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 17 April 2016

The Vicky Challenge. Catching up and saving on holidays.

Having missed last Monday as we were away on holiday I have a bit of catching up to do!

The first weeks report would have been pretty usual... packed lunches, painting, fishing picnic, doing my nails and hair etc. I wrote that up in my note book and am very happy seeing how the weeks are adding up!

Last week we were away most of the time.

Even though it is an expense going away I still count all the ways we saved. However I'm not sure how to add it up or what to include!

Firstly, I think holidays are really important. Even if it's a break for a couple of nights the change of scenery does you good. A holiday does not have to be expensive. There are so many options even camping.  We choose to drive and prefer the seaside. One of our favourite places is Tumby Bay which is about six or seven hours drive from home.  We go when it is quiet which is nicer and also the cabin we hire costs less. This saves about $100.

I love this. It suits me. No airports, no jet lag, no crowds, just the sound of the sea and the tide coming in and going out! Sea air and friendly locals...

Some of the ways we saved are things we always do, they are:

The night before we leave I make up rolls and a picnic that will be morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea on the way. (saving $50 or so on lunch and snacks)

In the morning I make up a thermos of tea and one of coffee. (Saving $24 or so on drinks)

This is also much nicer. We can avoid road houses and stop in lovely places!

I also pack a basket of basics, tea, coffee, long life milk, cheeses, crackers etc. to take. I took Quince Paste I made and frozen stewed peaches for breakfast.  This saves a lot as some of these things are twice the price in the country.

The first night our dinner was things I took. We had a platter of cheese, crackers, tomato etc and watched the sun set over the ocean.

Another night we just made toasted cheese sandwiches for an easy dinner.

One night we got dinner from the bakery. There is a lovely bakery there and that is so handy.

All of these saved on take away or going out.

We op shopped! The town has a lovely old style country op shop.  Chloe had asked me to watch for curtains. I got her BLUE VELVET curtains, in lovely condition and that really thick beautiful old fashioned velvet.  Also some frilly nylon curtains that she loved. Cost was $15.  Value? At least a couple of hundred dollars.

Lucy was needing a baby gate for a doorway. They are normally around $80. I got one for $5!

I got Harper a book that had sparkles on each page. She is mad keen on anything sparkly. I don't know where she would have got that from?

Also some bone china cups and saucers...

And a cushion, pillowcases and quilt cover in soft pink and all covered with ribbon embroidery!

This is just gorgeous. There is meters and meters of this in the quilt cover.

We used a tourist book which had vouchers in it and got free coffees and drinks in various places around town.

I collected maps. Maps are great for card making, wrapping paper etc. I am going to wrap Dad's next present in a map of Tumby Bay since he was born there and loves it.

We had an op shopping day in a nearby town. That was really fun and I got pretty nighties for Kath in the nursing home, a lovely belt, a pretty cup and saucer, a lovely cut glass milk jug, vintage napkins with hand crochet edgings... and other stuff!

These were 20c each.

With travel time included I made a whole baby boy rug for a gift.

Andy fished on the beach in front of the house. He caught fish each day plus a few "big ones that got away". We came home with frozen fish that will give us dinner six nights.  I would say he caught $60 worth of fish.

I "helped" fish too and took coffee to the beach etc and sat in the sun and wrote letters. My idea of bliss!

We are really lucky that we can always have a few nights at the farm as a way to get away and have a break. But we think a holiday does not need to mean a credit card debt or a loan that's for sure. We had a lovely time. It was relaxing and fun. We came home with great finds, something for everyone, and fish for the freezer.

Best of all I came home with lots of inspiration and ideas!

How were your savings?
What tips do you have for managing a little holiday or break of some kind that is refreshing but not budget blowing?
Something I notice is that planning a holiday is part of the fun and having it to look forward to is lovely as well.
Have a wonderful week! See you on Wednesday for some


