Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Wallet-Friendly Fourth of July

The Fourth of July…

What’s the perfect holiday for easy fun and easy on your budget, too? As Louise Sacco Reilly, from FrugalYankee.com puts it, “The Fourth of July is a dream holiday for frugal people: no one expects you to bring gifts and the entertainment is free!”

Fireworks, parades, block parties – so much is available for a great celebration, and we here at SpendLessTV.com have brought you tips on how to make the most of this favorite summer holiday with videos full of money-saving and high-style July Fourth party ideas to put you in a festive mood and let your patriotic flags fly!

Wishing you a happy and safe July 4th!

Backyard Getaways and Parties – Martie Duncan, founder of Martie Parties, gives easy and elegant ideas for any budget in this clip.

Watch Fireworks – Right on your computer! It’s safe and free – over two-minutes of nothing but fireworks!

Flowers – Simple & So Elegant – International floral entertaining expert, Biggy Wolff, shows simple and festive ideas – great anytime, even for a July 4th party!

Homerun Summer Parties – Clever baseball-themed party ideas for less – and perfect for a July 4th celebration, too!

Make a July Fourth Piñata - Okay, we admit, we’ve suggested this video in other posts before, but that’s because it’s a really fun idea for ANY celebration – and SO EASY to do! (make at least a day ahead).

Red White and Blue PartyBetter’s shopping expert, Nicole Camarata, gives super pointers to make it great and on a budget!

More in our post: July 4th Frugal Fun

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July 4th (Frugal) Fun

 

The Fourth of July in the U.S. is a time for celebration, and most folks will be enjoying the warm long summer’s day off with picnic treats, grilling on the barbecue, outdoor and backyard fun, and fireworks. Here are  videos with ideas to add more festive fun to your day, party or event: Celebrate with budget-friendly craft activities to keep the kids happy, delicious recipes for tasty treats, and patriotic decorations for the table, (and yourselves). Have a fun and safe July 4th!

Tasting & Table Setting

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers – This recipe for juicy grilled portobello mushroom burgers from Vegetarian Times Magazine Editor, Mary Margaret Chappell is one that everyone will love! Put your favorite burger toppings on and enjoy!

Grilled Fresh Tomatoes – Paula Deen shows her easy recipe for grilled fresh tomatoes with garlic, parmesan cheese, thyme, and olive oil… ummm!

White Chocolate Dipping - Make your fourth of July party festive & delicious with white chocolate dipping! Kendra Arch of Cake ‘n Crumbs shows easy budget friendly ideas everyone will enjoy!

July 4th Centerpieces or Party Favors - Simple flower arrangements make perfect centerpieces or party favors for any budget. Floral Designer & Stylist Nico De Swert shows a festive idea suing a Pottery Barn item, but using supplies you may already have on hand would work well, too.

Design with Paper to Spruce Up Your July 4th Party - Inexpensive ideas to dress up your 4th of July setting, including centerpieces, table coverings, gift bags, food serving, hostess gifts & more, from Director, Creative Services at Kate’s Paperie, Alton DuLaney.

July 4th Crafts:

DIY Statue of Liberty Crown - How to Make a Statue of Liberty Crown for July 4th, a fabulous must-have for any Fourth of July celebration!

July 4th DIY Flags – Easy, inexpensive, fun DIY craft even the very youngest can do from the  Educational Art Institute.

DIY Pinwheels and Poppers – Crafty Creations from the Abilene Public Library show easy steps to create July 4th fun.

And finally:

The Sparkler- A July 4th party isn’t complete without a sparkler! Here’s a slow-motion, up-close look at the beauty of a single sparkler – a safe way to celebrate and enjoy!

Don’t miss these additional July 4th Party-on-a-Budget ideas in our post:

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Fresh Food Saving Ideas to Stretch Your Produce Dollars

This post was inspired by BargainBabe.com’s third annual Frugal Festival which was held in Los Angeles, CA. The festival’s theme was “Food” and also provided support to the L.A. Regional Food Bank.

