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.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 16 June 2017.

This has been a pretty good week! I am adding up my Vicky Challenge as I write this post and it is looking good!

Some of the ways I feathered the nest and saved money include:

On the weekend I was tired and wasn't sure I felt like cooking and Chloe was coming to dinner. I decided to just do it anyway and made a nice meal and made up Golden Syrup Pudding.  Being winter here it is time I made this!  It is so easy and everyone was happy!

During the week I made three potato bakes (one to give away) as I had a lot of potatoes that needed using up.

I had ordered handles for our bathroom cabinet online after finding I could get a box of ten on Ebay for the same price of two nearby.   The eight spare are going to be a lovely craft project!  The two we used look beautiful!

Since the large amount of hot water that flooded my cupboard I had to start again.  This was one way to wash a cupboard out.   So I organised my under the sink area all clean and fresh.

On that note, we had another insurance guy out and this guy agreed with the first guy. Now we are waiting on a third guy. This is not moving fast but the verdict is sounding good.  Soon I get to pick out new floors!  

A beautiful brand of hair colour was on sale in one of the cheap shops!  (At a savings of $10 per box) I grabbed eight packs.  Instant savings of $80.
While I was there I got big packs of magic erasers. I LOVE these. They are $4.95 in the supermarket.  You can clean anything, they are amazing.  The other day I was cleaning the outside of my crockpot. I scrubbed and scrubbed. (stuff had boiled over and baked on...)  Finally I just dampened a magic eraser and used that. Within a minute it looked brand new.  
Anyway the cheap store had packs that were giant slices  that you cut up yourself to whatever size you want. I bought six packs and got four from each.  Compared to the supermarket I saved $95! 
Now I have a big supply!

I pruned the rose arbour.  I did it over three days and it's done! 

I cooked a corned beef for Andy.
And made tuna mornay for an easy dinner.

Yesterday I went to K Mark and got ten bottles of shower gel for 50c each.  I am so pleased!  Following a stockpilers Facebook page tipped me off about this.  

There is a K Mark close to Lucy's house.  The check out girl said "that will be $5" and looked amazed.    

Recently I have found following the catalogues,  stockpiling groups,  specific stores, the wholesale butcher etc. on social media has been a really big help. You get tipped off about some fantastic specials.  I am still adding more as I think of things to sign up to.

I went to an op shop and found a lovely nightie for Kath in the nursing home ($3) plus another that is a fine silky cotton.  I thought it might be a Liberty print as it feels exactly like it.  It is a large size and it has given me a couple of meters of gorgeous fabric. 
I also found two cup, saucer and plate sets that are Royal Doulton for $5 each.

Lately I had broken a couple of cups.  This is the way to have beautiful cups and saucers!  Very happy! 

We need to pack up all the cupboards in the kitchen, lounge and dining room ready for all the furniture to be moved and the floors to come up.  Each day I have worked on this and treated it as organising and spring cleaning. It's a pretty big job. But the whole back of the house will be spring cleaned before actual spring!

Andy had no paid work this week and it is the first week this has happened.  He got on with work in the yard and things that need doing so he was busy the whole time.  However this is unsettling. 
Also I noticed the the price of fruit, veggies and meat has just gone up and up.  There are very few good specials.  And we have been told electricity is going up AGAIN by 18% this time... and that so is water.   So when you look at it that is both basic foods and basic utilities....
I have decided to go further afield at least once a fortnight as I know two fruit and veggie shops that have amazing bargains. They are just further away....   but I can incorporate a couple of good op shops in this trip. 
The same applies to a wholesale butchers that is very good.  We might make it once a fortnight there as well. Last year they had lamb shanks for $1 each.  I hope that is true this year!  (They have a weekly email of specials so I signed up to that).

We had beautiful sunny days and cold nights all week until rain today. It was really lovely.
I added to the pantry as I have spaces since I did a lot of rotating.

I wrote $495 into my savings book.

