Frugal Fridays....what did you do that saved you money this week?

Posted March 27th, 2015 by Mimi

Here's my list of insourced tasks for this week, and how much I estimate similar purchased or ready made items would have cost us, had we bought them.

Because I am primarily a stay at home Mum, I can enhance our lives in all sorts of ways that would come at a financial cost were I to work outside of the home, thus limiting my time and energy for other things.

We'd still like to enjoy the lifestyle of a dual income family though, so I challenge myself each week, to insource as many tasks as possible to make our lives more comfortable.

* I made lots of Sumo style salads. Sumo is a sort of gourmet style salad bar takeaway, and for anyone who hasn't seen a Sumo salad bar, it's quite a sight to behold. This week I've made salads using ingredients like cubed and steamed sweet potato, cubed and roasted pumpkin, toasted pepitas and sesame seeds, grilled pineapple slices, cubed and pan friend eggplant, slivers of teriyaki steak and chicken, chunks of tuna, rice noodles, fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, hard boiled egg, and so on. Each one has been slightly different, each has had a yummy dressing, and all of them have meant that assembling lunches and quick and easy dinners, has been a breeze. Similar salads, if purchased, would have meant a punishing outlay of about $100 and that would have been for a single serve! Multiply that by 3 for three of us, and it's a bit scary! I know people who make a habit of buying Sumo salads to serve with dinner or even as dinner, so that does my head in a bit. For today, let's just say my ingredients cost about $30, saving an absolute minimum of $70 were I to buy similar.

* I made PowerAde for my daughter, using the powdered PowerAde I bought a couple of weeks ago. She has a bottle each day as she's so active with rehearsals at the moment. 7 bottles bought even at the supermarket would be over $20 at $2.70 each. Making it ourselves costs just 60c per bottle, saving around $15. If we were cash rich and time poor, and I was stopping on the way to buy her afternoon snacks, I wouldn't think twice about spending that.

* I made afternoon teas for her as well. These were things like rice paper rolls, home made chicken nuggets, more of the healthy salads and so on. Again, if I worked, I wouldn't think twice about spending $5-$6 on afternoon tea for an active teen. My ingredients cost around $7 for the week. I'd have spent $30-$40 otherwise. Saving lets say $25 for arguments sake, but realistically it's probably more than that.

* I cleaned the house, even though I am nursing some lower back pain just now. My lovely hubby offered to get a cleaner, but at a cost of $130 for 3 hours, I nixed that, preferring to tackle one room a day to keep on top of things. Saving $130.

* I washed the car and cleaned it inside, using nothing more than soapy water, the hose and a broom, the vacuum cleaner, and some baby wipes. Hubby was similarly grumbling that it needed a car detailer to do it 'properly', at a cost of $55. had been a while I'm embarrassed to say. But I showed him a thing or! Saving $55.

* I washed the dog. Saving between $10 and $25. Let's say $10 just to be conservative.

* Inspired by Annabel on her blog, I made my daughter a succulent terrarium. These were all the rage in the 1970's and they're back in vogue apparently, and fetching ridiculous prices in upmarket florists. Anything from $30-$150! I used a fishbowl shaped vase that I already had, soil and succulents from our own garden, and had a satisfying smashing session of some old white plates to provide a layer of interesting texture on top of the soil. Cost...nil. Saving on the one I looked at, of $55.

That's a total of $360 just there.

I did a lot of other things too, but it just goes to show how doing a few little things yourself, that you might have to outsource if you worked outside the home, can really add up and add value to your life, not just mentally, but in real savings to the budget.

I hope you all had a productive week too.

Do share :)

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