Tag Archives: Saving Money

Frugal Things I Did Last Week

6 Jul

june 2013 003

We made homemade popsicles.  In the photo above Eli is enjoying his popsicle and his cousin Anna’s.  🙂

I borrowed Downton Abbey Season 2 from the library.

My niece June Eloise was born.  I gave her two flannel crib sheets that I had made and a set of cloth wipes as her baby gift.

We packed a cooler for all of our outings.

I sewed another newborn fitted cloth diaper from scrap fabric in my stash.  (I will try to take a photograph soon.)

My son got an ear infection and needed antibiotics.  I had the prescription filled at Meijer Pharmacy where many antibiotics are free.  His prescription cost nothing!

I used a coupon at Kohls when my husband bought new clothes.

I did not go to the grocery store all week.  I try to only go to the grocery 3 times a month.  I would love to get it down to every other week by the time our new baby comes.

My friend gave me a huge box of girl clothes that will fit our new baby after her first birthday.  There were lots of pretty dresses too!

Hope you are having a wonderful summer! 



Frugal Things I Did Last Week

28 Jun
Five years ago tomorrow the hubby asked me to marry him!

Five years ago tomorrow the hubby asked me to marry him!

I sewed 2 fitted newborn cloth diapers using Kwik Sew 3690.  A friend from church was kind enough to let me try them on her daughter.  The pattern is simple to sew but it is off on the amount of elastic used in the legs.  I think I added almost 2 inches of elastic to each leg.

I made a baby gift for my new niece June who is coming soon!  Baby gifts are one of my favorite things to make.  I actually asked my sister-in-law what she needed and ended up sewing 2 flannel crib sheets and a set of cloth wipes.  I use flannel on one side of the wipes and a baby towel on the other side.

The hubby and I went on 2 dates!  For date #1 we went to a bookstore and browsed around for a while.  This is one of our favorite things to do together without kids along.  🙂  We also used a great coupon at ColdStone Creamery to buy ice cream and then went for a walk.  For date #2 we went out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants using a gift card.  Then we went window shopping at the mattress store.  I learned that my husband and I are now complete opposites when it comes to what type of mattress we like.  We really need to purchase a mattress & bed so that we have a guest bed when family comes to visit.  Hopefully we will be able to save up enough to purchase this before the new baby comes.  I was SHOCKED at how expensive mattresses are.  I think a new mattress will cost about twice as much as I had thought.  😦

I printed off free activity sheets for Eli to use on a stormy morning.

I worked on weeding my garden when it was dry enough.  I also planted sunflower plants by our house to fill an awkward gap in our landscaping.  I planted two varieties-one is supposed to be nice for bouquets.  They just bloomed and really add color to our front yard.  I also planted 6 cucumber plants that I had started from seed in the float tray.  I waited way to long to transplant them and there were even three cucumbers on the plants!

I made homemade Red Pepper Hummus.  We have enjoyed it as a snack with crackers and inside a grilled cheese.

I went to a couple of garage sales on Saturday.  I found clothes for Eli & a couple of things for our little Pumpkin.  Brandon & Eli also purchased matching jerseys which are lots of fun.

I took Eli to the sprinkler park before heading to the grocery store.  We purchased a summer pass to the sprinkler park which makes this a very inexpensive activity.  Eli also wore a cloth swim diaper while he was there.  We took a small cooler and spent $0 money on snacks.

What frugal activities did you do last week? 

Frugal Things I Did The Last 2 Weeks

13 Jun
A picture of the Loveland Castle we recently visited.

A picture of the Loveland Castle we recently visited.


Recently Brandon took us to the Loveland Castle located less than an hour from our home.  Admission was only $3/person and Elijah was free!  It was really neat exploring.  We took along a cooler for drinks but did go out to eat at a local restaurant.  We have also enjoyed Storytime @ the Library (free) and a couple of trips to the Sprinkler Park.

The first pot-holder I have ever made was a birthday gift for my mom.

The first pot-holder I have ever made was a birthday gift for my mom.

