Some of these homemaking activities require (or will require, as I haven't started them all yet!) time and commitment and work, but for me, they are so rewarding that it doesn't matter. It's actually kind of addictive, and Pinterest and blog-reading are fuelling the fire. Oh--you make your own deodorant? I should try that! You have a recipe for homemade ginge rale? Sign me up! You sewed your own apron which beautifully gathers so you can put your freshly plucked organic vegetables in it when out in the garden? Where is the pattern?!
Obviously, I'm just starting down this path. There are oodles of people WAY ahead of me. And maybe, some people who drop by this blog are with me in the early phases or are just figuring out that they'd like to explore these ideas a little more, which is why I am including a few easy ways to live more frugally and do things for yourself, by yourself. You can be kinder to the planet, have fun with items already in your home, and save a few pennies (or soon-to-be nickels, in Canada I guess!). Some of these you've seen before in blog posts, but I thought it would be fun to do a quick review in a list format!
2-3. Grow your own vegetables. This one is sort of a frugality double whammy, are you ready? Grow your own vegetables from seed (all of them) rather than buying the seedlings at the garden centre. This is loads of fun, gives you an activity to interest your active three-year-old son and prevents him from endlessly, noisily crashing his cars around you, or colouring on your bedroom door, and costs less than buying the seedlings (which in turn costs less than buying the full-fledged vegetables). Frugal tip number three: grow them in cut up toilet paper and paper towel rolls. Save them and then plant in them when you need to. They hold the soil, can be planted as they are in the ground because they'll decompose and you won't have to disturb the roots shaking them out of the pot, reduce household waste, and save you loads of money on unsustainable peat pots.
4. Save your eggshells for your garden. Egg shells break down in the soil, add to the compost that you are hopefully already adding to your garden, and provide much-needed calcium to the most beautiful of all garden crops, tomatoes. Also, slugs don't like to cross them so they can act as an effective barrier to those horrid slimy creatures (and as a biologist I say that with love and no discrimination against a natural creature of any kind). If you eat lots of omelettes or angel food cakes, you'll collect quite the pail-full of these in no time at all, and your afore-mentioned three-year-old boy will love helping you crunch them up!
5. Use vegetable crisper compost to make new veggies! Specifically, celery (above) and green onions (not pictured). I don't know if there are other veggies you can do this with but these are the two I've tried. When you cut them back to nothing and all you have is the bottom of the celery or the silly little white onion bulb from the green onions, just as you're about to toss them in your compost bin, think again and stick them in a glass of water. They'll grow and you can harvest them again! Gets you a lot more bang for your 99 cents (or $1.49, if it's the celery and it's on sale!). It also provides a fun little experiment for your kids and it doesn't take long--those celery leaves are 5 days old.
6. Use orange peels to make your own environmentally friendly household cleaner. Have you noticed yet that I save a lot of garbage? Toilet paper rolls, egg shells, celery bottoms (what is the correct term for those anyway?) and now orange peels. And it's not only me saving them, I have my parents and my sister saving them for me too. And I require that my husband take home the orange peels leftover from his lunch. But I like this cleaner, it's fun to make, smells better than cleaning with straight vinegar and it only takes a few minutes using something that would end up in your compost bin.
I love little tips like these! Please share yours and I can delightedly add to my little rituals of using weird items to cut down on waste and create great new things.