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Well, we’re one week into our big savings challenge for this summer!  

I hope you’ve decided to set a goal for yourself, too.  We’ll do check ins each Friday to see how things are going and share ideas with each other.

And if you aren’t in a season of life that gives you enough breathing room for a challenge right now, no problem. Just check out what we’re doing so you can try it when life calms down a little!

(Believe me, I totally get it.  That’s been our life all year… until school let out!)

If you want to keep up with updates, be sure you’re on the list!

Before we check in with the progress on our goal, let’s talk about…

The 5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week


Used What We Have

Last year I bought a gallon of paint to use in the hallway up our staircase.  

Then I found out we were expecting!  I never feel safe about painting while pregnant, so the paint just sat there for a year.

In that year, I pondered on that paint color and decided that it was too dark for an already dark stairwell.  So I decided to go with a lighter color.

But I couldn’t come up with a good place to use that darker color.

Finally, Hubby told me to just use what I’d already bought.  Paint is a cheap way to change a room, but that doesn’t mean it’s so cheap we should waste it!

So I decided to go with it.  Hey, if we hate it, we can always repaint (some time in the future, that is!).

Reds Rookie

The Cincinnati Reds host a local camp.  For a week, they supply kids with fun activities, free lunches, hats, and sometimes more!

My kids love this camp!  And I love the lessons they learn while they’re there.


The baby is now 3 months old, and we knew it was high time she had a crib to sleep in.

Unfortunately, when we took out the trusty crib that 4 of our babies have slept in, we couldn’t find all the pieces.

And it was going to cost quite a bit to buy just a couple of small metal pieces.

Happily, a friend offered to loan us her crib!  So she’s finally sleeping in her own bed.

A Free Replacement

I love our library’s summer reading program!  They give you coupons and prizes for signing up and reading.

I’ve found a new love of reading in the past year.  (Feeding a baby gives you plenty of time to read!)

So when I went to redeem a prize, the librarian pointed me toward a shelf of books I could choose from. 

And what do you know…there was a copy of On the Shores of Silver Lake.  I knew I’d grab that!

You see, we borrowed that book from my Mom.  But when I went to lift it from the end table one day, the back cover came right off.


It had gotten wet and stuck to the table without me realizing it!

Happily, now she’ll have a brand new copy of the book (that I didn’t have to pay for!).


I knew full well that I had a set of taller bottles for the baby.  But when I looked for them, I couldn’t find them anywhere.

Blaming baby brain, I decided to order more from Amazon.

Of course, that’s when I finally found the first set I had ordered!  (headdesk)

That’s when I knew it was time for another serious decluttering session in our home.  

Clutter gets expensive when it a) makes you lose things and b) makes you so stressed out that you go shopping.  


Keeping things organized is important to any frugal house!


A Big Savings Goal Update

Last week, we talked about the big savings goal our family decided on for this summer.

In the next 3 months, we’d like to save up $2,400.  That’s $800 per month.

You can tell by my 52 week savings challenge that I like to embrace the fact that life is crazy.  You can’t just say, “I’m going to save $200 every week!”

(I mean, you can totally say that.  If you like it when life laughs at you.  😉  )

So I have a rough goal of finding different ways to make an extra $200 per week.  But in reality, some weeks will be over that number…and I’m sure some weeks will be under.  (Maybe well under!)

But that’s ok!

Here’s how we did this week:

You might think this is cheating, but we had an “extra paycheck” recently.

If you’re paid biweekly, there’s a decent chance you’ll have one of those some time this summer.  

You must realize that an “extra paycheck” is never free money.   You’ll still have to pay for gas and groceries and probably some other nagging things that pop up.

But there should be some wiggle room in there!

The most important thing to do is to get that money out of your checking account asap.

Money that’s left there has a tendency to disappear, doesn’t it?

So I pulled out $250 from that check and set it aside.

I was also able to sell some textbooks for another $55!

Tracking our savings until we reach our goal of $2,400

That gave us a nice start towards our goal!  Every week is not going to be nearly this easy.  We are always going to come out of the gate using our simplest wins.

But if you put a plan in place, you can often keep that momentum going.

Things I did that didn’t return money yet, but should start working soon include:

I’m also starting to look through the house to see what else I could possibly sell.  And I’m considering doing some freelance writing as well.

That’s it!

Here’s a fun freebie for you!!

Print your own tracker and watch your savings grow!  Whatever your own savings goal, write that number at the top. 

Divide that number by 7 to see which increments you should write on each individual line to track your savings.  (Start with a $0 on that bottom line if you’re starting from scratch.)

Just click to print!  

(Please remember that this is only free for individual, private use.)

Free printable thermometer goal chart for tracking your savings goals!

So how did you do this week??  Leave a comment here, or let’s chat about it over on Facebook!