For my mother’s birthday I made her a potholder.  I had never made one before so this was a little bit of a stretch for me.  I used fabric and supplies I had on hand.  For the batting I used 3 layers of Insul-Brite (special heat-resistant batting).  We also celebrated my brother’s birthday & my Grandmother’s 80th birthday recently.  We had separate cookouts for each of their birthdays where I brought side dishes and dessert.  For my Grandmother’s birthday I gave her a variety of jams that I had made over the last year.  She was very excited!  I also gave my brother (who lives on his own) a variety of things I had canned from out garden last year.

I went to another street subdivision yard sale this past weekend.  I purchased some things for Elijah including a really cute pair of pajamas.  I found a nice bag for myself to use for church and a couple of baby items.  Okay let’s be honest I purchased A LOT of baby items.  🙂

Elijah and I went to Aldi after a fun afternoon at the Sprinkler Park.  I try really hard to buy all of our basics there.  Even with food costs on the rise Aldi is still hands down much cheaper than any of our local grocery stores.

More car repairs this week but this time on our gas squeezer car I first bought in high school.  Major bummer and such a squeeze to us right now.  I’m really thankful for the car especially since gas here is almost $4.00.  I also saved $20 on a coolant flush for our van by shopping around.  The cheapest place was actually our regular mechanic.  🙂  Unfortunately we learned that our van needs lots of work and wants to eat a lot of parts right now.  We don’t have the money to fix it so it is just going to have to wait a while.

I have been able to work in the garden some when it isn’t raining.  I planted tomato plants, pepper plants, and more green beans.  We love green beans at our house so I usually try to plant them every two weeks so that we have them all summer long.  I purchased a bunch of flowers for just 2.00.  Some I planted in a planter and the rest I planted in a hanging basket I had saved from last year.


Frugal Things I Did Last Week

3 Jun
I'm super bad at taking photos of myself with my new camera.  I thought this sign was a little crazy that I found on vacation.  It read: "Enter at your own risk.  Limited Emergency Services Available."

I’m super bad at taking photos of myself with my new camera. I thought this sign was a little crazy that I found on vacation. It read: “Enter at your own risk. Limited Emergency Services Available.”

It was finally dry enough to till the garden!  I have been anxiously waiting for over a month to get the garden planted to I am stoked!  So far I have planted green beans, lettuce, a herb garden, and some peas.  It’s too late to plant peas but I decided to plant some in a shady spot and see what happens.  I’m really hoping to have a nice herb garden this year.

Elijah & I went on vacation with my family. ( Unfortunately Brandon wasn’t able to join us.)  We packed two coolers: a small cooler that fits between our van seats filled with drinks & a larger cooler that contained some larger items (milk & oj).  I did a little bit of shopping for things that we needed: new pajamas for Eli (they were cheaper than I could sew them), shoes/clothes for me, & I even purchased Elijah 2 new pairs of Stride Rite gym shoes at an outlet for $16.  These shoes retail about $50 each so I was super excited about this!  We went back to Dollywood where I have a pass & Elijah gets in free.  We had a lovely time on vacation and I am so glad we were able to go.

When I went on vacation a couple of weeks ago I left a bag of books (oops) at our hotel.  Thankfully I was able to pick them up this week instead of paying $25 to have them shipped.

I watched Downton Abbey Season 1 this past week which I borrowed from the library.  (There is one scene in the first episode you need to fast forward through.)

I purchased a pair of maternity shorts at a thrift store.  Yeah!  They are super comfy and look great.  I also found a gift bag for .25 that is beautiful.  I will be using it for an upcoming wedding present.

A very unfrugal thing happened last week.  My van actually broke while we were on vacation.  Thankfully I was not along an interstate!  After carefully weighing the options I chose to get the van fixed rather than tow it home (we were 5 hours away).  It did okay on the drive home so I am just hoping there is nothing else wrong.  This was a major bummer and I think we will have to tighten our belt of frugality for the next few months to make up for it.  We had just had the van serviced so we were not expecting this in our budget.  😦  The mechanic told me to expect more repairs this summer which is disappointing and a little stressful.

What are your best tips for saving money during the summer months?


Frugal Things I Did Last Week

25 May
We had a great time enjoying the new Reptile Exhibit at the Zoo.

We had a great time enjoying the new Reptile Exhibit at the Zoo.