How did you go this week? I hope you found lots of ways to build up your home, save and get ahead.  
Have a good weekend! xxx


  1. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds,
    Thank you for another excellent blog post Annabel, you have had another great week.
    My week has included:
    I gratefully received a free morning tea at the bank , my Dad and I went to the bank and they had a table set up with food , Dad asked a lady who works at the bank what it was for and the lady told us they were talking to people about the ATMS which now did deposits as well as withdrawals.the lady told us to help ourselves to food and she got us a cup of juice each. We also got a free aluminium drink bottle each, savings of about $15 .
    I had two hours of subsidised cleaning this week , $40 savings compared to going through a private company.
    2 hours of meal prep this week has saved me on buying takeaways or going out . $30 savings At least.
    I got medication free as I am on the safety net now , savings of approximately $30 .
    I saved $35 on groceries and put $20 of it away in savings , $20 saving.
    I gratefully received two meals and some chocolate slice from my parents $20 saving.
    Another quiet week for me Annabel , a small saving of $155 approximately.
    I love those cups and saucers Annabel, very pretty and such a good buy.
    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb, The safety net is such a good thing! Now the rest of the year you will have this savings, it is excellent.
      Chocolate slice sounds very nice! it has got much colder here and rainy now. It is indoor weather and Ive stayed in all day today which is unusual for me!
      Have a very good weekend Barb and thank you so much for posting your savings. Your helpers are a big asset, I am so glad you have them and your parents also! With love

  2. Dear Annabel, a great week as always. This is indeed worrying news about Andys work. Something will come along, I know it. That's the way of the world sometimes. But it's worrying in the meantime. What a relief it must be to have your stockpile and not feel undue pressure as far as that goes. Energy prices are another thing altogether. Things are insane in that respect. You can do what they call Bill Smoothing as sort of a payment plan. Alex does that and it works well for him. Might be worth looking in to. I had a good week, mainly by reorganising and reclaiming space in my home. We had thought we needed some extra storage cabinets, but a reorganising has yielded plenty of additional space for no outlay. We've eaten well at home, and I baked for two of my daughters friends, saving on cakes. I also made candles with my stash of candle making supplies, as gifts for Mums who helped with costuming for our school Dance troupe. Initial investment over a year ago of about $75, but that has already generated several gifts, so I think I can call that a significant saving. I haven't done the total, but I'm pretty sure I'd be comfortable calling my Nest Feathering efforts a saving of about $400 this week. I am happy with that. Good work and well done to everyone. Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      Thank you. I think my cupboard emptying will lead to the same effect as a good go through and organise could lead to space and be a good thing.
      You always have good savings weeks. I truly think the combination of cooking, making and bargains add up the most of all. Anything like birthday cakes is a massive saving.
      Have a wonderful weekend! With love and thanks,

  3. Bluey and I have been busy all week getting the caravan ready for an adventure. We have been sweating on the Dr giving us the go ahead and this came through today. It did come with a cautionary, don't do too much, tale.
    All the plumbing pipes on the van have been replaced. When the plumber was checking for leaks there was a bit of a waterfall occurring under the sink. Sound familiar Annabel? Turns out one of the pipes hadn't been crimped off properly. A number of damp and dirty towels later and the water was all cleaned up.
    This week I harvested rosellas and have made up some jam. This is all coming with us as our son loves the jam and we will be seeing him next week. I also made up some lemon butter to take away.
    We were gifted two large bottled water. These are in the car fridge for our travels. Another pumpkin came over the fence. I made home made meat pies and apple pies in the little pie maker. I had a lot of bits of veg so made up a vegie and fetta frittata.
    I completed a Quillow for Tilly. I get to give it to her along with the clothes I made her, just next week. So excited!
    A bit more packing and we will be ready to head off.
    It hasn't been a huge savings week but hasn't been too shabby either.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane, Leaks under the seem must be contagious! I am glad that is all sorted out.
      I am glad Bluey got the all clear. After being home for a while and all he went through I would say travel could easily be exhausting . Hopefully with the van you can pace yourselves and it will be fine for him. And you will both have a wonderful time!
      Everything you have made fro your Granddaughter will be a hit! And the jam will be with your son! Your van will be like a mobile shop!
      Have a safe and wonderful trip. With lots of love,

    2. Rachel mentions below that she is looking forward to road trip reports. Me too! I hope you will be online at least some of the time and we can have a virtual road trip with you!

  4. Hi Annabel
    I too was looking for those exact same door knobs last year when we updated our laundry, I couldn't find them anywhere where we live and I wanted the bigger one's so I purchased them off Ebay and waited for them to arrive from China and they look great and it only cost me $10.00 for two. Your cooking looks delicious as always. I hope some work comes Andy's way soon. I am getting heaps of home making hints from the Cheapskates club also. I will send some photos through on the weekend of recent projects. Have a lovely weekend. Jo Roberts

    1. Dear Jo, I will love to see your photos!
      I am also getting a lot of tips from Cheapskates. I love finding new ones that I can use. Sometimes you find something and that one thing makes a world of difference!
      I love these crystal knobs! They are kind of like jewellery. So inexpensive yet so glam! Have a good weekend! With love,

