but anything that moves, rattles, rings... they love!
      You have a wonderful total! You do a lot of things to maximise your income and live well. It makes a big difference!
      Thank you so much for sharing your weeks savings. With lots of love,

    2. Hi Barb!
      I'm cheering for you; your efforts are already paying off. Keep going!!
      Rachel Holt

    3. Great job Barb! Your doing great!

    4. Thank you Annabel, Rachel and Vicky. I am very pleased with my efforts . This past week was a very quiet one but overall for the first month I did great I think. I am always looking for ways to save now, more than I ever have before.this is an excellent Barb.

  3. This has been a quieter week for us but we still had some savings. I got a medical bill that said our insurance needed more info from me before it would pay the claim. I called them and all they wanted to know is if I had any other insurance that would pay this claim. I don't. So as a result of less than 5 minutes on he phone, I saved a minimum of $435!!!
    We replaced our leased internet modem with one we bought and installed ourselves and saved $136, including what a service call to install it would have cost! It will save us $8 every month now!
    At the store, I bought cake mixes, bell peppers and air fresheners on markdown , saving $23.50!
    I made a baby quilt top using my stash, saving $50 in materials! The backing and batting for it came from stash- saving $40. Quilting it myself saved $50.
    Bought pumpkin pie spice chips on markdown- saved $12. Bought baby carrots and bananas on sale- saved $3.50.
    Was chosen as a beta tester for an online freezer meal planning service, so I got all of the recipes and instructions, etc for 10 meals- saved $8. Then I bought the chicken on sale at Fresh Thyme, saving another $25.45! When I was done with the assembly, I had 10 family freezer meals going into my freezer- saving me $125!
    At Krogers, I saved $56.23 by buying on sale. Putting gas in our van after checking with our online Gas Buddy app saved $5.60. And tonight, I used up bits of leftover food in the fridge to make a tasty dinner for us that will give us leftovers for 2 lunches tomorrow- saved $10.
    All told, this week, we saved $988.28!!
    Our total for the month of January was: $4659.40!!!!!! That is totally bowling us over!!!!!! Thanks for this challenge! It has opened our eyes to how much control we actually have over how our money is spent (or saved!)

    1. Awesome Gardenpat! Per your comments I take it your spouse is joining in with you? That is great!

    2. Dear Gardenpat,
      Wow! that was a very good week. Much of it I would also say is "getting ahead" as well i.e. the meals in the freezer and the ongoing savings from the modem etc. You will continue to reap the benefits. This is very good! So for a quiet week this was amazing! And your total is also amazing. I am so glad you are seeing what I am, just that it is all more than you would think! It is making me re evaluate a lot of things and see new possibilities! Thanks so much, with love

  4. Dear Annabel, what a FABULOUS total! You should be immensely proud. If someone asks me if I 'work', I simply look at them deadpan, and say 'yes, very hard'. It stops them in their I've just put my savings up under my usual Insourcing blog entry on my blog, but briefly last week, even when sick, I made a sequinned silk tulle bridal veil, 3 candles in sugar bowls, lunch for 10 yesterday, and posies for a welcome back for the teachers. That was over a thousand dollars in retail value for certain. It's a good feeling to know you're improving the quality of not only your own familys life, but the lives of other families, by being in a position to create lovely things to enrich their day. Lots of love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      I think that is a very good answer and I will use that.
      I think the bride would have been so thrilled with that veil. How beautiful.
      I agree... making things means being able to give in ways we never really could otherwise which brings a lot of joy (to the recipient but also to us!)
      Many thanks Mimi, with love

  5. Annabel, what a great week you've had. I'm totaling all of mine and will post the results tomorrow on my blog. I'm also still learning how to recognize savings and their value in all the things I do! This old challenge just keeps amazing me!

    1. Dear Patsy, I will be there! Yes, we can have no idea what many people routinely pay for services and goods we normally make etc. but it is interesting to find out. Our work is worth more than we dreamed I think. With love

  6. Wow! What an amazing first month total you have had Annabel! I wonder if the woman you spoke with can equal that? ;-)Actually, Phil Pogson had a really good post on it recently at House of Simple blog showing the second income doesn't always amount to much in real terms.

    It has been an eye opener this first month of the Vicky challenge. There are still things I don't count, mainly as even if I worked a "real" job, we would still likely do these things. I doubt I would buy grocery bargains though, as I have the time to shop around while I am home for these. My total for this week was $207 bringing my month total to $1527. Our wages, and even prices of services too I notice, are much less being in a rural city than a larger city. So, that being the case, I am delighted with the results of my first month!

