We celebrated Elsa’s birthday this week.

For decorations, my son made a doily banner using doilies that my sister-in-law had given to me and some crochet thread (for the string) that had come from my grandmother. I left the ranunculus on the table that I had purchased at the nursery last week. They were a pretty part of our table.

For her cake, I made a cheesecake, using cream cheese that I had bought months ago on sale (cream cheese will store for many months unopened in your fridge. Freezing it will ruin the consistency, but it can easily store for almost a year in the refrigerator). I topped it with a blackberry sauce that I made with blackberries that I had frozen from my garden last year and I piped some chocolate butterflies with melting chocolate (bought on clearance at Sam’s Club after Christmas) for the edges.

She also had carrot cake muffins for breakfast, per her request.

I made a necklace for Elsa for her birthday using materials I had on hand. The other gifts I gave her were two puzzles from the dollar store, which she has done multiple times every day. She told me today that they are “super”. She also received money from her grandparents and her great-grandmother, her siblings (they made her some gifts), and gifts from another set of grandparents who had dessert with us on her birthday.

“Queen” Ivory with a doll blanket for a cape and a doll blanket for her lap. Ezrom pulled her around in this tiny wagon. The costume was his idea and doing. I love that she is tiny enough for a doll blanket to be a cape!

The children played simple and fun games outside this week (including Red Rover). They reread several books that we own. It was nice enough outside for them to read outside. They played on our swings, merry-go-round, and trampoline. They rode their bikes, pulled Ivory in the wagon and pushed her on the swing (one of our swings is a baby bucket swing). I pushed Ivory and Elsa on the swings.

Ezrom folded some oragami this week, including from some instructions from this week’s Dover Sampler. He just uses computer paper and cuts off one end to have square paper.

I planted more seeds in the garden, including flower seeds.

I had a couple of at-home date nights with my husband. One night we played a card game. Another night we enjoyed a late dinner after the children were in bed.

I had an at-home date with Cyrus. We played several hands of Uno.

I sewed the button back on a dress.

My husband fixed a leak that we found under one of our bathroom sinks.

I watched a few shows on Hulu this week for free.

I made French bread, refried beans, stir fry, waffles, whole wheat crackers, carrot cake muffins, cheesecake, bean burritos, fajitas, and pizza this week.

I updated my garage sale list with our needs and wants so that it will be ready for the community garage sale that I will be shopping next month. There is a community garage sale near here twice a year. I often am able to find items for birthdays and Christmas gifts for my children, as well as clothing, books, and other things at this garage sale. I usually don’t find a lot of clothing there for my children, as most of the garage sale tracts belong to seniors, but sometimes I am pleasantly surprised.

My 5 oldest children and my husband attended a free play.

We enjoyed some cake that was brought to us by a friend. She made a beautiful cake for her granddaughter’s birthday and had lots left over.

The weather was beautiful. I opened the windows and aired out the house.

What did you do to save money this week?

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  1. We’ve been using YNAB for two years now and absolutely love it. It is definitely more of a budget software when almost everything else out there is a financial or tracking type software. They have a ton of info and free classes on their website that teach you how to use their method. I thought I new a lot about how to budget, but I learned quite a bit from them.

  2. We have never had a Sam’s Club Membership because with just three of us, there never seemed to be enough buying to offset the membership fees. Today there is a Living Social deal where you get membership for $45, but you also get a $20 gift card for Sam’s Club, plus you get almost $20 in vouchers for food – a free rotisserie chicken, a free take and bake pizza (16 inch) and two for free cookies. After all that, the membership seems a lot more affordable, so we went ahead and got a membership. If you want one too, you can go here:https://www.livingsocial.com/deals/628922?ref=share-link-post&rpi=107687170&rui=22400876Hope that helps!

  3. I made another batch of refried beans in my crockpot. This time they turned out (I didn’t have enough pinto beans the first time). I was able to put 4 containers in my freezer for future meals. I pulled an apple pie out of the freezer to bake that I made and froze from December for dessert for the weekI had some potatoes starting to get soft and I had 3 go bad. So I decided to make French fries for the freezer. I ended up with enough for 4 gallon size freezer bags. I also made a big pot of potato soup that night for dinnerI cleaned my kitchen countertops off and organized them. I also cleaned, organized and gave away food out of my breakfast cabinet. Now we know what we have and what needs to be eatenIn the mail I received a free coupon from Oscar Mayer for their new pulled pork. I also received a sample of the new Poise wash with a $2 coupon I put $1.87 into our change jarI received a $10.92 check from my state from unclaimed money. It was from an old U Promise accountI continue to search through Swagbucks to earn points. I have been saving for awhile and will use them to get gift cards for birthdays & ChristmasI used coupons to get 4 bags of Chex Mix for free at MeijerI went to Target to use the new $2.00/2 cleaning coupon. I purchased Target brand bleach for .64 cents each. I also paid .69 cents for a picture frame that needed replaced.I downloaded books from Amazon to my kindle

  4. I haven’t posted before, but here is my frugal list for this week.I dug up the carrots in the garden that I planted last fall to over winter in the garden. I had to get them up, some were starting to sprout leaves!I also started turning over garden beds and adding manure for spring planting, and found a bunch of turnips I had missed harvesting. I dug those up and fed them to my daughters 4-H pig as a treat.I planted peas, onions and cauliflower, added manure to the asparagus and rhubarb beds and discovered my artichoke plants made it through the winter. Yeah!I hung clothes out on the line and made a double batch of laundry soap.We purchased a new tv antenna and now get 14 channels on our digital converter box. We had gone down to only one channel with the old antenna and the family began grumbling about getting satellite. Between the new antenna and the ROKU box for Netflix movies, I was able to avoid a satellite tv bill!I was able to borrow a 12 passenger van to take my young women to the stake youth conference, instead of having to take 2 vehicles to get everyone there, saving about $80.00 in fuel.My daughters have also started driving to the bus stop each morning and leaving their truck there, instead of driving to school, which is a 30 mile round trip. Now they have more gas money to hang with their friends on the weekends. Believe me, this is a BIG sacrifice on their parts!I’ve been saving empty milk jugs to use in the bottom of my big planters to fill in space and save on soil needed to fill them. This makes it easier to move them around, they aren’t so heavy.What an inspiring site, thank you all for sharing what you do. You are all amazing!

