Friday, March 1, 2019

Annual Living Costs in a Tiny House

(32sqm / 344sqft)

Water:  $480 (hopefully a lot less this year as we have a new way of getting fresh water to our tank for a fraction of the price!) The water delivery is $120 per load and you have to buy a whole literal truckload of water and as our tank is small at the moment significant amounts of water were wasted and we filled our water pond and watered our trees with the extra water. (guilt!) keep this in mind if you are getting a load of water delivered to your tiny house!

Electricity :  $1598 this includes a 2400kw wall heater and a external water heater that is bigger than we require but came with the house when we bought it! When it comes time to replace our water heater I will be looking carefully at a heat on demand water system to reduce electricity costs.

Total electricity for the year was  5041 k/w(We had a 6 week holiday when we were not at home but there is a daily connection cost) works out 5041 k/w div. 323 days we were home in 2018 =15.61 K/w per day.  I am going to look at several measures to reduce this in 2019!

Petrol:  $2340 for one person! (unleaded petrol as I drive 1 hour per day on my commute to/from work 4-5 days a week) I hate having to drive as far as I do to get to work, but unfortunately the local real estate market is getting beyond ridiculous. The prices are completely unattainable for us in the areas where we work so this is the next best option. My partner drives twice as much as I do to get to work.

Sewage: NIL Costs this year as we are on a septic system, but this 10+ year old system will need maintenance in the future if it stops working efficiently. It is working well at the moment with no problems.

Groceries: $6795 Changed to a vegan diet from a vegetarian one mid way through the year. And our grocery bill also covers our household pet food, kitty litter etc.

Laundromat: $520  2/3 loads at $8-$12 per week at our local laundromat as we have no washing machine facilities at home. We usually air dry our clothes on our clothes line and this seems to be working out ok! takes me 30 minutes to do all the washing at once.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

7 Free 1930's Cordial Recipes.



1.9 L of water.
900 grams of sugar(3.8 cups)
14 grams of citric acid (I used a little bit less than 3 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon of cloves (I used 1/3 teaspoon of ground cloves, but the residue was leftover so whole cloves are probably better)
1 tablespoon of ginger(I put in 1 1/2 table spoons of finely cut up fresh ginger)
1 tablespoon of chillies cut in half.
(I probably put closer to 1 1/2 tablespoons of small inch long
fresh chillies)
(This presumably refers to dried bird’s eye chillies
and you would have to experiment a little to determine
the quantity of fresh chillies.)
Boil all ingredients for 5 minutes, strain,cool, bottle.
colour with burnt sugar.
To make caramel put a heaped tablespoon of sugar
into a frying pan, and heat with constant stirring until;
the sugar has turned to a clear brown liquid.
Use at once be fore it hardens in the pan. 
Testers note: this packs a punch! 
I really liked this recipe, it was nice cutting up the ginger for the smell experience, and if you love spicy chilli ginger beer..than you’ll love this recipe. Not sure how long this keeps.

All of these recipes are from Australian 1930's newspaper articles!

I have only tried this first recipe, but I plan on trying them all this summer! Let me know if you give any of these ago before I get to them. 


Following is a good recipe for the
making of blackberry cordial :— Sim-
mer the blackberries till they break.
strain, and to each pint of juice put
1lb. of white sugar 1/2 oz. cinnamon
1/4 oz. mace, and 2 teaspoonful extract
of cloves. Boil for 15 minutes, and
bottle when cold.


Method: Take the required
quantity of black or red cur-
rants. Clean and wash fruit
without breaking. Place in jam
pan and just cover with water,
then allow to simmer for half
an hour. Strain through jelly
bag, and add 1/2 cup sugar to 1
cup of juice.

Dissolve sugar in juice,
fill bottles and either seal
or top with metal cordial
bottle tops.

Place filled and topped bot-
tles in preserving outfit and
sterilise at 200 degrees for about
20 minutes.

The drink, which keeps
indefinitely while sealed,
should be served with water. It
costs about 6d. to make enough
to fill a 1 1/2 pint bottle


Grate the rind and squeeze the juice
of 8 oranges and 2 lemons,
add 1oz. of citric acid, 1oz,
of tartaric acid, 1oz. of Epsom salts.
Pour over these 1 cup of boiling water.
and let stand for 24 hours, in an
earthenware vessel. Make a syrup of
5lb. of sugar and 3 pints of boiling
water, and add to the above ingre-

When cool strain and bottle.
To prepare for drinking, pour a little
cordial in glass and fill up with



3 large lemons 6 breakfast cupfuls
3lb. sugar of cold water.
1oz. citric acid.
Pare the rind thinly off the
lemons or limes, put it in a saucepan with the
water, bring to the boil, and simmer
gently for quarter of an hour.

