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Iceberg Roses In January Detail The Prudent Homemaker

It was a busy week in the garden.

I picked lemons from the garden.

I cut Swiss chard and beet greens from the garden.

I pruned my iceberg roses and brought all of the roses inside to enjoy.

White Pigeon in the garden The Prudent Homemaker

I dug a few more small bushes that I started last year by tip layering and moved them to other places in the garden.

I planted seeds for lettuce, leeks, larkspur, white strawberries, sunflowers, zucchini, and nasturtiums.

Iceberg Roses in January The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money and find joy this past week?

 

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 Black Bean Soup The Prudent Homemaker

Black bean soup topped with tomatoes harvested green (and ripened off the vine) from the garden in early December.

I made a large pot of black beans in the crockpot. We had taco soup with them one day and black bean soup three days.  

I harvested beet greens, lemons, and Swiss chard from the garden.

I pruned grape vines to make for a productive grape harvest this year.

I pruned rose bushes to keep my roses healthy and to help them produce well this year.

I dug euonymus plants from ones I started by tip layering and moved them to where I am starting a new hedge in the garden.

I also started some new plants from cuttings from other bushes for the same hedge. 

Following my plans for a more productive garden this year, I planted seeds this past week for spinach, 2 kinds of lettuce, 2 kinds of snow peas, turnips, Swiss chard, 3 colors of larkspur, and Danish flag poppies. 

Because of rain, I was able to not water the grass for the second week in a row. This time of year, we are allotted 1 day a week to water grass. It is rare to have enough rainfall to be able to not water. and I am grateful to have been able to turn off the sprinklers and drip irrigation.

My mom found a very large candle lantern for free out by the trash and gave it to me. It has a small crack in the base, but looks great still.  I'm not sure if I'll use it for a decoration, a large terrarium, or if I should use it as a huge cloche in the garden.

I watched the Call the Midwife Christmas special on Pbs.org. I don't have time to watch a lot of shows, but it is nice to be able to watch a few things online from time to time!

Finlandia The Prudent Homemaker

My eldest needed some new piano music for her lessons. About 13 years ago, shortly after we got our piano, I had purchased a couple of piano books full of music for the time when we might need them. I was able to pull out this book and my daughter began using it for her practice (and I didn't have to buy anything new).

My husband and I had two date nights at home.

My husband cut my hair.

I mended a sheet.

Our silverware drawer broke in the back. In December, my husband contacted the company who made our cabinets and they sent him replacement pieces to fix to the drawer at no cost to us. They came this week and my husband fixed the drawer.

I found simple contentment in putting things away (including all of the Christmas decorations) and making the house tidier and less cluttered.

 

What did you do to save money and find joy this week?

 

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I enjoyed plenty of fresh air this week as I worked in the garden, planting the bulbs that I ordered back in June that have been prechilling in my refrigerator since October. 

I trimmed some bushes and used some of the clipped pieces to (hopefully!) start some new bushes by pulling off the bottom leaves and sticking them in the ground. I've rooted new plants in the past by doing this. (It takes 4-5 years to have a full-sized plant this way).

I decided to make some changes to part of the white garden. In the winter the garden is in full shade (for months)  and in summer the hot sun has been burning plants to a crisp. My original plan for that part of the garden is not working well as the plants I put there are dying in our intense summer sun and 110º+ temperatures. I went to the nursery and bought some new plants for the garden on sale--some annuals that will last for 5 months and a few bushes on sale. I still need several more bushes for this area, but they did not have enough in stock. I'll watch for when they have more and purchase them on sale. In the next few months, the nursery usually mails out several $10 off coupons, so I'll combine those with sales to purchase the remaining bushes as they become available.

I went through Ebates to get cash back on a purchase I made through Overstock. I signed up for Overstock's email to get a 10% coupon to use on my purchase. When I checked my email, they sent a 12% coupon! I used that to make my purchase and I will get 2% cash back through Ebates.

Green Earrings and Bracelet The Prudent Homemaker

I made myself a new pair of earrings using some inexpensive findings I had and some beads I bought years ago at a garage sale. These match the bracelet I made for myself in September.

I cut iceberg roses from the garden for the house. I've left a few buds on to finish opening to cut next week when I started pruning the roses back this week.

I cooked a turkey which we enjoyed for several meals.

We're having a simple celebration at home this evening, playing a card game while the children are asleep.

 

What did you do to save money for the last week of 2016?

 

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Christmas Table The Prudent Homemaker

Here's what we did to save money this past week: 

Poinsettia The Prudent Homemaker

I bought two beautiful poinsettias marked down to $0.99 each. I gave one to a neighbor and put one on our table.

Chocolate Pretzels The Prudent Homemaker

I sewed some more gifts for the children while my husband watched the children. I used fabric I had on hand, including fabric that was passed down to me from my grandmother and mother-in-law.

I mended holes in two sweaters.

I hemmed a pair of pants.

I picked a lemon from the garden. 