In general do-it-yourself is always the more economical way to go. Sometimes, like in the case of plumbing, electrical work, or car mechanical tasks, attempting DIY may end up costing you big in trouble and bucks unless you’re a seasoned veteran. But once you learn a few simple rules about cleanliness, preparing your own food will rarely – if ever – get you into any real trouble (Just don’t forget to turn off the stove).  It’s an undisputed fact that even if you do not use coupons, and even if you pay no attention to sales and markdowns, preparing your own meals is  healthier and will end up being a real money-saver.

Our Food, Cooking, Drink, Recipe Channel and Coupons & Grocery Channel are loaded with amazing tips on how to get the most gourmet bang for your supermarket, couponing, dining-out, and cooking dollar, but in this post, we’re focusing on some unique “frugal” food preservation strategies.

I consider myself a “nothing cook.”  Just as an artist may need to see the paint colors or the collage pieces before getting inspired to put something on the blank canvas, I draw inspiration from what I see in the fridge and pantry to create dishes. Essentially, I take what is there and make something from nothing. When my children were toddlers, a friend mentioned to me that she saves every leftover, no matter how small. She said, “To them (the toddlers) this 1/8 cup of rice and peas is a whole meal.”  Ever since then, I save just about everything, no matter how small, even now with the kids long gone from my kitchen. There are some occasional times when I don’t end up using the leftovers, but most of the time, those little leftovers serve as inspiration to create a whole meal. A tiny bit of fresh basil leaves get slivered into an omelet. A few pieces of bell pepper edges, celery ends, and a raddish or two becomes a slaw. A little piece of ginger gets sliced and put in the freezer for a stir-fry at another time.  Tired cilantro stems get blended up and frozen in an ice-cube tray for future sauces. And, one of my all time favorites: air dried grape tomatoes, all shriveled up with concentrated sweet flavor, perfect to slice up and top off some cream cheese or goat cheese on crackers… you get the idea.

For me, it’s really more about creativity and respect for nature and it’s gifts that drives my focus on a “waste not” attitude in the kitchen… but no matter what the inspiration, nature or money-saving, the pay-off is: DIY in the kitchen is a far more budget-friendly and healthy way to go.

Here in these videos are some amazing tips on food preservation that are easy to do, and with summer and fall’s bounty soon to surface, it’s a perfect time to hone up on ways to preserve now, so you can take advantage of in-season lower prices and produce’s peak freshness, to enjoy abundant inspiration all year long.

Food In a Frugal Lifestyle – Writer W. Hodding Carter has written a series on frugality for Gourmet Magazine which stemmed from his facing the truth about his family’s living beyond their means. See how the family tackles the food budget.

Making Fruit Leathers – Stop wasting food; preserve the height-of-the-season bounty for later by making fruit leather for pennies compared to what the store-bought costs! Step-by-step guide to making fruit leather from the Alaska Cooperative Extension Service’s Julie Cascio, gives details.

Drying Vegetables – Drying your own Vegetables is a great way to stretch your grocery dollar & enjoy fresh seasonal flavor all year. Julie Cascio from the Alaska Cooperative Extension Service, shows step-by-step instructions.

How to Dry Herbs - Easy DIY to enjoy seasonal prices and preserve the flavors of summer by drying fresh herbs & spices to use through the rest of the year. Author & host of PBS’ “Garden to Table,” P. Allen Smith shows how.

Freeze Fruit, Save Money – Buy fruit when it’s on sale, freeze & enjoy all year! You can use the technique shown in this video for all types of fruit – we’ve even done it with grapes! Try it with veggies, too! Dani Spies from CleanandDelicious.com shows how simple it is.

How to Freeze Tomatoes - Save money or stretch your own garden crop while you enjoy garden-fresh tomatoes all year long by freezing them! Simple to do.

Ready to Use Frozen Pepper Patties – Freezing is a way to take advantage of in-season prices for fresh produce, but freezing partially prepared recipe ingredients in small ready-to-use batches not only is good to keep your savings going all year long, but shortens your food prep time, too! This example from rebuild-from-depression.com is a bright addition to any freezer pantry.

