Living Organised & Frugally

Following my previous post, sad to admit that I am still in a rut, still unmotivated to do anything for 3 weeks now.  Believe me I know exactly how much clutter I still have to work through, habits to form, I have my long to do list in place… absolutely nothing gets me motivated to do a thing.  I just don’t have the energy or inclination despite that I know the outcome will be worth it.

I want to remodel the downstairs bathroom, fix the security doors, get electricians in to add extra plugs downstairs, etc.  I cant do any of this unless I finish clearing my clutter.  So having a deadline is not working for me either as work was supposed to start in 2 weeks time!  Even though there is a prize at the end of my journey, nada, this does not even motivate me.

Clearly the actual problem is that a person’s clutter and debt is linked to emotions!

I have so much bouncing around in my head, emotions.  People around me, things going wrong, things breaking, a break-in, etc.  Feeling overwhelmed with no control is actually stressful.  I have realised I deal with stress badly in my home life, when with work it motivates me?  In my home life when I do have down time I just shut down and do nothing but the absolute basics, so nothing gets done.

These last few weeks I have not been living frugally as I have no inclination to shop around or get ideas or try anything new.  This is costing me money as I can see how much money I have wasted not thinking straight, and we are not talking pocket change either!

My grandmother’s favourite saying :

 f o c u s

Parsimonious Mom


Living Organised – Declutter Week 5

Last week was disastrous for me.  I never tackled anything.

I am full of excuses, no energy, flu last week, did not seem to have enough hours to get things done, and to top it off it is cold here and I could not function after dark.  I know it is not an excuse and I could have done better.  I have to answer to myself.  Neverthless I am feeling despondent when I look at what still needs to be done. It seems that I am aiming for the impossible right now?

I know it is not only me in this boat, otherwise there would not be a demand for cleaning and decluttering tutorials and pintables on Pinterest.  Does this make me feel better, no.

Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it.

Autograph your work with excellence.       Vince Lombardi

This is such a great quote, applicable to any aspect of life.

SELF-DISCIPLINE  I need to work on this!

Hopefully this week is more productive.

Striving for Organised Living,

Parsimonious Mom

Living Organised – Declutter Week 4

Decluttering is a hard task to do in general, if you are unmotivated it is the worst thing to do, but persevere even if you only manage to do a few things on your to do list.  This is what last week was like for me, felt like I accomplished nothing, even though I can see that I have done quite a bit.

5 Tasks I completed last week to DECLUTTER, striving to reach my goal of living ORGANISED & FRUGALLy - Parsimonious Mom


I re-arranged my work space so that it gives me a little more free space.  I cleaned everything and packed in piles on my long desk as to what needs to be done after sorting.


I sorted out my in-trays… I had piles and piles of papers all over the place.  I sorted out what by type using bull clips.  I have got 1x 3-tray now with to do at the top, filing in the middle, and last tray holds my diary and notepad.


I sorted through all the papers and threw out all unnecessary receipts and papers immediately.  Scanned patterns to a folder on my pc for one day when I have time to make things.  Put all recipes to try together with a bull clip, these will be tested first before they go into a recipe book.


All scrapbooking class notes are together with a bull clip, yip there is a lot.  I don’t want to waste money printing them again, so I will work through them and then only scan to my pc once the page is completed.

All scrapbooking layouts in progress were put in holders on my desk, most of them only need a few touches and photo’s, then they can go into albums.  There are about 80 of these.  Yes I  consider myself queen of unfinished projects.


I have never been so disorganised with accounts and am always looking for papers I need.
Yes I receive 90% of my accounts by email, but having 2 systems going, e-format & hard copy, is obviously not working for me as I can never find anything.

I took a lever arch file covered it with pretty wrapping paper & plastic, made inserts for my file – and yes used my laminator that has been in storage for about 4 years and has never been used! – made my own labels.  I’m impressed with myself.  All my current accounts and contracts are housed in this file.

