Saturday, April 18, 2020

Frugal Fun in quarantine

Hey friends!

It's been a while since I've done a Frugal Fun post, but what better time to do one than now? It's not like we can go to the shops and spend a heap of money anyway, and with the economy taking some hits due to the pandemic, it's good to be wise with the money we do have.

Here are some of the frugal things I've done over the past few weeks. I'd love to hear what you've been doing too, as that helps inspire me and my other readers to find creative ways to save money.

In the home
The girls and I made beeswax wraps in a variety of sizes just before the lockdown. We haven't really needed the smaller ones, since we're not packing lunch-boxes at the moment, but I've been using the larger ones to cover my Overnight Bread bowl.

We made the wraps out of fabric we already had - some bought and some cut out of old clothing. The beeswax has been sitting in my cupboard for many years. I originally bought it at a farmers' market, with good intentions of making balms and lotions, but I have to confess, this is the first time I've used it.

To make a beeswax wrap, simply sprinkle a fabric square with grated beeswax and iron it between two sheets of baking paper. Cover your ironing board with a towel first, to soak up any melted beeswax that might go wandering.
I printed off two Regicide posters, one for Master J and one for Miss L, to stick up on their bedroom walls. Regicide is a fun card game my husband helped create, and it's currently running on Kickstarter so that he and his co-collaborators can raise the funds to print it. You can order Regicide through Kickstarter and, if it reaches its funding target, you'll get a copy sent to your door. (It's really close to reaching its target. Woohoo!) Our whole family is excited about Regicide. We played a game of it last night, just using a regular deck of cards, and were soooo close to winning. We were down to defeating the last evil king and thought we had it in the bag, when we lost. There are instructions up on Kickstarter about how to play the game, so you can play it for free too and see why we like it so much. If you want to print one of the free posters, just scroll to the bottom of the Kickstarter page and follow the instructions there.
We swapped the girls' sleeping arrangement around, because Miss L was getting too tall for the top bunk. With the swap came a chance to freshen up their areas, so I attached a large floating shelf to the wall of the top bunk. Miss S is now using the shelf as her side table up there. I got the shelf for free from an op shop a few months ago. I think it was free because the package had been opened and was missing its screws. I managed to find all the screws I needed in our toolkit, so I was able to attach it to the wall without trouble.
The girls also painted all the smaller pieces of furniture in their bedroom pink, purple and aqua, using tester paints I gave Miss S for her birthday last year.
I hand-sewed a duvet cover for Miss S, to give to her at her upcoming ninth birthday. To make the front, I used a pink flat sheet we don't need, as well as the good ruffled panel from an old duvet cover of mine that had worn out. I made the back for the duvet using a white flat sheet from one of my sheet sets. (We don't use top sheets on our beds, but all sheet sets come with them, so this was a great way to turn a couple of them into something useable for us.) I found a matching set of buttons in my button jar to use for closing the duvet cover.
I recovered a round cushion in some of the leftover pink fabric from the flat sheet, and have been hand-sewing fabric flowers to cover the cushion with. I haven't quite decided on the final flower arrangement yet - they're all still loose at this point - but the cushion will be another gift for Miss S's birthday.
I'm currently turning another one of our flat sheets into a fitted sheet for my king-size bed, because one of my two fitted sheets tore the other day. This is slow going because I'm hand-sewing it, but I'm halfway there. I pulled the elastic out of the torn fitted sheet to re-use in the new one I'm making.

I like to watch TV or YouTube while I'm sewing. The TV helps me feel connected to the outside world, while the sewing helps me feel like I'm still being productive. I recently downloaded the TVNZ OnDemand app to our TV so that I can stream shows for free. My favourite TV show of the last year was The Resident. My favourite YouTubers to watch are Jamerrill Stewart, Frugal Fit Mom, Ana White, This Gathered Nest / Angela Braniff, Farmhouse on Boone, Jordan Page and The Elliott Homestead. My girls love watching Moriah Elizabeth make crafty things and they get inspired by her to create their own fun projects.

In the garden
I've been trying to use as much fresh and frozen food from my garden as possible.
I've been finding all sorts of ways to use tomatoes, as they're still producing well. We've been having them on Overnight Bread and Quick Keto Toast as well as in dinners. I've also made sun-dried tomatoes using my dehydrator, and I've frozen all the other excess tomatoes in ziplock bags, so I can cook with them even after the plants finish producing.
Necessity is the mother of all invention and we've definitely been getting creative with pumpkin, since I harvested a heap of them at the end of summer. I've been taking my queue from The United States and making Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Pancakes, as well as Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese, and Butter Chicken Soup with added pumpkin.
All the zucchinis and marrows that I grated and froze during the summer months have been making wonderful additions to our dinners of lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, soup and enchiladas.
Although they're not edible, I've been enjoying watching the caterpillars on the swan plant outside my kitchen window turn into crystallises and Monarch butterflies. This week the swan plant was almost stripped bare by the hungry caterpillars, so Miss L helped me shift them to other swan plants around the garden. These swan plants all self-seeded from ones I planted in my garden from seed when we first moved here. New ones keep popping up all the time and we always have butterflies drifting around. It's so beautiful.
I've been picking flowers from our garden to make simple table arrangements that add a burst of colour and fragrance to our days. (Can you spot the Monarch butterfly?)
I moved the chicken coop and chicken run off the raised garden bed they were sitting on so that I could plant that garden out with carrot and beetroot seeds to maximise production over the coming months.
I built a large wooden compost bin out of scrap wood, so that I could add all our garden waste to it and produce compost to top up my raised garden beds with. I've been chopping up all the larger material, like hedge clippings, as I've added them to the compost, to help them break down faster. The yard is looking much tidier now that I have a place to direct all this garden waste.

Your turn! Share in the comments below or over on Facebook any fun or creative ways you've saved money lately.

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