I stayed home all week except for Saturday, when I left to go garage sale shopping with my mom (she drove). We hit up a couple of community garage sales as well as a rummage sale.

I went with a list of needed items and Christmas gift ideas. I found several books for the children that I will use as Christmas gifts. I also found 3 other items for the children for Christmas. My daughter mentioned that she wants to learn to knit; I bought her a large pair of knitting needles and a skein of yard for .50. I found a small quilt for another daughter for $5, so I won’t be making her a blanket for Christmas. I bought a 1000 piece puzzle for my grandmother’s Christmas gift for $1.

I received some hand-me-downs from a reader, that included several of the clothing items that were on my list. Only one of the many sales that we visited even had children’s clothing, so I was very glad to get some needed items!

I cut zinnias and Thai basil from the garden and put them in these vintage blue canning jars that I found at one garage sale. I know the old blue jars go for a lot. I bought them for $1 each.

I made homemade Greek yogurt.

I went through some hand-me-downs that we had been given for my daughter. I had her try on the dresses that were also one size up, and to my surprise, they almost all fit! She will now have plenty of cold-weather clothing for this year, without me having to sew any for her, except for something for church. This will free up so much time for me. I still need to make some things for her for warm weather, which is the other 9 months of the year. One of the items didn’t fit right at all (a strange cut) and I am going to re purpose it.

I cut out a winter church dress for her using fabric that was recently given to me.

I cut out a pair of shoes for my daughter using some of the same fabric. I’ll be writing about these more soon.

It rained last week (it even hailed twice one night!). We get so little rain here, and we got quite a bit. I was able to turn the water off to the garden for several days. It cooled things off so much that we were able to to turn off the a/c for most of the week (though we will have to run it again this next week, as it will be in the upper 8o’s again).

My mom has the same floor plan, and lives next door to me. I found out that my gas bill was exactly $9.99 more than hers for this last month. We both have gas cooking, gas water heaters, gas heat, and gas dryers. She does 4 loads of laundry a week; I do 22 extra-large loads. I cook all meals at home and I cook larger amounts. I use my oven (which is larger than hers; we changed ours) almost every day. She usually has a cold breakfast, while we have a cooked breakfast most days (unless we’re having yogurt). She also eats out a lot (so she doesn’t use the stove as much). I have 9 people to bathe, where she has just 2. I also did some canning last month. Seeing that our difference for 7 more people is only $9.99 a month (even on a canning month), I will continue to use my dryer to dry laundry, because it is costing me very, very little to run. I already knew it was a small amount, but so many people have asked why I don’t line-dry my laundry. Now you can see why I do not, in addition to the time I save hanging so much laundry, the cost of lines and poles, allergies, dust storms, and the time I would need to spend ironing. My amount of gas used for canning is also very small, so canning food in season also is a great money-saver.

I bought no food this week.

A friend gave me 4 dozen eggs this week from her friend who raises chickens. She has a smaller family and couldn’t use all of them.

I watched one free show on Hulu this week.

I received a free copy of Martha Stewart Living magazine in the mail as part of my free subscription.

My husband wore a shirt that was given to us. A family who was moving out of state earlier this year gave us the last of the things they weren’t moving to add to our garage sale earlier this year. Among those things were a few long-sleeved shirts in just my husband’s size, in like-new condition. He didn’t have any long-sleeved shirts, so this was a great blessing. It’s not cold enough for him to wear a long-sleeved shirt very often, but the cooler weather this week had him bring it out.

What did you do to save money this week? Did you purchase any used items for Christmas gifts?

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  1. This week we had a youth rally at church and there were smoked boston butts for lunch. There were lots of left overs and we had one given to us. I brought it home and seperated it for three meals and froze the meat to be used later.I continued to use lettuce and kale from my garden, saving several dollars.My aunt gave me a washer and dryer (it’s only about 4 years old) I will replace my much older washer and dryer with it.I cooked all of our meals at home and we only went to town on one day to grocery shop and hit the library.My mom gave me at least 20 pounds of deer meat that I will grind and make deer jerky out of.I have had several bags of clothes given to me for my daughter. We picked out enough stuff for a winter wardrobe and most of her church outfits and I bagged up the rest and the clothes that she had outgrown, now I can bless someone else with four large bags of clothes and shoes.A lady at our church gave my husband 5 pairs of pants. This was a wonderful blessing because he needed pants and the Lord provided!I ran out of fabric softener so I am using vinegar and a few drops of essential oil right now.I am actively planning for christmas by using pinterest for tons of ideas on homemade gifts. I will hit the goodwill on a half price day to stock up on baskets to make gifts for my family.My mom bought a box of apples from a nearby orchard at Krogers (where she works) for 6.00. She is giving me most of them so I will dehydrate some, eat some and make sauce with the rest. God is always faithful to provide for our needs!

