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 28 September 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 29 September, 2017.

I was back to a more normal week!  Using my kitchen and cooking I am finding it so much better and clear counters are lovely.

Some of the ways I feathered the nest and saved included:

Mum gave me a dozen eggs and 2 sheets of pastry. Allie let me pick spinach from her garden.

You can guess what I made!  Two large spinach quiches! 

Lucy gave me eight large bananas.  Using my yoghurt in place of sour cream I made three huge banana cakes.  This one is packed ready for travel to the farm for Chloe...

I cut up and froze a whole cake and Lucy got bananas back in her cake.  Harper calls this Nan Nan Bell's 'Nana Cake.  😊

I made two batches of yoghurt, one Greek and one vanilla.  Half the greek yoghurt went into cake and  the rest I decided to try making a soft cheese.  This is Greek Yoghurt strained for a few days like this...

After a few days there is a lot of liquid strained off.  Then I rolled it into balls and placed these into olive oil with chives and garlic...

It will either be good or terrible!  I will report next week.  But it looked and felt like cream cheese.  The consistency was creamy.   This lot is to go with crackers on Grand final day.  So I am hoping I can use it as cream cheese and it can go into pasta dishes and make cream cheese frosting.  If so this will be another huge savings!
(And something else I have learned!)

This week we achieved something I have really wanted and we got a rainwater tank!  Mum's house a street away has one and this has been my emergency back up water. But now we also have our own!  This was one of the things we planned with the insurance money. 

It fits nicely down the side of the house and it was a bargain as well. We used to look at them and price them so we were expecting to pay much more but for $300 we have a tank plus the fittings and tap etc.

We also upgraded our generator.  So all the waiting on a pay out from insurance paid off as we have a beautiful floor and have been able to invest in these things.  

I made a large batch of chicken tikka masala plus used more yoghurt to make a mint raita with mint from the garden.  I had Naan bread in the freezer from the last big lot I made.  This made three meals.

We had a left overs night and I have got ahead with my menu planning and am learning more and more.  I will have a menu planning update post soon as I have found all kinds of tricks to add just one more meal to the list.  It is really working.  I can now just shop for specials and my list only ever has one or two things on it. 

In just over a week my Aunt is having a garden party with a trading table. I have been potting herbs, saving Bay Leaves and other items for the trading table.  
A reader wrote me the most beautiful letter and offered to trade items.  I love bartering!  I also had suitable items to trade!  So we did a deal and made friends!   I am going to do a post on this soon. How often is it that we have a lot of one thing?  It just works out that way.  I have a lot of parsley seed,  masses of Bay Leaves,  another thing I have in ridiculous numbers are the old fashioned tortoise shell  knitting needles.  This is how it goes.  So we are going to have a Bluebirds swap party! 

I hope you had a good week!  How did you build up your nest, save or get ahead? 

September was a big and very busy month. We achieved a fair bit.  Now on to October! xxx


  1. So excited for you over your rain barrel and homemade cheese! I've made this cheese before. The recipe I used called it Farmer Cheese. Quaint. :)
    I'm keeping up with my sourdough and yogurt, despite a busy time of events and canning. We enjoyed a Sourdough Applesauce cake tonight. Yum!
    We had tikka masala last week and my m-i-l loved it. She's never had Indian food before. I served it over seasoned basmati rice and now that recipe is a keeper. My husband asked if we could just eat basmati rice from now on. :)
    I still haven't tried making naan, but I'll try it this weekend.
    Thanks Annabel!

    1. Dear Leslie, I think your MIL then might also like butter chicken. This is so nice and another favourite here. These are real meat stretchers thanks to the rice etc to go with them. You will love the Naan I think.
      I am glad to hear of your canning! It is a busy time but worthwhile! Have a lovely weekend! With love

    2. I did have great success with the Naan. I have Laine's "Uncle Raymond's Bread" recipe memorized and then added yogurt before spooning it onto the griddle. Thanks! Leslie


  2. Dear Annabel (and Beautiful Bluebirds)!!

    Yesterday, Dad sent me an email to mention that he had meant to give me some of his home grown eggs and silverbeet/'spinach'. At first glance, it looked like he had emailed them to you - as seen in your first beautiful picture!! Ha ha!!