Stretch Your Groceries, Stop Tossing Tomatoes - Donna Miller from Miller’s Grain House shows how saving a little here and there will add up to a lot on your table and in your piggy bank! This simple kitchen tip is a perfect example of kitchen frugal!

More Food Money Saving Tips in our Posts:

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Make Mother’s Day Magnificent (and Budget-Friendly)

U.S. Mother’s Day is in May, on the second Sunday of the month.

You can make mom feel appreciatedand give her a marvelous day without breaking the bank or draining your wallet with these Mother’s Day ideas that any and every mother would love:

Mother’s Day Brunch for 6, Under $35 - Please Mom and your wallet by preparing this easy Mother’s Day brunch; 3-course, serve 6, under $35. Celery, Pear & Hazelnut Salad; French Toast & Berries; Blackberry Bellini. Grace Parisi, senior recipe developer for “Food and Wine” magazine gives recipes.

Make Mother’s Day Special - Treat mom to a special Mother’s Day without breaking the bank. The Shopping Queen, Fatima Mehdikarimi gives ideas on flowers, dining, luxury and a top tech idea to make Mother’s Day special.

Outside the Box Mother’s Day Gifts - Mother’s Day with a twist. Not-so-typical gift ideas that can also be budget-friendly. Six Minute Style’s Susan Doherty presents five fabulous outside-the-gift-box ideas for mom. She’s gonna love this.

10 Perfect Priceless Mother’s Day Gifts - About.com writer Linda Lowen gives 10 perfect priceless gifts that children can give and mom will love for Mother’s Day.

DIY Mother’s Day Spinners - An easy, bright and cheerful DIY project for young children to make. Perfect for Mother’s Day and will continue to delight mom all Summer long from Crayola Creative Workshop.

Duct Tape Roses for Mom - Make a Mother’s Day bouquet of flowers out of duct tape! Easy, fun and pretty DIY from Duck Brand duct tape for mom! Simple tutorial shows how. Make it useful by using a pen for the stem!

DIY Paper Photo Wallet - Every mom loves sharing pictures of her family. This easy DIY papercrafted tri-fold wallet will display all her favorite pics in style. Crafter and author of Christmas Papercrafts, Corinne Bradd, shows how to create a brag book using paper and a series of simple creases.

More on making Mother’s Day wonderful in these related SLTV posts:

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Give Mom the Best and Your Budget a Break for Mother’s Day!

It’s easy to give mom the best!

From easy recipes, to beauty or spa gift basket ideas, to decorating ideas – we’ve got so many amazing affordable ideas for Mother’s Day we just couldnt single any out!

So let yourself go and create nothing less than wonderful for mom… you’ll be glad you did!

SpendLessTV.com’s categories are brimming with the best ideas to create a day Mom will love:

For more specific gift ideas, check this blog post:

These posts mention  great resources for nice discounts and even free fun local activities:

Mother’s Day Fact: Mother’s Day started as part of a women’s peace movement dating back to the USA’s Civil War… more here.

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Earth Day Every Day Saves You Money

Earth Day…

This post was written as Earth day was celebrating it’s 40th year.

On the first Earth Day I “celebrated” with my kids a friend, her 5-year old son, my 5-year old son, 1-year old daughter in a stroller and I went into a little tiny strip of wilderness area that stretched along side a street we used to frequently walk along, and we picked up the trash.  I can’t recall how many bags full of garbage we collected, but we were astonished at how much there had been in such a small space, and the kids were really proud that the work they did would help keep the little forest they knew so well healthier and more beautiful. Unfortunately, the following year, the little forest was full of litter and trash again, which I found so discouraging I didn’t have the heart to show my little son how fruitless his previous year’s noble efforts had been, and I hit the wall of disillusionment in the Earth-day clean-up activity arena, so instead, I think we planted a tree that year for Earth Day.

Littering is a huge pet-peeve of mine.  I wish it was for more people out there.  Not only is it an immense eye-sore, but litter presents personal health and world wide environmental pollution hazards, and even though I hadn’t even considered this 20 years ago, now I know that it  filters through our whole economy, creating a tremendous impact on national budgets, taxes, fees, and real estate values… all of which are paid for by YOU… it all ends up coming right out of YOUR wallet.

