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 26 June 2016

The Vicky Challenge.

My Vicky challenge last week was a bit of this and a bit of that. But as usual this adds up!

I made Miracle Cleaner and then added cleaning cloths and some that I get ready in a jar, pre moistened, to use as quick polishing cloths. They look and smell lovely which is somehow motivating!

It is hard to say how much this saves. It replaces a lot of purchased cleaning products though and will last me months. So I will say $30.

I made Golden Syrup Pudding, Scalloped potatoes (in big quantities) and all the meals as always.

I sent all packed lunches and drinks. Saving $100.

And finished another little embroidered top.

Being the end of the month I add up what I would have paid if I had my hair cut, colour, blow dry, nails and toes all done locally. This certainly boosts the week (by $380 a whopping $380 in fact!)

All up I ended up writing $850 in my savings book. And now it is almost time to add up another month! After all these weeks I am getting to know what an average week is so in my mind I usually think in terms of this was a good week, not so good week or great weak! But it doesn't matter, they just all add up. 

Since last weeks challenge I have been baking and I checked some prices against the local bakery and the pizza place we used to love to get pizzas from. This was a good exercise! The baking I had out on the kitchen bench was equal to almost $300 of baked goods from these places. I was amazed by that. It doesn't even seem possible. But thats what it would cost to buy. So when you look at things this way it is very motivating. You can live so well making things yourself. 

How was your week?  What do you make that saves you so much money over the purchased version? 
Next time you are out and about check what that now costs and figure out what you save per year! 

We have some sunshine and my day includes baby sitting, shopping and bulk cooking!  Have a great day and week! xxx


  1. I couldn't help but notice how pretty your polishing cloths were in the jar. It would motivate me knowing I could use those to do the polishing. :)

    1. Dear Debbie, Thanks! I really love having the made up and looking nice. It is sort of a pleasure to use them... as far as cleaning can be a pleasure!
      Have a great week, with love

  2. You had a great week again Annabel! I have been very slack on recording my savings of late, but just make them as a standard matter of course even so. :-)

    Last week I went to find some interim clothing at the $1 day at our op shop. While I am losing weight (between sizes) this is great! I bought 4 pairs of black pants over two sizes. I bought my daughter some clothing as well. Savings well over $300, as were expensive labels a few of them. ($60 items or more!)

    I had usual savings on fruit and veg and half price items at supermarkets and greengrocers. Was able to cash in my Coles points for $100 total and will use this to buy half priced items over the next few months. Saved $8 on fuel for the month.

    Talking of home made meals, there is a fortune for sure in our homemade goodies! I never count these, but my daughter's new boyfriend thinks I am some kind of home chef genius making things from scratch! :-) (had a good laugh over this!)

    I used a $50 gift voucher to buy $98 worth of homewares for $50.65(value of voucher plus 65c from me) bought some large bakeware for lasagnes etc. they were half price plus 10% off! I bought a lovely footed mug (not half price) but a real joy to use every day as my other favorite one sadly got chipped. I also made up the balance with some lovely heavily discounted glossy cards.

    Hope everyone had a productive week! Look forward to reading every reply here, even if I don't always comment! Xo

    1. Dear Kaye,
      Well done on the op shopping and good buys. That is a big saving straight away.
      Well it sounds like you have greatly impressed the boyfriend! Good! The Masterchef success shows me a lot of young people are really cooking, learning and mad about it. It is so nice to see! And I notice that kitchen ware, cook ware, cook books etc are all everywhere. I am so glad of this! Yay cooking is cool and we have been doing it all along!
      Your purchases from your gift vouchers sound very nice! That would have been fun too.
      Thanks so much Kaye, have another great week. With love

  3. Your numbers are impressive, I have been doing my own hair and nails for so long I never put numbers to it. WOW $120.00 would be my guess a month savings. Who knows it could be more it's been years since I've been to a beauty parlor .