  5. Those Royal Doulton cups and saucers are so pretty- perfect for afternoon tea parties :) Hannah and I picked up some of the 50C shower gels this morning, we had to go to two Kmarts to get enough for the Dignity bags we're packing at the moment. I've knitted some face washers to go with the shower gel - at that price we couldn't not include it. I also picked up Dove bars for 95c each this week - 10 to go into the bags as well. And I did a huge online shopping order with Woolworths, all things we use regularly and all at least 50% off. Then I had a $10 off voucher and free delivery so the whole lot came to $173.42 - saved $187.68! Our stockpile is looking good and I'm starting to breathe easier coming into the slow time of year work-wise. I hope the insurance company gets its act together and you get your floors fixed asap, even though you're staying positive and getting your spring cleaning done early. Have a lovely week, Cath

    1. Dear Cath, Thank you, we are just waiting on the valuation part to be done... then hopefully can move ahead quickly.
      Your stockpile is sounding very good. I see the posts you put up about your local fruit and veggie specials... the prices are amazing. This has to be a big help. Our fruit and veggies have been really expensive. With power about to leap again and water I think you are in for an influx of people seeking new ways to cut expenses. The things that are going through the roof are basics, basic utilities, basic foods.
      The shop you did with Woolworths was excellent! A good week I would say! With love

  6. Annabel, I do hope that your floors are repaired soon as insurance companies can take a while as we all know. I am sure Andy will get more work soon too. Meanwhile you have the skills to live on fresh air if needs be :-) Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, Heres one for you... in the UK there is a family that say they live on fresh air. They are "freshairians" supposedly. hahah! If power keeps going up we will all have to become freshairians!
      The floor situation is going ok just slowly. We have a builder also fixing the bottom of part of the cupboard... some progress! Have a good week! with love

  7. Dear Annabel and Blue Bird friends I haven't been keeping tally of my weekly savings, I just know that I save each and every week by how I do things. Some weeks are better than others but I will take any savings.

    News of the week is that my husband starts a permanent full time job in a few weeks time. He has been doing contract work for 12 months after being made redundant but with times when work has petered out it has meant that things have been tight for us. Of course as you would think the 'phone is ringing off the hook because there is work starting to come through now that budgets have been set.

    My husband will have quite a drive to get to and from work so he will no doubt be feeling it on the weekends.

    This week the pumpkin that I purchased a couple of weeks ago has been turned into soup - have had to do it one half at a time because I add sweet potato to the slow cooker as well as the pumpkin and a small amount of onion. This will see us through winter.

    This morning we did an Aldi shop - it was towards the end of March when I did my last big shop. I need to check my docket to my price list that I have I know that butter has gone up in that time.

    We had rain for a few days - this has filled up the water tanks again.

    I love those knobs. Would work perfectly on a piece of furniture I have here but getting my husband to paint it is just not going to happen.

    Wonder if there is a need/want for clothes lines like Andy made you - rather than the metal brackets he could always use timber ones.

    I have my fingers crossed with the insurance company - they can be slow at times.

    At least you will not need to worry about spring cleaning later in the year - you can use that time to catch up on your present making.

    Have a great weekend everyone.


    1. Dear Lynette,
      Our situations have actually been quite similar.... so I am so happy about your husbands job. A relabel full time job, wage and routine that you can count on is a fantastic thing!
      Everyone is also saying butter has gone up... Jen in NZ just mentioned that also!
      I also have a whole pumpkin sitting here from the trip to the farm. I will do what you did, I might get Andy to slice it up this afternoon and it can go in the crockpot tomorrow!
      I will be ahead on spring cleaning that is something I am glad about... the floor situation is moving slowly in the right direction! With love


  8. Hi Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds!!

    Annabel, you've done wonderful things with your home as the focus again this week! What hearty baking, and the crystal door knobs are lovely and sparkly!! I am confident that you will grow in the new purposeful challenges that supporting your home will bring. Andy must be very, very grateful to have a wife who builds up her home as you do.

    My week hasn't been very 'Bluebirdy'!! There have been no crystal doorknobs or warming winter puddings!! I have, however, been working, and helping my husband! I have just been here for giving help, and that is often the best we can give!

    Enjoy your roadtrip, Bluey and Jane!! We'll be keenly listening to your good reports!!

