Monday, July 9, 2012

Gardening with "Waste" Water

With the drought still gripping a huge portion of the United States, we'd be wise to look to our home gardens. If you've put one in and are now looking at some sky high water bills, start thinking about ways to use water that otherwise would go to waste. Here are a few ideas I've come up with, but if you have more, I'd love to hear about them.

You'll need a watering can and at least one bucket. Set the bucket in a handy place and use it to gather water from the household. When it's full, pour it into the watering can and go water the garden!

To tell if a certain area needs water, poke your finger in the soil. If you can see dry dirt for more than an inch, it needs water. If you see damp soil, leave that area alone and concentrate on an area where it needs it more. Make a route that you follow so that you don't forget a part of the garden.
  • Put a bowl or bucket under the kitchen faucet to catch those little drips you don't even think about. You'll also catch the water you run while it's cooling down or heating up.
  • Save water from cooked vegetables. Don't salt them until they're on the plate and the water will be good for watering plants.
  • Save leftover tea and coffee to water with.
  • If or when you hand wash dishes, save the rinse water to use on the garden.
  • Put a bucket or two in the shower to catch water. One set farthest away from you will catch only clean water and you can use that for food. Put one between you and the drain and that water can be used for flowers or lawns (because it will have soap, etc. in it).
  • Add leftover or spoiled milk to the water you've saved and pour it on the garden. It adds calcium to the soil.
  • Grab glasses with a bit of ice in them and put that in your garden water.
  • Rinse dishes over a pan and pour that water out on the garden. Think about it each time you use water for anything. Don't waste it.
Save every drop of water in any form. You might be surprised at how much of your garden you can keep watered that way.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Living the Frugal Life: Up From the Ashes

The story goes that the Phoenix, or fire bird, lives many years, then builds a nest and goes up in ashes. What is left is an egg which produces a new phoenix - or a reborn phoenix, if you will, since it's from the ashes of the former.

I'm not sure I had to say all of that, but I do have to say a few things about living the frugal life that haven't been said before and since I already have this blog...well, why start over again?

Living the frugal life style is more likely to allow people to make choices that others cannot make. Many people still think that living a frugal life style is only done by those who don't have much money. While that is true of some of us, others do have plenty of money but they still know how to control it and make it do what they want it to do.

For those people, this economy can be very good. Savings made in more affluent times can be used to buy houses at low cost, to buy goods at distress sales and to pick up automobiles and other items at low prices.

But if you don't have money sitting around in savings accounts? It can still be good. Lower income all over means lower prices, at least on the second hand market. This is because there is a glut of items that were purchased during good times and now cannot be paid for.

Home foreclosures, vehicle auctions and consignment shops all offer bargains. Why would you pay full price for anything when you don't have to?