    Ahhh, I love it when we can tackle life in small pieces -- bananas become banana cake; milk becomes a cream cheese (still on my list!!), ...... Your work is as beautiful as ever, & maybe more so!!

    Well done on making a tank and generator out of floor savings!! I really love that!!

    Amazing! Your Aunt is having a garden party with a trading table?! That sounds lovely!! I can hardly wait to hear your story about this, and your bartering with a new friend!! Will there really be a Bluebirds swap party; did I read right?! That would be so much fun!!

    I felt a little American-like upon buying eggs on sale at ninety cents per dozen .......... for the dog!! We also bought specials of tea, baked beans, dried fruit and baking spices! I tried my cured olives (from Dad's trees), & they are lovely!!

    I am noticing that we Bluebirds, with practice and time, are starting to show the fruits of our labour! For instance, just look at Wendy's cards, and Kelsey's gift hampers/bags!! It is beautiful to see!!!!! Annabel, thanks for the inspiration for home endeavours!

    Warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, It would be funny if your Dad sent me your eggs and spinach! It just must be eggs and spinach week!
      Yes! I thought why cant we have a Bluebirds swap? Despite post and countries it is possible. My swap this time is with Tanya. I have managed to keep my swap to fit inside an A4 envelope which works out ok within Australia. So we will have to say what country we are in and take this into account but many things are small to post from seeds to craft supplies etc. So we will see how it goes!
      I have NEVER seen eggs that price! You got great items for your pantry too.
      You make a good point... we have many examples of beginners and learners now even making a side line income from their crafts. On Wednesdays post Cookies crochet was pretty new to her. Like our new sock knitters too! Skills are so wonderful as they can help in many ways. Skills can be bartered also!
      I hope I will have photos of my aunts trading table and garden day. It is a lovely idea and a day in the garden suits me.
      Have a good weekend! Oh and also... I am glad about the olives being good! With love

    2. Rachel I am so glad your olives turned out so well. I had been wondering.

  3. Hello Annabel and beautiful bluebirds :).

    Well done Annabel making your insurance payout money stretch so far :). You will love having rainwater to water your gardens with and for other uses. We have 2 x 1100lt collapsible ones here and use the water often.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $177.41 last week.

    Thought I would start off with the not so frugal is that we had a homeless kitten turn up on our doorstep which we have taken in. Needless to say we had some extra expenditure last week but she is worth it and so affectionate :) and we would not want to see any animal go hungry . Poor thing was so hungry and thirsty and a little malnourished when she got here but is looking much better now.

    Here is the way we feathered our nest and saved a little last week -

    Purchases -
    - Bought 4 new long sleeved dressy t-shirts, 1 pair of shorts and a broiderie anglaise like black cotton peasant top on clearance for $60 saving $83 on normal prices using mostly money I earned from my online internet shop and a little out of our clothing budget. It has been a long time since I purchased any clothing instead making do with what I had and repairing things however I had put on weight (which I needed) so needed some new larger clothing.
    - Purchased a cat brush, collar and toilet brush set for $5.50 from a discount variety store saving $16.99 over purchasing them in the local supermarket.
    - Purchased a new toilet plunger from the supermarket saving $7 over purchasing it in the hardware store.
    - Bought 5 x 2pk 60 x 100cm clothing vacuum storage bags on special from Aldi for $14.95 saving $60.05 over purchasing them in other local stores around here. We should better be able to organise our clothing in the dressing room now with the change of seasons.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    In the garden -
    - Planted 5 x 2mt rows of sweet corn, 3 x 2mt rows of onions, 2 x 2mt rows of carrots, 1 x 3mt row of lettuce, 4 x 2mt rows of cucumbers, 1 x 2mt row of spring onions, 1 x 3mt row of basil and 1 x 5mt row of lavender seeds in the gardens. This should supply us with some lovely vegetables for the coming months.

    Electricity savings -
    - Used our solar lanterns to light our home and only turned on the electric hot water system for 10.5hrs this week saving $10.37 in electricity.

