Monday, June 3, 2013


In older Australian suburbs, lemon trees are (or at least were) a standard feature in most backyards. If you're like me, living in a small town in regional Victoria - you'll have two.

Lemons are, at various times, a bane or a boon. They're a bane when the tree is laden to the point they're falling on the ground and I'm too busy to even bag them to sell at my front gate. They're a boon when I'm making lemon cordial or I need a squeeze of lemon in the raspberry jam.
Ripe lemons ready to pick.
There are lots of other uses for lemons and I'm going to start trying a few. Here are just two of the great ideas I found on See the whole post here.

Boost Laundry Detergent
For more powerful cleaning action, pour 1 cup lemon juice into the washer during the wash cycle. The natural bleaching action of the juice will zap stains and remove rust and mineral discolorations from cotton T-shirts and briefs and will leave your clothes smelling fresh. Your clothes will turn out brighter and also come out smelling lemon-fresh.

Keep Insects Out of the Kitchen
You don’t need insecticides or ant traps to ant-proof your kitchen. Just give it the lemon treatment. First squirt some lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills. Then squeeze lemon juice into any holes or cracks where the ants are getting in. Finally, scatter small slices of lemon peel around the outdoor entrance. The ants will get the message that they aren’t welcome. Lemons are also effective against roaches and fleas: Simply mix the juice of 4 lemons (along with the rinds) with 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water and wash your floors with it; then watch the fleas and roaches flee. They hate the smell.

Can you add any more uses to the list?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Fugalista - Home Baked Cinnamon Rolls

It's no surprise to most of us that cooking and baking from scratch is so much cheaper than buying a similar product ready made.

In the spirit of keeping costs to a minimum while still enjoying the finer things in life, I fired up the oven and baked some cinnamon rolls.

Home Baked Cinnamon Rolls
I found the recipe here and used it as is however, in the future I'll make a lot less icing as I had a heap left over. It wont go to waste though, it's in an air-tight jar in the fridge awaiting the next batch of cinnamon rolls.

I haven't purchased a cinnamon roll for a while but I'm guessing a mass produced commercial one would cost between A$2.50 - $3.00. I'd estimate my total ingredient costs to be not much more than that (Aldi flour, bulk cinnamon, etc.) and in return I produced a dozen good sized rolls. The rolls froze really well, too.

Being frugal isn't about being 'cheap' it's about spending your money (and time) wisely. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Studio / Office Renovation

As I'm now working from home exclusively, I ran out of excuses for not getting the old dilapidated outbuilding (circa 'around the same time as Stonehenge') on my property spruced up. 

The goal is to use this outbuilding as my office, warehouse and studio. 

Unfortunately, in order to rebuild one has to tear down. And, that my friends has been a herculean task. Partly because I can always find something other than hard work to occupy my time and partly because it really is hard work! 

Luckily, wrecking stuff takes very little skill, just determination and as you can see from these images, I am getting there.
Outbuilding Interior - North/East

Outbuilding Interior - North/West

Outbuilding Interior - West

Now that I can see real progress, I'm getting excited about having a dedicated area in which to work.

What a luxury it will be to be able to shut the door on work at the end of the day rather than being surrounded by it 24/7.

Better get back out there!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Feet on the ground... Finally!

It's been four months since finishing up my last IT contract and officially relying on my business as my only income. And, it's been one heck of a roller-coaster ride.

Nothing has really turned out the way I planned. No empty nest and it's taken me a distressingly long time to recover from the very hectic and stressful previous year or so.

In order to ensure my health and happiness (and bank balance!) are on the right track again, I'm planning on a Makeover May! I figure the bank balance bit will be the bonus flow on effect of health and happiness, because when you've got those two things working for you, you don't need take-away dinners because you're too exhausted to cook and you don't need retail therapy to distract you, going for a walk or sitting in the garden provide all the distraction you need.

The three key objectives of my Makeover May are:

  • One hour walk each day (stress relief and fitness)
  • Two litres of filtered water each day
  • Three cups (minimum) of vegetables each day.
My goal is to complete each of these objectives every day for the 31 days of May. I'm hoping for lots of beneficial outcomes but my focus and my goal is to add each of these tasks, if you will, to my day.

Should be an interesting month ahead!

Why not plan your own Makeover May?