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 12 June 2016

The Vicky Challenge. Look in different places.

My Vicky Challenge went pretty well last week.
Some of the things I included:

I cut Andy's hair which  is $45 locally.

Made lunches and fishing day picnic $150.

I made a huge amount of pumpkin soup in the crockpot. Froze portions. I will say $50 savings based on ready made soups in the supermarket.

That was my lunch most days.

I made 36 large pumpkin scones. These are $3 each at our local bakery.  $90. Ridiculous I know!

Made 45 serves of wholesome baby food. Saving $100.

This is $465 right there.
There are lots of little bits and pieces that saved too. But they are the main things.

I find it really interesting to find out what things cost! Mimi made a good point the other day when she commented about the wool wash,  how beautiful it smells and what a good job it does on woollens. Now you could take your blankets etc to the dry cleaners instead. I wonder what that would cost? Similarly when I wash the quilt or something like that... people pay a lot to have things professionally cleaned. I need to take notice of just how much these things cost as I always am happy to do these things myself. You save much more than you know most probably!

This weeks "extra savings" is to look in new places in the supermarket. I love to look in entirely new places and try different shops, wholesalers, spice markets and so on as many times we can find a huge price difference. But today I am just talking about in your usual shops where you often buy groceries.
My most regular place at the moment is our local Woolworths supermarket. When Aldi is closer to us it will be Aldi.

We all are creatures of habit. Most of us even go the same way around the supermarket every time and do things in the same order. It is easy to go onto "automatic pilot" and sail around looking in the usual places, getting the same things.
Every now and then I like to take a heap more time and REALLY LOOK. Often you will find the same things in different departments, in different packaging and at different prices!
For example chicken. Chicken is in several departments. First there are the cooked chickens. They are the rotisserie chickens and very good and fresh in our supermarket.  It is currently mostly cheaper to buy a cooked chicken than a raw one!
Then there is a section of roasted items and you can buy part of a cooked chicken.
There is raw chicken in the deli department, plus cold roast segments, sliced pressed chicken, crumbed chicken...
Then there is the meat department. You can get all kinds of cut up chicken plus whole or marinated whole birds to roast.  Mostly it it cheaper to buy a whole chicken than two breast fillets, for me in my location at least.
Then there is the freezer apartment. You can get every type of chicken imaginable, fresh, roasted, sliced, crumbed...
Then there is canned chicken.
Usually in our supermarket the raw chicken in the deli department is much cheaper than the exact same thing in the meat department. Just wrapped differently.

Some of my best ever meat buys have been from the freezer department. Which means I missed out for a long time as mostly I never even looked in the freezer department!

Helen told me that she got ready chopped veggies marked down so cheaply it was cheaper to buy them than cut her own.
That was a !!! moment as I never look in pre chopped veggies. I assume they are going to be much more expensive. And they are UNLESS they are clearing them!

These are the kind Helen got and they were so cheap they beat everything else! Who would have thought? So now I check every time.

So lesson learned! Now I look in the prepared vegetables and also frozen vegetables! You never know!

Our supermarket has several areas to look at regularly for mark downs. But it is tricky. Bakery type items are usually on two special shelves in the store. But sometimes they are marked down right where they were put out in the first place, sometimes they are moved so everyone sees them. Sometimes both. I look in each spot.
Some fruit and veggies are bagged up for fast sale. Big bags of anything are usually $3 and sit at the end of one of the rows. But sometimes they are in some random place, maybe someone else was doing the markdowns? So I look right around.

Like chicken the fish is in several areas and for vastly different prices.
Cheeses and meats are also something that varies so much one area to another.
Something like ham can be $40 a kilo if packaged and sliced but about half that in the deli department and half or less again if you buy a whole piece of ham and cut it up yourself.
A piece of beef or corned beef roasted at home will give you lunch meat at a fraction of the cost of buying actual lunch meat.

