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The Prudent Homemaker Blog

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Recent blog posts

Open Door in Spring The Prudent Homemaker

It was so incredibly beautiful this week.

I cut daffodils from the garden for the table.

We celebrated a simple birthday celebration for a child at home.

Snow Peas and Radishes The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested radishes, cilantro, snow peas, green onions, and Swiss chard from the garden.

We went through clothing, packing up cold weather clothes and taking out summer clothes, including doing what I call "The Big Swap" where we hand down clothing to younger sibling as well as pack up outgrown clothing to be passed down at some point. I also went through several items in my closet, and found that several of my blouses are now too large, but that several other items I own still fit just fine--only better! We put aside several large bags of outgrown clothing to donate.

Naptime The Prudent Homemaker

My husband cut two sons' hair.

I turned some old broken jewelry that I've had for many years into some new jewelry for myself.

I mended a few leaks in the drip irrigation.

We said yes to offers of a hand-me-down bicycle and a scooter from two different people.

The children hopped around on a couple of pogo sticks that my mom picked up at a garage sale for $3 each.

 

What did you do to save money last week?

Octavius walking The Prudent Homemaker

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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

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Daffodils in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I watched the bees working on the apple tree blossoms.

I sowed seeds for lettuce, Swiss chard, alpine strawberries, New Zealand Spinach, nasturtiums,  zucchini, butternut squash, radishes, and artichokes.

I planted some asparagus crowns in the garden.

Pea Vines on Trellis The Prudent Homemaker

My son and I took apart some old tomato cages and flattened them. We had made them from the 6-inch concrete mesh that you can get on a roll at Lowe's. I am using the wire mesh to grow beans, peas, and cucumbers instead. We attached these to stakes (that we already had) that we pounded into the ground where we needed them.

Radish Bouquet The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested lemons, lettuce, arugula, green onions, radishes, parsley, lemon verbena, Swiss chard, and the first couple of snow peas from the garden.

Lemons on Cutting Board The Prudent Homemaker

I juiced lemons from the garden and made lemonade.

I returned several pots to the local nursery. They give a recycling credit for the larger pots. I used my credit towards the purchase of some bulk topsoil.

I used a $15 off $50 coupon at Target for trash bags and stain remover. Since these items rarely go on sale (and when they do, it's usually just a tiny bit off) and these are items I buy anyway, I was happy to have the coupon to lower my total cost.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

My husband cut his own hair. I trimmed the baby's hair.

My husband recovered one of our boy's bicycle seats using a scrap of leather we had left from recovering our living room chairs. He removed the staples from the old seat, drew around the existing worn cover on the leather, cut it out, and used a staple gun to staple on the new cover.

I paused to watch the jets fly overhead. I see them often when I am working in the garden. 

I took time to enjoy the beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

I enjoyed the hummingbirds in the garden. They visited the blossoms on the lemon trees. The lemon tree blossoms smell wonderful, and I was able to enjoy them while I worked under them almost every day this past week.

 

What did you do to save money last week? What simple things brought you joy?

 

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40's Inspired Red Dress

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 Red 40s Dress 2 The Prudent Homemaker

Winter originally made this dress for Christmas, using some fabric that was given to me by a reader a few years ago. 

She was inspired by the dress Queen Elizabeth wears in "A Royal Night Out." 

 Red 40s Dress 3 The Prudent Homemaker

She used a pattern she already had, but then made lots of changes, as she was unable to find a pattern that had all of the features she wanted. She drafted a collar for the dress and put pleats in the skirt to gather the fullness in the same places as she saw in photos of the dress from the movie. 

To give the dress the fullness it needs, she wore a crinoline under it. She made the crinoline for her Halloween costume (when she went as Alice in Wonderland) and has been enjoying using it to add fullness to the dresses she is sewing.

I already had thread in this color, so the only thing she needed to buy for this dress was a zipper!

Red 40s Dress 1 The Prudent Homemaker

 I have to admit, it's a lot of fun watching my eldest learning to love vintage dresses as much as I have since I was young!

Tagged in: Sewing Winters Sewing
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March's Grocery Shopping Plans

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Radish Bouquet The Prudent Homemaker 

We have radishes, lemons, Swiss chard, beets, a tiny bit of asparagus, arugula and several herbs ripe in the garden. We should have snow peas, lettuce, and spinach lettuce ready later in the month.

 

Here are my shopping plans for the month. We'll eat mostly from the pantry and freezers.

 

Sam's Club:

Sugar

Mozzarella cheese

Whipping cream

Flour tortillas

Corn tortillas

Milk

Lawry's Chicken and Poultry rub seasoning (on sale this month)

Best Foods mayonnaise (on sale this month)

Tomato sauce (in the #10 can)

 

Winco:

Kidney beans

Milk

Spreadable margarine

Potatoes

 

Target:

Trash bags

Oxi-Clean stain remover

I'll use a $15 off $50 coupon that was in Sunday's ad for these items (I don't get the paper but my mom gave me the ad; you can get it through Target Cartwheel as well I believe). The coupon is really specific about what items apply, but I normally buy the Target brand trash bags and oxi-clean, and both of these qualify.