Next time I should sort the accounts out first and then make labels, not think of labels and then do the filing, as I realised I missed one account. Will work out plan B as I am settling one of the accounts this month, so it will move out of the folder soon to a paid in full tab with the last statement and proof of payment for long term storage.  In SA this seems a necessity as I have learnt from experience to keep proof for a long time.

Everything that came from email also gets saved so I have back-up if needed.


In between all the paper mess I found vouchers and gift cards that are still valid totalling R912.00.

  • Spur meal voucher R100
  • Spur birthday kids voucher R35 (both vouchers are for different outlets so cant use them together lol)
  • Woolworths gift card R300
  • Free kiddies movie rental valued at about R10
  • R25 off washing powder (this type of voucher is rare)
  • Clothing voucher R336
  • Craft Store loyalty card which has R50 off my next purchase
  • Lottery tickets which gave me R56 cash back; 3 of the cards were expired so if I won the lotto no-one will ever know.

My office area, is my craft area, is my schooling area, and is our dining area.  So there is still so much to sort out, I dont see a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel yet. Sigh.


Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest.

Will keep you updated next Monday on this weeks progress.

Striving for Organised Living,

Parsimonious Mom

Frugal Living: Spending Less Week 3

I am working on spending less weekly and this for me is a constant challenge.

How I SAVED & WASTED money at the same time last week (week 3) to reach my goal of living ORGANISED & FRUGALLY - Parsimonious Mom

How I SAVED & WASTED money at the same time last week (week 3) to reach my goal of living ORGANISED & FRUGALLY – Parsimonious Mom


My new favourite saying which drives my family bongers.

My top toilet seat lid hinge thingy broke in my down stairs toilet.  Yes normally I would run to the store and buy a whole new toilet seat.  Not this time.  I am not replacing it even though it is an eyesore.

My downstairs toilet is stuck in the 70’s, but worse is, the previous owners tiled the toilet cistern in… why who knows!  Now just my luck there is a leak somewhere.  The only way to fix this is to break the toilet out and a new toilet will have to be put in.

I could have done this already, but after so much thought I realised that in terms of labour costs, I might as well remodel the downstairs toilet totally in one go.  I cant wait to put my own touch to my old 1950’s townhouse and if all goes well work will start in August.  (I think I am going to drive people crazy as I am going to apply my frugal goal with this and reuse, upcyle, DIY, and get the best value for money for the purchases I have to make).

For now we will just have to live with an eyesore till I get my new powder room 🙂

Why waste money for a short term result?


Food wastage was a huge concern last week.  I noticed how my son wasted food almost daily by making too much or not liking what he made and then not eating all of it.  Irritation does not describe how I felt.

Alas, clearing out the fridge I also had to throw away some food that was no good.  Yes I slapped myself a couple of times; I should have planned meals around these items or cooked them and froze them.  The cost of the wasted food totalled R140.95.


I should have not made any purchases last week, as usual something always comes up.

My mother found some specials on items I normally use. Mushrooms, bacon, tin tuna, chicken fillets, and then a new item I have never bought turkey drumettes (turkey is not big in SA so have to search how or what I can do with this) but price was very cheap at R29.95 a kilo so it is a very good option to save on protein.  Saving on items was R211.43.

Due to electricity issues I had to buy take-away food – twice, which cost me R232.75.  Granted we could have just had sarmies or had a braai, but its winter and cold and I was not in the mood to sit outside cooking.  Not frugal at all, I know, I should have made an adventure out of the situation.  Next time.


Total Grocery spend Week 3= R592.74

Total Savings for Week 3 = R211.43 (excluding rewards)

Total Wasted on Week 3 = R373.70

Living frugally to me means you actually start taking note of what you spend your money on and what is not needed.  Big eye opener, its just to tackle the bad habits.  This week my food wastage & take aways (I included the latter as I should not have spent this) surpassed my savings, but in the long run this constant assessment will save me money and that is worth all the effort.