    Water preservation -
    - Used vegetable steaming and rinsing water from freezer bags and orange juice bottles to water some newly planted seeds and seedlings in the vegetable gardens. It is so dry here and we are getting rather low on rainwater in the tanks.

    Have a great week everyone :).


    1. as always a great list of savings sewingcreations15, Most of our pets have turned up on the doorstep, and had a very happy life afterwards.

    2. Thank you Margaret and she will have a good, happy and long life with us :).


    3. Dear Sewingcreations, We are like Margaret says, our pets come to us and are usually unplanned but next thing there they are! Then they are just part of your life!
      You had a very productive week and I love everything you have planted! this will be wonderful! I even love the sight of rows of veggies growing. To me that is a happy sight! I am also using household water on my plants and it adds up, the kitchen sink water, washing machine water and some bath water plus cooking water! I am always running in and out with water! But over a day this is significant.
      Enjoy your weekend! With lots of love,

  4. what a great week you had Annabel.
    Every meal except one was made from scratch, on Tuesday I went to the Melbourne show with a couple of friends, so DH took me out for dinner that evening.
    Due to almost constant rain we haven't needed to save any water for the garden. Unfortunately we don't have any room for a water tank.

    1. Dear Margaret, I hope you enjoyed the show! It sounds like it was a lovely day. And the rain is good while you can get it.
      Have a good weekend! And a good new week for next week, with love

  5. Annabel you've had a busy week :) Your yoghurt cheese (Labna) will be tart - if you want to use it for regular cream cheese in baking you'll need to sweeten it a little. In icing the icing sugar will do it, in place of cream in sponges etc. I add a little honey and vanilla. It makes great savoury dip. You know those cheese wheels you buy covered in herbs or crushed almonds and apricots - it's perfect for making those to have with crackers or veggie sticks. Not much accomplished here this week, it's been a bit of a slow week for me (more time in bed than out this week), but I'm hoping I'll have more energy for the weekend. Have a lovely, week (and enjoy the Grand Final!). Love, Cath

    1. Dear Cath, Thank you for this info on the cheese. I would find having a block or two of cream cheese (equivalent) so useful... so I will try your suggestions thank you. I am sorry to hear of your week being like this... I would guess even you are in bed you are reading, writing or maybe knitting or something! When this happens to me I am plotting and planning so it can be kind of useful sometimes! I hope you feel much much better, with love

  6. It was 36 degrees here today so it is just as well I got into the garden early at 7 am. I tied back the pineapple tomatoes and did a lot of watering. I planted some seeds - fennel, borage, marigold, lettuce and perpetual leaf spinach. I made sure the dogs had a bit of a play in the dam before the heat got too bad. Later in the day I developed a bad headache from the heat, so I rested through to the cool of the day when I did some clothing repairs by hand sitting outside in the shade and the breeze. Yesterday I made some seedling pots from old newspaper to be used when seedlings are ready to be potted on from the seed raising trays. I also made another rice pudding yesterday to use up some cream. Tuesday and Wednesday I went to my job in town. On Monday I baked a easy coconut loaf that we enjoy with a morning cuppa. All dinners were made from scratch, as was one loaf of bread (the other loaf was from the shop - not as good though).

    Don and I are also looking at installing another rain water tank in the next couple of months. Yours does fit well in that spot Annabel. It is great also that you upgraded your generator.

    Good on you, Sewingcreations15 for taking in the stray kitten. We did the same thing many years ago (despite the fact that I am allergic to cats) and our cat was such an important part of our household during her lifetime. She loved playing fetch, watching the tennis and sitting on my desk when I was working on the computer.

    1. Hi Sherri Mac and thank you. Yes I understand about cat allergies as I am also allergic to cat fur :) . I find with brushing her regularly it is not so bad and she will be an outdoor cat on the veranda, but does come inside for cuddles too occasionally.

      We have been getting similar temperatures here with 32 yesterday and 37 a couple of days earlier. We are doing likewise and staying out of the midday heat and doing gardening early in the morning and late in the evenings.

      Good to hear about your plans for an additional water tank. IMHO we all need as many water tanks as we can get and afford, to secure more water supplies in dry times when we get no rain.


