Okay, well, it's not really a secret, but one way to save a lot of money is by planting a garden. Before we moved from Utah we helped facilitate a neighborhood garden next to my mom's house. We weren't there long enough to see the "fruits" of our labors, but I heard a lot about it. After our square meter garden flop the year before, my faith was restored in my ability to plant something and have it grow (and taste good enough to eat). So, we decided to build another planter box from scratch, and this time to leave it without a bottom (I think that was our biggest mistake with the first one) so that the roots could extend as far as they needed to. We built a 4x8 box and planted garlic, beets, carrots, onions, green onions, spinach, escarole, and kale. I also decided to make one row along one of the longer sides into an herb garden, and planted basil, thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano, and parsley. There's nothing better than fresh herbs, and nothing more satisfying than getting them from your own backyard.
This formatting is weird, sorry, and I can't figure out how to change it. Anyway, almost everything has grown great. We planted with seeds we ordered from Burpee and Harris Seeds seed catalogs online (transplants scare me, although this next round I think I'll try growing a few of my own...oh wait, I live in FL, it's not cold outside). When all was said and done and the receipts were totaled, it came to about $90 for materials, soil, and seeds (everything). I told the hub that our goal was to have it pay for itself, by skipping at least two weeks of Annie's Buying Club ($45/wk.). I was skeptical, but after things started growing, and growing fast, I became more confident. So far we've been able to skip three weeks and are sticking to a biweekly schedule for a bit. The kale, escarole, and spinach just keep producing (how cool is that? You cut it off and it grows back, amazing!) as well as the herbs. I'm really looking forward to starting to dry a few of the herbs and have bottles of spices that I GREW! And with the cost of spices that makes it even more awesome. Also, it's a lot of fun involving Shiloh in the process. It'll be fun to take him out to pick carrots when they're ready.
This blog is dedicated to tracking the paying off of our student loan debt while being a stay-at-home mom and surviving on solely my husband's income. My goal is to stick to a $200/mo. food, drug store item, and diaper budget, while still eating organic fruits and veggies, and allowing ourselves allowance earned only through swagbucks. Impossible? Nigh. But there's power in positive thinking, and in helping others. We'll see what awaits, and it will be revealed on this blog. I anticipate learning very well the fine line between want and need,
and in getting creative when it comes to what I will call "need improvising", or providing for needs without actually purchasing some of them (some of which I may not mention to my husband, as I have been known to snag a perfectly good coupon from a stranger's recycle bin (not the cleanest one, I might add), and he made a disapproving face. What he doesn't know can't hurt him, and I imagine since this blog is dedicated to couponing and the like, he won't come near it). Let the fun begin.