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 July 2016

The Vicky Challenge. Plan B.

Welcome to a new week! I am pretty keen to get this week off to a good start and we have some sunshine which has helped me get lots done over the weekend.

My Vicky Challenge for last week:

I made the usual work lunches and coffees saving $100.

Hilde gave me heaps of beautiful lemons.

They are way bigger than the ones in the stores and very juicy. In the store they are currently 98c each. So my lemons are worth around $85!

My mission now is to make them into wonderful things and this will increase their value several more times!

I made 18 individual containers of chicken soup. Single serves of "homemade soup" are around $5 each in the supermarket.  Less the cost of ingredients this saved $75

I made quiches for dinner and spares. I am counting $25 on those.

I made a heap up as mini ones for lunch boxes.

By shopping around I saved $160 on the down pillow I was wanting to buy. So thrilled with that and now this will be a saving in the future. In fact other family members went and got some as they had been on the "too expensive" list and suddenly they were so much more affordable.
I love discoveries like this!

I sewed a heap of flannelette hankies and tore up a heap as well to be "disposables" for sickness. I estimate even if I only count the hemmed ones I saved $96.

The cardigans from the op shop.... one was Sportscraft silk and cotton. It is really gorgeous. I know I saved well over $100 there.

Also I mended a sheet, I extended it's life a lot at least!

I wrote $680 into my savings book.

My savings thoughts for today are about having plan A, plan B and maybe plan C!  Vicky always says how this or that happened and her plan A went west so she went on to plan B. And usually it turns out she got a whole lot of plan B accomplished!
How often is it that our plans fall to pieces due to weather, illness or something!?  It can be really frustrating when we have worked out our plan of attack and it comes to a grinding halt.
Being flexible and going on with something else can be just as good and beneficial.
Doing nothing because the first plan didn't work out is just a waste and infuriating!
Mostly I try and have a plan B. If the weather was suitable I planned to do a lot of pruning, washing and drying, filling the green bins etc this weekend. Plan B was in all likelihood the weather would be terrible and I would sew and cook. Either would be good.
But the sun shone all weekend! I was up and down a ladder pruning our rose arbor, finishing the  pruning of the standard roses,  I pruned my giant Mop Top tree,  filled green bins, dried all the linen in the sun and generally soaked up as much winter sun as possible.
Did I mention I slept well last night!?

This winter has been one big plan B for me. I planned to be painting. It was an unrealistic plan anyway as you are not meant to paint in cold temperatures. And outside painting would be out due to wind and rain. Otherwise my arm injury meant I had to go to Plan B. So over winter I have worked on stocking the freezer, building up the pantry and present cupboards, cleaning and organising inside. At least all these things will be in good order when I get back to painting in spring. Overall I will still get everything done that I planned for the year. Just with different timing!

Another area I love a plan B is shopping. I do not specifically menu plan ahead of time as I do not know what the best specials will be. So I keep an idea of what to make and then shop for the best buys. It might be that I want to make soup and have pumpkin soup in mind. But I will get there are see pumpkins are quite expensive and so will go with plan B which is whatever vegetable is on the best special!
You have to be flexible or you miss out on the best deals.

How do you use plan B to still get things done? It can really help to have a list of things to do on Plan B days. Wash the woollens, sort the photos or various things that can be hard to get to.

Plan B might be substituting an ingredient. Changing major plans. Holidaying at home. Sometimes plan B turns out better than you would have imagined!
The key I learned from Vicky is to be happy and get on with plan B rather than spend the day upset at the demise of plan A.  Having a plan B in mind seems to stop you feeling upset when things go wrong.
A productive day is a productive day!

Now I hope to have a good week and get lots done. Over the weekend we decided to join Costco. We weren't sure but there is something Andy needs for his business that is so much cheaper at Costco the membership will have paid for itself in this one item.  So now to make the most of it for the next year!
Any good tips on Costco would be really helpful!

How did you save and earn last week?
I hope the new week will be a great one for you. xxx