We went to the zoo one day using our zoo pass which is going to expire at the end of the month.  It was lovely and we even packed a picnic.  We have a very nice sized cooler that fits conveniently in the bottom of our stroller.

I mended a bunch of Eli’s clothes including a bunch of underwear.  I don’t know how in the world he gets holes in them all the time.

Thankfully I was able to cook again this week.  It was a busy week for me but I used the Crock-Pot 3 times.  I even used it to make Tapioca one day for dessert.

I made this tote bag for my son this past week.  The outside has a pocket that holds 8 crayons.

I made this tote bag for my son this past week. The outside has a pocket that holds 8 crayons.

I sewed a small tote bag for Elijah that is very similar to the one I made for my cousin Anna.  I had all of the material on hand.  I let Eli choose between a couple of different fabrics that I had purchased on sale.  He chose a fun jungle print.  Thankfully I even had some webbing on hand.  I have made tote bags in the past and have used fabric for the handles but I really prefer the webbing.  The tote bag is a great size for a 3-year-old.  It holds a couple of toys, a book, and a snack.

We finally got to go kayaking again for the first time this year!  My husband & I both own kayaks so this is an almost free activity for us.  We usually kayak on a large local lake so our only expense is gas.  We always pack a cooler so we aren’t tempted to stop to buy drinks on the way home.  🙂  It’ll be interesting to see how far into the summer I will be able to kayak since I’m expecting.  I felt pretty wobbly getting in this time.  🙂

I canned strawberry jam using strawberries I had purchased for 1.00/pound.  This was my first time making strawberry jam and it was definitely a success.  The jam itself is also highly addictive!  I think we ate more peanut butter & jelly sandwiches this week because of it!

We have been keeping the windows open instead of running the air conditioner most days.

My sweet hubby picked up a book for me on Photoshop 11 from the library.  I have taken two 2 classes on Photoshop from our library but I really only know how to do a couple of things in the program.  One of my goals for this year is to learn how to take better photographs & edit them.  Does anyone have any tips on great free tutorials online?

Eli & I went to a street sale.  We had lots of fun together walking around the entire neighborhood.  I purchased a tablecloth, 2 maternity skirts, 3 dress shirts for Brandon in his exact size, a bassinett cover, a book for Eli that I hope to read aloud sometime next year, 2 vintage handkerchiefs  a pair of earrings, and a magnetic game for Eli.  I’m planning on purchasing a cheap cookie sheet and letting Eli play with magnets on our next road trip.  Has anyone tried this?

What frugal things did you do last week?  


Frugal Things I Did Last Week

13 May
The Curling Iron/Flat Iron Case I sewed last week.

The Curling Iron/Flat Iron Case I sewed last week.


I sewed a mother’s day gift for my mother-in-law using materials I had on hand.  I made a Flat Iron/Curling Iron Case since she does a lot of traveling.  It is made out of special batting (Insul-Brite) so you can actually put your hair tools inside while it is still hot.  I thought it was a pretty neat idea.  I used this tutorial but I attached the bias tape differently than they did.  It was a little tricky but I was pleased with how it turned out.  I may have to invest in a walking foot if I sew another one.

I cooked!  I’ve been fairly nauseated this pregnancy so this is a big accomplishment for me.  I even cooked ground beef one night which is huge for me!  Along with cooking lunch & dinner most days I made Banana Muffins (to use up old bananas) and homemade CrockPot granola.

I received a book from PaperBack Swap that had been on my wish list.

Elijah & I made homemade Koolaid Playdoh one day when it was rainy.  He played with it for almost an hour!

We picked wildflowers to use as our table centerpiece this week.

I combined all of our errands into one morning to save time and gas.  It was tiring (I ran 8) but it was great to get them all out-of-the-way at once.

I hosted Mother’s Day brunch at our home on Mother’s Day right after church for 10 people.  I served: Fresh Fruit with Dip, Biscuit & Gravy Casserole, French Toast Apple Strata, Sausage Bake, Cinnabon Coffee Cake, and we had a Yogurt Bar with different toppings.  For drinks we had Water with lemons, Milk, Orange Juice, Coffee, & Homemade Starbucks Iced Cappuccino.  I think everyone had a really nice time.  I really enjoyed changing things up and serving brunch instead of lunch or dinner.  🙂

I watched a free newborn photography class from Creative Live.  Realistically I doubt I will feel well enough to take our new baby’s newborn photos but we’ll see.  I learned so much from the class.  I’m half tempted to borrow a baby doll and practice!  In case I’m not feeling well enough I would welcome a recommendation for a photographer in the area who has experience with newborns.

