I sent the children on a walk to gather some pinecones from an empty lot near our house. They brought back plenty for our Christmas decorating.

I cut boxleaf euyonomous from the garden to decorate in the house.

We watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. We used an HDMI cable to connect the laptop to the television so that the whole family could easily watch on the television. (If you missed the broadcast, you can click here to see it).

I took reusable bags with me to two stores where I received credit off my purchase for bringing my own bags (a savings of $0.32).

I used internet coupons to purchase some needed items, including coupons for the store brand cotton balls, store brand trash bags (which were also on sale), and store brand bleach. (I use bleach in my cleaning rag/kitchen washcloth load, on cutting boards, and on the kitchen sink). I saved $10.50 using printable coupons.

I bought a ham at .88 a pound. I went to one store and found that they were still selling their turkeys at .68 a pound, but had removed the requirement to spend a certain amount to get them at that price (which they had before Thanksgiving). I bought 3 turkeys.

I used a $10 off $10 coupon to get a pair of slippers for Wren and two pairs of socks for Elsa. I spent $0.82 out of pocket after the coupon.

Cyrus wants a watch for Christmas. My husband searched for one on Ebay and found him a new watch for $2.50, including shipping. Cyrus got to pick it out, so I know he’ll love it.

I mended my husband’s lined flannel shirt, and two pillow covers that had holes in them.

I cut Swiss chard from the garden.

I cooked a large pot of pinto beans and a large pot of great northern beans.

I made potato soup.

I washed most of the washable coats and scarves this week. I am grateful that we have so many that are washable and do not need to be dry cleaned. The scarves were washed on gentle and hung to dry. I also washed a small quilt this week. I am always colder at night than my husband is, so I use this small quilt on my side of the bed on top of our regular quilt during the winter.

I made 4 batches of green tomato salsa with out green tomatoes, a lemon, and some Thai peppers that I harvested from my garden before the freeze. Cyrus and I cut enough for 2 more batches for me to make next week, plus there are some still left. Since we weighed the tomatoes, I now know that we harvested 14 pounds of green tomatoes.

I listened to Christmas music on Pandora and watched two shows on Hulu for free.

I took the children to the library.

I purchased a wreath at Michael’s for 70% off, plus a little decoration to go on it. The total cost was $3.34. I hung it up above/on my bed using ribbon that I already had and a push pin (The push pin was pushed into the wall, not the bed!)

I ordered some thread and sewing supplies from Wawak. Gutermann Mara 100 thread is 25% off in December, making it $1.87 for a 1,094 yard spool. (My order from last month didn’t go through because they had my old debit card on file. When the new catalog came, I saw the thread sale for December. The day after my catalog came, I received an email from the company that they didn’t have a current card number. I cancelled my order and then ordered with the thread special, which saved me a lot more money than if I had had my order go through in November).

My husband needed a new computer at his office for his agents. We had been waiting until Black Friday, hoping for a sale. We saw no sales on desktop computers. We waited until Cyber Monday, and again there were no sales. We decided that we would take my desktop computer to his office, and that I would get the new computer instead. I now have my first laptop! I am really thrilled; it means I can type up blog posts with my feet up in bed in the evenings instead of sitting at my desk. I stand for several hours each evening (from about 4-6:30 or 7:00 each evening preparing dinner, washing pots and pans, and cleaning the kitchen), and having my feet up after that is a huge help.

While we didn’t see any laptops that had what we wanted on sale anywhere, we did buy my laptop on Cyber Monday, so that we could use Ebates double cash back that day to get $16 back.  My laptop arrived this week.

My husband downloaded Open Office to my computer. It’s a free office program, which means I don’t have to purchase Microsoft Office. My existing Word and Excel files have opened in it without any trouble. If you do a search for “Open Office,” you can find it.