  1. Plan B? We're up to about Plan Z.24. I am giving up on planning. It seems that every time I get a plan underway I do something to injure myself and goodbye plan. Plans lead to injury, so no planning for me.
    If plans had gone the way they were supposed to we would be in Sydney with the son and ready to burst DIL. Nope. We're still in Qld. Betsy, the caravan, is already to go but infections are hanging on. There is the possibility that we will get away by the weekend but I'm not holding my breath. So it's plan B exponential.
    Last week was wet and cold. Both of these weather anomalies are most unusual here on the Fraser Coast. With the weather and sore armpit, not a lot was done outside. I did harvest quite a bit from the garden and this all ended up on the dinner table. No veg was bought this last week.
    Just as a by the way I spotted mashed potato in the supermarket today. It was in a container around the size of the takeaway containers you used for soup. This container of mashed potato was $6. OMG I could not believe my eyes that someone would pay that much for such an easy and cheap veg to prepare!
    With being inside there was a bit of cooking done. There was a slow cooker casserole that was had one night with veg and then two nights later made up into a shepherds pie. This was 6 meals plus 4 single serves now in the freezer. Hilde's scones were made and 6 were frozen into two per bag for taking for the daughters lunches. Hubby bought home some seriously marked down milk in 3L containers. The milk was divvied up into smaller bottles and frozen. He also picked up 3 loaves of free bread. Two were frozen. The freezer is now bursting at the seams. At least the daughter will have some freezer meals to access if she is too tired to cook, whilst we are away.
    I spent a bit of time at the sewing machine, and in the craft room, working on various projects.
    This weeks savings come in at $474.
    Today the sun is shining, it's in the mid 20'sC and is just lovely. The huge pile of washing has been addressed and is slowly drying on the line.
    Life is good.

    1. Jane, I've been recalling how good a very strong sea salt solution can be when applied to an infection, & thought to mention it to you.

    2. Dear Jane, You made me laugh as Z.24 tells a story right there. I think I get to about plan Q or so fairly often, at least!
      I hope you are all better and clear to go asap.
      Well I have seen boiled eggs in the supermarket and that I thought was a good one! Next time my arm is tired from mashing potatoes I will pay myself $6!
      Left over casseroles make the best pies. I love dong this. We usually like the pie better than the casserole!
      It looks like you kept yourself well and truly busy with plan Z.24 lol and that is really good. I am interested in what you have been sewing!
      Excellent savings!
      I am waving to you as you head off on your adventure in the van! With love,

    3. Hi Jane,
      I hope the infection clears up soon. I just wanted to to mention that I often am gobsmacked when I go grocery shopping. I only buy the basics and everything is made from scratch. Not long ago I saw pasta bake in a tray on special for $18. I had to take a photo of that one to show my hubby! I have also seen the tubs of mashed potato along with soups. Just crazy!

  2. I often joke that plan B is actually God's plan for me! ;-) It is funny how we get stuck on our plan A sometimes, yet plan B often yields better results.

    Over the past week I made some points by shopping the 4 weeks (yet again!) at Coles to gain 10,000 pts. They also gave me a voucher to get a pizza for free on my flybuys. :-) my docket has a 1500 pts voucher on it I will also redeem. :-)

    A trip to the op shop on $1 day, yielded a good amount of fabric from sheets and doonas. Some are red and green, so will be using them for Christmas decor projects. I also bought a bundle of new cello and tissue wraps (all red or green) and some new cards, charged me $2 the lot! A couple of clothing items also $1 each.I also bought a sweet porcelain with rose decal vase and 2 photo frames. Some matching placemats and coasters with a lovely rose print were $3.50 still boxed and new. My entire big outlay was $19 there. :-) not sure of the savings, but would estimate several hundred!

    A craft store I went to had large or wired craft ribbon cheap. Again, Christmas colours or plain, 20 metre spools for $6. I bought glittery pink or pale green lace loose for 20c or 50c m. (You would love it Annabel) these I will use in giftwrapping or card making.

    We were blessed with free mandarins, broccoli and lemons (all home grown and beautiful)

    Pinterest yielded a good link to a refashioning blog and I have spent ages going through her tutorials. I often see beautiful fabrics in clothing on $1 day, but dated or dowdy styles or too big or small. It could be fun to play when clothing is so readily available and cheap! I also might gain some skill to refashion some of my own clothing here.

    I did the usual cooking and reusing everything I possibly can. Bought some more potatoes while still $2.49 a 5kg bag, and mandarines for as low as 60c kg. bananas as low as 70c kg. Pears on clearance 67c kg to poach. Bought teabags half price or less! Added 640 more to the pantry. Lucky they last ages, I have 800 there already! :-) prices just keep increasing, so storing these items is always a good idea I figure.

