Friday, October 25, 2013

Green and Thrifty

Lovely ranunculae from the garden of a dear friend. Green, thrifty, and sent with love. Nothing better!

I have been reading The Prudent Homemaker a bit this week. This is a pretty, extremely frugal, very inspiring blog. Each week Brandy publishes a frugal accomplishments list, and I really like this idea, so I have snitched it. My list will feature accomplishments that are green AND thrifty, because sometimes there is a difference. Buying three pairs of socks for $1.50 on clearance at Kmart is thrifty, but not green. Buying one pair of Australian-made socks from a local, independent retailer for $12 is green and ethical, but not necessarily in the budget. Green AND thrifty? Maybe knitting socks out of thrifted yarn, or maybe collecting tufts of sheep's wool from hedgerows so no sheep is left cold and shivering; washing, carding and spinning it, then knitting it into socks. Maybe.

So onto my first week's list:

Made my first Christmas present of the year from bits and pieces from the craft cupboard.

Collected all the windfall lemons from the garden, juiced and froze them in ice cube trays. One tablespoon of lemon juice per ice cube. Makes lemon-based recipes a breeze.

Pulled all the boxes of hand-me-down clothes from the shed for Posy. There were enough new-to-her clothes up there for her entire summer wardrobe. Hooray! I will need to buy a pair of shoes and two t-shirts, and she'll be done. I LOVE hand-me-downs. I save all of Rosy's clothes, and say 'Yes please!' to whoever offers outgrown clothes. I also collected all of Posy's outgrown clothes, washed them, and bagged them up to take to friends and the refugee group so that someone else can be green and thrifty as well.

Last night was the night before school camp (aaargh!) and Rosy had cleverly put up the tent to make sure she had all the bits. And then, disaster! The elastic that connects the poles together SNAPPED. Aaaargh, the night before camp, and we can't stuff the elastic back into the hollow core of the poles - it's too snug a fit. And The Man? Such a handy person, we always yell for him when something goes wrong, but darn, he's never around when you need him. After deep thought we used a heavy needle, attached to a long thread and sewed to the end of the elastic. The needle provided the gravity we needed to plunge the thread through the centre of the pole, then we could drag the elastic through, and knot it up. Double hooray! Epic save! No need to run out to Kmart in the dead of night and buy a new tent.

Sewed two buttons on Posy's hand-me-down cardi, and glued a rosette back on her shoe. Cinderella, you SHALL go to the ball! Well, the Grade Three social, anyway. Hand-me downs scrub up quite well..



Another 'oopsie' this week:


The lid of my beautiful pottery compost bin had a run-in with Rosy. Luckily The Girl came to the rescue, having apparently paid attention when The Man mends things, and knew the right glue to use, and where it lives in the shed. All fixed now.

From the garden this week: lettuce, parsley, rosemary, garlic chives, warrigal greens, lemons, oregano, sage, wild rocket. Lots of green salad!

So, that's my green and thrifty week - tell me about yours.






11 comments:

lucindasans said...

I love ranunculae. And your daughter is beautiful.

I am struggling to find ways I have been thrifty and green. Unless the ultimate thriftiness and green is that I haven't bought anything this week? And since I have stopped eating snack food and biscuits, I have created less waste.

Although they are plastic, I am taking my chopped fruit and yoghurt and sandwiches in reusable plastic containers. No cling wrap for me.

Jo said...

Not buying stuff, less waste, no cling wrap? You are an eco star! I love that we can qualify for being green and thrifty by NOT doing things! That is so my kind of hobby! Your lunch sounds very healthy. I am trying to see how long I can stretch my latest pack of cling wrap... I have persuaded the girls that their sandwiches do not require cling wrap PLUS a sandwich-sized plastic box.. so far, so good!

theroadtoserendipity said...

One of the things that I love about settling down to read my RSS Feed Reader blogs in the morning is not only reading other people's stories about their days and what makes them tick over my first enormous cup of tea while my brain slowly unwinds and remembers that it is at least partly human, but that as my brain cranks up, I get to find other wonderful blogs via my initial blogs. My early mornings are full of possibilities thanks to the generosity of other bloggers passing on good blogs. I love the concept and actions of thrift.

Maybe because I was taught it from both my grandmother's and mother's knees and that it was part of my early life that just "was". I love taking something that is, for whatever reason, no longer viable for its original purpose and turning it around, looking for useful bits, and letting imagination, need and want all fester around stirring up creativity and primal instinct and create something new. My gran had a saying "needs must when the devil drives" and sometimes you just have to think on the hop. I love thrifty, creative people.


I love people who share their creativity and their unusual quirks. Cheers for this new blog Jo. "Extreme thrifting" right up my alley :). Not actually sure about dehusking sheep for their grubby wool and learning to card it etc. though. Not on the agenda at the moment but learning to felt old thrifted cardies...that might be there.