I have had some real surprises and you never know what you will find. But look in the places you never look and include the places you assume will be more expensive. Things change...  prices change, they move things! And ask. "What is the best time to come in for meat mark downs?" and such questions. I have found they just tell you and are really helpful. One person in the meat department told me the usual routine is mark downs at 2 pm and again nearer closing. So I shop at 2 pm and yes they re usually making down! It isn't a coincidence I am there at mark down time. I plan my day around it.
Having time to look when you shop can be a huge saver. The things I find! It is amazing.  What a difference it makes!

How did you save last week? As we start a new week I have soup going and we are doing things around the house as it is a public holiday for the Queens Birthday. And the sun is shining even though it is really cold!  Have a lovely day. xxx


  1. Dear Annabel, once again, some great tips! I find this point about looking in different places is really useful. We eat gluten free as my daughter is gluten intolerant, and this is a tip that has saved us thousands. Gluten free spaghetti in the health food aisle is very expensive (for spaghetti I mean) at around $5, when the comparable normal product can be under $1 if you buy generic. But, if you just think laterally and buy rice noodles from the Asian section, there's your gluten free spaghetti or fettucine, at a much more friendly price. Avocado in tubes, already mashed with seasoning, can be cheaper than fresh avocadoes. Tinned pie apples already cooked, cheaper than fresh apples for baking. Gourmet spices and sauces from the Asian section or an Asian grocer, far less expensive that those in the spices aisle at normal supermarket, and so on. Tinned or tetra pack long life cream or reduced fat cream is another great buy, as is tinned whipped cream, and I never buy fresh cream any more as it doesn't keep well. I'll be interested to hear what other variations everyone comes up with! Great thinking! Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      This is another one that has changed too over time. A first everything GF was really expensive but there is more choice now and found in more spots. As you know. I love tinned pie apples! They are wonderful to have on hand... same as tinned tomatoes. The Asian grocers ... this is a good idea. I am heading to the shops today and will snoop in all the odd little places. It really pays off. It is an area we have a lot of power to alter what is spent per week. What a difference it makes! With love,

  2. Dear Annabel, your soup looks yummy and warming!as do the pumpkin scones.And those chopped veges would be very helpful for our overworked hands/arms.
    As Ive been away last week and only caught up on your challenges last night , my weekend has been catching up with family DGD's birthday dinner, and loads of washing. Also menu planning and going through what needs doing this week.
    Yestedray I got ahead by returning 2 faulty wearable items with success ie shoes were replaced and as I did not want to chance another faulty cardy I took the credit hold option, as Ive found another cardy in my wardrobe that will do the job, so to speak.
    I haven't been adding up any savings Ive made, for awhile now , got side tracked and lost focus.
    Our week away was the first time we haven't haven't stopped for coffee and eats , petrol station treats etc ,Im amazed as DH does like me fussing (thats what he thinks savings are lol)whereas I dont think of it as such.Although I will say I could refine some areas as I took way too much away , just in case .Which created a lot more to put away and sort once back home.Lesson learnt again I hope.
    Today I had left over pizza for my lunch, and some for tomorrows lunch is left.Started one more new thing by beginning the process to make Maori bread which Ive not made before.Takes about 48 hours all up by sounds of it.Looks good in the photo with recipe and DH says the Maori boiys at work bring it in for them all to eat and it's delicious. Fingers crossed mine is :-)
    My pantry got an unexpected cleanup Friday Night courtesy of the visiting ants in my absence , they must have been desperate as everything is well sealed there or in the fridge.
    Now the weather is more wintery feel, the lounge is looking darker and I had the bright idea to cover the leather couches with colourful fleece throws . They are presently covered with black, and I have a red and a multi coloured one over the arms of each couch which my little visitors like to wrap themselves in when they visit.I popped into Kmart nothing suitable there , will try other places this week. But Kmarts were $5 ie what they had in neutrals.Dinner is part prepared ,I feel organized , after being out for awhile catching up on a body class, visiting my inlaws and doing some shopping for colourful pens for card making.Plus I looked at possible gifts for GDS, even though his birthday is at the end of the year, I find it can get very busy then if I leave it.
    Despite the wintery feel we have had a lovely sunny , cloudless and calm day , perfect!
    Love Maria xx

