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, 22 June 2017

Feather your Nest Friday. 23 June, 2017.

I am fairly pleased with this week.  We have had beautiful sunny days which has made it feel like it isn't winter at all except for the really cold nights! It has been so nice. 
Andy had work in bits and pieces all week and as we all know bits and pieces all add up! 

This week was my first week of an experiment in travelling further afield for fruit and veggies. The prices of these have been through the roof and getting worse. The other day I bought ONE tomato to give you an idea.  So this week I headed off to a fruit and veggie shop that I know of and have had success at before, it is just a bit out of the way. 
Well, it was worth it!   Overall things were about half the price they have been locally.  But some things were about quarter price! 

Everything was fresh and lovely and there was a man out the front playing the harmonica! It had atmosphere!  

These cauliflowers were HUGE.  Our local cauliflowers have been $7.  These were twice the size and $2.99 to give you an idea of the difference.
So I did a big fruit and veggie shop and then I got my meat from Aldi.
This really only added half an hour to my shopping day.  I came home with so much more having spent so much less!  
Next week I am trying a different location. Then I will compare...

Where you live are there this wild variation in prices in different areas? 

I ended up making a menu plan to use the things that need using first and it gave me a ten day plan of great abundance! So pleased!

Otherwise some of the ways I saved this week included:
I made two focaccia breads.  I have chives in the garden which Andy loves yet I seldom use them!  So I cut chives and sprinkled all over one and added cheese.

The other one I used up some left over sun dried tomato.... 

They were yum straight from the oven and with our meals during the week.

I made a chicken curry and picked mint from Mum's garden for raita which gave us another two meals. To go with this I made another batch of Naan Bread.  This is so nice fresh out of the frying pan this is really good with a curry! 

I got 16 large pieces so the freezer is re stocked with naan bread.  These are $1.75 each in the supermarket.

I was given a few free lemons.

Also yesterday I washed the windows. All this sunshine showed up how dirty they were so I washed them and it looks so nice. It is like you get twice the sunlight in the house with clean windows!   Beautiful!
I added a ruffled curtain to the bathroom and an op shop crystal vase of pink roses. 

I added powdered milk to my food storage.

I wrote $174 in my Vicky Challenge book.

So that is my week so far!  It will be so interesting to compare prices in another area next week.  And these are just shops I know about... I need to find out about places I don't even know about yet! 

How did you build up your home, save money or get ahead this week?  
Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds, thank you for another excellent post Annabel, you have gad a great week.
    My week included:
    I Gratefully received lemons and 2 meals from my Dad , saving me $25 .
    I had two hours of subsidised cleaning , $40 savings compared to having cleaning done through a private company.
    I had two hours of meal prep , saving me getting takeaway so approximately $40 savings.
    I saved $21 on groceries and got free delivery saving me another $11. I put $25 in savings .
    I gratefully received 9 small bowls , they are good ones and very old . A saving of approximately $40 .
    I also received transport from my dad , $30 savings .
    I went to the golden circle factory outlet and bought 2 boxes of quinoa and nut muesli bars for $1 each saving $10 approximately compared to the supermarket.
    I also bought 2 bags of cashew nuts at the golden circle outlet , in the supermarket they are $12 each at least . I paid $6 each , saving $12 .
    Total savings this week was approximately $222.
    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend
    Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb,
      Your Dad is lovely! How helpful he is! I wish I had one of those Golden Circle outlets... Lynette has also talked about them! They sound wonderful!
      All your savings really added up! Also it is so helpful to get the help with the meals and the cleaning. This must make such a difference. Also home cooked meals are usually much healthier so it is a win all round.
      I hope you have a good weekend Barb! Thank you for sharing your week with us all! With love

    2. Barb, what a great week of savings! Thank you for sharing with us here; I always look for your comments when I stop by Annabel's site! Enjoy the week-end! Love, Teresa

    3. Dear Teresa, thank you for your lovely comment , that was very kind of you to say .

      Dear Annabel , my Dad is very kind and he helps me a lot as you know .i love him and my mum very much.
      The golden circle factory outlet is great Annabel , I buy breakfast biscuits for $7 for a carton of 8 boxes , a saving of at least $28 compared to the supermarket . It is a big saving Annabel.
      Thank you Annabel and Teresa, happy weekend to you both and to all of my fellow bluebirds.
      Love Barb

  2. Dear Annabel and Blue Bird friends - as you say every little bit adds up. Love the look of that cauliflower and glad that you found great bargains further a field.

