I used the iron filings from a project my husband worked on to fertilize the blueberry bushes in my garden.

I potted two chaste tree seedlings that were growing in my garden to give as gifts. I also potted an oregano seedling to give as a gift.

I harvested Royal apricots, Green Gage plums, Dorsett Golden apples, a few grapes that ripened early, blackberries, tomatoes, spinach, a handful of red noodle beans, chives, basil, and thyme from the garden. I cut two large bunches of oregano for drying.

I pruned my bay laurel and dried the leaves (bay leaves).

I cut out the fabric to make a purse using a scrap of fabric that I had.

I watched part of a food photography class for free on Creative Live.

Winter was asked on Friday to help serve food at a wedding reception on Saturday night. She went and received dinner and dessert for her time.

I converted my survey points from Pinecone Research for cash and used a bit of it to purchase an embroidery pattern on Etsy.

I used two 40% off coupons to Joann’s to buy some fabric to make myself a dress and to purchase some new sewing pins. I also purchased some fabric on clearance to use for a dress.

I used a $10 off $10 coupon at Kohl’s to purchase a small offset spatula (on sale) and some lollipop/cake pop sticks (on clearance) for $0 out of pocket.

I did not purchase any food this week. This makes three weeks of not grocery shopping. Nevertheless, we added food to our pantry and freezer, in addition to enjoying fresh food from the garden.

I canned 6 pints of pickled beets. I had two beets from my own garden and the rest were from my friend’s garden that I was watching while she was gone (these were in the fridge all last week). She insisted that I take beets to can. When she came home, she canned the rest of the beets from her garden, and said that she has more than she needs for the year in her pantry now.

We butchered the chickens that we bought for meat several months ago (the money for these and their feed came from our grocery budget). These were kept at the same friend’s house. We butchered their chickens too. We also butchered some old hens from a friend who is moving and no longer wanted the expense of feed, so she gave us her hens. We butchered the last 10 more hens this morning.

I froze some of the blackberries from our garden.

I made two kitchen towels for my brother for a wedding gift, using a large flour sack towel that I purchased last year for $1 (it’s huge, so I divided it into two towels, hemmed the egdes, and transferred free bird silhouettes (that I printed from The Graphics Fairy) using Citra Solv onto them. I have plans for another gift to go with this one.

My nephew (the one whose state championship game I recently attended with my husband) played in an all-star lacrosse game in another state on Saturday. My husband and I were able to watch his game live on YouTube! I didn’t know that YouTube had this capability; there was a countdown to the game starting, and then it was just like watching the game on television, with announcers, multiple camera angles, and the score on the bottom of the screen. They were down by 7 in the first half of the game, but won 20-15! My nephew was given the MVP title for the game, making 3 goals and 2 assists. I enjoyed watching him play miles away, live from our computer! (I cannot help but wonder how many other games are able to be viewed this way now!)

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. Beth, in fall when I have lots of eggplant I chop them up and cook them with a bit of oil and equal amounts chopped bell peppers, onions…a little salt and pepper and soy sauce. I pack them into 2 cup freezer containers for adding to pasta sauce, using as layers in lasagna. The eggplants become very “meat like” and work as a great meat substitute. Eggplant is also easily added to Indian and Thai curries and to stir fries. For stir frys I use the smaller sizes and cut them in half and then in very thin semi circles.

  2. Love the inspiration and ideas I get each week from this post. A real pick me up when I am suffering from “frugal fatigue.”Frugal accomplishments from the past week: I scoured Pinterest for ideas to make an end of the year teacher gift. Found a great free printable of a tree that you place the children’s fingerprints on as leaves. The teachers loved them.We ate a lot from our freezer and pantry. This saved money on the grocery bill which went towards a date night for my birthday. Babysitting was free thanks to my wonderful SIL’s. Also made a double batch of homemade sweet tea with tea bags I found tucked in the back of a cabinet.Spent a bit of time working in the garden we share with my mother. Harvested green onions and used them in a few meals.I was gifted 4 bags of clothes for my boys from my SIL. Went through and sorted them by size and season. It is such a blessing. I only have to buy them sandals and sneakers for the summer.I spent time researching activities at area libraries for us to take my almost 4 year old to. Found lots of fun events coming up that will be great (magician, movie, ocean animals, reptiles, and more) These are all in the evening so it can provide some one on one time with either my husband or myself. Marked them on the calendar to ensure we don’t miss them.Was gifted several bottles of stain remover which is perfect since my 2 year old has decided his shirt and hair make a great napkin!Got some coffee samples in the mail.Have a wonderful week everyone.