  1. Your China cups and saucers look like the Spode China (Charlotte pattern) that I inherited from my mom! Some of the plates were broken in transit from West Coast across to Midwest US, but I love it dearly!
    This week, to make room for the 50 pounds of broccoli crowns I bought for $12 and froze, I canned 9 jars of Sweet chili sauce using a dozen frozen Serrano peppers from last season's garden. I made 4 hankies from the leftovers of a Goodwill vintage sheet that I used as a quilt backing. I even used a free online tutorial that taught me how to crochet a pretty edging around each hankie!
    I cut out and pieced a lap size quilt top from my fabric stash. Fresh Thyme had a new store Grand opening and 3 of us were in line at 5:15 AM (there were already 45 people in front of us) so we could be in the first 250 customers and receive recycle able bags filled with $50 worth of fresh groceries! The store had free muffins, orange juice, chocolate milk and coffee for those waiting outside for the 7 AM opening and it was a fun time! By the time the store opened, there were over 400 people in line so over 150 did not get the $50 bags!!
    I realized that I was almost out of brown sugar, so I made some more up! I love how the homemade brown sugar never dries out and gets hard!
    For our freezer, I made 22 chicken, bean, rice and cheese burritos- using up ingredients that were left over in fridge or home-canned on my pantry shelf! Our electric bill went down by $101 this month (our house is 5200 sq ft and daughter, her hubby and 2 kids are living with us and using more utilities!) . Our gas bill for heating had gone from our level pay of $103/month down to $33/month last month and this month it went down to $1.18 because we still had a balance credit from the winter!!
    Because of rewards changes, we were able to have 2 large pizzas from Papa Johns delivered to our 3 teenage grandchildren while their mom was at work for just the $2.95 delivery charge!
    We placed an online ad on a local Facebook selling site for our planter boxes (made with free pallets and buckets) and made $205 the first day (yesterday) ! We went and loaded 2 more van loads of free pallets (yes, we have permission!) to make more of our planter boxes! After tithing, we split the money and put half into our savings account and used half as an additional principal payment on our mortgage! It sounds like little ribs and drabs, but in the first 3 months of our 15 year mortgage, we have cut the length down by 3-1/2 years and taken over $1000 off the original $50,000 mortgage amount!
    We had an alert on our phone from Gas Buddy about a 20cent/gallon price raise in our area and were able to get gas at Sam's Club for 28 cents/gallon less than everywhere else near-by!
    We rented a bobcat for $200 to level our yard and remove a tree stump and saved about $1200! Then we dug holes for and installed fence posts for new fencing!'

    All in all, a good week!
    All in all, a fabulous week!!!

    1. Dear Gardenpat, What a fantastic time! You have both been so industrious it is lovely to read!
      It was a great idea to use the Facebook free page to advertise and what results you had! That is wonderful. I knew you would sell these! And to get free pallets is a great supply of wood.
      I loved your story of the store opening. That sounds like so much fun plus big rewards!
      Your savings plus extra earrings are impressive and I am so pleased for you! I hope you have another good week this week. I have got off to a good start today! I love getting going on Mondays! With love,

  2. Annabel, the pillow and quilt are so lovely and those hankies are beautiful! Love, love, love crochet edgings! Looks like you all had a good holiday and I agree, sometimes we need to get away. I also agree that it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg ... bring your own food, make use of coupons and of course my favorite ... do your shopping in thrift stores!!!

    1. Dear Patsy,
      I am on the lookout for lovely napkins to crochet around but never expected to find some already done.
      In a local linen store they had pretty floral table napkins with a lovely crochet edge. There were 6 in a bundle tied up with ribbon for $80. I thought right, I am making them for gifts!
      I hope your crochet is going well, you will be edging everything! Have a great week. With love

  3. Looks like you and Andy had a well earned and lovely break. It's always nice to go away as a couple to reconnect together, with no one but each other to think of. As soon as I saw the photo of Andy fishing, I decided to check our local tides. Bugger it's low tide so not the best time for fishing here. Our Hervey Bay look much like Tumby Bay waters. It seems that all pelicans are born with a cheeky nature. I just love how they come up for a chat.
    We have been very busy and have managed some good savings. At the moment we are both value adding to what has been gifted or bought very cheaply. Hubby is up the back running Oregon timber, he got from the tip shop super cheap, through the thicknesser planer. This will end up as a cot for the granddaughter. I've been sewing, crocheting and preserving.
    All in all, the last couple of weeks has seen us saving around $660.
    We've had a couple of necessary big spends. When we require something, we always make sure we purchase the best we can afford. We do research and look for alternative ways to purchase what we need to get the best value for our dollar. What we have found is that our spendings and our savings have equalised. Very happy with this.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      That timber sounds beautiful! I really want to see this cot when it is finished! It will be an heirloom.
      Having spied your sewing, cooking and fishing spot I am considering moving in with you!
      Well done on your savings and value adding. I agree with you, life is good! How wonderful. With love

  4. Wow garden pat what a week! Your specials over there in the US are much better than ours.

    Annabel, a blissful week by the look and sound of it. You made amazing purchases in the op shop, that quilt with the embroidery is stunning. Hmm now where would Harper have got the love of sparkles from????