    This week I redeemed flybuy dollars for free groceries, was blessed with some free items like several packets of tea (past expiry date) but $8 pkt normally as its specialty tea, my Dad gave me 2 dozen eggs from his chickens, and we also received tomatoes and other items. Otherwise, saved on half price Decor microware at Woolies and another book on hold at the library saving $37 over buying it. When someone recommends a book I routinely check our library first. Even obscure books they often can get me through the service as it accesses many libraries in our State.

    I had a bit of a chuckle the other day when I realised, according to the Money Smart website, we live on half the income we ought to (according to their stats) I do think its based on city living statistics. Certainly city wages! Lol ;-) but it is all relative as rents and house prices are much less here in the country as well.

    1. Dear Kaye, Well done. I have seen some websites and also in articles where they say the "average person" spends this or that... before Christmas on the news someone said the "average person" spends thousands on Christmas. I am always amazed at what they say is average. Oh and when I hear the average wage I think I do not know anyone who earns that in the paid job. So who makes this stuff up!?
      Oh well we can laugh!
      Have a really good week. It is pouring here! With love,

  7. The savings everyone is making is amazing!

    I've been reading this series, though not participating as I didn't think there'd be much in the way of savings for us to make as we're both retired and 'just do what we do'. This morning, however, we've managed to save about $115 on just one item!!

    I've just dug out an exercise book and am now tracking our spending/savings just to see the results. Thanks Annabel an Vicky

    1. Janine,
      Don't doubt what your efforts and the way you do things save your household. I helped a lady do a budget and after all of her givens(bills that have to be paid) she only had $250 left to last a whole month. She is able to get a lot more out of that $250 now so every little bit helps even if the numbers are not huge.

    2. Dear Janine,
      If you saved that much on one item by comparing or being careful then yes you are saving and would probably be very surprised how much. Will be interesting! Plus its quite motivating and makes you think about things differently! With love

  8. Wow Annabel you have saved some serious dollars! I'm not quite up to your level but am still saving. This week I was supposed to go out for dinner but due to scalding my arm rather badly, I stayed at home and added the $50 I would have spent to our depleted emergency fund. I made another 4L of passionfruit cordial,$12. I picked up 6 children's books from Vinnies saving $20. I froze a bag of passionfruit pulp, $10. I used flowers and greenery from my garden saving $40. Took all my own lunches and coffee to work, $125. Hubby saved $50 by buying good specials. We had a serious storm with cyclonic winds last Friday. Hubby cut down and removed a tree that was leaning on a fence with the neighbour, $200. Our side fence had three panels come adrift. Hubby reshaped these slightly bent panels and refitted them $150. I had two adult Birthdays and gave a set of kitchen towels and pot holders to match each friends kitchens. I had crocheted around the kitchen towels and made holders to go over or through cupboard handles, $20. A saving of $677 this week. January savings $1726. Seriously chuffed by this figure.

    1. Dear Jane,
      We were boosted along with doing the floors etc that is for sure as they were big ticket things!
      Well done to your hubby for those repairs. Also the tree... I have heard of this being hugely expensive to get done.
      I love the sound of the crochet edge kitchen towels! Lovely.
      Have a great new week and February and I think your January savings were fantastic! With love,

  9. Annabel I had to read your figure that you saved twice cause I was so shocked.

    I have not started this challenge as I need more time to think about things. We save most days with me being at home, eating lunches from home, DP eating at work for 4 or 5 days at a time and yes this is 3 meals each day, DD5 having her lunches packed and homemade items in her lunch boxes apart from fruit.

    I will put forward that she does have canteen 2 days a week but as me being convenor and not a paid job (however we do get a petrol allowance for the month which is a wonderful help) then her food is free, but I do make sure that we do not take advantage of the situation and she is only allowed up to $14 per week but it is mostly around $10 or $12. Apparently the pervious convenor was upward of $35 per week with a few children. I am most grateful that I am allowed to do this. My meals are also free as is DP when he is helping out so some days we can save up to $30, so I guess this would be a starting point for me.

    Now you really have me thinking as there are many other ways we save.....
    *book borrowing from the library
    *DVD borrowing from the library
    *School holiday free crafts at the library
    *No coffee shops into our area (although sometimes tempting with a coffee machine in the library)
    *Having my hair cut short to save going to the hairdresser as much
    *Taking my own coffee on the trip to town each week
    *Using up my $700 worth of free mobile calls each month (no home phone needed)
    *Baking all lunch box treats and making all school lunches around $100

    Oh wow when you look at it that way.

