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We live in southern Ohio, where we tend to get either a lot of snow, or hardly any at all. Our winters are unpredictable anymore.

This year, we’re getting lots of snow!

It makes me happy that we always prepare as though it will be one of those cold, snowy winters. It’s nice having plenty of food in the house and a backup plan in case the power goes out (which always happens at the worst time!).

I was thinking about that last night, and it reminded me of a post I wrote ages ago, when this blog was brand new.

(It’s 5 simple things you can do to prepare for any emergency…many of them are cheap or free, true to the #yearofno code!)

But now it’s time for another…

5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week!

I mentioned last week that we’ve been in a tight money squeeze this year. So we’ve decided that it’s a good time to revisit our #yearofno.

That means we cut out all unnecessary spending..and try to limit necessary spending! (Less junk food, but not skipping meals or anything.)

So let me ponder the things we were able to do this week to spend less (or no) money…

Declutter

Ok, that seems weird probably. But the first thing I want to do whenever I start a #yearofno spending freeze is declutter the house.

I don’t know…I think it has something to do with the draw towards minimalism that a #yearofno inspires. But it makes me realize how very much stuff we already have in our home.

By decluttering bag after bag of things we no longer use, it makes me hesitate to bring more bags of stuff into our home from a store (even Goodwill!).

It just feels so good to get rid of stuff, why replace it with more? So I think decluttering helps me keep up the good work. I recommend it.

Another reason decluttering is such a good, frugal thing is…

Finding Stuff

I decided to be ruthless in my closet this time.

I keep holding on to dresses that I’ll never wear again. This time, I finally pulled them out for “the bag”.

But I did happen to find a purse. It’s basically brand new, but I’ve never used it.

Someone handed it down to me, and I really liked it. But it’s just too small!

That said, my current purse has a busted zipper, and I’m tired of my things spilling everywhere. So I decided to declutter my purse and make this one work.

So far, so good! I love that I solved the problem for free.

Now I just have to adjust to not carrying everything I own everywhere I go…

Snow Ice Cream

My daughter begged to make snow ice cream, and I figured what’s the harm?

I actually have several cans of evaporated milk on hand, and when I found this 4 ingredient recipe it seemed perfect.

(By the way, it’s delicious!)

Homemade Hot Chocolate

We ran out of those premade hot chocolate packets, and while I usually love the prices at our local SaveALot, they wanted twice the cost for those packets.

I was glad to find two recipes that we are loving.

Here’s one for milk based hot chocolate on the stove. Delicious! And it heats up in no time. Plus I get all 6 cups of hot cocoa made at once. (win!)

Then I found another for ready to go powder. The kids heat up their water and mix it right in.

I was shocked at the price of dry milk the last time I bought it. I do think this recipe is slightly cheaper than premade packets (but not if you can find them on sale).

But making it saved me a trip to the store, and that always saves money!

Lent

This week marks the beginning of Lent.

I wanted to do a Crown of Thorns activity with my kids. You are supposed to use a grapevine wreath and push toothpicks into it.

Then, each time the kids do good deeds, they pull out a thorn.

Well, I was hoping to find something like a grapevine wreath at Dollar Tree, but I had no luck.

I did find a 4 pack of generic play doh, though!

So we mixed 3 of the colors together to make a brown-ish color. Then rolled it into a crown.

I already had plenty of toothpicks on hand.

So for $1, we get a family activity that will give the kids a good visual reminder for our Lenten season!

Those are the 5 ways we saved this week.

I hope you are staying warm. 🙂 Have a fun, frugal week!

Psst…if you need more encouragement (and fantastic ideas), be sure to join the #yearofno Facebook group! The women there are amazing at lifting each other up through the rough times.