I cut branches from my apple tree for some indoor greenery. These have lasted all week.

The vase was one my brother sent to me when Ivory was born (with flowers at the time).

It’s sitting on my free piano! We paid to have it moved and tuned only; it was given to us by someone who was getting a new piano. We’ve had it for several years now. We bought the bench for very little. It doesn’t open as it’s not a piano bench, but it is soft, which is nice. The clock was a $3 thrift store find. The urns were bought 50% off years ago. My husband made the bust.

The picture is actually a poster (cheap art!) that my dad framed for my husband’s office. We used to have a smaller copy of the same picture in this spot, but when he closed his larger office several years back, we put this larger one here, and when he opened a different office last year, the smaller one went there and this one stayed here. My dad is a picture framer. He sent me for training when I was 18, and I worked in my parents’ store helping customers choose framing for their pictures. They have a store in Las Vegas now. You can click here to see what they do (And yes, that is my piano in their header! And me and my children as well.)

Back to this week’s savings:

My husband changed the a/c filters. The air conditioner won’t have to work as hard which will save on our electric bill

I used over $40 worth of coupons this week on non-edible items.

One of them was a $10 off $10 purchase at Kohl’s, which I used to purchase a blouse for my oldest daughter for $1.07 out of pocket.

I used some of those coupons to get free eye drops, pens, and razors at Target.

The only food I bought this week was 35 pounds of pasta at .50 a pound ($17.50 total). I came home and did the math; that is only about 5 weeks worth for us now that my children all hit a growth spurt at the same time, so I will probably go get more on Monday while the sale is still going.

I made popsicles from the syrup left in a quart of home-canned apricots.

I watched free shows on Hulu.

We checked out books and movies from the library.

I downloaded free coloring pictures for my children from this week’s Dover Sampler.

I harvested 11 Armenian cucumbers from my garden. Two of them were 22″ long, and they weren’t bitter. I am grateful to get any in this heat; I hand-pollinated the big ones. They are bigger than the size you see in this photo.
A friend gave me 2 dozen eggs from her chickens. I will be giving her a cucumber tomorrow.

I used part of one of the cucumbers with a pear from our garden for some cucumber pear salads with homemade dressing (I took this picture right before I topped the salads with dressing).

I mended 3 dresses.

I finished sewing a pillowcase dress for Ivory. This is a dress that I had almost finished for Elsa when she was a baby, but she outgrew it before I finished it. Unlike most pillowcase dresses, this one has sleeves. I also embroidered the top to match the bottom. This dress deserves its own post, so I’ll have to photograph the baby wearing it.

I finished sewing 2 dresses for 2 other daughters at a total cost of $5 for both.

What have you done this week to save money?

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  1. Simmilar to momma-lana above, one year for our anniversary I gave my husband a list of reasons that I love/appreciate him equal to the number of years of our anniversary. Many years later, he still has that list. Our 20th anniversary is coming up – I should do it again. I honestly appreciate so much more about him now than I did then. He’s improved with time! 🙂 I think making the day about him, making sure the kids honor him, and showing your love for him are more important than any gift. My husband’s birthday was Thursday, and that’s what I tried to do.

  2. What about cooking your husband’s favorite dinner and having a date night in, after the kids go to bed? Dress up and do your make up just as if you were going out but have that evening at home with a nicely set table and candle light.I also gave my husband a little gift box with 30 things I love about him on little slips of paper for his 30th birthday. He keeps it on his dresser and reads them regularly too! I also keep a journal where I write one thing each day that I’m thankful for with each member of my family (one for my husband, one for my son, one for my daughter). One year I printed them off and made colored paper chains with those thankful statements for each of my family members. The house looked super fun and everyone had so much fun reading all the statements – my husband keeps his draped over the (currently inoperable) ceiling fain in our bedroom.Hope that’s helpful!Lea

  3. I don’t have a blog. I have read Brandy’s posts for a while and find them so great. Never thought to check the comment section and find even more inspiration. Can’t wait for next week. Hopefully I can contribute a thought.Amy

  4. I found a heavy duty wooden drying rack at the Habitat Resale store this week for $8.00!! It is lots larger than my old one! Also found some great vintage fabric and ric rac for future projects.

