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Lemons on the Christmas Table The Prudent Homemaker

I put up a few more decorations that I already had.

The frost that was predicted earlier this month never came, but a frost was again forecast for this week. There were still some green tomatoes in the garden, so we brought them in. We also enjoyed eating garden tomatoes that we had picked green earlier in the month that had ripened.

We harvested lemons from the garden.

Eiffel Tower Pencil Pag The Prudent Homemaker

 I sewed and made gifts for the children using items I had on hand, including another pencil bag.

I made several batches of caramel sauce using ingredients I had on hand. We enjoyed it on brownies and cookies. I used some to fill Christmas candy.

I made candy for everyone's stockings.

I sorted through the garage sale Legos I bought in October (two purchases; one was $0.50 and one was $20). I thought they would all fit in the girls' stockings once I divided them. Then I thought they would all fit in small boxes as there were more than I thought. I quickly realized that wasn't going to work, either. I ended up dividing them into 5 boxes for five different gifts, and I realized what a great price I had really gotten when I started seeing how many sets and people were inside (It took me over 2 hours to divide them up). The girls will be delighted! 

A comedian came across the suggested videos on YouTube for me. I had never seen her before. I watched/listened to this video first and then a few more of hers while I worked on Christmas gifts.

My children watched several children's shows on YouTube.

We listened to Christmas music on Pandora.

My husband and I had a date night at home.


What did you do to save money this past week?


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A Gift a Day 2017: Day 5: Polka Dot Skirt

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Polka Dot Skirt The Prudent Homemaker 

My five-year-old daughter has been wanting a polka dot skirt. She knew I had this fabric, and asked that I make her a skirt from it.

Because she is still small, I just cut one piece of fabric from selvage to selvage. I sewed the side seam together with a French seam.

Polka Dot Elastic Casing The Prudent Homemaker

I ironed 1/4 inch down across the top of the skirt, and then folded it and ironed it again at 1 1/4", to make a casing for the elastic. I sewed this part, leaving a small opening, and then ran the elastic through the casing by attaching a large safety pin to one end and pulling it through.

I hemmed the skirt in the same manner, first folding and ironing under 1/4", and then ironing an additional 2 inches, as I wanted a deep hem.



polka dot fabric (I used a little less than 2/3 of a yard)

1-inch wide elastic


Sewing Machine


Sewing pins




About an hour

Cost: $4

I purchased this fabric on a Black Friday sale several years ago from Fabric.com.

I purchased the elastic on sale in bulk from Wawak.

Tagged in: A Gift A Day
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Christmas Gifts Under $5

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Gift Tag Slider

This post contains affiliate links.

My per person budget for members of my immediate family is usually between $10 to $20 per person, including gifts that go in their stockings. While I make many gifts for pennies, I also purchase items from garage sales, and I look for low-cost items that my family members will love that also fit in my budget.

 Here are some deals that you can give for $5 or less; click on the photos to go to the item:


Kitchen tools:

Amazon has a huge selection of unique cookie cutters. Even with shipping on these, they still work out to be under $5 each, with most under $3 (no minimum order required).




I've bought these for myself and for my daughters. They all come in different colors, too! (Note: a couple of these are now priced just above $5, but some color options are below $5, including shipping).



Fountain Pens:

There are beautiful inexpensive options: 


Read Alouds for Children:



Art Supplies:



Baby Gifts:

These are favorites at my house. 



Having trouble coming up with $5 for a gift this year? Try racking up enough Swagbucks to earn a $5 Amazon gift card. Many of the above items have free shipping with no minimum order, or are still under $5 including shipping.

If you have Amazon Prime, you won't need to pay for shipping an order, plus you'll get 2-day shipping. You can click here to get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, which includes free online movies and music along with 2-day shipping.


Today only, Amazon is offering $5 off $15 worth of books. Use code BOOKGIFT17. You can read the terms and conditions here.



Tagged in: Christmas Gifts
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A Gift a Day 2017: Day 4: Button Bobby Pins

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Button Bobby Pins The Prudent Homemaker

I made button bobby pins for my eldest a few years ago, as she puts her hair up every day. Her younger sisters often ask her to style their hair for them (you can see some of the styles she does from her Pinterest board). This year, one of my younger daughters asked for some of her own fancy bobby pins for her own hair for Christmas.