  5. I waited for clearance at Walmart and Lowes as there is not a nursery in our small town. I would have to drive 40 minutes out of the way to get to one. Plus both places have a plant guarantee meaning you get a refund or replacement if the plant dies within a certain amount of time. Walmart was a year on fruit trees but they may have changed it. I think Lowes is 30 days.

  6. Remembered a bread machine recipe that I have that does not use bread flour for anyone interested.Light Oat Bread1 1/4 c water3 c unbleached flour1/2 c old fashioned oats2 T brown sugar1 t salt1 1/2 t yeast2 T butterI find this has a better texture on the ‘sandwich’ setting of your machine has one. This is a 1 1/2 pound loaf.

  7. Another wonderful old standby cookbook, if you can find it, is The Encylopedia of Cooking, by Meta Givens. 2 volumes, full of all sorts of information on scratch cooking, & there is a game section that shows where & how to remove scent glands to keep them from tainting the meat. Multiple from scratch puddings & desserts. Jellies, jams, & conserves without added pectin. I found a set for each of my daughters.

  8. I sanded one rusty lighting fixture, primed it and spray-painted it when we updated a bathroom in our new house. It looks great and I regularly get compliments on it.

  9. Staples changed their ink rewards program. You now have to purchase a certain dollar amount of ink from them to get the rewards. I can’t remember the exact details, but I was disappointed with the change, because I can get ink for much cheaper at Target.

  10. Lauraw68…do you have the recipe to start the Amish friendship bread starter itself? No one has had it around here for years. I am also looking too for a recipe to use that does NOT use the instant pudding mix. 20-30 years ago that was never part of the recipe. Now the last 10 years the recipe always wants instant pudding so I haven’t been wanting the batter. And can’t find my old recipes.Thanks

  11. Things I did this week to save money:We probably have breakfast for dinner at least 2-3 times per month. Last week my husband said he would like to have french toast for dinner, I said I bet it that Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl bread would make great french toast and he agreed and told me to buy some when I was out. Well the Pepperidge Farm bread is something like 3 something a loaf I think and its not even a large loaf, probably more like 1/2 the size of a regular loaf of bread and would more than likely I would need at least 2 loaves to feed our creaw and I just couldn’t bring myself to spent that much so I didn’t buy it. I came home did some searching and made my own hm cinnamon swirl bread and then used it to make french toast that night. It was a huge hit and I’m guessing I spent about .50 or at least less than a 1.00 for 2 loaves of bread. Which I was right earlier and both were consumed!! Everyone liked it and I was happy to have saved a couple dollars making my own!!! My next accomplishment is that my children love those lunchables type lunches, I usually have coupons and buy them on sale but only as a treat for their packed lunches and only once in a while. Their favorite is the pizza one that comes with a deep dish pizza, a small drink, a couple of cookies and small package of cheez nip type crackers. I haven’t been able to buy any for them in a while due to lack of funds and good deals but mostly lack of funds. My oldest son came home last week and said a school friend of his had some kind of pizza roll in his lunch and it looked home made but he didn’t think it was and boy would it be great to have something like that in his lunch. Well you guessed it I did some internet searching and found a recipe and gave it a whirl and BIG HIT!!! I can get those cheez-it type crackers for 1.49 a box at the discount store,I do quite often they make a right handy snack and I can bake my own cookies which I do often as well and even if I buy juice boxes I get them at the discount store as well cheaper than I can buy them at the regular groery store or Walmart even. I’ve tried every sort of reuseable bottle but they all leak or don’t work so I am still searching for a cheaper alternative for those but now I can replicate their favorite type type of lunchable for FAR less than buying one even if its on sale and I have a coupon. So no more lunchables for us. They can have momables, instead!!! lol Its in a roll instead of deep dish but they don’t care, its pizza and thats all they care about, lol

  12. Good for you for finding a substitute for Lunchables. They are filled with extra sugar and chemicals, so your solution was cheaper and more nutritious! I am going to look up pizza rolls on the internet and try and make them for my husband’s lunch. THanks for the idea!

  13. momma-lana this sounds good I’m going to give it a try- I need to get rid of some oats too but way too much at a bulk food store!thanksvickie

  14. I love the JOY OF COOKING cookbook. I have one I bought in the early 80’s and an updated version from a few years ago. She always has the hard to find recipe or the instructions on how to do a cooking technique. I have made her banana cake recipe for my husband now 30 some years…I think I first baked it when we were dating. Her pound cake is excellent also. Oh and her roll cookie dough is the only one I have ever used for Christmas cutouts and they handle excellently . The rich roll cookie is good too, but that does not keep it’s shape as well.The cookbook I use most often is the Better HOmes and Garden with the red plaid cover. I have my mothers from the 50’s, mine from the late 70’s and the newest updated version. I love cookbooks actually, especially church ones. I often bring a cookbook back as a souvenir of a trip.

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