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, Well done on all the help you give your husband. I know you think nothing of being out in the paddock working. And it is hard work! At night you must be so tired!
      I hope you have some time for some knitting and warm meals this week. The evenings are getting so cold. A fire and hot food are just right!
      And the olives will be on the menu soon! With lots of love Annabel.xxxx

  9. Dear Annabel and Bluebirders ,
    You had a good week cleaning out cupboards and getting those bling door handles . Our downstairs bathroom cupboard knobs are white china with pink flowers that I love .always makes me smile.
    I've made your fruit sponge dessert heaps now and freeze leftovers as we have small portions .
    Must try your nans one you've posted photo of above .
    My week has been busy with family staying , baking and making mince in pastry recipes for meals to freeze . I use to freeze the tins worth but now I'm doing single portions , it's easier for unexpected arrivals .
    I've been unwell this week , as has DH but we're on the mend and it's helped make some decisions .
    Have a lovely weekend everyone , and sending good vibes for Andy to get new work .
    Love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria, I hope you are feeling much better and DH too. I am glad you like that use it up fruit cake! I love that cake! Its about time I made the orange cake actually...
      You have had a huge amount happening with family moving and so on... you are always the home base, feeding and looking after everyone. It is very very good that you do that but it also is exhausting. So you might need some rest and relaxation! Have a good week Maria! With love

  10. Dear Annabel,

    All of your cooking looks incredibly delicious. Royal Doulton, for $5!! What a gorgeous windfall. The crystal knobs are just wonderful and I am excited to see what you do with the ones that will not be used on the cabinets. We will be praying that jobs come in for Andy.

    My husband was listening to the news this morning and it's not only in Australia that prices are going up in those areas. They are going up here too! We've found that going out a little further once or twice a month and and combining our errands has produced a greater savings in food, time, and gasoline.

    This week I exchanged the winter clothes for the summer clothes, sorted things out and took a donation box to the mission, along with some pots and pans that I haven't used in years. While there I found some gorgeous skeins of wool that had the original price tag on them of $15 per skein. They were 50 cents each in the mission op shop, a savings of $60 on yarn. I made a new recipe using flaxseeds instead of flour for focaccia bread. It turned out very well and we used some for hamburger buns. A little sewing and crocheting got done and time got spent in the veggie garden. Wishing everyone one a beautiful weekend and safe travels Jane and Bluey. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, I was so pleased for you about that wool! I think when we pass on what we don't need and bless others then this is what happens. It always seems to be the case! The wool is just stunning. What a find!
      Thanks for this recipe and photo... it is appearing tomorrow! Have a good new week! With love

  11. Dear Annabel,

    I can perfectly imagine how worrisome it is about paid work for Andy. I have my fingers crossed very hard for you! I also hope that the insurance work speeds up, as it is very hard to find peace of mind in a messy house...I'm sure it is frustrating!

    I had been wondering about Kath in the nursing home, if she were still around if and if you still visit. I am happy to hear you found her a nice nightie! Your cups are beautiful!

    It is Fathers' Day here this weekend, so the girls are planning something nice for his day...I know it won't involve going anywhere, as it seems we have been on the move constantly, and with his longer commute each day to work, I know my hubby would just love a day at home!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Kath is really pretty good. My bare minimum is cowrite to her once a week. This week its a parcel of her favourite marshmallows, chocolate and things. Sometimes I drive over (it is over an hour trip) and take he some things she needs. I always watch out for nighties and things she needs a lot of. From that trip last year and to Jo's op shop I got her 8 nighties!
      A stay home Fathers Day sounds very nice, I hope it is a lovely day (Assuming it is Sunday, today) Have a very good new week Jen! With love

  12. Add me to the gang that loves your bathroom knobs. I have some that are a pale green glass and I'm as tickled with them now as when I bought them 12 yrs. ago!

    We've been going thru' horridly hot and humid weather here in the Midwest. Yesterday, it was 97 & 98. That's a temp of 97 with 98% humidity. Ick!! I put some sloppy joe mix in the crock, made some cold pasta salad, & some blueberry yogurt popsicles for dessert. All delicious and done before the worst heat came on.

    I made some light summer covers for our chair yesterday. They were simple & they're soooo pretty! I can't believe I waited so long. I'm working on finishing up a quilt that my mom started many years ago. She's gone now, but finding those embroidered squares was a treasure. Since she had it well underway, I know exactly how to finish it to have it just the way she would've loved it. :)

    I sympathize on the utilities. It seems like they raise the rates every 10 minutes. I joke that they raise the water rates when there's too much rain and they don't collect enough money. Then they raise them when there isn't enough rain to discourage use. The thing is, they never lower them no matter what happens! We're looking at new utility taxes on our water, gas, & electricity to be added soon. Ugh. So, we'll try and cut back some more.

