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Last week Winter cut and brought in grapes from the garden. The Thompson’s seedless grapes in the basket above weighed 20 pounds! We have filled that basket more than once this year from the same grape vine.

She also brought in some seeded grapes from the garden.

A friend of mine called and offered me 2 baskets full of tomatoes from her garden. This is the friend I mentioned previously who has a greenhouse with a swamp cooler to keep her garden cool during the summer. This was a wonderful blessing, since it is getting too hot to get many tomatoes from our garden now.

I cut two Armenian cucumbers from the garden. I don’t get many, but since they are so large, they go a long way!

I made yogurt, banana bread muffins, French bread, chocolate chip cookies, and pasta salad last week.

I used $29 in coupons this week to purchase toiletry items on sale at Target, plus I received another $30 in gift cards to use on a future visit. I am set for several months with some of the items that I purchased.

I also bought a few back to school items on sale this week, and used another $5 in coupons for those.

We attended my brother’s wedding last week. I made this burlap pillow for them (just like one his wife had pinned on Pinterest!) using burlap, muslin, and stuffing that I already had. I transferred the words with Citra Solv.
I also gifted them a set of kitchen towels, which I had made earlier. I transferred the image of two birds onto them with Citra Solv. Their wedding had both burlap and birds as part of the theme. 

I also finished making a purse for myself to take to the wedding! I used a leftover fabric scrap that I had from modifying my dress to make a purse that would match. I had just enough fabric to make the purse and the lining, as well as a little pocket inside. I had some thin batting on hand that I used in between the layers. I used this purse frame. I added the purse chain from another purse I already had. I may leave this chain on it, or get another one at some future date, or else I will just keep it as a clutch, which was my original plan. The purse cost me $3.95 to make (including tax). I will use it many more times, starting with taking it to church.

My brother and his beautiful bride

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. Last week was a little tricky, due to the Market Basket strike here in New England. I always shop multiple stores, so it didn’t upset me too much, but many people are very angry! By shopping the deals and using coupons I was able to get many freebies: paper towels, Dramamine, nail polish, and pudding. I also found $0.50 cereal, $0.40 frosting, and much more. Full details and pics here: Everyone is always welcome to join in!

  2. I second that. My MIL gave me some cloth diapers when my oldest was born. She’s 8 now. We are on tank water (the only water we get is what we collect from rainwater) and we simply don’t have the water for cloth diapers, especially back then when we were in the middle of a huge drought. I cut them up and use them as cleaning rags. Eight years on they’re still going strong.

  3. Don’t immediately discount a small home. My family of 5 lives in a 944 sq ft 1949 home. It is not always ideal but it saves on utilities, etc. We have a 50 x 100 yard so we are still able to put in a garden. Our mtg is under $600 / month.

  4. Slow savings week but I did have some progress!I listed box tops for education, soup labels and similac coupons on ebay for a profit of $13 after shipping.I harvested a few late strawberries, tomato, and tons of basil from the garden.We are planning a move so I picked up free boxes listed on craigslist.Collected seeds from basil, borage confederate jasmine.Went through my old seed box to plan for a fall garden using only what I already have on hand.I finally earned enough swagbucks for a few amazon cards to order a reusable coffee filter.Made most meals from scratch.

  5. Thanks for all the inspiration, everyone! Brandy, what a lovely photo of two glowing people.So far I’ve canned 12 quarts of tomato sauce. Made 2 gallon batches of salsa. We’ve enjoyed sliced fresh tomatoes with nearly every meal but breakfast. We always eat homemade meals. Made a double batch of oatmeal dinner rolls with leftover oatmeal. Shredded homegrown zucchini to fill 2 gallon bags. More to shred tomorrow.Made a large batch of granola today using leftover homemade pancake syrup to sweeten.Sewed a pair of shorts for 2 of my daughters. These were made from one large ladies’ t-shirt that I picked up at a yard sale for 25 cents! Also sewed a skirt & matching shirt from a man’s Tommy Hef. dress shirt for my 4 yr, old daughter. This shirt was purchased second-hand years ago.Mended 3 dresses and patched my 3 yr, old son’s jeans.A mouse damaged a casual tablecloth so I made it into napkins. I got 15 cloth napkins!My husband was gifted 6 white t-shirts in his size. He purchased 2 bottles of Rit dye in his favorite colors for these shirts. I plan to dye them tomorrow.And my BIG deal: a free treadmill! A man in our church is moving and asked my husband to help. He gave away the treadmill as he’s too busy to sell it. What a blessing! I prayed for this weeks ago in preparation for winter. We have a small bedroom but the machine just fits, also it folds up when not in use! God sure loves to give over and above what we desire.Blessings, Leslie

  6. I’m with Cindy. My husband and I live in a 1200 square foot ranch, built in 1977 that we bought in 1993 and had some work done on before moving in. No McMansion or huge mortgage for us. We are grateful to have a comfortable, respectable home that meets out needs. The home has appreciated a good bit since we bought it. We were never under water while we still had a mortgage. I think that happens more often when people over reach and go the McMansion route than it does when they just buy reasonable homes.The small size and old standard ceiling height of 8′ means cheaper utilities. This cooler than normal summer, plus new insulation last year, has meant even more utility savings. (We used approximately 350 fewer KWH than for the same period last year.) I just got our electric bill today. The actual bill for the month was $98, the averaged payment is $57, and–unbelievably at this stage of summer–we are still running a credit of a little over a dollar from the averaged payments that built up over the winter.

