I am always looking for creative ways to water my garden with out wasting valuable drinking water, this article has some great tips!
fireballsedai/Flickr Creative Commons
Conserving water is an important aspect of growing a "green" garden. The fewer resources we have to use, the better. And since water is an important part of most gardens (and also the most egregiously wasted — it drives me crazy to watch people put their sprinklers on and let the water all run down their driveway!) it’s a good idea to try to find alternative ways of watering than solely depending on tap water. Here are five that I’ve used for my own garden.
1. Rain Barrel
This is kind of a no-brainer, but I know that many people don’t have them because ready-made rain barrels can be pretty pricey. Luckily, there are very good instructions online for making your own, inexpensively:
- MAKE: Magazine has instructions for not only making a single barrel, but also for linking two or more together.
- Instructables shows how to make your own rain barrel with standard hardware store parts.
- Here are instructions from the city of Raleigh, NC for how to make a rain barrel from a plastic trash can.
2. Buckets Under Downspouts and Eaves
This is a good option for those who don’t want to go all out with a rain barrel, or who, for one reason or another, can’t have one where they live. If you’re an apartment dweller with a balcony or patio — you can use this tip, too. Simply set five gallon buckets or whichever watering cans you have under your downspouts, at the edges of roof eaves or overhangs, or just out in the open to collect the rain water. You won’t get as much as you would with a rain barrel, but some is better than none, right?
3. Kid-Size Swimming Pool
If you have kids and find yourself filling up a little pool for them to splash around in during hot weather, don’t just let that water flow out onto the lawn when you empty the pool! Use buckets or watering cans to get the water out, and use the water for your garden instead. Even if you don’t have kids, a small kid’s pool is another excellent way to capture rainwater as described in #2, above.
4. Buckets in the Shower
One of the easiest ways to capture water that would otherwise be wasted is to take a shower with a bucket or two. You’ll be surprised by how quickly the buckets fill (even if you do take short showers) and you can use the water for your houseplants or garden.
5. Cooking Water
If you’ve boiled a bunch of vegetables or pasta, don’t just pour that water down the drain when you’re done with it! Let it cool completely, then use it to water plants in your garden. It’s perfectly safe for them, and actually contains a bit of nutrition for your plants, especially if you’ve boiled vegetables.
These are just a few ways to gather otherwise "wasted" water and put it to use in your garden instead.
There are many food items that people regularly buy that they could make at home; healthier, cheaper, and tastier.
In days past people did not run to the store every time they needed catsup or baking powder, they made what they needed themselves from basic materials. You can do the same. How many of the following items have you made from scratch?
Items You Didn’t Know You Could Make Homemade
Condiments and Ingredients
1. Baking Powder
2. Vanilla Extract
3. Homemade Vinegar and Flavored Vinegars
5. Catsup or Ketchup
7. Grape Jelly
8. Dill Pickles
9. French Dressing
10. Peanut Butter
12. Sweetened Condensed Milk
Meat and Proteins
Spices and Herb Blends
Breads and Cereals
33. Homemade Thin Mints
34. Sea Salt Caramels
35. Chocolate Covered Cherries
36. Tie Dyed Tortilla Chips
39. Peanut Butter Cups
40. Homemade Candy Corn
41. Fruit Roll Ups
With the easy access to information on the Internet a couple of words typed in to Google can result in hundreds of recipes for everything from corned beef to homemade wine. Next time you run out of an ingredient check the web for information about making it yourself.
There is something very satisfying about being able to make your own ingredients.
Look what I made today!!!
This is from the amazing bakerella website, http://www.bakerella.com, this girl has serious talent! I gave it a go and they turned out pretty good, 4 hours of long hard work, but well worth it for the smile on the beans face!! I copied and pasted the how to for you that I borrowed from the site, give it a try, its fun and they are sooo adorable!
1 13X9 baked cake (from a box cake mix or from scratch … any flavor)
1 can cream cheese frosting (or about 2 cups equivalent from scratch)
1 flower shaped cookie cutter (1.25″ wide X .75″ tall)
1 package chocolate bark
1 package pink candy melts or white chocolate bark
bowls for dipping
sprinkles, m&ms or something similar for top of cupcake
small plastic treat bags and ribbon to package the Cupcake Pops
candy cups and truffle boxes to individually package the Cupcake Bites
- Bake a cake from a mix or from scratch and cool completely.