    Your potato dishes looked wonderful! I wish it was cool enough to cook some. Alas, it will probably be a big salad here. Soemthing cold!!

    1. Dear Debby, I don't think I can even imagine humidity like that... it sounds like you must be almost swimming through it! I don't like humidity at all and it makes your hair go weird!
      Seeing chair covers is a great skill to have! I follow a blog called Sweet Melony. She makes all her soft furnishing covers and is always changing them. They are gorgeous! She transforms things!
      Finishing the quilt your Mum started is wonderful! She would be so please and now you have a real treasure.
      I laughed at what you said about prices going up every ten minutes! yep! And no they never go back down they only go up!
      Thanks so much Debby, have a lovely weekend! With love

  13. Annabel,
    I love those knobs! My dad used to say that I was like a baby bird give her something shiny or sparkly and she's happy. LOL Your coming along really well for having had your kitchen flooded that is a lot of work. Sometimes good comes from bad though and you'll have new floors soon and you will like them better so that is a good thing.
    Traveling a little farther for better deals is good! I do that if there is good deals as long as I am going to save more than it costs in gas to get there usually that is the case.
    It has been hot so I have been hanging out lots of laundry. I keep track of how many loads I hang to dry and then at the end of the year multiply them by .50 for my total.
    One of the new girls is starting to lay and her eggs are tiny LOL. 2 dozen this week from all of the girls.
    Rick was eating a peanut butter egg and there was metal in the chocolate so I called and they sent $12 in coupons and I am sending them the metal and packaging.
    I cashed out for another $10 in gift cards this week and got a few samples in the mail.
    One of the samples is a 3 pack of Kcups for those coffee makers I don't have one, but I will be making a coffee themed basket for a coffee lover for Christmas. They have 3 packs of Kcups at Walmart for $2 so that is what I put in my savings.
    We got another $30 worth of free plants and added them to the gardens. and the rest of the savings have been mostly the outside work we are working on and the mower repairs Rick does is going well so the bills are paid and all of the hospital bills and dental bills are paid in full. I have gotten some free items with coupons saving $30 there so it wasn't the greatest week, but I am happy with all savings.

    1. Dear Vicky,
      With these veggies stores I can incorporate other stores into the trip. I am thinking to do a weekly or fortnightly circuit. I will cost it out but I think I can save a fair bit. I just need to organise my week a bit differently. It just seems prices are going up so much!
      The extra eggs are going to be great! Aside of so many things you can cook they are good to barter or sell as well.
      I love the coffee themed gift for Christmas and putting those Kcups to good use!
      It is amazing how you get free seedlings! What a bonus!
      Being up to date on bills, especially after the hospital bills and dental is very very good! Well done!
      Have a good weekend. It is rainy and dreary here. I am cooking and staying in! With lots of love,

  14. There is such joy to be found in making delicious and beautiful food, organizing (that's something I procrastinate, but after I do it, I'm always pleased!) and finding great bargains and treasures! Well done, Annabel!

    We are raising the coop tonight and tomorrow on the expansion for our chickens! In 10 days we will pick up 3 more layers and we wanted them to have more space! Their expansion (it more than doubles their square footage) is made of materials we have been given! I took a photo today of a smaller coop than ours (before the add-on) and it was $799!!! Our original one was on sale when we bought it for $299 but it is now being sold at the same place for $499!! Yikes!!
    The girls are giving us 2 nice eggs every day! Our local grocer still gives us about 40+ pounds of greens/veg discards free every time I go in. This week was no exception! The Public Health veterinarian came and inspected our chickens and their coop for about 90 minutes and approved our permit to have up to 8 chickens here! So we finally have the official seal of approval! In his follow-up email the vet told us to "Have fun homesteading!!"

