Simple. Sustainable. Frugal.

Inspired by my cousin Emma at Craving Fresh, whose Frugal Fun posts I always enjoy reading. I thought it’d be good for S. and to sit down each week and highlight (for ourselves as much as anything) the frugal, sustainable and slow decisions and wins that we have had over the past week or so each week.

Frugal

Meal Planning – it’s the last week of our monthly food budget so our meal planning has been especially careful and we’ve successfully stayed away from the shops. (S.’s best piece of frugal advice is don’t go near shops!).

Shopping in the Pantry – S. went through the emergency supplies and pulled out anything that was nearly due to expire and that has supplemented the week’s food too. I used up a couple of cans of peaches and apricots blended with stewed apples (which we picked ourselves earlier in the Autumn) to make fruit leather in the dehydrator.

Baking – S. is always great a keeping the pantry stocked with tasty treats, but in an effort to reconnect with the kitchen I have been getting back into baking. Sunday afternoons when we usually have the oven on for roast veges has seen me baking for the week. This week a classic Edmonds Date Slice and this cookie recipe, baking treats saves us money and is means that we know there is nothing nasty in them.

Toy Library – as always the Toy Library is a regular feature in the week and is great as the weather starts to turn and T. ends up spending more time indoors.

Library Reading Rewards – from time to time the Wellington Libraries do a promotion with Hell Pizza where children can earn stamps towards a pizza voucher for books read. Given the number of books that T. routinely has out of the library he’s got a few to eat his way through – it’s a nice (free) treat for him every now and then – and waste-free since the boxes go into the compost bin. Bonus too that he can get his with diary-free cheese for no extra cost at our local Hell Pizza!

Shopping the Fabric Stash – S. and I went through our fabric stash this week and identified what all the fabric could be used for and made a list of projects to work through – now we just the overlocker back from the repair shop so we can get started.

Sustainable Things

Opshopping – My winter coat that I have had for years is starting to get a little threadbare (although I’m determined it still has at least one more season in it) and so I had been planning to buy wool and make a new one with mum’s help over the summer, but I happened upon a gorgeous green one at Honour (a pre-loved fashion shop) in almost new condition. It’s 60% wool and ended up being less than I would have paid for the fabric. I was also keen to get a flatter pair of boots as I only have heeled winter shoes for work and my feet have been dying lately, and I found a leather (inner and outer) pair of black ankle boots that were just perfect. S. was also after some colourful additions for Winter this year after a successful year of no clothes buying last year and scored well at a nearby Red Cross Shop. I also found a few white things to have a go dyeing with cabbage and turmeric and we found a couple of books in nearly new condition to put away for T.’s birthday later in the year.

Beeswax Dipped Leaves – S. and T. have been collecting and pressing Autumn leaves and we finally got around to dipping them in wax to preserve them as decorations for the season. They smell delicious, look great and will just go into the compost when they are worn out.

Knitting Dishcloths – I have been madly knitting dishcloths and facecloths and thicker make up cloths over the past month or so to stock pile as gifts for Winter Solstice – all are made of cotton so will last for ages and wear well and when they do eventually die will be completely biodegradable.

Homegrown Herbs – it was lovely this week to be able to put my homegrown and dried herbs (Sage and Time) to good use in Mushroom and Leek Risotto. Mum has put in an order for some too as her herbs haven’t done as well this year.

Slow Things

Board Games – S. and I have played Sushi Go (which S. gave me for my birthday a couple of weeks ago) several times this week – we both really enjoy it and spending time together in a screen free way.

Potluck Dessert and Board Games Evening – S. got together with playcentre friends for an evening of board games and dessert.

Reading to T. – T. loves books and we always have a tonne out from the library (I swear I am in awe of how S. manages to keep track of them all!). Lately she and T. have been reading Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder – quite the epitome of slow living.

Space and Science Festival – We took T. to the Space and Science Festival on Saturday – the highlight of which was either the exploding water volcano or the real life sea creatures. We also spent a long time investigating different kinds of bubbles. Such a great afternoon and he’s still talking about it – real life learning win!

Bubble Mixture -T. spent a very happy bath tonight playing with homemade bubble mixture (which S. made from glycerine and dishwashing liquid) using a pipette with the end cut off to blow some wonderful bubbles just like he saw at the Space and Science Festival.

BBC Documentary – I’ve enjoyed watching this 3-part BBC documentary about an Anglican Minister who spent a year exploring simple living. While not a familiar background to me or necessarily the same motivations to mine, it definitely raised some interesting thoughts and was good too see things from a different perspective.

And that’s about us for the past week.

B.

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