I sewed a seam that had come undone on a dress.

I took apart an old, broken earring to which I had lost the match over 20 years ago. I added a jump ring and a chain and turned it into a necklace.

I made blueberry muffins, French bread, and Italian dressing. I roasted a couple of chickens with lemons and herbs from the garden.

I looked online on how to rip a CD to my computer. I was able to rip a cd that I bought last year at a garage sale for a dollar to MP3 format. I’ll be converting some more cds after this! I don’t own a stereo and our dvd player is no longer working. I can move these to the computer for easy listening (without having to constantly change cds). Plus, my computer is usually on during the day, and the speakers are decent, so the only extra electricity I am using is to turn the speakers on when we want to listen to music (I usually have them off) rather than having to turn on the television and the dvd player, which is what we did before.

I harvested one zucchini from the garden. I also cut basil, parsley, rosemary, and chives from the garden. I picked a few lemons from the garden.

I made inexpensive presents all week.

I bought 25 dozen eggs for .99 a dozen. I also bought 3 Lindt candy bars (my favorite) for $1.49 each. I used 3 $2 off coupons for the candy (all Internet printables), which made the candy and a dozen and a half of the eggs free.

I purchased 2 small turkeys (hens at 16 pounds each; I could not find any toms) for .59 a pound, and 10 pounds of frozen sweet peas for $9.45. On top of that, I used a $5 off store coupon.

My niece gave me some small black velvet scraps.

Liberty was invited to a birthday party. I pulled something out of the gift box that I had bought several years ago for her to take as a gift.

I used some free beauty samples that I had.

I planted some seeds in the garden.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. This past week we continued to work on our meal plan. We did well, only eating takeout once (the whole family was sick this past week and a pizza night was needed by this mom!) I am pricing out my recipes and at the end of the month will remove those meals deemed “too expensive” to make. I have been making notes in my cookbooks for other meals to try.Got a free cup of coffee at DD which was a nice treat. Also received a few samples in the mail. I mended a sweatshirt for my little guy- hoping it will last a little longer. Keeping the heat down as low as possible and unplugging anything not in use. Purchased a few items on sale for Christmas for the boys. I also purchased a few clearance items from Halloween that will be used for stocking stuffers. This week I am going to test out a batch of candies and if they turn out well will make a bunch for gifts. My mom is going to do this with me so we can split the cost. I found an adorable printable calendar on ETSY for $5. It will make a wonderful gift for teachers, neighbors, etc. since I can print out as many as I want. I think I will put it in some decorated muslin bags.Have a wonderful week.

  2. The weather in consistently in the 20’sF now and the last 2 days there has been ice around the edges of the pond. We put the lights up all around the house and the garage eaves. We did have to use new lights as we left all the old ones at the old house. They were icicle ones and looked nice there. We found 100 bulb LED strands at the farm store for 6.99 last year on clearance. I didn’t really want them at the time but all the incandescent wer gone so I bought 3 strands. They say there are supposed to save energy and last longer and burn brighter. They certainly are bright! which is OK as we have no street lights out here.This house is easier to heat than the old. We programmed the thermostat to come on at 6a then goes down at 8a then back up at 3p and down at 10p. On the weekends we just overide it as needed.We have throws on all the chairs and sofa. We do have a small wood stove in the LR area that we use in the evening and mostly on weekends. The furnace won’t turn on most of the time as the wood stove does a good job. Can even cook on it if we want or needed to. We do not have to buy wood as our property supplies enough wood from tree trimming, dead trees, fallen trees, to keep a full woodpile.Mended several of my husband’s flannel shirts..loose buttons, torn pocket, worn out elbows. I use good pieces of flannel saved from worn out shirts to patch the elbows. They might not match exactly but it works. At the linen outlet bought 4 flat sheets in patterns daughter chose, not all matching , but they coordinate. Made a new duvet cover for her eiderdown and made curtains. She has 2 single windows…I put up the double rods so that the curtains could overlap and tie back at the sides. At night she can untie and let them fall shut and there will be a double layer over the window and mini blinds for a little extra insulation. Used buttons from button jar for duvet. This took me almost 2 weeks to complete.Did find a sewing machine for oldest, a Brother at 399.99 on sale for 139.00. I know nothing about Brothers but her MIL checked it out and it is similar to hers so she will give any help as needed. Also gave her OK to the machine as a good choice. I drew up the pattern for the aprons I am making (gingham with rickrack) x four. Since gingham is such a light fabric I am using some white sheeting to line them…I plan on machine quilting the 2 layers together in a diagonal pattern using the squares of the fabric as a guide.Cooked all from scratch. Made 2 loaves white bread, 2 loaves banana bread, biscuits, lentil soup, eggs rolls, fried rice, egg foo yung, stir fry vegetables, shepherd’s pie for church potluck using mashed potato crust and ground beef (dairy cow) from the freezer and 1/2 of the mushrooms I cooked and froze last week. Used my home grown-frozen/root cellar vegetables for the lentil soup and the shepherd’s pie. Made apple crisp and oatmeal craisin cookies. Made tomato basil soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Checking my stock of saved bread ends to see if have enough for turkey dressing.Bought 25 bags of frozen peas for .79 ea. Even though I grow and freeze peas it is never enough as we eat so many fresh so always have to stock up on peas. Bought 3 dozen farm eggs for 1.50 a doz and a quart of maple syrup for 12.50. Bought 4 10lb bags of russets for 1.99 a bag to replenish storage. That sale continues this week so may buy more. Bought 2 gallons of milk for 5.00. Bought 2 Breyer Vanilla Bean icecreams for 2/6.00. With doubled coupon and sale got 2 bottles of Karo syrup for 1.30. Bought 8 very large pomegranates at 2/4.00 and am working my way through seeding them while I watch HULU in kitchen. I am going to freeze the fruit and pack in small baggies and put into large freezer bag. I have seen in the store frozen pomegranates added to fruit mixes. Then I can pour them out, add to yogurt or fruit salads. They are only available here Oct and November.