Ivory had fun “flying” around the house with some feathers that we found several months ago at a park.
What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. I used to live in Oregon. Going to the Tillamook factory and tasting their cheese was always a highlight of a trip to the coast. A few years back we went to another cheese factory – three times in three days – I wanted to go back again because the cheese was sooooo good but my husband convinced me that a a cheap pair of Groucho Marx glasses wasn’t an effective disguise! 🙂

  2. I live in Oregon, on the edge of the Willamette Valley where it begins to climb slightly into foothills. (That means my garden doesn’t grow quite as well as my sister’s down on the valley floor, due to elevation and poorer soil). The town of Tillamook is over on the coast, about 2+ hours away. We have visited it many times. It’s very interesting to see the conveyer belts with the cheese travelling along to get its packaging, etc. and the other processes of making cheese. I think that is why we occasionally see Tillamook cheese for so reasonable. We love it. It’s the best cheese we’ve ever eaten. (Although we have not tried Wisconsin cheese, for instance, so it might be just as tasty).I am not aware of any Sam’s Club stores around here. We have Costco, and United Grocers Cash and Carry, plus all the regular stores like Safeway, Thriftway, etc.

  3. Thanks for the advice. I will mist it. Today, I noticed that one little bud is starting to grow out and away, separating itself from the stalk. I have high hopes that it is going to bloom at last!

  4. I’ve used the Lands End unconditional return policy years after a purchase and I have to tell you that it is hands down the best policy and customer service around! I also think their quality is top notch! They don’t know I exist- ha- I just think it’s good to point out the good eggs when you find them.KK @ Preppy Pink Crocodile

  5. We moved into our new home this week so it’s been hit and miss with frugality. However, this home was built strategically in regards to the location of the sun in winter and summer. Right now it has been staying in the low 60s with no heating and it gets into the teens at night sometimes. We finally have a wood stove (I’ve always wanted one) and so we’ve been keeping it very toasty in the house for not much cost. *Ate dinner tonight at Subway for $0 thanks to a gift card. *My parents sent our family gifts including $35 to Taco Bell (there are not many places to eat where we live!) which can be stretched very easily into 6 or so meals for our family of 3. *Last week during moving the in laws came and insisted on buying us dinners/lunches. Every time they overbought and they don’t do leftovers (sometimes there are perks to having spendthrift relatives!). We had KFC several times after the initial dinner and Subway leftovers.*All other meals were eaten at home. *Trying to lose some weight, so my eating has been reduced a lot which saves $$$. *On a contrary note, made chocolate chip cookies using super cheap chocolate chips and butter. Ha!*Received my new running shoes today I bought for less than $25 from Joe’s New Balance outlet. They feel awesome out of the box which never happens. *Been running every other day, which I don’t know why I think this is frugal but to me it is. *Received chai latte mix and an egg whisk as a gift. *Earned $1.90 cash back on our BofA card.Don’t let my list fool you, though! There were a lot of expenses this week because of our moving. We paid for pizza for our moving guys (men from our church). Why in the world is pizza so expensive?!?! It kills me to think people pay that much for pizza on a weekly basis. We enjoy our homemade pizza every week. So yummy even when I buy “expensive” toppings (olives, bacon). =D Thanks to all who always write such detailed posts, it’s like blogs within Brandy’s.

  6. Brandy , how do you make green tomatoes into enchilada sauce? I prefer the green sauce when I make enchiladas so I always make one pan of red and one of green. I make my own red sauce, but never knew how to make the green, so that I always bought in the can.

  7. I looked up Tillamook on google and it looks like a major factory type complex. Much bigger than any of the factories I shop at. Our (extended) family’s business is built down into a hill, no conveyor belts or wrapping lines or mascots. Little ladies in aprons hand wrap, the curds are hand cut. You won’t find “state of the art equipment” because they are still using the original fixtures. Just excellent cheese. Wisconsin used to have almost 3000 small family cheese factories, now we are down to only about 85.