    We aren't in a position for a proper holiday at the moment, but we have been taking regular days out during the week and driving a few hours this way and a few hours that way over the past few months. Such a nice re charge.

    Looking forward to craft day wednesday.

    Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      I love a drive or a picnic. Exploring somewhere new for an afternoon... it is lovely.
      I forgot to report I bought a softly ruffled tablecloth. It was from a wedding I suspect. It is just DIVINE. It was $4. I just need to shorten it to fit my table. I was so thrilled with it!
      Have a great week. I am back to painting tomorrow... I know you have been painting also. Its very nice to see anything freshly painted. Very satisfying! Much love

  5. How lovely and refreshing! We often cannot afford a trip away, and we haven't quite found a place like you're describing that we can get away to that isn't too expensive. Sometimes with little children, it almost seems more relaxing and restful to take time off work and stay at home. But we do enjoy a change of scenery every now and then. We have a favorite coffee shop that is 45 minutes away in the country. If it is warm enough, we take the kids to the park close by the coffee shop and make an afternoon of it. We find doing this regularly to be very relaxing, and it usually costs less than $15. We also have a favorite restaurant we visit as a family every now and then. I think we've found that having a tradition, if you will, such as the one coffee shop we always visit in dad's day off, and the one special restaurant we occasionally go to, it's "our family" thing, everyone in the family loves it, and we come away feeling refreshed. Thanks for sharing your holiday with us, I lived vicariously through your words. ;)

    1. Dear Amy,
      To little children a trip out somewhere different or to the playground seems like a huge adventure. When I was little my parents took us on picnics. I remember one time thinking a forest was the most exciting thing ever!
      I also love your special restaurant where you meet your Dad. I agree having lovely traditions is a wonderful thing.
      With love,

  6. wow what absolutely wonderful bargains you scored on your holiday! those cups & pillow/doona cover were exquisite! would love to see a photo of the rest of your bargains! you do so well!
    glad you had a lovely rested holiday too
    thanx for sharing

    1. Dear Selina, Thanks! I will try and add more photos of my finds... I forgot to mention a ruffled tablecloth that is gorgeous, I just need to shorten it for my table. It was $4 and probably from a wedding but it is so soft and shabby chic. I love it so much!
      Thank you so much for your comment. With love

  7. It is so much fun to get a bargain! Your photos are lovely.

    1. Thanks so much Linda. I am sitting here drinking from one of my lovely new tea cups and I agree its so nice to get such

  8. Annabel, so nice to see you back once again. I am pleased you had a break from all that painting. You visited some great Op Shops by the sounds of it and found some gorgeous treasures. My hubby has those 'fish that got away too'. ;-)

    1. Dear Nanna Chel... oh yes the fish that got away stories. One of Andys was a sting ray. Glad he didn't catch it but he seems to enjoy the battle! Better than the gym!
      I want to hear about that crochet... Tunisian? Especially if it is difficult. Have a great week, with love

  9. Delightful holiday, smart planning, and lovely treasures you found at the op shops! Sounds like a relaxing and fun week! My tip for a nice holiday is to go off season. My husband and I stay a few nights each year at a nice hotel (with hot breakfast, pool, hot tub, and in room whirlpool) at a mountain resort town. We're not keen on crowds, so traveling off season allows us to enjoy a slower paced and less crowded get-away. Blessings! Teresa

    1. Dear Teresa, We are not keen on crowds either. There is a web site that offers off season bookings and you can bid what you are prepared to pay for various holiday packages. A couple of times we have had major bargains from them as I have bid something ridiculous and got it! Which reminds me I should check... and keep an eye on that as most you can use up to a year away. Off season is the key to these too.
      Thank you so much, with love