  3. Today I got Strawberries on a deep discount and I used one of the free candy bars I got a few weeks back to make Chocolate covered strawberries for our anniversary dinner! Should be awesome! I have been making tacos with just beans and lettuce and tomato , I make meals four nights per week without meat it does help with the grocery budget. Italian one night, breakfast one night, tacos with the beans and soup one or two nights and then I eat with family one night so the few meals that I use my freezer meats last longer. This helps the grocery budget but most of the foods are so high in carbs that most everything is ending up around my waistline. I have tried working out but it is not making much of an impact I cut back where I can but the carbs are what we have that fills you up (because they are cheap)

  4. Marivene, we should have done that. But when they started it, the more you spent, the more you got back, and they asked to put us all on the same account, and my daughter added her number to the same account to help with the accumulation. A little while later is when they started restricted purchases. I wonder if we could just get another account though with one of other phone numbers.

  5. I know that you are in Southern NV and I am in Northern NV, but if you have “Scolaries” – Grocery Stores there whole chickens are 69 cents a pound this week! I think that we will do chicken instead of turkey this year for Thanksgiving.

  6. MJ, I’m obviously not Amanda, but I have a recipe that works pretty well. When it was shown to me I was told it would work 9 times out of 10. The first time I made it, it failed. I was so disappointed that I never wanted to try again. But I gave it another chance, figuring that maybe that was the one time and the next 9 should be fine, and it worked pretty well after that. I must say that I own a Bosch. I use that to mix and knead the bread because of the volume I make. You could do a half recipe in a Kitchen Aid, or just do your best with a bowl and hand kneading.White Bread (sandwich type)10 cups bread flour1 Tablespoon instant yeast (they called for 2 but I noticed a lot of gassy children with that)1 Tablespoon salt1/2 cup sugar4 cups water at about 110 degrees F. 1/3 cup oilHeat oven to 200 degrees F. Turn off. I put all dry ingredients together. Start with cold tap water and heat it in the microwave for 90 seconds. *You might need to do it differently. I tested it out by heating for different times and measuring the temp with a candy thermometer. So now I know what works with my microwave.* Pour the water into the dry ingredients and mix, add oil immediately after. Mix. Check your mixture after 30 seconds. If really dry add a touch more water, if too wet, a little flour. Usually a T of water or up to 1/2 cup flour is needed. It depends on the humidity. I knead for 10 minutes (in the mixer, it does the work) Spray 3 bread pans with oil. When the dough is finished, I oil my hands to handle the dough and form 3 loaves. Put the pans in the warm oven and wait until doubled in size (about 30 minutes give or take) Turn the oven on to 350 and bake for 25-30 minutes. That is about it. I still have a batch that doesn’t work well every now and then. I store my yeast in the freezer and that does affect the rise if I don’t let it warm to room temp but it makes the yeast last longer. I start the water and then get everything in the mixer before the beep (it’s a race!) So 3 loaves take me about 1 hr 15 minutes, start to finish. But I do this so I can get 6-9 loaves done in a decent amount of time.I have another simpler recipe.Rustic bread3 cups bread flour1.5 cups warm tap water1 teaspoon salt (or more for taste)1 pinch yeastMix dry. Add in water and mix until flour is incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap that you sprayed with oil (I’m in a dry climate). Let sit 12 to 18 hours (overnight). In the morning, throw the dough onto parchment paper in a roundish shape. Place dutch oven/covered cast iron in oven and heat to 500 degrees F. When ready, place parchment into dutch oven and cover. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 500 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and remove lid, bake for 30 more minutes.I only recently acquired a dutch oven at a deep discount. Before that I used a 2 qt round baking dish. The cover didn’t really fit, but I used it anyway and it worked O.K. I really like using fruit juice for this one because the acid in the juice affects the texture in a good way.Hope those help. The biggest things I’ve found that affect my bread is the age of the yeast, the temp of water, and using bread flour. Bread flour made a huge difference in the quality of my bread. I get mine at Costco in a 25 lb bag. Sorry if there is any confusion, the day has been long. Ask any questions for clarification.