Bag Monster Blog, a site devoted to eliminating plastic bag use, quotes Heal The Bay, an environmental group dedicated to cleaning and sustaining the Santa Monica Bay in Southern California, who sites the following statistics: The total cost of litter collection, disposal and enforcement in the U.S. is estimated to be at least $11.5 BILLION annually. Businesses bear the burden of this cost, spending $9.1 BILLION annually and representing 79.5% of the total cost of litter abatement. Just consider for a second the lower prices we might be appreciating if business didn’t have to foot such an enormous bill, and what amazing, wonderful, and productive things might be accomplished with that money!

Placing trash in trash bins instead of littering will reduce these costs, but recycling further reduces expenditures, and is even more ecologically sound — and re-using and re-purposing promotes all around further savings.  Check the fascinating recycling facts posted on A Recycling Revolution.

While my experience with cleaning up that little neighborhood woodlands was a bit discouraging, it did not hamper my caring about the the fragility of our planet, and along with cost-consciousness, an eco-consciousness has found its way into just about everything I do.  I still have a long way to go, and it may feel daunting at times but , unlike 20 years ago, now it is easy to find resources, like EarthDay.org, and Keep America Beautiful, that are devoted to making it easier for us keep the world healthier, cleaner, safer, and more beautiful, while keeping our our wallets happier too!

Jamie, SLTV

Catch these Money-Saving and Earth-Friendly Related Videos:

Being Frugal:  The Original sustainability? – Author of The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better, Chris Farrell

Cleaners, Make Your Own – Kimberly Danger, founder of Mommysavers

Clothes Swap – Melissa Massello of Shoestring Magazine & Amy Chase of Punkystyle Blog

Energy Efficiency Tips - Host of “House Smarts” TV show, Lou Manfredini

Freecycling: Household Items for Free - coordinator for Freecycle New York City, Christina Salvi

Gasoline Money: Inflate Tires & Save - Global energy products and eco blog, Eco 20-20

Grow an Organic Garden: Save Money - Research editor of Organic Gardening Magazine, Pam Ruch

House Cost Saving Tips, Eco-Friendly - Interior designer, Libby Langdon

Household Eco Products Save Money - Josh Dorfman, host of The Lazy Environmentalist TV show

Live Richly & Frugal Forever – Founder of the Tightwad Gazette, and Frugal For Life blog, Amy Dacyzyn

Refrigerator & Freezer Eco & Savings Tips – Home enviornmentalist expert, Danny Seo

Shop Organic Money Saving Tips - Author of Georgously Green and TV host, Sophie Uliano

Uncle Sam Sells Cheap, All About Gov’t. Auctions - Stacey Johnson host of Money Talks News

World Travel for Free While Helping to Grow the Organic Movement - World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farms,  WWOOF

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Make Every Day Arbor Day, Tips to Save Trees and Money

U.S. National Arbor Day:  The Last Friday in April 

The beauty of trees alone is enough reason for us to want to surround ourselves with as many trees as possible, but it’s not the only reason.

Here are a few more reasons why surrounding yourself with trees is a good idea. From The ColoradoTrees.org article, Benefits of Trees in Urban Areas:

  • Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and give out oxygen. A healthy tree stores about 13 pounds of carbon annually. An acre of trees absorbs enough CO2 over one year to equal the amount produced by driving a car 26,000 miles.
  • Trees also filter other gaseous pollutants from the air. There is up to a 60% reduction in street level particulates when trees are present.
  • Trees prevent soil erosion and water run off.
  • They prevent harmful land pollutants contained in the soil from getting into our waterways.
  • They act as buffers to noise pollution.
  • They cool the earth with their shade. Studies have shown that parts of cities without cooling shade from trees can have temperatures as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit higher than surrounding areas.
  • They function as wind breaks for farms and our homes.
  • Trees enhance traffic safety; drivers tend to drive slower on tree-lined streets.
  • Trees increase property values.
  • They help reduce home energy use, which saves you money.