Striving for cheaper living,

Parsimonious Mom

Living Organised – Declutter Week 3

8 Tasks I completed last week to DECLUTTER striving to reach my goad of living ORGANISED & FRUGALLY - Parsimonious Mom

8 Tasks I completed last week to DECLUTTER striving to reach my goad of living ORGANISED & FRUGALLY – Parsimonious Mom

I am still striving to declutter my life day-by-day. View my previous posts of what I have managed this far.  Last week I was not motivated at all but still dragged myself to declutter:


I unnecessarily had a total of 5 TV sets in my house!  Yes I know ridiculous!  I put up one in each kids room replacing their PC screens and 1 is now on the wall in my living room.

The other 2 (on 32″ and 40″) I knew already that I really did not need anymore and they were literally collecting dust stacked on the floor in my bedroom for the last 6 months or so.  I took them to a pawn shop and was shocked to be offered R2,000 for both – what a rip off!

I then advertised them on OLX for free and within 2 minutes of posting the ad my cell phone started ringing and just did not stop. Ok there were some weirdo’s who called and unfortunately that is part and parcel of classified advertising.  But I was pleased that I sold 1 that very day and the other one the next morning.  I got R5,000 for both.  In hind sight I realised that I under-priced the TV’s and could have actually got R7,000 for both as both buyers were prepared to pay that for my mint condition TV’s.

You live and learn – don’t undervalue your possessions when selling.


In South Africa we call any plastic containers “tupperware” despite this being a brand.  It’s like “checkers packets” for plastic shopping bags, Checkers being a retail grocery store.  The name just sticks, funny how that works.

So this cupboard is always in a mess despite being straightened and cleaned out often.  Who knows why?  Oh yes I know, because my kids don’t pack the stuff away properly and just cram in any open spot or create a tower of containers that don’t make sense for stability so it will collapse as soon as the door is opened.

This cupboard is always jam packed and often there is never what I need to use?

I have a quite a large wall mounted cupboard for this tupperware which houses lunch tins, variety of food containers, jugs, water bottles, mixing bowls, plastic party cups, etc. I took out everything, packed back by how often I used it.  I moved the shelves down in the cupboard already so for future I can have another shelf made to put in at the top to add more storage.  I want the cupboard less cluttered at the end of the day with the same of everything on a shelf working of least used at the top to most used at the bottom.

I took out everything that we don’t use. Mismatched melamine plates and bowls as I no longer use them (they were for my kids when camping at scouts); 6 travel coffee mugs, really?  I kept only 4;  baby/toddler drinking cups and plates, allocated only 1 water bottle per person as really we don’t need so many.  I collected the KFC coleslaw bakkies as these come in handy for smaller portions of leftovers and threw away all these lids that did not have bottoms. I kept the inherited 1970’s Tupperware pudding bowls as they hold the right portion of pudding and are portable for picnics as they have lids.  Also kept my 1980’s Tupperware hamburger maker with storage type stacking rings with a  lid (I know sounds weird). I kept lunch tins, purely because I use these for left overs, but don’t need them anymore.  Will save a little money instead of buying more containers.

Everything is nicely stacked and in place in this cupboard now and heaven help those who don’t maintain it!


Ok seriously this was a dead spot, a dumping ground, not really used despite being a necessity in every woman’s life.  I have a beautiful mirror dressing table and it was lost in my bedroom and not used for it’s intended purpose, well no longer.

I moved the dressing table to the opposite side of my bedroom nearer to the window for natural light and the plug points!

I put a variety of silver and black frames on top of the dresser to one side.  I must mention that I have an enormous amount of picture frames with no pictures.  This is also going to end.  These don’t have photo’s in, yet, but at least they are now where they are supposed to be.

Out of the dressing table came hoards of make-up bags, how did I collect so many?  Anyway I put these one side with all bags to still sort as I know there are going to be more coming out of the woodwork.

In the middle I put a silver serving tray to house my perfumes, small glass jewellery holder, and products I use often.  I love the pretty feminine look so this is what I want to achieve.


Since working from home I don’t wear make-up at all only when I go out to a client and even then it is not plastered on, I prefer natural looking. So why do I still have so much make-up that is not in use?  Keep in mind I already threw out so much last year so the problem was clearly that I held on to items that I thought I might need.  I don’t wear lipstick or eye shadow unless it is a special occasion so I have no explanation why I had so many!  Then who needs 3 pencil sharpeners?  You get the drift?  Any extra’s or colours I know I wont wear I put in a box to pass on.

