I bought no food or toiletries this week.

I made two baby bibs (drool bibs) using fabric that I had on hand.

I repurposed part of a sheet to make my daughter’s Greek costume (an Ionic chiton). On the bottom edge of the chiton, I sewed some trim that had been given to me.

I made a barrette for the baby with satin from a repurposed shirt that was given to me, hand-me-down felt, some embroidery thread, and a little barrette that I had on hand.

I cut zinnias, basil flowers, rosemary, grape vines, and apple branches to make floral arrangements twice this week from my garden to decorate the table when I spoke. In the meantime we got to enjoy the first one, and now we are enjoying the second one. The zinnias have been really great in the garden; I think I should grow more of them (in other colors, too) next year.

I made a decision to make a slideshow for my presentations this week, rather than making new posters, which saved me a lot of money, and worked out better in the long run, because I could use lots of images from my website when I spoke.

After I spoke on Saturday, I was able to bring home leftover chicken, lettuce, and potatoes. I am really excited to have lettuce, as mine keeps getting eaten down to nothing in the garden.

Friday night we had dinner at a church event. I was asked to take home some leftover rolls for my family to eat.

I made rosemary olive oil bread (with fresh rosemary both times I made it!) and citrus dressing this week.

I watched several shows for free on Hulu this week. The children watched several shows on You Tube while I was speaking.

I cut the buttons off of one of my daughter’s worn blouses and saved them to use on another project.

My husband got the scooter running. He worked on it this week a few times, and he still has more work to do, but he was able to take it a couple of days. Each time he takes it to work, it saves him $5 in gas. He also used it to run two short errands. Though they were close (one mile away) it still saved on gas for those trips, and that was nice, too.

I picked Aremenian cucumbers and rosemary from the garden.

I repurposed part of a bag that my mom gave to us (which was too small for our purposes) to use the velcro and the strap and rings to sew onto my husband’s laptop bag (which I had previously made for him). He was able to take his laptop to work while riding the scooter because of the changes.

What have you done this week to save money?

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  1. Thanks as ever, Brandy! Glad to hear the talks went well. Using the computer for presentations is definitely the way to go – no cost, and very easy to update.My accomplishments -Packed lunch 4 days.Library books!Made Brandy’s cranberry-almond granola, substituting dried apricots for the cranberries. Delicious – I’ve been eating it over yogurt all week.Brought home some lovely leftovers from a reception at work. Crudités were distributed among the freezer, a stir-fry, and lunches; olives will be pizza topping and snacks; the kids and I ate the cookies; and the gyoza (Japanese dumplings) never had a chance. Yum. Our weekend project was decluttering the boys’ room. Went through their old Thomas the Tank Engine toys and DVDs together and will put them up on eBay. We’ll split the proceeds with the kids and use the balance towards new storage for the toys that are left, and new desks. Sorted out other toys and books, organized them, and set aside many for donation, and made a start on the same for clothes.There’s more to do on this project (the stuffed animal pile has yet to be tackled), but we made progress. Now that we’ve cleared out the excess and know what we’re working with, I’ll be scouting Craigslist for desks (homework) and bins (Lego storage, yikes). Actually took the outgrown clothes and toys out of the house to a local charity. A few toys and a table/chair set in very good shape were donated to the kids old daycare.Rocked the coupons this week and saved 50% on my grocery bill. Replaced the boys’ old, battered sandwich boxes with new ones – unsquished sandwiches are more likely to be eaten and save plastic bags.Hope everyone has a lovely week!

  2. Hi Brandy, Happy Monday. This week, I was not as productive as last week. -trimmed my own hair-crochet a tiny blue hat for my newest nephew born on Saturday. I hope to be meeting him later this week when I drop off a supper for them. -was able to set back up my dining table in the house. Got it all cleaned up & washed my mom’s lace tablecloth for a visit from my oldest daughter. Supper was great, and she left with a bag of goodies from my pantry/stockpile to help her through the week. -shopped only once for groceries at the 5 for $5 sale and was able to save 90% overall and with coupons. -had dinner at a friend’s house rather than meeting them at a restaurant. Hope you all have a happy & healthy week ~ Julie2

  3. My gosh, brilliant designs, brilliant sewing, beautiful photos. You’d have a six figure income as a features editor at a home decorating and cooking magazine, but I understand the intention to stay home and educate the kids yourself. I’m just sayin’.