    2. Dear Sherri, I am not looking forward to when our temperature gets that warm. We really do have to pace ourselves once its hot and do things according to the heat and time of day. I also tend to get headaches in the heat. Your cooking sounds beautiful! I hope your seedlings come along well too! That was a very productive week! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  7. Just a lovely post as always. You inspire me to be a better person Annabel. Fi xx

    1. Fiona, you hit the nail on the head when you said Annabel inspires you to be a better person---same with me! Annabel, you are a treasure and I love learning from all the ladies. I have to admit, I am not as ambitious as many! Wonderful for you to have the rain barrel, it's a great backup for watering your garden or emergency. In addition to our rain barrel, we also put a water barrel in our basement and filled it. That water would be used for emergency home needs such as washing clothing, bathing, or dishes, and it is also okay to drink (it is filled with regular water from our taps).

    2. Dear Fiona, What a nice thing to say. Now I am suddenly lost for words so just thank you. With love
      Thank you also Joy! The extra water in the basement is a really smart idea! xxx

  8. Dear Annabel,

    Your cakes are making my mouth water! I am glad for you that you were not only able to get new beautiful floors, but also a rainbarrel and better generator!

    It has been a very busy week, here, as well as very strange, weather-wise! We had temperatures up near 37 degrees (C) the end of September here, this is crazy! Then we had huge thunderstorms and 50 mm of rain (some of which promptly leaked into my nicely painted bedroom and caused some damage), and now today it is chilly...only expected to be 14 degrees today with a risk of frost tonight. This is more seasonable, but hard to get used to all of a sudden!!!

    Canned a couple of batches of Italian Prune plums, canned a couple of batches of peaches, canned beets, made/canned peach mustard sauce and steak/burger sauce, made and canned a batch of dill pickles and one of hot mixed veggie pickles, dehydrated some plums, zucchini, and some mixed fruit leather. Made bread, cookies, zucchini cake, yogurt. And tried to keep the fruit flies at bay...fairly unsuccessfully! I am happy to see my pantry shelves getting fuller, but will be glad when canning season is done and dusted!!!

    The garage roof is all done, and just in time for our 50 mm rain! Now he's got to go up and see if he can tell where water is getting in around our dormer in our bedroom. The trouble with water is that it comes in who knows where and then often makes its way out miles away! Fun and games. Better to find out now, though, than in the middle of winter!

    Next week is our Thanksgiving, so we are making plans for pumpkin pie and turkey. After all of our hot weather, it seems unreal, but this is what the calendar says!

    Hope you have a wonderful week. Love to read your blog, as usual!

    xx JEn.

    1. Dear Jen, It is great about the roof being done! Also you got so much canning done! That was really good! And the beautiful cooking!
      We know about the leaks as Mums house had a roof leak that took years to find where it actually got in!
      I did not know about your Thanksgiving.... but I think the concept of thanksgiving is a beautiful one. I think USA thanksgiving is November right? We don't have it here which is why Im so clueless.
      We have also had up and down weather which I think is bad for getting sick as its too many changes!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

    2. Yes, U.S. Thanksgiving is late November; ours is the second Monday of October. I think it has to do with our (mostly) higher latitude...if we have Thanksgiving in late November, there hasn't been anything to harvest for over a month...winter already! :)

      Groan about your Mum's roof leak...this is not good news! Hubby was just up on the roof caulking everywhere, and so now we wait for it to rain...and just in that certain direction!!! see if it made any difference. I don't want him up there in winter trying to do something about it! Sometimes I think a one-level ranch house sounds like the epitome of bliss. :) xx Jen.

  9. Annabel, I agree with Fiona, a lovely post for sure! Glad you were able to get the rain barrel and upgrade your generator. All your goodies look delicious and almost to pretty to eat! The swap sounds interesting, I'll be watching for more details!

  10. I hope your yogurt cheese turns out just as you hope. You've been very productive.
    I'm slightly envious that you are heading into spring as we are heading into fall. All the new growth is so nice and makes everything new again. I guess I'll just enjoy your spring as you write about it.