    I need to track my savings total better, but know it is normal now to save wherever possible and get ahead each week. Am always on the lookout for more ways to save or new ways of doing things. :-)

    This Weekly Vicky challenge sure is a great encouragement and motivator. Xoxo

    1. Dear Kaye,
      I was wondering which refashioning blog you found? I love refashioning what I have but haven't tried my hand at purchasing things that are too large and refashioning them to fit. Thanks. Cookie

    2. Hello Cookie, this is the link to Mary's lovely blog. :-)

      I like what she makes (as I am around her vintage also) and her tutorials are very informative. Hope others might also find it helpful. Kaye xo

    3. Thank you so much Kaye. I just finished a quick look, about 20 pages worth. I called it my rest from dealing with the garden vegetables :) So many good ideas to refashion. Hugs, Cookie

    4. Dear Kaye,
      Your $1 op shop day sounds fantastic! You know how I live to find sheets. They were great finds!
      Thanks for sharing the blog with Cookie as I will take a look at that too.
      I have run out of vouchers to collect points at Coles and I collected quite a few. So I am hoping more will come in the mail and maybe a gift card!
      When you were saying glittery pink ribbon I was imagining how nice that would be and then you knew how much I would like it!
      Your fruit and veg rices are fantastic. I don't know why but here they are all so much more expensive. I keep watching for specials but they have been rare. Now we are told the hair storms damaged crops and to expect worse prices!
      Your week was really productive and good! Thank you for sharing it Kaye! I hope this is another good week for you! With love

  3. Dear Annabel,

    What great savings you have had! Everything really adds up, this is also what I tell people who think saving a dollar here and there makes no difference. Well it absolutely does! I love your idea of a plan A, B or C. I've really needed to hear this today! I've been feeling down and not getting the things done I wanted to but still keeping up with housework, cooking etc. So it all works out in the long run! xx

    1. Dear Mel,
      I hope you are feeling better. Winter can get a bit Blah and not help how we feel. This applies to me at least.
      In those times I attack things in small chunks. Do more craft and easy cooking. It does work out in the long run. Now and then we all need a pyjama day. Seriously this is a cure all in my opinion!
      I hope this week is a good one for you! With love Annabel.xxxx

  4. Dear Annabel...your post is full of lush and bountiful ideas, I love it! Yes a Plan B is always a good thing. Not just for long term goals, nor just for today, but as an ongoing life skill. Plan B can be changing up the menu plan to accommodate seasonal bargains as you mentioned, or using a rainy day to declutter or make hand crafted gifts instead of washing the linen and mopping the floors. Plan B can be finding a new use for an old favourite, as you do with your beautifully stamped sheet 'ribbons' made from vintage floral sheets, or as I do with Dreamcatchers made from thrifted doileys. Plan B can generate a meaningful Staycation instead of a holiday away, creating just as many memories as any fancy beachside sojourn. In fact, I think I'm starting to like Plan B better than Plan A! I noted down about $450 as my total for this week. I have been a bit tired and run down, so my energy was low for several days. That said, I made the most of not feeling the best by practising my lace rosettes, clipping card-worthy images from my enormous stash of magazines, and reading three unfinished books. I felt good about achieving even that, and I have to say that Plan B sometimes just means being kind to self. Lots of love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      Its totally true that plan B can turn out to be wonderful. Or plan Z like Jane said!
      Its no wonder you are tired with all you do. I think winter can take its toll after a while and you had a harder week with power outages etc too.
      I like the lovely things you worked on. I can craft and scrapbook my recipes etc and its lovely, you feel productive, but its a rest. A day on the lounge doing things like that does you good.
      I hope you are feeling much better. Get the rest you need. With lots of love,

  5. Hi Annabel!

    I think I use an alphabet of plans, but Jane has taken all the letters already! (Oh well, Jane, if you are like several people I know, then, around about retirement age, plans DO change to more of a relaxation and enjoyment mode by enforcement. My parents have learnt this, and I am so glad they have! We have picnics and days out. It's good!!) I think Jane and I live in the same world!!

    I find juggling plans is part of a bush kitchen repertoire! For lunch yesterday, I made a fireplace stew with leftovers, and flavoured it with a mild curry powder. Then, I considered scones, but we don't run the generator (i.e. oven) for lunch. I considered trying a damper, but the fire was not down to coals. What I did do, for my first time, was chop up the bunch of parsley Dad and Mum gave me (while my parsley grows!) and made savoury dumplings cooked in the top of the stew. I loved them. During the week, prior to this, I made our treacle dumplings on the fireplace. They were really extra good. (Thanks, Bluey!) Sometimes plans R and R are the best. Further along the alphabet, then, is about where basic treasures are discovered - outdoor cooking successes, for example.

    By the way, I just bought (from an op shop, of course!) an old timber box or case, in the shape and style of a briefcase. I had my husband's tools on my mind. I wonder, though, what YOU would use it for, and would you paint it white, Annabel pink or French putty grey? I have thought of renovating it for keeping good cutlery, and am still thinking! Ideas are welcome!!

    I have had a week of alphabet soup. It seems to be working!