  2. I was so excited to get my front-loader. It was the first ‘nice’ washer and dryer (matching, no less!!) that I have had. I HATE it. I honestly just wish for it to go out so I can go back to a top-loader. Okay, I don’t actually wish for it to go out, because there are so many other things we need to buy, but I will be glad to be rid of it.

  3. Penelope, I hang sheets over open doors. Be sure to wipe off the top of the door. They dry overnight. King size may not work.ruthellen

  4. I’ve enjoyed reading all of these comments -such good ideas this week! A few of the frugal things I’ve done last two weeksI making a cake for wedding this weekend in lieu of a present (used coupons and sales to get good deals on the ingredients)Accepted Mom’s sewing machine – works so much better than mine.Accepted two Acorn squash from church- found a recipe for a pie online.Embroided a pillowcase with daughter’s name on it for Christmas (thanks Brandy for letting me know how) (I hope to do a pillowcase set for my other daughter as well)Have a great week Vickie

  5. Eleanor, when I use powdered milk, I add a teaspoon of sugar to each quart. You could also add a small amount of vanilla. Or just use powdered milk to cook and bake with. I buy my powdered milk from the LDS dry pack cannery and it dissolves really good and tastes better than the milk in boxes. You can also make sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, yogurt, cream soup mix, hot chocolate mix and many more dry mixes using powdered milk. I also use it on cereal, granola or cooked oatmeal. Hope that helps! Teri

  6. Thanks for the ideas! I’ll try them out. I already have a rod in the laundry room, but the suggestion reminded me of another place I have and could expand. That door idea should help out too! I’ve also been thinking about something I saw on Pinterest that should work really well. Instead of the Dept of missing socks use, I’ll just hang socks on a line across my laundry counter. I just need to get more clothes pins.Really appreciate it all!Penelope

  7. Jillbert,We just replaced a ge profile dryer that was a lemon. We still have the old dryer. Would you like me to send you a knob off it? It might fit. If yes, please email at pgcruce at aol.com

  8. Brandy,Thank you for so many wonderful ideas over the years. I was ableget Christmas gifts for all the kids in our family for very littlemoney in the after Christmas sales we bought matching gloves, hats,and mittens and socks for 90% off at the dollar spot at target so 40 cents foreach child then in the summer we found stockings at michaels for 10 cents and some tiny wooden games for 10 cents each each child will have great stockings for under a dollar. I went through my gift box this week to make sure I had something for everyone and I did. I finished taking little surveys for magazines and all the adults willget a magazine subscription. I will make a few food gifts for people at church. Brandy thank you so much for the idea about the bread.I will buy a large bag of flour this weekend. I have the money saved because we are eating out of the freezer. Brandy I won a $10.00 dollar Dollar general gift card but we do not have one hear in San diego.I would love to send it to you. If you have a use for it. I think you have those stores in Las Vegas.Have a blessed week.Patti from San Diego pattisdeals at yahoo dot comPs I am using my daughters google account this to post a wonderful gift for under 1 dollar.

  9. 🙂 That’s a positive spin! I don’t truly wish for it to go out, of course, but they (at least the one I got) don’t clean well, have issues with vibration and you can’t soak in them. I definitely think you made the right choice going top-load style.

  10. We continued to try to turn the furnace on only at night. I used a coupon to get a loaf of french bread for $0.49. My son went camping over the weekend with his Boy Scout troop so the rest of the family had main dishes for dinner that he doesn’t like plus we used meat from the freezer. I found $2.00 and added it to my gas money. I know that $2.00 isn’t much but I didn’t have a lot of money to spend for gas and every little bit helps!I spent time organizing my coupons in a waiting room instead of reading old magazines.We had to have my husband’s vehicle repaired but it turned out to be something minor so it was less expensive than we thought it was going to be!Have a good week Brandy! Jill