In the last 2-3 years I have only regularly bought foundation and waterproof mascara and once a year I buy Avon’s bronzer pearls (when it is on special of course) as this generally last me a year.  Shows you that is mostly what I use, the rest have been collected through phases of wearing make-up all the time and experiments.

I sorted the inside drawer with sturdy small boxes, that were upcycled from packaging boxes, to house each type of make-up which should keep it tidy.  I kept only what I know I will use.  I confess I did keep that red lipstick, still unopened, for reasons I cant fully explain.

I have kept 2 foundations that are a little too dark for me in winter, want to work out how to DIY them lighter?  Need to do research.

Maybe I should start wearing natural looking make-up during the day? A habit that always makes a person feel good if you look good (or at least better)?


All the samples for skincare and perfumes were stuffed in a drawer so I went through all of it and put the skin care samples in a small drawer in order of type.  I will be using these first before buying more product.  I will be saving at least 1 month of not having to purchase face cream, night cream and serum.  That is quite a bit of money!

All perfume samples, you know those little ones you get, I took out of the cardboard packaging and put them in a cute little glass lidded jar on my silver tray (this saved so much storage space). I now actually can see them to use daily, perfume is always a little mood pick me up.

Between the samples, 2 body mists, 1 purse spray, 1 solid perfume, and 2 bottles of perfume displayed I have enough to last me hopefully a year of daily use.

This is not a saving as I don’t ever buy myself perfume, I get free product from being a consultant, I don’t pass on free samples, and as I am a hard person to buy for specific scents are always on my gift list. I am picky about perfume as most actually smell like cat pee on me.  I stick to clear perfumes with light scent so I never collect perfumes that I know I wont wear.


The only gold jewellery I have is one necklace and pendant I got as a bridesmaids gift, one heirloom ring, and my gold sleepers.  The rest is junk jewellery.  I don’t have the budget to buy fancy stuff, and most of the times my junk jewellery is commented on as looking so expensive lol, this one pair of earrings (which is currently lost in my home) cost me R10 and everyone thinks it is really valuable.  Shows you don’t need to spend a fortune.

I have a lot of jewellery despite tossing out a lot over the years!  The worst is I don’t wear most of it.  I have this beautiful glass pendant I bought in Mauritius, but have never worn it!  I have 7 pairs of very similar diamond-looking studs, why I cant say.

I had a shoe box of junk jewellery and went through everything, put all unwanted and un-wearable in the give away box.  Even though I kept very little, it still seems too much so I will fine tune it as I go through each item’s wear-ability.  This is so I don’t give away items I may still use as I am  not budgeting to buy this luxury anymore.  I packed this nicely in a travel jewellery box case that was in storage and it fits nicely in my dresser drawer.

All the junk chains are in a box in the drawer awaiting suitable display storage, this is when I will go through these again to sort out if I still want them all.


I put all clips and ties that I know I will never use again into the give away box.  I also put 3 round hair brushes that I have not used in years in the box.  Shocking to find I have 3 cordless curling irons, 2 of which I have been unable to find gas for, so if the manufacturer cant help me then these must be tossed, and 1 electric blow drying curling brush.  Really considering I wear my hear in a bun 90% of the time – do I really need all of this? No.


I have a tiny kitchen, so anything not in place looks messy even if I scrubbed it clean 5 minutes ago.  I basically have 1 useable counter that serves as a coffee station and at the other end of this is my sink, so the very little 1/2 metre of space in between is used for food prep.  My stove is on the opposite side with a little lip of a counter which is for spice storage and a little triangle counter as you walk in next to the fridge.  Badly designed kitchen so it is a never ending battle to keep my counters looking tidy – so really they never do.

I cleared all junk from the counters that should not be there and either tossed stuff or put in the place where it should be. I cleared the clutter from on top of the washing machine.  I scrubbed all cupboard doors at the same time as scrubbing the counters down.

