Spring has sprung around here! While half of the days are still rather brisk, the other half are nice and warm. Which means I’ve been starting to get back into the garden! It’s okay if there are a few more freezing nights, as I have plenty of cleanup and prep to do before I’m ready to do any serious gardening. But after having not done much gardening the last few months, I’m out of shape! I come inside all achy and sore, and ready to soak in a nice bath. The only thing that could make a hot bath better? These Soothing Green Tea and Peppermint DIY Bath Salts! Here’s how I made mine!
Epsom salts are always my go-to for deep relaxation. But the other ingredients in this homemade bath soak will make your bath even more relaxing than if you just threw some Epsom salts in the water! The next time you’re sore, or just want a really nice bath, you have to make these homemade bath salts!
1. Add both salts into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
2. Open 4-5 tea bags and pour the contents into the mixing bowl. Whisk again to incorporate.
3. Drizzle the peppermint essential oil and almond oil on top and stir well until all of the ingredients are well mixed.
4. Cover the bowl and leave to sit at room temperature for 2 hours to allow the oils to absorb.
5. Transfer to an airtight glass container and store up to 3 months.
How to Use
1. Pour 1/4-1/2 cup of the green tea and peppermint bath salts into a tub of warm water. Stir the bath salts with your hand to help distribute.
2. Enjoy the uplifting and energizing aroma of peppermint as you sit back and enjoy your bath. Be sure to soak for at least 20 minutes to enjoy the full benefits.
1. The Epsom salts will ease stress and relax muscles.
2. Sea salt contains magnesium, calcium and potassium which help absorb toxins in the body.
3. Green tea contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that soothe irritated skin.
4. Peppermint essential oil can act as a natural muscle relaxant by soothing achy muscles. It is also known for easing sinus congestion.
It’s time to start planning out your garden! We’re still having the occasional freezing night here, so I’m not ready to really start my garden just yet. But that’s okay, as it gives me more time to plan! Something I was considering doing in my garden this year is making a square foot garden (also called a SFG). Supposedly, square foot gardens are easier to manage than regular gardens, and use less water and dirt. If you’re considering a SFG for your garden this year, then you’ll like my free Square Foot Garden Planner Printable!
If you want to grow your own vegetables, but want an easier time doing so, then you should really consider a square foot garden!
Square Foot Garden Planner Printable
Square foot gardening is actually a pretty new idea. It was introduced to the world in the 1980s via Mel Bartholomew’s book “Square Foot Gardening” (he has since written an updated version). Mel was just a hobbyist gardener, but was tired of how much work and how many resources the typical single row garden used. Square foot gardening was his solution to that problem, and because it’s a great idea, the method quickly spread.
There are some basic rules to building a square foot garden. First of all, you have to use square shaped beds (typically 4×4 feet), which you then break down into smaller 1 foot square areas. You lay a grid on top of the garden as a visual indicator of the squares (you can DIY a grid out of wood or plastic pipes). The beds are raised and should be 6-12 inches deep. You can get a ready to assemble cedar bed from Amazon, or DIY your own. You plant 1, 4, 9, or 16 plants in each square (the number depends on the size of what vegetable you’re planting). Also, the garden must be small enough that you can reach into it. You never walk on the dirt. Mel also suggests a certain soil mixture (1 part peat moss, 1 part compost, 1 part vermiculite) to reduce the chance of weeds, and keep the soil nutrient-rich and moist. Lastly, you don’t pull plants out when you’re thinning, you just cut them with scissors (this way you don’t bother the roots of other nearby plants). Obviously there’s a lot more to square foot gardening (which is why there’s a book), but that’s the basics.
While it isn’t a perfect system (it can be hard to grow very large plants like melons, and it isn’t the most cost-efficient if you want to fill a large space with beds), it’s still a very good method. In particular, it’s great if you don’t have a lot of space but still want to a big veggie harvest. And of course, it’s an easier gardening method, making it great for vegetable gardening beginners!
My free printable square foot garden planner below is designed for the typical 4×4′ square foot garden. Fill it out with words, little veggie sketches, or just dots to represent each plant. However you find it easiest to plan your garden. If you plan to make multiple beds, just print out multiple printables!