  5. HA!! HA!! Move to ALaska. It has been in the mid and upper 40s at night and our first frosts are about August 28th. We are trying not to turn on the heat at night, to save money.

  6. This may sound dorky, but my husband likes it: he uses cloth handkerchiefs (sp??) so last year I made him 12, one for each month in suitable holiday materials leftover from quilting. Really, he shows them off to his buddies and brags that his wife took the time to hand make something for him instead of just going to a store.I also vaccuumed out every corner of his wood shop, and every shelf. Believe, that was a gift of love it took so long and was so messy.Finally, his shirts are always falling off the hangers, so I glued foam to the hangers and it keeps them on no problem now.These sound silly, and may not work with your husband but they seemed to bring joy to mine. Oh, yes, I also gave him a note that every month on his birthdate (so, the 17th of every month)I would make him a dozen chocolate chip cookies and that no one else in the family would eat them.

  7. ~I took my lunch to work/classes. ~I made flashcards instead of buying them, to teach my nephew the alphabet.~I saved 76% on my groceries by using coupons.~I printed my syllabus (that I am instructed to bring a paper copy to class) 2 pages on a side.~I picked up aluminum cans from a parking lot which I’ll get money for.

  8. Last week was the warmest and sunniest in whole summer!I was able to- start cooking from our garden seriously. Oh the potatoes are so good!- use the grocery money mostly on stockpiling (because of the garden)- dry more chamomile- start picking black currants. I made the first batch of juice with my steam-juicer and got about 1 gallon of juice whitch is to be diluted 1 part juice 4-6 parts of water. It is good medicine when you get cold. I freezed the berry pulp to be used later: first for berry soup and after that for marmalade. Nothing goes to waste!- help my husband in making fire wood- ride my bike to the dentist and back (3 miles) and saved 5,40€ (the single tickets for bus rides are priced terribly!)- find a lovely charcoal colored wool-blend fabric for winter skirt and a black linen curtain which I plan to use for another skirt, for total 9€ (very good deal here!)

  9. I mended the outside pockets on my son’s backpack (I don’t really sew, so it is just OK but works) and avoided having to buy a new one. The one he wants is $75.00! He will need to have a sturdy one because his books are so heavy. He used the last one I bought for $60.00 for almost 3 years before it wore out.I harvested grape tomatoes, okra and a few green beans from the garden.I avoided watering for the whole week due to rain.I placed a container under my gutter downspout to catch the rainwater and saved it for next week’s watering. I was able to save 3 gallons of water.I bought milk marked down at the store (still had four days left before the expiration date) and froze some for baking. I love that Food Lion marks down their milk half-price with so much time left before it expires.I cleaned out the school supply cabinet and was able to find most of what the kids need to start the year. I have bought anything that was a really good price (some of them are almost free even without a rebate at Walgreen’s) so that we never have to pay full price. The list of school supplies has gotten ridiculous here in SC. We never bought dry erase markers for the school when I was a child! School fees are high, too.I have frozen most of the okra from my garden, as I am the only one that really likes it. I will use it for small sides for me and some for soup.I have finally trained the family to empty any remaining water from dinner or drinking into the watering can I keep by the sink. (We only drink water at dinner—which is a switch from milk for the kids and saves at least a gallon per week).I signed up for a free class on grinding your own grains at William Sonoma at the mall for next week. They have a different class on cooking related themes every Sunday afternoon that is free of charge.Allison

  10. I realize this is getting up late! Ha! Here’s what we did last week that was frugal:- Canned 15 quarts of sweet pickles – trading 2 quarts for the ‘extra’ cucumbers.- Super-glued my son’s shoe to make it last another week until he’ll be in “school shoes”- bought the rest of the school supplies on clearance sale- Made dinner at home every night even though I really did not feel like it! :)- blanched and froze carrots, green beans and broccoli- made and froze 3 loaves of zucchini bread- picked tomatoes from our garden- turned off the AC and opened the windows (mid-70s daytime here – love that!)- Spent $13 at my favorite consignment store’s fall clearance sale for a suit (skirt and jacket),blouse,sweater,pair of slack, and 2 scarf/wraps.- taught an extra Jazzercise class and earned the cash for teaching that- mended two skirts for my daugther, 2 pairs of pants for my husband, and a pair of pants for my son.I know there were more than that, but that’s what I can think of off the top my head! Brandy, have you thought about doing a link-up with these pages? Love these lists and the inspiration they bring!Have a great week!Lea

  11. We’ve always bought LL Bean backpacks, because the company will replace them after several years of wear. Their guarantee says “Our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We do not want you to have anything from L.L.Bean that is not completely satisfactory.” A backpack that wears out after two years is not satisfactory and they’ll replace it!