    We thought our side business would taper off, but this week we sold another $135 plus took in orders for another $400! We sold some things on the Facebook selling page for another $85! On Tuesday, hubby and I are both in a focus group for 1 hour and will get $75 each plus an optional $105 more if we are "chosen" to stay an extra hour!!
    Our yard is shaping up! The free recycled brick walkway is finished to the gate and I'll get the last foot outside the gate in the morning. I shudder to think what we would have paid someone to put it in for us!
    I got brave and used my instant pot to make yogurt using a gallon of milk ($1.59) . Including the cost of the Greek yogurt I bought as a starter for this first batch, my cost for the 24 single servings I packaged up ready to go in the fridge was 7 cents each!!! Spectacular, IMO!!! Single serve Greek yogurt is 80 cents/serve IF you can find it on sale, mostly $1+ for it! And it was easy to do and family loves the taste!!! Definite success!!
    The weather is getting seasonally hot and muggy (90 degrees F) so we try to do things outside in the early morning/evening hours. We are eating lighter things. I made a MOO Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme dinner with pantry ingredients. I didn't have nacho cheese sauce so I googled it and got a simple recipe that worked well! I will never shy away from a recipe now that needs that ingredient because I know I can make it at home!!
    Lots of the usual- adding to pantry as things come in. This week, I've only spent $17 at the grocers and we haven't eaten out at all!
    I have learned so much from all of you Bluebirds and continue to marvel at how much you all still teach me!!! Thanks so much!!!

    1. Dear Gardenpat,
      It was fantastic that vet was so nice, encouraging and helpful! Your chicken house is worth a lot and the extra chickens will be fantastic! When you get them the chickens you have now wont like them at first. I keep the two parties apart for a couple of days... even with some temporary wire, then after that they settle in and all get on ok.
      All the greens you get are fabulous! This is all worth a fortune. And so healthy!
      I am glad your business is thriving! I think it will continue. Have you considered making small chicken houses? If I can find it I will send you a chicken house idea they sell in England... it is a lovely idea but made of plastic which I don't like... however its a small chook house and could be made of pallets!
      I am glad you have your instant pot working for you! Think of it as a hand maiden! Get her working!:)
      I enjoy hearing about your week so much! The work you have done in the yard is wonderful, you are running homestead! With love

  15. Dear Annabel and Bluebird Friends,
    I love reading about everyone's week and their savings. Everyone did really well.
    I saved mostly on fabric and patterns this week. I saved $144.68 off the retail price of patterns as they were on sale at Hobby Lobby for .99 this week. Then I purchased some fabric at full price but used my 40% off coupon on it for another $9 of savings.
    I spent one day with my grand daughter and we shopped, went to lunch, and visited. Those are blessed and memorable days. She's a delight.
    Nothing earth shattering else got accomplished this week, but I did finish up my Fall & Winter clothing notebook, so I know what I need to make. I have purchased most of the fabric already.
    Next week will be dedicated to making sure our preparations are all up to speed and the food storage filled. Times are warranting keeping on top of this, we feel.
    Have a blessed and wonderful weekend.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      I am glad you had a special day with your Grand Daughter. That was lovely. And the patterns at that price! Patterns have become incredibly expensive here.
      Keeping on top of food storage and gaps filled is so important. Life can be busy and we can easily get behind with this and I agree we should work on it now more than ever.
      I hope you have a good weekend too... maybe some sewing!? With love

  16. Congrats on your great deals! Your sink storage works perfectly. I appreciate your advice on filling our gift cupboards in the previous posts.
    Also enjoyed a visit to Lucy's blog.
    We had a busy week of picking, pitting and canning cherries.
    And our lettuce is up in the garden. We are holding a lovely baby shower for my niece. i purchased some decorations for my daughter's birthday last month and reusing them for the shower. Fun!
    Praying for Andy's job.

    1. Dear Leslie,
      I love a baby shower! I hope it goes very well.
      You have cherries! I just love them. Being winter here I can only imagine cherries. And last summer the cherries in our state were ruined by storms so it is ages since we had any!
      Thank you for your kind words... with love

  17. Good morning Annabel, the first time I bought Magic Erasers, I didn't read the instructions. I was using a dry one on some marks but nothing was happening. I was wondering why in the world is everyone raving about Magic Erasers. Then I read to wet them first. 😂 Yes, I do like Magic Erasers now but whenever I use one, I remember how silly I was the first time.
    I agree about the Facebook deal groups being helpful.
    I am really enjoying your daughter's new blog ♥️

    1. Dear Rhonda,
      I did the same thing! While they did do some good I didnt wet them and now I do and they clean things that otherwise I have not had success with... like marks on the surface of my glass stove top... voila! All clean again!
      I have really had good tip offs now coming from social media. I ran down to K mart to get that body wash.... I never even thought of K mart for such things. I am happy to be leaning a lot at the moment!
      Have a really good new week! With love

    2. When we had our house up for sale in Melbourne someone got to the board with permanent marker. I didn't know about it until I was coming home from spending the day with my cousin. I raced inside and grabbed my damp Magic Eraser and voila - it worked, even on dried on permanent marker. Now I am never without them. They are just so handy.