    1. Dear tealady,
      You might be saving even more than you think! I went in to two hairdressers close to me that I walk past regularly. I grabbed price lists and from those I worked out what I did per month and the costs. I haven't paid for hair services in years so it was a shock. Then I asked the giles had I picked expensive salons? But they say no way these are ordinary salons and "reasonable" prices. I had however paid for manicures and pedicures more recently and I went by the prices I had paid for those.
      What amazes me is that the yearly total is so huge. It is so worth it. SO I tell the young girls about this as its a house deposit over a few years!
      Have a lovely week! With love

  4. Hello Annabel, great week for you! Not much to report here, but I am going to make pocket warmer heat packs. Yesterday it was so cold here that even my man was struggling. It was 5.5 degrees in the house after we got home after a pleasant walk through Healesville Sanctuary. Anyway we had jobs to do outside and I heated up a small heating pack that is for the wombat ladies and stuck it in my pocket. I made all different sizes and shapes and the smallest one was the size of a saucer and round. So that kept my hand warm walking through the bush. Made me think about making a set of small ones. Obviiously when doing something your hands are out but how nice to slip them back into the pocket for a quick reheat between tasks or when walking. I think they will be popular. Have a great week Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      Pocket hand warmers would be very nice. I always think of people waiting for buses etc in the cold and also of the story of how Mums used to warm potatoes for the pockets of their children, if that is true. I think it is. Maybe Ireland? Anyway how nice to have something to warm your hands when its freezing!
      I am really feeling the cold. I can't tell if it is colder or I am feeling it more. My heat packs are heated so many times in 24 hours!
      I hope you have a good week too Fiona. With love

  5. Hi Annabel. My miracle cleaner is green this time around as this is the colour of the washing detergent that I used. I need to make up a jar of new cloths as the last lot were used up cleaning the caravan. I also need to make up a new set in a plastic container to take away in the van when we hit the road later in July.
    This week I saved a lot of money by choosing to clean up rather than replace some items. My good Sheridan pillows were flat and seemed like they had gone past their used by date. I washed them, using your wool wash, and then put them out in the sun over a period of 5 days. In that time the last of the stains were sun bleached out. By giving the pillows a good bashing each day they have dried lovely and fluffy once more. These pillows are $90 each new.
    Bluey and I went off to a caravan and camping expo. Bluey was after a box for the generator and a new hitch for the van. We came home with neither of these but with knowledge of local businesses who sell them. We did come home with a small hand held vacuum sealer and bags. Years ago we had one of these but somewhere along the line I lost it or threw it out. They're fabulous for extending the life of food when you're on the road. Buying at the expo saved us around $50 of the shop value.
    I had a friend who has been quite unwell for the last week. With work and my own injury issues I haven't been able to get around to see her. Yesterday I baked up a dozen scones and put these in a basket with jam and cream, a couple of bottles of preserves out of the cupboard, and took them around to her. This gift would have cost at least $60 if bought. My friend loved it and happened to have a few people who had dropped in. As she's been unwell she didn't have much more to offer than tea and coffee. Scones to the rescue. These were your Hilde's scones and were simply delicious. Recipe was taken away by all.
    This weeks savings came in at just over $600. Life is good.

    PS Fi I love the idea of handwarmers. I have a sister and her family freezing away in Bathurst. Might have to make a few and send them down.

    1. i believe Bathurst gets very chilly Jane. I'm sure they'd be really appreciated. FI

  6. Dear Annabel, that IS a great week! I am pleased with my week too. Like you, self maintenance like deep conditioning hair, trims, straightening and toning at home, all saves big dollars. I'd say here, around $100 a week at least. Digging deep into the freezer and having a few nights of 'tapas' or 'bento box' dinners, uses up lots of odds and ends, and I think that's saved us at least another $150 on the takeaway alternatives. Shopping smart, and going to Aldi, buying marked down meat and produce and baking at home saves at least another $100. And generating gifts for now and the future...well, who knows? I'll say $350 worth last week with 3 dreamcatchers, 5 altered art clipboards, and 6 embellished pillowcases added to the gift stash. I'll call my total $700, and be very chuffed with that! Lots of love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      Now you have mentioned this I will go have a look at the dreamcatchers for sale in a trendy shop near me. Its a clothing store and they have them hanging outside in the sunshine on nice days. They are white, lace, very shabby chic. I never looked at the price! I will... and if I can sneak one of my "spy" photos I will too! It is all amazing when you see what they are charging but I love to snoop for ideas! The pillowcases also would cost a fortune in a store. And I haven't seen anything like them...
      Well done! These things and cooking = amazing savings! With love,

  7. Does going to a warm shopping centre instead of staying home and putting the heater on on a freezer day count, Annabel? LOL! I did save money last week but my brain is too cold to think about what it was at the moment. :-)

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, It is cold here too! And I have been feeling it! Heat packs are getting a work out!
      I hope you are having a good week! With love, Annabelxxx

  8. Hi Annabel!

    You've got it! You're making the mundane more beautiful! That's worth so much!

