Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Frugal Fun No. 7 - A weekend away

Frugal Fun is a day late this week as we got back from a weekend away on Sunday night and I spent all of yesterday catching up on the weekend's chores.

Here's what I did to save money last week.

I mowed our lawns using the electric lawn mower my brother gave us when we moved into this house. It's great because I can start it every time, unlike petrol mowers which have always been hit and miss for me. I also like that I don't have to buy petrol to make it run. The downside of an electric mower is that the cord gets in the way, so I have to keep moving it, but I guess I've got used to that because I don't really notice it anymore.

I pruned our hedge on the roadside to make it easier to see the footpath when I'm reversing out of our driveway. I hired a company to prune it last time, and they did a great job and were able to prune the top, which is hard for me to reach as the hedge is very high and wide across the middle. (I have pruned the top myself once, and it was precarious at times.) If I had electric hedge trimmers, I might be able to do the top myself again more easily, so I'll look into purchasing some of those.

I bought 16kg of apple seconds from an orchard in Oratia. I love these apples because they have never been in cold storage, so they are crisp and flavoursome. They also come sticker-free and I was able to cart them home in a box - so no plastic packaging. I'll dehydrate some of these apples in slices, stew some for apple crumble and we are already eating lots fresh as all the kids love them. L says they're the most delicious thing ever.

I made a photo book for L as a birthday present for her upcoming birthday and bought it with a Father's Day deal that saved me about $20.

I bought several books from the library's 3 for $1 stack for L and J for their upcoming birthdays. One of the books was Princess Academy Palace of Stone (affiliate link), the second book in a wonderful series I was planning to buy for L anyway, so I was stoked to find it for 33c.

We went to Te Puke for the weekend to visit family and remember my father-in-law, who died nine years ago. The kids had a lovely time with their cousins and got to go rock-climbing with them, which my mother-in-law kindly paid for. Everyone had a blast at Rocktopia. J even cried when our session came to an end.

We turned our hot water off at home before we left for the weekend, to save money on our power bill.

I kept my eyes open for good petrol prices as we travelled, and only topped up where we could get the best price.

I had been planning to buy L a bigger bike for her upcoming birthday, but the Te Puke cousins had one in the right size they no longer needed, so they gave that to L and she was stoked. It needs servicing to get a brake fixed and a more comfortable seat put on. I'll take it into the bike store before her birthday to get those things attended to.

I made a doll's bed for L's dolls house for her upcoming birthday, using some styrofoam packaging as the mould, a piece of towel as the soft filler and a pair of S's old stretchy pink and gold pants as the fabric to cover it. I'm planning to sew a pillow and blanket to go with the bed, so will take a photo of it when it's all finished to share with you.

I mended a dress and a cardigan of S's while I had the sewing kit out.

I did lots of baking last week - all with some variation of chocolate in it - chocolate brownies, double chocolate chip muffins and chocolate afghans.

A few weeks ago I bought six bottles of milk at a good price and froze several bottles to pull out when we run out of milk at inconvenient times. We've been using that up and it's saved us some expensive mid-week dashes to the dairy.

I read a library book - Joyride by Anna Banks (affiliate link) - and really enjoyed it.

I think that's everything. Now please share your frugal successes so we can all be inspired. I've been told that the comments feature on Craving Fresh is not working very well. I'm sorry about that. I've had a look behind the scenes and can't figure out why it's not working, so please share your money saving tips on Craving Fresh's Facebook page instead.

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