Monday, September 7, 2015

This weeks insourcing #16....

This week was a good week for insourcing at Chez Mimi.
Lots of gifts were created, meals prepared, plants propagated or seeds sown, cleaning, washing, airing, polishing, and primping achieved.
I bought some gold leaf and applied it to some beautiful faux orchids, gifting them in an arrangement to a friend who is having a tough time. These arrangements sell for the most ridiculous prices of between $90 and $600, and they're so easy to replicate.
I buy my faux orchids from Koch & Co.
I source the gold leaf from discount stores and craft stores, although I find the $2 discount stores are the best place to buy it. Gold leaf is so much fun, and pretties up just about anything really. Edible gold leaf is even more fun, but that's a whole other topic!
It says on the packaging to use Gold Leaf Size, and to apply it and leave it till it feels 'tacky' before positioning segments of the gold leaf on the item concerned. I read that and thought...craft glue is 'tacky' straight away. Well I used the craft glue, and haven't had a failure yet! But it must be said, I haven't covered an entire item. I've only applied it as an embellishment, and usually on ornamental items that do not get touched much. So that's worth considering. A packet of gold leaf at my local discount store is about $5 for several sheets and you only use the tiniest amount at a time. I've also applied it to succulents with good success. Fun!
I estimate my faux orchid arrangement was the equivalent of one worth around $450. That's a saving of $425 after purchasing what I needed to make mine.
Pillow sprays were made using boiled water, essential oils, witch hazel and spray bottles sourced a couple of years ago from Aussie Soap Supplies. They don't seem to have these clear ones any more but they do have the divine apothecary style cobalt blue ones here. We give these as gifts to The Divas friends, and similar ones sell for anything from $25 to $55. We'll say ours are the equivalent of The Body Shop ones at $25, and say that's $200 we've saved after buying our oils and bottles.
And Fairy scarf necklaces created for gifting, wearing and fundraising for the dance studio.
Similar types of mixed media scarves sell on Etsy for anything from $25-$150, so I couldn't even hazard a guess at what the 15 The Diva and I have created so far are worth. The Dance Studio is selling them for $10, which I think might be a bit of a bargain ;-)
So let's call it $10 each as that is their true value here, and that's $150 worth.
I cleaned my house, saving $100 on a cleaner.
I pre-prepared all our meals, saving on pre-packaged foods and takeaway to the tune of at least $100 more.
I made The Divas school lunches every day except one, and on the one day I didn't, I gave her $20 for the school canteen and she told me after school that it wasn't enough! So yet again, it was plainly illustrated to me, that I save at LEAST $100 a week by supplying her with a home assembled, home made lunch. $80 though for last week as we missed a day.
I bathed the dog...saving $25 on a dog groomer.
I cleaned the car inside and out saving $65 on a car detailer.
We enjoyed Barramundi Tacos, Roast pork with crackling and King Prawn salad for Fathers Day. I made all that for 12 people and it cost me just under $100. A similar meal at a restaurant...well, it would have to be $60 a head. That's $720, so I'm calling that a saving of $620.
So this week was a busy one. But a happy-busy one. And I saved my family the mind boggling total of  $1790!
To have earned that outside the home, my before tax, weekly pay would have to be $2556 (truly....check the Australian Weekly Tax Schedule), which equates to $132,912 a year. No joke. Truly.
Now this week was a good, busy, productive week. But I haven't even factored in my baking, the costumes I am making for the school Dance Troupe, which would easily retail for $100 each (14 of them), my walking and Zumba at home that save me on a gym membership or a class, and the herbs and vegetables I've planted, the home grown bananas that I've made into banana bread, banana relish, and banana jam, and my home manicure, pedicure, and hair treatment.
I DO however, treat my role in the home as a REAL job. I work through the day, taking only small breaks for morning tea and lunch, and manage my time without watching TV, or mindlessly shopping.
Contrary to what you might imagine, it's a good feeling.
You can do it too. Go on. Try it.
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Sharing at...
Amaze Me Monday
The Creative Corner
The Art of Homemaking Monday
Cooking and Crafting with J & J
Roses of Inspiration
SYC Thursday
Share Your Style


  1. I've never thought to figure how much I'm saving our family, or making, at home with the many hats I wear as well! Very interesting! I adore the gold leaf orchids, and I hope the beautiful gift uplifted your friend's spirits! ...thanks so much for popping into see me and for the kind comments left! Certainly enjoyed my visit here! ~Rhonda

    1. Hi there Rhonda! It's a wonderful exercise in self worth for sure! Yes, my friend was greatly cheered up by her gift, thankyou. And my pleasure...I adore your blog. Love, Mimi xxx

  2. Wow, you are so productive! Makes me feel a little like a slouch, lol! Love all of your beautiful creations!

    1. Thanks Amy. And I know you're no! Mimi xxx

  3. I really enjoyed this post Mimi, and I like your attitude of treating your role in the home as a real job.

    1. Thankyou Sherri. It's actually a really useful mindset that helps me achieve more in my day. Thanks for stopping by. Mimi xxx

  4. Oh Mimi! I just love the way you think! :) On a recent trip to the eye exam center, they asked for my occupation on the fill out form. I wrote "Keeper at Home ~ Titus 2:4"... I just wonder what the eye doctor thought :) A productive home is just like getting a paycheck only you bless all under your roof instead of the corporate world... That works for me just fine!