How to Print Your Free Printable Square Foot Garden Planner
1. Follow the link above and download the printable.
2. Print your printable, either from directly within your browser or via the free Adobe Acrobat Reader program (which you can get here). You don’t need any special paper for this, regular printer paper is fine.
3. Then fill out your square foot garden planner and enjoy planning out your vegetable garden!
When you start seeing Easter décor popping up, spring is decidedly on its way, and we really couldn’t be happier about that! From the light and airy materials to the soft and friendly colors, there is something about Easter decorations that just lighten up and brighten up the whole place. And of course, when you want to lighten and brighten an entire home, often the best place to start is with your front door! Here are 15 Gorgeous DIY Easter Wreaths to inspire you!
From cute and whimsical, to simple and elegant, there are a lot of great DIY Easter wreaths here! One of them is sure to be perfect for your door!
15 Gorgeous DIY Easter Wreaths
1. A ribbon wreath is always tons of fun and this DIY Easter Ribbon Wreath from Nemcsok Farms is light and airy to keep in the spirit of spring. What the tutorial doesn’t specify is that the embellishments were created by purchasing some dollar store Easter décor, and dismantling it into individual pieces, like the faux grass and the glittery butterflies.
2. This Easter Chick Spring Wreath by Fynes Designs is super cute – but really, what isn’t super cute when it comes to Easter chicks? Fynes Designs keeps it frugal by using scrap fabric.
3. If you have a slight Peeps obsession, this Quick and Easy DIY Easter Wreath by Our Best Bites is for you. If you were to use just toothpicks to secure the Peeps to the wreath form, the Peeps themselves could still be edible.
4. This Paper Easter Wreath by Live Craft Love is just so pretty! You could make it with or without the nest in the center, and it would still be lovely. You could use leftover paper scraps from other projects for this as well.
5. This Robin’s Egg Wreath by Uncommon Designs is perfect if you love robins egg blue. Bulk plastic eggs and some spray paint keep this one easy on the budget, and very easy on time.
6. For a unique twist on a classic, check out this Easter Bunny Wreath by Lolly Jane. The chalkboard display is fun and quirky, and you could improvise with other materials if you don’t have a chalkboard of your own.
7. This Moss Wreath by i Heart Naptime is stunning! There is nothing quite as frugal as crafting with nature, and hunting for the materials can be half the fun! You can usually buy things like moss prepackaged on Amazon, and at hardware, garden and craft stores, but you can save a ton of money if you can find your own!
8. This Floral Easter Wreath by Design Improvised is probably the most colorful of all the DIY Easter wreaths I found! Stock up on plastic eggs and flowers in varying shades of pink for this beauty. You might want to try doing one in all yellow or purple as well! Again, hit the dollar store or the bargain bin of your craft store to get plastic eggs on bulk.
9. I love this Pom Pom Easter Bunny Wreath by Flamingo Toes! The bunny silhouette adds a bit of cute to a simple and easy project. You likely have most of the supplies you need already stashed away somewhere!
10. If you can get your hands on fresh flowers this DIY Spring Wreath from Lil’ Luna has endless possibilities! You could enjoy it all spring by switching up the flowers as they blossom. You could definitely use silk flowers for this as well – and of course it would last forever, and you would have the joy of using this every spring!
11. Up-cycling is always a great idea and this Aluminum Can Wreath from Saved by Love Creations has raised the bar! While I wouldn’t call this a quick project, you could make it as simple or intricate as you want.
12. A Coffee Filter Wreath by Country Chic Cottage is a great one to make with the kids, and is a great way to use up those nearly obsolete coffee filters. You could also experiment with making your own natural food colors by using various plants etc.
13. This adorable Carrot Easter Wreath by Thirty Handmade Days is just so cute! Pretty easy too and the supplies are light on the budget as well! Another fun one to make with the kids!
If you want to be smart financially, then you need to live within your means. That means you only spend what you have instead of going into debt. Depending on how you’ve been living, this may be difficult at first, but trust me, it’s so worth it in the long run! Living within your means gives you greater financial control, leaves money for things you really need/want, and makes it so you have less money stress. If you’re ready to live within your means, here are 100 Tips to Help You Live Within Your Means!