And, if all this isn’t enough to consider making tree preservation and planting a priority in our everyday lives, consider this: Trees reduce crime. In the April 1, 2011 edition of Bottomline Personal Newsletter we read:

  • Neighborhoods with large trees tend to have less crime than areas with smaller trees says Geoffrey H. Donovan, PhD, research forester, Portland Forestry Sciences Labratory, Oregon, and coauthor of a study of 431 crimes, published in Environment and Behavior.

You can easily help improve your town, neighborhood and home while also preventing the over harvesting of trees and destruction of forests. Here are some simple tips that you can use in your everyday life that will make a considerable difference. And… we happen to know that these tips will save you money, too!

 

Consider joining the The Arbor Day Foundation. The Arbor Day Foundation’s purpose is to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. Founded in 1972, the centennial of the first Arbor Day observance in the 19th century, the non-profit Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. Their Web site features many helpful gardening and planting resources; one of our favorites pages is the one giving Free Landscape Design Plans. They also give more wonderful free material when you sign up for membership. Sign up starts at just $10. For that, you will receive discounts on purchases of trees and shrubs of up to 56%, a bi-monthly color newsletter, The Tree Book treasury on planting and caring for trees, AND IN ADDITION: Your choice of either - receiving TEN FREE TREES, or making a donation of ten trees in your name to a national forest in need.

Participate in or start a community tree planting program. Check with your local town or city government to find out if there is a tree planting program in your city and join in. Some towns will plant a tree for free at your curbside if you volunteer to water it. If there isn’t a program in your city, consider starting one. Find info. in this AmaricaForests.org aritcle: Create a Community Tree Planting Project.

About books: Go for used books or textbooks, check out books from your local library, or going digital with an e-book reader or program for your computer.

Go digital for subscriptions. Take online subscriptions for your news or magazines. Switch to online bill pay and banking.

Send a FAX directly from your computer.

Check for post-consumer recycled household paper goods like bath tissue, paper towels and printer paper.

Cut back on paper towels.Use rags instead of paper towels. You can use worn out sheets, t-shirts, sweatshirts and pants, pajamas, receiving and baby blankets, frayed bath towels can be cut down to make smaller towels.

Wrapping paper: Consider alternatives that can be reused: Fabric. Cloth drawstring bags. Dishtowels. Re-use existing wrapping paper, paper bags or newspaper. Look for post-consumer recycled wrapping paper.

Consider your wood furniture: You can save trees by refinishing furniture. When shopping for new furniture look for those made with recycled or reclaimed wood.  There are excellent tips in this article form PlanetGreen.com, Learn How to Find Eco-Friendly Wood Furniture.

Related videos:

  • Trees Cut Home Energy Costs - Home improvement expert Danny Lipford shows how trees cut 25% on your energy bill as well as beautify your home.
  • Reduce Home Heat & AC Bills - Tips to reduce your home heating and air conditioning bills, from planting trees to using eco friendly light bulbs and more from EnStar’s Bill Stack and Growing Wisdom’s Dave Epstein.
  • Eco Chic Gift Wrap & Packaging Ideas - Go creative & go eco when wrapping presents & getting packages ready for shipping. Creative, inexpensive, & practical green from eco expert, Rachel Avalon.

Related articles:

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8 Earth Saving and Money Saving Household Tips

Earth Day: April 22

We’ve been eco-conscious for decades (more decades than we care to mention.) We consider ourselves to be fairly eco-friendly, and are happy to do our bit in terms of recycling, reusing, repurposing, shopping eco-friendly whenever possible, planting trees over and above our carbon footprint; and we do know that being green also adds up to some real decent money savings, which makes us even happier… and even still, while grocery shopping recently, we came across one astonishing little fact that really took us back. Printed on the front of a plastic bag of brown rice was the following fact:

Removing the plastic re-sealable zipper on our packages saves over 30,000 tons of waste in landfills per month.

Woa! Thirty-thousand tons of garbage per month saved by eliminating one little zipper on a package of rice. This is astonishing proof positive that doing one little thing does really add up to make a big difference.

