Monday, August 7, 2017

Frugal Fun No. 5 - An unexpected blessing

If you read my last post, Not so frugal fun, you'll know we had a bunch of stuff break on us recently. One of those things was our dehumidifier. I went to check out replacement ones and was stunned by how expensive they were. Needless to say, I didn't buy one.

Fast forward a week and one of my lovely friends from church asked how the search for a dehumidifier was going. Another woman overheard her question and asked me if I needed a dehumidifier. She had one she no longer needed. I said I would gladly buy it off her, but she said I would be doing her a favour if I took it because it was just taking up room in her house. Such a blessing! I popped around to her place that afternoon and picked it up. It is perfect!
Our new dehumidifier. Totally free!
Other frugal things that happened last week...
I brought in branches from a tree that needed pruning and we've been enjoying watching them blossom on our dining room table ever since. They smell beautiful too, which is an added bonus.

I refilled all my spray cleaners with the orange, thyme and vinegar mixture that's been brewing for the past few weeks. I tested it out on the inside of my oven door and it cut through that grease like a boss.

I made an apple crumble using some of the frozen apples I prepared a few weeks back. This was to share with friends who invited us over for dinner. I also made fresh custard in the Thermomix to go with the crumble and a spinach salad using fresh spinach from my garden.

I accepted a bag of gold kiwifruit and a bag of grapefruit from J's Kindy. We are eating the kiwifruit fresh and I squeezed the grapefruit to make juice.

I dehydrated 2 kilograms of potatoes and double-bagged them in ziploc bags to go in our emergency kit. I've been working on restocking our bug-out bag this week, because I realised I hadn't looked in it since we moved to Auckland (four years ago!). I also bought a new can opener, five new water bottles and five toothbrushes for the emergency kit.

I dehydrated 2 kilograms of onions, since I have a 10 kilogram bag of them that will go bad unless I find ways to preserve them. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these onions yet, but at least I have them there for when we get through our fresh ones. Dehydrating the onions made everyone cry. I had to shut the dehydrator away in the laundry while it worked and leave the laundry window open all night to fumigate the house.

I made popcorn to share with L's class for her 100 days at school celebration. I made the some thing the week before for S's celebration and it was a big hit. It's also super easy to make and really inexpensive.

I planted all my strawberry runners out in different gardens around our yard.

I also planted tulip bulbs I bought a few weeks back that have been sitting in my fridge. I don't know how well they'll do, as some of the bulbs looked to have shriveled up. I may have left them too long in the fridge. Whoops!

I baked orange chocolate chip muffins for school lunch boxes and froze half so that they would last for the whole week of lunches.

I found a good deal on free range chicken drumsticks and bought 8 bags of them. I also found a good deal on whole free range chickens and bought two of them. I'll use the bones to make chicken stock and then whiz them up to make garden fertiliser, so nothing is wasted.

I made a spinach tart and ginger crunch for morning tea for my church ladies group. I didn't have basil pesto, which is a key ingredient of the spinach tart, so I used fresh coriander from the garden instead and was very nervous about how it would turn out. It was delicious! The ladies and I got together to pray and sew sheets for the premature babies in NICU. It was at this group that one of the ladies overheard my need for a new dehumidifier.

I took home some of the leftover fabric scraps from sewing the NICU sheets and am planning to use them to make dolls house furniture and bedding for L for her upcoming birthday.

There was a little bit of leftover ginger crunch from the ladies group, so I gave a piece each to L, S and J for afternoon tea. They LOVED it. I had never made it before, but immediately made another batch to use for school lunchboxes and afternoon tea treats the rest of the week.

I washed all our bedding and towels when we had fine weather, so I could line dry everything.

I thought my apple cider vinegar mixture was done because I could see a mother forming on top. I strained it, but when I tasted it I realised it wasn't vinegary enough so I drank it as apple juice and will have another go making some the next time I dehydrate some apples. Does anyone know how you can tell whether it's done, without disturbing the mother?

The children and I had a family movie night on Friday and watched Shrek on Netflix. Next family night we're going to watch Shrek 2, which is also on Netflix.

I caught up with my good friend, Becky, on Saturday. We went for a walk along the beach front of Mangere Bridge, which cost us nothing except the petrol to get there.

On Saturday night I sorted through J's drawers to take out all the clothes he's outgrown. There wasn't a lot left in his pants drawer by the time I was done. He's really shot up lately.

I baked chocolate brownies to take to J's Sunday school. There was a little bit leftover for the girls too. We had am impromptu Sunday lunch of waffles at our friends' Anna and Andy's house and while we were there, Anna gave us some hand-me-down clothes for all my children.

One of the hand-me-downs is a beautiful top that I'm planning to turn into two dolls' dresses for my girls.

I went shopping with Anna on Sunday afternoon and bought three pairs of track pants for J from Kmart, plus a hairbrush to replace one we recently lost. I also bought an electric haircutting kit for $30 in a 50% off sale at Briscoes and am hoping Paul will let me try it on him. If he does, it will save us a lot of money in haircuts over the years. I could use it on J, but he has decided to grow his hair long.

Paul and I watched the first two episodes of Poldark on Sunday night. It's hard to find a show that we both like to watch, but we thought we'd give Poldark a go. I liked it more than he did.

In between everything else over the weekend, I also managed to read A Court of Wings and Ruin (affiliate link) by Sarah J Maas. It's the finale in a trilogy I have absolutely adored. I reserved the book from the library and waited for it to become available.

What have you done to save money lately?

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