This past week was a week of freebies more than a week of active frugality.

We were given a bag of apples from someone’s tree.

We received 10 pounds of ground beef that someone was getting rid of, as it had been in her freezer for over a year. She gave it to us in a big plastic storage container, which I also get to keep. That is perfect for helping to organize some fabric in the sewing room.

Even though I had decided that I wasn’t going to say yes to anymore free fabric, my sister-in-law called with the offer of some grey and some tan suiting, and I said yes to it. I did say no to any smaller pieces, as I really don’t have anymore room for fabric.

We went to a church dinner on Saturday night, where we needed to bring just a side dish. We were sent home with a package of hot dogs, some raw hamburger, and some buns.

I used a $10 off $10 card that came from Kohl’s along with a 15% coupon to get a blouse for Winter for next year for $1.83. I paid the $1.83 with a gift card that I had that had a few dollars left on it.

My father-in-law brought his bicycle over so that I can borrow it.

We put on some music and danced.

I mended a skirt, a pair of shorts, a slip, two pillowcases, and a dress.

After discussing it with my husband, I made further changes to the settings on the thermostats. Now they are set to be 80ºF after 8:00 p.m. and 81º from midnight to 8:00 a.m. The rest of the time they are set at 79º. Until Thursday, this resulted in not having the air conditioner come on until 8:45. On Friday morning it was hot again and the air came on before 6 o’clock in the morning.

I cut basil from the garden. I also picked a few tiny tomatoes from the garden.

I hand-pollinated two more cucumbers. I found two more female cucumbers that started and were pollinated by bees! The cooler temperatures have meant that the bees are out in the mornings again. I am really glad that I replanted cucumber plants in the front yard, as the ones in the backyard died. The ones in the front yard are getting plenty of sun and have grown quite large already. I planted some more seeds in front of a trellis in the front yard. Those are in the shade most of the day, but I am hoping that they will still grow up the trellis. I also planted some more in the backyard that have come up.  It is warming back up so I may not get any more female cucumbers for a while, but I am excited to have a few cucumbers now growing in the garden!

I made a pear cake with the pears that fell early from our tree after a heavy wind.

On Thursday all of the children got to go horseback riding as part of a Cub Scout activity that my husband arranged. We went riding at a horse park in town and members of our church congregation brought over horses for the children to ride. This was the children’s first time going horseback riding.

I went to nursery and was able to find some more euyonomous bushes to plant in the front yard. I have been waiting for over a month for the nursery to get some more in. I went to a different nursery in town because I needed to be that way. When I got there, the bushes were on sale (unadvertised; I double checked the flyer so it was store specific) for 60% off! Normal sales are 30% off. I was able to use the credit I had from returning things to my local nursery (they are the same nursery with different locations) and I paid very little out of pocket. I now have all of the bushes for the front yard hedges.

I also picked up some printer paper on a great sale. I have enough paper for us for a year, and some of the paper will also go to my husband’s office.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. The last time I got it at .60 was about 4 weeks ago. I am in SC in a suburb of Charlotte, NC. I think we really must love our BBQ here which is why it goes on sale all of the time. 1.29-1.79 is a common regular price which I’ll never pay. The biggest usual sale price is .99. However, I always read your posts and you always stock ham and turkey. Well, ours is pork shoulder and turkey. I’d love real ham but your prices are so much better….funny since they are both pigs!