  10. What a beautiful and relaxing, soul-restoring holiday. I love your pretty finds. That bedspread is so pretty. How cute Harper loves sparkly things too. I like those cups and saucers. I am so glad you got away. I find that the best thing- getting away means time to reconnect as a family and with my husband, with no other distractions. We love coastal places too. There is nothing better than a picnic in the great outdoors and these have made for my fondest childhood memories. I just used to love picnics/ bbqs outdoors. I think nowadays with technology (while it is a big blessing) it is even more important to do day trips/ get away for a few days as a family. Your little holiday sounds like heaven. We hope to get away later in the year. If we do, my favourite things are walking along the beach, collecting shells, op shopping, swims and cheap dinners out/ bbqs. Lately, I have been trying to make do (with ingredients I already have at home to save on a grocery shop)when taking a plate somewhere, realising that most of the time the thought counts. Also have been trying to do washing outside and we have been watching DVDs from the library instead of hiring. It's so nice being at home and eating our own popcorn instead. I also have made use of left overs with zucchini slice muffins and cream of celery soup. Sending you love. Love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge,
      I am hoping you will get to have the same holiday you did last year... that sounded ideal! Then you get the fun of planning for it too.
      One thing I have learned is that I used to end up doing something expensive to take to someones place or a function. Now I might do a potato salad (everyone loves it, travels well and cost is low) or make a cake. These cost very little and everyone goes mad over them!
      Using up left overs is a great challenge. It can be amazing what you can make!
      My childhood memories are a lot of the beach too. Kids just love the beach, the water and are so happy that it is a wonderful holiday. Although as an adult I still feel that way!
      I hope you have a lovely week, with lots of love,

  11. Hi Annabel, your holiday sounds lovely. I'm so glad you found some op shop bargains, those napkins are just divine! We go away on a family holiday once a year. We have been to Victoria a few times to visit family, but now we are on more of a budget we stick to holidaying in our state. There are so many lovely places to visit in Western Australia. Accommodation is the most expensive thing, I've found. The prices are just crazy here and generally the cheapest is $200 a night for the 5 of us! That's a my weekly mortgage payment! Because hubby has chronic back pain he needs a decent bed to sleep on so our camping days are over! Now we save up during the year and put $50 aside each pay, and I stick to a $1000 budget.This has to include accommodation, petrol, food, spending money etc. Basically I research cheap places to stay months in advance, I find prices can really vary. We have stayed at a few farm stays in the past and last year we visited Albany, which is a 4 hour drive from here. A lovely town with lots of history. I found a 3 bedroom semi attached house to stay at through Air bnb. It was on a large property and just gorgeous. The owner lives next door and was really lovely. I pack most food from home, and cook all meals while we are away. I get excited about cooking in a different kitchen lol. Like you we pack sandwiches drinks etc for day trips and try to balance the week out with frugal activities like going to a free museum, beach or park with paid tourist attractions. xx

    1. Dear Mel, Keep your eye on the Travel Auctions website. I have booked some amazing deals with them and you have a year to use the booking. It has been well under half price for each holiday accomodation wise. I will check out Air bnb too! I love the sound of your holidays and that you save, plan and budget and get such good breaks. They are really memory builders and wonderful times.
      Many people think you have to spend thousands on a holiday but you don't. I agree that our own states are so big and have so many amazing places to explore! Have a great week Mel. With love

  12. Lovely to hear about your trip away Annabel , Andy looks very relaxed and happy. Your opshop buys are beautiful! That ribbon work is exquisite, I can't believe anyone would discard it although possibly it may have been inherited and not to a younger person's taste.
    And the crocheted edges look super too !
    The hall cupboard has been decluttered and the emergency stores are being restocked so they are easier to find .I was annoyed that many of the tins I have have no expiry date on them , so the specials I bought today I wrote today's date and what store bought from on each tin.The laundry has had a reshuffle as more non edible needs are house there but still it's not how I would like.
    Work is being done in the house again, so bit topsy turvy,and car maintenance jobs. We went to a do Saturday night and had finger foods for dinner there , and tonight at our daughter's, that was a help as my cut thumb is still repairing , surprising how much one uses one's thumbs , until one isn't up to normal use.
    Have a good week Annabel everyone , love Maria xx