- Crumble cake into a fine consistency into a large bowl.TIP: If the texture is too coarse, you can run it through a food processor.
- Add can of cream cheese frosting or homemade frosting and blend together using the back of a large spoon. Blend thoroughly.
- Roll mixture into 1.25″ – 1.5″ size balls and lay on wax paper covered cookie sheet. You may want to periodically rinse and dry your hands off in between.
- Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for several hours.TIP: You can speed this up by placing in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
- Remove. Begin to shape into cupcakes using a small flower-shaped cookie cutter. (see below) Take the chilled ball and roll it into more of an oval and then slide into cookie cutter. Push it into cutter until about half fills the cutter and the rest sticks out of the top in the shape of a mound. Then push the shaped cupcake carefully out of the cookie cutter from the bottom. Set right side up on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Continue with remaining balls.
- Once shaped, cover and return to freezer. (5-10 minutes)TIP: You can leave them covered in the refrigerator overnight if you want to do the dipping on the following day.
- While cupcake shapes are chilling, begin to heat up your chocolate bark.
- Brown chocolate bark for the bottoms. Pink or white chocolate for the tops.
- Follow the instructions on the package for melting. Most recommend heating for 30 second intervals at a time and stirring in between. You can also do the double boiler method.
- When you are ready to dip, remove from freezer and set up another wax paper covered cookie sheet.
- Take the cupcake shaped mixture and dip bottoms into the melted chocolate – just to the point where the mounded shape starts. Remove from chocolate, turn upside down and wiggle so that the excess starts to slide down slightly. Then lay on the wax paper upside down. If you want them to be lollipops, then go ahead and insert the lollipop sticks while the chocolate is still wet. Continue with rest of the cupcakes. You can also leave some without the sticks. They’re just as cute as Cupcake Bites.TIP: Dip end of your lollipop stick in the melted chocolate before inserting into chocolate bottoms. Not sure if this helps a lot, but it couldn’t hurt.
DON’T – get water in the chocolate. Make sure your hands are completely dry. Water will cause the chocolate to separate and mess up all your hard work.
- Dry completely. (15-20 minutes)
- Once dry, dip the tops of the cupcakes in the pink or white chocolate. You may need to move it around a little to cover all the exposed areas.
TIP: Let the pink chocolate sit for a few minutes after heating to thicken. This will help it from dripping down the sides of the cupcake.
- Remove from the pink/white chocolate and turn right side up. You may need to hold and rotate it if there is any excess so that it doesn’t drip down too far.TIP: You can use a toothpick to help cover any areas the melted chocolate didn’t cover.
- For the Cupcake Bites – just turn right side up and rest on the wax paper. Then go ahead and put a m&m on the top and add sprinkles while wet.
- For the lollipops, Continue holding and place an m&m on the top and add sprinkles. Let them dry in a styrofoam block that you have already poked holes into.
- When completely dry, cover the lollipops with small plastic treat bags and tie with a ribbon.
- For the Cupcake Bites, place in a candy cup and package in small candy truffle boxes to present individually.
check out this brillant shot that I found on flickr, its absolutley amazing!! Had to share!!
Check out this great article I discovered today, they borrowed a photo of the bean for the article, and my flickr page alerted me to it!!! Glad they did, the article is fun and full of great inexpensive ways to get the kids out and moving this summer!!!
This guest post is brought to you by Lynnae McCoy of Beingfrugal.net. She loves to blog, especially about helping other get out of debt.
School is out for the summer and kids everywhere are rejoicing. But across the nation parents are scrambling to come up with activities to keep the kids busy, before free play turns into sibling bickering. If you’re looking for frugal summer activities to keep the kids active and out of trouble, these ideas should help you out.
Letterboxing has been around for years and was a precursor to geocaching. But unlike geocaching, you don’t need expensive GPS equipment to participate in letterboxing. All you need is a rubber stamp to represent your family, an inkpad, a sketchbook, a pen, and an inexpensive compass.
Once you have your supplies, go to www.letterboxing.org to find letterboxes in your area. Follow the clues, find the box, and stamp your journal. If you like, take a picture of your family at the clue site and write an entry about your hike to find the clue. Your letterboxing journal will become a lasting reminder of your summer treasure hunts!