    1. Dear Maria, Thank you for catching up since you have been away. It sounds to me like you can relate to sore arms/hands. The softened up veggies has really helped me. Also I have soup on today. I peeled sweet potato as with a sharp knife its fairly easy. But I never sliced anything through, just put it in whole. Over the day the crock pot can do the work. Gaps were filled with soup beans and carrots!
      Please report how the Maori bread turns out and what it involves. Oh and I am replying to another comment here too but thank you for that cake recipe as it was most helpful and I haven't even made it yet but I have bought the dried fruit.
      A bit of colour is good in winter. Colour is a funny thing. I normally don't like bright colours much. But mid winter I love yellow! And I always make that sunshine cake which is between orange and yellow and it is so cheery and like the absent sunshine I start to crave. It affects your mood and feelings, colour and light...
      Today we also had a clear day with sun. Cold though! But I had the line full to take advantage and Andy did a ton in the garden which was nice. It looks tidy at least even if not much in the way of flowers.
      Thanks for the lovely catch up Maria. Have a great week! With love

  3. Annabel, you have made lots of savings already this month.Good on you! Our Queen's Birthday holiday is now in October as the long weekends in Queensland were spread out so that they weren't all at the beginning of the year. Good idea too I think. Your pumpkin soup looks lovely. I still have a couple of pumpkins left that came up in the compost so will be making more soup as winter goes on. Soup and my sourdough bread is a popular winter meal here.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, Thanks for explaining the holiday. I had thought we all had the same day and this explains it. We made the most of the day, had some sun and got heaps done around the house.
      I really love sourdough bread. An art form in itself! Actually they call homemade breads "artisan bread" and charge a lot for them.
      I hope you enjoyed the library with Rhonda. I will head over to see if you reported on that yet. With love

  4. Dear Annabel,
    Glad you have had another good week!
    We have had a good week, even though it was slow on the saving side. My total for last week was $212.20.

    Like you, I am working on eating from the freezer quite a bit. I have very little room to put anything more. I made what we call pigs in a blanket and also cooked boneless chicken breasts with barbecue sauce in the crockpot. Besides the meals we ate, a meals's worth of "pigs" is in the freezer. There is enough more chicken for several BBQ sandwiches and maybe some to freeze. I made a big pot of mashed potatoes, as well, to have with a couple meals and possibly freeze some. Especially with the hot weather, I am trying to prepare extra food when cooking. It saves my energy and the electric energy 😀. We have heard that next weekend's temperature may break the previous record temperature of 122 F!

    A new store was having a grand opening, so I took advantage of a $10 off coupon to get a pint of ice cream, a pack of Swiss cheese and a large chocolate bar for $1.74, along with a nice reusable shopping bag for free. i picked up a couple free samples of snack items and entered a drawing for some nice prizes, too. I only bought milk and a reduced ($2.99) lemon meringue pie at my regular store. I had to get some kitty food and paper goods at Costco, but haven't made a big trip to the grocery store. I don't need much this week, either.

    My daughter just now came home with some groceries she bought to share---4 pounds of good cheese, rolls, blueberries, bottled lemonade and a box of cereal! She often eats wth us and is good about contributing some groceries or money. I would say at least $30 worth tonight.

    Looking in different areas of the store is a good tip! One time I found some adorable little stuffed animals with a cute fabric box on clearance in the produce department. I scooped several up and used them for much appreciated gifts. It is also a good idea to look in stores where you wouldn't expect to find things. I have found specialty food items in clothing or household type stores, especially around Christmas and after.