    This week has been all about changing things and testing them for when my husband starts his new job - he will be gone around 12 hours so things that I need help with have had to be changed.

    We also went further afield on Wednesday to check out a fruit and vegetable place that I had seen great reviews about - I must be more fussy than others because firstly I didn't like the idea of goods sitting outside getting sun on them and then I noticed that while the outside items were cheap (they had buckets of items) inside the prices were very expensive. There is no way I could do a full shop there so it really defeated the purpose but answered the question as to if it was worth the trip.

    We headed across to where I normally go and picked up some chicken breast fillets and mince that was on sale. My husband popped into Chemist Warehouse while we were there too so really a better place to shop as far as I can see.

    Our meals have been from the freezer, need to make room for another cook up in a couple of weeks time.

    We are heading away for a few days next week which is unfortunately school holiday time so more expensive than if not. Meals will be from the freezer with a little bit purchased from the supermarket to go with them. I have already started popping things in a box as I think of them.

    I have always worked on 'better in my pocket than theirs' similar to your 'every little bit helps'.

    Have a great weekend everyone - I have some baking to do to take away with us.


    1. Dear Lynette,
      It sounds like we are doing the same thing with checking out further afield. This place was the same in that all the good prices were in their out the front area that was quite large. But here it was all under a veranda and awnings. So that was fine. In the sun would not be so good! They could put up umbrellas or something!
      Yes you will have a whole new routine when DH starts this job. Long days too. It will be an adjustment but it is so fantastic to have regular work like this.
      I hope you have a wonderful few days away! Enjoy it before your new life kicks in! With much love

  3. Gee it sounds like it's worth a bit of a trip in the car for good veggie specials. The harmonica playing man sounds very European. Your breads are always so delicious to look at. Glad Andy had work, and speaking of ...... I'm off too. Have a great weekend. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fi, Yes the whole store was Greek I think... it was awesome. It was kind of fun!
      I hope your week has been good! With lots of love,

  4. The biggest savings this few weeks has been that my hubby retired at 62. When he was working he had a 40 minute drive to work and a 40 minute drive home, 6 days a week and 12 hour days now that he's home I can't tell you quite how much money we have saved on gas, at this point I'm going to say $80.00 X 4 = $320.00 a month. Huge amount in my book. I must admit when I saw the price for your cauliflower here I'm paying .69 a pound. I almost fainted I have to stop complaining about prices. Have a blessed week.

    1. Dear Tealady, Your husband has had very very long days and drives. You must be so glad he doesnt have to do that anymore!
      We should have a compare of prices. Eggs start at $5 a doz or so here. I should write a list!
      I hope you both will enjoy retirement and that there will be all kinds of good things to do and opportunities to save and make the most of it! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  5. Hello Annabel and everyone :) .

    Annabel I am so glad Andy got some work to help with your families budget and you were able to get vegetables at such great prices.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $235.88 maybe a bit more too I think on things that were not really able to be calculated.

    - In the garden we picked approx. 750g of cherry tomatoes, 3kg of capsicums and 500g of early Massey shelling peas saving $38.20 over buying them in the local supermarket.
    - Used composted grass clipping on half of the vegetable gardens for mulch saving $35 over buying hay locally.

    In the home -
    - Made all of our bread and meals from scratch.
    - Used saved flannelette rags to deep clean the bathroom and toilet with instead of using paper towels.
    - Used homemade citrus vinegar to clean the walls with and citric acid to clean the toilet rather than using or buying commercial cleaners.

