5 Ways We Saved Money This Week: thrifting, harvesting, & debt reduction

5 Ways we saved $ July

1.  Repurposed a $1 yard sale top into this pretty laundry clip bag.  More shopping at two thrift stores resulted in $1.50 clothing items in both current and future sizes for my children.  A few Christmas gifts and some craft items- which are often used to make gifts- were found as well.

2.  A cashier I have visited for years at CVS actually dropped her jaw at my last shopping trip!  Thanks to previous ExtraCare Bucks, I spent just over $1 out of pocket and then… out printed $14 more in ECBs.

3.  Harvested zucchini, tomatoes, okra, peppers, cucumbers, and beans.  We have eaten from our garden every day and are knee deep in the process of preserving.  The big question is how many ways can you cook zucchini?!

4.  Purchased a deep fryer to save money on oil, as we have indulgently enjoyed frying a lot of garden foods in the cast iron skillet.  This particular fryer is a multi-purpose cooker, dishwasher safe, and a low price (no compensation received thanks to an odd affiliate policy!)

5.  Hopefully, we have saved enough to pay cash for our next vehicle.  This week, we began paying more on our mortgage.  The amount we used to pay on an auto loan and home equity loan will now be paid on the mortgage.  Gotta love the debt snowball!

Linked to Living Well Spending Less


What would you do with a day off from everything?

day off

What would you do with a day off from everything?  Not just a day off of work, but a day all to yourself?  I have been given that gift and it is the strangest thing.  Holding back tears as the grandparents drove away, I knew I had to hit my to-do list in order to not miss them in a dreadful way.  Thankfully, it was Sunday, so the list included my husband; and together we had lunch out, a 3D movie, shopping, garden fare for dinner, and neighbors over for cards.


And the days roll on.  Yesterday, my mother and I went thrifting and I discovered some amazing finds, including this loot from an antique/thrift store.  The wool blend yarn was $5 altogether and I noticed as I set up the photo that the brown one alone had a $14.95 price tag.  I love the $2 basket wreath- what color would you paint it?  I’ll probably go with white since the natural color is long gone.  The $1 tiny chair has already been hit with a paint touch-up and it will go in the dollhouse (that could use some serious attention when my little girl returns!)  The jewelry box still plays when a little drawer is opened inside.  I was looking for a metal loom to replace my girl’s flimsy plastic one and found this one, circa 1948.  Not pictured is a $2 wool Gap coat, a $2 boys blazer, a $3  like-new Polaroid camera (that did not make the cut on a list last Christmas but it will this year!), and some $1.50 Chaps, GAP, Gymboree, and Abercrombie children’s clothes.

laundry bag

I crafted this from a $1 yard sale top… after finding the idea on Pinterest, of course.  My previous laundry pin bag was a holey mesh bag with a rusty hook- what a relief to replace it with something so pretty to help get the laundry done!

My “schedule” each weekday looks like this:

-quiet time


-deep cleaning the house, one child’s room a day

-spackling, painting, and sealing grout

-an organization project a day

-work on the church’s website

-a craft a day

-downtime with my husband

-running errands some days


I miss my little ones a lot, but I also know that this time with grandparents is precious for them all.  My oldest was first in flight for our family yesterday:  hang-gliding off the tallest dune on the east coast!

The child-exodus also happened a few days last summer, but I spent my evenings volunteering at VBS- which meant no time with my husband.  As much as I would love to help, as I made that nightly commute to town, my husband would be making his way to an empty home.  Our marriage needs this.

A note of encouragement:

For those mothers of tiny ones, know that this is temporary.  Yes, little ones are precious, but parenting them can bring some toil and trouble.  Nursing, potty training, discipline issues, and a tight budget meant that there were so many times I yearned for not just a day off, but even just one hour.  Take heart, for it is so true that the days are long but the years are short.   Count the little blessings you find in each [endless] day.  Quicker than you think, the time will come that your children will be ready to venture off with other family members or to school or maybe even under the care of your oldest.

Please do tell- how would you spend a day- or several days- off from everything?

Linked to Works for Me Wednesday

Chick-fil-A: Dress Like a Cow, Get a FREE Meal

dress like a cow

Today is the day!  Dress like a cow from head to toe, and you will receive a free meal at Chik-fil-A.  If you wear some type of cow accessories, you will get a free entree.  This photo features us in our traditional Dress Like a Cow Day attire.  We reuse the paper masks every year and receive $30 worth of food right down to free dessert!  You can also find free printable accessories on Chik-fil-A’s website.

5 Ways We Saved This Week

5 ways we saved this week

1.  Harvested October beans, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, blackberries, swiss chard, and herbs.  We have a great bartering system going as well:  our parents planted earlier, so they are getting more in to share with us and we will share with them as we have excess late in the summer.  My meal planning is according to what all these family gardens provide!  To accompany these plate loads of veggies, my husband wants a meat, which I pull from the freezer stockpile and cook and serve in small portions.

2.  Traveled out of town for a swim meet at a club that did not allow outside foods.  With hotdogs at $3 and drinks at $2, we could run up a huge tab.  Instead, we packed a cooler of drinks and another one of homemade food and ate a 4 pm meal on the way there and an 8 pm meal on the way home!

3.  DIY:  Spray painted and sanded and spray painted and sanded several times until a yard sale find light fixture was pretty enough for my daughter’s room.  I will be trying my hand at replacing the fixture by using this tutorial from Sawdust and Embryos.

4.  Discovered $1 bread at a bakery outlet.  Now we can find sandwich bread for $1 or less at this outlet, the dollar store, and our grocery store.  PB&J on homemade bread is just not working for us!

5.  Loaded up on books at the library after searching the online catalog to find the right branch to visit.  We have no library here, so a trip to a nearby town combined with other errands is the only way to go unless it is a bookmobile week.  We can also request books to be delivered to other branches or placed on the bookmobile.  Additionally, my daughter purchased used books on ebay and at a used book store at the beach.  If we go back to this beach next year, we will take used books to trade in for credit.

What ways have you saved lately?  Big or small, they all add up!

Linked to Living Well Spending Less

Be Joyful in Hope… Free Romans 12 Printable


We are working diligently on learning Romans 12 this summer- our first little venture into some serious scripture memorization.  Our efforts are doable only thanks to the help of Ann’s free Romans Project cards and Kristi’s free Romans 12:12 printable as shown above.

Other ways we are learning verses include:

*writing a verse on our chalkboard at the table

*sticking verses to the bathroom mirrors

*listening to them on YouBible

*reading and reciting them to each other

*writing them out together

*enjoying Scripture Typer (which is also free and almost too fun!)


Have a joyful week!

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