  11. Dear Annabel,
    Since I first read this post at 5:30 a.m. U.S. you inspired me to get to baking. So at that extremely early hour while the sun was coming up I baked two new to me recipes. Both were gluten free using nut butter (almond butter) instead of flour. One was for a pumpkin bread and the other for an apple cake. The house smells divine.

    Fantastic that you were able to get the new floor, the rain barrel and upgrade the generator.

    This weeks nest feathering consisted of going far afield for our once a month grocery shop. However earlier in the week we stopped by our local Amish market and found uncured, grass fed, corned beef brisket for 99 cents a pound. Around here they're usually $4.99 a pound. We got about 8 pounds for $8.

    From the garden I harvested more tomatoes and made tomato jam, canned pizza sauce and whole Italian plum tomatoes, okra and green peppers, which were dehydrated and chard, radishes and bok choy which will be incorporated into meals. All meals were made from scratch and eaten at home. I think that's it for me. Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend. Blessings, Cookie

  12. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, I am so excited for you and your rain barrel. We got one this year and it has been wonderful!

    This week's efforts:

    Cooking: Applesauce to use up some apples that were losing their "crisp", pudding to use up milk that was nearing its expiration date, made chicken broth from bones leftover from dinner, a double batch of waffles for the freezer, and chocolate-chip banana bread to use up some bananas that were getting brown. One of the banana breads was a gift for a friend and she loved it - that made me so happy! It was a busy week, so we used several of our freezer meals to still enjoy home-cooked food. All work lunches were packed and brought from home ($150).

    The kitchen and laundry room both got a good cleaning, as did all of the throw rugs in the house.

    Entertainment: We enjoyed a movie from the library ($20). On Sunday, there was a free cultural exchange program at the library that included an art workshop, a dance workshop (we learned some steps of southern tribal and Buryat dances), and dance and music performances. This was so interesting and I can't imagine when we would ever have the opportunity to do something like this again; it was part of a peer to peer program between some of our tribes and the Buryat indigenous people of Siberia.

    Garden: Harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs for cooking. Collected rainwater for the garden. The winter squash are finally taking off and making lots of blossoms, so I am hoping for a good harvest.

    Shopping: Purchased some lovely fall-scented candles for half off of retail, saving $30. We regularly buy scented candles, and also give them as gifts, so this new-to-us store is very helpful and welcome.

    Personal Care and Education: Pedicure - $20 saved. I would not actually pay someone to do this for me, but it gives such a lift to see pretty pink toenails in my sandals that I have been doing it more. I also learned how to do a knitted-on edging - very interesting!

    Crafts/Gifts: I finished the stitching on my wall-hanging, finished the lace edging on a knitted shawl, and worked on a pair of knitted socks.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend,

  13. We love our rainwater barrels. We have one at each end of the house. There was a soda factory that moved from the area and they sold off the 55 gal. plastic containers for a mere $10 each. A local group offered to turn them into rain barrels for another $5. So we got both for just $30.
    We use them to fill gallon containers to flush the toilets.
    We had originally used the water for outside plants, but added the toilets after meeting a visitor to the U.S. He was from South America and commented on how surprised he was that we use clean drinking water to flush our was a conscience tickle for me. It made me feel better and I have to admit that I've enjoyed the bit of savings on the water bill, as well. :)

    I've mostly worked on sitting projects this week as I hurt my knee. Still embroidering squares for my church quilting group and finishing up my last two flour sack towels for C'mas gifts. I baked 2 big batches of cookies for a church fundraiser bake sale. There's a garage sale as well and I'm hoping to find a couple of things on my list. I was happy to unload a few things for that sale, as well.

    I'm glad about the kitty finding a good home, as well. All we've ever had is foundlings and rescues and they've all been such blessings to us.

  14. The yogurt cheese I made we put on a pizza. It's a nice addition on one! And I hadn't thought to do as you did and marinate it nor thought it might be used for a frosting. Lasagna might be another place to use some. My late father in law always put dabs of cream cheese in his lasagna.

    I had a good week this week over at my blog. I am always inspired by you Annabel!

