I made a dress for my daughter with fabric from my grandmother’s stash, so my only cost was buttons and thread. Total cost: $0.45!

I picked tomatoes and peppers at a friend’s house.

I said yes to free hot dog and hamburger buns that someone offered me. Her family had just had a reunion, and no one wanted them. We turned the hot dog buns into garlic bread, and the hamburger buns were used for sandwiches.

We harvested grapes, tomatoes, basil, Asian pears, Swiss chard, a zucchini, a handful of green beans, and rosemary from the garden.

I bought no food this week.

We did an inexpensive science experiment using items we had on hand. It didn’t turn out for us, and we did it twice, but it was fun experimenting! Total cost was about .03, if that.

The children painted some huge pictures that I printed for them from The Graphics Fairy. I didn’t reduce the image (this Japanese mother with her baby) . I reversed the image and printed it again for my daughter, and after she was done painting them with watercolors, she hung them in her room. It took three pieces of paper to print it, so she just taped them together.

I took advantage of the sale at Joann’s to get some fabric, buttons, and embroidery thread. I used some of that fabric to recover my ironing board. It cost me about $3 for a new cover that I love. I used the string that tightens the cover from the old ironing board cover in the new one. I’ve wanted a custom cover forever, and it turned out to be such an easy project. I just used my old cover as a pattern.

I collected water from the shower (while waiting for it to warm up) and used it to water my plants. I also used the water from steaming Swiss chard to water my plants.

I watched three shows for free on Hulu.

I ordered a free 8 x 10 from Walgreen’s.

I hemmed a pair of jeans as a birthday gift for my father.

I cut the buttons off of a worn blouse and kept them for a future project.

What have you done to save money this week?

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  1. I haven’t ever dried lemon balm so I cannot answer that but I like to put a sprig of it in my glass of ice water for the fragrance right under my nose and I love to garnish with the beautiful leaves. I have had mine for about 10 years and it is huge now and self sows dozens of new plants that I have to pull up every year.

  2. I always look forward to these posts!!!I used some birthday money from my parents and grandmother to buy paint for my girls’ shared room. I used Benjamin Moore’s “Palladian Blue” and they are thrilled with the color! I only used half the gallon too! I also hung some curtains I had laying in the closet in their room-some minor sewing adjustments and they look great!I hung roman shades I made in my boys’ shared room. Hopefully they will keep the room cooler in this heat. I hung an unused cork board in there as well-they’ve already filled it up with pictures from free magazine subscriptions.The theme last week must’ve been “curtains”! I bought a king-sized duvet on sale for $71 from West Elm and repurposed it into 4 curtain panels for my bedroom, making each panel less than $18. I harvested basil, cucumbers, tomatoes, 3 zucchini, and a pepper from my garden. I also planted some fall crops: carrots, lettuce, purple green beans, and turnips.I took advantage of the back-to-school deals and got some extra water-color paints, markers, and crayons. My youngest daughter’s birthday is in September and she wants an art box so I’m picking up supplies as they go on sale.My husband built a large 4’x5′ chalkboard on a wall in my kitchen. We used leftover chalkboard paint we had on hand as well as trim he was able to get for free from work. I bought a tester pot of paint for $3 to paint the trim. The children love it!My children and I made “Gak” using a bottle of 24 cent glue and food coloring and borax I had on hand. They really enjoyed playing with it.

  3. This week I feel like I’ve accomplished a ton for our busy schedule:- I finished canning greenbeans, total of 37 quarts put up for the winter months.-Canned 40 lbs of peaches-froze 15 lbs of squash-dehydrated 15 lbs of shredded zucchini (my zucch’s are growing like crazy this year)-canned 5 quarts of grape juice (used the easy method)-picked cukes, carrots, chard, radishes, peppers, tomatoes, beans, basil, pineapple sage, eggplants from my garden. I can’t wait for the asian pears to be ready, the tree went wild this year- planned a menu- revisited our budget- gifted our old armoire to a cute couple that could use it-made granola (used your recipe, just tweaked it a little)- made freezer burritos- walked 2 miles 4 times this week. This felt awesome!- helped the kids sell some items on ebay. This has been a fun source of income for them.- started to make an inventory list of what I have in my pantry. I’m trying to build a long term storage with things we use and eat every day, but I need to know where I’m at to figure out where I’m going! -clipped some coupons, but put shopping off for another day. – I skipped the farmers market for 2 weeks straight now. In my area they are really expensive.