  7. I enjoyed reading all the comments this week. Thanks for all the good encouragement!This week, I finished the sleeping shorts for my husband. I ran into trouble. The rummage sale fabric indicated that there was 1-1/2 yds, but it was a little short. Since my husband is super tall, I always add 2 inches to the length when I make these shorts and 1-1/2 yds is enough. So, after several gentle jokes about me making him “short shorts,” I added a band of burgandy knit fabric that I already had to the navy blue shorts. In all, they worked great, look a little like basketball shorts, and cost around $3 or less, including elastic, thread, and pattern. This time, though, I paid for that in time. The actual sewing took only a short bit of extra time, but the searching through my fabric took a lot. I still feel great that I used up something I had on hand.I am still getting all the eggs I need from our chickens. I’ve been pulling odds and ends from the freezers, trying to make room for the 20 chickens that will be ready for the freezer Friday. I boiled 2 packages of beef soup bones from last year’s beef. I froze the broth. I made a meal for a family with a new baby from food we had. I used up a can of enchilada sauce I had been given last year along with some frozen turkey bits that were getting old and made black bean and turkey enchiladas. Today was our monthly 4-H meeting. I was able to use many things from our pantry to stretch the $ we receive from the kids for the cooking classes. I do cooking and other parents do horticulture, rabbits, sewing, junior leader and my husband does outdoors. Today, he had them make swags and wreaths for the holidays from branches cut from our property and ribbon from a yard sale. They were beautiful and will decorate all our homes for a very small outlay of $. I taught 15 kids how to make a recipe (the kids were divided into 3 classes, they cooked in groups of 2 or 3, and6 different recipes were used.) The sewing classes were working on p.j. pants and other projects. My daughter got her p.j. shorts about 1/2 way done. Both skills will save many kids much money during their lifetimes. The horticulure does, too.When my husband took our girls to Christmas play practice, he packed bags of food for them, plus the 3 extra kids he delivered to town at the same time. Taking 5 kids out to fast food would have been too much for our budget, expecially since we have it planned for me to take just the girls out tomorrow evening between activities. There have been some extra visits planned for my foster granddaughter with her rmother at Childrens’ services. The one tomorrow doesn’t get over until 5:30, and then we will get a burger at Wendy’s next to the office before heading out to the next activity. We have no control over these visits, and we transport (about 35 minutes one way) quite a bit of the time. So, we just make the best of the situation and make it as pleasant ,for all concerned, as we can.

  8. I’m so thankful for all of these great suggestions for saving water and reusing the zippy bags (Yes, Mable, your post made perfect sense—thank you for the input). It’s too late to do it now, but I’m going to place a brick in the toilet tanks first thing in the morning! I also need to check the manual for our dishwasher to find out the specifics on the water usage. When I do run the dishwasher, I think it’s typically a day’s worth of dishes, but sometimes it will take two days to fill it so that will affect the calculation. I try to pack it as full as possible without overdoing it because then I have run into the problem of some of the dishes not getting clean and having to wash them by hand anyway. Most days I can use one basin of soapy water to hand wash all the dishes and one for rinsing, but it depends on what I’ve been cooking, too. Sometimes I will empty out the soapy side, put some soap in what I was using as the rinse side and refill what was the soapy side with rinse water (does that make sense?) so that I’m only refilling one sink instead of two. I think tomorrow I will measure how many gallons I use in each so I can visualize what I’m using and can better compare it to the dishwasher. Penelope, I’m sorry you had to experience your FIL’s wasteful water habits. My Mom is the same way and she’s coming to visit in a couple of weeks (another reason I’m being extra conservative; I’m bracing myself!). But, I will do as you did…I will step aside and allow her to do it her way because she’s my Mom and she’ll only be here for a week. Many of us that are embracing a more frugal lifestyle are creating habits that most would find too bothersome or time consuming. But, in reality, we are being better stewards of the gifts God has given us which gives us a greater appreciation for them. I’m so thankful for all these suggestions and look forward to more!

