I made some gifts for my nephew and his bride-to-be for their wedding shower this week. She is doing a red kitchen. I made them two hot pads, using fabric I had been given and cotton batting that I had also been given. (I will be making more for me, too. I was planning on making some for me this week, but I decided I had best get the ones done for the shower first!) I also embroidered two kitchen towels with their initial. I have these same towels in my kitchen. The ones from Sam’s Club are very large; I cut these in half and hemmed them to make two towels, and then I embroidered each one by hand. (Uncut they are great for covering rising dough). I have some just like these in my own kitchen already, and I already had towels on hand, too, as I have been planning on making some more for myself just like them. His bride seem to really like the towels, too! I gave them some kitchen utensils from their wish list as well.

I planted seeds that I had purchased last year and previous years.

I moved some stock that had reseeded itself at the very edge of my front walkway into the pots by the front door.

I had an at-home date with my husband on New Year’s Eve. I had another at-home date with him another night after the children were in bed. It’s fun to play a simple game together, just the two of us, and talk. On New Year’s Eve we celebrated with some food that usually doesn’t make it into our house. It was a wonderful change and much less than going out would have been.

I harvested parsley and Swiss chard from the garden. Both of these plants are very cold tolerant (Swiss chard can go to 15ºF, and even colder if under a blanket of snow).

I used the water from steaming vegetables to water the pots by the front door.

I watched a couple of shows for free on Hulu.

My husband cut his hair and I finished it up for him.

I downloaded a free book on Famous Women of Rome, which went perfectly with our study of the Famous Men of Rome. My oldest began reading it for fun.

I used a $10 off coupon while ordering my garden seeds for this year. I chose mostly open-pollinated varieties; I hope to collect enough seeds this year so that I can plant ones from my own garden next year.

I wasn’t planning to buy food this week, but my mom called me from Winco to tell me that they had grapefruit for .28 each. I had her pick me up an entire box, which is 40 grapefruit. I will be making citrus fruit salad this next week, as well as enjoying grapefruit for breakfast with toast.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

I began my list of birthday gifts for this year. I always start the first week in January, writing down ideas for upcoming birthdays and Christmas. I will be making several things, including lots of pretty spring dresses for my girls, for which I already have the fabric.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. Congratulations! I have crocheted since I was a little girl (my mom taught me), but taught myself to knit. It is so relaxing to me. I love having something to fill the minutes spent waiting at dr. offices, car rider lines, tv watching, etc. It is so nice to be able to personalize items. If others find out you can crochet, there will be no end of requests for dishcloths, potholders, blankets, etc. lol You will have lots to add to your gifts list!

  2. Athanasia, no, I didn’t see that show, but before her dementia set in, my Mom told me about her life as a newlywed during WWII and making do as Dad was in Philadelphia with the merchant marine and she was in Pittsburgh. They were married in August, 1941, and had my oldest sisters in August, 1942, February, 1944, and December, 1945. I’ve seen one of their unused ration books and her wedding book, which listed her shower and wedding gifts (much more simple than what we give/receive now). Very simple and very interesting.By the way, if you want to add your name to your comments as the author instead of using “anonymous” and then putting your name in the body of the message, you can click on the down arrow by “select profile”, click on Name/URL, and then just enter your name; you don’t need to add a URL. I like your comments and just wanted to help you out by mentioning this. It will come up as “Athanasia ()”. Just hit publish and you’re set.

  3. Not feeling very frugal:( Just got back from Christmas visit with family, went to Disneyland, and ended up paying for my In-Laws room and an extra ticket. I don’t begrudge it, we had a blast, but I did not budget for it:(I am counting my blessings, my dh’s company was bought out and he got a job offer before going on the trip (we would have canceled it if the job offer had not come in).Blessed also that we are homeschooling this year, and even with a few bumps even my doubting husband has been pleased.I did accept some free groceries this week, and got some good sample size shampoo’s and conditioners at the hotel’s we had to stay at.One hotel stay the cost of the room was only a little more than breakfast would have been, and it included a hot breakfast! That was nice and to me a frugal choice for hotel. Last of all we drove thru the last night and saved one night at a hotel all together.

  4. Those seed tape instructions are fabulous – thank you! And I bet it saves a LOT of time in the spring – ours is late here, too, usually, and the season is so short that if I don’t plant everything as soon as possible we miss out. Maybe I’d get it done without wearing out quite so badly this way! Plus it gives me something concrete to do in the winter time, when I miss my garden but really shouldn’t be ordering more seeds online.

