We spent Christmas at home.

The children really liked their presents. I loved the oohs and ahhs and sighs of delight. The boys were quite delighted with their bookmarks. Winter loved the jewelry that I made for her–as well as the 10 cent bracelet and 50 cent vintage necklace that I found for her at garage sales.

I did well purchasing the gifts from my grandmother and my brother (they gave me money to buy gifts for the children). I bought exactly what several children wanted, which was awesome.

I made 2 batches of rosemary olive oil bread and cut the loaves in half to give smaller loaves of bread for Christmas gifts to Sunday School teachers and friends. I wrapped the loaves with brown packing paper (I ironed it first), tied them with red and white baker’s twine, and tied rosemary in a circle on it as a wreath to decorate it (similar to how we had it here).

I picked up the free 8 x 10 image (of a girl with a bird on her shoulder) that I ordered last week from Walgreen’s (using a free Graphics Fairy image). I put that picture in a picture frame that I got for free at a garage sale in October, and I gave it to Wren as a Christmas gift. I put the other picture (of the Eiffel tower) that I got with a free Walgreen’s code before that in the matching picture frame from the garage sale, and gave it to Elsa for Christmas. We hung the pictures over their beds.

Walgreen’s was out of eggs, and they had them on sale for $0.99 a dozen, so I got a raincheck for 12 dozen.

I finished making a pair of pajama pants for Cyrus from plaid flannel that I had.

I put new buttons on his garage sale suit coat. Now his suit has three buttons in front as it should.

I finally finished Wren’s yellow dress (made with fabric from my grandmother’s collection) and I gave it to her for Christmas. She has worn it twice already.

My grandmother gave us $60 for Christmas. I decided to spend it on food.

I just to Winco, hoping that they would have prices comparable to Food 4 Less’s deals on oranges and onions. (Food 4 Less is a lot further away, so it would have meant a large amount for gas to get there).

I found out that they had an even better deal on oranges (.01 a pound less) and that they would price match on the onions so long as I had the ad in hand (which I did).

The onions were .20 a pound and the oranges were .19 a pound. I know this is a once a year kind of price and that both will last a long time, so I planned to stock up. I asked the produce manager how many pounds come in a box. Oranges come 38 pounds to a box and yellow onions come 40 pounds to a box.

I bought 4 boxes of oranges and 2 boxes of onions. These will keep for months if kept cool (for now they are going in the garage; when I take the flower bulbs out of the fridge later this week I will put some of the oranges in their place).

I wanted to use my $10 off $50 coupon that came in the mail, so I also bought 6 pounds of clementines ($1.00 a pound). That would have been enough, but I need to make some pear butter in exchange for the garage sale shopping that a friend did for me this summer so I bought 4.96 pounds of pears at .99 a pound.

I also used one reusable bag for the clementines and the pears, which was .06 off

My total was $45.64 for:

80 pound of yellow onions

152 pounds of navel oranges

6 pounds clementines

4.96 pounds of D’Anjou pears

I took the rest of the money and used it for a ham (and a half) from another store who had half hams for .88 a pound. (I bought a few more hams as well). I cooked one for Christmas and the others were frozen to eat next year).

My husband and I had a date night at home. We also watched two shows on Hulu for free.

We listened to Christmas music on Pandora for free.

The children and my husband played several games of Monopoly this week. They played on the board I had when I was a child.

I used a Burpee gift card that I was given and combined it with a $10 off coupon code to order some seeds for next year. Between these and what I have leftover from this year, I don’t anticipate needing any seeds for food for next year.

We were given some cucumbers and 2 red peppers that were about to go bad/were going bad. I was able to salvage enough to make 17 pints of dill pickles and 9 half-pints of sweet pickle relish.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. Milk Donor Mama, my husband was the same! His mother cut his hair also for him. He would do trims himself when she couldn’t. I took over for years until my hands got too bad. His hair is really thick. Now he goes to little old fashioned barber shop when he needs it nice.

  2. Must be so nice to have all that citrus. I checked oranges here…still pretty expensive. We finished the last of the cheap clementines over the holiday. Hope the sales start soon as out of marmalade.

  3. Remembered a few more things. We had the goose and ham from freezer for Christmas day. Also Sunday for Packer game kids wanted to grill out hamburgers…(which I keep premade in freezer so easy) , but you know you are in Wisconsin when they say “it’s not cold, it’s up to 18 now.” I made French fries. Husband’s youngest brother bought play-off tickets for the two of them and a cousin for this Sunday…it is supposed to be -10 F.