    Thanks again for your encouraging and helpful blog! Love from Arizona, Elaine

    1. Dear Elaine,
      122! I think in celsius even though we have metric. So I can say we have 118 or so but 122 is crazy! Very severe and hard to live with! I hope it comes in under that for you!
      Beautiful cooking and also additions from your daughter.
      My freezer challenge is going ok, four meals so far using things up. It will take a while!
      I agree... many good gifts plus stocking stuffers etc can be found on amazing specials but you have to look and keep your eyes open. They are so worthwhile to add to the present cupboard. I have a few good ones so far this year, like the heart shaped baking tins after Valentines day!
      Thanks so much Elaine, Have a great week. Wiht love,

  5. Hi Annabel!

    I think you're right about looking in other places! We're not prime examples of this. However, I can think of how this has occurred for us in recent times. For instance, in weighing up whether it would be worth avoiding shopping in a large city, we found that some prices are actually lower in a small town. This includes bottled gas & hardware items; diesel; & animal feed. Price matching between supermarkets also works for us. A few cents more on sliced bread at a small town bakery cafe makes a further trip to the city (for bread baked by the same bakery) unnecessary. Also, the 10kg bags (for $13) of Coles potatoes, while not the cheapest around, help out when the 50kg (60-80c/kg) bags in the city are too dear. Methylated spirits, turpentine, etc are dear in the 'cheap shops', okay in a supermarket, and well priced in our particular small town hardware.

    We are in the less hectic stage of life, yet looking in other places has occurred as a natural progression! Our favourite place for looking is, of course, opportunity shops - for some funny reason. Once, I paid $2 for a clothing item because there was a $10 note in the pocket! I figured out I could use the item for work clothes, so I made $8. I think that all happened because I was remembering one of Dad's stories when I was refolding the item, and the pocket felt kind of funny! I don't normally look in pockets whilst shopping. Does this qualify as 'looking in other places'?!

    With this cooler weather, and the rain, some fresh opportunities have arisen for saving money. Yesterday, I transplanted passionfruit plants into the ground around the shed, & other places, since passionfruit are not established here. I also dug up garden areas ready for direct planting of seed - hopefully tomorrow. I was amazed at how easily the fork went through the soft soil. That is balanced out by the lantana (makes good soil) clearing last spring, and the weeding of cobblers pegs and nettles in autumn. A garden, of course, can make considerable savings, gifts and much added value to our diet - and, possibly, the pantry. What fun!! Also, with the fire going, I heated today's dish washing water on the stove top (saving on bottled gas) and, like last winter, my little flat iron is ready for winter ironing. This takes pressure off the generator 'rush hour', not that we have a great deal to iron. The trees don't see creases in our clothes! I need to oil and grease the old Singer sewing machine. This is the key to its happiness. The oiling is required after every twenty hours of sewing, and we also grease the cogs where grease is required. This saves servicing costs.

    We need more sunshine! More baking should help! More sewing! More exhilarating outdoor work! Orange sunshine cake sounds inviting! Molasses crinkle cookies! I remember a "Rainy Day Play Book" I was given as a child. It was like this - finding enjoyable, productive activities to brighten rainy days!!

    Thanks for the post! I hope I don't need to try smoke signals, from tomorrow.

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, The mention of the rainy day play book brings back memories to me! My adult version of rainy day play is crochet, cooking, sewing and so on which I like so much I ma 100% happy on rainy days.
      Well done not he price comparisons. Sometimes it is not what you think i.e. the cheap shops being more expensive than the hardware store! So it pays to do some checking.
      I hope your passionfruit take off! They will be lovely. It sounds like you have had good rains now.
      You have reminded me to oil my sewing machine too!
      Have a great week. I hope you get a glimpse of sunshine at some point. It helps. Today we have some sun but it was so cold last night!
      Lots of love,

