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 1 August 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 2nd August, 2019.

Can you believe it is August already!  We can see signs of Spring here which seems a bit early.  But this means be have a lot to do yet before winter is over!  We are up to bonfire number 27!  We still have so much to clean up before summer.
However we are here to consider what we did achieve for the week and what we have to be thankful for (not stress over the list still ahead!)

One of my goals this week was to make soap to add to my gift cupboard and things I can use to barter with.   It was so much fun.  I shared this and lots of info over on The Tuesday Afternoon Club. If you would like to join we would love to have you! The Tuesday Afternoon Club.

I made three variations...

I am so thrilled with it.  This gives me plenty of time to get it nice and dry before Christmas.  I have noted family who have commented on it.  Lucy messaged me to say Mum that soap is PERFECT.  So I know she likes it a lot! 

This was one of those times that I was so pleased I always save roses and rose buds.  I went to my box of dried flowers and had perfect little buds for my pink soap.

If you would like to learn to make soap follow Wendy's recipe and method.  It is clear, easy and makes beautiful soap.   It is Coconut and Olive Oil Soap.    In my pictures this is the pink with the rosebuds.  When sliced it is as smooth as velvet.
The heart shaped soaps were from Nanna Chel.  I also found the nice moulds from reading her blog.  This recipe is here on here blog Castile Bubbles-One of my favourite soaps.  She has loads of soap making recipes and information.

I had soap all over the kitchen table.  Dad called in and asked what is this?  I said "soap" but Dad's hearing is not wonderful and he touched the top of one, ran his finger across it (as you do) and tasted it!   I am saying DAD IT IS SOAP!!  but he is not listening.  🙄

Next I made laundry liquid.  The price of laundry power and liquids here have gone mad.  Many are $20 a bottle. It is incredible.  Even on special they are expensive.  I have made liquid before with pretty good success.  But Jane posted a recipe for the one she makes and I wanted to try this.  I have also been in a big effort to increase my laundry supplies.   I got this going on the stove.  I am glad Dad didn't walk in again to taste what was "cooking" haha.

I am very pleased with it!   Now I will share the recipe Jane gave me in a post coming up.  I am starting a series next week where we are going to tackle ridiculous rising costs.

During the week I roasted a large piece of venison.  Well, huge would better describe it.  First of all we had a roast dinner.  Then I plated up two more roast dinners for a second meal.  Andy then ate venison for lunch the next two days.  I bought big packets of fresh rolls and then made the cold meat up into lunch rolls.  They were as Andy liked them,  loads of meat in each roll.   I made up 12 very large rolls to go into the freezer for lunches. 

After this I had lots of scrappy bits of meat still.  I fed Scout.  Then I bagged up chopped up meat to be dog food.   By the time I was finished this venison went so far! 

I filled up my wheelbarrow more times than I can count and carted sheep manure on to my veggie garden.  I am getting prepared for spring.  I just realised why my shoulders are achy!  That could be it!

I had op shop luck.  I found a silicone loaf pan which is prefect for a soap mould for $1.  (When you make soap you see everything as a potential mould) and I found a thick cotton waffle weave bed cover.  I am cutting it up to make nice big absorbent kitchen towels.  I will get nine.  Also I got a beautiful curtain in a nylon which is suitable to make veggie bags and there is just miles of it.  Both of these are now washed up ready for sewing.

With so much parsley in the garden I am picking bunches and drying them.  I am finding one bunch dries near the fire in about four days.  It turns out very green.  I am packing this up so then I will have both bay leaves and parsley I can gift and barter.   The fire place now always has parsley in front of it.

In the shops I had some good deals!  I stocked up on olive oil, dish detergent, conditioner and a few other bargains.

I also found a good gift for my present cupboard on a marked down table.  It cost $5 and was marked down from $39.  I have it in mind for one of the male presents.

Lucy needed On Guard/Plague Defence or Germ Killer for her diffuser. I made her up a big batch as I have the essential oils to make it from scratch. 

Andy put fences around our bigger established fruit trees so the lambs and calf can't eat those.  They are covered in buds now so it needed to be done.

He also cut up a big fallen tree and stacked more wood. 

I have been doing lots of weeding, improving soil and now I am puling out some finished broccoli plants and other winter veggies.  One day I did so much!  But mostly I do a bit each day.  This feeds the animals better.  I take a bucket of weeds and spent plants up to the chickens.  They go crazy over it.  They unload their own bucket! 