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest.

Will keep you updated next Monday on this weeks progress.

Striving for Organised Living,

Parsimonious Mom

Organised Living – Routine Week 2

I am still maintaining the routine from Organised Living – Routine Week 1 so this all on it’s own is an accomplishment; however this week was I was not motivated for any huge routine changes at all!

6 Habits I have managed to add to my daily schedule Week 2 - Parsimonious Mom.

6 Habits I have managed to add to my daily schedule Week 2 – Parsimonious Mom.

Habits I managed to change last week:


These are back in my car! Yeah so no more wasted money on buying bags.  There are a few in the house from my last shopping trip so when I go to my car again they will be put nicely in my car boot organiser with the rest.


Every time I go out and come back I throw away rubbish straight away into the complex dustbin that is right next to my garage.


When I am cooking I try and cook double quantity (depends on what of course I am cooking).  So that there is in the freezer for a quick heat-and-eat meal.  This will save me from take-aways?


Every morning I take my rubbish bag out into the dustbin outside, so yes still no dustbin in my kitchen.


Okay so you know we now have our own unit’s water meter and will be paying for individual usage.  Every morning now when I take the rubbish outside, I read my meter.  I have a spread sheet going to read my daily usage.  This is the only way I am going to know what is causing high usage and of course where we can save.


In trying to save money, instead of using the garden hosepipe to water my plants, I now use my kitchen water.  I fill a bucket with my dish washing & rinsing water and cooking water.  This is done 3x a week and requires a little effort, but not much.  What is an eye-opener is how much water we use jut to wash dishes!  With my double sink every washing load takes 10 litres of water and sometimes I have a double load of dishes so that is 20 litres of water!  At least I know weekly I am saving at least 30 litres on the cost of water.


This went a little backward for me last week.  I sat without power on and off for 1 1/2 days as they stole cables at our substation!  Reality in SA sadly (but better than the load shedding we experienced last year!).  So I am behind in my schedule and had to resort to using my tumble drier to catch up when power was back on and now am behind on ironing…

My mantra PERSEVERE!

Striving for Organised Living,

Parsimonious Mom

How I got FREEBIES Week 2

Following my post How I got FREEBIES Week 1 you will get that I don’t pass up on Freebies even though they are rare in SA.

How I got and did FREE STUFF week 2 - Parsimonious Mom

How I got and did FREE STUFF week 2 – Parsimonious Mom

This is what I managed last week:


Going to the cinema for free is normally unheard of so a couple of months ago someone said to me that at Emperors Palace (our local casino) every Wednesday you can get discounts or free movies… I just totally forgot about it till last month as it was too good to be true.

I belong to a family of gamblers so I already had the casino’s reward card so I get free entrance saving me R10.00 a time. Check out the rewards benefits here Winners Circle Benefits.

Last month I joined Scene Club the rewards for NuMetro Cinema’s so I could get points on any purchases.  I have not yet checked by point balance, but am sure that next month I will get all my popcorn & slushies for free.

So because of the status of my casino rewards I get 4 free movies 2-D or 3-D every single Wednesday!  Fantastic, really!  Now even better this offer is now available Monday to Thursday. I have stopped going to the competitor with their rewards cards as due to the ages of my kids I no longer get their tickets free and the last time we went it cost us about R500 just for 4 of us to see a movie with snacks, ridiculous!  We will now only go to movies here even though during the week is sometimes a little inconvenient.  Don’t fret as a non-gambler there is an offer of reduced ticket prices.  For all reward promotions check out Winners Circle Promotions T&C’sWnners Circle Promotions T&C’s.

Ok so you would think that we go to the movies every week at least once because it is free?  Sad to say no we don’t because no-one I know can go to the movies without popcorn and a cool drink!  If I am on my own I think I would survive, but not my kids!  So this part is not for free, but with belonging to both rewards I can get WinnaCombo’s which are at a reduced rate and everything I spend adds up my points, to yes it will be free once every couple of months.