    Well I do hope you have another profitable month ahead of you as I am sure you will

    Love Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly, There are many savings you probably don't think about as you always do them. Also your DP eating at work would be a big saving.
      My monthly figure was greatly helped by the big job of the bedroom flooring we did ourselves and all the painting I have been doing instead of getting it done. It is going to take me all year (literally!) but according to what I can find out save us over $10,000 at least. Its going to bump my figures up all year.
      I think its perfectly fair about the working in the canteen and all the work you do. At least a saving comes back to you which is very good.
      I am very happy with the years start, now I just have to keep it going! Have a wonderful February, with love

  10. That is a fantastic start to your year Annabel!! What a staggering figure.

    I haven't really kept a proper record for January, so I started to write down things today. Hopefully by the end of February I will be able to have a genuine figure. I guess I should include child care costs and after school care? Will have to look into what they would be.

    have a wonderful week

    1. Dear Jen, If you stay home rather than pay those kinds of fees then yes I would count them. Even finding out what they would be should be interesting!
      I guarantee you will be shocked after week 1! With love

  11. Beautiful! January was a big success for you! Earlier another commented that they wouldn't track things they do ordinarily...I guess when I ponder it further, I am of the same mind. There are many things I would do, whether I was going to work or not.

    Over the weekend my sons and I pulled up an old fenced area and made it larger, reusing posts and fencing as able. That is something I would do irregardless. My fur babies needed more room to stretch their legs and jaunt about the yard. This will give them and me more space for my container garden. One half of the area is for them, the other is my garden. I did do something new though. Back in the middle of summer I purchased snow fence, which is a wood picketed fence with twisted wire holding the pickets (no barbs). I put this on the outside of the fence and will paint the pickets white, to give the appearance of a white picket fence for a very small fraction of the price.

    Okay...not that I've rabbit trailed off...back to point. You did great, and thank you for the encouragement to keep working at finding joy in serving my family (adding up the savings)and being able to bless them!

    1. Dear Kathryn,
      I don't count normal things like cleaning etc. I mainly count things that either both my neighbours routinely pay for and we don't as we do them ourselves and things we once might have paid for i.e. the gutter cleaning etc... but now we do these to save the money. Even without counting cleaning, cooking and looking after things it is amazing. BUT if I had paid a cleaner and now didn't... I would count it.
      Your fence will look lovely! There is nothing so nice as a white picket fence!
      Thank you Kathryn, love

  12. Great work everyone! I never started writing things down in January mostly because our house is in such upheaval due to the kitchen work being done. A few things I do know is $154 saved on our counter tops by buying when there was a sale, $150 saved on groceries by shopping sales and using coupons, 17 lunches packed for hubby at $8 a day savings and $500 saved by removing the old counnter tops o

    1. Dear Lana,
      I hope things are going well with he kitchen. Any kind of renovations are a lot of work and interruption! But when its finished it will be worth it.
      They were very good savings too, well done! With love

  13. I love your posts about the Vicky Challenge. The squirrel cage is turning!
    I wish I was able to save that much from doing my own hair but it's short and I can't cut it right. But I made the decision to stop getting it colored once a month, that will save me $75 every 4 weeks.
    So I am doing baby steps right now with the inspiration your blog is giving me. :)

    1. Dear Laurie,
      It is true, short hair needs much more precise cutting and styling. Chloe does Lucys but she is really good at it and I doubt Lucy could do it herself!
      Your alternative is to do your own colour and go down to about $15 monthly or stopping altogether of course.
      Baby steps will get you there. I think knowing where most money goes is a good way to decide what to change or what maybe can be made, substituted etc. Have a really good February! Many thanks, love

  14. Somehow my comment posted before I was finished. $500 saved removing old counter tops. Just those few things saved $980 in January.

    1. Great total Lana... oops I should have replied to everything together sorry!xxx

  15. Thank you so much for this challenge, Annabelle. I have often told people that we couldn't afford for me to go back to work, because I save our family so much money and I couldn't do that if I were working. But ... I have never stopped to figure out the numbers. And sometimes I get discouraged because I it's not as easy to figure out new ways to save money any more.

    I really like this challenge, because I can add in all the things I already do that saves us money. I don't have to come up with brand new ideas for money savings. I can just look at what we already do!