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel,
      Firstly thank you for linking to the recipe for Mimis onions on the last post. That was very helpful.
      I love your fireplace cooking. The dumplings sound good! Are you able to do pancakes on a cast iron pan?
      Now the timber box... depending on the size... I would use it as a man gift, probably for Andy as he loves old cases, wood, leather etc. A smaller one I would make into a lunch box, first aid kit or car kit of essentials. As things rattle around in a wooden box I would wrap them in a piece of blanketing or something like that. If a larger box it could be good to store seasonal clothes and look nice on the top of a cupboard. Those are thoughts that come to mind.
      Good cutlery is a good idea. If you could get foam or even velvet to line the box first.
      Let me know what you decide it could be a good photo! Oh and pleas do send me a picture of that giant timber and your wood heap!
      Have a good week. They go too quickly! With love,

    2. Don't worry, Annabel! I should be seeing the big bits of timber tomorrow, at my parents' place. I have plans of photos to send when they come to fruition. You know what plans are like!! ..... &, yes, I can make pancakes on the fire, in a small cast iron skillet. I've done that once, & should continue! Thanks! The box is briefcase size, too. We'll see! It's such a sunny day, too, & we need it!

    3. Rachel Bluey is quite envious of the large timbers you now have. Heaven knows what he would do with them but he would turn them into something wonderful. Told you the dumplings in the camp oven are delicious. I am thinking savoury dumplings on the next casserole is a brilliant idea.

  6. Dear Annabel,
    You are so right about the need for flexiblity. Whenever my mom's Plan A didn't quite work out she would always say "Man makes plans and God chuckles. There must be something else He wants us to do."
    Great savings this week. How wonderful to get so many lemons. Right now they're like gold nuggets here and very pricey. The ones I have I've made the most of this week by dehydrating the rind, thus saving $6.00, each time I juiced one for lemonade. I decided not to deadhead some of my roses, but to let the rosehips develop so that they can be used in the fall for things like tea and jelly.

    This week I saved in a few areas. I finished a small quilt for a gift, which could cost upwards of $200 if bought in a department store. It cost pennies for me to make, giving many hours of enjoyment in the process. I made 3 quarts of soup base, which in the stores usually goes for $5 dollars a quart, so $15.00 saved
    3 dz. chocolate chip cookies at $5 a dozen (because of their size.) ,another $15 saved, 3 dz. scones saving $2 apiece for $36. Soap molds regularly $3.00 for $1.00 each on clearance, $4 savings, essential oil for soap regularly $10, I paid $4, $6 savings, gummy bear candy molds on clearance, regularly $1.49 each and I paid 49 cents, $2 savings, flank steaks were on special for $4 a pound when they're usually $13 per pound, I got 4 pounds,for $16, which would have cost $52, which saved $36, onions at 99 cents at Aldis, which at Aldis they're usually $1.99, I bought 2 bags to go into the dehydrator and a $2 savings there. I also got 8 pounds of cabbage for $3 at the farmer's market, and dehydrated it for winter. Cabbage in the winter months can sometimes go up to $1.79 per pounds, I figured about an $11 savings there. I got one T shirt refashioned with painted flowers and will finish it by outlining the painting with either some hand or machine stitching to it off. I'm so tickled with it because it was a thrift shop (op shop?) shirt that I got for $1 and if I had to buy it on the open market today it would cost at least $40. Using fabric medium with paint I already had also saved me the cost of new paint. I also bought a pack of 50 marbles at the dollar store for $1 to make some necklaces with strips of fabric for gifts. I got the pattern on Pinterest with a pin of ideas to make from scraps. It looks really easy and the variations could be endless. I also made pizza for a savings of $5 and all side dishes with meals came from our garden so really no need to do any big shopping. Total savings this week $372. Cookie.

    1. Dear Cookie,
      I think you asked what is Vegemite, tim tams and something else... and I can't find it! And now I am going on a memory of what you asked! Vegemite is a black salty paste that tastes strangely good and is used as a spread on toast mainly. Tim Tams are a delicious layered chocolate biscuit. Remind me of the other one!
      Your Mum had a good attitude to plans going astray! And she is right. We often need to let go of our own plans.
      Well done on finishing the quilt! That is a major project and I would love to see it!
      All your cooking sounds beautiful. And I can see soap making in your future!
      The good specials were a great help. They really added up!
      I thought your fabric paint idea was really inventive and hopefully you also have left overs for other projects.
      This all added up to a lot! Well done Cookie. Now I hope this week is going well. With lots of love,

    2. I found it, Annabel!

      toasties, pikelets and Tim Tams

      From the support crew! (Rachel)