  4. Jennifer, you can use it in many things. It’s good chopped in vegetable salads. It’s especially good in fruit salads and even smoothies. (I’ve heard many people using it in all sorts of recipes from Cheesecake to dressings to custards to pesto!)http://www.preferredconsumer.com/food_drink/articles/lemon_balm_recipes.htmlThis is my first year to keep one alive long enough to have excess :)..so..I haven’t dried any yet… I usually dry my herbs by hanging (in paper bags, especially if I’m trying to catch seeds) or in my food dehydrator. But- I also freeze herbs too! …Lemon balm also has medicinal properties so it’s worth drying (I’ve got it dried before from the Bulk Herb Store).http://www.herballegacy.com/Lemon_Balm.htmlhttp://www.bulkherbstore.com/Lemon-Balm-Cut_OrganicMomma-lana, Do you bring them in for winter, or will they keep coming back???

  5. Mine is planted in the ground here in zone 7. It freezes to the ground and comes back every spring. Even if the main plant did not it self sows very freely and I pull up dozens of plants and compost them every spring. My main plant is about 3 feet across and 2 feet tall now. If I didn’t love the tea so much I might dig it up because it has become so invasive!

  6. I bought no magazines this week. (And you simply have noooo idea how many I bought.) Cold turkey, no more shiny glitzy covers. A bonus is that there is also no pile next to my recliner cluttering the floor.Shredded and froze 10 packs of zucchini for bread.Picked my own green beans, gladly took mother’s off her hands and canned 15 pints.

  7. everyone in our area has been shopping the Farmer’s market and so I finally decided to go. They are outrageous , must have learned that they can keep marking up because they are trendy now. $3.00 for 4 ears of corn.$5.00 for a basket of peaches with four peaches in the basket and they were green with zero peach fuzz so I doubt they will ever turn.The prices went on and on but all of them were way high.I turned the corner and bought from a lady selling some things out of her car. One half bushel of peaches for $3.00 (many had bad spots but I managed to get 3 large bowls full of slices out of the peaches.I should have bought more from her. It took me all day for me to peel what she gave me. (I think earlier in the day the baskets were more like $15.00 but she just wanted to go home it was getting really hot. Plus, I gave her a jug of cold water because she said she was hot so maybe that is why they were so cheap. I don’t know but they will be great for smoothies and we are having some tonight for dessert.

  8. I often skip the Farmer’s markets.A neighbor up the road has a farmstand in his driveway. A month ago, zucchini were 2 for $1.50 (which is cheaper than the grocery store and they are local). He has so many now that he’s dropped the price to 2 for $1. In another week or so, they’ll be 3 for $1.00. Same goes for many other veggies, including peppers and tomatoes.

  9. Don’t you just love home canned green beans? They are one of my favorite things to eat. I will say it is a little work and time getting them done!

  10. I wasn’t as productive as I was hoping for, but that’s life, ups and downs.But I made a batch of laundry detergent. It’s a 3-gallon recipe and it will last us almost a year I think.I was able to get 5 kg (~ 10 lb) strawberries for 15€. The price is usually 25€ or more and that’s too much for me. I made 4 jars of jam and froze 8 250g (½ lb) containers mashed strawberries. They’ll be sooo good on oatmeal in winter! I turned the stems with little bits of strawberry with them into ‘berry soup’ (a popular dessert/drink/sauce with oatmeal here) just by boiling them, then straining. Sweetened with sugar and thickened with potato starch (corn starch can be used as well) I had 6 cups of beautiful and delicious berry soup for almost nothing. (Berry soup costs from 1,40€/4 cups) This is a trick my mother taught me.I picked some yarrow and dried it because I want to xperiment with it as a medical tea. I have read alot about it and I find it very interesting. I also found a recipe for sore muscle salve which calls for yarrow and calendula (witch I have, but it has not flowers yet)And finally, I got an light bulb moment again when walking the dog: The road sides where full of lupines with seed pods and I have allways wanted something to side our driveway for free…There they were! So I picked the stems with pods and simply crushed the where I wanted them, and now I’ll wait the nature work for me 🙂 (the driveway is not something neat with grass, it’s more like a piece of meadow with some trees, and I’d like it to be beautiful…)

