Thursday, May 20, 2010

Let's Get Back To It ........

Winter is less than 2 weeks away and the air is starting to chill here in Tassie. It is an expensive time of the year in Australia's southern most state and it makes you start to think about ways to help the energy $ go further. So I thought it was about time that we started to talk about frugal living again. We have quite a long cabin style home which has an electric reverse cycle heating in one end and a wood fire in the living quarters.

I adore our fire but it is becoming increasingly expensive to run and of course does have some enviromental issues. We let it go out over night these days to economise on wood and keep it on low most of the time.

After seeing an article about lights and heating fans (our wood heater has one) burning the energy $$ I now prefer to just use a lamp of an evening to stitch under and put a quilt over my legs whilst I sit and stitch to keep that little bit warmer. I sometimes feel like the lighting police going around the house turning off lights but slowly the other occupants of this home are catching on........

Instead of using a hot water bottle you could always get one of these - A seat warmer who doubles as a sewing assistant.

Our mission over the past few weeks has been to save some $$ to take a trip on this the Spirit of Tasmania which does an overnight crossing of Bass Strait to Victoria. The girls have begged to go on it for ages and with 1/2 price fares at the moment we couldn't resist the urge to take them.

So towards the end of June we are off on a 5 day jaunt to Victoria and whilst we are there we are going to see my beloved Geelong play at the MCG.

To help fund the trip and to get the girls motivated we have been cleaning out cupboards of items we no longer need or use. The girls will be spending the weekend sorting their rooms. We have booked a market stall the Sunday before we leave and we will be taking along all of our unwanted household items to sell. Everything that is left will be donated to charity. The girls are quite excited at this becuase they will get to keep any $ raised from the sale of their own things to spend whilst we are away.

Trying to be frugal doesn't mean that you have to go without things like holidays. It just means that you are being a bit more careful with your hard earned dollar making it go further. We managed to save $600 on our fares making it very affordable for our family of 4. Airlines always have great deals if you shop around. Or try websites like Last Minute which offer fantastic last minute deals on flights, accomodation etc.

I have decided that throughout the winter I need to get a head start on my christmas gift giving - It is almost June so time is ticking away. I am designing a set of 4 embroidered coasters which I will make for some family members - I am not sure how I am going to finish them off yet - stay tuned.......

Do you want to start with your gift giving ideas too? Grab a pair of rubber gloves and stand by over the weekend and I will share a tutorial with you for a nice easy gift.

Until then,


Allie said...

We keep our house pretty cold in the winter, I too love to stitch with a quilt over my legs. You can always put more clothes on, right? In summer, it's hard to keep taking them off though, I think that's where most of our energy dollars go.
Your trip sounds lovely! Good for you on the spectacular savings.

Your coaster looks so darling - and I can't wait to see what you've got up your [plastic] sleeve!

barb's creations said...

I cna't wait to see how your coasters end up?? I'm always looking for new and different ways to make interesting Chrissy gifts.I started my Chrissy making stuff in January but now I'll start looking for the mid year bargains for all those that (heaven forbid) don't like home-made!!
I love your frugal living tips and any to do with winter savings would be much appreciated.
Hope you have a fantastic time here in Victoria and you get a chance to visit a couple of the great fabric shops in Geelong :) Barb.

Joy said...

Fee your stitching spot looks so cosy and inviting, especially your adorable foot warmer he he!!! I really need to clean out my cupboards too ... great idea to get a market stall ... every little bit helps :o).
Your holiday in Vic sounds like it's going to be great fun too, how exciting!!
Joy :o)

Cardygirl said...

Glad you have that very cute seatwarmer to stave off the winter chill...mine is very energy efficient & keeps me feeling warm & loved!

Jo in TAS said...

Nights are definitely getting colder! Great hand quilting weather!

Margaret said...

I have a Electricity police badge as well.

The Pink Poodle said...

Dear Fiona...

WOW...I admire your dedication to saving on energy costs..
Christian is always turning things off in our house..BUT he never flushes his toilet to save on water (when he has done number 1's!!)...But that drives me insane!!

anyway...I actually like sitting with a rug whilst watching tv .. i find the heating far tooooo hot..

Hope you have a great trip on the spirit...never been on it myself as too scared i may get sea sick!!

hope the market goes well...what a great idea for you & the girls.. should contact me if you wanted when here as i am directly kind of opposite Port Melbourne where the ship docks!!!

xx andrea

retdairyqueen said...

So I guess you will be watching the big game tonight
Hubby will be hoping the other team wins

Sandra Henderson said...

Living where we do, this time of year is our summer and it's SO HOT AND HUMID! Having lots of downed wood, we heat with it in winter. However, our winter is VERY short to non-existent. We have not figured out how to make "cold" yet and because we live on this island, the electric co. charges us a 50% surcharge! YeS! take your bill and add half again!!!! :(
Can't wait to see what you are going to show us! I have my gloves standing by... XO :)

Vintage Girl said...

We are starting our summer here and it's the air conditioning costs that can get high. We try to wait until absolutely necessary yet once it's hot, it's hot! In the winter we also have many quilts and afghans for extra coziness. Drinking a hot beverage helps too, I love my hot apple cider on a cold night. I hope you all have a wonderful time on your trip, sounds fabulous! Can't wait to see what's up with the tutorial. Warmly, Heather

Jude said...

I agree we all must do our bit to save some money and help the envioroment at the same time. I too use a lamp where I am working but my seatwarmer is of the canine variety and likes to stretch out a bit more so I get more warming and a companion as well.