    3. Thank you both. They have both Vegamite and Marmite on our grocery shelves. I'm not sure what Marminte is either. Tim Tams sound delicious. Are they similar to the original chocolate covered Cadbury biscuits? I used to love those but since Hershey bought them out here in the States they don't taste the same anymore. And one more question: Meat pies sound delicious. How do you make them? Thank you again. Many blessings to you. Cookie

    4. Dear Cookie, Meat pies are the best! I will be making some shortly so you will see them but mean time... in the crockpot cooking section you will find them. I use the soft lovely tender meats from a casserole as the filling in pies with either a pastry lid or mashed potato which is Shepherds Pie style. A pie is a complete meal and they freeze so well. I do all sorts, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb etc.
      I include plenty of vegetables. A hearty and handy meal. A great gift also. I hope this helps. With love

    5. Hi Cookie,
      What great savings you had! I was just wondering how you dehydrate your onions? I buy onions in 10 kilo bags here and sometimes freeze them but never thought to dehydrate them! x

    6. Hi Mel,
      I have a small Nesco dehydrator. Peel and slice them no more than 1/4 inch thick, lay them out on the dehydrator and dehydrate at 125 F. for 12 to 14 hours. You can also blanch them by slicing them up and putting them into a strainer and dip in a large pot of boiling water for about 15 to 30 seconds and then place in a large bowl of ice water to cool. Shake off as much water as possible and then spread on the dehydrator tray at 125 F for 8 hours.

      The one dehydrated raw should feel like dry paper and be flexible when done. If they've been pre-blanched they will feel dry and snap in half. I have a hand held Food Saver vacuum sealer with regular size jar and widemouth jar adapters and when the onions are cooled they are stored in vacuum sealed mason jars in the pantry. After each use I just reseal the jar with the same lid on it. Hope this helps.

    7. Thanks Cookie!
      I have written these instructions down and will give it a try :)

  7. Since there are just the 2 of us, my husband and I are careful what we buy at Costco. We like the Kirkland products like their canned chicken (which can be used for many dishes), Olive oil, and their rotisserie chicken, which gives us several meals and so very good and we buy boneless, skinless chicken thighs and freeze them. They come 4 to a package and I believe there are four packages fastened together. They also have a lot of organic produce items. I buy dishwasher pods that last me for a long time; I always buy pecans for baking, etc. You can walk thru the store and sample all sorts of things (saves buying lunch) but we don't buy much of that. They mail us a book of what is on sale (but no prices in it) and just using your Costco card when you check out gets you all the discounts in that book of what you bought. I don't know if this saves us much money but we are getting old (in our 80s) and live in the country and don't want to run around to different stores for a bargain. We also like Aldi's. We live in America's heartland. Love your blog.

    1. Thank you so much! Thank you for the Costco tips that is very helpful.
      I really appreciate your comment and telling me you read my blog too! Welcome! xxx

  8. All of your cooking looks so lovely and delicious! We'll begin packing for our move this week, so I'm not doing any stock-up right now, but I can't wait to get back to it in our new home!
    Reading some of the comments about travel made me think I should share something we did to help minimize the budget impact of our recent trip. Before leaving we purchased gift cards to gas stations at a local grocery store that was offering double fuel points on gift card purchases. We ended up with a 40-cent per gallon discount on a full tank of gas to begin our trip, then used the gift cards to purchase gas during the trip.
    I should also credit my son for bringing sturdy boxes home from his work so we can pack for our move. Not buying boxes saves a ton, as does doing the packing ourselves rather than hiring a moving company to do it.
    Have a lovely week, ladies!
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh,
      You will be so busy this week. I hope it all goes well.
      We have always packed up and moved ourselves. I have always wondered how much it costs to have people do all this. Moving has always been very inexpensive for us and I have heard of people paying thousands. So you are saving a lot right there.
      I am not sure f the distance involved...
      All the best for this move and I hope to hear you are set up and happy in your new location and back to pantry building in no time! With love

  9. Dear Annabel,

    This is such a great post. It always pays to be flexible and "go with the flow", and is something I'm working on being better at doing. I think Maya Angelou once said something about being able to tell what kind of a person you are by how you react when things don't go as planned...when the luggage doesn't arrive, etc., and this has often come to mind when I meet up with a situation that was unforeseen and I'm about to explode/panic. :) For me, it helps to try to step back and look at things logically, when my first impulse is to hang on the the original plan irrationally, even when it won't work out, just because I have invested emotionally. (Hope that makes sense.) This goes along with your post a while back where you talk about constantly reevaluating your situation, seeing what's working and what's not, and putting your energy into the best plan at the time/for the current "season" of life.

    We have had excessive heat and humidity here, which has drained energy and made it hard to get anything done...trying to stay chipper is a chore in itself in that kind of weather! :) My plan B's currently revolve around what damage the deer have done THIS time and trying to stay positive. But it's Monday today, which I kind of like...a fresh start to the week, clean sheets on the bed, and unlimited possibilities!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Oh yes that is true. When things go wrong it tests you out. Many people are totally lovely until he put case goes missing type scenario and then they lose it! We really do need to assess as we go. Flexibility is a big advantage. Sometimes plan B-Z might be full of unexpected benefits!
      The heat always slows me down. We don't get much in the way of humidity but I have experienced it when away on holidays. My opinion of humidity is I feel like a dish rag with hair to match lol
      So I hope the weather improves for you!
      Mum gets deer in her garden so I know how much damage they can do. Plus fences basically don't keep them out. The dog barking and her chasing them out are a pretty common sight. I hope they advent done too much harm and move on!
      Or you can turn them into venison. lol that could be plan B!
      Have a good week Jen, with love

  10. Annabel, look at all you were able to accomplish last week!!!! You go girl! I'm going to put flannel sheets on my thrift store shopping list. I like what you've done with yours. Those lemons look good, I'll be looking forward to reading what you do with them. It's always good to have plan B, C and sometimes D. Once again, Vicky is spot on with her wisdom!

    1. Dear Patsy,
      Flannel is so good. Mum cuts up my Dads old pyjamas as they are flannel mostly and she makes hankies and dusting cloths. It is so soft that is what is best about it.
      I already used quite a few lemons! Lemon butter and pie so far.
      Have a great week Patsy! With love,

  11. Dear Annabel, I just love reading your posts. Your lemons in basket are beautiful and as pretty as a glossy magazine spread 😍
    It is hot summer here but we are fine and waiting on the arrival of grandbaby #8 which could be any day!
    Hugs to you ❤️

    1. Thanks Rhonda! How exciting to be getting another Grandchild! I can't wait to hear... I always think it is a great relief when the baby arrives.
      Congratulations in advance! xxx

  12. Hi Annabel!
    I'm late to the party again. I had rick figure what I've saved in labor costs on the pantry room so far and he estimates it at about $250 I'll take it! My ladies gave a dozen eggs this week $2 I groomed my cats 2 of them so $40 I brought home leftover food and things like foil pans and plastic trays from my nephew's graduation party so another $30 there plus enough coke points that I got a $5 gift card plus I cashed out for another $20 on other points programs. I hung clothes out to dry and I paid 4 bills online saving .47x4 I have been empting the dehumidifier into buckets and using it to water the garden I got 2 gallons so .89x2 not a bad week. I bet your house smells good with all of those lemons! I love the smell of fresh lemons. And roses always love a good pruning just don't let Rick near them LOL! Having a Plan B is good! I know many who have plans and if they fall through they literally don't know what to do? Our weather gets so kooky at times having Plan A and Plan B has really helped me to stay on track and get things done. I hope everyone has a great week!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      All the work you are doing on the pantry change around and moving are all really going to pay off!
      I have heard about the "pruning" some of your things have suffered! One time years ago Mum asked a man to prune a lavender bush for her. He cut it off at the base. All that was left was a stump. That was his idea of pruning apparently. I don't think I can laugh about it even now years later!
      You always inspire me with your plan B. Just go on with something else! I think we need to be able to do that. Thanks so much Vicky! With love

  13. Hi Annabel, that chicken soup looks super yummy. The containers look good, very stackable for the freezer too. I made quiche sunday night too, it gave lunch for me on Monday and lunch on Monday and Tuesday for my partner as well as unexpected supper on Sunday evening. I've been scrounging flannelette for wombat and possum pouches. It's super soft and warm for their little bodies. The weather here has been very very cold and wet, but at the moment we have a little hot spell - the hens are out scratching around having a hoot. How are your chickens going?
    Re Vicky's plan a and plan b - well my whole life since January has gone to plan c, and i've found it hard to adapt, very hard. So this is a reminder, a shakeup sort of to realise that I must do this. Great post. Looking forward to tomorrow's. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      Chooks love a bit of sun and they sun bake too! I have one chicken that sits on the back door step waiting as if she does that I give her grated cheese. I think I have created a problem!
      I have found in winter warm bedding is so hard to get in op shops and then in the warmer months I can get it. For smaller bits old flannelette pyjamas work too once cut up. Also stretch knits can be very soft and lovely.
      Your quiche sounds good. Soon you will have eggs from your hens and be able to make quiche and all kinds of things. Eggs for breakfast!
      I am in bed writing as I need to work on tomorrows post or else it is in trouble as Ill be out tomorrow. I hope the rest of your week goes ok Fiona... thinking of you, love

  14. We always have an alternate plan - it just comes naturally to us now that we live in an area that can get cut off.

    My friend who I am 'there for'at the moment gave me 3 of the large coffee jars that you have been building up your pantry with. I am going to tuck them away until I am sure of where I am going to use them - craft items was the first thought but that could change.