  11. Love reading everyone else’s comments to get ideas!! You all inspire me, and I hope I can do the same. This week, we:-Made potato leek soup with our home grown potatoes and leeks that were given to me from my mother from her farm share. It was delicious, and there was enough for dinner and a few lunches.-Found coupons that made for free yogurt, so I “bought” twenty of them. With the amount that my boys eat, they will be long gone before the expiration dates, and I may be able to eat a few of them myself.-Went to the library and took out books and DVDs. We cancelled our cable awhile ago to save money and our son has really been missing Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the Disney channel. Luckily, our library had a few of them on DVD, so we were able to watch it with him for free. I also snagged a few cookbooks.-Unfortunately, our crock pot crock cracked a few days ago. Not sure what happened to it, but I have been using it very frequently lately, at least twice a week. I was worried we were going to have to invest in a whole new one, but my boyfriend found out that we could just order a new crock for it, which is only $15 with free shipping. He ordered one, and I am relieved that we didn’t have to spend $50 on a totally new one.-Planned two weeks of meals and we are sticking to it, without spending too much money on fresh groceries.

  12. You can often find crock pots at second hand stores. We have two including larger one from a charity run resale store.

  13. We have also bought crockpots at thrift stores & yard sales. I prefer to buy at thrift stores so you can plug it in to test it, but sometimes they have an outdoor plug you can use to test at yard sales, too. – Marivene

  14. We have been trying not to use the furnace at all, too. I time any baking for early morning or late evening, so the oven heat does double duty, & I also do “blind patrol” opening & closing the blinds for the heat from the sun. – Marivene

  15. We love crabapple sauce, butter & jelly, too. I put up a bunch last year from gleaned crabapples & everyone liked it. We still have some, which is good, since there were none available to glean this year. – Marivene

  16. Just wondering, do you feel housebound in a bad way during the week? I have a 3 yr old and 8 month old and find i need a few “friend” interactions during the week or else i get snappy with the 3 yr old and also start to get kinda depressed. Or maybe your kids are old enough where they can provide some of that interaction for you? Christie

  17. Never. I belong to a couple of homeschool forums, so that helps with adult converstaions. Since I’m typing, I don’t have to worrry about children being loud (like I do on the phone. In fact, I find that having a conversation on the phone is VERY difficult with the interruptions and noise at my house).Going outside in the yard, or even to the mailbox, helps me with the need to get OUTSIDE. I don’t have to go somewhere and spend money on gas and other things. I get more done by staying home. I do like to go outside alone for a few minutes when it’s quiet just to help myself.I also find that getting part of my hobbies done each day helps ward off depression.Have you read my Encouragement page? If you haven’t, here is a direct link. http://theprudenthomemaker.com/index.php/frugal-living/encouragement

  18. It was very difficult for me to adjust to being home full-time. Starting with high school, I was out of the house nearly every day for 15 years. If you have the financial means, give yourself time to adjust by continuing to hang out with friends, but like Brandy suggested, try to get outside!

  19. Thanks for your responses! Since being home more (i stopped working full time 4 months ago) is pretty new to me, it is the friend interactions that seem to help me the most. I have two girl friends very close by to me with young kids as well, so i try to be intentional about setting up time with them each week. I also just got a great double stroller that is helping also. My hobbies are reading, gardening and cooking. Some days i get to them, some days it’s too busy with house chores and general child rearing. It’s just an adjustment :-)Christie

  20. It’s hard to get a lot done when you have a baby and a 3-year-old. Plus, if you’re new at being ahome full-time, then it will be a change. I quit working full-time a month before I was married, so by the time my oldest was 3 and I had 3 children at home, I was used to being home.What a wonderful job you have now!

  21. Toasting pumpkin seeds is pretty easy. Clean off any large piece of orange “gunk”, but don’t worry about getting everything off. Place the seeds in a saucepan, just barely cover with hot water ( I zap a glass measuring cup full of water in the microwave to eat it) & add a tsp of salt per cup of seeds. Keep at a low boil for 10 mins, then drain. To dry toast, spread the seeds on an ungreased cookie sheet & bake at 400 for long enough to lightly brown them. They will puff up, & it doesn’t take long. If you prefer to brown with a little oil, which works better if you are adding seasonings – it helps the seasonings “stick”, then LIGHTLY oil the pan, & toss the seeds until they pick up most of it, before adding the seasoning, & bake as above until browned. Yummy. -Marivene

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