  7. I used 6 gallons of rain water yesterday to mop my floors. I have a 50 gallon rain barrel which is full and a 50 gallon plastic Rubbermaid trash can that I keep under a gutter and didn’t have enough room in the rain barrel for the extra water so mopped with it. Tomorrow I will use some to wash out my trash cans with. I need more gallon jugs to store the extra water, have ask neighbors but they never seem to remember.

  8. I really like your photographs. I went to a 10 cent sale and I got a couple of wardrobes for my baby in the next two sizes and some professional clothes for me. I bought manager special pork loins for 1.99 a pound and I was in a city with an Aldi and I stocked up on their lean frozen turkey meat for 1.59 a pound. I was given a lot of corn from a friend. I blanched and froze 8 family size portions. I’m looking forward to harvest around here. I have several green tomatoes- I can’t wait for a fresh tomato. 🙂

  9. I just found your blog and I’m so excited to follow it! I’m a homemaker full time and about to welcome our first child into the family. Finances are frequently on my mind! I love learning about ways I can be saving money. I’m going to subscribe, thanks for the great content!-Mollie from

  10. I made your Rosemary Olive Oil bread finally. I was a little nervous on the hand kneading (I use a bread machine to make our bread) and my yeast is starting to sour, but they turned out beautifully. The taste was so good too! My husband commented after his second slice “I don’t know who this Brandy is, but she gets 2 thumbs up from me!” Thank you. In the last 4 months being serious where money goes, this site has managed to convert my meat loving husband into a part time vegetarian and white artisan bread. Now if I could just get him to turn the lights off 🙂

  11. Brandy, As usual your pictures are lovely and your brother and new sisterinlaw look particularly stunning! Our frugal activities have been hit and miss; we are spending alot of our time at our rental house getting it ready for a new tenant so our family schedule is a wreck! I took food and drinks over there so that we can grab a quick bite without being tempted to go get take out and that has worked out well. I have used some coupons when grocery shopping and I purchased 4 2.5 pound bags of boneless skinless frozen chicken at $1.69 per pound which is a good deal. I also got 2 packages of reduced price italian sausage and that went into the freezer as well. As soon as we are done with the chores at our rental, I will take an inventory of what is in the freezer and plan our meals around what I already have. I sold a couple of items on ebay; I am saving the money I make to spend on Christmas presents. I met my Swagbucks goals almost every day and transferred another $25 to my Amazon account. I earned some iBotta credit and transferred $20 to my paypal. I guess the most frugal longterm accomplishment is getting a new renter for our rental house; we won’t have to pay the bills for the house starting tomorrow- yay!

  12. I love my mason jars and my husband is trying really hard to ditch the plastic too 🙂 We need more mason jars though lol! I’ve never heard of Anchor Hocking but will make sure I avoid them. Thanks for the heads up!

  13. Anna and Mandy, I don’t have a problem with Anchor-Hocking at all. Two of my oldest bread pans are A/H and they are at least 60 years old. I also have 3 pie plates and 2 covered casserole dishes, 2 round baking dishes and lots and lots of green Depression glass. I don’t see a difference in durability or usage compared to my Corning Ware and Pyrex pieces.I know my nested set of 4 Pyrex bowls is 30 years old as they were a wedding present along with set of 3 Corning French white covered casseroles.Too bad yours were a disappointment. I wonder if they are just not made as well now a days as unfortunately is the case with many items.

  14. Ow, the toe nail? I’ve had joints replaced but the thought of anything being done to a toenail or fingernail makes me feel sick. I hope it was a quick recovery.

  15. I store my full canning jars in a basement that I have to go outside to access. I bring a few at a time up into my home using a basket like the ones in a grocery store used when you buy a few groceries (so it’s strong). Although you probably don’t have a basement, you might be able to store a few boxes somewhere (garage, storage area) and just bring a few into the kitchen at a time. I don’t know your situation, so it may not work, but might be worth a try.

  16. Leslie,When you shred zucchini into a gallon bag, does it stick together? Do you have a use for a gallon at one time? I have a lot to shred this year, it looks like a bumper crop, but I would never have a use for a gallon at once. I’ve been putting it into little bags or saved sour cream cartons, etc., but it would be handy to put it all in one bag to save bags, so I wondered if you know a trick.

  17. That’s funny Mary! My husband likes to keep the lights off at all times even at night. I ask him if we’re living in a cave? LOL!!

  18. Well we homeschool but we were able to put that money along with our collected change jar to purchase school supplies for the school supply drive at church. Thanks for your question.

  19. Becky, I shred mine into smaller Ziploc and then put all in gallon size one. If you did not they would freeze solid into one inseparable chunk. I freeze in 2 cup measures and use the chunk as is for chili but if using for bread, cake etc I thaw first. When it thaws it looses moisture and is more like 1 cup after.I don’t know if maybe she has a way to freeze the zucchini shreds separate, like shredded hash browns. Then I suppose you would be able to break a chunk off as needed. I’d be interested to hear.

  20. My mother and I always froze the shredded zucchini in two cup portions, also, as that is what our zucchini bread recipe called for. For using in breads and cakes, we thawed in a bowl and put the entire contents of the bowl in the batter, because that liquid would still have been in the zucchini if you were using fresh. The first time I used frozen, I did not include the liquid and the cake was dry.

  21. Brandy, that is interesting about the FHA loans no longer being offered many places. My husband is a new agent here in Ohio, and I have not heard of that yet. If that is true here, that will not be good at all for him! The average day on the market here is already 98 days. On another note, I am thankful we live in a low cost of living area, modest homes here only average 100k.

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