Thursday, June 21, 2018 I'm saving money...

These days, everyone wants a Pinterest and Instagram worthy life.
I have a feeling that much of todays Café Culture, relies upon this.
I cannot believe how many people take a photo of their food when out and about. I don't see the point. If it's 'I made this', then I'm suitable impressed. But if it's 'I went out, ordered this, and someone brought it for me to photograph before I eat it', then it seems a bit pointless. It's like stealing the chefs thunder.
So here's how to have an Insta-worthy life without stealing someone elses thunder.
Above, dried spray roses. These will be used for embellishing cakes, gifts, and the home. Nobody's thunder being stolen there. And up to $100 saved on swanky gift toppers, cake decorations, and homewares.
Now I DID make these mason jar coconut yogurt parfaits. I did not make the jars. I did not grow the berries. BUT I made the granola, I made the coconut yoghurt, and I certainly assembled them on my own kitchen bench. Insta-worthy AND money saved in the region of about $150. That includes the savings on the coconut yoghurt ($6 vs $36 for the same quantity of home made vs store bought), home made gluten free vanilla, almond, cinnamon granola for $4 instead of $18, and a pinch of cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips for about .20c.
That puts my generous mason jar parfaits at a value of about $1 each overall, as opposed to upwards of $6 each. Savings in a week total 3 parfaits consumed daily for seven days....$21 for mine over $126 for store bought. And yes...Insta-worthy I think...

Gimme a home grown manicure over an expensive salon one any day. I understand the need for 'me' time. Boy, do I. But I choose to get me time other ways. I respect your decision to do otherwise. For me? A salon mani, at around $35, pales into no mans land when I can do a Jamberry one for $6.
Savings of $58 a month on a $70 salon spend.

Banana bread? Don't get me started. Why pay $6 a slice for something that takes $2 to make?
Three banana breads, each yielding 10 slices this month. That would cost us $180. Just for banana bread. No thanks. Delectable home made means we spent just $6 for three.
That saved $174.

Cooking ahead? Shepherds Pie, four of them. Cost to me? $10 for 4. Cost to buy 4? $48. Savings of $38.
Don't talk to me about posh wrapped soaps. They're up to $30 in the high end boutiques.
I print my own paper (on pink A4 sheets), and wrap and embellish them with diamante buckles gifted by my friend Annabel from The Bluebirds are Nesting.

San Choy Bau anyone? This batch cost just $4 for 4 people thanks to a bargain on the turkey mince AND the gem lettuces.
That saved $40 in a restaurant San Choy Bau if we'd been the type.

Anniversaries. Significant ones. They cost.
I DIY-ed and saved a bomb.
Husband was thrilled.

A heartfelt letter rolled into a cylinder tied with baby blue velvet ribbon, and a classy black box filled with beautiful china, as befits a 20th anniversary.
I saved around $1000 on what he wanted (Moorcroft china), by scouring the internet and buying wisely.

A thankyou gift of honeycomb in a recycled pretty box as a thankyou gift, saved us $35 on a similarly packaged confectionery gift.
Cost $3.

And while we were there, we magic-ed up some fruit and nut clusters for mere cents, saving $10 on bought yummies.

Pinterest worthy campervan restoration coming right up...
Daisy print fabric at just $3 a metre for curtains...


Oversized cushions with fabric enough for 2 Euro pillow case sized cushion covers for $2 from the remnant bin....
...A third remnant of rust panne velvet for a throw for another $4....

...and yet another remnant, repurposed into a bolster cushion by wrapping it around a spare blanket, sausage style, and tying bon-bon style with chiffon scraps.

How utterly fabulous is this Dolce & Gabbana inspired print for those cushions...

Hand made tassels take just minutes made from crochet cotton if you please...

Snazzy, yes?

And of course, there's plating up a nice Ploughmans Platter at just $4 a piece for six hard working gardener friends, over $24 a piece at the local...

...and Petit Fours, little morsels of yum, and very pretty they are. I made 24 at a total investment of around $10. They are $6.50 a piece to buy.

Well...let's say we're easily looking at around the $1500 mark this month. And that's conservative.
Find your own Insta-worthy life.
Don't let someone else steal your thunder.
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  1. Ah, another lovely post, Mimi.

    I was especially taken by the wrapped soaps, as I used to make and sell them and was never happy with the plastic packaging I used.

    I wonder if the oil would come through the paper at any point?

    I loved seeing the honeycomb too - I've always wanted to try that.