We took what was left of an old leather jacket that my daughter had given me that was HUGE and that we had previously used most of to reupholster a bar stool and made a padded seat for a beer keg that is now Steve's music room chair. I took floury apples and added dates to the equation and made 6 jars of date and apple paste.

I used some of your delicious lemons to make lemon curd and the rest have slowly been turning into various tasty baked goods and drinkable items on Serendipity Farm. I have been hunting for ways to stop the chooks from scoffing preciouses in the garden without having to lock them in Fort Knox and have found a lovely picture of woven wicker chook protectors that narf7 is just about to get stuck into manufacturing custom sizes of to protect and serve.

We are about to extend our dog compound further out to encompass our small orchard killing 2 birds (or more to the point...possums...) with one dog and we have gotten to the pointy end of thrifting about a squillion metres of free ex-fish farm netting that was headed to the tip before we got brave enough to ask for some and turning it into a tennis court sized fully enclosed massive great vegetable garden circus tent. Totally and utterly thrifted to the max and completely satisfying in every way. Love your ranunculi to the max. Wish I could grow some but individual ranunculi preciouses woven baskets are beyond even my stamina so I will just have to admire yours from afar :).

Jo said...

Fran, 'imagination, need and want all fester around stirring up creativity and primal instinct and create something new..' I just love that sentence!
What a great list of achievements you have going on there. I must say, one of the good things about living in the suburbs is not having to fortify the vegie garden, flowers and fruit trees to keep out bunnies, possums and wallabies. I look forward to seeing Vegetable Fort Knox finished..

rabidlittlehippy said...

My ego thrifts this week, hmmm let me see.
Ok, cleaning out the pantry yesterday I did my best to decant all food still in plastic packaging into containers. I ran out of the purpose bought jars so I used recycled glass jars to store smaller amounts.

Our chooks have been out free-ranging a lot more to try to cut down on their food costs and we bought 2 lambs to eat the grass and then in turn to provide us with ethical meat once the grass is gone. They're great lawnmowers. :)

10kg of peanuts in shells needed moving from cardboard box into something pest proof (our cat decided to catch and release a mouse inside the house) so I repurposed some plastic toy tubs we no longer use for toys.

Last week I did well with building my pea trellis using the longer branches of the poplar trees we had cut down and some elasticated tie we also had left over. They look a bit bodgy but work just fine. If I get time today *snort* I will make them a bit sexier. :)

Oh, and we have our old couches that we can't manage to rehome (they are pretty old and grotty I must admit) but although they go to the tip today I am keeping the cushions - the base ones may well fit or be made to fit the outdoor couches we have and the cushions fromt he back of the couch will make mean spare pillows! :)

Jo said...

Love your eco-lawnmowers. My husband had a pet-sheep lawnmower growing up, but he was called George, and never made into chops. He was sheared every year though, which made him economic - he provided wool for about fifteen years!

Lynda D said...

Not such a thrifty week with beach side holidays but hell, i waited 20 years for that!!! I did however take the food and do the cooking. Also not so thrifty was the hot water service needing replacing. OUCH! Though the olde one is 18 years old which makes it many years past its prime and my thrifty tradesman husband has been keeping it going for years. Am i really really bad if i cross my fingers and hope that he cant fix my stove top and oven next time. Id really like new ones that i dont have to fight with to turn on. He keeps mending it and its driving me mad!!!! LOL Hmmm Maybe im not being thrifty but i can help others to be. Im getting ready for a big clean out as we reshuffle rooms. I know someone local (Ballan) who will be getting cupboards for storage.

Jo said...

Lynda, it is so hilarious that you are cross at your husband because he keeps fixing your appliances! Did you know that hot water services often have big metal tubs inside that are brilliant for garden pots?
I'm sure 'someone' will appreciate her new storage very much. Who doesn't love more storage!

Tammy said...

Hand-me-downs are wonderful! What an adorable outfit!

Congratulations on fixing the tent. Like you I normally look for my version of The Man first when things break. He is much better at those things. Also like you, I have found that I can repair things myself if pushed.

Thanks for the referral to the Prudent Homemaker. What a wonderful blog!

e / dig in said...

ranunculae are one of my favourite flowers, and i've very disappointed with how weedy mine are this year.
thrifty? deciding that i do not need any new clothes this summer, as we bnarely have summer here in hobart, and i have enough to last the, oh, two days we'll enjoy of hot weather.
saving cabbage stalks for mum's chooks. savign anythgin for mum's chooks :-)

Jo said...

Yes, I think my sundresses may have a few years' wear left in them!
Ranunculae in my garden always get powdery mildew, so I am so happy to receive them from friends..

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