    1. Dear Terri,
      These are great ideas! Lasagne can have a layer of soft cheese and I didnt think of this! This week I will get more going to try it as a frosting or cheesecake. I think it will be amazingly handy with sweet or savoury uses!
      Thanks so much Terri! With love,

  15. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds,
    What a great savings week you have had Annabel, you have added to your pantry, got more prepared and saved a lot and your nest sounds like it is very well feathered.
    I have had a rough few weeks hitch have really tested me out .As Annabel mentioned on Wednesdays post I have had some extra health issues , one of them is a very painful foot. I had an ultrasound test and X-rays on the foot yesterday so hopefully the results will reveal what's going on. I will start my savings report with the ultrasound, it was bulk billed saving me a lot of money. I tried looking up how much these tests cost so I could report an amount but I couldn't find any information about charges so I might just say a conservative $150.
    On the way home from my tests yesterday we went to the golden circle outlet and I bought some snacks for the next couple of weeks including walnuts and cashews and some Brie cheese . My savings on the trip to Golden circle are approximately $30 .
    I have had my usual 2 hours subsidised cleaning, saving at least $36 compared to a private company.
    I had you Centacare lady here for 2 hours of meal preparation this week , she made me plenty of meals and saved me at least $40 on takeaway or pre prepared food . I usually cook a few times a week but it's been difficult lately.
    I received a parcel of craft goodies from friends , I won't put a monetary value on that but it was a lovely gesture and saves me money on craft supplies.
    I received two meals from my parents , saving me about $20 .
    I received a belated birthday gift from a neighbour and friend .i won't count this either but it will save me money as it was something I will use.
    I saved $20 when doing my groceries .i have saved ( banked) $ 30 so far this fortnight so the money is actually saved ( thank you to Cath for giving me that advice through cheapskates club years ago) .
    I had budgeted $25 for a gift and decided to use something from my gift cupboard instead . Saving me $20 .
    I had budgeted $10 for another gift but used something from my gift cupboard again and saved $5 .the savings take into account what I spent on the gifts.
    I stayed home on Wednesday instead of going out for lunch and shopping as I wasn't well , I estimate I saved $50 that includes lunch and a drink and the extras I sometimes buy when I am out. I had better stop there Annabel!. My total for this week is approximately $371 saved.
    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend and for those who are watching football grand finals today and tomorrow I hope your team does you proud!.
    Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb,
      I really hope the ultrasound helps explain where the pain is coming from. I think the savings thee could have been three or four hundred dollars too!
      A painful foot slows down everything as getting around and standing to do anything is hard so you did great with your savings!
      We did watch the Grand final and Richmond is Andys team! There was a lo of yelling and he is over the moon! We were exhausted by the end of the day!
      I hope this week will be good for you and your foot improves or they are able to help with it! With love,

  16. I can't wait to hear about the yoghurt balls! My Mom always only shopped for the lowest priced sale items every week and then filled in with the few other items and so I kind of thought that everyone who had a stockpile shopped that way. I have always shopped that way since I was married 39 years ago and we have always had very low grocery bills but I could not really explain why. I am glad it has been spelled out for me! Now I can explain it better to others. I keep a list going for things I need to find on sale and do not really need right away. They usually come along within a few weeks. I mostly love that I always have just about anything that I need on hand and do not have to go out to the store.

    1. Dear Lana, Many people get a lot of instant foods and take out but the improvement seems to be to cook meals you would like to eat. Many menu plan and buy what they need which is a big savings over the first two... but you buy bargains and THEN menu plan which is a big savings over everything! Its only more recently that I realised I am far enough ahead to not need to buy anything UNLESS its on a good bargain and you are well ahead of me in this! I did it to some extend but not entirely. Now I feel free of having to buy anything. Its a good position to be in! I think when people are in a hurry too then fast decisions get made, no time to shop well... so many things that mean it all costs more! Convenience overall has been something that people just pay for. But it costs a lot! I think spending a few hours a week shopping around is a well paid job overall. Its not always so much time but shopping around does take more time. Its worth it with he savings I am getting though!
      Supermarkets here rely on people needing conveinience as they sure are not the cheapest anymore! You could probably write a best seller on this as its info people need! With love,

    2. That is great that you are so well stocked now. I always say that shopping the deals is my part time job. Convenience is huge here in the USA, too. One of my stores has weekly fresh vegetable special that is all prepped and ready to cook. It is only a half pound of presliced vegetables and costs $5.99! It just kind of makes me choke to think that someone would pay that price but I see those packages in carts. Precooked chicken is so common here too. A half pound of chicken strips for 5 to 7 dollars. As long as customers are willing to pay the price they have a market for those items and are making huge profits.

