Gardening can be a therapeutic and productive pastime when done correctly and frugally. Here are a few tips to keep the cost down.
Seeds are much less expensive than a young plant. You can get them at dollar stores, grocery stores, and even at pharmacies. Learn to read the back of the packet to help you pick out the right seeds for the time of year that you will be growing plants in your area. The package will also give you directions on proper care and let you know if your plant is an annual (lives for the season only, must be replaced annually) or a perennial (comes back year after year).
Create More With What You Have
When gardening it’s nice to only have to buy the plant once. This is usually possible by using your first plant to grow other plants of the same type. Learn to take cuttings and to collect seeds. There are plenty of posts on Pinterest and videos on Youtube to teach you how to multiply your one plant into many.
Instead of throwing out those biodegradable left overs throw it in a compost bin outside. Compost is a great way to create a rich loam in which plants thrive. With proper care a compost heap will not smell. Using compost also reduces your amount of waste and even makes what you would consider trash useful.
Don’t buy new planters. Instead use an old kiddie pool, wagon, or even an old boot. If you have children just growing out of sippy cups and toddler bowels, these are great for planting herbs. Just create a way for water to run out of the bottom of your planter so you don’t drown your plant when watering it. (A drill and drill bit are the easiest way to form drainage holes.)
Child and Pet Safe
I don’t mean that the plants you grow are safe for your children and pets to consume (although that is highly recommended as well). I mean make sure your plants are safe from your children and pets. Hang them from porch rafters. Fence your garden off. This could save you in medical and vet expenses, but can also save you from needing to replace half your garden.
Phone technology is getting to a point where we may not need other electronic devices other than our phones. They have many tools and uses. Here are some of my favorites.
1 – Calculator Anything from working out a budget to figuring out the amount you should tip can be done with your phone calculator. You will most likely have it with you while shopping, so you can keep track of how much your groceries are costing you before you get to the check out lane. As long as you have a charged phone with you there is no need to buy a basic calculator again.
2 – Alarm Clock This could include any type of time device. As long as you have a phone, there is no need to buy a clock or a watch unless you are one of those people that need a back up alarm. Watches and clocks are becoming simply a form of decoration for home or wrist.
3 - Entertainment Most phones can now play music getting rid of the need for any portable music device. Some you download your songs to. Others you log into your favorite music website using the internet. Our phones also have big enough screens for us to enjoy videos, and television, as well as games.
4 – Communication Naturally the phone has become the main way we communicate with each other. We can call each other, text each other, and email each other from the little device the size of our hand. We can even make our phone calls with live video feed. We can also access our social media using our phones.
5 – Camera Camera use on a phone doesn’t just mean still life photos anymore. We can also record video with our phones. These aren’t horrible cameras either. The have pretty good resolution and take great shots. Plus, going back to communication, it’s easy to share photos with family and friends without the use of the postal service.
6 – Internet Access Many phones don’t just access email anymore. They give directions, show maps, and connect to search engines. In addition to the before mentioned communication and entertainment uses of the phone, you may not need an actual computer for much more than a storage device or printer from time to time.
7 – Apps There are also helpful tools that you can now download with your phone. My particular favorite is the flashlight app. As long as I know where my phone is when the lights go out I don’t have to go searching for the flashlight I haven’t used in three or more months.
8 – Planning Our phones now also have notepads and calendars built into them as well. They can serve as our planners and even remind us of what is scheduled.
What’s your favorite use for your phone that has replaced something else?
Many things have changed in our society since I was younger, but other things continue to be important. One of them is the value of learning a proper work ethic and the value of a service rendered. It’s important to teach these values to the next generation, and where better than in our own homes?
Payment For Service Rendered
Once your children have learned to do their own chores there will be times they will not want to. A fake money system may be required. Just go to the dollar store and pick up some toy money or use the money in the Monopoly board game (providing that you got the game and now never play it). Set up an amount paid for services such as chores or laundry. Next, set up the responsibility schedule. Let every person in the household know what their responsibility is and the time period they have to complete it in. After this amount of time the chore or service is up for grabs for others to earn and the person responsible has to pay those that complete the service. This will not only teach kids about managing money, but the value of a good work ethic.