  3. A few weeks ago I lost a source of free groceries:( Our local grocer had a policy of fining out of date items and getting an in date item free, they are no longer doing that. Thankfully I read the signs(figuratively) that pointed towards this happening several months ago and I have been working on cooking more from scratch and making more cleaners. I also have a decent stockpile so while we may have less variety we will be okay.One example is I used to get free bread sticks and free crescent rolls that I would use when I made spaghetti, last night I made bread sticks from scratch. Everyone loved them:D I am also making our sandwich bread, and pizza crust’s, spaghetti sauce etc. I also started using a food co-op so we are eating more fresh vegetables, and I get a better price on some bulk items. This week I got cherries for $2 a lb, normally they are between $5 and $8 so we just don’t eat cherries. It’s a splurge, as long as I don’t do that often it will work out:D I am also getting apples for .58# I never get them for less than .98# .

  4. I asked this question to a Kohl’s manager once because I were curious. I have a Kohl’s charge and never receive the $10 off $10 coupons, but my husband’s grandfather does (he doesn’t have a card). The manager told me that they are mainly sent to people who don’t have a Kohl’s charge as an incentive to shop there, but that they sometimes give the post office a stack of coupons without addresses and request that the post office “randomly distribute”. My mom, sister, 3 sisters-in-law, and mother-in-law all have a Kohl’s charge, and we’ve noticed that the coupons we get are not the same. For example, I might get a full magazine with 2 $ off coupons plus a % coupon, where someone else only gets a postcard with a % coupon. I think it is mostly random and luck determines what you end up with 🙂 That being said, it doesn’t hurt to be friendly with your postal service worker!

  5. Life is settling down. The wedding (5-24) was lovely. All went well.. weather was beautiful and dry, so all who tented and RVed did not get rained on. We held the reception at church because we have a very nice very large fellowship hall on the first floor that opens out to a big grassy courtyard where we set up more tables. With lots of help the food was all baked, cooked and fixed up on time. They made one switch of wanting sloppy joes as thought maybe too messy for a wedding and went with turkey and ham for the buns. So we cooked those up earlier in the week and a friend with a slicer took care of getting all the meat sliced and ready and it was served on the same buns we were going to use for the sloppy joes. We made a pasta salad similar to your museum salad, but without meat in it.Other big change over the last month is my husband quit side job he used to do. The owner wanted his pilots to buy in so he could retire and he decided he just didn’t want to do that anymore. Now that we have my nephew in the woodworking business we can increase jobs in that area, and take on bigger jobs. Nephew has moved into garage apartment (he’s same age as youngest girl) and often joins us for dinner. No longer have my brother in law living with us as after the wedding he went to another sibling’s.Cooked all from scratch..can’t remember everything over last month. Used up the ends of the frozen fruits and vegetables to be ready for the new crops. Made rhubarb upside down cake, rhubarb crisp, peach and blueberry kuchen, cherry pie, pumkin ice cream pie. Have broiled lots of asparagus from our new crop. Made shish kabob twice, hummus several times, meat loaf once, tuna macaroni salad twice. Broccoli quiche. Did a lot of mending. Cut up undershirts for rags. Sold unneeded books. Husband fixed dishwasher…minor clog. We’re thinking of getting a new refrigerator…the temperature still is fluctuating too much and don’t want a fail this summer. Cut and dried chives. Took overwintered geraniums from basement and put around patio and they’ve sprouted nicely. The girls pulled over 90 pounds of rhubarb, selling much of it at the farmstand. Picked about 30 pounds of asparagus, most of which we ate or gave to my mother. Put 4 pints bags of cut “tough” ends into freezer for use as asparagus soup later on. Froze 12 quart bags of rhubarb for pies etc later. My patio garden is doing nicely and is very easy to keep up with. I mentioned in the past that my oldest girl has taken over all our other gardens so now we just have the raised bed and pots in the front of my house. It is nice, really, I did enough gardening for so many years and am enjoying my “free” time. I have lettuces, carrots, radishes, spinach, and a variety of herbs. I know everyone raves about chard and kale, but I only feel so-so about them. All the salad stuff. I want to try the green onions in a pot…I have done them in water in the past. I started most of the things toward end of May as last frost is 5-15. We had frost on 5-16 this year, but light. My root cellar is basically empty, will clean and air out for fall.I can’t remember any special deals I found at the store…just normal stuff, double coupons occasionally. They had a special on strawberries a qt for 3.00 so I made strawberry shortcake one day. I bought a set of needle threaders for my mother at Joann and the clerk showed me how to sign up for coupons on my iphone and then gave me a discount on the threaders (which were only 1.99 to begin with). Picked up my free drink at Starbucks, also with iphone coupon. Watched HULU, read a lot, watched a HULU movie, THE AMISH, A SECRET LIFE. My husband was raised in the Amish, BTW, but he and his family left when he was 16 (he is the oldest). We have little contact with his extended family, only his siblings/family and 2 bachelor uncles that live up in the northwoods. Lots of Amish around here.Brandi, congratulations on your successful chicken project.