Mum also gave me some wheat for the chooks so that was very helpful.  

Next I take weeds and veggies to Laffie and the lambs.  Laffin's favourite is broccoli.

And the lambs love all of it.  

Nothing at all is wasted.  It seems every single thing feeds somebody! 

Oh, that would include Scout. She liked that venison.  She has grown a lot.  She enjoys all the action. She is with one of us doing some interesting thing most of every day!

Her idea of interesting is pretty much anything! 

Yesterday Mum and I headed down to see the girls.   Of course I made a cake.  The big thing in their household just now is Elsa.  Harper is currently freezing people.  So I did one of my cheat decorator cakes and it was a big hit! 

I also took a tray of Enchilada's and gave Chloe and Luke the same.   I made twenty all up.  I used to buy the jars of sauce. They re so expensive and since I make big batches I would need at least four or five jars.  Vicky taught me how to make my own sauce.  You can find that recipe plus a link to the whole method (which I am sure is a cheats recipe overall but it tastes good!) here Money Saving Dry Mixes.

We are having them again for dinner tonight so I have the night off.  Also I am freezing some as ready made meals. (I am working on increasing my freaky to thaw and eat meals.)

A new chemist took over in town.  They cleared out some brands to replace with their own brands.  I stocked up on bargain priced OTC things like aspirin, cold and flu tablets etc.  Into the medical cabinet they went! 

So that was my week!

This is the first time the list on my fridge took more than one page!

I hope it was a good week for you. How did you get head, save, add to your gift cupboard and pantry?  It all adds up!  Week by week we have conquered a lot of big goals!   Do you find prices have gone up and it takes more effort to find good deals and stretch the budget?  I am amazed at some of the prices I am seeing.   So next week I am starting a weekly post on beating the ridiculous prices!

Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Annabel, I'm with Lucy - that soap is stunning! The pink is so bright and looks beautiful with the rosebuds. I wonder if it tastes as good as it looks?! Your story made me laugh. Your animals all look so happy. And well fed lol. I love the look of the enchiladas, I will give them a go. I know Elsa well Annabel, I'm sure the girls loved the cake!!!

    We are saving to go on a holiday in October (we are very lucky to have been offered free accommodation which will save us hundreds of dollars). So this week we have eaten from what we have at home, and the money saved on groceries is going into our holiday account. The kids have been really on board with the idea, it has meant I've been doing a lot of baking but the saving is huge. They asked if we could do it every week until we go away but I explained that there would come a point where we would run out of food 😉.

    I found a Christmas tin for 50 cents at the op shop which will be perfect for filling with shortbread, and a fondue set still in the box. We had a chocolate fondue for dessert and it was a hit.

    This is our first weekend of no winter sport so I am looking forward to staying home near the fire.

    Have a lovely weekend!
    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen,
      I remember when fondues were all the rage. Well even now I am thinking how good a delicious cheese fondue would be! Try that next ... imagine brie..
      How exciting to be planning a holiday. If you have free accomodation then that is a wonderful opportunity! And planning is half the fun but it also adds to a good holiday. Also is is great fun that the kids are excited and on board.
      Nice tins are great for home baking gifts. That was a good find.
      Thank you re the soaps. It was so much fun. The enchiladas are good. I use less chilli and lots of sour cream as I like that. I serve with a big green leafy type salad. The girls and husbands love them. So I hope you do too.
      Have a very good new week. With love

  2. Dear Annabel, there is so much gorgeousness in today's post! I have had a successful,decluttering time this week, ive not quite finished but the house is already sighing with relief. I am always amazed at things I keep learning, particularly when an idea seems simple and I wonder why it has never crossed my mind, so thankyou for sharing your ways. I love your idea of drying parsley by the fire. I also have a couple of questions this week, what is in the jar on your woodfire? And also a question about freezing the venison rolls - do you butter them first? Do they have anything else in them? Like gravy? I think it is a brilliant idea, one I want to copy. My husband comes home for lunch everyday and this would be a handy way to always be ready. Thankyou in advance, love Clare