    1. Dear Maria,
      You must have done a good job cutting that thumb. I remember you saying that, it must have been pretty bad! Hard to get healed when its used all the time!
      Most tins keep years. I am trying to rotate at least annually but tins are great as they keep many years. Dates written on is good though to keep track, rotate in order and reassuring too.
      I know you love a good op shop find too. I have all this new lovely stuff and so much fun finding it. Win win!
      I hope you have a great week too. With love,

  13. Hi Annabel!
    What a lovely holiday you had I love the beach! And you got some great bargains too! I will be starting to scout the thrift store pretty soon hopefully I find some great things too! We've had several really nice days so we worked outside and I hung laundry on the line to dry. I got several freebies at the store this week and saved $50 dollars with coupons. I took Miss Emma to the park and we got 3 baggies full of Coke caps and I will enter those codes in and turn them into either free Coke or gift cards. Plus Em helped me with my little project and we had such fun being together. I made more dust cloths so I am getting a nice stack of them and I crocheted 2 more dishcloths. My gift pile is getting bigger and so far just using what I have on hand is saving quite a bit, but I think I will total them when I'm closer to done! Hmm I just don't know where Harper gets her love of sparkly things? LOL I hope all of the ladies have a great week!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      That was a good week especially your fun with Emma!
      If you have good thrift stores then they are a big asset. Its finding time to get into them. You have a lot on your plate. I am voting for more free time so you can do things like visit the thrift stores. Truly it is amazing what comes up in them and it is such a saver but a really good fun outing too.
      Your dust cloths and crocheting and crafts are really adding up! this is fantastic. I can't wait to see what you have made from wallpaper... I love wallpaper!
      With love

  14. Your holiday sounds positively blissful! You sure got some wonderful finds as well.
    Peace and tranquility is needed by all.

    1. Cheryl thanks. I am finding quieter and peaceful is the best. It did us good! xxx

  15. Everything about your break sound wonderful Annabel! And relaxing, some holidays are quite tiring because they are busy but yours sounds perfect! We have recently been offered accommodation for free to be used any time in the next six months. It's in Auckland, so a big drive from Wellington, but I think we will go for it in a few months as I imagine paying for seven people would be horrendous, so this is a great opportunity. I'm so inspired by your tip to put some nice things away each week, what a great way to reduce spending on holiday without really noticing the cost. We had a day trip yesterday, I packed sandwiches for lunch and baked a cake for us to eat for afternoon tea, took water to drink and nobody asked for anything else! I bought fruit on the way home which is far cheaper than where we live, but that was the only money I spent all day. Great feeling.

    I finally painted the bedroom that I'd been preparing forever it seems. Funny how the arrival of a house guest gets you moving lol. I'm so happy with how it looks, and now that it's insulated the coldest room in our house is wonderfully warm. I ripped up the carpet and the floorboards in that room are lovely. I had wanted to buy blinds for it, but decided to try some curtains we had replaced in another room first. Turns out I actually really like how they look in that room, so huge bonus. I haven't yet hung their pictures and other decorations up, I still need to finish a couple of things and would like to put it all up at once so I can do a bit of a 'room reveal' for my sons lol.

    You know Annabel, I actually learn loads from your blog, but I think the single most useful thing I have learnt is to add to things a little at a time. Which is not really my style to be honest, I like to get stuck in and finish things quickly. But try that with five kids around! Doesn't often work lol. But it's so true of so many situations, building up a pantry, painting, building up a gift cupboard, using supplies on hand... It has truly helped me appreciate that it's ok (and often necessary) to spread things out to make things manageable. Thank you!

    Have a lovely week, gosh you go away for a few days and I write you a novel lol.


    1. Dear Jen,
      Thank you. With a family and all you have to do it can be daunting to take on bigger projects. But a little at a time really works.
      When the girls were little I used to get into all kinds of projects after they went to bed, painting etc. Even if I did an hour it was amazing what I could get done over time.
      You reminded me of the power of baking a cake. Do you notice how everyone is happy when a cake is produced!? I am thinking of planning a picnic outing on the weekend, baking a cake and taking something simple and heading off to look at the autumn leaves. We both love a day like that.
      It is wonderful about the free accomodation! Enjoy planning it and make the absolute most of it. To the children this will seem like a great adventure. Plus its lovely to have something big to look forward to.
      Well done on the painting! You have done a lot of work. Please tell me what your sons think at the big reveal!
      I hope your week is going well! with love,

