5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week 162

After taking a good 9 months (plus?) off blogging, I’m finally back in the saddle.


Time to dust off the old “5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week” series and see what fun things we can add to it.

It’s challenging to come up with ideas I haven’t shared before. I mean, come on…I’ve done 162 of these things! I can’t promise there haven’t been repeats.

But I do my darnedest to try to come up with outside the box ideas whenever I can. (Also, I just learned how to spell darnedest for the first time.)


So What’s The Deal?


My name is Jamie, and once upon a time, I was a blogger here at Medium Sized Family.

😉 😉

Life in our medium sized family has been c-r-a-z-y for the past year. So much so that I had to let a ball drop. Unfortunately, that ball turned out to be the blog.

You know, sometimes I look around and see other rock star women who manage to homeschool their children, do a home makeover, and run an amazing blog, all while giving birth and keeping a well stocked freezer. And it turns out, I am not that woman.

(No, I did not give birth again in the past year. But the homeschooling and home renovation stuff, yeah. We did that. I also ran for a political office in our small town. And now we have 3 high schoolers, all in different high schools.)

But for now, let’s focus on that whole home renovation part, shall we?

We Have a Second Bathroom!

(Spoiler alert!)

A dream that we’ve had for the 13.5 years we’ve lived in this house is to have a second bathroom.

Having 8 people in a house with only one bathroom goes EXACTLY like you would think it would go.

There’s always a line. Always.

(Really? It’s 2 a.m. and someone is in the bathroom? Uh huh.)

The room smells like 5 boys use it all the time.

It’s not pretty, no matter how many ways I try to paint it.

That was life for 13 years and 6 months (almost exactly) (but who’s counting?).

But finally, my dreams have come true! I have my own bathroom in my own master bedroom!

It’s everything we dreamed of when we were living our #yearofno.

Exciting Stuff!

The addition isn’t done yet. And of course we ran into the kind of trouble you’d expect when you live in a 1950s home.

In 2021 and 2022.

When everything is running behind and/or held up on a boat somewhere.

Finding grocery bags where there should have been insulation was an interesting twist, though.

I do not recommend you use that as one of the five ways you save money this week.

Our Real Life Home Addition

I’ll dive in to the dirty details of our home addition over the next few weeks.

Just remember, this is no home decorating blog. This is real life.

We didn’t have any sponsors pay for anything, and we had to get creative in paying for things and making all those darned decisions.

But if you’re looking for ideas that work in a real live home, boy have I got those for you.

Want a Sneak Peek?

Here’s what the bathroom looks like!

The flooring isn’t quite done (we’re missing some transition pieces that haven’t come in yet) and haven’t had time to do the trim.

And since this photo, we did add a medicine cabinet and a little decor.

But, oh yes, this is my oasis. I can just come in here and sit.

And take a bath! With, like, 60% less banging-on-the-door-asking-when-I’m-getting-out than before!

It’s Been A Long Year

I never imagined that it would take us 14 months (and counting) to get this small house addition pulled together.

And we aren’t even close to finished yet.

But it’s been so worth it!

So Am I Back to Blogging?

If you’ve been a reader around here, you probably know that I’m a sucker for a new year and goal setting.

And this week, I’ve really felt the tug to get back to the blog.

So I’m looking forward to sharing what we’ve accomplished, and to hearing about how you have saved money lately, too!

Leave a comment or join us in the Facebook group! (By the way, I owe the other Jamie a huge thank you for helping with the group while I was away!)

See you soon!

Quick Weekend Project That’s Gonna Save Us A Lot

Remember how often I’ve said that the trusty ol’ Coleman cooler is basically our family’s mascot?

Ours is one of those old plastic, pinch your fingers when you try to open it, models. But here’s the newer version.

(If you don’t know the story, you can click here find out more about our #yearofno that helped us pay off a ton of debt.)

Well…there’s only one way I could make that cooler even better.

And that’s to stop buying all those water bottles!


5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week #161

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!).


5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week #160

For over a year now, our house has been on strike.

First it was the refrigerator that gave up the ghost. Followed closely by the dishwasher.

Then the stove and the toaster.

Slowly, we have replaced every appliance in our home in the course of 15 months.

I think the house was getting warmed up with cheaper fixes before it moved on…to things like the furnace.  And the roof.


Needless to say, it’s time for another #yearofno.  We hope this one is much shorter than the last one!


50 More Frugal Living Ideas (You Can Use Right Away!)

50 More Frugal Living Ideas (You Can Use Right Away!)

Need more frugal living ideas for your bag of tricks? Look no farther than this useful list!

Frugal living ideas. It’s one of those things I tend to love with all my heart.

And then life happens. And it pulls us away from some of those frugal ways for a while.

But time and time again, I bring myself back to frugal living.

Because it’s more than just a way to save more money. It’s the best way to simplify your life.


10 Memorable Ways To Love Your Stay At Home Valentine’s Day

We’ve celebrated more holidays at home in the past year than ever before.

But if I’m totally honest, Valentine’s Day is a holiday we often spend at home.

Who wants to fight the crowds? Especially when we already don’t get enough date nights!

So for years, we’ve found some special ways to enjoy our Valentine’s Day together, at home.

Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate.


How To Get Kids Off Screens: The Goal For 2021

This is the year to learn how to get kids off screens…and enrich their lives.

You can say a lot of things about 2020.

Most of us gained some weight.

We saved money on gas and clothes, I would imagine.

Aaaand our kids had more screen time than ever before.

I get it. That’s how kids communicate these days.

And staring at the walls of your house day in and day out gets boring even for us parents.

But as much as we’d like to believe that those calories didn’t count during quarantine, my cholesterol levels say differently.

And as much as we’d like to believe that kids can cope with tons of screen time, their behavior shows what’s really going on in those rapidly growing brains of theirs.

And it’s not good.


The Top 10 Most Frugal Moves Our Family Made in 2020

In normal times (what are those??) I would spend my Fridays reflecting on the ways our family had saved money that week.

2020 did not leave me a lot of time to do that!

Which is funny, because it DID give us all more time at home.

But here, that time was spent schooling 5 kids. And then when the fall came, I chose to keep 3 of them home to do traditional homeschooling.

Which has taken up a ton of time. (But so worth it!)

So in place of those 5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week Fridays, I give you…


30 Day Money Challenge: Have FUN While You Save In 2021

30 Day Money Challenge: Have FUN While You Save In 2021

Join the 30 day money challenge designed so you’ll actually finish it! By keeping this challenge fun and building accountability, we’ll kick your 2021 off to its best start. Best of all, it’s free!

There’s something about a 30 day challenge that makes you feel like you can tackle anything.

But if you’re anything like me you get to day 4 and suddenly that motivation you had…

…seems to vanish.

Which is why I’ve created a 30 day challenge that you can actually finish.

Yes, you.

If you like freebies.  And extra motivation.  And prizes.  


Yep!  Prizes!

Then this is the 30 Day Money Challenge for you.