  4. I have the job I’ve always wanted. I quit work a month before I was married. I enjoy being a homemaker.I am doing the most important job I could ever do, raising my children. No amount of money is more important, and certainly not more fulfilling.I get to hear my children read, watch my baby smile, see her try to crawl each step of the way, hear my children’s giggles all day, teach them to cook and enjoy their company. I teach them to pray, eat lunch with them every single day, and get lots of hugs and kisses. I get to push them on our swings, hold their hands, introduce them to new foods, dance with them, listen to them practice the piano, read stories to them. I sew for them, and not for a magazine.

  5. If you buy them through the link to the right, Brandy gets a small percentage of the purchase, & it doesn’t cost you any more. Just sayin’… – Marivene

  6. I used my new skill of cooking beans and made refried beans that I used in my enchiladas. Also, my girls and I went out on a girls weekend (which did not save money), but we went to Savers and bought used clothing for all of us. Almost two years ago when we made a major move as a family we stopped at a mall and one of my daughers was obsessed with the idea that she needed a very expensive jacket from a name brand store. So two and a half years later this same daughter is nt very much converted to thrift store shopping and the thrill of finding cute used items for a lot less. So you can see this is a huge thing for our family.

  7. I’ve seen a couple of references to fabric softener this week. I stopped using it a while back and use white vinegar instead. Amount used=same as you would use for normal fabric softener. Use in HE machine with no problems or smells.On a different topic, I also now use soap to lather up my legs for shaving rather than shaving cream…works wonderfully.I don’t miss fabric softener or shaving cream!

  8. Brandy, I believe Blissdoubt was complimenting your skills, not questioning your choice. I know I feel the same way about your pictures but also understand why you made your choice to be a SAHM even though I have never met you. I admire you for that, for not going the easy way and getting food stamps,etc. I can’t speak for Blissdoubt but if she is reading I bet she feels a lot like that too.

  9. Inexpensive hair conditioner is wonderful for shaving your legs. It leaves the legs very soft and is less expensive than shaving cream – think Suave on sale or any stuff in your toiletries closet that you bought but don’t use. No need for lotion afterwards, at least not for me, and my legs don’t itch.

  10. Thanks, Laura. It is what it is and after nearly 7 yearas in the nursing home and a couple years before that, you adapt because there is no other choice.

  11. Correct, Mari. I’m always in awe of Brandy’s skills, not just at coming up with meals and clothing and gift designs, but the execution, the home decorating, the photography, the perfection!Brandy, I wasn’t questioning your choices! If you were an editor at Martha Stewart Living, I probably would never have encountered your incredible gifts, since I don’t buy magazines.

  12. I was mistaken..the book I have is called Tasha Tudor’s Heirloom Crafts. I just looked at the other Tasha book on Amazon…I have never seen that one before, but I am sure it is charming. Anything done by Tasha is wonderful…it got 5 stars on Amazon and was only $8

  13. Last year I went to pick up a pizza and ended up with a speeding ticket for $126. My father still teases me about that being the most expensive pizza I’ve ever eaten!

  14. Thanks Laura!I found it on Amazon too and I was a little bit disappointed because I couldn’t ‘look inside’. Ordering from Amazon isn’t an option just now, so I guess I have to be patient :-)I have had Heirloom Crafts from library and I have The Private Life of Tasha Tudor on my bookself.

  15. My Mom gave us two coupons to use at one of our favorite restaurants.I used my gas rewards from a grocery store to save $0.30/gal.When I received the electric bill, I was very happy to see that it had a one time $25.00 credit plus they lowered our monthly budget amount by $30.00/month compared to last year. I am still trying to run the furnace only at night. However, it is October and I live in Minnesota so I know that we will be running the furnace all the time soon.The state Department of Natural Resources asked homeowners to stop watering their lawns since most of the state is experiencing a drought. Thanks to the comments on this blog, I collected a little bit of rainwater and used it to water a very dry spot in my front yard.I was able to double several coupons at the grocery store.I bought three pounds of hamburger for $1.88/lb, four packages of chicken breasts for $1.99/lb and several pounds of apples for $0.88/lb at the grocery store.We finished a big project at work so the managers bought lunch for everyone!I wrote down our birthday and Christmas budget for this year. All of our birthdays fall between November 15th and January 15th so it is a very expensive time of the year for us. I also wrote down some gift ideas using free items that I already have. I received a free birthday card and free address labels (did have to pay for shipping) in the mail.Brandy, thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures of your projects and your sweet baby!Jill