    1. I love your Keeper at Home ~ Titus 2:4 occupation....nicely done :) Putting a value on what you do at home certainly gives you a new perspective. Thanks for stopping by, and welcome back! Mimi xxx

  5. I enjoy working in the home, too and I am usually very busy and don't even turn the TV on! It is such a nice accomplishment to get so many things done in one day. That faux orchid arrangement sounds beautiful! And, $20 on lunch? I would be packing lunches, too! lol!


    1. Yes TV is rarely on here during the day either Carrie. What a distraction it is when it's on though! Mimi xxx

  6. Working at home is a real job! Being one of ten kids I know how hard she worked. I always felt being wife/homemaker has been undervalued. You do work, very hard and do a great job!

    1. We all work hard don't we Cathy. And you're right in saying that homemaker is vastly undervalued. I'm trying to address that. Mimi xxx

  7. Hi Mimi, wow you've been busy! What a productive week, and so lovely that you and your daughter enjoy crafting together. My son had a birthday in the weekend and I baked his cake, baked gluten free cupcakes for one of my kids with coeliac disease, made pikelets, and bought a few treats as well. I didn't have a special birthday party budget, it came out of our grocery budget and I was pretty happy to have bags of lollies and a bottle of juice and soft drink left over that can be used for the next party at our house in November.

    I was wondering if you were as productive when your children were little?! I often read your lists (and a few other people's too) and am amazed by what you achieve each week. I know you say you treat it as a job by just having small breaks, so I guess what I'm asking is how you used to approach it when you had preschoolers/ young school age kids? I make all meals from scratch, bake regularly, clean, do the laundry etc, but would love to get into things like making my own jam, preserving fruit etc. did you used to manage that type of thing with young children? I feel so inspired to try some of these things both in terms of saving money and general satisfaction of having made it myself, I'm just wondering where to find the time and energy?! Please don't think I'm beating myself up over this or anything! I realise I have a busy life and get lots of stuff done every day, I'm just genuinely interested in how you used to do it with young children.

    Sorry, it's a bit of a novel this week lol... Have a lovely week


    1. Hi Jen, and thanks for your comment! Your baking sounds fabulous, and we're gluten free here too, so I know what a challenge that can be. Yes, having small children does make this sort of routine more difficult. When my two older sons were young, I had my Mum around, and she would take them off my hands so I could get things done. When my third son and my daughter were young, Mum was gone, and my Mother-in-law was too elderly to help too much. So really I'd rely on my husband or my sister to be around on a Sunday, and I'd do all my weekly baking, any big cleaning tasks, and prepare food ahead on a Sunday afternoon. As they grew older, and Christmas or birthdays approached, I'd use the time after kids had gone to bed to work on simple crafts like embellished journals, little machine sewn applique shirts and bags, home made cards, and food things like microwave jam, peanut brittle and easy toffees and fudge. TV never interested me that much, and whilst it meant and still means, that I'm not involved in conversations about Masterchef, or Dancing with the Stars or the latest sit com, I don't really care. I just choose to use my time differently than other people, and I'm happy like that. You actually sound like you're doing really really well Jen, and Annabel over at The Bluebirds are Nesting always likes to say that there is a season in your life for these things. The season for crafting and sewing during the day, is perhaps not when your children are very young. That's the time to love them and enjoy them, and do what needs to be done to keep life nice. Use your early mornings or late evenings to start on little projects perhaps and feel the satisfaction in completing them quickly. That always works for me. Also find what you're good at and what you enjoy, because that means the work will develop more quickly. Annabel for example does stunning embroidery and crochet, has the patience to complete large projects, and has a lovely way with packaging things. On the other hand, I prefer sewing because things come together quickly, and I adore sequinning, beading, small crochet projects, and dyeing fabrics, and working with vintage lace. We produce very different gifts, but the hand made idea is the same. I hope that helps. Love, Mimi xxx

    2. Thanks Mimi, that is a wonderful response. I absolutely love to craft, I find it a relaxing way to spend my evenings. And my kids are at an age where they really want me to make things for them which is great, I'm sure that won't last forever. I like the idea of putting some time aside on Sunday to bake in bulk and maybe try out some new things like jam making. I couldn't agree more that I'm in a very special time of life where my children are young and I'm so thankful that I'm at home to share that with them. Thank you for your lovely reply :)

  8. Sounds like you had quite the busy week!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J! Please don't forget to enter the $25 Starbucks Giftcard Giveaway that ends tomorrow night!

  9. You have been busy. Very productive and saved a lot of money! Sweet to think of a friend! I use to use gold leaf quite a bit when I taught tole painting, but haven't used it in years. thanks for sharing with SYC.


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx