Sunday, September 23, 2012

This Week's Frugal Accomplishments and a winner

I made pickles this week using the Armenian cucumbers from my garden. No, they're not a "pickling" type of cucumber, but I used them anyway. They're rather long; some were 18-22"! The seed cavity is large. I scooped out the seeds and gave them to a friend of mine who has chickens, along with some arugula from our garden that had self-seeded, but was way too hot to eat, having grown during the summer.

I made a pillow and pillow cover for my living room. The pillow was made from unbleached muslin that I got for free from my grandmother's stash. The stuffing was part of an old bed pillow. The pillow cover was made from drop cloth, and I hand-embroidered a red "S" on it (I printed out the "S" first at 200% in Edwardian Script and traced it.)

I planted seeds in my garden for fall. These are seeds that I already had.

I made homemade salad dressing.

I made homemade hair detangler with half of a packet of a free conditioner sample.

I used a $10 off $10 Kohl's card that came in the mail to purchase a shirt for my oldest daughter in a larger size (they were out of her current size) for $1.08. I'll put it aside for when she is older.

My family dressed up for Talk Like a Pirate Day and went to Kripsy Kreme's, where we each received a dozen donuts for free for dressing up. All of these dress-up clothes were given to us (some were garage sale purchases from my mother, and some were from my brother). On our way home, we ran errands (that were directly on our path home), saving gas and time. The strangest part of all of this was walking into other stores while dressed like pirates.

One of those errands was to get a new float for the toilet. My husband fixed the toilet, stopping the water leak into the bowl.

I took 2 free days of Photoshop classes online at CreativeLIVE. I learned how to do a few things that I've always wondered how to do, and I learned about some tools that I hadn't really used before.

I watched free shows on Hulu.

I harvested Swiss chard and cucumbers from the garden. (The variety I grow is Fordhook; it grows very large leaves).

I renewed library books online, and requested several books online as well.

We have a winner for the sun oven giveaway! The winner is Kristie Mc Nealy! Congratulations, Kristie! Please email your address to Heather heather (at) teamshelfreliance (dot) com so that she can send you your prize!

What have you done to save money this week?


  1. Did you receive a dozen donuts each or a dozen altogether?? That would be a lot of donuts. What a great pic of all your kids. Bet they had a blast.

    You accomplish more in a week than I do in a month!
    No wonder frugality is not widely is hard work!!!

    My accomplishments pale in comparison but I did manage to make all meals at home this week and had a few no spend days. That is huge for me :)

    1. A dozen each except for the baby, and everyone had no problem eating them all by the next afternoon!

    2. Like! :) (I still say you need a like button, LOL) I work across the street! from a Krispy Kreme, so we had them all week! It was great, except I am trying to watch what I eat and I can't resist Krispy Kreme.


  2. --Was able to download two books in a series my daughter is reading from the library to her Kindle, so no trip to the library wasting gas and time out of my afternoon and we didn’t have to buy them on Amazon (her money, not mine)
    --Brought my breakfast, lunch and snacks to work every day (I always do this)
    --Found several water bottles when cleaning out the garage for the kids to take to school and Cross Country practice. We seem to have trouble keeping up with them at school, for some reason!
    --Bought several snacks at Dollar Tree with coupons for almost free since they started accepting coupons. Love it!
    --Took my used kids clothing to Tot trade and picked up what didn’t sell for next year. I will make several hundred dollars doing this, so the time invested is definitely worthwhile
    --Made a menu plan for the week so that we will not eat out at all.
    --Packed my daughter’s lunch every day and bought food my son will eat for his lunch for next week.
    --Made homemade salsa with tomatoes and Rotel I found in the pantry when it was cleaned that need to be eaten soon per the expiration date. It was delicious. Thanks, Pinterest! (By the way, Brandy, I keep looking for you on Pinterest. It would really send people to your site! If you are there, let me know.)
    --Bought tons of stuff at Walmart in the $0.25 clearance bin for next years’ birthday party for my daughter. Little notebooks, pens, stickers, tattoos, and memo pads. Also bought a drawing pad for $0.50 and colored pencils on clearance for her for Christmas. She loves to draw. Some of the clearance will be stocking stuffers.
    --Went to Good Will for the $0.50 clothing sale. Found a pair of PJ’s for me and a swim shirt for my daughter. Also found a coffee percolator for camping for $1.00 that retails for $15.00 that I have been saving to buy!
    --Rinsed and reused all Ziploc bags for the last several weeks, since I take the same snacks usually and this is the only thing I use them for. I try to take containers, but everything won’t fit in my lunch bag if I use only containers. I am on a mission to use no Ziplocs, as I add to my containers. I have a plate and fork at work that I use to heat in the microwave and just wash it and leave it there.

    1. You can always pin something from my site to Pinterest, rather than just ripinning what others have already pinned from my website on there.

    2. I have done that several times!

  3. Love the picture of the kids:)

    I got a free card from I have enough free birthday cards to cover all of our friends and family through next August.

    Didn't have to water one day this week because we got some rain.

    I used the kohls discount to get a table cloth and a sun hat.

    I spent the past week going through our emergency kits and making sure the water and food were fresh. Also, I switched out clothes for current sizes.

    I was wondering do you keep food in your car's emergency kit? Our temps range from 100+ in the summer to below freezing in the winter. I'm not sure what kind of food would be safe to keep in the car. I would love it, if you or anyone else could share their ideas:)

    1. We also have seriously hot summer's, I keep a cooler in my trunk and we do not leave the house without each person having a water bottle plus one extra. Sometimes I have store bought unopened water bottles that just live in the car until someone really needs it. Snacks that tend to be eaten and replenished often, and forgotten in the car with little to no issue are graham crackers, pretzels other types of crackers.
      If you want to put food in the car and forget it's there, my first response is yuck, next if you want to go that route I'd still say with my above mentioned items, but put in the calendar to change out every other month. When the temp drops below 80 outside I add apples, applesauce, fruit cups, carrots, these just go in the cooler with the water bottles anytime we get in the car we have something munchable and water bottles.

    2. Thanks, Shannon.

      We always bring snacks with us but it's always homemade. My hubby tends to forget snacks so I was looking for some ideas that I could put in that would be okay to keep in the car that won't melt or freeze.

  4. I wrote about my frugal accomplishments for the week on my blog!

  5. I love these posts and reading through all the comments. I have always been pretty frugal, but have been focusing on it more recently as I have a 4 month old and just quit my job to stay home with her. So here are just a few things I was able to do this week.

    Husband got a deer on his first day hunting. I know a lot of people do not like the idea of hunting but this is our primary source of meat.

    Bought 8 packs of organic seeds at 50% off for next year's garden. We have also been saving seeds this year so we will not have to continue to buy seeds every year.

    Froze spinach, kale, green beans, and red peppers. Also cooked big batches of beans...used some for dinners and froze the extras saving time and cooking electricity.

    Ate a lot more beans this week. I have been trying different bean recipes so we aren't just eating beans and rice or chili all the time. Made the White Bean Alfredo Sauce and loved it!

    Made butter. I buy raw milk so I started skimming the cream off the top of the milk to make butter. This will save us a lot of money since we usually buy the delicious but expensive Kerrygold butter for toast and vegetables and such. For cooking though, we usually buy cheaper butter and will probably continue doing this.

    Made toothpaste.

    Washed my hair with baking soda instead of my regular expensive natural shampoo. I also only wash my hair once every week...sometimes stretching it out to two weeks.

    Ordered books I have been wanting from Paperback Swap and the library instead of buying them from Amazon (which I usually tend to do). Two of the books are on frugal cooking.

    Hung all laundry on the line as always.

    Angela K

    1. Angela I don't think you need to apologize for your husband shooting deer one bit. I grew up in Texas and hate hunting for the "sport" of it, as so many Texans seem to do. (so many homes display deer heads on the wall :(. But hunting as a means of feeding your family seems to me a very honorable, as well as frugal, practice.

    2. I think it's great that he got a deer on the FIRST day. That certainly helps!

    3. Just remember that you can still put the deer head on the wall and eat the meat. Most hunt clubs divide the meat among the members, but the one that killed the deer gets choice (and I would imagine the head if they so choose).


    4. Angela,

      I am something of a tree and animal hugger, as well as an omnivore, but I think hunting is far more humane than feed-lots and it is better for the environment. I saw a movie once where hunters prayed a bit and thanked their kill. I don't think there is anything wrong with hunting if it is done properly and thanks are given.


    5. Count this gal jealous! My husband hasn't even SEEN a deer the last 3 years on opening weekend. It's really irritating - he's gone for 4-5 days at a time, we spend $80 or so for the time for food etc for him and he comes home empty handed. It's really a big bummer.


    6. I agree. One less deer to run into my husband's path on his long commute to work through a rural area.

    7. I totally agree with KatieL. Sport hunting bothers me, but if you eat what you kill, I think it's great.

    8. Venison is so much healthier than beef! I love venison, but we seldom have any. My husband is not a hunter, alas. I have to agree with Arden - one less deer on the road.
      - Marivene

    9. You are very fortunate that your husband shot a deer on opening day! Last season my husband did not see any deer except for 1 or 2 which were too far off to shoot.Luckily our brother in law had an extra deer that he offered us since they did not have enough freezer space for it. It is our primary meat source as well. I pray he will be able to get one this year, but his hunting days will be limited as I am due with our 3rd child in mid November! I personally do not have a problem with hunting if the meat is used to feed your family, we also have hunters that will donate the extra meat they do not need to needy families in the area. The meat is much leaner than any of the ground beef I could afford to buy at the store these days, and the animals are treated in a much more humane way.

  6. I Love reading all the frugal things everyone does each week! It is so inspiring to see and it makes you feel connected with like-minded people! I have gotten away from my frugal habits lately and because we are trying to adopt, I have needed to buckle back down (super tight) so that when we need it, we will have the funds! Here is what we did this week.
    ~I made up a batch of homemade Laundry detergent and Fabric softener.
    ~I darned one of my son's socks
    ~I started the No 'Poo method with my hair.
    ~Made a big batch of pinto beans that we have eaten on all week.
    ~Used recycled paper to print my son's homeschool color sheets on.
    ~Used Netflix streaming for several things.
    Went back to using family cloth.
    ~Divided one regular size bottle of handsoap into 3 foaming soap pump dispenser.
    ~Cooked from my freezer and pantry most of the week. (We went out Saturday with friends"
    ~Cleaned my counters, floors and toilets with vinegar instead of purchasing cleaner.
    I still need to work on cooking at home more and cut back the eating out to once a month instead of once per week. I also need to plan my trips to town more carefully.

    1. It sounds like you are doing a great job! We also eat out once a week but I can't get the hubby to budge one bit on it. I would love to eat out just once a month! :)

  7. Made homemade granola twice. Used cloth napkins we already had instead of paper. Wore some old jewelry I hardly ever wear, so I felt like I had something new.

  8. Your children look like they had so much fun!
    just a few of the frugal thinks I've done

    Made home made playdough

    I continued to harvest and can but today with the threat of a frost we harvested all the tomatoes and peppers

    Had leftovers for a meal

    Made the rest of the week's meals

    Thanks for the encouragement

  9. I posted my frugal strides on my blog again this week. Thanks for the inspiration!


  10. I love the picture of the children! :)
    Let's see, what did I do this week......
    Got a free card at
    Ordered my husband a dress shirt from Kohls that was originally $65 for $5.20 with the 20% off and free shipping codes (along with a birthday gift for one daughter and a few summer items for my son for next year)
    Ate the same leftovers for 3 days! (Now I know how the Israelites felt about manna!)
    Harvested the last of our potatoes, since it is now freezing almost every night
    Asked a neighbor if I could have the apples on their tree (it didn't look like they were using them) and we ended up with a very full grocery bag of apples for free! :)
    Got 2 books from Paperback Swap, and 2 from the library (along with a movie for the children)

    I love to see everyones frugal things they do each week, they inspire me to do more! :)

  11. As far as I am concerned anything is good pickled!

    I;m just listing the unusual things I did. It drives me nuts to keep mental lists.

    Our kitchen chair cushions were stained and old and faded. I have been tempted lately to pitch them but the cost of replacing them made me wait. A few weeks ago I found a piece of red Waverley toile for $4 at a thrift store. I was able to slipcover all 6 cushions with it and they look fabulous!

    I needed a crib size mattress pad for the grandchildren's room so I used the $5 Target coupon on Circo infant bedding plus a forgotten about Target gift card received for tranfering a prescription to get it for free.

  12. I made my daughter a dress and re used buttons from my husband's old shirt. They were plain white, but abalone shell on the back, so, I reversed them and had beautiful "new" buttons.

  13. Love the pirates!

    I don't feel as though I have done much new this week.

    I sorted some of the hand-me-downs (there were a lot) into keep, save, and fabric.

    I made the white handkerchiefs I needed from a bolt of fabric bought previously on a big sale. I used remnants of lace I already had to edge a couple of them. (I ran out of time to do all I wanted)

    Found some jars hiding in storage to put the jamsfruit into, so I didn't have to buy them. I am considering bottling my jam in quarts since we go through it so fast.


    1. Just realized there was something big I had forgotten. (how could I forget it?!)

      We have a little boat with a small motor that we haven't been able to use for years (our family doesn't even close to fit and no time). My husband sold the motor! I guess I forgot cause I didn't really have any involvement in it.


  14. I look forward to this post every week! I like to look and see if anyone suggests something new I can try. So, let's see...

    -I got some free samples in the mail that I had signed up for. Including shampoo and conditioner.
    -Made homemade cleaning solution out of vinegar and Dawn( actually the Aldi version of Dawn(Reeva)*Love Aldi, the prices are so good!*
    -Did not go grocery shopping since my husband was gone every evening for various things and it was just me and the baby. I made easy things, like sandwiches and biscuit pizzas. So the pantry/freezer is stocked for the next week or so still.
    -Altered my sons pants.
    -I did not get to line dry my clothes outside due to a bad infestation of stinkbugs. They're even getting in the house on the clean clothes. So I dried everything in the dryer and put it up as quickly as possible. *If anyone else has this problem with the bugs, please let me know how to keep them away!*

    1. Good luck with the stink bugs. I had to rip all my tomatoes out because of them to control their population. We were throwing them into buckets of water with soap added to kill them.

  15. Love the picture of your kids! Sooo cute :)

    Things I have done this week:

    - Made homemade butter rolls for our dinners this week

    - We ate out Friday night but other than that we ate at home using food from our pantry, freezers and also some leftovers

    - Ate leftovers for lunches and used some leftover homemade fried potatoes, bacon and sausage in our omelets this morning

    - Did a survey and made $3.00. It was added to my Paypal account for birthdays and Christmas

    - Shopped the thrift store a block away from my house and found 6 hand towels for my bathroom (3 were brand new!) for $4.00 and also found 2 John Deere shirts for my grandson for $1.00 each

    - Ordered the free card from for my grandson for his birthday in October

    - Took advantage of the AWESOME deal at Meijer on Friday!! When you buy a $25.00 Meijer gift card you save $10.00 on a pair of jeans. Jeans were on sale for $10.00 so I did this deal twice and got 2 pairs for FREE! I also bought them a little bit bigger so he can grow into them. I was planning on spending around $50.00 grocery shopping anyway so this was a win win :)

    - Spent $48.15 on groceries and saved $100.47 in sales and coupons. Stocked up on Oscar Mayer hot dogs for .99 cents a pkg. Sara Lee deli ham was on sale $2.99 lb at the deli and I printed 3 coupons for $1.00 off 1/2 lb. so I bought three 1/2 lb. bags and paid $2.07 for a little over 1-1/2 lbs

    - The weather has been in the 50's or 60's all week (some 40's at night) so need for air, fans or heat! We just wrapped up in blankets when we got chilly and put another blanket/comforter on the bed at night.

    - My Aunt asked me to join her and my mom for breakfast Wednesday morning at Bob Evans. It was her treat! It didn't cost me much in gas since it's only a couple minutes from my house and It was really nice to spend time with them :)

    1. If you join Bob Evans' email list they often have buy one get one free coupons.

  16. Love the pirate picture!

    Things that I remember from the week, beyond the ordinary:

    Was able to get a tire patched/repaired (for free!) instead of replacing it.

    Our oven has been heating unevenly, so I ran the self-clean cycle to see if it would help, instead of calling a repairman. It seems better!

    Baked pumpkin bread one cool evening to warm up the house, instead of using the furnace.

    Found a leaf blower at a yard sale for $8. I've been looking for three years and finally found one that would fit our budget.

    Ordered 10 free photo cards from Shutterfly for the cost of shipping.

    1. I love the idea of baking pumpkin bread to warm up the house!!! :)

  17. Those costumes are cuter than cute! this week:
    - I harvested raspberries, tomatoes, zucchini, crookneck, green beans, cucumbers & a pumpkin.
    - I ate homemade yogurt with raspberries for breakfast or lunch several times.
    - I bottled tomato sauce, summer squash mix with onion & tomato, the last box of Sweet Lady peaches & a box of O’Henry peaches. I also bottled 5 pints of cubed pumpkin with my youngest daughter to teach her how to bottle a pumpkin from her garden.
    - I bought a quart mason jar of local honey at the Farmer’s Market. We prefer local honey, to help with the allergies, & there is a vendor who sells it in quart bottles, which I can re-use for canning.
    - I buried all the peach & tomato refuse in a spot that I plan to use as a year-round lettuce bed.
    - I froze 2 quart bags of beets.
    - I pruned some of the damaged branches from the Elberta peach tree. I saved the thicker prunings. I am cutting the pruned fruit wood into 3-4” lengths & letting it dry. When they are dried, I will bundle them with a little string, and a tag identifying the type of wood. These small bundles will be part of a Christmas present, along with a BBQ apron, for a recipient who loves to BBQ. So far I have plum & peach BBQ wood bundles, but I will also have pear, apple & cherry.
    - Both my husband & I received flu shots for free thru BYU insurance, since he works at BYU.
    - While I was in town, I stopped at DI. I found a glass domed cheese plate, from which I will use the dome as a glass cloche in the garden. I also bought 4 more pint & half pint jars for under 70 cents.
    - Since the weather has cooled off considerably, I open the windows in the morning & don’t have to turn on the AC until late afternoon, if then.
    - Marivene

    1. BYU insurance is wonderful! That was one of only a few short years in my life when we had health insurance.

      When I move somewhere cooler, I plan on growing LOTS and LOTS of raspberries. They are my very favorite fruit.

    2. That shold say, when "I" have had insurance! I didn't meet my husband until after I had graduated!

    3. Brandy, do you have plans of moving soon? It seems like you've been mentioning it a lot lately. :)

    4. Brandy, does Nevada have a low/no cost insurance plan that you can go on? I know most states have some kind of program available to lower income families. I know CT has it. It might be something worth looking into.

    5. Lisa, they do for children, but I will never go that route again. I was pressured by a lot of people to aply when my oldest was born. I was treated horribly, and I also had to give the state access to my bank account. They also told me that I could never have more than $3000 a month in my account, or I would no longer qualify. I explained the nature of my husband's work, and how sometimes we would get paid from one sale and I had to make that money last 3 months, and they said, no exceptions. So, according to that, I wouldn't qualify, even if my yearly income was within limits.

      I didn't feel good about going then; I only went because so many people pressured me to do it. I will never do that again. It's not something I believe in. We pay as we have needed to for things.

    6. Lisa, we have a dream to someday move to Washinton state. We've lived in the desert our whole lives, and we want to move to GREEN!

    7. Well if you want to move to WA for green, move to western WA. As my husband would say, he comes from the ever brown half of the evergreen state. LOL I think Eastern WA is a little more like UT, except a little more humidity.


    8. Penelope, we've heard about being east of the Cascades, and we think we really want to be on the west side!

    9. We'd love to have you in Western Washington--I'd be much more likely to be able to attend one of your speaking engagements! :)

    10. Brandy, has your family ever considered a move to New Hampshire? We have no income tax, nor do we have sales tax. Like your husband, I'm in the real estate field, and I assure you, it does help. Property taxes can be much higher, though. Just an idea.

    11. Victoria,

      We also have no state income tax in Nevada. We don't have sales tax on food, and we actually purchase very little. Our property taxes are capped here at 3%.

      New Hampshire is a bit too cold for my husband!

      We feel like Western Washington is as close as we can get to being in a place like England without leaving the U.S.

    12. Just curious why England holds a special place in your heart?

  18. I did the big season swap for my youngest two. I made a list of the few things they will need to make complete outfits. Thanks to generous neighbors I don't have to buy much for my 6 yo.

    All food was made at home. One night out to celebrate dh's promotion and we used a gift card. I also graciously accepted a generous gift from my dh. He wanted to treat me with this gift and it would have been ugly to question him. He did get 65% off though.

    Bought a case of apples for $35 down from $65. I pack them in lunches and we go through a ton. Reinstituted my snack policy. Only fruit and only if you are starving.

    Made a half a tank of gas last longer than two weeks on my 15 passenger van.

    Dogs had a few dinners of scraps mixed with dry food. Finishing up a large bag that they truly hate but will tolerate with scraps.

    1. That gas lasting so long is a huge feat!


  19. Accepted a gift of pecans from a friend (and I said thank you with some homemade jam and extra spaghetti squash we had on hand). I'm thankful for the pecans though I do have to shell them. Would love it anyone has tricks for making shelling easier.

    Accepted a gift of 2 pairs jeans, 1 pair khaki pants for my son (who just had a growth spurt and went up one full size). My mother had purchased them from a consignment store for $4 each.

    Purchased some lovely apples at the local farmer's market for cheaper than I can purchase in the store. Plan to put up applesauce..and I'm going to try making apple jelly from the cores/peelings (read that tip from someone on this blog). Wish me luck!

    1. When I shell pecans I usually crack them all at once and then I can just pull them apart and take out the nuts while I am doing something like watching a movie. Lucky you! Pecans have gotten so expensive!

    2. If you don't mind having small pieces, put them in an old pillow case and run over them a couple times with the car. Then pick shells out.

  20. LOVE the pics- especially your kiddywinkies! SO cute!

    Canned tomatoes from the garden.

    Canned pepper jelly from the garden.

    Ate chard, kale, herbs, and tomatoes from the garden this week.

    Sewed for hours on Saturday. (Nothing complete, but I'm close!) Used gifted thread!

    Downloaded a free picture program, rather than buy one.

    Treated kids with herbs and vitamins that I had here for cold symptoms.

    Had teens do several repairs and one even got the job of painting the porch. (This covers a repair that isn't affordable right now.)

    Made all meals and snacks.

    Made use of all leftovers for other meals and twice for dogfood. (My outdoor dogs are like Arden's and the drippings from a soup pot can fool them into thinking their dogfood is gourmet!)

    Took an old sheet and embroidered a couple of designs (free graphic images, traced) and used it to make gifts.

    Working on a cover for an office-style chair that has a broken back.

    Composted all scraps.

    Hung most clothes to dry.

    Opened windows and turned off the a/c.

    Brought out blankets to avoid turning on heat at night. (Yes, for real!)

    Used vinegar to clean, baking soda to brush teeth.

    Made $$ for volunteering to help a few people.

    Sewed up our precious American flag that the wind had beaten to nearly shreds.

    Bought pork loin for .99lb- about $16lbs. I will get 2 big meals from this and 4 small ones, or more.

    Made 2 double batches of granola. (Chocolate and your Almond Cranberry :)

    Made use of free veggies given to me this week.

    Washed and scrubbed a hand-me-down purse.

    Soaked and scrubbed a hand-me-down hanky that I will embroider for a Christmas gift.

    1. Donna, may I ask how you will make the pork loin? What meals will you make with them? I also got a good price on pork loin and that just isnt something we eat that much of. I spent quite a bit of time yesterday searching out a good recipe, and found 2 that I had all of the ingredients on hand for. Any other ideas? Thanks Brandy for doing this every week!

    2. Jenn, I have a couple pork loin recipes I really love. Both are Martha Stewart recipes. The Molasses one is really messy on the grill though.


    3. Jenn,
      My family's favorite way as per Brandy's recipe:
      We don't eat a lot of pork, but- it was cheap! :)

      Ideas for leftovers;
      -Homemade Pork and Beans (working on that recipe today)
      -use it in BBQ for sandwiches (or just an ice cream scoop on the plate if I don't have bread made)
      -fried rice
      -tacos or quesadillas
      -stir fry
      -sliced and pan-fried to reheat (like a pork chop, sorta, but it doesn't go as far this way)
      -in soups and chowders
      -fried as a topping for salads or beans when they are the main dishes and there is no other meat
      -in main dish macaroni with peas (one pot meal?)
      -in gravy over biscuits (odd, but good)

      My fave cut of cheap pork is the Boston Butt Roasts. They are packed with flavor and you can just toss them in the oven with little care- but oh so tasty!

  21. Congratulations, Kristie! Brandy, that certainly is the cutest bunch of pirates I've seen. Those are some tasty looking pickles.

    I don't keep a running list, but a few things come to mind:

    Paid for dinner out with gift cards that we bought at 80% of face value. Got another two meals out of our leftovers.

    Made bread crumbs out of my husband's croissants that had turned hard.

    Made croutons with my stash of leftover bread. Emptied the crumbs created by cutting the bread to my bread crumb stash.

    Found a make-up bag for my purse on sale for $9 that does the job rather than getting the $58 (yikes!) one that I've been eyeing for years.

    Got our new phone for 15% off. (It was cheaper for us to get the cable/internet/voice bundle than to get just cable and internet, so might as well plug in a phone incase of an emergency--no worrying about is the cell phone charged, etc.)

  22. Oh, I just remembered another one! Can't believe I forgot about this, because I was so excited about it. (Maybe I should keep a running list throughout the week after all so I don't forget things.) We used a coupon that got us four free cans of dog food. This is especially huge because it's prescription food so it's on the spendy side.

  23. Brandy, Jim and I SO enjoyed the picture of your children!

  24. LOVE the picture of your children! I wrote about my frugal accomplishments on my new blog. Thanks again for the inspiration and encouragement!!!

  25. I am so inspired by everyone's efforts to save money. Thank you eveyone who shares.

    This week two of my boys needed new shoes so we bought them two pairs each at the thrift store for $1 a pair.

    My daughter wanted makeup so I took her to the dollar store and she bought eyeshadow and eye liner. We spent far less than at other stores and she is very happy with the makeup. Plus, now she knows she can buy makeup at the dollar store.

    One of my daughters had two friend birthdays this week so we made them each a necklace with wood beads we already had. Cost $0

    It is so very important to me to teach my children how to save money.

  26. Aw, look at that adorable baby pirate! What a fun day for your family.

    I sewed on a button. Now I have to figure out how to replace a hook on my bra. It's my favorite, most comfortable one, and today it has a hook missing.

    1. Look for "hook and eye" fasteners at a fabric store (or possibly Wal-mart).

    2. Fabric stores sell replacement hooks for either one hook or the whole end of the band. They're only a couple of dollars - cheaper than a new bra definitely!


    3. Thank you. I guess my comment made me seem like a ninny. It's just that it looks a bit complicated. The remaining hooks come out from underneath a fold in the cloth. I think maybe the whole end band solution is it. I didn't know about those.

  27. We had a good week! We had a couple spending weeks lately, but we are back on track now.
    -It has been in the 60s to low 70s here during the day and down into the 40s at night so we have officially retired our air conditioner. This is a great time of year when we don't need the air conditioner, but we don't need to turn the heat on yet!
    -We did our final harvest of tomatoes, and we have lots to eat. We love salads, so we've been having them a lot with dinner. We have not had a frost yet, so I can't harvest my potatoes yet. I'm hoping I'll be able to soon!
    -I got a free card from to give to my boyfriend for our anniversary this year.
    -Used homemade laundry detergent for all things washed.
    -I planned two weeks worth of yummy gluten free meals. We managed to get the groceries for these meals for a very low amount, after sales and coupons.
    -I bought all produce for under $1 a pound (apples, onions and potatoes!) and got our meat for under $2 a pound (roaster chickens on sale for .99/lb, yummy!).
    -I ate leftovers for dinner while my boyfriend was working. I have a goal to make a little more for dinners so I can have leftovers later in the week. My boyfriend is a bartender, so I eat by myself three nights a week.
    Hopefully I will have even more to share next week!

