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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Use What You Have On Hand

Dolly is currently preparing 4 craft boxes for 3 friends and herself as gifts. Yes she's preparing a gift for herself too. How smart is that.

To present all the inexpensive and op shopped goodies as pretty as possible I have been working on making the boxes as gorgeous as possible to give it extra Zip Dang Bang! I have completed 2 so far (one a night at roughly 2 hours each) while my family sleeps.

The boxes were from The Rambling Expats workplace destined for landfill. Old A4 Illford Photography Paper boxes (back from the darkroom days). He saved them for me knowing I'm a hoarder of all good things. I started cutting random images from books and mags but then remembered these sweet calenders from 2010 and 2011 purchased in op shops for .50 cents each. So cutting and gluing ensued with beautiful outcomes.


These are not completed. They need one more lick of glue to varnish and protect, then I'm done. These are time consuming but I'm hooked as I have found it meditative to cut and glue in the quiet. We have a 70th Birthday party to attend soon. I'm planning to ask a shoe shop for a nice sturdy shoe box that I can cover. I hope to fill it with herb/rose petal sachets, chocolate and photos. It's for a man, so I will masculinate all my gifts.

Have you done anything like this before? It's my 1st time and I think it's quite nifty. Have you been using what you have on hand?

I might be away tomorrow as We are taking The Rambling Expat out for dinner - it's his Birthday. Pop over to his fishing addicted Blog to wish him a happy 45th (he only looks 30 - lucky Duck!) We've been together for 19 years. Who would have ever thought? My plan was to stay single and sexy all my life and then I met him... Now I'm content and Rubenesque :-)


  1. Happy birthday to him! :) I love your boxes. I did something similar a while back cutting Christmas images from catalogues and sticking them onto a pot to use for storage. :)

    Hee hee, will make myself a present too - taking tips from Dolly! :)

  2. Those boxes look fantastic!

    I remember doing something like this a few years ago and I really enjoyed it. Thank you for reminding me about it. :)

  3. Those are so pretty and special looking. I remember needing alone time when mine were young. There was nothing more precious than to just be up all alone! I am trying to get rid of the Rubenesque me.

  4. When I was a child we did some of these and the process was called passe partout. Nowadays it seems to be all termed collage. I did some old pamphlet boxes with magasine photos and also some arch lever binders. My worktable looked rather artistic, I thought. Instead of lavender or rose sachets why not make toe-stuffers for his good shoes, using striped fabric? A bit more masculine. Older mature men often like to carry a handkerchief and one printed or drawn on by Dolly would be a charming inclusion in the gift box.

  5. The are such a beautiful way to wrap a gift. Thanks for the idea!

  6. Bonne soirée les amoureux !

  7. These are stunning! I struggle with creativity so its always refreshing to see such lovely frugal and reused gifts.


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