Savings for 3x 2-D movie tickets and parking R154-00.

Yes this can be done for less at home, but really we cant always be at home, so at the end of the day it is worth it as I spend less on a great outing with the family.


Following last week’s post, I still have a great arrangement from the original.  All I did was remove the dead flowers and put into a smaller vase after cutting the stems shorter.  Now I have a great display on my desk.

The other arrangement in my bathroom lost its blooms, but hey all I did was cut those off and the beautiful foliage is now a great display all on its own.


After putting refill fabric softener into the bottle, instead of throwing the plastic bag/holder away I remembered many people kept them (unopened) in their cars for continuous scent.  So I put my empty one in the linen cupboard and now have a wonderful lavender scent every time I open the door… and it was free.

Striving for frugal living,

Parsimonious Mom

Frugal Living: DIY Castile Liquid Hand Wash

My previous attempt to save money with DIY liquid hand wash from a bar of soap was an epic failure, read the post here Home Made Liquid Hand Soap.

This DIY Castile Liquid hand soap was top of my projects to try out last week as my upstairs bathroom was running out of the store bought version and I did not want to buy from the store this week without trying this cheaper alternative version out first.

I had to give this last type of hand wash recipe a try before I give in the towel on DIY Liquid Hand Soap forever.  I checked Pinterest out again (any excuse for Pinspiration) as always it is overflowing with DIY recipes.  I like the concept of Castile soap simply for this reason:

Castile soap is an environmentally friendly, biodegradable soap with none of the harmful chemicals present in most regular soaps. In addition, castile soap contains no animal products. Although castile soap is available in bars or flakes, liquid castile soap is easiest to measure and mix. This gentle soap is simple to use, relatively inexpensive, and can be used in a variety of ways.

My attempt at DIY CASTILE LIQUID HAND SOAP. Striving for living ORGANISED & FRUGALLY - Parsimonious Mom

My attempt at DIY CASTILE LIQUID HAND SOAP. Striving for living ORGANISED & FRUGALLY – Parsimonious Mom

Buying Castile soap in my country was harder than I thought, shop outlets don’t stock this product so I had to go to a soap speciality store/wholesaler about 30 minutes from where I live The Soap Barn, Edenvale.  Don’t worry I bought this in route of another trip so I did not waste petrol.  I found both the soap flakes 500g R159.95 and the liquid 5 litres R325.00.   For my DIY experiment I bought 500ml liquid R34.95.  I do want to say they said the product should not be diluted and used as is.

I kept an existing 400ml pump dispenser I had saved specially for this project so I did not need to waste any money at the plastic store buying one.  I love the way other bloggers make their dispenser from a mason jar – but seriously glass in any of my bathrooms right now just wont work.  Plastic it must be!

I looked at various recipes, the ratio of Castile Liquid Soap to Distilled or Boiled water varied quite a bit from different bloggers.

Well I started with ratio diluted 1:1 parts Castile to Water – too watery; then 2:1 Castile to Water – slightly soapy; now I am on 3:1 and it is usable.  I added Lavender and Tea Tree Oil for anti-bacterial function.

My family are not crazy about it and are definitely used to the store version that has a lot of foam.  I laughed my daughter instantly said “it stinks”, must be the Tea Tree Oil, maybe I added little too much?  It cleans and that is all there is too it.

The Cost

To make 400ml (the size of my dispenser) of DIY Castile Liquid Hand Soap cost R20.97 (I already had the oils).

I buy a 400ml store product at R24.95, so the savings is only R3.98 per bottle.  I am currently buying 3 per month, over a year DIYing will save me R143.28.

If I buy larger quantities of Castile Soap (5l) then the savings would be increased to R196.20 per year.

If I had to buy oils it would cut the savings down or I could just omit it?

What perplexes me is many recipes diluted 5:1 Water to Castile soap?  How on earth? Is the Castile Soap in America different, is that why you can make it for pennies? Would love to get my hands on Dr Bronner Castile Liquid Soap to work out this one out.

Would I make it again?