  6. Hi Annabel,

    This is really good advice...I usually try to get in and get out as fast as possible, as I hate shopping, though I do shop by the sale flyers each week. But it would be worth my while to take my time once in a while and I'm sure I would be surprised by the savings!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      I really don't like the shops when they are busy so I pick the quieter times and that helps. And the system might be different in NS to here. But I follow the specials closely each week and plan around them but overall the biggest bargains are the mark downs rather than the advertised specials. The mark downs are mostly in the meat, bakery and fruit and veg departments. (But can be anywhere) This is how I get my biggest bargains. It does take some time. But the other day I got $26 worth of fancy bread rolls, turkish bread etc for $3 and $12 worth of fruit and veggies for $3. It was so much food I can use and freeze. So I figure I earned $32 for my trouble which I guess was an extra half an hour. Thats ok money! So look at it that way and see if it pays in your stores. Also ask the staff questions. I hope it works!
      Have a good week! I hope the weather is cooperating so you can get your planting all done! With love

  7. This week I decided to make breakfast sausage crumbles to use in breakfast burritos, omelettes, breakfast casseroles, etc. I got the lean ground pork marked down at grocery a week ago and so I set to work! Oh,no! I didn't have any sausage seasoning! I googled and found a recipe for making a large quantity and I had a 1 pound spice container that I had just emptied and washed so I was in business! Took me all of 5 minutes to make the mix, label the spice container and add the right amount to my pork! I cooked up the pork after letting it marinade overnight in the fridge and I had 4 pounds of breakfast sausage! Typically, I crumble it up with my hands, but it occurred to me that I could put it into my food processor to crumble it up! Sure enough, in 45 seconds, the sausage was evenly crumbled and I was able to package it into 2 cup portions to freeze for later use!

    Looking on Amazon, the amount of seasoning mix I made would have been about $6! I made 17 sausage, egg and cheese breakfast burritos- $34. I put 18 (2 cup) packages of sausage crumbles into the freezer- $30!

    We sold and were paid for another 5 state outline maps from our free pallet wood- $75.
    We built our own back fence gate from leftover cedar remnants- $50.
    Took out old chain link fencing- $150.
    We were given 2 big bags of day old bagels, baguettes, ciabatta- $100. Used the already cut baguettes to make our hero burgers under the broiler for dinner, but we also had enough for 8 individual lunch portions- $60 . The bagels will be used for breakfasts plus many will be frozen for future use!
    I made mini pizzas out of some of the flat bread, using up leftover pepperoni in the fridge and homemade pizza sauce that I canned for lunches.
    Did many of our usual recycling/no spend things this week as well. Savings this week- a little over $585!
    I'm happy!!

    1. Dear Gardenpat,
      Well done on making your own season mix! That is a great saver and it sounds like you will have plenty ready ahead now as well.
      I love the sound of your breakfasts too.
      I am astonished by the bagels etc you were given! $100 value is huge and then I know you will turn them into meals and times that figure by many! That is fantastic. And yum. I love bagels!
      I saw your state cut out pallets. I love them! This is a success! Each week you are reporting earnings from the pallets. I have seen something and I think I should try and find it to send you. It is pallet wood rectangle. Then it is painted (like a tint so the wood grain shows through and looks very faded) to be the American flag. It looks rustic and vintage. I love it! I can imagine this being a great gift or seller. Not that you need any more to do or make!
      Your savings and earnings were excellent. Well done! I hope this is another great week! With love

  8. Annabel, looking and searching out the better deals are part of the challenge of stretching our monies to their fullest. You've given us some ideas for different places to look, thank you! I saved $250 in our Vicky Challenge this week ... Yeah!!!!

    1. Dear Patsy,
      You are already a champion of this! We have different stores here but the principal is just the same and I see the amazing deals you get! It is a massive money stretcher/pantry filler!
      Well done not the savings! It is sure adding up to be a major amount. I think we will be in for a shock to see our yearly totals!
      Have a great week Patsy, Love

  9. Annabel,
    I made $700 in cash this week! Yay! I have been hanging all laundry out to dry, but what I do is keep track of how many loads I've hung and then at the end of the season add my savings in the same with stamps. I paid bills over the phone. Rick saved $40 at yard sales, I gave myself a mani/pedi $20, my Mom gifted us a $50 Red Lobster gift card(hanging my head in shame I can't cook seafood) and we rarely eat out so we will save this for a special occasion. I have been spending lots of time in the garden so later I think I'll have big savings! My sister and her family was in Orlando on vacation at the time of the shooting so we were worried because they were only 10 minutes away from what was happening, but they are ok and on their way home.
    Looking in different places is excellent advice! I have found things on bottom shelves, in carts, like you in freezer sections and I love to get marked down bread and rolls and make garlic bread! Sometimes it pays big to browse or check places you don't normally shop if you have the time.