    I haven't had time to figure up the last week's worth of savings, but in the first 3 weeks, I saved $3337.50!! That would be over 36,000 in a year!! That is a respectable salary for someone whose goal is to stay home with her kids. I love it!! It makes me so happy.

    And it makes it easier to keep doing all the stuff I already do and not sweat it so much that I have trouble adding new ideas to it now.

    1. Dear Cristy, That is a very good thing to say I think. Many times this is very true! If the first weeks saved that total then wow! that is just excellent. And I am so glad it makes you happy. Same here. I am proud of what we do and excited to see these results.
      Well done. I think you are doing a fabulous job. With love

  16. Wow, Annabel! What a great month you had! Even though I'm not assigning numbers it is fun for me to see everyone else's ideas and savings.

    We're at a slow point on home improvements but still spent several hours painting, ripping up carpet, and doing other little tasks to get ready for the next big project on the list. I estimate every hour of labor we do ourselves saves us $50-100 US vs hiring help.

    I got to do some "real" cooking this week and even made dessert! It was such a pleasure even though I still have drop cloths all over the kitchen. I made a dried apple crisp with apples I purchased on clearance some time ago. I also made homemade yogurt, another huge savings over purchasing it.

    My husband, who is a pastor, and I were called out of bed to do an emergency room visit early one day. We just got dressed and ran out the door. Once we knew all was stable we went to a nearby coffee shop and used gift cards to get coffee for ourselves and the wife of the gentleman in the E.R. at no out-of-pocket expense. As a side note, having a couple of gift cards on hand to either give as gifts or to use in these situations is very helpful! Thankfully the gentleman is expected to recover well.

    On another day my husband had a "working lunch" so I decided to treat my daughter to some carry-out/takeaway from a place we both like. The restaurant didn't have my order ready in a timely manner, so they offered us a free soft drink while we waited and then gave me coupons for two free entrees when they gave us our food. This was an unexpected blessing since we received more value in free items than we spent on our meals.

    My daughter and I also used a cash-back reward coupon and a gift card to purchase an athletic tech shirt we found on the clearance rack. We've discovered that tech clothing really does make a difference for her distance running and we're willing to invest in those items for her well-being, but it's always nice to find a good deal on things she needs!

    Thanks once again to everyone for sharing their ideas and inspiration! Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh, It is the same here, every hour you do yourself rather than hire a tradesman is a massive saving.
      Life as a Pastors wife would be full of having to drop your own plans to help someone. Much admiration from me.
      I know with the huge amount of work you did in January the results are huge and so are the savings! With love

  17. What an impressive savings give your self a great pat on the back

    1. Thanks Emme, I hope you have a great February! xxx

  18. Dear Annabel, Your total is simply amazing! This week most of my savings were food related. I cooked my husband breakfast and packed his lunch for work (I would do this most days but work has been a bit sporadic lately- $20); we ate a meal from the freezer ($14); harvested about 20 pounds of oranges from our tree ($10); harvested garden lettuce ($3); and I bought groceries on sale ($6.51). We also processed venison this week, but I'm not going to count that until we finish it all. I was so pleased with myself, though, for cooking that night after all of that processing. We had to keep going non-stop until the end of the day and I was so tired, but I knew that if we ate out, it would cut into what we saved by processing the meat ourselves in the first place. I opted for the easiest thing and cooked bacon, eggs, and potatoes, but I was so proud. When my husband offers to take me out to our favorite Mexican restaurant at the end of a hard day, it is difficult to resist but I did it lol! (And I knew I could report this in the Vicky Challenge;) So I saved $25 in that thirty minutes. This week, I also earned $80 Amazon credit and I returned a few things I bought earlier in the month and settled for store credit so I wouldn't have to pay return shipping ($8.99). I brought our electric bill down as well, and our provider gave us a credit, so we saved $129.64. That brings this week's total to $297.14. So for the entire month of January I saved $2314.70! Hooray! Thank you Annabel and Vicky for this challenge. With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      I might have mentioned it before but Jess on Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth has so many things to do with citrus if you have surplus. Also my Sunshine Cake is from orange juice and it freezes so well or can be made up as muffins.
      Being from a farm I have helped bag, label and freeze meat and I remember Mum and Dad dressing ducks and all sorts of things all day and into the night! A huge amount of work but worth it! You did well to cook at the end!
      Your savings were fantastic plus I know from your efforts you have got ahead in many ways i.e. the raised garden bed will be wonderful and look great, the pots , the meat, and I can't wait to see what you do with the windows! It was a great month! Many thanks Kelsey! With love