  6. I love the idea of making bay leaf wreaths!! What a wonderful and useful gift! I might have to add a bay laurel tree to my list of landscaping “wants” 🙂

  7. I, too, will not commit seedling murder! I am lucky and know several people that will take my extras. I stopped shampooing my hair daily and only shampoo/condition 2 to 3 times per week now. I will rinse it when I shower daily. I stopped coloring my hair two years ago also. I have very healthy hair now. i also make my own hair gel and hairspray from all natural ingredients. Your hair will thank you!

  8. Brandy and Elizabeth – *thank you so much!!* I’m not sure if it’s my insomnia / sleep deprivation (??) or what, but today while doing laundry, I was trying to figure out what to do with the 4 pairs of jeans our youngest DS has put holes in the knees. I had already patched/mended several other pairs, but I was thinking that it’s too hot for jeans right now, but come fall when it’s jeans weather here, his legs will be too long for the jeans but the waists will still probably fit. Apparently, the idea of making the jeans into jean shorts never occurred to me. Seriously. Perfect solution for the summer and beginning month of next school year. Thank you!!!!! Heidi

  9. http://www.swagbucks.com. You complete activities like internet searches, watching videos, completing surveys, playing games, and completing special offers in exchange for swagbucks, which can be traded in for gift cards and merchandise. For 450 swagbucks, you can get a $5 Amazon gift card, up to 5 a month (other gift cards have no limit but the Amazon ones are discounted). They have lots of different gift card options – Target, Kohls, Starbucks, etc. I do it quite a bit because I complete activities throughout the day on several devices (smart phone, tablet, computer) so I get 150 – 200 swagbucks a day. If you get an assigned certain amount (usually 90 – 110) daily then they give you bonus swagbucks at the end of the month.