    1. Dear Vicky,
      Oh Vicky I didn't know about your sister being in Orlando. That was a worry. What a shocking thing. As far away as here I have felt somewhere between sick and terrified myself. I am so glad they were all ok.
      Garlic bread is a great thing to make from day old rolls etc. Totally yummy and fills everyone up.
      Well done on such an excellent week. The money you made was a great cash injection! Also the seafood meal a lovely treat!
      I hope this week is equally good! With love,

  10. Enjoyed your post,
    I also enjoy reading the comments that follow.
    I have been searching out surprise sections in the stores also.
    We had an excellent meal last night, potatoes and green beans, and corn bread, from my visit to my MIL's a few night ago along with some left over crock pot marked down stew beef cubes, and some sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. Not sure of the savings, but free is always nice
    I just had a go round with the leaky faucet outside, and did my own mowing. So no plumber needed, and the grass will hold for another week. At least $100.00 savings between them. My husband also repaired the front end under the vehicle, it took him over two weeks, but he did the work, very slowly, it's necessary for him to go slow, and we ordered the parts on line, and saved over $500.00 on both.
    Still trying to make a good difference here to home.

    1. Thank you Annie!
      Your dinner sounds lovely. I love cornbread!
      Well done on the mowing. And very well done to your husband. That was a huge saving and it is wonderful he can do this kind of work.
      This all added up to a lot! Week by week Annie all these savings really accumulate. Many thanks for sharing your week. With love

  11. Dear Annabel,
    I didn't track all we've saved over the past week, as we don't spend without saving. We've made that a habit our entire married lives. We buy sales, use coupons, and watch for reduced prices, plus compare prices.
    I listed some of our savings for last week on Friday, but I just wanted to share with you today's savings. I was pretty excited about these. My daughter and I went to Hancock (which by now you know is going out of business here) and to Hobby Lobby. At Hancock, I spent $31.59 and saved $55.79. At Hobby Lobby, due to an excellent sale, I spent $7.76 and saved $54.08.My total expenditure today was $39.35 and I saved $109.87.I purchased six yards of Kona fabric, five patterns, four pieces of pre-cut fabric, and file folders for my planner.
    I think your post of looking at different locations in a store for the same or similar item is very enlightening. Thank you.
    With love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      You are a good shopper and do a lot of thinking and planning. It really pays off.
      It is a shame about Hancocks closing I know you like that store. Hopefully as they get closer to closing there will be great specials, it sounds like it already.
      The season are a big factor in what part of the store to look in. Ie for tomatoes in summer they are a good price. In winter it is often cheaper to buy tinned tomatoes or dried... depending on what you want to make of course. Many things are like that... a wide variety of prices year round.
      I hope you have a good week Glenda! With thanks, Love

  12. Today is my day for heading to the local IGA for the mark downs that they hide in the store. It isn't a very large store but most people forget to look in the bakery, fruit and veg and 'fridge sections of the store.

    They have 2 cardboard boxes set up that have mark downs in - the obvious one is at the end of a checkout that I have never seen used. Never know what you are going to find in it or on the check out belt.

    The other one is at the end of a fruit and veg section but they do have some mark downs in the 'fridge section.

    I have learnt to walk every aisle and check every where. The meat does get marked down but not by a huge amount. I only buy the meat if it is something I am after and I don't want to make the drive elsewhere.

