Thursday, October 4, 2012

How I saved money this week

I've been wanting to keep track of how I've been saving money each week. I'm discovering that small little practices add up to big savings. So, here is how I saved money this week in my household:

1. I have an olive tree that is full of olives in my front yard. I've wanted to learn how to cure olives for years so I finally gathered the courage to tackle it with the help of a dear friend's advice. I spent 2 days picking olives. It's very time consuming because you have to pick one olive at a time (and they're small). I finally got the tree pruner and cut the top branches that were bursting with large olives. That way I could sit and just pick the olives off the branch instead of standing on a ladder while I pick. Once they were picked it was a long process of lye, soaking and a lot of rinsing. I now have 5 gallons of olives soaking in a salt brine. We hope to share with a few neighbors and some of our family.

2. I hung out my laundry on the line. Winter is just around the corner so I'll be hanging some lines in my garage... hopefully next week. I plan to hang my laundry as much as possible through the winter to keep my electric bill low.

 3. I cut back the watering time for the lawns. The grass was pretty much dead when we moved into our home. So, we focused on saturating it with water to bring it back to life. As a result my water bill went up to $127. Ouch! This month I'm setting my timer and only allowing the water to run 10-15 minutes in each spot. So far the lawn looks just fine.

4. I planted lettuce seeds and green onions in a container by the back door.

 5. I made 2 batches of laundry detergent. I've been making my own laundry detergent for years (off and on). It's one of my biggest money savers.

 6. I saved 2 celery stalk ends to regrow. I laced them in small little dish by my kitchen window in some water and they are already sprouting. I'm not sure how tall they will grow. I saw this idea on Pinterest.

7. I realized I was wasting a lot of water in the mornings when I first turned on the hot water faucet. The water would run and run until it finally turned hot. I now keep a bucket outside my back door and bring it in next to the sink. I let the water run into a container and then fill my bucket. I end up with a half a bucket of water from the kitchen sink and the bathroom sink which I then toss onto the new seeds I planted outside my backdoor.

8. I bought whole milk and added water to stretch it. :-)

9. I used cabbage leaves for my breakfast burritos instead of low carb tortillas (which are so expensive).

10. I used a Kohl's $10 coupon and purchased a gift for Christmas.

 I had several new money saving ideas I wanted to tackle this week but I ran out of time. The kids are coming for lunch on Sunday and so I've spent my extra time this week preparing.

Well, that's all I'll write about for now. I'd love to hear how you saved money in your home this week.


  1. How wonderful that you have an olive tree!

    Weather is turning cold here now. The nights are getting chilly, even inside. So time to put on the flannel sheets. I use a space heater while I sit in the living room. I also cover my lap and legs and wear sweaters to avoid the drafts. I got a new washer and dryer awhile back. It's energy efficient but I still need to ensure that I don't do so many loads in a week, likewise with the dishwasher.

    I make my own laundry detergent too but someone threw out my large container that I use to make it and I haven't replaced it yet. In the meantime, I look for the least expensive laundry detergent and was blessed to buy several bottles this week. I also managed to stock up on t. paper. I can't believe how expensive this has become.

    Lovely to see you post again. Please come by and see me when you are able. xx

    1. We had 100 degree weather this week but the temp has already dropped and is expected to reach the 70's by next week. Amazing weather! I'm thinking about those extra blankets,too! :-)

  2. Awesome savings for a full life. Enjoy your family Sunday.

    Hugs and prayers,

    PS Sent you an email about your free book.

  3. Hello,
    We have not used a dryer in almost 3 years, I hang laundry out when the whether allows, which is from April through October, and through the winter I hang it in the basement, this has worked very well for us, so I am sure your garage will work equally well.
    The olives look good, what a fun thing to try. Lots of people really love a good olive so you might consider putting the olives in nice jars and giving them as Christmas gifts??
    It sure looks as if you had a creative, frugal thoughtful week :)


    1. The olives will only last 2 weeks and then you have to re-brine (is that a word? *S*) them. I'm not sure they'd make it to Christmas. I looked into canning them but they say it can be dangerous! I sure wish I could! :-)

  4. I have never seen an olive tree, how fun!

    why are those low carb tortillas so expensive anyway?

    I was not very happy with our $50 August water bill, and it was mostly indoor water use.
    I really enjoy your saving money posts.

    1. Wow! A $50 water bill? I would sure like that! :-)

      I don't know why those LC tortillas are so expensive. I found a recipe to try so we'll see how they taste. The microwaved (until limp) cabbage leaves taste great and are probably better for me.

  5. I would love to try the celery thing.

    1. Just stick a stalk in a small amount of water and change it every day. I'm not sure how tall they will grow but it's kind of a fun thing to try. :0)

  6. The olive tree experience sound interesting, I can't wait to see your final product. You know, the end result,the time to eat the olive. I found some coupons off of one of my favorite coupon sites for 50 cents off of peroxide. I ended up buying 12 bottles of peroxide (for first aid or cleaning) for 2 cents a bottle at Wal-Mart.

  7. That's a winter watering bill where I live.

    I tried the celery as well. It just bolted, because only the center is regrowing. Next time I'm just going to plant celery seed directly in the garden.

  8. We canned our olives every year and never had any problem with it. We hot packed them, so did not need a canner, just a large stock pot. Would be happy to share if you need the info.

  9. I so enjoyed reading this. What a lot of ideas. The celery idea intrigues me. I wish I could hang out my laundry--it is too humid here. Even in the house when I hang it in the bathroom I turn a fan on it. Now that I'm retired I'm thinking about that laundry detergent. And what a great idea about saving the water you run to get it hot in the morning. It takes so long to get the hot water to the bedroom end of the house I always feel like I'm wasting so much. Thanks!

  10. Our water bill had reached almost $90 a month. Our teenage son was taking two showers a day, so we asked if he could cut to one, and he did. Since I am the only one home during the day, I began to flush after every other use. This was after I read that it takes 4 gallons of water to flush the toilet. Of course, I do flush THAT right away! So our bill came and it was $68.00! Yay!!

    My biggest problem is cutting down on the price of meat. I am happy to use less meat, but my husband wants it at every meal. I think I will just have to start going to other stores that are a little more out of the way. Due to health issues, I just tend to go to a store close to my home, but it is expensive. I do experiment with less meat in recipes. this works well with hamburger. But I do have to have my coffee every day, so we both have something we don't want to give up.

  11. this is so fun I asked in the deli at a local grocery store
    and they are saving some of their food grade buckets for me.I love the idea of saving water. We are in a small condo and water is 100.00 a month. In our old house we ran the gray water to the grass. It saved so much money :) I hang my
    clothes in the shower on an extra shower curtain rod. I loved the hanging rack your husband made.
    Have a blessed week.


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