Slide background


Slide background

Eat for

40 Cents

A Day

Header Typography
Inkwell and Pen

The Prudent Homemaker Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
Recent blog posts

Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Posted by on

I recently received a letter from a reader that really touched me. It was a wonderful reminder of why I write, and reminded me of what this particular post does to help all you find ways to save money each week. I'm glad that as we share how we've saved money each week, we can all get ideas to help one another. I am blessed to learn new ways from each of you to help us save money.

Blackberries The Prudent Homemaker

I picked peaches, blackberries, and strawberries from the garden. I sliced and froze peaches. I froze blackberries. I made peach pie popsicles.

I cut green onions, Swiss chard, lettuce, chives, and chocolate mint from the garden.

White Strawberries 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I planted seeds in the garden for all the things that still haven't come up, even though I've planted many times: Armenian cucumbers (I should be harvesting now, but there is time to try again), basil, zucchini (I do have two plants already, but they haven't produced anything still), and beans. The garden has been somewhat neglected these last few months and it needs some work.

The garden has been somewhat neglected these last few months and it needs some work. I spent time fighting the grape leaf skeletonizers last week, in an attempt to save our grape crop. Last year's crop was lost because of these, and this year they are even worse. The spring rains we had have led to gray mold on the some of the grapes as well (mostly on my red flames, so those may be a loss no matter what).

My husband cut my hair and his own. I gave 2 children a haircut. We had to replace our hair clippers this week, as the old ones died. It's well worth it as the price of clippers easily pays for itself in a haircut! We purchased these Wahl clippers, and they are fantastic!

I turned 2 pairs of torn jeans into shorts for the girls. It only takes a few minutes to cut them and hem them for shorts, and our weather will be over  100º this week, so the timing is perfect.

I sewed the velcro back onto my sandal, as it had come off.

What did you do to save money last week?

Last modified on

Our Baby Naming Day Tradition

Posted by on
Octavius 1 The Prudent Homemaker

This little boy is growing so fast! At his two-week appointment, he had gained over a pound. He now weighs 9 pounds 14 ounces!

I've been asked by many readers over the year about how we name our children. We started a tradition with our first of having a baby naming day about a week after each child was born.

With our first, we didn't have an ultrasound, so we never knew for certain what we were having. My midwife told me that some people believe that slower heartbeats are more common in boys, and faster ones in girls. She told us our heartbeat was a slower one, and I remember thinking it would either be a boy, or a really calm girl (it turned out to be the calm girl!) Not knowing for certain what we were having was a great help, frugally, for our first; our shower gifts were more practical ones, rather than just clothing, at a time when we didn't have the money to spare for all of the basic baby supplies.

My husband and I decided to have a date at a bookstore one night, looking through baby names together. We read through hundreds of names, suggesting different ones back and forth to one another, and also suggesting those we would never use, just for fun.

There was a man sitting near us, reading a book and hearing our exchange. He looked up after a while and said, "You guys take this pretty seriously, don't you?"

As it turned out, our first was a girl, and the names we had been considering for a boy were no good at all. 

My recovery from her birth was long, and our main concerns were helping me and learning to take care of the baby. Naming her was far from my mind.

She was born before Christmas, and my parents were coming for Christmas. My husband said to me on Christmas Eve, "It's Baby Naming Day!" We spent that day choosing a name. We started with our first rule then: No family names. My husband didn't want any hard feelings between family members if we chose names from one side of the family or the other.

I grabbed my Longman's Anthology of English Literature, hoping for some baby name inspiration. By chance, I came across this poem from William Blake:

Infant Joy
I have no name,
I am but two days old--
What shall I call thee?
I happy am
Joy is my name--
Sweet joy befall me!


Pretty joy!
Sweet joy but two days old.
Sweet joy I call thee:
Thou dost smile,
I sing the while,
Sweet joy befall thee


After going all the way through the book, skimming for name ideas, I still had nothing. I went back looking for words that I could use as a name instead, and this time around, I noticed a poem entitled,  "Winter."

Seeing it was December when she was born, we decided that this was an appropriate name.

Octavius Baby Feet The Prudent Homemaker

With our second, we didn't even discuss a name ahead of time. About a week after he was born, my husband again chose a day and declared it was baby naming day. We brought me a stack of papers he had printed online of baby names in alphabetical order and a pen. He said, "Circle any you like." I didn't circle anything until I got to the C's, and then the name jumped out at me from the page: "Cyrus." I called my husband in, and he liked it too. Baby naming day was quick and easy that time.

With our third, it wasn't quite so easy. By this time, we had decided that any names that were on the Social Security top 100 list were out of the running. My husband was one of 5 Steves in class as a child, and he didn't want our child to have that same experience. We went looking for scriptural names on baby naming day, (but they couldn't be on the top 100!) which is how we decided  my husband decided on Ezrom. There are a couple of variations of his name: "Esrom" and "Hebron", depending on where you look and what translation you are reading.  