I cut rosemary, parsley, and chives from the garden.

I reused old ribbons to tie gift boxes closed.

Winter made herself a Christmas dress using some hand-me-down fabric.

My husband cut one son's hair.

My husband and I went to a movie for free. My parents gave us two free movie tickets that they received for donating blood.

Christmas Table 2 The Prudent Homemaker

 Directions to the Christmas Tree napkins can be found here.

 

What did you do to save money this past week?

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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

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Iceberg Rose in December The Prudent Homemaker

Iceberg Rose in the white garden at sunrise

 

The weather has been beautiful and warmer than usual. I enjoyed being out in the garden. I planted seeds in the garden for spinach, radishes, and lettuce.

I picked up the free nuts and candy that I had loaded to my grocery store card last week. I also added another freebie to my card this week that I picked up as well (a free 2-liter bottle of soda). When I was at the store, I couldn't find the chewable version of the candy that the website had listed as the freebie. The cashier told me it also included the hard candy, which is what my husband prefers, and they had plenty of those in stock. I'm glad I asked! I used the candy for a stocking stuffer for my husband (it's one of his favorites).

I returned a small item I bought but did not use. I had waited to return it until I needed to go to the same store again.

I used a $10 off coupon that I received in the mail to buy my son a shirt for a Christmas gift. I spent $5.40 out of pocket for a new shirt.

I contacted a company about their one-year-growing guarantee for my rosebushes that died. Replacements will be shipped to me early next year for the plants which didn't make it. Also, one plant did fine, but it was mislabeled. They will be sending me the correct plant next year, but I now have another rosebush! (This is their normal policy for mislabeled roses). 

My husband and I had short 2 dates at home. We played card games together after the children were in bed.

I accepted a small 2017 calendar from my mom that she received as a free promotional item. This will save me the expense of buying a new small planner (and it was just about the same size as the one I usually buy!) for my purse. I'm a paper and pen planner (I don't have a cell phone) and this is perfect for my needs.

I watched some free French language videos to improve my French on the Comme Une Française blog.

 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

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Harry Potter Baby Shower The Prudent Homemaker

I hosted a Harry Potter themed baby shower this past week. I had several people ask me if they could bring anything or help in any way, so I assigned out several things: paper plates, cups, and bowls; salad; soda (and she went the extra mile and made butterbeer, which was delicious!), and a banner.

I made pumpkin soup (a mixture of acorn and butternut squashes plus the mini pumpkins I had bought in early fall for decorations; the butternut squash was from my garden), rosemary olive oil bread, salad dressings, chocolates, mini cupcakes, mini treacle tarts, and cookies. I sliced a lemon from the garden to add to the water.

I sewed a bib for the baby shower, and also gave a free print (the Walgreen's offer) and a rubber duck (bought on sale plus the extra 15% off last week) .

I mended the pocket on a cardigan.

Winter and I took a trip to Goodwill (a thrift/charity shop). The store opened up a little over a year ago, I believe, and it was our first time there. They mostly have women's clothing, but we managed to find several like-new shirts and sweaters that I can use for Christmas gifts for three children. I found a couple of items for Winter, and a dress and two cardigans for myself. The prices were above what I pay at garage sales, but lower than the thrift store we usually go to. The dress was $6.99! It's a bit too cold to wear it now but it will be nice to wear most of the year here.

My mom has continued her quest to find Christmas gifts at garage sales. She found some things Saturday morning, and some of them she gave to us already, including clothes for my girls in the sizes they need (she has a copy of my garage sale list) and a pair of brand-new jeans for me. The jeans fit perfectly, and she paid $2! 

I made a double batch of laundry soap.

I added a free one pound container of dry roasted peanuts to my grocery store shopping card (a one-day only coupon that needed to be added on the 5th but can be picked up anytime through the 19th).  I also downloaded the Free Friday coupon for some free candy, which I'll use as a stocking stuffer for my husband. I'll pick up these items next week.

I combined coupons and a cartwheel offer at Target to purchase a few stocking stuffers. 

I used Duolingo to practice my French skills. 

Winter used a free 5-day trial to prepare some more for the ACT test, which she took on Saturday. I canceled the trial in time to not be charged.

We went to a Christmas party at church. Afterwards, we were offered some leftover pasta to take home, which we ate the next two days.

I cut parsley, beet greens, basil, and oregano from the garden. We still haven't had a freeze (despite predictions to the contrary). I picked 2 figs from our Mission fig tree. It always comes close to giving a third crop of figs, but it always freezes before that happens. This year, it looks like we may harvest at least a few more before a freeze!

I sowed seeds for arugula in the garden.

Winter Urn Detail The Prudent Homemaker

I used a $5 off coupon for the local nursery to pick up some annuals that were on sale for the white garden. While I was there, I also picked up some free tree trimmings, which I used in the urns in the garden (along with some of the pinecones we had gathered).

 

What did you do to save money last week? 

 

 

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