5 Ways We Saved This Week: freebies, ebay, art, and more

5 ways we saved $ can

1.  Prepared the harvest!  Canned 6 quarts of tomatoes, made salsa, froze okra, dried apples, and ate a lot from the garden.

2.  Relisted ebay items after taking a break for the summer.  I am looking forward to pulling out more items to photograph and list on ebay for money in the pocket and cleaner closets.

3.  Found both summer and school supply items at 75% off.  Summer items may go as much as 80% or 90% off this month.  Shopping clearance is a great way to prepare for birthday and Christmas gifts and Samaritan’s Purse shoe boxes!

4.  Walgreen’s has milk for $2.99 per gallon this week, so I bought two since milk is $4 here.  They run this sale often and you can always freeze milk to make it in between the sales.

5.  Displayed more children’s arts and craftsKid art is both a rewarding and an economical way to decorate our home!  More about this in a post to come…

Please do share- how did you save in ways big or small this week?

Linked to Living Well Spending Less

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.”



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