 

Smith's:

Ice cream: on sale plus there is another $0.49 off digital coupon on their website that I will upload first

I'll also pick up last week's Friday Freebie (a Lindt chocolate) and this week's if it is one I like. Friday Freebie deals at Kroger affiliates need to loaded to your store card on Friday and are available to pick up for 2 weeks.

 

Albertson's:

Strawberries: $0.99 a pound this week; I imagine they'll go on sale again this month too.

Clementines: $2.99 for a 3-pound bag

Albertson's is having a Monopoly game right now. My mom and the woman she takes shopping are giving me all of their Monopoly pieces, plus I have a few of my own. The game pieces are attached to coupons. I have 2 instant win coupons that I will use to pick up a free 8-ounce container of sour cream and a free 26-ounce container of salt.

 

I'll look for sales on the following items. My target price is $0.99 a pound for each of these, except for the cabbage, which I hope to find for $0.39 or less a pound:

 

Asparagus

Cabbage

Frozen petite peas

 

What sales are you looking for this month? 

 

Tagged in: Grocery Shopping
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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

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Apple Blossoms The Prudent Homemaker

Dorsett Golden Apple Blossoms

I transplanted a potted pomegranate tree that I had bought last fall into the raised bed (where the espaliered apples used to be). It can get larger in this spot than in a pot and give us more fruit.

I transplanted the lettuce seedlings from the same pot into the raised bed.

I found three tiny lettuce plants that had self-seeded in the rocks next to our driveway. I dug them up and transplanted them to the raised bed.

I used rainwater that I collected in buckets last weekend to water the garden.

I placed jars over my artichoke seedlings to help them to grow faster.

I harvested lettuce, arugula, radishes, Swiss chard, green onions, parsley, and garlic chives from the garden.

I sewed a few gifts for my daughter for her birthday using fabric, elastic, and ribbons I had on hand.

I used boxes to wrap her gifts that I purchased last year at Christmas. They are pretty white and gold boxes that I can reuse at each birthday, and just tie them shut with ribbons. 

I read two borrowed books.

Iris The Prudent Homemaker

White Wedgewood Iris in the White Garden

 

What did you do to save money last week?

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Snow Pea Vines The Prudent HomemakerSnow Peas in Bloom

I picked lemons from the garden.

I cut a few spears of asparagus and a little lettuce from the garden.

I cut Swiss chard from the garden.

Apple Blossoms Buds The Prudent Homemaker

Dorsett Golden Apple Blossoms

We removed ten non-producing apple trees from the garden.  I have one remaining apple tree now (Dorsett Golden, pictured above).

We bought some new dirt in bulk from the nursery to put in the bed. We picked it up ourselves in our trailer (the one my husband made) and lined the trailer with a free tarp my husband had (via Craigslist). Picking it up ourselves saved the delivery fee.

We dug up and moved the previously espaliered Asian pear tree to the bed to grow as a small (but no longer espaliered) pear tree. The pear was being overshadowed by the fig tree and had stopped producing; it should give us some fruit in the new spot next year.

Almond Blossoms The Prudent Homemaker

Garden Prince Almond Blossoms

I purchased a self-fertile almond (that only gets to 15 feet) on sale to plant there too. It will take about 3-4 years before I can harvest a good-sized crop from it.

I received two free bags of fertilizer at the nursery using their coupons for free fertilizer with the purchase of vegetables and herbs (I purchased some larger pepper plants and tomato plants this year, with the hope of having more to harvest before the heat comes in and the plants stop flowering).

I purchased a lemon verbena plant for the garden at the nursery. This is a perennial plant and it will grow quite tall, giving me lots to harvest. I picked a few leaves and made herbal tea with it. 

I made some plans for this bed, in order to make it more productive for us.

My husband and I celebrated Valentine's Day at home. It was one of two dates at home this week. We played a board game one night and a card game another night.

I bought some strawberries on sale for $0.99 a pound.  I also picked up the avocados (6 for $2) for which I had a raincheck.

I went to the library to check out some books with the children. They had a book sale and I was able to pick up a few books for our personal library for $2.25.

I listened to music on Pandora.

I studied French every day using free online sources.

We received some rain. I turned off the drip irrigation and put out buckets to collect water from the roof. I won't need to water the grass next week and I can use the water I collected in buckets to water plants in the garden. 

Two things that brought me joy this week: I saw a violet-crowned hummingbird in the garden while I was working; I also enjoyed watching the baby take his first steps!

 

What did you do to save money this past week? What joy did you find in the everyday?

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Good Things to Make This Month

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