Here are some ultra-easy ideas that you can use inside and outside your home every day that will add up to a substantial benefit for the earth, the environment and your health, and in addition, will quickly add up to some solid savings in your wallet:

Ceiling Fans: You can use ceiling fans to help save on both cooling and heating.   According to Progress-Energy, an energy provider in the U.S. Carolinas and Florida, a 48″, 75-watt fan used 10 hours a day at half speed or less would cost $.50 to $.90 a month to operate. For a 1,500-square-foot house with air conditioning using two ceiling fans and raising the thermostat setting could save about $140 to $400 a year, and possibly even more in areas where energy rates are higher.

  • More keeping cool tips in this video: Beat the Heat Green Tips - Tips to beat the heat with fans and AC while saving money and the planet from green advocate, Umbra.

Cutting back on eating meat from every day to every other day would save you approximately $37 a month. Going completely vegetarian could add up to about $600 a year according to the Frugally Green blog.  And this figure does not include the added money savings you could receive from eating a healthier diet, by saving on possible reduced hospital, surgery, and medication expenses.

  • This clip gives a simple, budget-friendly vegetarian recipe: Spice Crusted Tofu Sandwiches - A money saving, healthy sandwich idea from Mollie Katzen, author ofGet Cooking cookbook.

Simple household changes can make our homes more eco-efficient, even older homes. We’ve all heard this thousands of times. But sometimes it comes down to real dollar savings to make us finally take action.  One example:  according to the host of Renovation Nation TV show, Steve Thomas, sealing and insulating your home could save you 30% of your heating and cooling bills.  If everyone did this, it would be equal to shutting down 90 power plants!

  • In this video, Easy Green Money Saving, Steve Thomas shows more easy everyday eco-ideas, and how much money savings they add up to.

Not everyone can line-dry their laundry. Energy Miser 101 blog figures that using a gas clothes dryer for 40 min. a day equals close to $100 a year. Using dryer balls can save 25 to 40% on your clothes dryer energy use and they are a great alternative to chemical fabric softeners. Dryer balls are easy to use; you simply place them right along with your wet clothes into the clothes dryer.

  • There are many types of dryer balls available, but here in this video, Save Energy & Money on Clothes Drying, Steffany Boldrini of ecobold.com shows these made of wool, the only natural ones we’ve found.

Choosing to plant native perennials and evergreens can be a real money-saver. Not only are they more pest-resistant, but they also have adapted to the local climate range and conditions, which could lead to a savings in your water bill alone of up to 50%.

  • Enjoy a healthier enviornment right in your own backyard with the tips in this video: Backyard Eco Tips – Here are simple tips you can use to make your yard more user & eco-friendly.

Petroleum and synthetic chemical based pesticides can be quite costly.  And hiring a service to come spray and treat your yard and garden can also be expensive. Try using your own simple, more natural spray first, you could save thousands of dollars. Well worth a try.

  • Easy inexpensive  DIY natural insecticide for garden pests in this video: Homemade Natural Insecticide from Tips.net’s Kaylee Thurman.

Reuse what you already have on hand as pet care items. Pet toys and cleaning products can be expensive. You can save some money while keeping some of your trash out of the landfill for a little longer by reusing worn items like cotton towels and rubber gloves to make toys and cleaning products for your pets.

  • Reuse some common household items to create easy pet toys and cleaning products. Jane Monzures gives tips in this video: DIY Recycled Pet Care Products.

Your Entertainment can take its toll on the environment and your wallet. Consumer advocate, Stacy Johnson, reports that over 100,000 DVDs are thrown away each month at an average cost of $16 each! That’s a lot for a landfill and for your wallet. There are alternatives to keep you entertained and cost you less.

  • Save money on entertainment and also be eco-friendly.  This clip, Green Saving: Entertainment gives tips from Stacy Johnson of Money Talks News.

More Eco and Money Saving Tips in our Previous Posts:

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Garden, Home & Fun In The Sun DIY Wallet-Friendly Ideas

If you’ve got the heat… and the rain… you might as well make them work for you - they’re both free energy resources! And, while were outside taking advantage of the warm, why not start a vegetable or herb garden? And… have some fun in the sun while we’re at it!  Here are videos with tips to build a cool DIY garden greenhouse, make an easy composter, make and use rain barrels to collect rain water for your garden, design a solar oven to cook using solar heat, play in the yard with a DIY sprinkler, and more… all while keeping yourself and your wallet cool and happy!