  8. I thought of a few more things. We were given a couple packs of paper napkins of the “dinner type”, quite large, probably 20 in each pack. My mother frequents the thrift shop at the senior apartment complex and is always finding bargains. I left them on the kitchen table and found my daughter cutting them in half and then putting them in the napkin basket as she said they were too big as is.Gas is going up again here, but while it was still 3.14, the lowest, I filled gas tank full, rather than just half as I usually do. With the below 0 weather last week I would rather have tank full. Should last me 2 weeks, we are 5 miles out in the country. Every drive in adds up but most errands I do are on my home to work route.Watched several silly romantic comedys on HULU and DVD, Christmas themed. Kept me entertained while I did cookies. Two of my favorites are A CHRISTMAS ROMANCE with Olivia Newton John and DONOVAN’S REEF with John Wayne. Daughter played Christmas music from her computer for me…she doesn’t use Pandora, she uses lastFM and something else I can’t think of. Visited my sister and her family last Saturday the 7th and spent the day with them making popcorn balls. She lost her husband 3 years ago this month in a farm accident. He was 15 years her elder, and a widow . They grow popcorn, their 2 children and her 3 step children and families all were there and some other of his side, so 35 all together. They air pop all the corn, then spin it in tumbler to remove old maids. They cook syrup in huge kettle and make the popcorn balls, 80 dozen by the time they are done. His family has done this for years and it was very fun to be included and to learn something new. They gave me 2 dozen to take home and they were delicious. They said the recipe is old family secret, but lots of Karo syrup was involved.

  9. Two tips others might enjoy. Little Caesar’s ready pizza (they have drive thru’s) Pretty low cost compared to other’s. Also I use Feathers as package topper’s to young children’s gifts they all seem to like them and they are free! So when I give a gift to our grand kids who are 2,3 and 4 then I put feather’s on top sometimes as I find them, we use to go hiking all the time and I saved any interesting feathers and leaves that I found. I put the leaves in ice and I can put them inside a candle or use them for a stencil. I now collect shells as well for package toppers and some on chains for necklaces. It is so interesting how many little everyday things can become great gifts!

  10. My Frugal Accomplishments thus far:-Bought a steam cleaner which will pay for itself in two carpet cleaning. We live in a rented house and are responsible for upkeep on the carpet. We also have two LARGE dogs, so buying a professional grade carpet cleaner will save money in the long run for sure-Did a little shopping trip for the third week in a row. I plan on doing a pantry/ freezer challenge in January because the freezer is filled to bursting-Used two BOGO coupons on things we planned on buying anyway-Used a gift card on a pedicure/manicure. Only had to leave a tip!-Went to the gym three times last week. Not as many as I normally go (5-6 times) but it saves me money by keeping me busy- Dinner was paid for on Thursday & Friday by hubs company and I got to bring home leftovers!!-One of those meals was the husbands Christmas dinner. I had planned on buying a new top, but I just wore what was in my closet. -Got watch repaired for free by an extremely nice regular customer of mine, who is a high end jeweler. I love him :)-Filled up on gas at Sam’s Club (cheapest in town) which is across the street from my work & they had butter at 1.89/lb STOCKED UP!!!-Bought a present for my husband at 50% off!!!!

  11. Anna. I am sorry about your daughter. I have been dealing w my daughters illness and find u so strong to continue to list ur frugal accomplishments. My daughter has been dealing w depression and suicide so I have been so devestated. I thank God for his faithfulness and healing as she is improving every day. Pls know I will be praying for ur precious daughter.

  12. And I’ll double the amen! I too have a large freezer and we moved the smaller freezer into the guest room closet (put a washing machine pan under it to protect floor from drips). That is my stock/butter/milk and fruit freezer. Oh and my ‘extra’ casserole freezer too for easy meals. It’s a huge blessing to have that additional freezer.

  13. Thanks for sharing this, Marivene! I wondered about that. All our pinecones are under a foot of snow now, but I’ll save that tip for next year.Brandy–the bowl of pinecones is absolutely beautiful.

  14. Celia, so far they are wonderful. We’ve only had them for a few days, but they seem to wash and wear very well. I’ll update after a month or so to see how they are doing.

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