  17. Dear Annabel,
    I am so glad you had a good week after going through all your renovations. What a relief to have your kitchen back! It looks like you are making the most of it too! I'm glad about your rain barrel, too. That is another thing on my list. It doesn't rain much here, but that's all the more reason to save what we do get.
    As I mentioned on Wednesday, Colton and I are gearing up for the farmer's market. Our local feed store is hosting one free of charge for vendors! When the lady said "free" the words "sign me up" just seemed to fall out of my mouth lol. Colton has been doing woodworking and I am just doing lots of random crafts. I know it is crazy. I have so much less time now than I ever had, but I am making better use of it, if that makes any sense. Basically that means I am skipping naps in order to craft lol. We make time to do what we enjoy, I guess!
    Saving money this week has simply meant we aren't spending any. It has been that way for the past couple of weeks and it has shown in our bank account. One thing I did manage to save on was baby food (and other groceries). It will be a while before John starts solids, but I found about 20 jars of all natural baby food on the clearance rack at our grocery store. Regular .98 per jar on sale for .24 per jar. I bought all they had.
    I am SO excited about the Bluebird swap and will stay tuned for the details! I had thought about putting together some sort of local craft swap for people to trade craft items, scraps, leftover materials, unfinished projects, etc. I'm not sure when I would ever get around to it or how well it would go over, but your mention of a swap reminded me of it. I thought it would be a good way to get new materials, meet some likeminded ladies, and potentially learn new skills.
    I hope everyone is doing well! Have a lovely weekend, ladies!
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, The market sounds really exciting. Seeing things you have both made I think you will do really well! In fact I cant wait to see what you make!
      While it is busy with a baby I always kept crafting somehow. I always kept knitting or crocheting too despite toddlers! I found evening time, sleep times and even together times... we always just made things. As they girls got older they made things. We learn to multitask too as we go along.
      Do line up small items suitable for postal swaps. In my first swap with Tanya I have seen even with our high postage that it has been possible to swap a reasonable value of goods for very little postage. Plus hopefully we both have new items so handy for our exchange! Now I am thinking what else I can put into my future swaps! So I think it will be exciting too!
      Well done on the low spend and have a lovely weekend! With love

  18. Hi Annabelle
    Your kitchen looks lovely now it’s put back together. It’s great that you were able to put in a water tank - we have one that we use to water our garden and my veggies love the rainwater! Labne cheese is delicious! I agree with Wendy’s comment, adding fresh herbs to it is especially delicious.
    My dh is putting in our new kitchen in December and I wondered if you might be able to do a post on all the things you did to prepare for not having a kitchen and remaining frugal?

    1. Dear Melissa, Well you are about to go through what I call camping in your own house! We did this twice first when Andy put in the kitchen which took three months! Then with the floors. Hopefully yours is early December so you are up and running again before Christmas. First of all depending on the weather then and your house I would set up a mini kitchen somewhere else even if it is motel like. In summer we used the outdoor BBQ a lot but this time was winter so I set up the dining room table near power points and had basic things like the microwave, kettle, cups, plates, cutlery, condiments, sandwich press and so on all on there. T he fridge can get moved to somewhere hopefully near by. With all this we never bought a meal we just had fairly simple things. I made easy things ahead to freeze and thaw. An electric frypan would also be handy. We had to do the dishes in the laundry! It was ok but I was so glad to get my kitchen back and to be able to cook properly again. You have some time to plan so think of easy to re heat and simple things that would keep you going. Doing this it didnt impact the food budget at all. The first time I got way better with he BBQ and now I think I can cook anything on a BBQ! It will be great in the end but renovating is so messy especially when the old kitchen is pulled out! eek! That is the worst bit I think. I hope it goes well and please tell me when your new kitchen is in! With love

    2. Thank you for all the great advice Annabel, I will take some time to plan over the next little while.
      Melissa x

  19. Dear Annabel,
    You have had another amazing week! Well done on the rain barrel and upgraded generator! I love how you keep finding new uses for the yogurt, too.