  18. Hi Annabel and all. I do hope that Andy finds work shortly and your floors are fixed as well.

    I am fairly new to your blog but have been reading it for some time but this is my first comment on here.

    This week we stocked up on chips saving $21.69 on usual prices and shaving cream for DH to last to the end of the year. We also restocked our pantry with 10 tins of lychees, 10 tins of mangoes which were 4 tins over what we usually stock.

    Whilst out of town doing a favour for a friend we picked up fuel at a savings of 7.4c per litre saving $2.69 over what we pay in our small country town. I also picked up 4 new solar garden lanterns in boxes, a new leather punch in it's packet and 10 plastic garden pots at a garage sale for only $5. It was a pay what you think things are worth garage sale.

    We have cooked all meals and bread from scratch, made pumpkin soup from pumpkin puree in the freezer from pumpkins picked from our gardens which fed the two of us for 2 nights along with 2 guests, and a lovely homemade apple pie for desserts for 2 nights for us and two dinner guests.

    We have saved 180lts of town water by not watering due to rain and watered in newly sprouted seedlings with rain water from our rain water tanks.

    DH and I made a decision to save up a 50% deposit for building our home with rather than borrowing now to give us greater leeway in our budget for repaying the home loan much quicker. We are nudging almost 20% of the way there now.

    I am sorry to hear so many are getting massive hikes in both their electricity and town water charges as well. It is going to make it increasingly hard for a lot of families : ( . We are about to get a 3.3% rise here in our tariff prices but I know we are very lucky compared to a lot of other people.

    Have a great week ahead everyone : ) .


    1. I like your name Sewingcreations and welcome and thank you for commenting! Well done on your savings for your home and for thinking the best way to do it as far as your future repayments go. This would be very motivating to save in everyday possible to achieve your dream!
      It really is a case of little bits add up. Your pumpkin soup and apple pie sound beautiful!
      Our electricity is going up 20% (again) and I do think this will mean a lot of people just do not have heating or cooling. Its getting serious. Currently I am trying to overcome the price hikes in food without even addressing this price hike!
      It was really good you could also add to your pantry! Well done! Thank you so much for sharing your week and I hope this new week will be a good one for you! Love

    2. Hi Annabel I don't know if you have the room to grow some vegetables and fruit there where you live but it does save you a lot of money in your budget if you can which may help.

      We live on a half acre property in the country and worked out that we saved around $4000 a year by growing our own berries, herbs and vegetables and that was less expenses for the garden. That is for the two of us. Yes our vegetable produce is hugely expensive here.

      Another tip if you are not already doing it for meat is to purchase it in bulk. We purchase meat once a year and pay $9.99kg for hindquarter of beef which the butcher cuts up for us, and purchase whole lambs for very reasonable prices too. For chickens we purchase them whole when on special for $3 kg and stock up when we see them next come on special.

      I hope this helps you and others to trim the ever growing grocery prices in our budgets.


    3. Thank you! We grow quite a bit but far from everything. We are looking at buy bulk. The dilemma is needing bigger freezers and the price of electricity is so high. I have some room in my Mums freezer though which is a big help and we are going to a wholesale butcher. Thanks so muchxxx

  19. Hi Annabel
    I have my mums recipe for butterscotch pudding written down which is very similar to your golden syrup pudding. I loved it as a child, still do! I can't believe the price of the body washes! That's a great boost to the gift cupboard.

    You must be feeling organised with all the sorting of cupboards you are doing. It seems ridiculous that three people need to come and see a ruined floor when two have already said it needs replacing, hopefully three is enough to get some action!

    We have had a really lean week here, my car bill from last week was $500, and I'd decided I would pay it all in one hit and we would spend very little on food. So there was a lot of baking, I think I made 12 loaves of bread, chocolate cake, gluten free chocolate slice, focaccia, marmite scrolls, and chocolate chip cookies. And we made it lol. I was pretty stoked to be able to do a small stock up on groceries on Thursday, and will need to do a major shop next week. The baking supplies have taken a hit!

    For us, fruit and vegetables have become horribly expensive too, and the price of butter is awful. And we are surrounded by dairy farms! We have two supermarkets in town, and they do have reasonable specials each week, but the regular price is not great. And so often the specials are on the pre-packaged foods that I don't buy. So I think like you, I will travel further to do a major stock up. Thankfully, petrol is loads cheaper where we live now, around 30 cents/litre, so that helps.