    Electricity savings -
    - Made most of our hot chocolates and steamed our vegetables on the slow combustion stove.
    - Only washed two loads of washing instead of the usual 3 by washing lounge covers and other things once every two weeks instead of weekly.
    - Used our solar lanterns instead of turning on mains powered lights all week saving $10 in electricity.
    - Swept the floors this week rather than vacuuming.

    Water savings -
    - Used all of our grey water from the washing machine and showers to water our house lawns with instead of using town water.
    - Watered only twice this week with town water and 1 day we used rain water from the tanks to hand water saving 90lts of town water.

    Firewood savings -

    This week we were truly blessed so we will count our blessings when we receive them. We rang the owner of the usual farm we cut our firewood from and he got someone else into do it unfortunately :( , and we were thinking we would have to buy firewood ouch. The blessing came when a friend offered that we could cut as much firewood as we needed from his property free of charge, yay !.

    - Today we cut .785 cubic metre more ironbark firewood weighing 880kg free of charge 10 minutes drive from home. The cost of firewood has gone up significantly around here and now costs $110 per 700kg, eek. By cutting our own today by weight taking out a bit for fuel and oils we saved a massive $152.68.

    Hope everyone has had a wonderful week and found ways to save money.


    1. Dear Sewingcreations15, What a good week! Well done! Around here people are charging over $300 for a trailer load of wood! It is so expensive! I love having a good wood heap as it says security to me! So the wood you cut up plus all that you can get is just so valuable. Plus you are then cookie on your wood fire! I used to use mine as a kind of crockpot with a big cast iron camp oven on top of the stove, and the kettle of course!
      Your garden produce sounds just beautiful! I love how everything adds together! Well done all this is significant!
      Have a lovely weekend and I hope next week is just as good! thank you for sharing your week! With love

    2. Hi Annabel and thank you.

      I am not sure what area you are in there but $300 + for a trailer load of firewood is astronomical, ouch. Yes that is how we view it too a good wood stockpile is huge security to us as we can get down to -11oc here in winter.

      So worrying on those prices is just how people manage to pay that price and unfortunately I think a lot of people are not able to afford heating. I am assuming that that is a 6' x 4' trailer load as well ?. That would probably only be a tad over .5 of a cubic metre of firewood.


  6. Hi Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds!!

    I really love the look of the chives and cheese bread!! I would love to have heard the harmonica music at the cauliflower shop!!

    Our weather has been beautiful, too!! I've barely made a dent in my current work, but it's a dent, nevertheless!!

    I have a humble chalkboard right in front of my nose in the kitchen, and it lists the pantry items to be used up ..... Tonight, we had pear crumble!!

    I said to my husband today, "Can you see what's missing?" He said, "No." So I said, "That's good!" Sorting is wonderful!

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, Now your husband will be trying to figure out whats missing! haha!
      Pear crumble sounds beautiful! And just right for winter. I think the chalkboard in the kitchen with what needs using up is a brilliant idea! A menu plan would be awesome too... ok I think I want to get on to this!
      Maybe I should be drying chives... I just thought of that! I mean I have chives galore!
      I am sure you made more than a dent and made goof progress for the week! Have a good weekend! With love

  7. Happy Day Everyone!

    Annabel, funny you should comment on your chives and though they grow abundantly you use very little. I was thinking the same thing looking at my large herb planters yesterday. I have a wildly large Thyme plant and the Cilantro I planted has gone crazy. Someone, though, has decided my Dill tastes good. :(
    I need to gather up bunches and put them in the dehydrator.

    My tomato harvest will be paltry this year...we have had such a huge amount of rain in Tennessee that they are succumbing to a fungal disease that I just cannot stop. I'm thinking of pulling them all up and picking up new plants at the garden center. We have such a nice long growing season I should still have time for a decent harvest.

    Your foccacia bread looks yummy! I made a batch of Naan a few months back, but wasn't happy with the texture. I need to give it a go once again. My hubby *must* have Naan with his eggs each morning. :~)

    Ladies you have all been so busy! I'm worn out just reading all you have been up to. I have spent a lot of time at the computer this week...working for clients and for our family business. Plan to hop on the treadmill later, as we have more rain on the way!