    1. Dear Clare, I am so glad your spring cleaning went so well! I know how it feels good and things seem fresh and nice.
      The big jar on the wood fire was honey that had set and I was melting it back to liquid honey.
      The rolls can be any roast meat. I get really big and nice fresh rolls. This time it was 12. Basically I do them how Andy likes them... I butter them fairly well and do several generous slices of meat then add pepper. Sometimes mustard. I offer cheese and he says no. That is it. Since salad doesnt freeze. But he is happy with them he loves them. I sometime sonly have time to microwave them... other times I take them out in the morning and he has them fresh or they can go into the sandwich press. Doing this all roast meat is used up to the last tiny bit. When you see a roast on special grab them. I will sometimes cook two roasts at once just for the cold meat. Deli meat is really expensive. This has none of the nitrates and things they put in that. At Christmas I got a ton of turkey and made them up like this only I did turkey, cranberry sauce and cheese. They were amazing. Tonight we are having pizza so I made an extra and Andy will have pizza for lunch the next couple of days. These are good ways to get ahead and I love having a good pile in the freezer. Oh one more... at Coles sometimes they have a pack of a dozen big croissants for $8. (marked down) If I see them I grab them! I make them up with ham and cheese and freeze those. They are beautiful! Everyone goes mad over these. Some days I will give Luke lunch if he has been over here working... it takes less than a minute to have these on the plate warm and nice. Very popular!
      Today I did 2 dozen scones. Most of them are going into the freezer as they are another good one. Also mini quiches... I freeze trays of those. (good for school lunches too) Use the search up top right and look up Miracle Muffins... they are sweet or savoury and so good.
      I hope this is a really good week for us all! With love

  3. My goodness you have been busy! Lovely work Annabelle.

    1. Thank you Eira, It was a busy week. My soaps are drying nicely. The new week is galloping along too. We have a bit of rain just now and hoping it continues! Hope your week is going

  4. Annabel,
    What an amazing week you have had.
    Oh, the Girls must have been giggling with excitement when they saw the cake.
    You soap is absolutely gorgeous! I can see why Lucy would love some.
    The animals look so healthy and happy. Laffie has to be so much fun.
    I can't believe how much bigger Scout is, she is growing so fast. She is so adorable.

    I am fighting each week to work at finding food bargains and it takes me twice the time to put the list together. We only buy sale items and mostly with additional coupons, very rarely do we get coupons for produce or dairy, my largest expense. We go to Aldi for those since their prices are lower on those items.
    I'm in the use it all up mode more than normal. We have a tiny bit of asparagus leftover from dinner, I will be making small bite size baked sort of omelets in oven with them in muffin pans. Not even a servings worth so will add some roasted red pepper and red onion. I will then have some for freezer for quick breakfasts. All your fault with your ready meals, i am following suite.

    Have a Blessed Weekend Dear!
    Love, Rosanne

    1. Dear Rosanne,
      I am doing the same use it up dinners. Down to the last bit! I saw the egg dish you did, it kind of looked like a little crustless quiche and very tasty. As I get more and more eggs I will be able to do some many of these kinds of things.
      Ready meals are the best. The more I have in the freezer the better. I do the same things with a lunch section. The main one is for dinners.
      You are very good with shopping around, the coupons and catalogues. I study the catalogues but we dont have coupons sadly.
      I hope this week is going well! With love,

  5. Annabel your soap looks divine but I am sure your Dad didn't think they tasted too good though :). The animals all look happy and well fed and Scout looks so attentive to what is going on around her. Your firewood pile must be looking pretty good by now but as I say you can never have enough firewood.

    I am finding that grocery prices are rising dramatically (especially on meat) and specials and half price sales are fewer. I read that Coles and Woolworths said they are more concentrating on profits rather than having sales all the time so maybe this is why the sales are few and far between. When we find a good deal on something we are tending to buy up to a years worth now and buy e-gift cards through RACQ for groceries and fuel saving another 5% off.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $154.68 in savings last week :) .

    Listings & extra income earned -
    - I listed 34 items on a free listing promotion saving $56.10 on usual prices.
    - Made $20 from the sale on eBay of dried rosemary and a handmade 5 layer cotton eye mask.

    Groceries and purchases -
    - Bought 4 more shelving units for the food storage room and curtain rods, holders and ends from a bonus pay I had.
    - Saved $10.05 on buying staples from Woolworths on special.
    - From IGA I purchased 4 x 6 pk bread rolls on clearance and 6 packets of potato chips on half price special saving $13.40 on usual prices.
    - From Coles we purchased 8 tins of harvest long life vegetables and meat on special saving $12 on usual prices. This topped our food storage up by 6 more tins.
    - Also from Coles I purchased 4 packets of bread improver and used my $10 flybuys dollars I downloaded to pay only 0.60c saving $10.
    - Purchased an e-gift card for groceries from RACQ saving 5% or $13.13 on groceries giving me that amount of free groceries when I next shop.