  16. Dear Annabel, it sounds like you had a wonderful and very relaxing holiday as well as getting some bargains. Harper takes after you alright Anbabel , loving sparkly things!. That book looks lovely. The maps are a great idea , cards made using maps look excellent. My last two weeks phas been great savings wiseone good saving was a saving $600 on accomodation for two nights at my parents place this weekend just gone, they have a pool ( although I did not swim) , my Dad drives me wherever I need to go mostly, I had 3 meals and 2 snacks a day plus a cup of tea whenever I wanted it . I had my own bathroom to use, laundry facilities, Dad helped me look after my budgies , mum and my sister and one of my nieces and myself went to my aunties 75 th birthday party ( mum paid for the gift from all if us ) so I will add another $300saved for all the extras , another saving this week has been getting my iPad Air screen replaced saving me $570 on getting a new one . I saved $15 on craft supplies by buying some embossing folders at a discount shop ( $2 shop) , they are at least $5 cheaper per folder ( for my sizzix big shot) , I bought 3 , a $15 saving. Saved $60 on groceries by shopping at Aldi and that included adding to my stockpile ( 300tea bags, 4 boxes of crackers, 5 packets of sweet biscuits for slices and other baking) and bought enough milk for 10 days and bread for that time too. I saved $10 by using some rewards dollars last week , have another $10 almost so should have $10 by next week. Saved myself $400by cancelling my holiday and getting my accomodation money back but I used nearly $200 of that to get my iPad fixed so I will count a $0209 saving., saved $60 on taxi fares in two weeks , dad took me a few places.i had 6 no spend days in the last two weeks saving at least $200 , I got some gifts marked down ,saved $70 on those , got clothes for myself for winter marked down saved $45 on them, got lemons and shallots from my parents garden $5 saving, used a gift from my gift cupboard saved $15 . I think I better stop there Annabel although I have plenty more examples. Total for two weeks is: $2205 approximately. I am so happy to see your holiday photos Anbabel, thank you for sharing them with us. Have a great week Love Barb Woodford

    1. Dear Barb,
      Well done! All your efforts are really paying off. And it makes life so good!
      It is lovely you can have little breaks at your Mum and Dads. When the girls were growing up we went to the farm on the weekends and it was fantastic.
      I hope your next week is just as good! With lots of love and thanks,

  17. Annabel, it's lovely to see you were both able to take some time out.
    Airbnb can be a good source for reasonably priced accommodation, so too some of the sites offering deals (eg, Living Social, Groupon, Scoopon). We had a lovely 2 night stay with some added bonuses (hot tub, champagne, chocolates)on the coast for less than 1 regular night using one of these sites.

    1. Dear Janine,
      I am checking this out thank you. Mel also had success with Airbnb so this sounds really good thank you.
      Your weekend sounds beautiful! With love

  18. Annabel I grew up with 'recharge weekends' - I even have a photo somewhere of the 3 generations stopping for lunch at a picnic table somewhere in Victoria - it would be over 50 years old. My grandmother use to make sausage rolls (we ate them cold), we would have a thermos or two and some other things. Some of these weekend recharge times were just my parents and my brother and I, we would light a fire and have hot dogs for lunch in winter - sometimes things didn't got plan and it would rain so we would end up with bread and butter and have that in the car.

    We use to take a weekend off when the children were little and we were doing our first house up in Sydney - we would do things around the house on Saturday often some baking was involved and then Sunday we would be off - depending on the weather and time of year it was either the beach or the mountains.

    Now there is just the two of us and we have gone back to the one weekend off a month system that worked many years ago, we have also incorporated things from when I went on picnics with my family as I was growing up - thermos and food from home. The price of food is not the only thing that deters us from buying when out - the lines are often out the door as people wait to be served.

    We did a trip on Sunday - packed left over pizza from the night before, a thermos and some fruit, my tea and some coffee satchets that were in the cupboard for my husband. The thermos was a new addition to the household, I had purchased it at a jumble sale the day before. Think I know why it was at the jumble sale - the water got cold pretty quickly.