    I made your golden syrup pudding a while back, and my husband really liked it. I am careful with oven time, since it runs off diesel, but will have to make it again. Maybe a fireplace cook top version could open up new horizons?

    I am sure Fiona's pocket warmers would be wonderful. I haven't yet tried heat packs without a microwave (nor with a microwave, for that matter!). Does anyone have any clues here? We do use hot water bottles.

    Jane's experience with sun bleaching gives a warm reminder. Thanks, Jane!!

    The wind is up a little, again ..... The broccoli was up first, in the garden, followed by the garlic. The green peas are on time, and I need to plant more, to stagger the crops. Some beetroot are on their way, too. I love watching the garden grow. Some crops are new for me. Others I have not yet grown successfully. I am using a new seed company, and fresh seed, that being heirloom seed rather than other non hybrid or certified organic seed.

    Today, I cooked a chook in enamelled cast iron on the fireplace. All I added was a little butter, and it cooked beautifully! We also cooked some soup mix and extra barley to add to yesterday's stew/soup made from lamb meat bones, after I cut the fat off. We ate a leg of chicken each for lunch. Then, during the afternoon, I asked my husband what he would like for tea, and he said he wasn't hungry! I said that I wasn't hungry either, so we've got food in the fridge to last days!!

    My husband is cleaning rust off mower/tractor wheel parts, and doing the final drying by the fire. Our washing hangs from ropes around the fire. The wool wash and laundry liquid, along with the warmth of water therapy, are making ordinary jobs more inviting, especially considering the bitterly cold weather.

    What do I make that saves so much over the purchased version? Well, this is a bit repetitive, so I'll think of this as being a bit of a summary, knowing that there are more projects ahead of me to try. I make laundry liquid, which normally doubles for soaking and, sometimes, cleaning. It is what I recommend for travellers who do hand washing. I now make wool wash mix. It is wonderful, and the eucalyptus oil brightens the head while washing! I make lamp wicks with what is on hand. I saw, today, that these can be $8 for a set, via the internet, not including postage. This gets rather expensive. I make my own hot potato chips in olive oil. I don't know where one could buy chips made in olive oil, especially out in the bush here. I improve on chip making as I get better, so I reckon ours are worth a fair bit! In winter, simply stirring a little molasses (what sticks to the spoon) into hot milk can be a very warming and nutritious beverage. It warmed my feet tonight. This is less costly, than many drinks, on the budget and health. Making things for the home and household from sheeting is another - which Bluebirds has taught me. I hope to show you this and other things as I get my act together!

    Some home made projects save both money and health (&, in turn, more money). For anyone on such a journey, I recommend Joybilee Farm's articles on gentle healing using simple everyday applications. These include a tooth powder for remineralising teeth; a women's only article for decreasing cramping, etc by avoiding commercial, chemical-laden products; ointments using plants and trees that could be in your own locality; and more. This might just help someone.

    It was a late autumn, and now we have this bitter weather with ferocious winds. I don't think it's just you, Annabel! I might mention, though, that I have noticed one op shop that puts out 'wool overs' & soft, woollen dresses with their night wear. I had never thought of this before. A woollen nightie like this is wonderfully warm. How would I know?!!

    Keep warm! It is important!!