  10. – Called the insurance company on a recent claim they sent us that seemed really high. A simple 10 minute phone call saved us $358! I would have never thought to call the company to dispute a claim before I started reading this blog, but if it seems like the numbers aren’t right, the company is happy to have the coders take a second look for you. – I hosted a “girl’s night” with my sisters-in-law and a family friend. I served chocolate covered strawberries (with chocolate I had on hand and strawberries I bought at $0.50/lb), cheese (previously bought on sale), and Brandy’s Rosemary Olive Oil Bread. The bread had amazing texture and taste, but I had some trouble with the dough. I halved it and put it in my bread machine on the dough cycle, but it came out so wet it was pourable! I added more flour to make it workable, but I think that is what resulted in a flatter loaf. Has anyone out there successfully made the dough in your bread machine? If so, any tips?- One of my sisters-in-law is having a baby shower soon and wanted knitted dishcloths as prizes when we play games. I looked in my gift tote and found 14 dishcloths I had previously knitted! Perfect!- I bought a 25lb bag of all-purpose flour for the first time from Sam’s Club. I’m tired of buying 5lb bags every couple of weeks, and this one is much, much cheaper! A local bakery sells their used food-grade buckets with lids for $1, so I bought two to store my flour in. I also bought a 10lb bag of Dakota Maid bread flour at my local grocery store to try. Dakota Maid is the only brand of flour my Sam’s Club sells, and I don’t mind it for all-purpose flour, but we are very partial to our King Arthur bread flour! (but the price makes me cringe). I wanted to try the Dakota Maid bread flour in a smaller quantity (this was the smallest size my grocery store sold) before I buy a 25lb bag of it. I noticed a difference in the texture of the dough and feel like it made denser bread, but not enough of a difference to justify the price of KAF. So now when we finish this flour, I will buy more food-grade buckets and a big bag of flour from Sam’s!- Received two free magazines in the mail (Better Homes & Gardens and Family Circle), a lotion sample, and a free Father’s Day card.- Bought raspberries for $0.50/6oz. – I received a big box of fabric from my mother-in-law for free. She works in a high school and they were cleaning out the home ec. classroom. A lot of the fabric I’m not quite sure what to do with, but one piece really stuck out to me that it would make a beautiful scarf. So I pulled it out, made2 infinity scarves from it, and gave one to my mom who recently had surgery. She loved it!- Menards had their canning lids for $1.63 and last week they had an 11% mail-in-rebate on everything in the store. So I stocked up and bought 10 packages of canning lids. This, combined with what I have at home, should be enough to get me through this year.- Lastly, last Saturday I got to experience an Amish Auction! I went with my mom, MIL, and SILs. We had a pancake breakfast at the auction ($5) and got to admire all of the beautiful quilts, furniture, and flowers. It was such a fun day and all we paid for was the breakfast and cost of gas to get there (we carpooled)

  11. Don’t add all of the water! Add water as you see it is needed, starting with the low amount. If it still dry, add more. I don’t know if you can do that with the read machine, as I make it by hand. I scoop the flour with the measuring cup, which can result in a fuller, heavier cup with more flour. A cup of flour is not the same for everyone (this is why countries outside the U.S. use weight instead of cups) because it can be as much as a half cup more, depending on how you measure.Good job on the phone call to the insurance company! And how wonderful about the scarves and canning lids!

  12. We have a box by our air conditioner from the utility company that can turn our a/c off for a certain period of time, I forget how long. We get a credit every month on the bill for at least the last 20 years. It does it for the water heater also. It’s about 3 hours at a time and we seldom notice.

  13. Thank you for the tips! I think my problem was adding the ingredients as-is, and I tend to have a lighter “cup” of flour too. This might just have to be a bread I make by hand. I work full-time so I love how easy it is just to throw all the ingredients in my bread machine, but this bread is too good to pass up!!

  14. Mari, that clarifies for me why my confirmation said it was effective in August – and it means I could have signed up a month earlier LOL as my birthday is September 1st. Hopefully I won’t need Medicare Part A (hospital) anytime soon though. BTW, if you register online you only need your SS# and the exact name on the card.

  15. Thanks for mentioning the wasp/hornet trap. We have a lot of stinging insects in the front yard and I don’t want to put the insecticides near my garden (plus, they are expensive!). Glad you are feeling well enough to do some gardening! My blueberries are five years old, as well, and we have a handful of fruit set on each one for the first time.

  16. I have arthritis in my hands, neck and back and couldn’t garden ….I thought! However, Sam’s Club in early spring brought in this very nifty raised garden container about 60″ long and about 30″ high. My sweet husband then got cinder blocks to elevate the container another 5″ and it is great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have started with herbs this year – oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, English lavender and fennel. It is very little stress on my joints, so I also bought a blueberry bush, which I will transplant to a larger container and elevate on a table. I have already saved at least $6 on fresh herbs – and I’ve only had the garden a week. I am so happy. Also, my teen daughter and I have made my husband a Father’s Day cake from scratch – while a cake mix would be cheaper, this is more like a bakery cake that would have cost at least $25, as it is guitar shaped (my husband plays guitar) with a fudge icing and decorations of homemade fondant and candy.

  17. Brandy I cannot express how much I appreciate your precious love and devotion to your family, your home, and to other women. Please know how utterly wonderful that is, especially in these dark times in our nation. You are a blessing.

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