Ever since we’ve had the tree up, I start my morning by taking Ivory (who wakes me early in the morning; I nurse her and then she’s up after that around 4:50 am on average; sometimes earlier) into the living room, and turning on the Christmas lights. I love watching the delight on her face each morning.
Now for this week’s frugal accomplishments:
I made Christmas gifts. I wrapped gifts with paper I bought on clearance several years ago, and vintage curling ribbon that my mom gave me (some was from the 70’s, and some was much older than that!).

I cut the buttons off of a worn dress and added them to my button jar.

We watched a movie and a tv show for free on Hulu.

The only food I purchased this week was a can of olives, which was free after a coupon. I also used a coupon to get a free container of dental floss. Both were internet printable coupons.

I picked up my free 5 x 7 print that I ordered last week at Walgreen’s.

I made homemade Rosemary Olive Oil bread.

A friend offered us her son’s outgrown bicycle. It needs a little grease on the chain, some air in the the tires, and some cleaning up (it is rusty in a few spots) but I think my older son will enjoy it!

My mom’s friend’s daughter changed to a gluten-free diet. She offered me some things that she could no longer eat, including a couple of buckets of oats.

She also had some food-grade diatomaceous earth that she no longer wanted. I hope it will help me get rid of the bug problem in the garden! The mild winter last year meant an abundance of bugs, which ate my garden down to very little. Diatomaceous earth can also be mixed with water and sprayed on your trees when they are dormant, to kill overwintering bugs. I may try this out instead of or in addition to the organic dormant oil that I usually use in January.

I rolled up towels to put inside the house in front of my front door. It stopped the draft the blows through there in winter. I had been planing to make a door snake for several years, but I’ve never had the time. This solution took 30 seconds, and will be fine for the next couple of months until it’s warm again.

I saved seeds from the basil in my garden.

My daughter received a free knitting lesson from my grandmother’s neighbor.

What did you do to save money this week?

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  1. No wedding plans yet…we are currently trying to conceive, so I’d like to do that first and then have some time to lose some weight after! 🙂 The name of the socks are Darn Tough. They are manufactured in Vermont, but you can get them on Amazon. The price for them can be pretty steep ($15-20/pair), but when you consider they have a lifetime warranty, it’s not too bad.

  2. Hi ,Bless you for having so many animals. I also love animals they really help when you have a stresfull day. Pet rats are really smart we had them growing up. The chicken are great at bug controll and love to eat scraps. mavis 100 dollars a month .comtalks on her blog how she got free left over produce for her chickens. Her family also benefits from it too.Blessings,Patti

  3. from Athanasia…re’ homemade cocoa mix– Is it possible to make one without the powdered creamer? We don’t use that stuff. Would it be less thick or something if just increased the amount of powdered milk??

  4. from Athanasia…I love Starbucks. I just redeemed my free drink also. My middle daughter worked there all through college and they are a great employer. They work with schedules, it is a clean, safe environment to work in, and they provide insurance even for part-timers. That was so good, as being self employed we have never been able to afford insurance, so at least she was covered. Which is good as she has always been susceptible to tonsillitis. She was able to get her tonsils out Sophomore year in college.

  5. from Athanasia…Yeay, It if frugal and environmentally friendly. Too much is going into landfills that doesn’t need to.In our office in our lunchroom we have real dishes, real silverware. It’s all a bunch of mish-mash pieces collected over the years. There is a sink, a drying rack , towels, a quick washout and back in the cupboard. Also we make a pot of coffee every am and have a toaster and a microwave so if one is running late no need to stop and get something. Or make a make-do lunch. We keep bagels and English muffins, jam, mayonaise and mustard in the fridge. Peanut butter,, instant oatmeal, crackers in the cupboard. Never forget about the environment.

  6. from Athanasia…Sent in a rebate for $80 for the new tires for my car. Received $12 in mail for rebate on oil bought to do the oil change in my car.Found out how to make refill soap…over the years have various pump containers for liquid soap that are holiday oriented and once the soap was gone, never wanted to throw them away, just got stored under sink. These are always the foaming soap. We always use liquid soap and just refill with the gallon jug but never knew what to do with the foaming kind. I had bought a dish soap I did not like…scented…can’t use scents…and offered to a friend. She said sure, she needed to refill her foaming soap dispensers. So to make long story short, I now can refill my holiday dispensers.

  7. I also like to save and use up the soap slivers. I have put the soap slivers in an old sock or an old bath mitt and then used the old sock or old bath mitt in the shower to soap up.Jill

  8. Thank you for mentioning your candy sorting! Why have I never thought to do this? I also picked up 2 bags of clearance M & M’s with coupon very cheaply. We really have plenty of sweets right now. I will wait until February to open and sort them, but I am using this idea!

  9. Well we received a gift card for the grocery store in town from my parents at Christmas. It is for $75, which I am using to mainly buy meat since it is the most expensive part of our grocery budget. I am trying to get several pounds of ground beef and chicken. I am also going to buy a 5 lb bag of potatoes,a couple bottles of vegetable oil, and purchase another jar of peanut butter for the kids. I am also using it to purchase another large can of formula for the baby. This will help us alot, I am going to base all meals around these purchases, and what we currently have in the freezer/pantry. I purchased a new coffeemaker online for $4 with free shipping, I saw the deal on moneysaving mom, I am putting it up for when our coffeemaker dies. I have really been trying to combine errands to save on gas, and also so that I can get more done at home. I am also washing everything with cold water. My husband refuses to eat meatless meals, but I cut the amount of meat in half in a couple meals this week and he didn’t notice, so I will continue to do that. I made a large pot of black eyed peas with a ham bone stashed in the freezer, and froze enough for 2 more meals(as a side).