    In the home -
    - Put together the 4 food storage shelving units in the food storage room.
    - Organised the powdered milk, toilet paper, tinned harvest and spam onto different shelves for more room and to have it better organised.

    Water preservation -
    - Did the usual saving shower warm up water to fill drink bottles and for cleaning, used the grey water pumped from the grey water tank to water fruit trees and some of the lawns.

    Preserving our wildlife -
    - Hand fed a swamp wallaby that looked undernourished with leftover bread and apple cores. We think she is about 2 years old and she now lets us pat her although she is still startled if you move too quickly around her. DH can now pat her very briefly. Poor animals it is so dry with the drought that they are finding it hard to get nutritious food.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, I am also finding good sales less and when the catalogues come out it is mainly stuff not food on sale. I am learning now that when it is a really good deal to get as much as I can.
      Your food storage room is going to be amazing. I would love to sneak in there and see how you have it. What a good idea. Like your own shop!
      The wallaby sounds just beautiful and I would be doing the exact same! I am thinking of ways to put more water out for the wildlife this summer. We did last year but gosh there were some thirsty birds and some looked near death on a couple of days.
      I hope this week is going well. We have been waiting on rain and it just started now... we just need it to keep going!
      With much love,

  6. Dear Annabel, Loving the soaps. The pink is very luxurious looking. I'll bet it smells just as wonderful.
    Scout looks like she is smiling to everyone! I look forward to the pictures of the animals they are so cute.
    We have been busy putting the house together and getting my pantry backup to where I feel good about it. I'm getting back to things being normal again after the move. Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Dear Laurie, Moving is such a massive job! It does feel fantastic to get things back to some kind of new normal! I also got stuck into my pantry as fast as I could I like a big back up. I am still working on it too.
      Thank you re the soaps. I so enjoyed it. The animals give me so much joy. Today Laffie was leaping around being silly like "you cant catch me" I wish I could capture this and will try! Have a lovely weekend and well done on your week! With love

  7. Dear Annabel,

    Reading all you have done all week makes me almost breathless! You are amazing. I love your Elsa cake...beautiful! And the photos of all the animals are too cute. We need to get to our bonfires, here, too. The roof is done!!!! So now we can get on to other chores. Things are starting to ripen, now, as we are in the midst of a big heatwave, so we are picking red and black currants and eating lots of salad and swiss chard (silverbeet). My garden is the smallest it has ever been, but the way things are going this year, it seems to be the best route anyway.

    Yes, groceries and other items are increasing exponentially, but wages sure aren't keeping pace!! We have a big problem with meat, is outrageously priced, so I sure try to stretch it! I am looking forward to seeing your post on this topic, soon!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend. We hope to get to the beach for the first time this season one day this weekend, which will be lovely!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      I am glad about the roof work! That is a big job. It would be amazing to be picking currants. I think there things are weighed in kilos? The same as us... I would love to know the prices. Dealing with this will be a good subject!
      I hope you did get to the beach. I am not sure if your family go fishing? Fish could be a help with the meat prices! Hope the week is going well! With love,

    2. Dear Jen,
      I am sure I replied to you but it is not here! Sorry! Ok then the meat subject will suit you! If things are starting to ripen I know you will be so busy!
      I wonder with where you live if fishing is an option or finding people who do and doing trades with your fruit and veggies. I am not sure if there are fish markets there?
      I have seen a lot of posts about high food prices in Canada. And when I do most of the time they are similar to our prices. It is $40 for a roast lamb for instance. I hope the heat wave is over! With love,

  8. Beautiful soaps and cake! I love that everything gets eaten by people or animals and nothing is wasted. We are coming to the end of our two weeks at the lake. It has been a wonderful restful time away. Next week it is right back at it as soon as we are home. Prices have gone up a bit here. At Aldi things are up 10 to 30 cents but we have so much competition here that deals are still available and no prices seem shocking. Gas is even down some this week.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Lana, I am so glad you have had a beautiful time at the lake. How I would love it. I keep meaning to ask if there are fish in that lake!?
      My daughter ran out of On Guard and I was easily able to mix up my own from my supplies. I thought of you as I have come a long way since I began to learn about essential oils. I cant tell you how much they have helped my family since then. Now she has her diffuser and if she feels they have been exposed to anything that goes on with Plague defence or one of the germ killing blends. She is gradually getting more into it with the things I provide. My other daughter is fully on board and using her oils all the time. So it has spread in our family!
      Have a lovely weekend and safe trip home. With love

    2. That is great to hear about the oils! I cannot imagine not having them now.

      Oh yes! There are fish in the lake and they nibble us when we swim. We often see little fishing boats near our dock in the early morning so fishing must be good right here at the house.