Was not as much of a cost saving as I thought, but it is still a saving.  So yes I would.  Now  would only make it if I find other uses for this soap to warrant buying in bulk to cover the petrol to drive to buy the product.  Finding a cheaper raw Castile soap would also be better.

Any saving is worth it and they add up over time & this is a greener version too.

Maybe I should try the DIY foaming version?

Striving for cheaper living,

Parsimonious Mom

Frugal Living: Spending Less Week 2

As mentioned in my previous post Frugal Living: Spending Less Week 1 my aim of Living Frugally is to save on money spent so that it can be put towards debt or savings.  Week 2 proved a little more difficult.

How I saved and wasted money at the same time last week to reach my goal of living organised & frugally - Parsimonious Mom

How I saved and wasted money at the same time last week to reach my goal of living organised & frugally – Parsimonious Mom

What I have managed to do to save (and waste) money last week:


Last week How I got FREEBIES Week 1 I mention why I opted for a free demonstration class opposed to my usual paid for class, this saved me R100.00 directly.


There are certain higher priced products that that I prefer to buy and managed to get most on special, total saving R195.95.


Last week I was not organised and totally forgot that I actually needed milk and so waiting for a special I never added milk to my grocery list.  I had to buy a 2l milk at the garage late one night and almost died paying R30.00, with normal cost being R20.00.  Never again!


I really bought unnecessary items last week, nice to eat things, you know that feeling when you got to the store for 1 thing and walk out with a bag later ;).

Total loss this week amounted to R79.78.


I bought a whole pumpkin for the first time, I usually buy them ready peeled and diced as I really hate peeling them.  If found this interesting post about cooking the pumpkin whole in the oven and then peeling and deseeding – let  me tell you I  will never cook pumpkin   another way again.  Even when using the oven for another meal l put in another tray and put all the butternuts in at the same time. Worked wonderfully saving me time and money for electricity .

I already saved on the price of the pumpkin at R14.95 and it yielded 3.8 kg of cooked cubed pumpkin for my freezer, that is incredible R3.94 per kg!! Current prices for frozen pumpkin  chunks R34.99 and uncooked chunks R37.98.  I compared the average of the two products and saved a wow R32.55 per kg or 82%!! I saved direct R123.69.

Next time I wont be scared to buy a whole lot of whole pumpkins/butternut to bulk freeze to max  out savings.


Despite there being enough food in the house and that I had vowed to not buy take-aways and to rather cook from scratch, that did not last long!  I was feeling horrible one day last week and just could not get myself in the kitchen to still cook.  You know how that goes?  So I bought McDonalds and shockingly paid R195.00 for 3 take-away meals.  No use punishing myself about it, just made me realise I need to have some home-made ready/easy meals in the freezer and pantry.


When I started this venture, I promised myself not to buy anything yet, but I had to buy a vegetable rack to avoid over purchasing vege’s and to stop spoilage.  It was a need as in the long run this will save me money.


I have always bought these sponges with a scrubber at the end costing R20.00 for 5 and this was a monthly purchase.  Now I realise that I actually don’t use the sponge part at all, I know why did I not notice before duh, so really why was I buying them.  I happened to find the scrubber parts at double the size in packs of 10 for R12.90.  I cut them in half and now I have 20 which will last me 4 months.  Saving me R16.78 monthly or R201.30 yearly.

I need fabric softener and went to the store to buy the usual concentrated brand as my stash was finished.  I was shocked to find the price was now R44.99 for 800ml, the last time I bought was about a year ago at R23.00 so I bought a whole lot.  I was not going to pay that price and then opted for a refill at R17.99 (luckily I had kept a 2l bottle).  Direct saving is R62.98.    I definitely need to analyse this further to work out the price per load as to what would be better and look into DIY versions.


I needed to buy face cream, but instead I went through my samples and stash of unsold products and am going to use this up first.  Saved me R 265.00.


A last minute decision was to do a movie night at home.  So really this was a want and not a need.  Amount spent R201.91, this included 2 new DVD’s and snacks.  Really I could have done this much cheaper with better planning.