    Knowing what you use and how to use items that are often found on mark down is the key to making it work. No good picking things up if you are not going to use them or in the case of toiletry items they come on a better special elsewhere. Even marked down cream is not a special when I can get double the size at Aldi for just a few cents more with a long use by date.

    Sunday my husband sorted out a picture that I picked up reduced when on holiday last year. The frame was broken but also a basic white rectangular frame. I had a brown timber frame which was non basic that was just about the right size - swapped the picture into the brown frame and now it will be a show piece in the sitting room rather than disappear.

    Not sure what the saving is on that.

    I have 4 smaller frames that need to be refinished that I want to hang beside this larger frame, my old primary school atlas will give me the pictures I want to frame.

    Annabel I am after your wool wash recipe and do you think I can find it - can you please point me in the right direction.

    Time for me to get organised and head to the local IGA to see what they have in their mark downs this week.

    Have a great week everyone


    1. Dear Lynette,
      You have your stores habits well worked out. Truly you have to know where to look or else we would miss out.
      This is the link tot he post with the wool wash. Sorry, difficult to find due to being in a friday post...
      When you make it for a while it looks like a liquid. But over night it sets and becomes white. Then you dissolve the amount you need in hot water and distribute that into your warm water for woollens, or the washing machine. I really love this recipe.
      Lovely idea on the frames and also using the old atlas. Old maps are really lovely.
      I am off to do my shopping tomorrow. I will be hoping to find good mark downs as the advertised specials aren't very good for me this week.
      Have a good week Lynette, with love

    2. Thankyou for that Annabel - I didn't go back far enough. Forgot that I thought it was strange you were making woolmix in February.

      When you do your groceries tomorrow have a look for the 4 ingredient slow cooker book - it is new and free if you buy 2 gourmet garden products.

      No markdowns for me today - my husband thinks that they have got me sussed out but I have noticed that there are times when the markdowns are not that great. Hopefully I can pick up some markdowns when I am on the Island late tomorrow afternoon.


    3. Lynette thank you! I went looking and I got that free book! I would never have found it myself! They had no books on display and a tiny sign! But I got it! xxx

  13. Hi Annabel! I absolutely have to try making pumpkin scones, I'm sure they would be a hit around here. Though I too have a terrible record when it comes to scones rising!

    At my local supermarkets the 'section' that is always spread out all over the place is the gluten free food. They have a gluten free section, but the gluten free pasta is with the regular pasta, the gluten free flour is with the regular flour, and some brands of gluten free bread and baked goods are in the gluten free section, while others aren't. It's ridiculous! If a shopper assumed that there was just the gluten free section they could easily spend a lot more than if they knew of the other bits scattered around the shop. This is the same in all three of the supermarkets near us.

    Also, totally off topic, I remember someone mentioned in the comments fairly recently about a homemade window cleaner that is great. I can't find the comment, so thought I would ask if anyone could please point me in the right direction?


    1. Dear Jen,
      I think you will love pumpkin scones! If you have had trouble as I did then add an egg and extra baking powder... and make sure your mix is very moist. I think that is the cure. It is not strictly right but better than the rocks I previously produced!
      That is a good tip about gluten free items. I have found that with other things... you think it would be all in one spot but no it is like a treasure hunt.
      The window cleaning method (which I love) is on One Good thing by Jillee. It is a bucket of warm water, drops of dish detergent and dishwasher rinse aid. Tell me if you can't find it but it is worth reading there... the dish washing rinse aid means it dries itself clean and clear and you do not even have to wipe down the windows. I love clean windows and I am bad at getting them streak free. This gives a sparkly finish better than I normally achieve. Its quite quick too. Speaking of... I need to do mine! Also because this is easier I do windows more often. It makes a difference! I hope you like it.
      Let me know how you go with scones and windows when you get time to do them! With love