  9. Dear Annabel,
    You accomplished so very much this past week. I truly wish I had 1/10th of your energy. The soap is beautiful.
    I need to get out and cut back herbs again. Every year more goes to waste than I get cut, but I was so hoping this year to get more dried. My health is a negative factor and so frustrating. I hope to conquer that in the next two months.
    I did more planning and family helping this week than anything else. Right now, we need to focus on helping others, so there is only a limited amount getting accomplished here. I do so want to try the soap and my grand daughter is excited to learn that. Thank you for the links!!
    Have a blessed and wonderful weekend.
    With much love,

    1. Dear Glenda, How I would love to see your herbs! Do take some photos! I need to cut more parsley to dry also. That is one thing I have in massive quantities.
      My energy is not too good today! It will be a slow day with lots of crochet!
      Your Granddaughter is a good age to make the soap with you. Meanwhile have her plus yourself saving up things for moulds. She would also probably enjoy any of the Lush copycat recipes online. Good gifs for her friends etc.
      I hope you get a relaxing weekend! With much love

  10. Annabel what a busy, but beautiful week you've had. Haha your dad tasted the soap! Well it is pretty enough to eat. Scout, Laffie and the lambs are all getting so big, but so adorable! It is the same for us and we have very little waste. Do you give your chickens egg shells or use them in the garden?
    I currently have several projects lined up that I hope will turn out nice, but it's slow going. I got free dog treats $11, free salad dressing $3x2, use newspaper in the chicken coop saving the cost of straw under the roost, harvested 3 zucchini and a handful of blackberries $3, I bartered for another blackberry bush and several kinds of herbs and mint to plant $30. The mint I will dry for tea. I saved $20 with coupons and another $60 buying mark down goods and meat. I've made dog food and groomed my 3 cats plus hung out the wash on nice days. I got several really nice sheets and China pieces at the thrift store. Some of the sheets are brand new, but I love them all. So many uses if needed. I also saved at least $12 on a few yards of brand new flannel. I got it for $2. I made homemade flea spray that has clove in it for Boozer. He doesn't have fleas, but gnats bother him so far it has helped alot. Prices here are going up also fuel is up and down. Some places aren't as bad and some are worse. We are in the middle so saving has been really important!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      Thank you! I use egg shells in the garden. My zucchini needed more calcium so I started doing this.
      The dog treats were a great thing to get! So are the blackberry bushes.
      Sheets and china are lovely. So many uses. I am op shopping tomorrow so I will be looking!
      I love flannel! We call it flannelette I think it is the same. It is so soft and warm. Good for heat packs... scarves too.
      I have seen a lot about shelves empty of fresh produce and canned veggies... it is no wonder because of all the flooding. It even made our news here. So many industries depend on corn!
      I hope the new week is off to a good start. With much love,

    2. Dear Vicky and Annabel,
      I saw an article a few days ago on making your own calcium powder from eggshells. It involves boiling, baking, and grinding the shells, making it safe for human consumption. I looked it up for the tooth powder I made (not wanting to pay $14 for a bottle of it on Amazon) and the article said you could even add this powder to smoothies for an extra calcium boost. I usually put eggshells in my garden and compost, but I will be trying the powder too. After all, it's free!
      Love, Kelsey

  11. Hello dear Annabel, your week looks divine ! I was thinking of making a soap but the caustic soda scares me. Living with asthma means I have to be cautious of such things. I am praying for a new job and career. As you know for such a long time I want and need to leave where I am, but God has not provided a way ! I am fearful I will be in my current unit forever. ! I am looking after my new dog a Bichon x toy poodle . As you know my Nana blessed me with money to buy this rescue girl. We have a beautiful life together. My Nana has recently gone into care at 94. The brain is sharp but the body isn't. Thankfully she has settled in well and is happy. I have a lot of worries and fears for my future. I know I have my dog , but I feel desperately alone. Would be great if god could send me a new partner. I love all your recipes. Can you create a folder ? Love Sonia