    Love to read all the great deals you are all finding. Just a short drive can yield such a wonderful savings. I am in a rural area, so to save any money I must drive further afield. The local family owned grocery store, though a lovely family, must charge a higher cost. So it really hurts the budget if I need more than a few items to get me by. So glad you've found places to save!

    Well, as I have chattered on, it is time to close. I will wish everyone a blessed day!


    1. Dear Kathryn!
      I have been told that threading copper wire through the stem of each tomato plant can be wonderful against fungal disease.
      A bountiful crop of thyme sounds beautiful!!

  8. It sounds like a very eventful trip to the fruit/veggie market. So happy you found a place that is affordable!
    Prices fluctuate here according to neighborhoods.

    You breads look heavenly. Glad you had such a great week.

    1. Dear Cheryl!
      Thank you very much for commenting!
      I think bread can make the week, since it is the staff of life! My garlic chives are just starting off, & now I know one lovely way to use them!!

  9. Hello!
    I love all your beautiful pictures and ways you save!
    I am just flabbergasted as I read this!
    I live in Minnesota, USA - small community, of 13, 000. Closest large city 100,000 is 60 miles away.
    We have Aldi, target, Walmart and 2 local grocery stores. By far I save most at Aldi.
    Yesterday, I paid .45cents for a doz lg. eggs, .65c for Greek yogurt. Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are all $1.49 a pint
    The naan bread 4 to a pkg. is 2.99
    2# carrots are 1.19
    1# butter is 2.99
    And 1 pint of heavy whipping cream is 1.89
    Thankful for the work you are doing!
    I have gleaned so many beautiful ideas from you all!
    A website you may find interesting is
    She has 10 principals of preparedness which are free and invaluable wealth of info!
    Having said that, we like you, put our ultimate trust in God, who leads, guides and protects!
    Many blessings !

    1. Dear Tootles/Lori!
      I love that you are flabbergasted for us!! Without our American friends, who would have known?!!!! Ha ha!! Australia, of course, is largely a dry country, and our population density is low. Hence, higher prices!
      Thank you for the tip on I've had a peek already! Your focus on the Eternal is everything!
      Yes, Annabel and co. are full of beautiful and practical homemaking ways!! Your company has been enjoyable! Thank you!

  10. Dear Annabel,
    I was so happy to read that some work came in for Andy. Your bread baking looks delicious.

    We tend to go out further for groceries and find better prices. Definitely have had some wild price fluctuations here. I suspect some of these fluctuations are due to the volatile weather that the U.S. has been experiencing as well as some of your growing areas. We're in the middle of that kind of weather now with a tropical storm coming up the coast today and part of tomorrow.

    This week wasn't a shopping week so nothing to report there. We did take out our icecream maker and made 2 flavors of dairy free icecream and stored them in the freezer. Does that count as nest feathering? Ha ha. After finding out that radish tops were good to eat I sauteed them and used them in a rice dish comprised of all the leftovers in the refrigerator. Some of the ribbon roses got used as part of the gift wrapping on a wedding present. Wishing all the Bluebirds a beautiful and safe weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie!
      I hope the storm has fizzled out for you, and that you're safe and sound!!
      Two flavours of dairy-free ice cream is, most definitely, nest feathering -- of the best kind!! It would be interesting to hear how you made this!!
      Radish greens! Yum! We've had ours on a salad bun, and in pasta!!
      You are beautifully creative!!

  11. Annabel, the cauliflower looks so good and fresh! Cauliflower here is around $3 per head. Needless to say it is a treat at our house! Our garden is going full steam ahead and there is much to harvest and preserve. This week we were tied up with Vacation Bible School and didn't get much done so that means next week will be full of harvesting and preserving. I am not complaining as it all adds to my pantry.

    1. Dear Patsy!
      Enjoy your garden! What a wonderful way to profit and fill your pantry!!
      It seems that cauliflower is a treat for so many!!

