Sep 212012

I’m always looking for inspiration as I walk that fine line between balancing our budget and keeping our lives fun and interesting.  The internet is a treasure trove of frugal living tips, and I’ve rounded up five good frugal living articles that I came across this week.  Remember, living frugally isn’t about saving money for the sake of saving money, it’s about saving money so that you can spend it on what really matters to you.

This round-up of “good reads” is a weekly feature of other people’s ideas, but don’t forget you can also check out all of my articles on managing your money, setting goals, menu planning, organizing, and lots of other stuff! :)

May 172012

Here’s a completely unique (and adorable) way to label your garden plants. ArtsyVaVa gives step-by-step instructions for making these whimsical little plant labels.  It’s very simple and easy (other than using a wood burner for the letters- I’d probably use metallic black indelible marker instead).

Crafty Thursdays are an ongoing feature of The Daily Citron.  I picked Thursday because it leaves just enough time for busy parents to collect their supplies for doing the craft with their kids over the weekend.

Apr 202012

[Expired] Receive two free sample bags of PotShots Plant Food by signing up for PlantersPlaceIt only took me 48 seconds to fill out the form, but their website was a bit slow and I had to find something else to do on the computer while I waited for the confirmation.  The connection ended up timing out when I submitted my membership form; however, when I refreshed the page I received a confirmation that I’d be receiving the bags.

I found this offer on Freebie Shark, a reputable freebie listing site.

Apr 182012

Grow Your Own Vegetables Book: Your Complete Guide to planting, tending, and harvesting vegetables(from “The Everything” series of how-to books) is free right now on Amazon.  It’s an Amazon Kindle ebook, but even if you don’t own a Kindle you can still enjoy it by downloading it for free to your computer (PC or Mac), iPhone, or iPad. The instructions for doing so are included under the “Buy Now With 1 Click” button. PLEASE BE AWARE that the price is currently $0.00 but that could change at any time, so always check the price before clicking Buy Now.[Currently, the price is $0.00 for Prime Member Kindle owners only]

Let me know what you thought of this book!

Mar 102012

[Expired] Miracle Grow is giving away free samples of it’s new Expand’n Gro potting soil, just in time to start your garden!  There is only a short name/address form to fill out.  Don’t forget to check out my post on the Top 10 Gardening Websites for some excellent gardening resources.

I found this tip on MoneySavingMom, a great website for finding deals and money-saving advice.

Mar 092012

Our Bok Choy Seedlings

Here are my top 10 go-to websites that I visit when I need gardening tips.  If you want to start a garden, or if you’re an experienced gardener looking to improve your skills, take a couple minutes to check out these sites.  And before I lose any of you who live in apartments and think you can’t garden, I’ll point out that my list includes tips on unconventional gardening- from container gardening to window gardening (yes, rigging up a vertical garden in your window- you’ve got to see it to believe it).  Here are the best gardening websites I’ve found:

  1. Basically an encyclopedia of gardening.  Check out their plant finder, where you can find the most ideal plants for your area.  I also love their garden design ideas, and they’ve got a whole archive of articles on small-space container gardening.
  2. They’ve got an entire section devoted to garden-related forecasting, including an absolutely essential tool- a gardener’s forecast customized to your particular location.  Want to know whether you need to cover your plants tonight to protect from frost?  Want to know the watering needs of your plants over the next few days?  This website will answer those questions with a clear layout showing all of the variables that might affect your plants (rain, wind, temperature, light intensity) in the upcoming week.
  3. Like, Urban Sustainable has amassed a treasure trove of useful articles on gardening, but it’s focus is entirely on small space gardening (which frankly applies to suburbs just as well as cities- most people don’t want to tear up their lawn to install a garden when they could create a container garden on the patio instead).
  4. Renee’s Garden Seeds offers organic and non-GMO seeds, but I like this website best for it’s excellent archive of unintimidating gardening how-to articles- including Gardening with Children, Growing Your Container Kitchen Garden, and What to Plant in the Shade.
  5. Love Apple Farm is a nationally renowned small farm that elevates tomato growing to an art form- so if you want to take your tomato growing to the next level, check out their Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Growing Tomatoes and Growing Tomatoes in Containers.
  6. Speaking of tomatoes, did you know that planting tomatoes next to carrots will stunt the growth of the carrots? Or that planting chamomile next to onions improves the flavor of the onionsGolden Harvest Organics has compiled a comprehensive list of all of these companion planting tips hereDon’t be put off by the 1990′s formatting of the website- the tips are tried and true (and make sure to scroll down on the page if you don’t see them).
  7. Looking for some city gardening inspiration?  Try Urban Homestead- the website of a family in Pasadena, California that figured out how to grow 6000 pounds of produce a year on 1/10th of an acre.
  8. So, how about that window farming? explains the concept with beautiful pictures and informative videos.  Best of all, they provide detailed instructions for how to build your own window farm (or if you’re not feeling very handy with the tools, you can buy them pre-made).
  9. Just for fun, check out this garden pool.  They’ve got lots of photos and videos showing how they transformed a backyard pool into a micro farm complete with vegetables, fish and chickens.
  10. Ok, back to more conventional gardening- if you like how-to tips but would rather watch them in video format, check out Garden Girl from HGTV.  Her website has lots of videos covering all the basics of gardening.

What’s your go-to gardening website?

Thanks for reading!  I love comments, so let me know if these websites did (or didn’t) work for you.