    1. Dear Sonia,
      Just the other day in The Tuesday Club a lady said how she took the leap and moved to a country town in Victoria. She has family to stay with first while she found a house but she got a job right away!
      It was a beautiful gift from your dear Nana. I hope she has been able to see the dog. I wonder if they would let you take the dog into care to see her? I bet she would love it.
      Sonia get out to new places as much as you can. Look through the job ads in country towns... Chloe moved from the city to the country and the young farmers in the district all seemed to know she had arrived in minutes! haha! And she is married to one of them now! It was fast! Where as in the city she thought dating was so depressing and young men didnt want to marry and have children. This is just what she found. Down here the young men seem to want to marry. And there are billions of them it seems and they do things like open the door for you and offer to carry your groceries! So look in the ads and even try country town Buy Swap sell pages as some people post on there they re looking for work and a house. I will pray that your dreams come true! With love

  12. Meat prices and all groceries going up due to drought. We desperately need rain ! Please pray. Sonia

    1. Dear Sonia, Yes this is such a problem. So many farmers in the eastern states have just given up and walked away due to how long its gone on. We are reasonable here i.e. it is green but we really need a lot more rain as we are well below average. I am praying for rain! It is really good that even though you are in the city you are aware of these things as many people seem not to be. With love

  13. Oh my gosh look at the smile on Scout's face. She knows she is a good and clever girl. The little girls would have loved their Elsa cake. I looked at it and wanted it on my table.
    We are starting to think about heading off in the caravan. We have our sons Wedding at the end of September and then plan on travelling on towards Lake Eyre. I have had the dinette seating out and have pressure cleaned them. They are currently drying in the sun and look so much better. The caravan linens are being washed and all the cupboards are being turned out. It wont take long, just consistent effort.
    In between washing and cleaning there has been spinning and sewing happening. The gift cupboard is beginning to look healthy once more. I seem to have a theme happening and am happy that there is direction taking place.
    The sun is out and if you can get out of the breeze it is lovely and warm. As plants in the garden are coming to their end date, I am putting a thick layer of cane straw over the top and putting the garden to bed until we get home. Katie and Jared will be house sitting for us, but with both of them working, they don't need a big garden to try and keep going.
    Bluey is in the process of finishing off his latest pallet cupboard. This one has been custom made to fit his pool cues and pool table items. It is designed to fit into a particular space. It will look so much better than the milk crate where the cues have been living.
    Life is warming up good.

    1. Dear Jane, Having the van to head off in is so nice. I know you would have such good set up too.
      Your spinning is just out of this world. You know wool prices for pure wool... in yarn, clothes, blankets etc it is getting really expensive. It is a wonderful product. Roseanne was telling me she rarely sees pure wool yarn even and it is so expensive it is not an option. And here I am with sheep so I better get going!
      This is a good time to review the gift cupboard. I am going pretty well but probably need more stuff for the boys. As usual this is always the case!
      I will look forward to seeing Blueys latest creation. He could sell those cupboards for sure but there would be a lot of work in them. Have a good new week! With love,

  14. Hi Annabel, I love seeing all your lovely creations and the sweet animas. A hobby farm with animals and an orchard would be my idea of heaven on earth. Little Scout is a cutie, she seems to have her mother Kelly’s nice temperament.
    I have noticed prices on dairy creeping up and meat is quite expensive. I find I am having to plan more and do the rounds of the three big shops here (Coles, Woolies and Aldi) to cherry pick the specials and best prices to keep costs down. When I do find mark downs I pounce. I did well this week with some bakery markdowns and a gourmet mushroom and cheese pasta saving $13 just on that alone (this was a treat because I would never pay those prices and normally avoid convenience foods but it really was delicious. I find I am having luck of a Tuesday afternoon with markdowns which seem to be clearing out before the new weekly specials starting the following day so I am trying to duck in after work. It is lovely and sunny here so I am heading out to water the garden and hang out my last load of washing. Have a great week ahead.
    Love Lisa xo