Avoid interest – When signing up for a credit card for the rewards, avoid accruing interest.
Know your shopping goal – Don’t buy what you don’t need at the grocery store.
Pay health insurance pretax – Choose this option if given a choice. This will save you from being taxed on this amount.
Carpool – A simple way to make it easier to live within your means is to cut down on transportation costs. So if you work out of the house, ride with a coworker to work to save on gas and car expenses.
Ride your bike – Riding your bike is another great way to get to work.
Walk places – Walk anywhere you can. You’ll save on transportation and it’ll be good exercise!
Go to the library – Rent movies, CDs, and books from the library instead of buying them.
Cut your landline – Don’t pay for a landline if you have a cell phone.
Cancel magazine subscriptions – Don’t pay for something you can read for free from the library.
Regular gas – Go for the cheaper gas instead of the premium. With most cars, premium gas is actually unnecessary.
Skip the car wash – If your car needs to be cleaned, do it yourself!
Refinance your home – You can easily get a lower interest rate and pay less.
Sell your old clothes – If you don’t need it anymore, sell it for extra cash.
Avoid cash advances – Cash advances on your paychecks are a bad idea!
Do your own dry cleaning – Do your own dry cleaning instead of paying for it yourself.
Go the speed limit – Speeding costs more in gas.
Dining out – If you want to live within your means, you’ll want to take a second look at your dining expenses. If you have to eat out, split your meal with a friend and share the cost.
Don’t buy scented plug-ins – These quickly add up. Use candles or oils instead. You could even make your own DIY air fresheners!
Withhold the right amount of taxes – Don’t withhold too much tax from your paycheck. You really shouldn’t get a huge tax return.
Don’t be a daredevil – If you live reasonably safe and use common sense in your day to day life, you’re less likely to hurt yourself and have to pay medical bills.
Buy glasses & contacts online – Even with insurance, this is a great way to save.
Drive safe – This keeps you from paying speeding tickets or paying for a car accident.
Buy a cheaper car – Don’t pay a monthly payment on a car loan for something you can’t afford.
Brush and floss – Basic dental hygiene reduces the chance you’ll have to pay a dentist to fix any cavities.
Go jewelry free – Jewelry, both real and costume, eats into your budget. Go jewelry free to save.
Regardless of whether you love or hate those delightfully sugary marshmallow treats, there is no denying Easter Peeps are a popular sign of Easter. When they start to appear on the shelves, it’s a good sign that spring is very, very near, and the Easter Bunny is not too far behind. So put them to good (and tasty use) and try these 15 Easter Desserts to Make with Peeps!
1. These Peeps Cupcakes by the Soccer Mom Blog are super cute, relatively simple, and very festive. Perfect for a child’s party and a sweet addition to the dessert table.
3. Oh my, these Layered Peeps Krispy Treats by Yellow Bliss Road are just perfect! Rice Krispy treats are some of my favorites, and this recipe isn’t going to taste too different from the classic, but it sure is beautiful!
5. These Peeps Popcorn Balls by Hungry Happenings are wonderful! Popcorn balls are always going to be a thing of bliss, and so are Peeps! So hey, it a win/win combination for sure!
7. I love eclairs. Seriously, its totally a thing for me. So you can imagine how excited I was to find these Party Peeps Éclair Cups by Brue Crew Life. hey are officially on my must try list!
Cleaning products have been around for ages, but it is only recently that they became so specialized. In fact, did you know that Dawn dish soap (which is super popular, and seems like it’s been around forever) first came out in 1973? That’s less than 50 years ago! Before companies realized just how much business there could be had in cleaning products, most people just used different types of bar soap and common food ingredients like baking soda and lemon juice to keep their homes clean. And you can do the same! Save money and avoid chemicals with these 18 Home Cleaning Hacks from Grandma!
It’s strange to think about, but it’s true that at one point, soap was a luxury item. And there was also a point where some commercial cleaners were even more dangerous than they are now, as they contained things like acids and lead. It’s no wonder homemakers back in the day stuck with their DIY homemade cleaners and elbow grease!
