1. I used Ibotta and Checkout 31 to get a free onion, a free banana, and bread for $0.73.
2. Made guacamole with gifted avocados and tomatoes, as well as free homegrown cilantro. It was amazing!
3. Sold 4 dozen eggs.
4. Sold one book on Amazon.
5. Made yogurt.
6. One Thursday, I went with my mom and some friends to a "bent 'n' dent" store. These stores, commonly run by Amish or Mennonites, sell slightly damaged or otherwise unsalable grocery items. Some of the items are past the "sell by" date, but are probably still good (think ramen noodles or spices).
I'm going to feature our trip in a separate post, but suffice it to say that I got a ton of great deals and bought things I normally would NOT buy because of price. I figured that I saved 50% or more on most of the items I bought there.
8. Transplanted broccoli seedlings into the egg-carton plant trays that I made last year. So far the seedlings are doing very well.
9. The curly willow from my table centerpiece has sprouted roots! I absolutely love curly willow, so I'm hoping to plant this in a pot and then maybe later this summer plant it in the yard. The trick with willows is that you want to plant in a damp spot, but not somewhere the roots will disturb septic systems, sidewalks, etc.
For example, I had high hopes for growing a full bed of lavender from seeds, but so far I only have three tiny seedlings to show for hundreds of seeds. The same story is true for basil, rosemary and echinacea (actually, not a single one of my echinacea seeds sprouted!). Alas, I'll probably not have fields of lavender... this year. And I'll probably buy a little echinacea plant in May.
Coming Up... Free Fruit Trees
In addition to rooting the curly willow, I've also been attempting to grow pear trees from cuttings. I'm VERY excited about this. Most people hesitate to plant fruit trees because 1) the trees are expensive, or 2) they are renting and don't want to spend the money on something they'll never see the fruit of.
Using the "jug" method of starting trees from cuttings, I can plant fruit trees for completely free. It will still be a 5-7 year wait for fruit, but I have nothing to lose because I have no money and little time invested into the trees. The method uses new tree growth (suckers that I'm pruning off anyway), an old milk jug, water, dirt and some plastic pots (I see these on the side of the road all of the time, plus you can get them during the town "junk days" or in garage sale free boxes).
So far, the experiment is working beautifully. The cuttings are beginning to grow roots AND leaves. You can get a sneak peak at this and similar experiments by following me on Instagram (renaissancehousewife). I look forward at sharing more about this in the future.
Til next time,