    1. If you planted potatoes in rows or hills, they can be harvested before a frost. Dig a few at a time and use them up before digging more.

  28. I made my Grandaughter some baby beaded hairpins. I don't know what the regular price was but they were on clearance for .25. I also make my own
    laundry soap. I wish i knew how to do that years ago. No more plastic bottle waste.

  29. Here are a few things off the top of my head.

    - Hung four loads of laundry on the clothes line
    - Enjoyed two dozen eggs that was given to us
    - Ate tomatoes from our garden
    - Went to the library and checked out books. While at the library I picked up a dozen free magazines from the magazine swap box. I will take them back up there when I am done with them.
    - Went to a thrift store and found a book for myself, a new math workbook for my younger daughter and a book on the US states to use for homeschooling. Each book was 50 cents.
    - While at the thrift store I found a new still sealed puzzle for $2. It is very cute and will be a Christmas gift for my oldest daughter.
    - Used a free sample of contact solution all week (and still have 1/2 the bottle left)
    - Turn the a/c off and have started opening the windows.

    I'm sure there is more but. that is all I can think of right now.

  30. I love the picture!!! This week I started working more hours at my church - a quick decision made when the job was offered to me. It is temporary (a grant) but we need the $$ for my son's college expenses. It does cut into my hours at home, though, so I am going to have to be extra careful not to make it "cost" to work!! Therefore, I cooked in the crock pot, only ate out of the freezer and pantry, attended a women's dinner/annual meeting but did not eat the dinner so did not have to pay to attend, planned a detailed errand route to save gas, time, and $$ - all my purchases were very good deals on items we stockpile such as toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. This past weekend I attended a district retreat and did not pay again - stayed at a friend's home, took my food and drink and only had to pay the $3 registration fee. I was not planning to spend anything there except I found some great deals on items to use for Christmas gifts so I bought those (at the gift shop at the retreat). I am going to buy when I see things to save time, money and $$ on holiday expenses since I will not have the time to make as much as I would like nor the time/gas/energy to shop around. I also listed some items on eBay and cleaned out more for a yard sale.

  31. Awesome picture of the pirates!

    I got a free sample of diapers in the mail. I will give them to a co-worker who just had a baby or donate them to our local food shelf.

    I got a free paring knife during a giveaway at the grocery store.

    I bought several items during the daily rock bottom sale at the grocery store.

    I'm starting to set aside items for gifts for the holidays and holiday baking.

    Like others mentioned, we are not running the A/C and have only had to turn on the heat twice at night.

    Have a good week Brandy!


  32. *Canned 16 half pints of carrot cake jam with the abundance of carrots from my produce coop. These will be given as holiday gifts.

    *Roasted and froze yellow peppers that were extras from produce coop

    *Baked all our bread last week (3 loaves)

    *Found jeans for my 9yo son at Goodwill

    *Refashioned a too-large shirt for my son

    *My neighbors had a large tree cut down, I got several wheel barrows full of wood chips for free to use on my garden paths

    *Helped my daughter knit a baby present for her teacher

    *Used my family zoo membership to take extended family to the zoo -- saving over $80. The membership has paid for itself many times over.

  33. Last week, after buying a double Bob stroller on Craigslist for $80, i went through our house and garage and found 17 things that were just clutter to us, so i put them on Craigslist to sell. So far, 10 things have sold, and I have made $175!

  34. Wow! I just stumbled across your blog and I'm going to bookmark it. I'm interested in sensible frugality. By the way, that's a great looking band of pirates.

    1. I'm glad you're here! My blog is a faily new addition; make sure to check out my website for much more!

  35. Love, love, love those pirates! Such an adorable picture.

    This week, I gleaned a large bag of pears from a friend's tree, made a batch of granola bars, and sent some outgrown winter clothes to ThredUp (an online kids' clothing consigner). Hopefully they'll pay well and that money will go toward Christmas.

  36. I listed my accomplishments here on my blog: Thank you thank you for doing this every week. I can't tell you how it encourages and challenges me!


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