    Rachel Holt

    1. Rachel Bluey has made golden syrup dumplings in the camp oven on an open fire. They were amazing!

    2. Dear Rachel, I looks like you could indeed make the pudding on a camp oven, thank you Jane for letting us know that!
      Also planning so that when the oven is on it is full and adding the pudding down the bottom while something else is cooking is a saving too.
      You make lots of things that save heaps Rachel.
      You made an excellent point...saving our health is tied in so much. I will go and read this website you mentioned thank you very much! This is just what I need and am thinking about right now.
      That op shop is clever. For years the girls likes Peter Alexander which is lovely pyjamas etc. I loved the catalogues. There was precious little difference between nightmare and daywear as long as it was super soft and comfy. I adopted that. Many of my dressing gowns are just large size cardigans. Also super soft fine knitwear is gorgeous. Plus stretch knit jersey etc. Lovely!
      Keep warm! Knitting near the fire would be ideal! With lots of love,

  9. Dear Annabel,
    You had a wonderful week of savings and adding to your home. I love the jar of polishing clothes. The Golden Syrup Pudding looks delicious.
    I think it is going to be so interesting to see the yearly end result when people tally up their years savings. I'm very sure it will come to much more than an annual salary. The side perks of being home for children; being available for family, friends, and neighbors; volunteering time, food, and services to others; and having a well organized and well run home, are worth more than any number value that could be assigned to them.
    Have a wonderful week everyone.
    Love and a big hug,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      Thank you so much! I think you are right... whatever the final tally is we have to add what we would have had to earn to that to allow for how much tax we would have paid... let alone if we extracted work place expenses, travel and so on. This could be surprising. So our totals will be more than what we could have earned less all of these things I am fairly confident, in my own case at least.
      My Dad always says that the best fertiliser on a farm is the farmers feet. In the same way I think the best thing for a home is being in it! You can't seem to pay someone to care about either as we ourselves do!
      I hope you are having a good week. it is a very interesting week! With love,

  10. Hi Darling Annabel~
    Those are THE prettiest cleaning cloths I've ever seen :) and your Miracle Cleaner is pretty pink, too! I'm saving your recipe for golden syrup pudding for our Winter here (in California) looks so good! This week I painted our rather ugly lazy Susan cup rack pink and decoupaged white doilies on it and am making a curtain for the under sink area today. Fun stuff! XX

    1. Dear Mary,
      After your recent photos of your painting and prettied up things I hope you will send me photos of the cup rack and under sink curtain! I just love those! A pretty curtain is gorgeous! What lovely projects!
      Watching for pretty sheets both cotton of flannelette is my best source of fabric for my hankies, dust cloths and many projects. At the moment I have a heap of lovely ones saved and ready to use! I keep looking a them! But I think I will sew in summer as I am knitting and crocheting now.
      Much love to you Mary,

  11. Annabel, the cloths in the jar ready for use are such a good idea! I have just never thought about that. You had a good week! I harvested more cucumbers this morning so will be preserving cucumbers again today ... after I get today's assigned pantry inventory job completed.

    1. Dear Patsy, They are all moisten with the Miracle cleaner and ready to go. The whole jar smells good. Also when I get one out I will keep using it around the house until it needs to go into the wash so extra dusting gets done. They go into the wash and I re use most of them.
      Cucumbers! Your harvest is going well. A great time to build up the pantry. Very happy to hear of all your activity and savings, they have been wonderful. With love,

  12. That bunny is so cute!

    We paid money to make money later. We paid a tree service company $850 to trim 20 large oak trees in our front yard. The tree service guy told me that we had increased the value of our property by 25 to 35 thousand dollars by doing so! This will come back to us when we sell our house in the near future. I had no idea!

    1. Dear Lana,
      I hope you do very well when selling your home. Presentation is certainly a big factor. Street appeal etc is all important for sure.
      Thanks for commenting on my bunny! I am having fun back on embroidery after many years away from it and especially seeing Harper wearing it. Much love,

  13. Hi Annabel,

    I love your beautiful miracle cleaner...I need to try some! Some of the things I make that save us lots of money over the year...laundry detergent, for sure, and growing the garden. We simply couldn't afford to go to farmer's markets and buy the quantities of many of the foods we freeze/can, etc....and some of the things we grow and love to eat aren't even available elsewhere! Buying flowers isn't in my budget, either, but I love them, so growing them is a big saver.

    And on that note, the carrots are up!! I will hopefully be able to send you some photos of the garden as it progresses. And I finished the cabled socks today! It was SOOO hot that we took the afternoon off and I sat in the breeze and knitted. And now I'm off to water in the relative coolness of the evening.

    xxJen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      I lov that you include flowers with your vegetable growing. Your garden will look glorious too. And attract bees!
      Wow! This is so nice that possibly you will harvest carrots and think of me!
      On Wednesday I will call for show and tell photos... but feel free to show me those cabled socks anytime! Well done. That is a complicated project in my mind!
      Many thanks Jen, I hope the week is going well, With love

  14. Good morning everyone from a not too warm Queensland. The sky is blue and the sun is out but those winds - they remind me of living in Melbourne.