18 Home Cleaning Hacks from Grandma
Bathroom Cleaning Hacks
1. Clean Your Shower/Bathtub- An easy way to cut through the soap scum in your shower or tub is with lemon juice! Just use a scrub brush and the juice to scrub away the scum! The acidic juice will help break down the scum, and leave your shower/tub smelling lemony fresh!
2. Clean Hard Water Stains- Tired of the hard water stains in your toilet? All you need is baking soda and vinegar! First, pour 1 cup of white vinegar into the toilet bowl and scrub the bowl with the toilet brush. Let that set for a minute or two. Then follow up with 1 cup baking soda and then 1 more cup of vinegar. Let that set for 10-15 minutes. It’ll fizz a lot, which is what will help loosen the stain. Then stir the solution with the toilet brush, and let it sit for 30 minutes or more. Finish up by scrubbing the bowl. The hard water stains should be gone! You might like to use our DIY citrus and lavender toilet fizzies for your day-to-day toilet cleaning.
3. Clean Your Shower Head- A lot of people forget to clean their shower heads, mainly because they seem like they’d be difficult to clean. But actually, all you need is a plastic bag and some white vinegar! Fill your bag with vinegar, then tie the bag to the shower head so the shower head is soaking in the vinegar. Leave the shower head to soak for a couple hours, or overnight. Then remove the bag and run the water for a few minutes, to get any remaining vinegar out of the nozzles. You might also want to scrub the shower head a bit with a toothbrush to make sure all of the mineral deposits have been removed.
4. Unclog the Shower Drain- There are old-fashioned cleaning hacks for pretty much everything, including clogged drains! First, pour 1 cup of baking soda down the clogged drain, followed by 1 cup of hot white vinegar (heat it in the microwave or stovetop ahead of time). The two will react and fizz, which will help move around whatever is clogging the drain.
5. Clean Your Bathroom Mirrors- Sometimes vintage cleaning hacks use foods as the main ingredients! To clean your mirrors, all you have to do is rub the cut half of an onion over your mirrors’ glass. Then, so you won’t have smelly mirrors, mix some water and baking soda together, and use that to wipe down the mirrors. Then dry, and enjoy your naturally cleaned mirrors!
Kitchen Cleaning Hacks
6. Clean Cutting Boards- There are several inexpensive and natural ways to clean cutting boards! For day to day cleaning, wash your board in vinegar. This will do some basic disinfecting. For stains, just mix baking soda and salt together with a little water until you get a paste. Scrub this over the cutting board, then rinse with hot water. If any odors remain, rub a cut lemon over the board, then rinse. If you want to really sanitize the board (like if you used it to cut meat), you should use hydrogen peroxide after washing the board with soap and warm water. The Family and Consumer Sciences extension of the Ohio State University recommends heating the peroxide to 130°F and leaving it on the board for at least 10 minutes for maximum effectiveness against nasty bacteria like Listeria.
7. Remove Rust From Your Knives- Because onions are acidic, they can be great at removing rust from knives! All you have to do is rub your knives with onions, or use your knives to cut into an onion continuously, in a sawing motion. They’ll become rust-free!
8. Clean Your Plastic Containers- Plastic containers may be a more modern invention, but there are still vintage cleaning hacks that apply to them! In particular, the old-fashioned way of removing stains with lemon juice also applies to stains in your plastic containers. Just rub some lemon juice on the stains, then place the containers in a sunny location (inside or outside). Between the acidic lemon juice and the sun’s rays, the stains will be bleached away!
9. Clean Your Garbage Disposal- You don’t need any fancy chemicals to make your garbage disposal smell decent. Instead, just throw a couple lemon peels down the sink and run the disposal. For a really clean disposal, make our DIY garbage disposal cleaner tablets!
10. Clean Up Grease- If you’re having a hard time getting grease off of your cookware or countertops, all you need is baking soda! Just dampen a sponge or towel, put a little baking soda on it, then wipe at the greasy area. Then use another damp sponge/towel to wipe the area clean.
Other Cleaning Hacks
11. Deodorize Kitty Litter- Baking soda is a wonderful natural deodorizer! When you’re done cleaning out your cat’s litter box, shake a lot of baking soda over the bottom of the box, then add more litter. This will help keep the odors under control, and its cat safe.