 Add the juice of the lemons or limes
and boil for another quarter of an hour
with the lid on.
Strain; then add the sugar and acid and
boil gently for five minutes.



Boil 1 lb. bruised whole ginger in
water for one hour, strain, make up to
1 pint with fresh water and bring to
the boil again. Have ready in a basin
2 lb sugar, 1 tablespoon tartaric acid,
pour on the boiling liquid and stir till
dissolved. When cool add 1 tablespoon
essence of lemon, then bottle. A table
spoon in a glass of water makes a de-
licious drink.


4 cups strawberries (fully ripe), 1
lemon, 1 orange, 3 pints water, 1 lb.
sugar. Mash berries through a sieve,
add lemon juice and oranges, then wa
ter, and work together. Stand two
hours. Put sugar in a bowl and strain
the juice over it, stirring till sugar
is dissolved. Stand in cool place be
fore serving. A delicious and easily
made drink. Raspberries could be used
in the same way.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Frugal Friday- Free Coffee Ground

I'd like to claim that this was my idea but my partner has somehow managed to get a 10 gallon bucket of used ground coffee everyday from now on. The local cafe near where he works was happy to have a one-in-one-out bucket type of system.

I have been researching all the garden plants that will love this and it seems the acid loving varieties will be particularity happy! (azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries etc.) don't spread directly around plants ! But it also seems that it needs to be no more than 20% of the total volume of your compost.

here is a great article on the subject : Coffee Grounds in the Garden 

Along with the used coffee grindings I usually get a large stack of used flattened cardboard boxes from my work ever few weeks to use as a base layer for our new garden beds( sticky tape removed!)My best tip is to leave it out in the rain for a few days to soften the cardboard and then remove the tape and labels.  We then layer small branches on the cardboard as well as leaf mulch, grass clippings, compost.

We also collect seaweed from the beach which a wheel barrow walk away from us! This is legal where we live and I would suggest you check your areas regulations before you go ahead and start collecting.  We do not wash the seaweed or anything just use it as a thin layer in your garden beds as you build them up.

I will try and do some more research on the coffee grindings front!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Frugal Friday- Recycled handmade socks

These socks were knit from a mini skirt that my partners auntie knit in the 1960's. After realising the skirt wasn't a good look on me I unravelled the wool and knit up these socks. The pattern I used is called "The Ribber Rubber Socks" intended for wellies or in my case some serious work boots.

I love this pattern and these are the warmest most cushiest socks I've ever owned! it cost approx $4.35 AUD when I bought it and was well worth it.(why are more people not making this pattern?!)

I remember my mum telling me that knitting socks was taught to her as part of her schooling when she was young and that it was difficult....challenge accepted mum! it is a shame I learnt noting at school that resembled practical crafts.  I had a bit of a hiccup doing the afterthought heel, but now I know how it's done I think it's a great technique.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Frugal Friday - Handspun Shawl

I have just finished my handspun shawl that was spun knit from a recycled roving rug that I bought second hand from a Tip Shop. I am learning to spin and this is probably my second ever yarn. I was trying to go for a tweed look and tried a few different ways of carding and spinning the wool to get the effect. I'm not even close to what I had in mind!

The knitting pattern I used was "Black River Blanket Shawl" designed by Sam Lamb. it costs $4.00 USD to buy but I know I will use this pattern again and again.  You can buy it if you have an account through

Friday, July 15, 2016

A-line dress - Japanese pattern book

This dress started off as a thickly woven fabric floor mat made by Ikea and it was bought second hand from a thrift store. I liked the thickness and weave of the fabric and decided it would be pretty educational to try and work with it. I traced out my size from the japanese pattern book and in the end foiund there is something not quite right about the sleeve cut. I added a pocket to one side of the dress and used a black poly/cotton to reduce bulk. In hindsight I should have drafted a nicer pocket as it gapes a little and you can see the black fabric.

 I also used the black poly/cotton for the neckline facing and herringbone stitched it in place. This wasn't the best way to do it, but I found just sewing it to the seam allowances wasn't stopping the poly/cotton facing from rolling to the outside. This was my first project that I sewed with my new-to-me Singer industrial sewing machine and I found that the bite was too strong for this thick fabric and you can see the stripes distort around the neckline where I sewed the facing to the dress.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Looking after what you have

Reaching "peak stuff"

The point where I just don't think I could stand having anything more on top of what we already own. maintaining, storing, cleaning and living around so many objects is just exhausting. I have decided to do a list of  jobs that I need to either do myself or take to someone to do and this means spending more money.

What better way to decide if something is really worth keeping than to decide if it is worth enough to mean to spend my cash on to fix.

Annual Living Costs in a Tiny House

2018-2019 ANNUAL EXPENSES  OF OUR TINY HOUSE (32sqm / 344sqft) Water:  $480 (hopefully a lot less this year as we have a new way...