  2. Dear Mimi everything looks wonderful ! Thank you for sharing , love Maria xxx

  3. Quite right,Mimi! Part of starting to live a more beautiful life for me will definitely be decluttering. Everything looks better on a clear surface. And those petit fours look so professional!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. You always inspire me! Maybe you could share tutorial on how to make the petit fours. :)

  5. You know I love these posts Mimi! That elephant fabric is beautiful!! Your food always looks great. Which reminds me I must send you a photo of the Moana cake - it passed the four-year-old daughter test :)

    Have a lovely weekend

    Jen in NZ

  6. Mimi I so agree with everything. Lovely post.
    Not only do we have a better life, we save money, we have fun, and others get such original gifts.
    It is do fulfilling to do things at home, instead of purchasing random bulk made items.

  7. Hello Mimi, so many great tips and tricks,
    Thank you for sharing~ Homemade is almost always better
    tasting anyway! And I couldn't agree more about all the
    'food' pics out there. Sheesh! : ) Have a blessed week-end ahead.

  8. What beautiful creations! There is so much more satisfaction when you make gifts or food for entertaining. Then, when people compliment you, YOU get the glory, instead of just saying where you bought it.

  9. Also, your nails are beautiful! I just discovered a different brand of nail wraps (Incoco) sold at my local drugstore. You don't need to use heat to set them so I find them a lot easier than Jamberry. They are about $7 for a set, and i can get two manicures out of one set. Just a suggestion, although if you already love Jamberry, they are fun too!

  10. I love this post Mimi. So much done, so beautifully, while totally frugal. I am inspired by everything you post regarding insourcing.. Thank you. Anne

  11. Oh Mimi you do live a beautiful life. I am just waiting until I get the garden all bedded down and then the nails are going to recieve some much needed TLC. I have packed the jamberry kit and will be giving myself a much needed mani whilst we are travelling in the caravan. I have made curtains, bed covers, placemats, storage pockets and cushions in my caravan makeover. I would say there would be at least a $500 saving just in this bit of time and effort investment.
    Just letting you know I made the coconut yoghurt but it was not a hit. I went back to the Greek yoghurt and made breakfast parfaits with this. They disappeared at a rapid rate and were taken as food for study breaks prior to Uni exams this past fortnight. Katie appreciated me copying your gorgeous food. Thank you

  12. Keep functioning ,splendid job!

  13. Loads of commonsense and inspiration there Mimi. You really are a doer. We once had a handmade Christmas - only did it once - too hard to get everyone on board unfortunately. I guess you could say that we gave away our power rather than embracing the theme of handmade and building up a tradition and a ritual of handcrafting things ourselves. You are really coming up with some great ideas and putting them into action. Well done on the campervan decor. Cheers Janiebabe

  14. I just love these posts of yours! I'm with you on the nail thing, but I can't get my feet as smooth as the salon does. Having said that, I have a toe nail infection at the present time, because for the past two salon visits, the same toe was cut and mutilated both times. I'm sad, but think I'll try to learn to do my own toes.

  15. Your Petite Fours are so beautiful! Definitely inspires me to make my own high tea x

  16. I so loved this post! You make everything beautiful and a feast for the eyes.

  17. Looking forward to that camper van post! After looking for two and a half years we finally found one two weeks ago. They are crazy popular in the US and hard to find one that is mechanically sound and well cared for but it finally came along. I looked on Pinterest and what I have seen is nuts. Ours has beautiful oak cabinetry in great shape although the carpet is faded quite badly. We steam cleaned it and it improved but it is what it is I guess. The fabric on the insides of the doors is the worst and I am wondering what can be done without breaking the bank. I am going through what we have here to outfit it as I know we have most of it here and there around the house.

  18. Lots of amazing ways to save money in this post. I particularly love what you do to pretty up soaps, I will definitely be using that idea! I knit my own washcloths but am only just learning how to make soap. I buy bars of soap from a little local grocer or sometimes get seconds, which are pretty much perfect, from a specialty soap shop in a little town I occasionally visit. Your way will save me some $ I think. Meg:)

  19. I love the way you present your gifts. Such artistic flair! Love, Bridge

  20. I enjoyed reading this post. I do hope you will right up the recipe in a blog post on your banana bread recipe. I made one and both my husband and daughter said it was too dry. I think I only used up 2 bananas. LOL. :) You do save a lot of money when you do your own manis. I like to do myself and go to the salon every few weeks. I love the way your nails look!
    Have a nice day

  21. Dear Mimi,
    I'm back and I see you are too! I just love your insourcing posts. Everything you made looks so stylish and expensive. I especially like the soap you wrapped in the pink paper with the pears on it. Would you mind sharing where you print these from? I'm sorry if you have mentioned it already, as I'm way behind on blog reading these days. (Our new schedule has meant many adjustments and I'm still trying to get the hang of this shift work thing!)
    Thank you for such beauty and encouragement, as always.
    Love, Kelsey


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