    This morning I checked through the grocery catalogues for this week - spotted an apple pie for $12-00 and a self saucing pudding for $6-00. Even a packet self saucing pudding doesn't take that long to cook nor cost that much and I am not even going to mention the apple pie, even if you buy the pastry and tins of apples for $12-00 you could 3 pies for $12-00 (or there abouts).

    Nothing that I could see that we need so tomorrow I will check the aisles at Coles and pick up pantry building items and possibly enamel dishes. This will be the start of my enamel dish collection.

    I have a new Spotlight catalogue to go through - thought I spotted some bargains yesterday when I had a quick look at it. Hand towels were quite cheap.

    Annabel I love lemons - my dwarf lemon tree is still going strong, could do with moving to get more sun I think so I need to scout out a new position for it.

    I have seen what not having a plan anything can do when things go really wrong - my friend is struggling with making decisions on where to start and what to do. It wouldn't be so bad if her partner had not left such a huge mess - as she said if he was no longer here she would have just got a skip in and got rid of it all but because he will eventually be going back to the house she cannot do that.

    He is not a happy chappy because until the house is suitable for him to get around in he has to remain in rehab. The bathroom has to be redone for starters and I think so will the kitchen - not sure what else will have to be done apart from ease of access for him with the front and back stairs.

    As I said to my friend - just 15 minutes will make a start and then once you have started it will be so much easier to continue.

    Getting a bit cooler here so need to find a jacket - we are expecting some warmer weather so I have plans to get the bedroom curtains washed - they were supposed to be done last week but the weather wasn't warm enough.

    Have a great week everyone.


    1. Dear Lynette, I think living where there are cyclones or you can get cut off etc means you learn to be prepared. Although probably many people don't anyway but I would want to be!
      I really love my enamel dishes. I added to my collection the other week when Aldi had the nice coloured ones. The thing I love is they all stack inside each other and take up hardly any room. I have a stack of about 14 of them and the all are so compact. (I have five sizes now) This is so handy as I was always running out of dishes as some would end up in the freezer. Jamie Oliver has some in Woolies and these were on special.
      I feel sorry for your friend. What an enormous task been without the mess to deal with. Also what an expense. Very difficult.
      I love those jars! They are useful for so many things. Also for gifts of biscuits etc.
      I have the Spotlight catalogue. I am planning on getting a wooden underlay as this is something one of the girls need and it will go into the christmas cupboard. This is the time to get it I figure while on such a big special.
      I hope the rest of the week goes well for you! With lots of love,

  15. Hi Annabel

    I must say that you have had me thinking this afternoon since reading this post......Plan B

    Recently I used Plan B when I needed new school shoes for DD6. I searched everywhere and could only find shoes upwards of $60 in black. As there were are no hard and fast rules about the colour (can be either black or has to be at least 90% white on outside) I opted to change course and look for white shoes.

    Well imagine my surprise when I came across a pair of Lynx shoes in a sale for $14.00, I was so happy with that price, (original price was $49.95) then upon heading to pay the lady asked me if I had a certain card...yes I did and she happily told me that the shoes would only cost me $4.00 as I had earnt $10 off my purchase......I was ecstatic about this payment.

    Another recent Plan B was that I was so annoyed at not having fresh vegetables (only once a week and they do not last that long) so I decided on a trip to the markets to just buy a few seedlings for DD6 to plant (6 for like $2.50) and if they survived then great and if not then not a huge loss.....well they are well and truly on there way thanks mainly to the worm pee. I had some old pots laying about an they have been put to good use now.

    We have had rain here since last Wed night....not heavy torrential rains but the fine misty rain constantly which will help to make everything green again. Glad to see that you faired well....Love the photo that your Mum took.

    Our local shop is selling bags of lemons from someone's trees for $1 and there are plenty of lemons in the bags. May need to get some tomorrow.

    My freezer has been stocked with lots of muffins recently and also leftover meals for next week so I can have some time of from cooking perhaps.

    Well I hope the week ahead is a great one for you.

    Take Care
    Love Aly xxx

    1. oops my reply is one post down sorry Aly!xxx

  16. Dear Aly, You did so well with your plan B on the shoes! That was fantastic!
    Those lemons are a great deal. I have used quite a few so far this week. I need to make a lot of leon things. Lemon slice is a favourite!
    The rain sounds lovely. A bit of green is nice to see. And I hope your seedlings do well, they should with misty rain on them.
    Mums picture reminds me that when were were little kids we would collect hail stones with spoons and then keep them in the freezer lol. Until we forgot about them and Mum threw them out no doubt! But that was a good fun thing.
    We also called sago "little hailstones" which made them more appealing somehow!
    Well doen on your savings Aly, they are good ones. With lots of love,

  17. Hi Annabel,
    I've always been a routine sort of person, liking certain things done on certain days, this worked well for me when my children were young and living at home. I find that now we are both retired, our plans are much more flexible, often too flexible! I find we need to have definite plans in place otherwise it is too easy to 'put off' work that needs doing (and spend the whole day knitting socks!!).
    Each night before I go to sleep I write a list of things I want/need to get done the next day - sometimes they're all completed (plus a few extras) other days I just don't seem to get many done at all. (This also helps with my atrocious memory, ha, ha)
    Best wishes

    1. Dear Janine,
      I agree with you and I am a routine person. I also think routines are vital with children as they thrive on them. And I work to my list and plans. Overall I think we get much much more done this way and have to make less decisions to get it done.
      I think that is why when plans didn't work out and things went wrong that it would upset my day or week. Sometimes it would really upset me! So learning to have a plan B has made me much better at going "ok then, I will do.... instead" and not being so thrown out by the change.
      Like you I have my daily list and it keeps me on track. I like to have weekly and monthly plans. I think list makers get more done overall. It makes me try and do just a bit more to get things crossed off!
      These things all help. Having goals and a mission helps too I think.
      I have tried to teach Lucy that having a routine for a little child helps, they like the rhythm and peace of it and it seems to be working!
      Have a great end of the week, here we are mid week already! With love,

  18. Dear Annabel,
    Just a few thoughts for you regarding Costco. I find it very helpful to have a list and not just browse. There are so many things that catch my eye that I never knew I couldn't live without that who knows what would happen if I didn't have a list :) I find it best to know what prices are at other stores and compare to what they are at Costco.These are things that I have found to be good savings at Costco here in the US. Costco's brand of coffee is not only delicious, but has more pounds in the container and costs less. Butter in their bulk packs is a great deal, as well as baking supplies, some paper goods, nuts, certain fresh fruits and vegetables, small cases of some vegetables, olive oil, condiments, seasonings and flavorings in bulk individual containers and their cheeses, especially the chevre in large logs.It's amazing but here they charge the same for one pound of the chevre as other stores charge for few ounces. Homegoods, appliances, clothes, fine jewelry,computers, TVs, you name it can sometimes be had for a much lesser prices than on the outside. Again, it's really good to know what prices are elsewhere for these items. Hope this helps. Many blessings. Cookie

    1. Thank you so much Cookie! It will be a bit of adventure the first time I go there!
      I am good with knowing the prices of the regular things I buy but I need to shop around for prices of everything else. Thanks for telling me the coffee is good. I will be trying it!
      I think I am in for a surprise at what they have! But I think we have a years membership now and I want to make the most of it. Thanks so much for your tips! With love

  19. We had a great week of savings at the Briar Patch (that's our little acreage's name). Lots of picking of wild blackberries. My 8 yr. old daughter came bounding in the house to declare that I could add it to my Frugal Accomplishments list. ;) Love it when the children catch on to budgeting! Received some free zucchini from a friend at church. My plants aren't as productive due to grey beetles.

    My biggest savings is purchasing $500 worth of groceries for $240 at my discount grocery store. I purchased lots of high end snack food that I only see in my health food store. Plus I bought 2 boxes of peaches for $12 a piece. These hold about a bushel a piece. So we've been enjoying fresh peaches and making lots of Ginger Peach Jam. What a blessing! Also with all the jam-making, my 15 yr. old daughter is learning the skill too. She loves it! So glad to pass on this skill. She has been blessing the family with her cooking and baking too.
    Well with lots of savings from yard sales, thrift stores, and packing work lunches we saved $583 total.
    So glad to see so many others saving too!

    1. Dear Leslie,
      I really love that your daughter is reminding you to include something in your frugal accomplishments. I bet when she grows up she will be carrying this on as she will remember! Ahhh we have started a new generation!
      Zucchini are so versatile and useful. I keep saving new recipes i.e. for slices and breads. They look so good.
      What a savings on the groceries! And the peaches! I just love peaches.
      This is very good that your fifteen year old is getting good with jam making. And enjoying it! I love it when they do something and feel proud of their work. She sounds like such a lovely girl.
      If it would be an encouragement for her send in a picture of her jams lined up or her cooking and I will publish it.
      Great total savings Leslie! What a good week. And you are training new homemakers too. Wonderful report thank you! With love


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