    1. Dear Lisa,
      You are doing good work with your shopping. It pays well to do the rounds. I found in Adelaide the fruit and veg shops out a bit from the city were amazing too. Also... the cheap shops and discount chemists and especially The reject shop and Rite price ... but different sates have different ones. In QLD there is the golden circle outlet too. Anyway I find toothpaste, laundry powder, dish liquid and all kinds of things cheaper in these shops. Often AMAZING and often fancy brand names. It makes sense about the Tuesdays! Good idea. Butter is a shocker price wise. I am working on my series and it will have links to past posts. If you didnt see it Laine had how she shops. You are doing much of what she does but she has some amazing tips. I will try to link to all of these because it is amazing to find just how much can be saved. I hope your new week is off to a good start! With love

  15. Sound like you had a really productive week. I will be checking out some of your links this week as I’m finding the cost of everything is rising so quickly. Thank you again for the effort you put into your posts. I must say it is really appreciated.
    Blessings Gail.

    1. Thanks so much Gail. I really appreciate you feeling me this. I am working on my series and hope it will be helpful. So many of us are having to up our savings game as it has become harder! With love

  16. Dear Annabel,
    You had a lovely week. Your soap looks beautiful. As I was reading your post Colton looked over my shoulder at the soap and said, "Mmm, that looks delicious!" I laughed and told him it was soap. Then I read the part about your dad tasting it and bursted out laughing. I told him he wasn't the only one who wanted a taste of Annabel's soap! Too funny.
    We had another good, frugal week here. As we are trying to limit our trips to town, I have been checking the grocery sales flyers for the city where Colton works and sending him to pick up things on his way home. We also discovered a discount produce store, and I thought of you and your shopping afar. We got 24 mangoes for just $3 total. They are $1 each when they go on sale at our normal grocery store! I sliced and froze them for smoothies. We also got 8 pounds of peaches at a good price. I made peach jam, some to keep and the rest to sell, and froze slices. We purchased some other things as well that will be worked into the meal plan or frozen for later. Everything this week was purchased on sale at a really good price.
    I made another batch of yogurt, and I added some small pancakes to the freezer for John. All meals were at home again, no eating out!
    I made a few more MOO products. This time I made my first batch of tooth powder (toothpaste in powder form) and we both really like it. I made miracle cleaner too, which I haven't used yet but will this week.
    I found out that another store has a lower price on chicken feed, so I will start shopping there. I also picked up the produce culls at our local grocery store to give to the chickens.
    Colton did a lot of saving/earning this past week too. First he was able to pick up an overtime shift. That will be a good boost to our savings. Second, we traded in one of our old vehicles a few weeks ago that had been giving us problems for a new (used) truck. He called several insurance companies to make sure we were still getting the cheapest rate. Turns out another company would give us better insurance for significantly less. He called our current company to cancel, and since we have been with them for so long, they beat the price of the competitor and gave us upgraded coverage for even less. His phone calls saved us almost $900 per year on insurance. He also gave John a haircut.
    I have been diligent about tracking our finances and spending, so when I checked our account the other day, I found a huge purchase that we did not make. Someone was trying to go on vacation with our money! Colton called the bank to cancel our cards, and he called the company that had charged us. They refunded the charge of $848. I'm glad I was paying attention!
    I am looking forward to your series on beating rising costs. I have found that with making more and more of my own products, it is adding up to a big savings. I also try to work out how I can turn my purchases into profit. For example, the peach jam I made will be sold to cover the cost of an entire shopping trip.
    I hope everyone has a good week!
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, Sounds like your husband and my Dad would get on well haha!
      The Mangos were an incredible price! I think it is rally sensible if someone is in town they bring back what is needed. So many trips cut be cut out this way. Also it is great to find a store with good deals. Find out if the do email special catalogues or FB specials etc to keep an eye on deals coming up, if possible.
      I have to find out more about the tooth powder. I just started a new series and this would be good when we get to hygiene etc.
      Kelsey if the chicken feed bags have nice pictures on them there is so much you can make from them!
      The phone calls Colton made gave you such a massive saving. That was time well spent! Also very good on the over time shift.
      Just as well you checked your accounts! I am so glad you got your money back. I wonder how often this happens and people dont notice?
      You will already be saving so much as I know you are making so much, gardening, have the chicken, cant and sew. It all adds up incredibly. Now you also have items to sell, gift or trade. That is a lot. There are so many opportunities on a far I am finding. I have worked out a heap of new ways to save and things I have that I could trade with.
      I hope your week is going well. When you have those blue eggs I would love to see! With much love,


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