    Our houses are generally built for the summer heat so when it is as cold as this we really feel it.

    Our little kerosine heater has been put to use - it at least takes the chill off a room even if it doesn't heat the whole house.

    Love those cleaning cloths Annabel, who wouldn't enjoy house work using something so pretty?

    My money saving thing that I do and have been doing for about 25 or so years is to make up my own cough mixture - this was from a recipe that was in the newspaper at the time and while the base ingredient (glycerine) is a bit on the expensive side - you only need to make up as much as is needed so it works out cheaper than buying a regular bottle of cough stuff and then throwing it away before the start of next winter because it has gone out of date.

    The mixture is equal quantities of glycerine and lemon juice (cheaper to make if you have your own lemon tree) and enough honey to suit your taste. Give it a good shake (I make mine up in a small bottle) with the lid on and you are set to go.

    It cuts through the muck dripping down the back of the throat from the nose and sooths the throat.

    My other all time thing is to use salt water for wound care - a mixture of boiled water and salt to clean wounds or soak the wound area in.

    As you can see I got tired of throwing good money away when things went out of date in the medicine cabinet.

    Time for me to brave the cold - have a good day everyone


    1. Dear Lynette, Thank you for these tips. I notice this, the medicines and even tubes of ointment etc all expire and it seems quickly. Now and then I have a clean out and replace and these are expensive things.
      The cold wind is freezing and the nights are ridiculous! It is surprising it is so cold there in QLD. We do the same... we don't heat the whole house just take the edge off the room we are in.
      Many thanks Lynette, love

  15. Dear Annabel, thank you for another lovely blog post. I always feel inspired, motivated and encouraged when reading your blog posts and the comments and replies that follow. My vicky challenge week included:
    Lunch out with my mum , paid for by her , saving me $25 ( we went to sizzler buffet resturaunt) . I used a colouring book ( an adults one but suitable for children) out of my gift cupboard for a last minute gift for a friend of my nieces so she did not feel left out when my nieces were opening their birthday gifts at a celebration dinner. Saving of $10 , gratefully received a large shepards pie made by my mum which gave me four meals , I estimate $30 for this. Received 2 other meals from my parents $15 saving. My Dad bought me some lady finger bananas ( I am allergic to cavendish) and would not accept any money for them $5 saving. I am using some cards I have made to send to a friend $25 saving. My subsidised cleaning as usual saved me at least $40 compared to what I would pay a professional company. ( 2 hours cleaning a week plus my ladies go above and beyond their duties) . Bought myself a much needed compact mirror and saved $7 , it is beautiful ( silver with pink butterflies on it) , it was a treat for myself that I needed also. I saved $50 at least in physiotherapy fees yesterday by using another of my free visits( I have 2 more free visits this year)
    I saved at least $30 on transport fees by getting lifts with my dad ( I buy his newspaper at least once a week and other small gifts too, he does not expect it though). I used 3 notebooks I decorated as small gifts( compared to what gift shops sell them for I estimate I saved $15 for 3 books. I saved about $30 on groceries and received $10 off when doing my online shopping and entering a coupon code to use as compensation for not getting something that was promised with my grocery order plus I got a coupon code for free delivery when online shopping saving me $11 . I also received $10 rewards dollars for spending over $100 and entering a coupon code and using my rewards card when doing my fortnightly shop so a total grocery saving of approximately $60 . I think that will do for this week Annabel or you will need a full page for my comment!!. Total savings for the week approximately $312 , not bad for a quiet week.
    You had a great week Annabel, love the pink miracle cleaner. I gave all the " ingredients " to name it so I must finally get around to making it !. Have a good week . Love Barb W

    1. Dear Barb,
      Thank you so much and also for sharing your week. You had lots of savings across a lot of categories! Doest it all add up!?
      The miracle cleaner really makes the house smell clean and fresh. Also no chemicals that pollute the air in the home. It goes a long way too as you dilute it into a bucket of container. I miss the scent if I don't have it. Also you need no air fresheners or anything as this is lovely on its own. That can be another saving.
      I hope you are having a good week and keeping warm! With lots of love and thanks,