In my post How I got FREEBIES Week 1 I got deodorant for free and this was on my shopping list so I saved R14.99.


Last week I mentioned how I would not save  on water and what do you know they have now installed individual water metres.  So I have now started reading my meter daily at the same time. This is going to be a work in progress to save money here. I have already adopted the habit of reusing kitchen water to  water my garden.    .


I took the empty packaging from the fabric softener refill and put it in my linen cupboard, the scent lingers wonderfully. Will always  do this from now on  even in my clothing cupboards      .



Total Grocery spend for last week = R3,255.66 (higher due to bulk meat & pantry items)

Total Savings for Week 2 = R288.20 (excluding rewards)

Total Saving for Year = R1,446.17

I hope I learn from my mistakes and save more next time.


Striving for cheaper living,

Parsimonious Mom

Living Organised – Declutter Week 2

I am on a mission to declutter my life, see my posts Living Organised – Declutter and Living Organised – Declutter Week 1. I  am happy that so far the tasks completed are still decluttered and organised.

6 Tasks I completed last week to DECLUTTER in my mission to reach my goal of living organised & frugally - Parsimonious Mom

6 Tasks I completed last week to DECLUTTER in my mission to reach my goal of living organised & frugally – Parsimonious Mom

This what I managed to this week:


I have a built in pantry in my small kitchen and no matter how many times I organise it, within a few weeks it looks a mess!  So I am going to split it into smaller sections.  With my determination of being frugal this means that I now must cook from scratch.  This involves purchasing a lot of fresh vegetables and my current storage was in the bags purchased in and put on the floor.  This caused wastage and I ended up loosing items in the back of the pantry that went bad or buying too much of one thing!

So despite not wanting to buy any organisation items right now, I went and bought a vegetable rack and made sure I got the best deal.

It was worth it the money spent.  The rack fitted nicely at the bottom and I was able to get all my vegetables in.  I now know exactly what I have and can see it, so no more wastage of bad food.


I sell Justine beauty products and am always left with products that were not paid for by clients, or clients changed their minds, then at one stage I went through a phase of marketing with samples and never distributed all of them as they are quite expensive.  My stash today is about R1,800 worth of products. I sorted this out and all samples & products that I wont be able to sell anymore (change in formula or packaging) I have put into my personal stash in the linen cupboard for use and items that I can give as gifts into the gift box.  This will save me money in future.  I will make an effort to sell remaining products this month.  I have realised that I should be organised and rather return unpaid orders back for credit so it relieves finances immediately.  In this stash was a product where the client changed their mind and it was still within their return policy, so I put it into my car with the invoice.  During last week when it was within my route it was already with me and I delivered it for a return credit of R123.75.  This means for my next order I will have R123.75 more profit!


I cleaned out my two handbags just of slips and stuff that did not need to be in there.  I am now only going to use one bag so I know everything I need is in one place.  My bag now hangs on a hook in the entry way instead of wherever.


In the spirit of saving money I kept all jars and containers – Boy did they add up!  I allocated one cupboard on top of the fridge to store these and packed them nicely.  The rest… I closed my eyes and threw them away!  If these stored jars and containers are not in use by the time my kitchen is decluttered they will also be thrown away.


I have always bought gifts for future use on sales and as it was not organised I did not know what I had  so I always ended up buying a last minute gifts. I wasted money!  I went through the stash and only kept gifts that are suitable as most of the kids have grown out of the item purchases.  I have enough for a years worth of gifts which will save me money.  The unwanted stuff was put on the to sell pile.


I scanned the garage for items no longer needed and I found a brand new bathroom 3-1 heater/light/extractor fan which I don’t like so it will never be installed in my home.  Also a large cooler box that I have not used in years as I prefer the smaller one I have.  I sold both of these, lessening the clutter.

I hope this brings inspiration to start sorting, no matter how small the project.  Remember it is hard and takes time to get into a routine, persevere!

For ideas and inspiration see my Pinterest Boards.

Will keep you updated next Monday on this weeks progress.

Striving for Organised Living,

Parsimonious Mom