    I wrote a new budget this week, now that we have a clearer idea of our expenses in our new area. We went through it together, and then worked out how we can limit trips in the car. And we realised that if we are really well organised we could save quite a lot. My partner will be able to do some school pickups so that I don't need to make the drive twice a day, and when the kids have after school activities we can stay in town provided I have a big afternoon tea for them. So I will need to be really well on top of things, but should be able to save between $20 and $30 a week between us. So I'm feeling quite positive about putting our plan into action!

    I hope you have a lovely Sunday and good week next week everyone

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, You did very well with all the baking and stretching the budget that way to pay the big bill! And I can see you will bake so that the kids will have plenty of afternoon tea and perfectly happy!
      We are doing the same thing! All weekend I have re hashed the plans, budget, routine etc to come up with a new plan. This week will be the first week of travelling further afield and I guess I will know straight away if it pays off. Also what is going on?? Everyone is telling me the same thing about fruit and veggies (and meat) going up in price, not by a bit, enormously. Some of the US ladies have said it as well as Aust. and NZ.
      I hope you get the chance to build your pantry back up and I hope your new plans work out to be good savings! You did so well you should be proud of yourself! With lots of love,

  20. Dear Annabel,
    Your cooking looks so good! Well done on your finds- I really like the knobs!
    This was another good week for me, and I find writing things down gives me much more motivation. My total comes to $538 and some change.
    This week, I saved on groceries, cooked breakfast and packed lunches and coffee on workdays, and made lots of freezer meals! I put up 24 beef, bean and cheese burritos, 2 lasagnas, 2 tater-tot casseroles, and a batch of spaghetti sauce. I also made a huge jar of pancake mix and three batches of cornbread mix. This not only saves me money by not buying premade, but also by keeping us from getting take out later on when the baby comes. I have also been cooking on a day we normally eat out, which for us is Wednesday after an evening church service. I figured this alone would save us $720/year. I also baked a loaf of beer bread this week and we have been enjoying homemade cherry vanilla milkshakes.
    This week I also finished sewing up two double-sided baby blankets (making three total) and a single layer receiving blanket. I checked prices on etsy to calculate savings.
    I purchased some muslin on clearance, yarn on sale, and knitting needles and paid with a gift card. I also found a Winnie-the-Pooh book at a garage sale for .50 and a teapot and large flannel sheet for less than $4 total. We also found some items on clearance including wool socks for my husband and an enamel watering can for me.
    A few weeks ago, we got a puppy. She is a Great Pyrenees, and as it gets so hot here, we thought of getting a dog pool for her to cool off in. My husband said to wait and see if he could find something on the ranch. Well he did! We had an old water trough that had a hole in it, but he found that the hole was high enough he could just cut the top off above it. That is a savings of $20.
    Today I was blessed with a few things from our church. We just sold our building and today moved our things out. I was allowed to take two tall old windows with white chippy paint, a bulletin board, some silk flowers, pages of old sheet music, and a huge chalkboard. I homeschooled a group of children using this chalkboard when I was 18, so it is sentimental. Well it is all sentimental, really! Now to figure out how to use my windows...
    Annabel, I hope you will be able to get your new floors soon. I will be praying for Andy's work situation to get sorted out, too. He is blessed to have a prudent wife.
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, Thank you so much! I am so glad doing the Vicky Challenge is helping you! I find it so motivating too. Whenever someone makes a remark that stay at home Mums tend to get this information is going to be very good for you. $538 tax free dollars is very reasonable money! Plus you see it adding up week by week.
      Now I LOVE the sound of the old windows. There are so many beautiful things you can do with them. I have see some where the glass is painted with chalkboard then it becomes a notice board or insertional words or others where they become multi picture frames... anyway I know I would love them!
      I wonder of you could pack a little picnic for after the evening Church service? Then it is like a little outing and I am thinking its summer there and summer evenings could be nice.
      All your efforts and savings have really added up and Im glad you had such a good week! I hope this week will be just as good if not better! With lots of love,

  21. Well, is it any wonder that you feel tired Annabel. I do not know how you manage to fit in everything that you manage to do each week. On top of all that, you have the worry about Andy's work and also the upheaval re the insurance for your floors etc. I really hope that you manage to have a break, after all of this. We all have to take a little time to rest and revive, so that we get re-energised. Do not underestimate how much you have going on,and be kind to yourself. You are an amazing, strong, resourceful and encouraging woman. Thank you for all that you do and for your advice and generosity in sharing everything that you do. Anne

    1. Thanks so much for the encouraging words Anne. I think the next weeks are going to be full on with removing the floors and new ones going down. After that Id love a break! Fingers crossed! Thanks


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