Around spring time, you hear lots of people talk about gardening and almost every other magazine article offers up "how-tos". But true gardening aficionados look to fall to start their gardening in preparation for the spring.
I'm not much of a gardening person, but after much research I decided to follow those experienced folks in planning for fall gardening and enjoying the fruits of my present labor at a future date, most likely spring.
Unlike spending over $300 last spring trying to plant a small amount of flowers, this fall I got twice the amount for under $100. Let me tell you how I came under budget, got a custom look and will have long-lasting flowers that I won't have to consistently replace:
1. Skip big box retailers. Yes, they are convenient, but they also come in at twice the price or more. I researched different sites including Yelp and found a wonderful local nursery close to me that sold plants for wholesale prices. The quality was better and of course the price you can't beat.
Halloween is one of my favorite times to decorate my home. However, I hate to break the bank doing so. Here are my top 5 tips for saving money on Halloween decorations.
1. Reuse what you have on hand with some quick additions. You can make a cute Halloween centerpiece by taking a vase and a candle you already have and adding candy corn around it. Look at what you have and see how you can give it some Halloween flair. Tablecloths and sheets can have many creative uses too.
2. Do it yourself. You can easily make all kinds of simple and cute Halloween decorations on the cheap. Everything from using glow sticks and toilet paper rolls for evil eyes in your bushes to cute subway art with free templates. I even have some ideas on a my Pinterest board to get you started.
Giving up disposable products, plastic shopping bags and other
"conveniences" of modern-day life can be challenging, because we
think they make our lives easier. The New Year is a great time to
challenge those perceptions.
Here are a handful of quick, eco-friendly resolutions that might
even make your life a little easier.
Buy in bulk
You'll pay less per pound of food, and make fewer trips to the
store, when you buy in bulk. These airtight glass canisters make storing your
extra non-perishables easy; you might need freezer bags, or even a
vacuum sealer, for perishable items.
You know how great inventions seem so simple once someone has invented it? Here is a perfect example: Most modern homes, or renovated older ones, end up with recessed can lighting all over the place. It's cheap, it does the job and it's inoffensive. But it also has no style and looks like you cheaped out on the decor, or couldn't make a decision. On top of that, while it's inexpensive to install, taking them out has always required an electrician, a plaster guy, and then repainting.
Sometimes I think there must be a black hole in our budget where the extra money disappears, never to be seen again. Have you ever received a raise or finished paying off a big debt and thought you would now have extra money, only to find that within a few months you've gotten used to the additional funds in your budget? Now instead of it being an extra financial cushion, it is almost like it was never there. You know what they say, if you have it, you'll spend it.
So, a few weeks ago I spent an entire three-day weekend in the crawl space under my house. This week is the last of the posts concerning things I did while under there. I promise. But like I said in that first post: the crawlspace is so horrible, if you have to go in best to do as many things as possible--like surgery.
It has always bothered me that it took about a minute to get good hot water out of my kitchen sink. Upgrading to a water conserving aerator last year just made things worse, now it was over a minute (because less water was flowing). My second bathroom and new washing machine were even further from the hot water heater, so they have to wait even longer for the hot water--but I'll just use the kitchen sink for this experiment.