There are fines for everything in the world, from overdraft fees to parking tickets to places to smoke or use the phone. Many fines are avoidable, and one of the best financial lessons that we can teach our children is to avoid them. Do this by having a fine system in your home. Leaving toys out will cost a certain amount of money or a service to be completed. Not keeping your room clean will result in a fine. In the long run this will teach children to try to avoid the action that produces the fine and in adult life could save them some money.
It is just as important to teach children the consequences of not managing money, or trying to work the system. At times the party responsible may feel that the service is not worth doing and will be willing to pay someone to do it. This is okay as long as they have the “money” to do so. Should they cease adhering to the plan by not earning or paying, then it’s time to give them a nice orange vest and let them do community service until their debt to your society is paid. Continued failure to comply can result in more traditional consequences (you could ground them).
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One of the hardest parts of keeping a marriage flavorful is adding a little spice to it. It doesn’t take expensive (and sometimes questionable) contraptions or even a yoga class to achieve this marital seasoning. In fact it takes less than most people would think.
The Marital Fun Map
Keep a map of your state or your country in your bedroom over your bed. If you are world travelers, keep a map of the world over your bed instead. Using pins mark all the places you have celebrated your union in a physical manner. Neither the map nor the pins will be very expensive. Every time you look at the map it will bring back good memories and perhaps inspire you to make a few more. Plan family vacations in a way to add more pins to your map. It doesn’t matter if you are driving three hours. Every new place counts.
The New Home Tradition
It’s important to make a new home your own and one of the best ways to do that is to create good memories in it. Make lots of good memories in every room, the garage, and the backyard. You could even create good memories in every closet, the basement, and the attic. The object of this marital tradition is to create many, many good memories in your new home, in as many places as possible.
The Innuendo Game
This is a simple game really and only works well if you have no children or small children who have no clue there could be another meaning to what your saying. Most days at home with our children (though we love them dearly) are mood killers. On those days we try to speak only in innuendo. It’s fun to think up new and creative innuendos. It’s also a good way to relieve stress as a couple because it can get downright funny. By the end of the day you’ll either be in the mood or in a good mood from laughing so much.
How do you keep the spice in your marriage without spending much money?
When buying online I usually go clicking to Amazon first. It’s an easy page to navigate and has almost anything I could want to buy. It also has a number of ways to help me save money while I’m spending money. Here are a few that I use regularly.
If you want to find out what is on sale on Amazon go to the top of the page, under your search bar and click on today’s deals. This page will show you what’s on sale. They have what they call Lightening Deals, which means they are for a few hours only. You can see what is coming up and what percentage you could save during that sale. They have coupons. They even have local deals listed for those of us that want to do something fun in our community.
Read the reviews for your product before buying it. Aside from the fact that some are down right entertaining, it should give you some perspective of what others thought of your particular product, and therefore what you or the person you are buying it for may think of it.
Search Under A Dollar
If you are looking for a new accessory or a new e-book, but don’t want to spend too much money, try using the amount you want to spend in your search. Amazon will respond to cost sensitive searches. The other way of doing this is looking up an item, and then picking a price range on the left hand side. Then up pops variations of the product I can afford.
Register (and pay) for an Amazon Prime membership. It will allow you to watch television shows for free as part of the package deal. It also has free two day shipping, free e-book use, and streaming music.
Most apartment dwellers would like to move into a nicer apartment at one time or another. The question is can they afford to do so. Here are a few facts and tips that could make your transition into a nicer home easier and more affordable.
How Much Do You Have To Earn?
Most apartment places have a minimum amount of money that you need to earn monthly in order to move in. This is to ensure that you can afford to pay them and your bills at the same time. Sometimes you need to earn twice what the rent is. In other cases you need to earn three times the cost of your rent. Before emotionally investing in a particular property make sure you make enough money to live there.
There are usually three types of fees that are connected with getting an apartment. These are the security deposit, the application fee, and pet fees if applicable. First check to see if there are any specials at your apartment complex of choice. Some places may have a $200 deposit, but may be running a move-in special of a $99 deposit. Next, check to see how your payments can be broken up. For example some places will allow you to pay the pet deposit in two monthly installments. Third, the application fee is usually per adult. The usual fee is about $35. That’ doesn’t seem like much, but doubled it’s $70. It’s best to plan accordingly.
Some apartments run rent specials. If you bring in a certain ad or list a certain website as the place you heard about the apartment complex you could get a discount on your first month’s rent. Another special that some apartments offer is a referral special. You get a discount on your rent when someone moving into the apartment complex let’s the management know you referred them.