  12. Hi Annabel, I am glad Andy has been able to get some work and things are not dire yet. I really appreciate the time and energy you put into your blog. It is the only blog I read regularly as time is limited here, but I look forward to each installment. I love the little neighborhood you have created! I wonder what all countries your readers come from.
    I know things are difficult for you right now, but I am so glad that you find worth in keeping the blog going.
    This week to feather our nest a little, I repaired a fitted sheet that had gotten ripped in a thin part. The patch made my husband laugh, but the sheet is working and I offered to put the patched part on my side of the bed ;) I also planted some free tomato plants that my neighbor had left over and mulched the garden with newspapers we collected over the year and got from friends. We also taste tested a couple of freezer recipes in anticipation of family coming to stay with us for a week next month. There will be 13 of us total staying here, so I wanted to see what I could do to streamline the meals a little bit without having to resort to convenience foods. All together, there will be 9 kids, so I was trying to find some fun kid friendly meals that wouldn't cost a lot. This week we tested chicken legs (bought on sale at $0.49/pound) marinated and frozen, then baked and my kids gave it 2 big thumbs up, and meatball subs made with meatballs we made ahead of time and froze. Another big thumbs up, so that is two meals planned. We are also having a week of strange meals to clean out the fridge and use up some freezer foods. Usually I meal plan a week at a time and am very organized, but this week it is all willy nilly while trying to come up with 2 meals a day using just what is on hand. I am so proud of myself, I have only bought milk, crackers and some grapes to fill out the meals, Which is saying a lot since there are 8 of us!
    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Sarah!
      The sheet mending, the gifted tomato plants, the recipe testing and the 'making do' menus are all very satisfying and worthwhile!! It's even better when they bring joy to your household!!
      Yes, these posts are all the richer when times are tougher! Having real contributors like yourself makes the blog go around!!
      What countries are the readers from? I'll start off - Australia, New Zealand, Nova Scotia, America, Great Britain, the island of Guam, .... You learn to pick the individual commenters and match them to their countries!!

  13. Holy Eggatoni,Annabel!! $5 a dozen for eggs? I bought 5 doz. week before last for 49 cents each! That's just a tad over 4 cents per egg!!

    Admittedly, I had a terrible week all around. Terrible in that I got nearly nothing done. We had an awful humid heat move in and then several nights of insufficient sleep. I've been part zombie! I managed to cook all but one night, but there's a pretty good mess in my nest!! My office, especially. So, rather than just tidy up, I decided to re-deep clean it and see if I can unload even more. It's time to deep clean the bookshelves anyway (KS is very dusty!) so why not do some more purging?!

    Since the humidity (& heat) has lowered significantly for a few days, I'll hopefully finish painting our rec room entertainment unit and get that mess back in order by next weekend.

    On the bright side, the laundry is caught up and there's no need for a market run. The weekend should be a smooth one. AND MUCH COOLER, HURRAY!!!!

    I finished a wonderful mystery. I can't remember the author, but the lead *detective* is an 11 yr. old named Flavia De Luce. The story is set in England in 1950. It was a very enjoyable read. I'm hoping there's more books starring Miss Flavia. She's a little riot!

    1. Dear Debby,
      Yes, good eggs are five dollars!!!!!!!! here in Australia!!
      You know, once the heat is over, you'll be able to look back and have appreciation for the things that were accomplished during the terrible heat! For me, right now, I am enjoying my kitchen towels made and crocheted during the heat of our last summer!!
      Beak up, Bluebird!!

    2. "Beak up, Bluebird!!" Ohhhh, that gave me a belly laugh, Rachel!!!

  14. Dear Annabel and Bluebird Friends,

    I'm glad you and Andy have had a good week! Great job on tracking down better prices on produce! Your baking looks delicious, as usual.

    Going back a few days, it has been an exciting, joy-filled time for us as we celebrated the marriage of our oldest granddaughter. Our son and family came from Colorado, too. We hadn't seen him since July due to his deployment. It was wonderful having our whole family together several times along with the wedding. Since the day after the wedding was Father's Day, everyone but the newlyweds gathered at our house for lunch/dinner and to relax and visit.

    The description of your weather sounds wonderful, Annabel! As you know, we are in the southwest U.S. We have been having extreme heat warnings. The day of the wedding it was 114 F. A couple days later, we hit 121F and have had several days of record breaking heat.

