Back to basics, frugality revisited.

Christmas, interstate holidays and unfortunately timed car repairs and insurance bills have left things a little tight for us of late. Very little is being saved and the bills and expenses just keep rolling in. 
I spent a bit of time having a sook about our own little economic downturn but when I got tired of feeling sorry for myself I decided to get over it and take on a frugal challenge. 
It's amazing that even when you live a frugal lifestyle you can always find little areas where money is not being used as wisely as it could. So, here are a few things I'm doing this month to make positive changes.

I've been making my own laundry gel for ages (great stuff!) and also my own cleaning spray (I add some lavender or tea tree essential oil to make cleaning more bearable!) for a few months.  As I've mentioned before, the recipes I use are from the excellent book "Saving Mum". 

Recently I found that I could make an excellent toilet spray simply by placing water and essential oils in an old spray bottle. I'd tried it in the past and wasn't thrilled with the results, but I've found that the essential oils needed to be stronger. I also make up a really small batch at a time (say about 100ml)  to keep it fresh.

For my 3 long haired girls I squirt a little hair conditioner into an old spray bottle, top it up with water and use it as a de-tangler. This morning I also made up a batch of dish liquid and will be trying that out. I'm nearly due to do a big batch of soap too. Sometimes I use my soap to wash the girl's hair.

After the hot and dry summer our garden has been re-planted with vegetables and the kids each have their own plot. Here are my husband's cos lettuces. I still can't work in the garden much because of my back issues but I live in hope that I'll be able to return soon.

I have been wanting to replace our large side gate for 9 years now (ever since we moved in) as it is broken and very difficult to open, not to mention old and unattractive. We never seem to have enough spare cash to complete this job! So, new tactics. We have a money jar in our bedroom as husband often chucks a handful of coins from his pockets in there when getting undressed. The coins are used for small shopping trips and the rest goes into our charity jar in the kitchen. I've placed a little box beside the bedroom jar and place the gold coins in the box, with the silver change going to the charity jar as before. Gold coins can add up quickly and I have $15 in my "replace side gate" box already. Who knows how long it will take to save the required amount but at least I feel better because I'm moving towards the goal :)

We found a way to do cheap and beautiful eggs for our table display. We dyed cheap supermarket cage eggs with egg dye, then used these super cool "Happy Wraps" to decorate with. I picked up the wraps and dye at a continental grocer very cheaply. They were so easy to make and look fantastic.

For Easter eggs my husband found a warehouse outlet that sells good brands (Red Tulip, Cadbury) eggs at heavily discounted prices. We also intend not to go overboard with chocolate for the kids as we tend to - they really don't need bucket loads!

There are plenty more things I'm doing to be more frugal at the moment, but this post is getting rather long, so maybe next time.

How about you? Feeling the pinch? Taking any positive steps to help?


Sue Elvis said...


I am amazed at how quickly small change adds up. I often empty the coins out of my purse because they are heavy, and my husband always discards what's in his pocket. We should sort it all out. I bet there's quite a lot of money in the overflowing container on our chest of drawers!

I love your eggs! And I'm going to look and see if we have a warehouse outlet for eggs.

Thanks for all the tips!

Anonymous said...

Is there any way you could stretch to buying free-range eggs? The caged creatures' lives are so sad. Kind regards, Jo

Kelly Casanova said...

Hi Jo,
I wrote this post quite a few years ago now and I agree with you, the life of a caged bird is a sad one, and yes, we could either buy free range or use our own chicken's eggs :)

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