  9. I am sending prayers your way! I myself have several medical issues that I owe thousands for! I made a payment arrangement with the Health System and I make my payment faithfully. It was a lot of paperwork, but worth it. I hope things get better for you and your children sooner rather than later!

  10. I , seriously, laugh each time I read this question! I have 2 fridge and could never fit in 25 dozen eggs. In fact I keep finding myself going over in my mind exactly WHAT IS in my refrigerators. Monday night at church I could barely concentrate on the speaker and I kept making mental lists of what is in there! But we use it all, all 7 different types of mustard, really. (Actually we finished up the spicy brown and the yellow at dinner Tues with the grilled cheese sandwiches, so need more of those) Each one serves a different purpose and mustard lasts forever so not going to go bad. Pickled stuff…there are bread and butter pickles, corn relish, pickle relish, pickled beets, sour hamburger dills, sweet gerkhins, kosher dill, banana peppers and jalapenos..there could be more but at the time I have no pickled eggs in there or piccalilli. Then there is horseradish, mayonnaise, 2 types of Worchestersire sauce, reg and vegan, soy sauce, tahini, hoisin sauce, plum sauce, Thai red curry paste, tomato paste in tube, red spices like cumin, cayenne and paprika, French, Italian and ranch dressing, catsup, BBQ sauce, jar of yeast for refills (I keep the pound bags in the freezer) and variety of jam and marmalade (everyone has their favorite). That is mostly just the door of the inside fridge. I know this might not be normal and we could all eat the same mustard, open one jam at a time, but this is deeply embedded in our cultural heritage…there, that is the reason. Wherever 2 or more are gathered let there be condiments.The 2nd fridge is really used only in the summer and fall for overflow vegetables and fruit during canning, harvest etc, cold beverages. It was out on an enclosed porch at the old house and now sits in the breezeway between the house and garage at the new house. We don’t use it in the cold months, we can just set stuff out in the breezeway if needed for a bit to keep cold. Too long and will freeze.

  11. Some more. Made tortilla chips from 25 of my corn tortillas I bought a couple weeks ago. Spritzed them with oil, sprinkled with a bit of salt, divided them into 6 pieces each and baked in oven till crisp. Made nachos with refried beans, corn, jalapenos for some, onions and salsa and cojack cheese. Topped with plain nonfat yogurt and black olives and shredded lettuce. Received 2 replacement snow/ice scrapers in the mail. My husband had bought a long handled one last year that I could use on my car…short so can’t reach too far. Well it broke during normal use. He called them and they sent 2 to replace. Does that mean they think will break again??Bought $100 of gift cards at grocer for gas, Amazon, Starbucks etc. for use at Christmas for the 5 children and the two spouses, and December birthdays of 2 of the children. I like to give gift cards…they like to get them. Will buy $100 a week till have what I need. Also our store runs a promotion that with every $100 purchased they give you a $10 gift card from the grocer. Also I have not noticed any promotions for the turkeys yet so I don’t know what they are running here. I have my 2 turkeys ordered already from my aunt and uncle.Watched 2 episodes on HULU and finished last five episodes of Murdock Mysteries season 3 from the library. Picked up 2 reserve books, new, so had to read quick as they only check for 14 days and can’t renew. Bought stamps for Christmas cards after counting what had left from last year. When going through all fabric and organizing new sewing room found six stamped (bed) pillow cases I forgot about. They came from my grandmother and just had been sitting in what had been her old/my old sewing room in the old house. They are nice fabric, 100 % cotton the way sheets used to be with out the polyester in them. Silky feeling. I am not much of an embroiderer but I can manage…the edges are already scalloped. The edges are finished with tatting, which must have been as far as my grandmother got. The stamped area to embroider is along the border, one set is playful cats, another flowers, another is birds on a branch. I think I will need to work at them at work as the youngest (19 going on 20) spends almost every minute I am at home with me and one set would be for her ( the cats). Will give them to the 2 younger daughters and DIL. There is no embroidery floss with them, but I have plenty on hand.

  12. Anna, prayers to you, your dd, and your family. Life does throw us curves at times, we must have faith that God will help us and be there thru them with us!