I was gifted a number of vintage buttons over the past year, and several of them were shank buttons, which were perfect to use for these.



bobby pins

shank buttons

jewelry wire


wire cutters

needle nosed pliers


ShankButtons The Prudent Homemaker

Cut a piece of jewelry wire about 3 inches (approximately 7.5 cm) long for each bobby pin.

Wrap the wire through and around the end of the pin, through the shank button, and around the shank of the button several times, using the pliers to pull the wire tight each time.

When you get to the end of the wire, use the pliers to tuck the ends into the holes of the button, so that nothing sharp will stick out.


It took me 4 minutes per bobby pin (I've gotten a tad bit faster from when I made these three years ago). 


$0.02 each.

I used buttons I had been gifted.

If you don't have buttons, you can purchase some on sale from Joann's, Hobby Lobby, etc. I usually buy buttons on sale for 40-50% off.

Black bobby pins can be bought from several different dollar stores.

I purchased the jewelry wire on a 40% off sale at Michael's several years ago. The wire regularly goes on sale, or you can use the coupon that comes in the weekly ad.

You can see the ones I made three years ago in this post.


Button Bobby Pins in Gift Box The Prudent Homemaker

Tagged in: A Gift A Day
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Christmas Urn in the White Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I used free tree trimmings and free pinecones to decorate my garden urns for the winter.

Christmas Urn on Entry Table The Prudent Homemaker

I cut Thai basil. dusty miller, and roses from the garden for my entry table. I used free tree trimmings in this arrangement too.

I made mini pavlovas for dessert one night with pomegranate arils and berries I pulled from the freezer.

I picked basil and cut chives from the garden.

I mended a broken drip line in the garden.

We attended a free play of "The Christmas Carol" in which two of my children had roles. You can see a few seconds from the play on my Instagram.

We attended a church Christmas dinner.

We enjoyed watching several Christmas videos on YouTube.

I accepted some hand-me-down clothes for a child, and I was able to give the giver some sweaters that are too large for me (I donated most of my sweaters earlier this year, but had kept a few just in case I didn't find any used sweaters in my new size.)

Two of my daughters had requested charm bracelets for Christmas. I thought I had two charm bracelets in with some of my childhood jewelry (most of which is broken odds and ends). There were two bracelets there, so I wrapped those for my daughters.

I wasn't planning another trip to Target this month, but it became very apparent that my fourth daughter was in need of new socks, having worn all of hers completely through (I'm thrilled they lasted through so many girls!) I went to Target, as it was close (I went in the morning to avoid long lines). I took back the unopened dish soaps I had previously bought and returned them (everyone disliked the fragrance; we'll use the opened soap until it is gone). I noticed that the winter hats were 50% off this week, and when I was there the week before, I had bought myself a hat (not on sale) that was just what I have been looking for for years. When I got up to the register to pay for the socks, I asked if they would give me the sales price on the hat that I had purchased the week before. I had my receipt, since I was returning the soap. They agreed and had me "return" the hat (which I was wearing), and repurchase it at half off. I was able to use the money saved on my hat towards the purchase of the socks.


What did you do to save money last week?


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Flannel Scarf The Prudent Homemaker

This post contains affiliate links.


My eldest son needs a long, warm scarf. I have this beautiful herringbone brushed flannel that was just perfect for a scarf. It's super soft.

I didn't have a long enough piece from what I had, so I sewed together two pieces with a french seam in the middle before hemming all the edges.

I used an existing warm scarf of my own as a pattern for width and length.



approx. 1/2 yard (1/2 meter) flannel fabric



Sewing Machine


Sewing pins



About 30 minutes. If you have a longer piece of fabric and don't need to piece it together, you can make this much faster.


Flannel Scarf 2 The Prudent Homemaker


$3.24 (including tax)

I bought the flannel last year on sale at Joann's for $5.99 a yard. This took about half a yard.


Last year I made a vintage-style cloche with this fabric, which you can see here.


You can find the hat here and the gloves here.

Tagged in: A Gift A Day
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