Elijah & I picked up a free small jar of paint from Lowes.  I had a craft project in mind for Eli’s room so I let him choose the color.  The man at Lowe’s was so kind that he let Elijah pick out whatever color he wanted.  Then he let him go behind the counter and watch the paint get mixed.  I think this was the highlight of Eli’s day!

My aunt came over and worked on our landscaping.  She gave us some perennials to fill in some of the bare spots and even planted them!  I can’t wait until they bloom.

I still haven’t been able to get my garden planted because it will not stop raining!  Does anyone have any advice for speeding up plant growth?  




Frugal Things I Did The Last Two Weeks

7 May
The lined tote bag I made for my cousin's 4th birthday.  The pocket on the outside holds 8 crayons.

The lined tote bag I made for my cousin’s 4th birthday. The pocket on the outside holds 8 crayons.

We just returned from a WONDERFUL vacation to the Smoky Mountains a couple days ago.  I took a break from technology while on vacation so I thought I would share things I did during the past 2 weeks.  Honestly we pretty much took a break from our “frugal ways” and splurged a lot while on vacation.  We saved up for our vacation and paid cash for everything.  🙂   

I made a nice tote bag for my cousin Anna’s 4th birthday.  It has a pocket on the outside for crayons and is lined (& padded).  It is small enough that she can actually carry it but large enough that it will hold enough toys for a day trip.  I was really pleased with how it turned out.  I hope to make Elijah one sometime this summer.

I went to lots of yard sales with my Mom one Saturday.  I don’t often get to go shopping with her so this was a real treat.  I found some really cute clothes for Eli, a maternity jacket for myself, and even a few baby items.  😉

I found the 3t/4t  summer clothes box for Elijah.  He always gets so excited when I get out of box of clothes.  Sometimes there are even toys inside!  I buy most of Elijah’s clothes at yard sales or thrift stores the year before he will be a certain size.  This summer I will be looking to buy clothes for this winter and next year.  This saves us LOTS of money and really helps us from having to purchase lots of clothing last minute when the weather changes.  Usually I notice a few gaps in what is in the box that I will fill in as needed.  I also found a pair of sandals in his box that fit him great but no gym shoes.  It’s really hard to find decent used little boy shoes at this age!

My aunt gave me a huge box of Pink Pull Ups and Little Swimmers.  I don’t care at all that the Pull Ups are pink and will let Eli sleep in them.  🙂  I am sending the Little Swimmers to keep at my parent’s house.  They have a pool and Eli often goes swimming when he visits.  (Since we swim a lot we use cloth swim diapers most of the time.)  My aunt also gave me a pink sled and a pair of snow boots which may or may not fit Eli next winter.  I will add the snow boots to Eli’s winter box.  If they don’t fit this winter then I will just give them to a friend.

My husband preached a revival at another church in the area.  Each night before the service they had dinner which we enjoyed. It was so nice not having to make dinner for four nights and a great way to fellowship with members of that church.

I received two free books to review in the mail this week.  I read one while on vacation and it was great!  🙂

We stayed at a Comfort Inn (Choice Hotels) for our vacation.  Usually when traveling this is our hotel of choice because as Farm Bureau Members we receive an excellent rate.  Our rate was about $15 cheaper per night than anything I found online.  Comfort Inn hotels are usually family friendly, have a great indoor pool, clean, quiet, and have a wonderful breakfast.  We ate breakfast every morning of vacation (except 1) at the hotel since the food was really good.  We chose to eat out for both lunch and dinner but I did split my food nearly every meal with Eli rather than purchase him a separate kid’s meal.  We also drank water (no stupid tax for us) when dining out.  For snacks we enjoyed fruit or homemade energy bites that I took with us.  We took a small cooler with us.  Each morning I packed it with snacks and drinks to enjoy throughout the day.

A friend passed along jeans that should fit Elijah this winter.

What frugal things did you do last week?