Grab your frisbee, find a course, and take the kids out for a round of disc golf! The rules are much the same as regular golf, but instead of using a golf club and golf balls, you throw a frisbee at targets.
Most courses are free, so the only expense to play is the cost of your frisbees and the gas to get to the course. An added bonus to this activity is that many courses are in parks and wooded areas, so pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the scenery while you’re out.
An Old Fashioned Water Balloon Fight
Water balloon fights are great, because for less than five dollars you can occupy your kids for an entire afternoon. Buy a bag (or two or three) of water balloons, and let the kids fill the balloons themselves. If they like, they can fashion forts out of blankets, outdoor furniture, and play structures, so they have a place to hide their ammunition.
The kids will enjoy the water balloon war on a hot afternoon. It’s even more fun when parents play along, as most kids think there’s nothing funnier than hitting mom or dad with a water balloon. After all the water balloons have been launched and broken, put the kids to work cleaning up the yard. From start to finish, this activity can take hours.
Whether you need to plan a frugal vacation, or you just want the kids to have a fun night under the stars, camping is a summer activity most kids enjoy. If you have a free weekend, pack up your camping equipment and head to your favorite campground.
But even if camping isn’t your thing, the kids can enjoy the thrill of sleeping under the stars in your own backyard. No tent? No problem! Have the kids make a tent out of blankets and a tree. Get creative and roast marshmallows over the barbecue and tell stories by the light of a flashlight. Just make sure to leave the back door unlocked, in case your little campers get scared in the middle of the night.
If you’re worried that the kids aren’t getting enough exercise this summer, make it fun! Grab some ordinary objects from the yard and make an obstacle course. Have the kids run around chairs, crawl under tables and run through the sprinkler. Make the course as simple or as complicated as your kids’ ages allow.
When your course is put together and the kids understand the rules, time them with a stopwatch. Have them run the course a few times, trying to beat their best time. This will keep them occupied for a long while, while wearing them out, too. You’ll appreciate it at bedtime!
With a little creativity, it’s not difficult to find frugal ways to keep kids busy over the summer
I found this online and I want one!! I know you will too!
Behold the mowercycle! Is this an awesome DIY design or what? This ingenious bicycle-lawnmower fashioned by an unknown suburban lawn owner out of an old bicycle and a broken lawnmower, is a testament to the creativity of the human spirit. Spotted in dot dream’s flickr stream, we have no idea who the original photographer was, nor do we know anything about the owner/designer of the MOWERCYCLE. All we know is that it is awesome and should be an inspiration to sustainable design fans and DIY tinkerers everywhere.
If any of you readers have any knowledge about this fabulous DIY design – please get in touch and let us know!
I found this article at http://hilife2b.com/blog, and thought I would share it with you
Wrote most of these Saturday evening while (as the title already tells you) lying on the grass outside. They were compiled to get myself out of boredom and now I feel inspired again.
1. Whenever you focus heavily on an outcome, you rarely ever ever get it
2. Ultimately, nobody really does care about you more than yourself
3. People love children more than adults because they’re so unpredictable (in other words, act like an adult, but live as a child)
4. It’s very hard for people to follow others’ advice, even more so their own
5. A mountain’s worth of effort will get you anything you want
6. Laying on the grass isn’t as bad as I thought it would be – it’s actually quite freeing
7. What people may think of you matters nothing compared to what you think of yourself
8. The stuff that people try to distract you with (their words, their praise, their criticism) – that is noise. Filter that out and find the true meaning within
9. Complaining alters nothing (or at the very most, alters very little). For maximum impact, physically do something about it
10. I’ve found that people don’t like hearing the truth. That’s why I have this blog. This way I won’t have to argue, plead, or shout to be heard. All I have to do is type
11. Television, movies, books, even blogs – they serve as an escape from reality. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take lessons from them to change your own reality
12. I’m almost certain that I would be happier as an animal than as a human. At least I’d actually live everyday as if it was my last
13. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sex. Just be smart enough to know when and how to do it
14. Sometimes, you just need a break from your normal social circle. I’m lying in the grass instead of going to the movies. What are you doing?
