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.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Snake Bean Community Garden Fundraiser

On Sunday I lifted my head a bit before 6:00am, chopped down 6 banana leaves, cut them and washed them in preparation for a Snake Bean Community Garden fundraiser where we would offer them as plates, instead of paper plates. The beauty with these is once someone has finished their cake they can just toss their "plate" in the garden.

Preparing Banana Leaves for Serving Cake

Quick Cut and Rinse

Then off to the Botanical Gardens to drop off tables and chairs and home again to get my family to the event. The Friends of the Botanical Gardens were having their huge yearly plant sale. So our garden group piggybacked their amazing day with a cake and tea stall right in the path of all their customers. Our group is made up of many talented and variously skilled people; some made cake, some made preserves, some potted plants and some harvested produce from the gardens. I'm not good at that stuff so I had found another way to contribute.

Some of Our Group Members Packing (and tasting) at the End of the Day.

The previous week I called Bunnings and spoke with the Community Activities Officer asking advice on how to apply for a donation for a raffle. The bubbly Janet explained how I had to apply and what type of stuff I could request. So my friend Tif made a gorgeous letterhead for our group and I was able to write up an official letter asking for garden donations for 1st prize. I was so thrilled when Janet from Bunnings called to say she gave us a wheelbarrow full of gardeners delights!!!

Donation from Bunnings!

Tif was able to get a 2nd prize of a Bokashi Composting Bucket from a local shop Eco Solutions (they also donated plates and cups to serve our goodies). And as a 3rd prize we have a box of fresh produce from the garden and a bottle of local honey that I was donated from a local bee keeper I know at Humpty Doo Apiaries.

Donation from Eco Solutions and Humpty Doo Apiaries.

I've never really asked for donations before and I started on an impulse with the honey, which built my courage up to ask Bunnings for a donation to. I'm so impressed and amazed with the goods we were donated and am very thankful. Our fundraiser brought our Snake Bean Community Garden more then $1000 in the 4 hours of selling raffle tickets, cake, tea, coffee, ice tea, plants, fresh produce and preserves. We will use the money for chicken feed (we have 5 chooks now!), a new sturdy ladder, maybe tools and other items to make our garden a happy educational and productive place for us and the general public.

Produce from the Garden on Sale.

As for Dolly, she spent roughly 4 hours with the chooks calling one Penny and nagging her to eat her spinach. The Rambling Expat went home early, did the dishes, did the laundry and cooked an amazing dinner in the slow cooker of locally hunted Magpie Geese from a fishing buddy.

Another happy frugal day, surrounded by happy people, jobs done at home and Dolly reveling in free play with her buddies outdoors. I plan on a quieter week this week and travel for work next week. How about you? Keeping up with the tightwads or competing with the Joneses?


  1. You did a great job gathering donations. Now, you can put "fundraier" on your resume. Don't forget the thank you notes and the success of the ocassion. Okay, why did you cut banana leaves. I kept waiting for that part.

    I am surpassing the tightwads...lol.

  2. Sounds like you all had a fantastic weekend. Nothing like community working together towards good causes.

  3. Hi Pratical, I've updated my post to explain what I used the banana leaves for. In Asia they also do lots of lovely cooking in banana leaves.

    Hi Caroline, Our community garden group is a great bunch. Your Party looked like lots of fun too!


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