    Have a great week everyone


    1. Dear Lynette,
      What a lovely photo to have! Also the sausage rolls! I love this. Mum makes good sausage rolls. They are eternally popular!
      I think a weekend away or a drive, picnic are all wonderful. They are a break and an adventure of sorts. You have made me think I must plan a picnic and a drive. Just now in the Adelaide Hills the autumn leaves would be beautiful...
      Lynette I am also painting again and on the front fence. What an improvement!
      I hope you are having a good week. With love,

  19. Dear Annabel, what a lovely mini break you and Andy had! Tumby Bay looks very picturesque, and what great fishing! I love your op shop bargains too. I hope you are rested and refreshed. My savings are mind boggling this week as I've been working hard on building up my gift stash. I've generated $600 retail value in embellished pillow cases, and $300 value in scented candles. I've also made single portion meals similar to a fresh one here called UFoodz, who charge $10 for a 'fresh' meal that you can microwave. It's stuff like pulled pork with sweet potato and broccoli and lamb roast. So at that rate, I've made $60 worth of meals for $7! Fun! As for vacations, we do love a good Staycation, and make a good time out of being creative at home. We love that. Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      I am in love with your pillowcases. They are just divine. Im already working out how I can try and create these as gifts. I thought they are worthy of a bridal gift or a very special birthday.
      we love a stay in your pyjamas holiday! Heavens we all need a decent rest sometimes and it is bliss.
      You had a huge week! It goes to show what can be done! With love and thanks to you Mimi, love

  20. I love the pelican pictures! They are really great! And the crocheted edging on the napkins is lovely. Its amazing to think about women having time to do these gorgeous edgings during a time without all the modern conveniences we have now. Of course with conveniences comes time wasters. I love reading how everyone is finding great bargains. Last week we donated a trunk load of stuff to our local thrift store, I've started grocery shopping on Wednesdays ~ its senior citizen day and everyone 55 & up gets an additional discount, plus I get my sons employee discount, and the coupon and sales savings, we also had a huge family get together on sat. ~ we provided the hamburgers, hot dogs, buns & toppings ~ everyone else brought side items to share. We had 38 people and loads of food, most didn't take the leftovers, so that is lunches this week for my husband and son to take to work. donna

    1. Dear Donna,
      Thank you! I am really fond of Pelicans.
      And yes HOW did women create so much and still hand wash and all the things they did? Many would say they had household help thats how. However thats not it. My Nans and Great Grans never had household help and you should see the fine lace knitting, sewing, embroidery etc they made and in giant quantities! I still have a lot of it.
      Your family get together sound wonderful and I love to have left overs for a couple easy days and lunches! Love that.
      This would all have been a massive saving. Well done. With love

  21. That's my kind of holiday too, A lovely relaxing break and just what you needed. love the op shop finds , especially the quilt and pillowcase...just beautiful. I never thought of maps for cards, that is a great idea!
    Hope you week is coming along nicely. Love Deb xx

    1. Dear Debbie, Cards and wrap for men are harder for me. Maps are great. Also I saw on Wendys blog she saved the paper tape measures from IKEA and used them on sewing themed cards! Best idea ever!
      With love

  22. What a lovely, perfect holiday you had! It's nice to balance the savings and splurges so you can enjoy yourself without breaking the bank. Your op shop purchases are so very pretty...the china and linens are charming!
    Blessings, Leigh

  23. Annabel, everything is so beautiful. Even though we are in Spring here in USA, I'd love to have your Fruitcake recipe on file for this winter. How do I find it on your blog? Thank you, Shirley K.

    1. Dear Shirley, Thank you! This is the link... it is a great cake and I usually double which makes three medium cakes or I make two large cakes. But you can make mini ones in muffin tins or anything you like...
      It truly keeps at least a year. With love

  24. Glad you saved and had a good time, too. Congrats to Andy on all the fish!
    We had a lot of savings. It is "Big Trash" days in the small towns around us. So my husband brought home a like-new over night bag that will be perfect for my teen daughter's mission trip this summer. He also found a dresser for me to clean-up and paint to replace a damaged one in the boys' room. He also helped an elderly friend clean up some scrap metal and junk. Not only did he walk away with scrap that he made money on, but the gentleman gave him $15 worth of frozen berries!
    We also are harvesting all our lettuce from our garden. My husband dug up daffodils near a ditch by the side of the road. Now I have spots of color around the property. Well we got lots of savings at the discount grocery, quarts of homemade chicken broth, and lots of savings at a thrift store/ yard sale run. Total savings was $488!
    Wishing all you other ladies well on your savings!


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