    I made up a big batch of chicken spaghetti, making a few meals plus 3 packages for later in the freezer. I've been saving bananas in the freezer and decided it was time to make banana bread. There were 24 muffins and 4 small loaves.

    My husband was hungry for meatloaf. I didn't have any ground beef in the freezer, but was able to find just the amount I needed at a discounted price. I laugh sometimes that you can tell what the sales are by looking in my cart. I also got a turkey breast for $1.29 a pound. It will make a couple meals of sliced turkey, sandwiches, broth and maybe a pot pie for the price of a couple packages of lunch meat.

    Coupons for 3 free containers of catfood and $10 off a bag of catfood came in the mail. Our neighbor gave us 15 large limes. I haven't decided what to make with them but can zest, juice and freeze them, if I don't use them soon. My daughter gave us a dozen eggs from their chickens. I found a couple things of interest on the clearance rack, including a jar of raspberry jam reduced from $4.99 to $1.29. I was going to stick it in the pantry, but got to thinking that it is difficult find things for my son's Christmas stocking and he loves raspberries. The jam is going in with my stocking items 😀.
    I loved the story of the rescued kitten! Although not frugal in some ways, pets sure do add a lot to our lives. We love our 4 legged family members!

    Knowing that a charity was coming to pick up donations today, both my husband and I were able to do a bit more decluttering. I went through my fall decorations. Got the fall wreath hung and sorted out several things that I hope someone else will enjoy.

    Wishing you and the other bluebirds a lovely weekend with love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine, You had a very good week too! The cooking sounds beautiful and now I am thinking of meatloaf! Have a wonderful new week! We have a quiet Sunday here so I am thinking about my plans for the week and for the month of October! With love,

  20. Annabel I am very interested in how your yoghurt cheese(Labna?) turned out. I can imagine it was quite a decadent topping for crackers.
    I didn't achieve much beyond the basics this week. I've had a bout of bronchitis and wasn't interested in moving much at all.
    Bluey found some wonderful savings. I don't like soft drink but don't mind a glass of lemonade when I don't feel well. Bluey came home with a carton of litre lemonade bottles. It worked out at 50c/bottle. He also picked up a carton of soda water for the same price. We've already been able to share some of this with friends and neighbours. Bluey's other shopping included potatoes at 50c/kg and several loaves of free bread. I wasn't in the mood for making bread so this has worked out well.
    I didn't go anywhere all week and the only money spent was on pantry items.
    I did plant out my silverbeet seedlings and I relocated volunteer tomato and sunflower seedlings in the garden. I planted out carrot and lettuce seeds and managed to keep the garden from drying out. We harvested sweet potato, carrot, lettuce, basil and various herbs.
    Life is good but will be better when I stop coughing.

    1. I hope you are on the mend very soon.

    2. Dear Jane, I hope you are picking up now. You still achieved heaps especially considering how sick you have been! We also like to have lemonade on hand for when not well. With researching electrolytes I found that what our parents did which was give lemonade plus vegemite on toast.... this covered salt plus sugar which is much needed when dehydrated or hardly eating! Old fashioned wisdom!
      I hope the tomatoes do well. Stuff that comes up itself is often the best! With love,


  21. Poor Jane! Bronchitis is a nasty thing for you to have -- and, yet, gardening is still therapeutic!! Do you have the use of a vaporiser to help your breathing .... or maybe the weather is humid, already?!
    Thinking of you,

  22. Jane, hope you are better soon. Sometimes the coughing is worse than the illness, isn't it?
    I make yogurt cheese too, it's so useful and I use the whey in my breadmaking so nothing goes to waste. So far this month, we've been living out the freezers and pantry & I've just needed to buy veggies and milk. I hope to use Octobers housekeeping to restock some area'sthat we've used.

    1. I hope October is a good re stocking month too. Thank you for the tip on the whey as I heard it is nutritious and full of protein too! xxx


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