  14. Hi Annabel. My hand is sore but in recovery. My knuckles are a delightful shade of blue.
    This week we looked in places we normally wouldn't look. Our recliners needed replacing. A local, usually far too expensive, furniture store had a fantastic sale on it's lazy boy furniture. We picked up 2 recliners with 50% off the second one. Bluey wasn't happy with this and negotiated further. We ended up getting 60% off and free delivery. This equated to a $500 saving.
    Our press button car key lock was causing all sorts of issues and required a new battery every 3 weeks. It was both annoying and costly. To get a Nissan key was over $300. I went to our local locksmith and he was able to organise a generic flip key lock for just under $200. Once again looking in other places for a better deal saved nearly $150.
    I was looking in a sales bin at Spotlight and found several pieces of fabric plus some black tulle with silver stars all over it. This is now made into an outfit. Looking forward to showing you this one.
    With all of our looking in unusual places we managed to save close to $1200. Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane., You have gone from bad to bad or worse! Firstly I hope your stitches continued to heal and that is all fine. Now with your hand... you did a good job of that (having seen a picture!) I think that is going to be very sore and take rest.
      The saving on the keys was a lot. That is an excellent tip. Branded things seem to be much more expensive but many people wouldn't know you can get keys that way.
      Also the chairs sound like you got a great deal there.
      I know you had your eye on the tutu Vicky made.... so I am imagining what you have made maybe! I can't wait to see!
      I hope you are not in heaps of pain with your hand. With love,

  15. Dear Annabel

    Such a lovely week it has been weather wise here in Adelaide. Besides the frost and very cold starts to the morning but the days are wonderful. We have been saving money here because we are not too fussed about having a different meal every night. So Miss Ebony and I will just make do and eat the same meal two or even three nights in a row. This saves on cooking extra meals not using the power and also not spending "extra" on quick trips to the store for extra ingredients.

    I make all meals from scratch and make all our lunches for work/school saving at least $20 per day. I have also begun taking individual porridge sachets to work for my breakfast. I got them on sale and they turn out to be 25 cents each. Instead of getting hungry mid morning and buying something from the food dispensing machine. So saving me at least $2 per day if not more.

    I made cards for a variety of occasions. I have been planting fruit trees for future savings and sewing cross stitch bibs from materials I already have, these take a while to do but they are gorgeous and make great gifts.

    I too have found a great saving in the supermarket. The girls love the Yiros meats you buy in the supermarket but they are quite expensive. In Drakes supermarket near my work they repackage the seasoning into smaller family friendly amounts and for only $2.25 we have enough to flavour/season meats and chicken for 10 meals if not more. This saves me $10 per kilo on chicken yiros meat and $15 per kilo on lamb yiros meat.....Loving it

    God Bless and have a great day

    1. Dear Mel, The sunshine has been great! I have had washing out and tried to get out in it too. But the nights are so cold! I think I am feeling it more this year.
      Well done on all your cooking. Also it is brilliant to take porridge to work on early starts! They are filling, warming and keep you going. Thats really good idea.
      The cards and gifts sound lovely. It is nice having things to work on when theres a moment to continue on.
      That is a great tip with the Yiros seasoning. What a big saving! Good discovery. It is handy having a good supermarket near work too.
      I hope you have a good week Mel. I am pleased you have been planting fruit trees too, I nearly forgot that! They will love the soil now and hopefully take off for you! With love,

  16. I have found items in the grocery such as you describe that are less expensive in one area of a store than in another. I too look in alternate stores. The best buy on frozen pizza I've ever seen was at the drugstore! Also sometimes a good spot to buy milk. I sometimes find good buys on cleaners (I only use one or two) at the dollar store. I find Target is the best place to buy zippered freezer bags. I look everywhere I go to I look to see what might be less expensive for my budget.


I really appreciate your comments thank you! The aim of my blog is the be a place of encouragement and happiness. Very rarely is anyone rude. Actually only twice so far! If you post a rude or aggressive comment I will read it but not publish it, thanks for

Spam is never published... if you are advertising a product or selling website your comment wont be published. I am inundated with stuff about drugs, horses and weird things! I am not going to publish this stuff! Thank you.