15. If I can make $200 doing what I love (writing on this blog) then so can you doing what you love. Just prepare to work your ass off
16. You really don’t need as much as you think you do
17. Minimalism does not mean to be happy having absolutely nothing. It means being content with having manageable amounts of stuff
18. Placating others for them to like you is low-class behavior
19. I could’ve chosen to be miserable and bored, but instead I’ve decided to make myself happy and write. Are you listening? You can change how you feel in an instant
20. Don’t seek a reaction from other people. Do what you want because YOU want to
21. How can you [blank] another if you can’t even [same word] yourself? Nearly any verb will do
22. Appreciate all music. It is created from the raw emotion of a composer
23. School is only fun from grades Pre-K through 2nd grade. From then on, you have to start breaking the rules to keep from being bored
24. Learning isn’t really that much fun. It’s just interesting. Applying knowledge > witnessing someone else apply knowledge > reading/learning about it
25. The greatest pleasures in life are requited love and doing what you love
26. I used to get scabs all the time. They were the battle scars gained as children waging the war on boredom through play
27. Stories matter
28. Focus on the ‘why’ rather than on the ‘what’. Life instantly becomes more meaningful
29. Don’t let inspiration go to waste. Act on it, just as I’m doing right now
30. College focuses too much on memorization and grades than on what you actually learn to internalize
31. The teachers who have inspired me are the ones who I remember the most
32. Accept the fact that you can’t be the best at everything
33. Science rules the world. Even emotion (although metaphysical) is based in science
34. All emotions are contagious – enthusiasm, depression, anger, you name it
35. White lies are better than regular lies; at least you’re acknowledging the truth rather than completely disregarding it
36. Ignorance is truly bliss. Didn’t even know what racism was until I learned about it in school
37. Farting in public will always be hilarious, no matter how old I get
38. Sometimes it’s better to be a jerk than to be a nice guy
39. The happiest people are the ones who get paid for doing what they love instead of what they like or what they don’t really care much for
40. Everyone is judgmental. Deal with it. You cannot deny human nature
41. Cool, calm, and collected; that’s how you carry on business
42. Certain people will always try and find a way to show your success in a negative light
43. Where are your balls? The opportunities are right in front of you. Take them
44. Why do people keep on living when death would be so much easier? Because life is fleeting and death is forever
45. Doubt really sucks. It serves no purpose other than to keep you from trying something new (okay, and maybe keeping you from getting yourself killed, but still)
46. Public speaking is only scary when you don’t know what you’re talking about
47. Having superpowers wouldn’t make life that much easier. You’d just have a lot more crap to deal with
48. With great power comes a lot of people asking you for help
49. Men and women are actually not that hard to figure out, as opposed to popular belief
50. No lock is impenetrable. You just need to find the right key (never said it would be easy to find though)
51. If religion just feels like an extra set of rules to follow, don’t practice it
52. In fact, if a certain action is more trouble than it’s worth, cease and desist
53. You can’t choose who or what you’re attracted to. It’s a DNA thing
54. Being a skeptic of a traditionally-held idea is positively exhilarating
55. Push your creativity to the breaking point. Your best ideas will be just beyond it
56. Your reaction to a situation is more important than the situation itself
57. To be able to change your life, you have to be bold
58. The world does not reward those who expect things or feel entitled to outcomes
59. There is no point in fearing the things that cannot possibly kill you
60. Nobody knows what you’re thinking until you tell them (or show them)
61. People try new things (good and bad) because they’re bored
62. Your thoughts come through in your body language; if you’re confident, you stand tall or lean back. If you’ve got low self-esteem you slouch and flinch easily
63. It’s not worth it traveling to other countries if you’re just going to sight see. Actually, “live” inside another country
64. Hesitation, fear, and excuse-making are the things that keep the “right time” from happening
65. Without respect, no relationship can prevail
66. Boredom is death within life
67. Everything starts in the enigmatic properties of your mind. Your perception is everything
68. You cannot be completely neutral in this world. Pick a side on your own before peer pressure forces you to
69. Express yourself any way you can: laughing, living, writing, loving, drawing, blogging, singing, working, cooking, building… the list goes on and on
70. People will remember you for what you did more than what you said
71. There’s a reason everyone harps on aging; youth is the only span of time when your stamina, body, and mind are at their highest performance
72. Your problems are not unique. Somebody on this planet is sharing the same pain you are
73. On the flip side, with regards to #72, you could also say the same for accomplishments and joy
74. You think you are any different from the people that inspire others? You too have the ability to inspire
75. Everyone has gifts. It’s up to them to find the value in their own abilities, to find the light underneath their dark, to find the blessing within their curse