  5. Smart! I will take good notes this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed. Thanks again so much to everyone, especially Brandy. E.

  6. thank you momm-lana, we can get papaya fruit here I will try it on him when it becomes availableJenny in Wales

  7. I’m so proud of you for giving up soda! It isn’t easy, I know. Not only does it save so much money when you eat out, it’s also a big drain on the grocery budget. It also makes it easier to drink more water which is what our bodies want anyway haha! Every once in awhile I reward myself with some homemade lemonade (it’s just sugar, water, and lemons) so the cost is nothing compared to soda.

  8. One of my favorite gluten free websites is http://www.manifestvegan.com/ just be careful to count your costs. Gluten free is always more expensive so you have to keep your eye out. I recommend writing down the prices for all the gluten free items at all the different stores in your area. That way you’ll know when you see a good deal so you can wipe them out! A good deal is different in the g.f. world, so don’t expect to find a bag of g.f. oats for $1. Be excited to find them for $1 off.

  9. Another great site for gluten free is Mennonite Girls Can Cook. They have a gluten-free tab in their recipes on the side of the site, & I have NEVER had one of their gluten free recipes not work. Thinking more in terms of what our grandparents ate for dinner helped us: meat, starch (potatoes or rice), and vegetables. It was hard to go from using bread as a filler to bread as a once in a while item, but fruit & veggies make great “fillers”, too, especially as salads.

  10. We have not found any pieces to indicate that, it’s a huge lot-15,000 pieces. We are about 65% through so it’s unlikely that there is one or we would have found a part. It’s Indiana Jones, Star Wars, some Harry Potter and a handful of odds and ends. My son is super excited because we found a cement mixer. It’s so nice when he wants to do a lego set and all we have to do is go to the basement. HAHHAA,…. WHEN GEEKS STOCKPILE.

  11. from Athanasia…My youngest does all the wrapping. I will mention it to her, but she is very into saving paper, reusing, already. But yes, there just are not that many nice boxes out there, they are all those collapsible ones…if the store even gives one. She likes everything in a box. Irregular packages bother her….she has OCD, a quite severe case. But the packages looked lovely, and she borrowed boxes from the cupboard to put items in so that everything would be regular.

  12. Thank you Joquena! I have some of those “powdered flavor sticks” that you mix with “bottled” water I am using up. But I will be making sun tea and homemade lemonade when those are gone. I see a big savings already 🙂 and i feel better too!

  13. OH and I followed the links in your Gardening for less article and ordered two seed catelogs! I am itching for spring!! Now that we own our home/property we are planning on growing all our fruits/vegetables/herbs! We are so excited!!

  14. This is my first time posting, but I have been reading your blog for awhile now and it has become one of my favorites. I have really been getting into homemaking and frugal living since getting married 2 years ago. This week we went to a big 2 day sale at a local grocery store and stocked up on meat when it was mostly under $2 a pound (minus the ground beef it was $2.47, but with overages from coupons on other items, I got one pound free!)I came home and used up mostly every container I had and spilt all the meat into meal servings and froze what we wouldn’t use this week. Which is new for me usually I just put it in the fridge and cook up the entire package. Trying to be more aware of what we are using and how much. Used a Christmas gift card to to a home store to get pieces to help organize the kitchen, used coupons and was able to make the gift card go further and the kitchen looks better too!Also returned a pair of slippers that were not my style and ordered a 40 piece food storages set, went thru ebates.com and will end up being less then my gift card that I got back.Stayed home most of the week, so we didn’t waste gas or eat out. Made all our meals, ate all the left overs, and made all my husbands lunches for work. We are renovating our dining room, just finished installing new windows, putting insulation and new drywall. Almost done, so I have been cleaning the entire house and trying to organize everything better. It’s been a big project but so worth it, we already feel a difference we have been able to keep our furnace at 62 degrees. Bonus we can’t the neighbors dog barking all day and night anymore. I love to read, your posts and everyone’s comments I am learning so much from everyone!

  15. Hi Brandy, I would like to say I really enjoy your blog and enjoyed your website before you had a blog. The post about your price list was great and I need to reread it. I do once a month shopping and have much more to spend than you but I know one day coming soon we will not have that much and I have tried to lower my grocery bill and have but haven’t to the point where I would like it. I am learning so much and continue to learn new things that I may have missed the first time I read one of the post.Onto why I am commenting on this post. I would love to learn how to monogram by hand and wanted to know if you know of a tutorial on youtube that is like what you do. And it’s not just the monogramming I love the way you stitch the children on different things you have given as gifts, such precious gifts. Thank you Jessica

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