  16. Hi Annabel!
    This week was yard saleing week. We are trying to fill in the ditch that goes through the property, but we have to use culvert and we got a new piece that would cost us $200 for $10 savings us $190! 2 rocking chairs for the deck that just need a little paint will saved us $100 and a table and some plastic chairs $40. Rick made $450 this week fixing mowers and $100 cutting a tree down with a friend. I got 3 free containers of dog food $6 and diapers $10 Rick went to Lowe's to see what mistinted paint they had for the rocking chairs since it's usually discounted and found a gallon for $9, but it qualified for a $10 rebate! so free paint. The chickens gave us 3 dozen eggs $6 AND I found an old dime in the garden! I was thrilled because usually I find stupid stuff like old butter knives or forks that are all bent. I also used 4 gallons of water from the dehumidifier in the garden. Let's say $1.50. Not a bad week.
    P.S. Fiona I love your hand warmers that is a great idea!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      I really love the idea of rocking chairs for outside on the deck! That will be beautiful.
      Rick did really well. Good team work! Nicely done on the free paint!
      Maybe you will dig up a treasure someday in the garden! I like finding stuff like old bottles etc.
      I know this week is busy for you but I still hope you make progress on all your projects and everyone will chip in and help. You do a lot!
      With much love,

  17. Dear Annabel,
    You do such a good job on Harper's little tops. Also, the miracle cleaner looks so pretty in your bottles. I will have to look at the recipe for that so I can fill my cleaning closet!
    I did not kept track of my savings last week (or the week before) but today I transferred my loose papers with savings written on them into a notebook for the Vicky Challenge. I will start recording again this week.
    I think my savings will look different being at the ranch. I am thinking of including my cooking and cleaning, as Papa and my FIL used to eat out every day and hired a cleaning lady. Now that I am doing this, I will save them lots of money just on those two things alone. I think writing that down will help me to see that I am helping them. It will be proof to anyone who thinks otherwise and will show any naysayers that I am pulling my weight, so to speak. Or at least it will be encouragement for me if people try to put me down!
    Thank you for all the encouragement here. I think of you and the ladies often throughout the day. Looking at the fireplace, especially, reminds me of Rachel :) I hope everyone has a lovely and productive week!
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      I dont know how it will work but I am thinking if they put into the household the money from eating out and the cleaning lady with this money you will be able to feed everyone so well, build up the pantry and get ahead so much. Plus probably they will be eating much healthier and better! I think they will feel so lucky and spoiled having you do all this looking after them. Yes I would include all of that as it is money saved through your work. It will amount to a lot. They themselves will probably be shocked at the savings.
      Be very proud of your farm and farm house. It is a great asset to your family! As you build things up you will see it flourish!
      I think of you a lot too. And as I go about things I think I must tell the girls this or that. Also I think how I must get going or I will have nothing good to report so it pushes me along!
      Yes if you start knitting near the fire then you will be following in Rachel's footsteps!
      I hope things go well for you this week as you settle in more and get things as you want them. Also hoping you have the fridge in now.
      With lots of love,

  18. Hey Annabel

    Been a muddled up week as I had to fly to Sydney to spend some time with my parents (they are not too well)> I accepted a lift to the airport on the way home saving $80 and also parked the car in the long term parking at the airport for a cost of $80 which saves me $80 on two cab rides from and to home from the airport.

    Whilst away I worked on another cross stitch bib. There is over 20 hours work in them each which means they could never be sold for profit but I love them and my children will also appreciate the amount of work that goes into them. I saved by making do and not going grocery shopping. I used "old" apples to make apple crumble into a desert that lasted us four nights. I made all meals from scratch at home and froze any left overs into one portion serves for the freezer. I dried all washing inside when we had the heater on. I did the budget for the next three months.

    I looked up free knitting and crochet patterns on Pinterest to make gifts with.