    We have been keeping extra water going to our plants and trees. Last year, we had made a cover for my garden area with shade cloth, so that was in place. We used some extra pieces to cover a few other plants. We also moved a few of the potted plants to shade and brought most of the hanging plants inside. I have still picked a few small tomatoes that set before warmer weather.

    My husband had some oral surgery done this week. We are thankful it went well. Since insurance covered very little of it, I asked if they could give a cash discount. We were very pleased that they gave us a 10% discount for paying by check rather than credit card.

    Getting ready for company, I finally got new drapes hung in our bedroom. It looks so much better and also keeps the light out better when they are closed.

    I am continuing working on decluttering.

    Our daughter shared a table bouquet and a large arrangement of flowers from the wedding, so we have been enjoying their beauty and lovely fragrance.

    Thinking we might want to take some of the family out for dinner, I purchased gift cards for a favorite restaurant for 20% off that we were able to combine with a coupon for 15% off total purchase for a nice discount.

    I put together a goodie bag for the youngest granddaughter with a new game, coloring book, shirt, candies and things I thought she would like, most of which I had bought deeply discounted or free. Not only was it nice having something to give her while she was here, but it also saved the cost of postage.

    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

    1. Dear Elaine,
      The wedding sounds like a beautiful family celebration and get together!
      I am sorry about the heat. I know what this is like. We have that kind of heat here. It is hard on people, animals and plants! I have old sheets and I cover a lot of my garden which looks like a chinese laundry but it saves things. We are worried that we will get this kind of heat next summer and not have enough electricity or have none at all as power stations have closed down and they have not been replaced with anything! If this happens we could face disaster.
      Having flowers from the wedding in the house would have been lovely! I would dry some to keep if there are suitable flowers or press some. Possibly even strike a cutting from some!
      Your grand daughter would have loved her goodie bag!
      Well done on your week! Thank you so much for sharing it! With love

    2. I remember your mentioning that you sometimes have the kind of heat we get. We are really grateful for air conditioning! I hope you don't have to deal with electricity shortages or outages next summer!

  15. I am so glad Andy has had work!

    I noticed today that the regular grocery store we shopped at this morning had prices 2-3 times the produce prices at Aldi. That is our best source for produce in my area but your prices are way more than here. I am so glad you are finding better places to shop for yours. Cooking without fresh produce is difficult.

    We installed eight feet of tall storage shelves in our garage. Shopping around helped us purchase them for less than half. We are gaining many feet of real estate by clearing out things that we no longer need or use. Neighbors who have five children have gladly taken so many items that our children enjoyed and it is good to know they will be used.

    We have just had a week of a lot of rain and horribly humid gray weather but next week will be beautiful so we are looking forward to it. My tomato plants have loved it though and are all covered with tiny green tomatoes.

    Have a good weekend!

    1. Dear Lana,
      Summer rain must be very useful! That is an asset!
      Your new storage shelving - working upwards - is going to be very, very useful! When one area falls into place, others benefit, also! What a good move!!
      Yes, comparing our prices is very interesting! We Aussies just have to grin and bear it -- and get our own chooks/chickens!!
      Thank you for writing!!

  16. Hi Annabel and Bluebird friends,
    Our week has seen Bluey and I on Grandparent duty. We have been having a ball. We have 2 more days until we part company. We are soaking up as much of this time as we can.
    we can't put a price on this time. It is golden.
    Life is brilliant!

    1. Dear Jane, It sounds like you are having the best time! I am glad you are enjoying it so much. These are very special times! I have the best memories of holidays with my Grandparents. Now I am like you... cherishing time together and all the moments of little ones again. Yes life is wonderful! With love

    2. How wonderful to spend time with the grandchildren! Enjoy!

  17. Hi Annabel and everyone
    We haven't had cauliflower yet this year due to the cost. At the supermarket the other day they had bags reduced because they needed to be used very quickly, and they were $5 for a small bunch! I didn't even check the regular price.

