5 Ways We Saved This Week: harvesting, preserving, shopping local, and more

5 Ways we saved garden

1.  Preserving one food a day.  By this time of year, gardens can seem to be too much trouble, the harvest too much to handle.  Besides heaping garden fare on dinner plates, one way I have helped our family use what we grow but not overwhelm myself is by tackling whatever food most needs to be preserved.  Yesterday, that was apples (dehydrated), today it is okra (to batter and freeze), and tomorrow will be tomatoes (salsa time!)

2.  Learning to use the pressure canner.  After a little research, I discovered that my pressure cooker is the right size for canning, so I ordered a rack for the bottom, free with my Swagbucks.  The gianormous amount of water to bring to a boil in the water bath canner not only used up much gas at the stove, but also heated up the house, causing the A/C to run all day.  I got over my fear of pressure canning to save the sweat!

3.  Shopped the local orchard for seconds.  Frost ruined the looks of the apples, but lowered the price, so we will enjoy apples all winter once my canning is done.

4.  Purchased local honey from my neighbor.  Hopefully, regular tastings throughout the year will help us purchase less allergy medications.

5.  Inherited several items from my grandmother, who passed away this summer.  Not only will we enjoy sentimental items that bring back memories of my childhood at her home, but also several useful kitchen items.

Linked to Living Well, Spending Less

Back to School Lunch Scripture Freebies



     Another school year is upon us (although I am slipping in a few more summer activities as long as the weather permits!)  It is tearfully hard to send children to school, but as for me, I know that the amazing schools and teachers we have here are nothing less than the best for my brood.
I truly believe Ann Voskamp can make just about anything beautiful- even the endless packing of school lunches!  You really must visit her blog and enjoy her free Sandwich Verse Wrappers and wrap their PB&J (or cheese and J) with love.

And I am looking forward to putting these free Scripture Lunch Box Encouragement Notes from Lauren at MercyInk in lunchboxes starting tomorrow- since I FORGOT notes on the first day of school!  At least we did get photos this year…

Taking the Rise & Shine Challenge


The countdown to school next week begins.  This is Practice Week.  Time to get back to early risings before the usual chaos ensues.  This free Rise & Shine Challenge from The Abundant Mama Project could not have come at a better time.

I already rise before everyone else, but we’re only talking minutes before everyone.  The alarm is set, but Snooze is hit over and over and over again until just ten precious minutes remain.  Ten minutes is NOT enough to rise, pray, read the Word, write, and caffeinate!

My personal challenge will be to set the alarm clock ten minutes earlier each day this week and drop the snooze button habit.  This should put me up before 6 am by the end of the week.  Also, just to be clear, I will not be participating on Sunday!

For the first Rise & Shine challenge, we are instructed to take some time to dream a little and consider the following …

What you want your ideal mornings to feel like?

How do you want them to flow?

What sounds do you want to hear?

My answers?  Mornings will feel peaceful and unhurried; they will flow at my pace- set by what has been accomplished ahead of time; and the sound of quiet will only be interrupted by the multitude of nature sounds that envelop my porch.  Sound too good to be true?  Actually, it’s not- I have experienced this before, so it is achievable again!

Will you take the Rise & Shine Challenge?  Do let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Free printable Word strengtheners


I love these free printable “Word Strengthener” cards from Ann Voscamp.  Place them in your pocket or put them by the kitchen sink to tuck these words into your heart, because as Ann puts it,

The Word in our words might really change our worlds.”



Gaining perspective on frugality


The year is well over the halfway mark now, and what a year it has been thus far!  My so-called “extreme” frugality has been hit with a perspective check.  When life throws you a few lemons, yes, you make that lemonade, but you also have to swallow the reality that money comes and money goes- but it goes twice as fast!

Over the past two years, we have scrimped along and ridden the debt snowball all the way to the last stronghold:  the mortgage.  Before paying that monstrosity off, we have been socking away money in what I have attempted to term the “car fund”.  When my husband’s company vehicle dies, we are on our own for the next one.  My car needed a new battery last weekend and at some point, like all good cars, it will die as well.  Car payments are the pits and we plan on paying cash for our next vehicle.

However, it seems that finally having money in the bank can only mean that storms will blow:

~paychecks are erratic…

~things break…

~medical costs surmount…

One of us is enduring a dangerous health condition this week- and the hospital bills will come.   But money will not be on our minds.  A clean bill of health is the only “bill” that matters.   Cars can go ahead and age and 1990′s appliances can take more duck-tape! treasure

Sometimes our precious savings are spent on food and house payments.  It is hard to watch all that hard work at building savings go out the window for everyday needs, but we have to continue to grow and harvest and mend and live.  You simply hope to save the money again, when you can.

How do you arrive at a more positive, less worrisome perspective on money?


~Studying scripture (enjoy the free printable shown above from Rich Wells)

~Striving to keep thoughts on an eternal perspective

~Willpower to resist giving up and just blowing what is left (do not ask me how I know this!)

This takes effort each and everyday.  If you are in a difficult place with your perspective on money, know that I will pray for you today!   Please do leave your thoughts on this in the comments.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

~Matthew 6:21 NIV

Linked to Living Well, Spending Less

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