  2. I haven’t posted in quite a number of weeks because this summer has been a total frugal flop! It seems the more I try to save money, the more we end of spending! I’m trying to stay upbeat and on top of things but it’s so terribly difficult. I’m hoping that the start of the school year (Tuesday) will bring a stable routine and less spending. All of my children will be in school full-time so I’m hopeful I’ll be able to get more accomplished. I’m also dealing with horrible allergies and go for more testing next week and had a gallbladder attack a few weeks ago that wiped me out. I had some testing done and am scheduled to see the surgeon next week as well to see if it should come out. I am very thankful that we have medical insurance that pays for everything including prescriptions.I went to a grocery store I normally don’t go to because the prices are always higher and scored some chocolate chips on clearance. $3.64 for 48 oz and I picked up 3 bags.I also stocked up on peanut butter for $1.49 for the 16.3 oz jars, block cheddar cheese for 16¢/oz., and pork ribs for $1.39 lb. I picked up 2 boxes of gluten-free pasta for $2.39 each–which is the lowest price I’ve ever seen. It’s a new product by the Ronzoni brand and I’m curious to see how it tastes. I continue to make french bread every other day, and made gluten free waffles, muffins, and cookies as well as all meals from scratch.We did not go on vacation this year–in fact we’ve never been on vacation. Instead we went to the dog park where the river runs through and both my children and dogs were able to play. We also went to the movies-we have an old one-room movie theater where the tickets are $2 a piece and I brought in candy I bought on clearance for snacks.I went through my husband’s drawers and cut up some of his old t-shirts to use for cleaning rags.I continue to pick from the garden-tomatoes, chard, cucumbers, and beans. I planted spinach, lettuce, carrots, and more chard for the fall.We sold our chickens. Long story short-the children got bored of them, the dogs continuously tried to eat them, a fox snatched one, the feed bill was getting pretty expensive, no matter how much we handled them they still disliked people, and even with cleaning out the coop weekly the smell was terrible. It was a good experience for us but we wasted a lot of money on this project. You read these great stories about people raising chickens and I really feel like they are all sugar coating the truth. Lesson learned–I will continue to buy my eggs on sale at the grocery store. They won’t be farm raised or organic, but I’m okay with that.

  3. Anathasia congrats on the Kindle… my husband bought me one for mother’s day and I love it….I signed up for a site called which finds free or significantly discounted digital books… you sign up (it’s free) and tell them what kind of books you like… then every day you get an email with a list of 5-10 free or discounted e books… also the website ereader girl has free or discount books… there are a lot of cookbooks and crafty things which I like and also what seem to be a lot of Christian romance novels which is not my thing… (romance novels are not my thing… Christianity is def my thing lol)… you can search amazon for deals on kindle books but it is time consuming… also sometimes authors will offer a book for free for only a day or so to build buzz and get them positive reviews on amazon…I literally download two books a day… now if only I could find time to read them!

  4. Started a new job… less hours and higher rate of pay also telecommuting and closer to home!Downloaded a bunch of free books for my kindle.I have not been to the grocery store in weeks, trying to eat the older stuff in pantry and freezer…luckily for me my inlaws have been bringing me that ultrapasteurized organic milk which stays good forever… other wise I would have broken my shopping fast and gone to the store!we had been able to get away without air conditioning for a week or so but now we are back up in high temps and humidity…Line drying when possible… I have even been doing the towels outside and throwing them in the dryer for a quick spin so no one (ahem- my husband) complains about the scratchiness (which I sort of enjoy LOL).

  5. Could you tell me approximately how much of the mustard you use in that chicken recipe? That sounds delicious and I’d like to try it.

  6. One tip I have for everyone pay close attention to all receipts before you leave every store/ gas station etc. This past week I had a worker make a mistake that might end up costing me $20.00.Also upon deep cleaning our home and clearing the clutter we have been able to sell a ton of items (this is after we have spent three years already doing this) so this time we were even more aggressive we have sold so much we now have cash for new to us furniture. We sold many items that originally we thought would not bring even $1.00. We have managed to sell many things at great loss but overall we were able to earn enough to purchase a nice living room , dining room and bedroom set as well as items for a home office. Grand total after sales $145.00 . For items that would have been $15,000 total.So look at what you have that you are not using.

  7. CC, I am still figuring out how to use it. When I type has row of words pop up and I click them and don’t have to type whole word. Nice. Thanks I’ll check out bookbub.