  13. I drive a Caravan. We have 3 kids now, expecting our 4th, with no end in sight 🙂 Look into Diono Radian carseats. They are pricey, but they fit a child from 5 lbs up to 100 (or 120, depending on the model) as a booster seat. They are one of the safest seats available. We bought one for our 3rd child and I will buy one for the 4th. They will fit 3 across even the narrow 3rd row of our van. They are the narrow seat to buy. They cost a bit more than other seats, but 3 new seats is still cheaper than a new car. After I bought one, my friend got them for her girls. She fits 2 Radians, one forward and one rear-facing, and an infant seat in her Ford Fusion.

  14. Oh Brandy , that is just another whole can-o-worms. Well actually I missed the jars of maraschino cherries, green olives, Greek olives, shaker I use for grated parmesan and one for sunflower seeds, dry mustard, and emergency tube of crescent rolls. The bottom crisper is mostly apples right now, ones I want to keep crisp for eating, and 3 limes, and 4 of the pomegranates and 2 cucumbers.2nd crisper is fresh vegetables … celery, cleaned lettuce, 1 leek, 11 sweet onions, some carrots, kale, big jar chopped garlic, a chopped onion, a bag of broccoli stalks from broccoli I used for stir fry last week. Saving them to make soup next week with some of my frozen broccoli. Mostly this is vegetables for immediate use. I don’t want to run to basement every time I need a carrot etc.Cheese/meat drawer has right now about 125 corn tortillas, a pack of flour tortillas, 7sticks of butter( rest in freezer), 3 open chunks of cheese. Next to that is a space where I keep the containers of eggs. That shelf extends under the cheese drawer and has 15 blocks cream cheese (eggs sit on cream cheese) and 25 or so 8oz bricks of cheese. The open space there is where I always put left overs.Top shelf is open jars of pickles, containers of soup, spaghetti sauce, containers of left overs…things for immediate use. Open container of cottage cheese and yogurt. A peanut butter jar with wheat gluten in it. Another with ground flax seed. A container of homemade hummus. This is a side by side. The shelf below is 2gallons of milk, an open qt of tomato juice, open half gallon jar of apple cider, 3 upside down containers of cottage cheese and one of plain yogurt. A pitcher of cold water. There is a head of red cabbage balanced on top of a green one.The outside fridge is off for the winter but I still have ww flour and rye flour and bags of pecans, walnuts,almonds, coconut, dried fruit, raisins, raisins, corn meal, flax seed, sedans seed, sunflower seeds, extra gluten, anything I don’t care if freezes. Door is ajar an inch.Well that t is pretty much it without pulling everything out.

  15. Oh that is awesome to know, we are looking at that car seat. We figure even if we have to spend a thousand dollars on new carseats it is still nine thousand dollars cheaper than a new car. I am hopeful we can just get two new seats for my car and keep our infant seat.

  16. Hi Mable, I think I read that where you cut in half around the equator and tap with a wooden spoon and everything falls right out? I have not tried that yet. I don’t like the water method, too messy. I usually score into 4 sections from pole to pole, pull apart and just pick the seeds out. It takes awhile but I am just sitting there watching HULU. I will try tapping method though on the next one.

  17. I am rolling on the floor laughing! You described my fridge.Did you mention leftovers? I have 3 bowls of leftovers at the moment. I have a side by side fridge and with all you describe I can’t imagine fitting anything else in there. I told my husband today, ” I am not complaining about a full fridge but I sure would like to get to the creamer easily.”

  18. Oh yes plenty of leftovers. I’m still used to large batch cooking, so there is always extra for the freezer and lunches and extra guests. Now with oldest daughter and her husband next door we often end up with one or both of then for a couple meals a week.

  19. Yes, it is the tapping method. I agree, sometimes it is fine to just pick out the seeds because you are watching a movie or something (it also slows down how fast I gobble up the fruit!). But for a recipe that needs a lot or seeds or the entire family wants them, this is a great method. Not perfect, in that you still end up with a few left in the husk and have to turn it inside out to get the last stubborn ones out, but still an improvement…

  20. When my Mom visited in August, she used the bathroom before we headed out to do some shopping. My daughter and I waited on the front deck for her and then we headed out. We came back 2 hours later and the bathroom sink faucet was running. My Mom said, Oh I forgot to turn off the water when I washed my hands…. I was immediately worried about my Mom and memory loss… but secondly, I almost had to lie down because the thought of water running for two hours…. My Mom did have a full check-up in September and she is fine…

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