  12. A fairly small collection but anyway:-air dried all the washing-found shorts for two sons and shoes for one son in our hand-me down clothes-free swim courtesy of British Gas (we are in England)-free entry to National Trust property with a coupon for me and another coupon for the children with a guest who is a member (sounds complex but it worked!).-harvested some of the potatoes and the garlic from our garden.-Gleaned about 1lb blackberries which are being stored in the freezer until I have enough to make jam. It is only the start of the season here.-Made three containers of chicken stock.I find these lists inspiring.

  13. Here’s a few of the things we did last week– Picked a bunch of tomatoes, enough to make 14 jars of salsa. Hoping to get enough tomatoes for 50 jars.- Picked Swiss Chard – Picked more cukes to make refrigerator pickles- Given more grapes, put up more grape juice- still dealing with squash- Played board games at the game store with my kids- Gave my quilt frame to someone who would actually use it- donated my beanbag that’s been sitting around to a classroom- cooked dinner every night. I know this sounds silly, but between work, kids, PTA,summer and canning I get lost at times when it comes to dinner.- Repurposed some binders to become recipe binders and Household binder.- Sold a bunch of things on Ebay and KSL- Planning a Garage Sale- Talked my “poor college student” out of buying a second vehicle. Who needs 2 vehicles for 1 person? Crazy!

  14. Not a great week for us this week since we had a house guest, but we did the best we could:-Collected water from warming up shower water and dish water to water our tomatoes (they take a lot!).-Got a LOT of free groceries from above mentioned house guest. She lives near an Aldi’s (and we don’t), so she got us a lot of stuff there since she knows we like it.-I used coupons to purchase a lot of items we needed and saved about 70% on all of them.-Went to a local AAA baseball game with my family. We had two free tickets, so we just had to pay for my son’s ticket. On top of that, it was 25 cent hot dog night, so our snack budget was only about $1.50, since I snuck some juice boxes in as well (Shhh!).

  15. I’d love to see that dress you made!!! This week in the land of frugal, I actually made and followed a menu plan… refusing to eat out for any reason, even though it would have been easier and was offered! I’m serious now! 🙂

  16. My sister-in-law gave me some frozen pumpkin that I hope to use to make muffins.My mother gave us four delicious peaches.My sister invited us over for dinner and then gave us quite a few leftovers.We only had the A/C on for one day.I used lots of coupons and bought items that were on sale so I saved almost 50% (compared to the regular prices) at the grocery store.Used a coupon to get a free lunch at Subway for my daughter.Two free things came in the mail, a sample of laundry detergent and a birthday card.I bought three one subject notebooks for $0.01 each at Office Depot.Jill

  17. Great posts. Love to see what others are doing :)* stocked up on some schol supplies at Staples, almost there (we have another 1.5 weeks before school starts)* got my DS some jeans on sale (he is slim and hard to find jeans that will stay up!)* sold some items on ebay* stocked up my pantry with Albertsons coupon roll up sale * my daughter repainted a small furniture item from her room, it looks brand new and so cute!

  18. Wow, just found this site and column. You ladies are rockin’ in your frugality. Here are a few of frugal things for me this week.* I hemmed my son’s torn (and patched) pants into shorts. = Free shorts* I sold a pair of outgrown soccer cleats for $10* I printed homeschool worksheets off the internet instead of buying curriculum (cursive handwriting and story charts)* I saved scraps of tomatoes, celery, and onions to make vegetable broth* I pre-planned all our family dinners* I cleaned out (with my hubby’s help) some of his old work files and found two binders to re-use for homeschool* I harvested two meals worth of green beans, several tomatoes, basil, hot peppers, and sweet peppers from the garden.* I cleared out two raised garden beds to prepare for fall planting. I plan to enrich them with free rabbit manure from the neighbor this weekend.* I used coupons, and also received discount on gas.* I carpooled with my neighbor to save gas money.Margery in Georgia

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