Our Frugal Lifestyle

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Passionate about eco-frugality. I used to party hard, clubbing my way from pay-packet to pay-packet. Never getting ahead, just getting by. Then came our much wanted baby with no savings in the bank - only an old car. Changes were made to our lifestyle and we didn't turn back. In the past 6yrs we purchased a flat, found employment, lived below our means, built an emergency fund, purchased a reliable car and saw the financial benefits of our frugal lifestyle. Our only debt is our mortgage. Our aim is to manage our cash flow wisely, pay off our home quickly and eventually work for pleasure, not necessity. Join us on our journey, share insights, tips and tricks to help us and others to get ahead while having a good time.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Birthday Gift For The Teacher

Dolly's teacher had a birthday last week. Being the frugal Eco gals we are, we didn't want to buy a gift that would just be more landfill rubbish, clutter or cheap.

Dolly decided she wanted to give a homemade gift of Honey Cinnamon Butter that we saw on the Internet. During our op shop stints we searched for the perfect vessel and spreader, found our goodies for $2, took them home, gave them a soak in boiling water and a super duper scrub.

Dolly spent the last of her energy making her delightful spread with butter, honey, cinnamon and sugar. Once done she carefully spooned the spread into her little op shop pot and placed the cute tea cup spreading knife on top.

And voila her lovely gift to her super wonderful Teacher. Inexpensive in money, but luxuriously made with love.

and as a Greenie bonus she also gave a bag of goodies she harvested from our Botanical Gardens plot.
Spinach, eggplant and ginger from the garden.

And our neighbour Mt T, received some leftovers which he ate quickly as it is so delicious.
Mr T - Loves good food.

Dolly is off to her 1st school mate birthday party tomorrow. I am having a mini stress about the gift... Not everyone are open to recycled, upcyclced - preloved gifts. And I don't want to make Dolly turn into the Wacky One.. So I may have to break my personal consumer rebellion commitment to myself of nothing new.

What do you do about gifts???? Feel free to comment, lots...  I love your comments.


  1. Yes, I agree with you that you don't want to turn your daughter into the "Wacky One." This time, you can just buy something new, if you must. But in the future, you can plan ahead and start a stockpile of cheap toys and such as you find them for future gifts. You know you can often find unused games and toys especially after Christmas in the thrift stores and garage sales. No one will know that you did not pay full price!

  2. My three children decided they wanted me to make pumpkin bread for their teachers AND bring it in hot. That's okay. I can have one ready for the oven--wet mixed in one bowl and dry in the other and stick it in the oven. I can then wash the bowls and mix another before school, let one child take the first ones and rush back home to wrap and take the other two to school, all by 8:30. Buuut, the older was in middle school and had five teachers and two coaches. So, I spent a great deal of that day baking and driving. The teachers were thrilled it was warm, and I was exhausted.

    Do you sew? Make a tiny doll blanket and stuff a matching pillow. The blanket can be from 9" up to 18," and very easily done. Use scraps of lace, crochet, anything. She is so small and the friend is too, I presume. Girls that age are easily pleased with pretty colors and ornamentation. I crocheted doll blankets for the two girls to give. Size of the blanket does not matter because every little girl has a doll or stuffed toy to cover up. A girl can never have too many pretty blankets.

    I took a secondhand, fleece baby blanket, cut it in fourths, and cut a fringe around the edge for my g-daughter who was 3 at the time.That blanket was about 15X15 inches. You don't even have to be able to sew to make that.

  3. That sounds delicious and is something new to me, think I will have to give it a try out :)

    Re the party gift, I'd tend to go with a fun children's book,when my 4 were little the amount of parties they ended up going to was ridiculous once they were at school.I used to pick things up in sales over the year and had a box of unisex birthday gifts,mostly books :) I've never begrudged spending money on books as opposed to plastic tat etc.

  4. Toys in shops are pretty expensive especially for what they are! If you sew, a cute coin purse, matching scrunchie and a bookmark are great. And if I am caught I ask if it's okay to give money in a card my daughter has made. Little kids thing $5 is great and it's probably only a third of what a cheap new toy from a store would cost and has no packaging! ~ good luck!

  5. I think homemade gifts for teachers are great. My daughters always made cookies for their teacher. They put them in cellophane bags with a lovely ribbon and homemade tag. More thought goes into making something and the recipient appreciates that.

    I save any unwanted gifts I receive for gifts for others. I also look out for new items for sale in charity shops. People donate some lovely gifts they receive to the charity shop.

  6. I really wanted to buy a cute book on crafts for kids. But Dolly was determined to purchase a small plastic doll. I tried to talk her out of it without any luck.

    I think we should start making gifts at home for girls and boys and organise a gift box. So next time we have short notice of a party we can pull out a gift we made.

    However this is another item on the TO DO LIST. Life is so hectic when trying to be eco green. Between working full time, cooking meals, gardening, blogging and making stuff I wonder where I will fit in all the sleep I love to do.

  7. I think homemade gifts are a wonderful idea. To me they are more heartfelt than something you just bought at a local store.

  8. What a great gift for teacher! At Christmas, I made little packages of baked goodies for five of my son's teachers.

    I have to say, I love the photo and the caption of Mr. T enjoying his snack! "Loves good food"--that made me smile :-)

    As far as the birthday gift, I say you can never go wrong with a good book. Used books in good condition are fairly easy to find.


Thanks for commenting - I love getting feedback, sharing experiences and learning from you.