  11. I never, ever thought to put jam in oatmeal. I will have to do that tomorrow! Of course then the children will want to do it all the time! I have so much jam, though, and that would be a wonderful way to use it! I love it!

  12. Received two free samples in the mail.Used a coupon to get two free adult admissions to a local history museum (total savings was $20.00).Used two coupons to get two free rounds of mini golf (total savings was $10.00).Bought four boxes of crayons at Target and used a coupon so all four boxes were free. I will donate the crayons.Bought ten pocket folders for $0.01 each.Jill

  13. Hi Brandy, I bought the pocket folders last week at Office Depot. The pocket folders were featured on the front page of their circular as a loss leader. Jill

  14. My first time posting:-I canned peaches: 14 quarts and 5 pints. My first time canning peaches and it seemed to take foooorrrreeeevvveerrrr. But, the peaches were delicious and free.-I made peach raspberry from those same free peaches.-I spotted a loaded pear tree while I was on a walk and asked the man out front if I could pick. He said, “please, go at it!”. I picked probably 50 pounds that we will eat and I will turn into pear sauce with my handy dandy Victorio food mill.-Made pesto for 3 dinners out of basil from my yard.-Got some hand me downs for my 3 yr old.-Made a freezer full of baby food “ice cubes” for my 6 month old with free veggies and fruit from our garden.-Watching lots of Olympics on NBC with our cheap digital antenna–loving the volleyball!-Checked out books at the library.-Amended our soil in preparation for planting grapes!From, Christie in Arroyo Grande, CA

  15. I ordered 6 pairs of shoes for my 3 boys off target.com (buy one get one half off), got free shipping and a $5 off promo code—I ordered their next size too, to put in the bins. I hemmed a pair of my old pants into shorts. Decided not to book a trip to Costa Rica (saving myself $2200—I was REALLY tempted). Only drove into town once this week.

  16. I use up extra jam and jelly by adding a tablespoon to our morning smoothies (when I make them). It adds sweetness to a green smoothie, but doesn’t dramatically alter the taste.

  17. Love all of the inspiring posts!Limited use of my car. Made sure that I did as many errands as possible if I did use the car.Handpicked the tomato hornworms off of my tomato plants instead of spraying.Have been using up leftovers from the freezer and serving that with fresh produce from the garden for our dinners the past few weeks.Made my own vegetable broth from ends of celery, limp carrots, and vegetables from my garden. Put containers in the freezer since I didn’t have time to bottle.Accepted two huge bags of squash from a neighbor with a huge garden plot. Will bottle these.Took a friend out for a birthday lunch using a 2 for 1 card.Drying mattress pads, comforters and other large linens in the backyard draped on patio chairs. In our 105* heat, these are dry in no time.Growing clover, alfalfa and broccoli sprouts to use in place of lettuce in sandwiches. Sprouting seeds are from my pantry storage.

  18. Made spicy basil pesto (no nuts) from garden basil and made enough pesto pasta for a few meals. Will make pesto out of the rest of the garden basil tomorrow. Saved pasta water for garden. Put up new shade sail to block sun from heating up the kitchen. Closed up windows and drapes in the morning all week to block out the sun and help the house not heat up as much during the day.

  19. Good morning Girls, Yesterday I found the best YouTube videos on frugal cooking (from the Great Depression era). They are called “Clara’s Depression Era Cooking”. Some of you have probably already seen them, they aren’t brand new. Clara is filmed by her Grandson making dishes she learned from her mother while recounting memories of her life….oh my goodness, this lady is so adorable I can’t stand it!! Hope you enjoy. XoLaura

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