  • Make a Garden Greenhouse for Cheap - Growing herbs and vegetables saves you money, gives you healthier foods, is a fun activity to share with the kids. Here’s how to make a quick, easy and inexpensive “greenhouse hoop” to get started and get a longer growing season.
  • DIY Herb Gardening - Think you have no space or can’t afford an herb garden? Not so! The Working Class Foodies share some simple, easy tips for how to build your own window box garden for only $10.
  • Build a Rolling Composter for Your Garden - Growing vegetables is fun, healthy, and eco-friendly. Here’s how to take your kitchen scraps, lawn clippings and leaves and make an quick and easy to use inexpensive rolling composter for your garden.
  • DIY Rain Barrel for Cheap - Collecting rain water to use in your garden saves you money and is eco-friendly. Here’s an easy DIY on how to make your own rain barrel.
  • All About Rain Barrels - Take advantage of rain – a free natural resource, by using rain barrels to collect run off form your roof gutters for later use watering your garden. Here’s how to set up a rain barrel system.
  • Easy Soda Pop Bottle Sprinkler - Keep your cool and have fun in the sun, for practically nothing! How to take an old soda pop bottle and turn it into a quick and easy DIY sprinkler.
  • Cook for Free DIY Solar Oven - Save money, save electricity, & keep your kitchen cooler while you cook outdoors with this simple ecological solar oven you can make for pennies! Chris Buyers from The Valley Permaculture Alliance shows how.

Link to this article: http://is.gd/tsnOX3

More related natural garden and outdoor topics in these posts:



 

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7 Sensational Recipes to Celebrate Passover (That Won’t Cinch Your Wallet)

Like so many holiday celebrations, the Passover celebration is centered around the dining table. Stories of long ago are shared while tasting foods that symbolize the meaning of this holiday. This is a time to appreciate a delicious and creative meal together with family and friends. But a holiday feast for all does not have to be a budget stretch. Here are delicious, affordable spins on traditional recipes taken from all around the world that would make any Passover feast (or any feast at all) a memorable one.

Moroccan Charoset Truffles - Recipe for a Passover traditional food, Charoset, usually prepared with apples & walnuts, takes on a Moroccan spin with dates, raisins, and walnuts, served up as little truffles. Easy recipe from Zabar’s Chef, and author of Fistful of Lentils, Jennifer Abadi

4 Passover Recipes with a Mediterranean Spin  - Culinary anthropologist Tori Avey (aka: The Shiksa in the Kitchen) shares the history of  ancient food traditions and gives three recipes that are fresh and healthier and have a twist on the traditional: Cucumber Salad with Pickle & Mint, Mushroom Quinoa Risotto, Seared Salmon with Creamy Dill, and an Apple Pecan Pie.

Honey Chicken Recipe – Cookbook author and founder of  kosher.com, Jamie Geller, shares an easy, affordable Honey Chicken recipe that is perfect for holidays or an elegant dinner party.

Potato Kugel RecipeQuick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes Cookbook author Jamie Geller shows how to make Potato Kugel. A savory and budget friendly vegetarian addition to any meal, any time of day, and perfect for Passover.

Noodle Kugel - Food TV’s “Good Deal” host and cookbook author Dave Lieberman shares his grandmother’s quick, easy, and budget friendly recipe for noodle kugel, a creamy and crispy sweet baked dessert.

Passover Fruit Cobbler - Fruit cobbler recipe is a refreshing alternative to Passover’s usual desserts. This clip is part of “Sweet Dreams” show on the TV Food Network hosted by cook book author Gale Gand.

Passover Coconut Macaroons- TV Food Network’s “Barefoot Contessa” Chef Ina Garten shares her recipe for coconut macaroons, a traditional Passover sweet dessert cookie.

More budget-friendly holiday entertaining ideas:

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