  4. Tina, I have always worked and so did my mother and she raised six children. Having family help, like your husband or a grandma is wonderful. Can you try making your bread when you make dinner? I start it as soon as I get home, in the Kitchen Aide, just keep it going while I am cooking. The warmth in the kitchen from the other things cooking helps with the raising and I can usually slip two loaves in the oven along side whatever else is baking.

  5. Yes, the citrus is a huge blessing! We can use it for so many things, not just eating. Yesterday my husband juiced some of the oranges and lemons. The kids enjoyed fresh-squeezed OJ at breakfast and fresh lemonade at lunchtime. He saved the peels for me so I could use them for Marivene’s vinegar cleaner and just to throw down the garbage disposal to keep it fresh. I also found a wonderful recipe for lemon bars that I want to try. I’m originally from Chicago so I am constantly amazed at the idea of going into the backyard and picking edible fruit straight from our tree! I’m sad that it’s expensive for you because I honestly don’t know how the stores out here make any money on it. I would think it would be more cost-effective to bless those that don’t have the bounty rather than let it sit around and go bad…

  6. Thank you for the tips about Winco. I think I am going to make a trip over there today. I don’t have much to spend so I’m hoping it will go a long way! I will likely let you know in next week’s Frugal Accomplishments post! Have a great weekend!

  7. I wait to buy oranges here until they start sampling them in the stores, then I know they are good. Nothing worse then spending good money for blah oranges. When they sample, too, the price will go down. Then we stock up.

  8. I did not do very well saving money through the holidays. However, because of my parents age and health, I don’t begrudge spending one cent. We had a fantastic Christmas brunch and New Year’s lunch with them. I can replace the money I spent through scrimping the rest of this month, but I can never buy back time.I have seen everyone talk about saving on heating bills and such. I just read a friend’s post. He is camping for 5 weeks in the middle of treacherous weather ( Men and their personal quests?) and was struggling with the extreme low night time temps. A mutual friend sent him the instructions found here to create a low cost portable heat system using flower pots, stainless nuts, washers, a bolt, and a candle. According to him it warmed up his tent until he was hot. I am going to try it in my den. I have an insane number of partially burned candles and flower pots in the shed. I am headed out to buy the hardware because I am unsure if the ones here are stainless steel or have zinc in them. ( zinc = toxic fumes) Will let you know if it works in a less confined space. This is the link to the site about the heat source http://www.permaculture.co.uk/readers-solutions/heat-your-room-1-candle-plus-flowerpots-nuts-and-washers

  9. Oh forget one thing. Years ago I bought 40 clear dinner plates for 50 cents per plate. I use them any time I have a large gathering. They match but are boring. This year I put white tablecloths on the tables and went through my old stock of leftover christmas cards. ( I never throw any away and seem to have 4 or 5 leftover each year) I used 3 different cards and cut christmas tree shapes from the fronts of the cards, They were all the same size, but had 3 different designs. I placed them underneath the plates with the design showing through and alternated the designs so there was some consistency. I have no idea why I didn’t think of doing this before. ( I saved the cut out trees, but am cutting simple shapes for other holidays and occasions too). It made the plates look so much more festive and used several of the cards I had been hoarding.

  10. Athanasia- The husband and I actually had Fondue as our NYE dinner! I think I posted that a few comments below Andrea- Good luck with Winco. I think you will grow to love it

  11. Two posts from me this week, one to finish off December 2013’s Year of Savings and one of my more usual Frugal Friday post started Jan1. Love reading everyone’s savings. I must add that I picked up $.38 at the car wash and placed in our charity giving box, earned a $5 Amazon card thru Swagbucks, and got the special 30 pts purchase Coke 12 pack coupons from Mycokerewards this past week as well.http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2014/01/my-frugal-week-its-new-year.htmlhttp://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-year-of-savings-2013_31.html

  12. Alexa here from Sydney Australia where it’s hot and sunny at the moment. I just wrote a long comment that got lost in space some where 🙁 Will do it again in a while…the short long of it is saving on half price meat, fruit in season – $4 for 2x 3kg bags of beautiful large fresh nectarines which I took in a nice bowl to New Year’s Eve for family . Also my adventure in redesigning a cheap but nice dress using materials I had and you tube tutorial and pattern for Obi belt….also my journey into blogdom – new skills at no cost. X

  13. I am also from Canada, and the price of produce is crazy. I will find some on the discounted rack to be used right away. I save money by making everything from scratch. I started making candles to use with the clay pots to warm up a room, works great. Sewed my own toilet paper out of cloth. Huge saving with 4 people in a home. Walk as much as I can to cut down on gas. Like many people we do what we can to survive, we have food, heat, shelter, it really does n;t get any better.—-and I have to save for one of my girls braces, Moskoka field trip, and one starting high school with uniforms. I need to save every penny I can.

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