    I took all lunches and snacks and drinks to work and DD to school. I made some blank gift cards. Instead of buying yarn for a project straight away I waited and today it came on sale so I bought it saving me over $20 on the project

    Hope you are keeping warm and dry God Bless

    1. Dear Mel,
      I hope your Mum and Dad are ok. I am glad you were able to go to see them.
      I love having a project to take when travelling. Its amazing what you get done and waiting times are less boring and frustrating!
      The hours in making things can be huge! When I sold embroidered rugs really the money per hour was ridiculously low... but the blankets I made for family gifts and glory boxes well they are priceless and I am so glad I did them as they are treasured. And thats what its all about. Your stitching is beautiful!
      You have reminded me to get busy on some apples I have in the crisper. They are well past really fresh but fine for cooking. And I probably have 20 or so!
      The yarn sales seem to be starting up. Spotlight sells of the yarn quite early... when there is still heaps of knitting weather left! This is the time to get it for sure!
      I hope your week is going well and you are keeping warm! With much love,

  19. Dear Annabel,
    This is so inspiring. I learn something new every time I read the entries. The sharing of everyone is a beautiful gift to us all. Annabel, the Miracle Cleaner is wonderful. How much do you dilute it for the cleaning clothes? And it goes without saying that we share a love for all things roses. I had never given much thought to actually costing out all of the money saving things that get done around here, they were just things to make life so much better, like the vegetable garden, canning and freezing food in the summer for the winter, having a stockpile etc. After reading about the Vicky Challenge it makes so much sense to me to see what the savings really are. So, I'm going to start on the adventure this week and begin recording things. It should be interesting to start comparing prices in the stores to what is manufactured at home. This is what I have figured out for this week: I bought 1 package of unsweetened shredded coconut that had 5 cups in it for $3.50 U.S. I made 2 quarts of coconut milk without additives. Two quarts would have cost me $2.50 per 13.5 oz can, or approximately $6 per quart. So $12 saved. From one of the quarts I made a quart of yogurt, which if bought would have been $8, then I dried the wrung out and made it into flour for baking muffins. $4 saved for the flour and at least $24 saved making my own muffins. All the savings came to $48 less the $3.50 for the original bag of coconut, thus making a savings of $44.50, not counting the bit of sugar and eggs that were used for the muffins.When I saw the figures I was astounded. We also ate from our food storage and garden last week, so no grocery bill for 2 weeks. So $50 saved each week that we did this. This week I will need to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things. I'm also planning to make some blueberry jam this week from berries that were in the freezer as my blueberry order comes in next week.

    1. Dear Cookie, In my jar with about six cloths I added about 2 tablespoons of miracle cleaner and half a cup of water. This means they are damp not wet. That seems about right for dusting. You can vary it accordingly i.e. if you are cleaning something greasy then use it stronger.
      Thank you so much for your kind comments!
      The Vicky Challenge was something I never considered. I knew my cooking, making things, gardening etc saved a lot of money and also generated income. But it appealed to me to find out just how much? Mainly I think as I have had a life time of "oh you don't work then?" and know a lot of Mums get this kind of pressure as if they lay on the lounge all day everyday doing nothing when in fact they are working really hard for their families. Vicky told me how she tallied up all her savings and earnings and did a yearly total as it is her job. And she wanted to know how much her job was paying! So this year is my experiment to find out for myself.
      Checking out what things actually cost to buy, the price of services etc is really amazing. Mostly I had no clue. It is very revealing!
      Next... it is very motivating as I think of ways to increase my total!
      I am glad you will join and it is amazing to see what the first weeks total. One tip... take notes each day as it is easy to forget!
      The muffins sound lovely and are a perfect example! And yes its astounding! Tonight I made sausage rolls. I noted the price at the bakery so I could figure out my costs and profits! Huge! I feel quite thrilled with the results!
      I hope you really enjoy the challenge!
      The jam sounds like it will be beautiful!
      Much love,

  20. Dear Annabel,
    Love your Miracle cleaner idea and pre-soaking your cleaning cloths. We've been harvesting zucchini from our garden and wild blackberries from the woods. With our rainy summer we've even enjoyed some chanterelle mushrooms. Lots of savings at the thrift store (op shop) and some yard sale savings. I made several shorts for summer from large mens t-shirts. You can find the instructions online. Just cost me the elastic. Canned a lot of Blueberry Lime jam with berries on sale at the market. Yum!
    Total savings $294.50 for the week. And $1019.20 for the month of June!
    Thanks for the inspiration!


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