Shopped smart. We bought half-price floor models at appliance showrooms, asked local stores to match discounts we found online, and patiently waited to buy our wood shutters until we could find an affordable secondhand set that we could restore ourselves.
Salvaged and repurposed. We found our claw-foot tub in a salvage yard, refinished it, and put it in the kids' bath. The ceiling fan in the master bedroom was a hand-me-down.
Shamelessly leaned on friends and family. Neighbors offered meals, temporary housing, and moral support, and our equally wonderful parents stepped up to help with cleaning, repairs—and babysitting, of course.