Five Frugal Things

Wheelbarrow redo (1)

  1. Rather than buying a new wheelbarrow, we repaired the one we had. And then I had fun making a stencil to embellish it (totally needless, but I was amused). Michael ran over the old handles with the lawn mower (don’t ask), so we had to purchase a new set of handles and I ended up needing a second can of black paint, but otherwise we used what we had on hand. I sprayed it with a rust inhibitor first, so I’m hoping this repair lasts us a little while.
  2. I was able to reuse a plastic basket I had on hand to help organize my spice cupboard, rather than purchase a new container.
  3. Our city waste service changed their rules regarding recyclables, so I’ve had to revamp my system for sorting and corralling the recyclables in our house before transferring them to the giant bin outside. Again, I used some old bins I had in the garage to create a sorting station rather than going out and purchasing anything new.
  4. During spring break I found plants for one of our garden beds in the clearance section at Lowes. They were more than half off and perked right back up when I watered them.
  5. Most of the seeds (the really old ones) I planted in the window boxes on the porch didn’t germinate, but the cilantro did! I picked up a few more packets of herb seeds to replant in the other boxes. Even paying full price for a packet of seeds is cheaper than buying fresh herbs at the grocery store.
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9 thoughts on “Five Frugal Things

  1. Just flat out good for you! It is so much easier to purchase new rather than repair!
    I think buying new seeds was a smart choice. About the only luck I have ever had with old forgotten seed packets is zinnias and I don’t think they ever lose germination possibilities!

    1. Thanks Anne! It really is easier to buy new — and sometimes cheaper, which is when I need to really stop and think.I hate sending stuff to the landfill that could still be used, though. Like any project, this one ended up being a little more involved than we initially anticipated.

  2. Your wheelbarrow looks great! πŸ™‚
    I was just thinking today that I need to clean out and reorganize my spice cabinet soon. Plastic baskets are always nice for those kinds of things.
    I tried making a sort-of recycling station in my basement. We recycle everything we can but the cardboard boxes that I use somehow always disappear soon after I empty them at the dump. I think I need to get some big plastic bins and clearly mark them as recycling bins.
    I hope you’re having a good week, Laura!

    1. Thanks Dawn! I was pleased to remember that I had the basket on hand. It was in our spare room, which has become kind of a collect-all, and unfortunately I don’t always remember what is in there!

      Yes, I had the same thing happen to me when I would use cardboard for our recycling station. We have city collection of recyclables, but my husband would include the boxes! The city has since provided a number of different bins, but getting them set up correctly, especially when things change can be a little time consuming.

      I am so grateful that this week is over! It was pretty intense, with two big presentations on the same day. Now that they’re over the rest of the semester seems a bit more manageable.

  3. Well done, Laura, that wheelbarrow looks spiffy and I laughed at the added script on it πŸ™‚

    Cilantro goes to seed very fast so you might want to do plant some more every couple of weeks if you hope to have a harvest that will last you the whole season.

    You reminded me, however, that I meant to buy a new oregano plant because I’m not planting seeds this year and yes, that $3.99 plant will cost less than buying even cheap oregano! I’m hoping I can find it cheaper than $3.99, though.

    1. We were pleased and amused with our little stencil. lol

      I honestly didn’t expect any of the seeds to germinate, so just dumped the whole packet in the planter. I have had bad experiences with cilantro bolting so I was surprised I actually had a seed packet on hand — I’d decided long ago that since it’s always available and pretty cheap at the grocery store, I was ok with just buying it. πŸ™‚ If I manage it any better this year, maybe my mind will change.

      I love fresh oregano! I have a plant in the backyard that needs some tending, but that and rosemary and basil are my favorite fresh herbs.

  4. Great job on the wheelbarrow!

    I’m hoping to get started on some small container gardening projects in about 2 weeks. I have some seeds waiting to go in soil. I’m really considering taking a small wading pool I have and turning it into a mini garden.

    1. Thanks Shara! I love the idea of using the wading pool as a mini-garden. I think that would be so pretty and probably the perfect size. Don’t forget to drill drainage holes, though, if you do it. I have had bad experiences with container planting when I didn’t consider adequate drainage. πŸ™‚

  5. Sorry, I am late with my comments! Your refurbished wheelbarrow looks brand new! You did well with all your frugal activities.

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