    You are making gorgeous breads of all varieties with your sourdough. I thought I had killed mine! It just wasn't bubbling like it had when I first started it. So I kept feeding and feeding it without much difference. It was getting to be quite a lot of starter, so I decided to make a sponge and hope for the best. And it worked beautifully! I made four pizza bases and they were great. So I made more the next day and haven't solved the mystery as to why there weren't many bubbles in the starter, but am not too bothered since the sponges are still getting very bubbly and the end result is good lol.

    We started our new spending plan this week, and I shopped further afield. That was definitely worth it, I will do that once a fortnight. Having gone the previous fortnight on a tight budget due to my car service bill being high, I was looking forward to having a fairly unpredictable fortnight budget-wise. And then the other car broke down. We thought it was going to be not worth fixing, which would have been far from ideal timing, but the mechanic managed to fix it for $300. So a bit of a dent in the new spending plan, but loads better than it might have been!

    I've had a cold this week, and have been quite low on energy, but I finished a cross stitch this week, knit some more facecloths for Christmas, and I'm feeling motivated to get some more gifts done before the end of the month.

    Have a lovely Sunday everyone

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen!
      When nice 'caulies' are selling for a good price, we tend to have a good feed of them! Whole steamed cauliflower - cut into servings - and cheese sauce is what we like!! This could be called 'the cauliflower post'!!!!
      Your bubbly sourdough observations sound nerve-wracking and fun at the same time!! Keep up your bubbly work!!
      Making financial ends meet, and coping with poor health, certainly makes life a chore! It's good to be able to say that you came off lightly with only a $300 car bill. Phew!! That's easier than using Shanks' pony!
      Have a good new week!!

    2. Dear Jen, There have been times when my starter hasn't bubbled even though its been out of the fridge half a day... then Ive fed it and its been ok. Its weird! I think it is a heap hater to kill than we think! I am glad its going ok for you!
      Im sorry both your cars broke down! Sounds like they planned it to me!
      These things are not what we need. But you have done well to review the budget and all that you do. If you have time send me some pictures of your face cloths for show and tell!
      Have a really good new week! With love

  18. It would appear that apart from a few hiccups, everyone had a productive week. Good on you all! Cookie I too would like to see how you do dairy free ice cream. Most of my family cannot use dairy. Annabelle your baking is as always marvellous.

    I live in Canada and our prices here seem to be about on par with Australia's. We pay roughly $4.00 for a dozen large eggs, though they often go on sale. I am fortunate to have a chicken farmer in the family, so get Omega-3 eggs for free. Cauliflower here is $2.99/lb so roughly $5.00 for a large head. I was not able to put a garden in this year, we have had rain everyday for as long back as the first few days of June....when we had 3 days of summer. At present, us and our neighbouring province have had frost warnings the past couple of nights. Yup, the end of June we should be seeing highs of 30oC with night times around 20o. We presently are having daytime highs of 15oC. The gardens that did get put in are stalled. Not growing and many of the fields of various crops are yellow from too much rain. We won't complain though. It will be interesting to see what will be for sale at the farmers market on Thursday.

    This week, I continued to eat from the fridge and freezer. I am getting low on frozen vegetables and root vegetables, but that is okay as I still have lots of fruit. In a couple of weeks we can start harvesting wild berries and the strawberry crops should be ready in a week or so. We had a draw at work on Thursday as some of our suppliers give us gifts when we order large quantities. I won a wine kit meaning the corkscrew, the insert to replace the corks I can never get back into the bottle and a few other things. Since I don't tend to be a drinker of any sort, it will go into my gift cupboard as a Christmas gift. Only baking I did this week was a banana bread as I needed to use up bananas.

    Have a great week everyone.

    1. Dear Jean,
      While we are not vegans I found that this link is very good for dairy free treats. Go to chocolate covered and search healthy ice cream recipes. Blessings Cookie

  19. I see the prices of item there in Australia, and it makes me wonder what it would be in American dollars. $7 is crazy for a head of cauliflower!

    1. I just plugged it into currency converter, and a $7 head of cauliflower would be $5.32 here in The U.S. That IS expensive!


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