  8. One super nice thing was that we have 2 4-H leaders who don’t even have kids in the club anymore, they just keep helping, since our club is really large and I couldn’t do it by myself, and they are able to help. Anyway, one of them promised that any kids who did a cooking contest at the fair would get free ice cream, courtesy of her. So, 4 kids chose to do that contest, 2 of them being mine. So, they all trouped off to the Dairy Women booth and enjoyed ice cream after their contests. That was an awesome treat!!!

  9. I wanted to also comment on your children dancing. My mom and dad–years ago did square dancing–anywho, my father would get us kids up early on Sunday as he worked alot and Sunday was his only day off, and while mom was cooking or finishing with breakfast preparations, my dad would put on “Glen Miller” and he would “dance” with all of us>I never did learn any square dance moves, but oh the memeories of getting woke up too early on Sunday to dance with my daddy are priceless!

  10. I gave up coffee and diet soda a year ago last January. I have been uninsured since my husband had to retire for health reasons and I have a pre existing condition. I felt symptoms that something might be going wrong with either my gall bladder (I already know I have had a stone for a long time) or ulcerwise. With a paid for home and no insurance, I had to do all I could to stay out of the hospital, as our home would be at risk.I don’t drink anything but herb tea or green tea other than water, plus am careful about my diet, and seem to be OK now. I can’t say I don’t miss it. There’s nothing like the smell and first sip of a perfect cup of coffee, or the burn of an ice cold soda going down on a hot day.

  11. Congratulations on that one-month mark! That is tremendous. 🙂 Very proud of you and continuing to pray for your strength and health! 🙂

  12. I seem to remember when I was studying alternative medicine more years ago than I will own up to reading an article about gall stones being treated by either a potato diet or the water that potatoes have been boiled in. I really cant be more specific than that but am sure you will find something on the ‘net’ somewhere about it. Somehow or another the potato ‘whatever’ dissolves the stone. Having had gall stones caused by pregnancy you have my deepest sympathy for the pain of gall bladder colic. The surgery was uncomfortable too. Not as bad these days with key hole surgery. Wish I had known about the spud cure then. The baby that caused the problems is now 38yrs old and wont thank me for saying so:)

  13. Thanks, buttercup, for your concern. I did a lot of online reading early on, and have a list of food and drink that are good/bad for both conditions. I really try to incorporate a lot of the good foods.Fortunately, I never had a real gall bladder attack or serious pain. I just felt “not right” in that area. Plus had one episode of the “burning” feeling that usually means an ulcer.There are sites that advise on how to swallow enough oil to dissolve or “pass” gallstones and keep them cleaned out of the gall bladder. I would never do that without medical supervision. They saw what they described as a large gallstone when they were doing an image to check for other problems, and said often a large one just sat still and caused no trouble. If I tried to dissolve or pass it and it got stuck in the bile duct, I would be in a world of trouble.

  14. Our 4H booth is called the dipper. The different clubs take turns running it. We have a 70+ mother and her now 50 y o son that still help in various ways every day. He takes a week off work every summer. Do you ever enter anything yourself in open judging? I haven’t done that in years.

  15. I can’t tell you how inspiring you are to me! I truly enjoy your posts and so look forward to them. I especially admire that you note all of the things you do as a family that I know I usually take for granted. Like the dancing! Last week I had a huge bowl of 6 giant crookneck squash. So, I made squash dill relish. Tastes delicious, and I spent about $1.75 (onions, vinegar, dill and celery seed) on 4.5 quarts. That’s about how much I usually spend on ONE tiny bottle!We had a garage sale and got about $70 which enabled us to replenish the grocery budget, and a few other things.I used up fruit that was going bad for smoothies, and also stuffed some into the freezer.

  16. If you Google( hip 2 save a few ways to save on phone service)info will come up on alot of options. Collin the mom that runs the blog is real sweet. Some of the comments are a little mean.So just a heads up. It seemed like something I should check intoalso.Patti from San Diego

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