Liberty, our fourth, was a different story. I had heard the name Liberty and liked it a lot, but my husband thought with our third that any names we mentioned ahead of time should be tossed (another odd "rule" we stuck in there), so I kept the name quiet until after she was born before I suggested it. I also liked the name Wren (I used to visit teach a young woman named Eliza Wren in college), and suggested it as well. Once we decided on Liberty, I suggested we use Wren as a middle name My husband suggested that we keep the name Wren in case we had another girl.

Our fifth was a girl, and so we actually had a name to start with when we had baby naming day (only 4 days after her birth). We talked about other names, including Lark, but in the end, Wren was her name.

For our sixth, we were down to 4 names, all variations of the same name! I don't remember all 4 now, but I do remember that it was odd how similar they were and that Elsa and Liesl were two of the 4. In the end, my husband told me to just pick one! That was hard, but I chose Elsa, never dreaming that a few years later everyone would be talking about Elsa in the context of a Disney princess.

For our seventh, I was again down to four names. I really liked the name Ruby, but my husband didn't. I called her Ruby for several days before our official baby naming day. In the end, I was also considering Poppy and Peony, plus another I no longer recall. I couldn't narrow it down and there was no way my husband wanted Ruby. I decided to look again, and I found a list of baby "nature" names online. "Ivory" was on that list, and like Cyrus' name, it jumped out at me. I suggested it to my husband, and he liked it--and baby naming day was done.

This last baby was the hardest to name. I joked about calling him Henry, since he was the eighth, but it was only a joke. ("Henry" is currently 29 on the U.S. list and 19 on the U.K. list). We went through several names, and I tried on each one for a few days before our baby naming day. The day we were planning for baby naming day this time was a Sunday, as we didn't have time to do a naming day on a weekday as we have in the past. Sunday I ended up with a terrible sinus headache, so we put it off a week. 

In the end, come the next Sunday (which we made our "official" baby naming day), I pretty much knew what I wanted and wasn't able to be swayed. I decided this name, and as he is the eighth, it's quite appropriate.

Everyone, welcome Octavius.

Baby 8 2 weeks The Prudent Homemaker

 Octavius Awake The Prudent Homemaker

Last modified on

Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Posted by on

The garden was full of wonderful fruits last week!

We picked peaches, white strawberries, and blackberries from the garden. We made a delicious fruit salad with them, ate peaches for snacks, made peach pie popsicles, made peach shortcakes, made peach smoothies, and froze sliced peaches. 

I made lemonade from our lemons. The children picked more lemons from the trees.

We picked the first tomatoes from the garden.

I picked spent hibiscus flowers (they open for one day and then die, so I pick them the next day or the day after that) to dry on the counter. I have been saving them up to make hibiscus herbal tea. 

Herbs The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut oregano, parsley, chamomile, and lavender from the garden and dried them.

I cut garlic chives, swiss chard, and spinach from the garden.

I cut flowers from the garden to enjoy inside: the first of the Queen of Sweden roses (pink), Iceberg roses (white), lavender, and larkspur.

Several weeks ago, a friend of my mom's was out shopping with my mom (My mom drives the woman, as she is older and needs help shopping each week) when she found onions for $0.38 a pound. I hadn't found any earlier in the year, and when they saw them, they picked up 40 pounds for me. As it is getting warm, they were starting to turn. My husband cut them, ran them through our Kitchen Aid slicer attachment, and we dried a full 10 trays of onions in my dehydrator.

I ordered some buckets from Lowe's for us to bucket some of our bulk food. I went through Ebates first to earn 2.5% cash back. I'm not sure how (perhaps a minimum order amount?) , but we also qualified for free shipping on our order.

My husband and I had a date at home and played several rounds of a card game.

We borrowed a backyard fire pit and roasted marshmallows and hot dogs for an al fresco dinner one evening. We had sveral skits and had a family continuing story (each person added to the story for 30 seconds) and songs.

My husband gave Cyrus a haircut.

I watched several episodes of Castle and Call the Midwife for free online.

Thankfully, the baby is nursing well, and I've been able to go longer stretches in between nursing than I ever have in the past (for those who asked about my pump, the Avent pump is a very highly rated hand pump. By the end of the week, I was pumping 6 ounces in 20 minutes--triple what I was pumping the week before!)

