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.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sustainable Living Festival

What a jammed packed full day of fun and happiness!

We went to the Sustainable Living Festival in the Darwin Botanical Gardens. My family didn't have to pay (saving us $12) as we did a spot of gardening 1st and then made our way down to see all the exhibitions. After that we headed to the Community Garden Area to volunteer at the fundraiser.

I made frozen ice cups to contribute but had a problem with freezing, so I only took 12 out of the 40 that I had made. But we sold 10 which better then nothing. The others brought amazing cakes, biscuit and muffins and they all sold out very quickly bringing in a little over $200 which is so cool and the money will be used on something the group needs.

Final touches on another cake.

The Rambling Expat, Dolly and I, ate lunch at the Environment Centre Fundraising stall. Veggie burgers served on sustainable compostable bamboo plates and plant based BioCups.

Already half eaten veggie burger.
At the exhibitions we saw this amazing sustainable homemade dehydrator. The dehydrator uses sunshine to dry fruits and veggies. It's made of a wooden frame, wire racks and thick plastic walls. The front area is to place rocks which speeds up the dehydrating process by drawing in extra heat from the sun. The legs of the frame sit in containers of water to deter ants and the plastic prevents insects flying in. There is a opening in the back to allow air flow.

Super eco frugal. Once built no electricity is needed to dehydrate all your produce. I was very excited by the dehydrator so may try to make one this year with the Community Food Garden Group. Here are a couple of pics to inspire you too :-)

No Electricity Needed
Back of dehydrator
Some of our Community Garden members asked Costa for some gardening advice. I don't watch TV so had never seen him before or knew who he was, until a week ago. But I've since heard that what Jamie Oliver did for cooking and healthy eating, Costa did for gardening and sustainable living. Click here to watch some of his episodes.

Anyway... He was easy to talk to, passionate and has lots of knowledge that he loves to share. Plus he loved our little cake stall and spent some dollars so that's a gold star in my books.
Costa checking out plants that just aren't like they should.
Free Celebrity Advice
Being part of the Community Food Garden has been one of the best things in my life lately. I'm so inspired by my fellow gardeners and so happy to have found like minded people. It's a huge relief to discover I am not so different after all. And attending the Sustainable Living Festival is the cherry on top. Lots of things to see and learn and lots of people to bounce ideas off. 

Please comment. I love to hear what you have to say... What about the dehydrator - something you might think of building?


  1. Sounds and looks like a fantastic day! Magic happens when you find people with the same interests as yourself. If it is just you and your family who strive to follow a way of living and working with the environment, it can be very isolating.

    That was one of the reasons I started blogging, to engage with people who have the same interests as myself. Although my blog is really just about my every day life (which can be quite tedious) My blog list is also a reflection of my interests. I follow permaculture gardening, eco housing, frugality and thriftiness, horses, small farmholders and the occasional crafty blog, just in case I get a case of the crafties and the skills and knowledge to make something happen.

    I love the dehydrator! I put it up there with the solar oven, which we plan to build one day....

  2. What a great day you had! I have been toying with the idea of joining our local gardening group but it is mainly 'flower' people IYKWIM? I'm jealous!

    Re dehydrator, I think I might give it a go as the electric ones are around $100 and by the looks of things I would have most of the materials in the shed. Is it something you can leave for hours unattended?

    I love Costa! His shows are great!

  3. Yes I would love to make one of those myself. Like the whole idea of a community garden, really a great place to keep inspired and to share the same interests. From Nixnax

  4. I have an Excalibur that will be absolutely worthless without electricity! That looks like nice homemade dehydrator. I am not liable to make one, but I might get someone to make it for me. The Festival sounds like fun.

  5. Wow, looks like a really fun and interesting day you had.

    Don't think a dehydrator is worth makeing here in the UK. Our weather is not that great to start drying fruits and vegetables. I think they are a great invention for the climate you have though.

  6. Apparently you can leave the dehydrator outside with no issues. The back can be closed with an extra plastic flap. It's also made lightweight enough to move around. He did recommend to use a thick plastic so to have a longer durability.

    One of the builders who I talked to, told me that the bananas takes roughly 24 hours to dehydrate. They were also making a oven that cooks food just using the heat from the sun. They were going to demonstrate it's cooking power on Sunday but I couldn't attend as I has so many other things on. If I hear more it I'll post a bit about it.

    The oven... once again no gadgets or electricity needed, just junk around the home!


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