  10. Bagged Rolos are also a good candy to sort, since the foil cover is red, green or gold: red for Valentines Day, green for St. Patricks Day, gold for Easter. – Marivene

  11. Athanasia, We have made a cocoa mix similar to this one without the creamer. It is not as “smooth” tasting, because the cream adds fat, but other than that, it was quite good. We usually just heat milk in a cup in the microwave until it is just under boiling, & drop in 2 pieces of Dove dark chocolate. Stir until melted. If making for more than one, I heat the milk on the stove, drop in the Dove chocolates & whisk after they melt. Not as sweet as usual, since the only sugar comes from the chocolates, & we make it with skim milk, too. – Marivene

  12. We finally got a storm door this past October, & I cannot believe the difference it has made in our front room. I used to keep a rolled up towel in front of the door, but I no longer need it, since there is no longer a draft there.- Marivene

  13. I have not commented on this posting very much because I do not keep track of frugal things I do but I really enjoy reading and thinking about being frugal. I like how one of the readers uses categories so I am going to list some things I think are frugal by categories.Family spending planStayed in budget all of December.Made a Xmas budget and stuck to it like glue for all Xmas gifts, activities, and food.GroceriesStayed in budget for each week.Got 10 lbs. of potatoes for 49 cents.Got baking items 70%-90% off in after Xmas sales.Got a turkey for 79 cents/lb.Got a ham for 79 cents/lb.Bought items on sale in November and made Xmas dinner from stockpile.Got candy on 75% clearance plus using coupons for very cheap for making baked goods.Got 4 piece box of candy for 30 cents each-bought 10 for Valentine’s Day and Easter.SpiritualWent to Xmas activities at church.Went to Advent services.Made a Advent calendar off the computer and used for the month of December.CleaningMade vinegar home cleaning solution.Cleaned the house for the holidays thoroughly and kept clean.RelaxationWent to all the “free” Xmas activities throughout December.OrganizationMade New Year’s goals for 2013.Made list for homemade gifts for daughter’s birthday in January.Filled out a reflection sheet for Xmas 2012 to have for 2013 (reminds me what I like about Xmas in 2012 and what I did not like in 2012).Made January budget.Xmas 2012Made most of my gifts for 2012 (after discovering The Prudent Homemaker website).Xmas 2013Took large storage bags and put names on each bag and will fill with stocking stuffers throughout 2012 (i.e. freebies I might get, small toys I got on 90% clearance for babies).Started Xmas list for 2013 and started making a list of potential homemade gifts for family.Got yarn for 75% off at Walmart to make Xmas gift (and other)at after Xmas clearances sales.Got yarn at Black Friday sales for very inexpensive.Daughter’s January birthdayMade a list of homemade gifts.Got flannel at 70% off to make PJs.Got 2 white button down blouses for $3/item and 2 twill uniform pants for $4/item for presents.Crocheted scarves to go with school uniforms.CraftsMade a cover for Kindle (got from children; they got free from using Amazon gift bought with Swag bucks).Made a crochet hook holder for crochet hooks and tapestry needles.Made a “knock off” rose scarf like the one on The Prudent Homemaker website. I posted my scarf here http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=6167461842212596908#editor/target=post;postID=5450578859638671856. I hope that is OK to post. I admired your velvet scarf so much so I tried to crochet one of my own. My daughter asked one for herself so I made her a purple one, her favorite color, for her birthday.Thank you to all your readers for the frugal ideas and thank you for all the ideas.Anna

  14. from Athanasia…Oh I will try this. Someone gifted our office a bag of DOVE chocolates at Christmas. I have been putting them out in the candy dish. I will try tomorrow. Thanks Marivene!

  15. Thanks, Valerie – that link worked for me, & I was able to see both of Marilyn’s crocheted scarves. – Marivene

  16. This list covers a couple of weeks. I received a free sample of vitamins and a free sample of body wash in the mail.Used existing wrapping paper, tissue paper, gift bags, gift boxes and mailing boxes to wrap and mail all Christmas gifts. Gave three people gifts that free to me. Not a lot but at least it is something. Attempted to stick to the Christmas budget that I set up in the fall.Brought several food items with us to Wisconsin when we visited relatives. I bought some of the items on sale and used coupons. Other items were treats that were given to us and we wanted to share them. Turned the heat down to 60 degrees for the four days that we were in Wisconsin.My sister in law gave us several leftover food items that we brought back with us. My dad gave us some extra candy and we really enjoyed!Went to the grocery store at the end of December and used a coupon for $5.00 off when you spend $50.00.Both my husband and I used gas points to fill up the week of Christmas. That saved us both about $0.30/gal.Brandy – the picture of your daughter looking at the Christmas tree is so beautiful!Happy 2013 everyone!Jill

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