Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Frugal Fun No. 3

1. My lovely friend, Monique, let me cut lots of branches from her bay trees, which are due for a prune. I hung the branches upside down from our clothes-horse with twine to dry them. I'll give some of the dried leaves away as gifts and save the rest for my own use in soups, casseroles and chicken stock.

2. As I mentioned on Radio Rhema last week, I've been watering down our milk to stretch it further - and no one in my family has noticed. Win!

3. I made two batches of bun dough and froze it to take away on holiday. I also baked a chocolate cake, chocolate oat cookies and brought lots of pre-made meals from the freezer like pumpkin soup, lasagne and apple crumble for easy dining while the kids and I are on holiday.

4. I pruned a few branches from a tree in our garden and brought the branches inside for some winter greenery/brownery. I love these branches. They look even better in real life than they do in the photo above.

5. I made chicken stock using vegetable scraps and chicken bones, and then I made another big batch with the same bones and scraps, just adding fresh water, one more chicken carcasse and another 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the pot after I'd emptied out the original batch of stock. (I save empty Genoese basil pesto containers to freeze my stock in, as they are a great size for stacking in the freezer, the lids fit really well and the containers are strong.)

6. I turned the bones and vegetable scraps leftover from making the chicken stock into garden fertiliser, watering it down more than last time and pouring it around the dripline of several fruit trees. I covered the fertiliser with used coffee grounds I got for free from a coffee cart to disguise the smell and look.

7. I added fresh thyme from the garden to my orange peel cleaner mixture that's brewing in a dark cupboard, so that I'll end up with orange and thyme scented cleaner. (To make the cleaner, just cover citrus skins with white vinegar and let sit for a couple of weeks to infuse. I might add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the final mixture too.)

8. We ate two vegetarian meals this week - leftover Dal Bhat and Tarkari and Spaghetti with Lentil Sauce.

9. We ate leftovers for dinner at the end of the week too. I pulled out all our containers of leftovers from the fridge and heated them up, then served them as a buffet on the table so everyone could choose what they wanted.

10. I found great deals on produce (although most of it was unfortunately packaged in plastic, which I will recycle): Pink Lady apples for 39c per kilo; 10KG of potatoes for $7.99; 10KG of onions for $7.99; A pumpkin for $1.99; An 800 gram bag of mandarins for $1.50; Bananas for $1.99 per kilo. (I'm glad I bought and froze lots of bananas last week when they were 99c kilo. The few I bought this week were just for eating fresh.); A tray of 20 size 5 free range eggs for $5.99; 3KG of Royal Gala apples (the kind L likes to eat) for $5. I bought two bags of them to bring on holiday with us. The butter was $5 per kilo, so not a great price, but I bought two blocks of it anyway since I use it in baking and on sandwiches and toast. (I refuse to eat margarine.) I bought five small fillets of Gurnard for $24.99 per kilo, which was $6 less a kilo than I've been seeing it lately. That was the only meat I bought this week as we've been using up our freezer stores.

11. I bought around 12 kilos of the Pink Lady apples at 39c per kilo and spent the day making dehydrated apple slices, stewed apple (I drank a lot of apple tea while I was making this) and spiced apple chutney (as recommended by my cousin). My husband and I have been eating the chutney with cheese and crackers. So delicious!

12. I used the last bag of Pink Lady apples to make another batch of dehydrated apple slices once the first batch was done, since Paul and L both like to snack on them. This time I saved the peels and cores to make apple cider vinegar - something I just discovered I could do. I'm so excited about it. Apple cider vinegar is expensive and I use it a lot to make chicken stock and just for drinking, so here's hoping it works.

13. I collected a bowl-full of windblown tangelos from a tree at our bach and used some to make juice.

What have you done this week to save money?


  1. Wow! Great work. Reminds me that I really want to plant a bay tree...

    1. Yes! I'm thinking of planting one in a pot to topiary.


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