  19. Annabel,
    I had to babysit lots this week so I'm late to the party, but I made it finally! It was a pretty good week even though I was busy. I try to make the most of each block of time and be efficient so I did get a few things done this week.
    We saved or earned: Rick sold a 4 wheeler $600
    $400 we burned wood the entire month and used no fuel oil
    $13 used Bing points for gift cards for my son's game
    $38.34 saved with coupons and specials at 1 store
    $5 saved on manager's special jars of gravy marked down at another store
    I got a free 4 pack of Red Bull in the mail, 3 free dishcloths in the mail using reward points,2 free mangos that I will can, 2 free cans of soup, 2 flavored waters free
    I also turned in points to get a $10 CVS gift card, but I won't count that this week I will count it when I use it. And a picked up a few Coke points while babysitting.
    The profit from the 4 wheeler will be added to what's in the bank and will pay the house payment this month.
    My totals for January are over $12000, but that is mostly due to Rick building that beast of a log splitter and saving us on purchasing one. I also want to say great job everyone!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      That is awesome! I knew that log splitter would be worth a lot. I thought it has the potential to generate income too i.e. splitting wood for others etc.
      And the sale of the four wheeler is great also.
      It sure gets your year off to a good start! And I can think of savings you have coming up too with some of your projects! Its wonderful. With love

  20. Wow, what great savings!
    I got some good deals at the market on apples and bread. I did bake quite a bit of my own loaves, too. Made some applesauce. With some home haircuts, sewing a new ironing board cover and weaving a rag rug I saved: $123.86 this week.

    My total for January is $506.36
    And this was a slow month! I must add that my husband reminds me that my contribution to our family-life is priceless. I am so blessed to have a husband like this. My dad and my f-i-l both pushed their wives to work outside of the home. Our home is so much more peaceful and more ordered than our childhood homes. Of course, God is first and my husband is the king of his household, too. So thankful for this community!


    1. Dear Leslie,
      It is a wonderful thing that your husband recognises all the aspects of the importance of what you do. Also that you were able to do that when there are pressures and to have a peaceful home life... there is no price on that.
      Your savings were great and I agree it is part of the bigger picture in the ways we build up a home. With love,

  21. "Next time someone says "oh, you don't work then?" I am going to slap em in the face with this! " LOL! Actually, I was just complaining that the doctor is unimpressed when I say that my exercise is housework...has he never done housework then???? Anyway, I will have my total up on my blog end of this week as part of my regular Frugal Friday post. Like yours, my total ended being a four figure one this month which impressed heck out of me. I can't wait to see how February turns out as a 'short' month!!

    1. Dear Terri,
      I hope your migraine went away. They slow you down and I know as I have suffered them all my life. Not as bad now though.
      Our Grandparents were very fit. They didn't go to the gym! They worked hard!
      Well done on great savings! That is impressive and wonderful. I am excited for February too! With love

  22. Hello all,
    Pretty quiet week at ours but here goes; I hemmed 2 school dresses (almost fell over when another school mum said she was charged $20 a dress for this...), made 2 dozen strawberry, white chocolate and coconut muffins, gratefully received some 2nd hand school uniforms, made work/school lunches, saved on some reduced meat at Woolworths, cut my husbands hair, made/baked an assortment of school lunch items and, finally, made up some instant porridge bags for breakfasts (like the instant hot oat sachets in the shops) - mine are healthier with oat bran and chia seeds added - not to forget a fraction of the cost.
    I calculated approx. $400 all up.
    The Vicky Challenge has instigated some interesting discussions in our house with my daughters (17, 15, 13, and 7) as they become more aware - particularly with the older two working and earning their own money.
    So, as I came late to the party and have only kept track for the last two weeks my total for January is $950 - I'll take that!!!
    Kind regards to everyone, Angela

    1. Dear Angela,
      I also found out recently what people pay to get things hemmed. Here for jeans it is $15 per pair. What interests me is by the time you take your item to the person to get them hemmed and do this trip twice or wait... you could have taken up a dozen pairs! Apart from the savings! This is an example of learning something once and a life time of savings follows.
      This is a great discussion for teenagers. They will see their money evaporate but if they learn some skills they can hang onto more of it and if they think about it too they will see the value of home things like cooking, packing lunches... very educational!
      Well done on a great saving for January! That is amazing since it was really half the month so imagine the whole month! Now to have a good February! Many thanks Angela, love