  16. We had a great week this week! We cleaned out my son’s room completely and pulled out a lot of toys that he hasn’t played with in a long time. His birthday was a few weeks ago and Christmas is coming, so we wanted to clean out before we add even more (he has very generous grandparents!). Now, this may not have been frugal, but I get a large sense of accomplishment and satisfaction every time I go up the stairs and see a clean room! We also:-Used coupons to get five free burritos. My boyfriend will eat them when he comes home from work at night. I base a lot of my grocery shopping around the coupons that are available to save us money.-Accepted my mother’s farm share for the week while she was out on vacation. We got a reusable bag FULL of veggies for free. It was really a blessing for my family as we have been able to make several meals with these.-Saved all the water from water warming up for dishes and showers to use in the washer. The water can take awhile to warm up this time of year, I can often save a couple gallons in one day!-Re-purposed some old gladware bowls that I was going to recycle to use as cat bowls. I needed some new ones, and this will help me hold off buying them for awhile. I also found a local store where I can order my cat’s food at wholesale prices in bulk, so I am saving myself money there as well. -We are in that wonderful time of year where we are not using the AC or the heat. But, since we are in VT, I know this good luck will not last much longer. I would not be surprised if we got snow in the next month or so!

  17. I have a funny egg story. I was cleaning the basement and realized that I needed to get some eggs for a potluck item that I needed to prepare that night for the next day. It was late, I was tired, and I figured I woudl not see anyone at the store, so I dashed in wearing a shirt that was ripped and pants that were not much better (and my hair was wild). As I walked up the to the egg case, there was a man there from a local farm stocking the case. He took a look at me and whispered, “Here, I have some coupons for free eggs that I sometimes give out. You look like you could use them.” I stammered that I could afford the eggs so he should give the coupon to someone else. He said, “There is no shame in accepting a little help. You take them.” So, I walked out with 4 dozen free eggs and put him on my prayer list for being such a kind man. And I dressed better next time I went to the store!

  18. I have sewn and used a lot of baby bibs, have tried ties, pullover style with ribbing at the neck and velcro. The ties can get knots in them, velcro gets full of lint.Buttons are the simplest and best closure for bibs.Even my older toddler grands wear bibs at my house- bibs save on stains and laundry so they are a frugal must in my book.

  19. “trimmed” – as in pruned, or decorated? Either way, lucky you to have a hubbie who did it! – Marivene

  20. “Rescued” 4 pumpkins from the side of the road. We live out in the country near lots of farmers and they occasionally lose produce (pumpkins, tomatoes, watermelon, corn, etc.) off their wagons and never come back to retrieve them because sometimes they bust when they fall off and/or bruised so they don’t want them as they will spoil faster. Free food for the stopping and picking up. We get free food this way every year. I either make pumpkin butter, can the pumpkin, or use in bread making, etc. That brings our total to 7 pumpkins we have found so far this fall. Also found a chick feeder beside the road near one of the pumpkins. I’m not adverse to picking up buckets, baskets, and more along side the road when we see them because we can use them for our little homestead.Other frugal things:washed dishes by hand with free after coupon dish soap bought months ago (double coupon store)cooked from scratchcombined trips to save on gas, etc.cut the boys’ hair and saved a lot of money there being as there are 4 boyscleaned the home with homemade cleaners — not only frugal but healthierdehydrated some peppers that were given to usprice matched at Walmart instead of driving 30 minutes out of the way to the store with the sale itemsdehydrated lemon peels after hubby used them to squeeze juice into his water. Once dry, I’ll grind in food processor to make grated lemon peel for baking, etc.made two gallons of kombucha – this saves us quite a bit of money seeing as a bottle of it in the stores are around $3 and moreaccepted some free clothes, shoes, and more for the familyprobably more just can’t remember it all

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