A few months back, I signed up for a baby registry with Target. They gave me a bag of baby goodies, samples, and coupons, and also offered 15% off remaining registry items at the end of your pregnancy. I used the 15% coupon to purchase diapers and toiletries for the baby, as well as some additional coupons for those items. I also received a $10 gift card to use on my next shopping trip, as it was part of the diaper deal. I've been asked many times if I use disposables or cloth diapers. I have done both, and truly prefer disposables. In the past, diapers and wipes have cost me around $240 a year, which has been well worth it to me. This expense is part of my grocery and toiletry total for the month. I buy the Target brand diapers (usually on sale with gift card deals and coupons) and Costco's baby wipes (sometimes on sale; I have my mom pick those up for me since she has a Costco card).

I'll be sharing more pictures of the baby and his name in the next post, so check back this week!


What did you do last week to save money?

Last modified on

Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Posted by on

Note: This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.

White Strawberries The Prudent Homemaker

We picked Katy apricots, Desert Gold peaches, and white alpine (vesca) strawberries from the garden.

Apricots peaches and herbs The Prudent Homemaker 

I froze three cookie sheets full of sliced peaches, which we will use later in smoothies.

We were blessed this week to receive several meals from church members while I was recovering. One person also brought us some eggs from her chickens. (If you missed the baby announcement, check out the previous post).

I wrote thank yous on cards that I picked up several years ago for just a few cents a package.

I picked up two pieces of baby clothing in like-new condition at a resale shop.

We bought 2 pounds of strawberries at .97 a pound (there was a limit of 2, or we would have bought more). 

My mom found a long-sleeved t-shirt for Elsa at a garage sale. Since temperatures reached the upper 90's this week, we only need something short-sleeved. Winter cut and hemmed the sleeves to be short so that Elsa can wear the shirt in summer.

My mom picked up all of my freebies from last week for me: my free 8 x 10, free chocolate, and free grapefruit juice.

Winter attended a free orchestra performance at the local high school.

When a child complained of an ear ache, I used the willow/garlic ear oil that I always use. Within a short time, her pain was gone. This oil has saved me many trips to the doctor for ear infections.

The most frugal thing I did this week was to spend time pumping to make milk for the baby. I've always had trouble making enough milk, and have learned that pumping is the only way that works for me to have any milk at all for the baby. Though we did end up having to buy formula, I may be able to progress to not needing any. (Yes, I have tried all of the other ways; I don't have letdown, and usually only make a maximum of half an ounce at a time. I have also learned that I need to nurse every hour to keep my milk, in addition to pumping twice a day for 40 minutes). By the end of the week I had progressed to making 2 ounces of milk in a sitting. (For me, that is huge!) Since I have run out of milk before with another child, I know this will save me several hundred dollars a month in formula. This is the pump I use; it has saved me a lot of money over the years!

My husband and I had a date at home. We played a couple of games of Sequence.


What did you do to save money last week?



Last modified on

Our New Arrival

Posted by on

Our sweet baby arrived at 2:15 a.m. on Friday, May 6th.

Baby 8 The Prudent Homemaker

 At only 6 days past my due date, he was my earliest baby. (The others were all born between 42-44 weeks). He was also the biggest, weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces (3,936 g). Like all of my others, he was born at home.

Recovery for both of us has been slow, as labor was not easy for either of us, but I am happy to say that we are both doing well. 

This is our eighth baby. We haven't chosen a name yet. We have a tradition of naming our baby after birth, and we're still looking for the right name. I did joke to my husband on Mother's Day that we could name him Henry, since he's the eighth!

I'll post another photo when we have a name.


Tagged in: Motherhood
Last modified on

Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Posted by on

We ate spinach and garlic chives from the garden.

We picked white strawberries from the garden.

We picked the first few apricots and peaches that are just starting to ripen in the garden.

 Strawberries and artichokes The Prudent Homemakerjpg

We went to the community garden and picked strawberries and artichokes. We left a donation and will be back to donate seeds and help plant them.

I downloaded a free chocolate bar to my Smith's card. They have a free item that you can download to your card on Fridays, and pick up anytime in the next two weeks. I now have two items on my card (the other is a grapefruit juice) that I can pick up the next time I am there.  Smith's is a Kroger affiliate; I believe other Kroger affiliates have the same program.

I used a coupon code for a free 8 x 10 print from Walgreen's to order a photo for my daughter's room. I've now had three pictures printed for her room using free coupon codes.

I cut roses from the garden for my nightstand.


What did you do to save money last weeK?


Last modified on

 Introduction sidebar

Start HereMy Story

                           FOLLOW ME

               FACEBOOK              PINTEREST

Good Things to Make This Month

Slide background




Slide background




Slide background


Slide background



The Kitchen Garden Sidebar
Sewing Project Sidebar
Grow Your Own Herbal Tea Sidebar
Grocery Shopping Sidebar
Learn to Can Sidebar
Grow Flowers for Less Sidebar

White Garden Sidebar

Birthdays Sidebar

Frugal Accomplishments Sidebar

72 hour kit sidebar
How To Eat Beans Every Night
Writing a Garage Sale List