  23. HI Annabel and ladies,I had a busy family weekend ,Monday and Tuesday ,and just finally did my total for January.Its taking me awhile to put price to worth of what I do at home , so to speak.January's total got a big boost as we saved $7k on my car. Slight noise ended up being a big problem and the lovely Car Company and our service garage paid for it because it was rare to have this problem in such a new car of low kms.
    Ive added cost of meals Ive made where we were tempted to go out, but not every meal. Bulk meals that made 2 dinners and 2 lunches I also added as they took time and energy , whereas a working tired mum would pay heaps for it at the store.
    Got some good bargain markdowns for my gift box stores. Did my nails as we went out for dinner, and as that was paid for I included both dinner and cost of pedicure and manicure.
    Hubbys has contributed a good amount with undercoating and painting our shed to match the house.I took flowers to people and if I think ahead I can get them $15 cheaper by going a little further or I buy the night before on my way home past that cheaper shop.
    Our kitchen appliances are falling apart so we decided to renew them in the weekend sales.Hubby checked online and then rang the store (they were only a little dearer) and we made a saving on delivery and install too , so apart form the sale price reduction we added another $275 savings there.
    I had a new learnign too as when I started the new crochet pattern I thought I knew the stitch but on googling found I was completely awol!To those of you who know it was DCFP/DCBP, boy was I wrong , I even crocheted a thick rug for hubbys flat with the wrong stitch haha , Annabel I think you would appreciate this . Like you Im better watching someone rather than reading instructions for most things anyway.
    My total saved is $9,964.65 , not a usual month though.
    NO matter what our totals we are all doing an excellent job and learning our worth and teaching each other new things.Love Maria xx

    1. Dear Maria,
      That was a really amazing amount and I am very pleased for you. Its good about the shed painting too. We all have the painting bug I think!
      Any similarity my crochet has with the original pattern is purely coincidental lol As you know I can't read patterns. I think I don't hold the hook right either or I do something odd like come from the wrong direction or something... anyway my only hope is seeing something done. Thank heavens Nan and Mum taught me and now for you tube. I then write it down in a weird way to refer back to, mainly illustrations. It all goes to show though we can still do stuff! I have loved the crochet I have seen that you have done so I look forward to seeing what you do next.
      I hope February is as good. I got off to a good start this week and got some more painting done today...
      Lots of love,

  24. Dear Annabel and All,
    I am so late that I considered just skipping this week, then decided to go ahead. My internet was acting up before.
    January was a good start, I think. Last week was $267.23, bringing my monthly total to $617.52. I didn't add in anything for the lawn upkeep that my husband does, but I think I will from here on out. I was able to put several meals ahead in the freezer. I was sent a $20 certificate from an online florist that I was able to combine with a sale, Ebates and free shipping to have a mini rose bush delivered to our granddaughter who lives out of state with no money out of pocket. It will be delivered for Valentine's Day. I transplanted some flowers that came up on their own from plants we bought a few years ago, saving the cost of seeds or plants. I also planted some tomato plants from seeds I had saved and started. I continued getting several free books for my
    Kindle. My husband and I went together to a store and were able to each use coupons to get nice flashlights free and 20% off of our purchases, saving $46.24. I regularly do the surveys for extra gas points, so with those and other points, we saved $1.00 off per gallon of 30 gallons. We also try to take both cars and an extra gas can. Sometimes the savings are little, but they all add up to stretch our dollars for our needs and to share with others.
    You had wonderful savings this month! Thanks for your encouragement and this lovely blog!
    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine,
      Im glad you didn't skip! It was wonderful to get off to a good start with good savings in January. And I love how you are sending a rose bush to your Grand Daughter for Valentines Day!
      I had a disaster with my iPad a while ago and lost all my information. So I lost my kindle and all my books! But this week I re installed kindle as I was missing getting so many free books. And voila! All my original books were still there! I never knew they would be! So major bonus!
      It is good to have extra flashlights so that is handy.
      Well done, it all adds up so much. Have a good February now! With love

  25. I am late posting, but wanted to keep a total for the year'
    Cook from scratch from freezer and pantry.Found many things in freezer to put in future meals $100.00 Packed all lunches and snacks $100.00 Washed all laundry on cold and hung to dry.Did not use heat $100.00 Sorted more boxes of clothes that I have not seen since we moved.
    Found many warm things for winter and many things for spring and summer. It is like having a new wardrobe Donated some things to the thrift store. Gifted neighbor children with many books.I think I saved at least $400.00 this week. monthly total of savings $1867.00
    This so fun.:)


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