12. Deodorize Laundry- Baking soda can also keep laundry from smelling! If you know you don’t have time to run a load right now, but don’t want the dirty laundry to smell, toss it with a little baking soda to gain some time until the next load!
13. Clean Your Carpets- Have you ever wondered how people cleaned their carpets before commercial solutions were readily available? The answer is with vinegar! Add 1 cup white vinegar to 2 cups water, then pour the mixture into your carpet cleaning machine and clean your carpet the natural way! Be aware the using anything other than your carpet cleaner’s recommended detergent may void your warranty. But we’ve been using this solution for years and never had any issues with our carpet cleaner, so we’re okay with that. If all you need to do is deodorize your carpet/rug, sprinkle a good amount of baking soda over it and leave it for a couple hours. Then vacuum it up and enjoy your clean smelling carpet!
14. Remove Ink Stains from Leather- The only bad thing about leather furniture is that you have to be careful what you use to clean it. A safe (and natural) way to clean up ink and marker stains on leather is with rubbing alcohol! Put some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or soft cloth, then rub it gently on the area. Use a blow dryer to dry the area afterwards.
15. Keep Fabric Colors from Fading- An easy way to make sure your clothes and other fabrics stay bright after being washed it to add 1 Tablespoon of salt to the water in your washer. Salt is sodium chloride, and chloride is great at preventing color fading. There’s even the chance that the salt may brighten some of your older cloth items!
16. Remove Water Stains from Wood- There really are old-fashioned cleaning hacks for everything! The next time you find a water stain on your wood furniture, all you have to do is use a little toothpaste! Put a little bit of a conventional non-gel toothpaste on a soft cloth and rub it into the stain. Wipe the area clean with a damp cloth. You may want to put some furniture polish on the area after it dries. For more toothpaste cleaning tips, check out our 20 Frugal Ways to Use Toothpaste post!
17. Disinfect Your Home- If someone in your house just got over a cold, a easy way to disinfect everything is with vinegar! Put some vinegar in a bottle, spritz it on surfaces, then wipe the areas clean with a sponge or soft cloth. We like to always have some of our vinegar-based all-purpose cleaning wipes on hand for this very purpose. Of course, if you need to really disinfect an area (like if it’s a counter you cut raw meat on, or someone in your home had the flu), you’ll want to use something stronger to be safe.
18. Polish Your Wood Furniture- Want an all-natural way to polish your wood furniture? You just need to mix together oil and lemon juice in a spray bottle! Just mix together 1/2 cup oil (like olive oil or vegetable oil) and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Spritz the mixture on a soft cloth (not directly on the furniture, to avoid using too much), then rub the cloth onto your furniture. When you’re done polishing, buff the area with a clean, dry rag. You don’t want to leave the oil on, as oil goes rancid over time. For this same reason, only make a little at a time, as the oil will eventually go rancid in the bottle. Our DIY dusting spray also doubles as a basic furniture polish!
And there you have it! 18 vintage cleaning hacks your grandma probably knew and used all the time!
Did your grandma or mom ever teach you any of these cleaning tips?
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A backyard garden used to be the staple of any frugal household, but over the years people have started to look at gardening as more of an expense than a necessity. The truth is, backyard gardening is still an excellent way to save money and supplement your family’s food budget. So, Is Growing Your Own Backyard Garden Worth It? We say yes! Take a look below and see how the benefits far outweigh the costs!
Something to remember is that back in the day, gardening was something pretty much everyone did, regardless of social status. So if a medieval peasant could keep a garden, anyone nowadays definitely can! If you follow the tips I use below, you’ll be able to cut the costs of growing your own backyard garden!
Is Growing Your Own Backyard Garden Worth It?
First, let’s take a look at some of the expenses you will encounter when starting a backyard garden. These expenses may include:
Seeds and seedlings
Garden stakes/tomato cages
Breaking down the cost of these items is difficult as the prices vary so much. If you were to buy everything you need direct from a gardening catalog, you could easily spend hundreds. But really, you’d be overpaying. You can actually start growing your own backyard garden for under $50. Some ways to get your garden going for less include:
Turn your own soil and add compost so you don’t need top soil.
Use upcycled materials for stakes/cages/fencing.
By using these suggestions, you can start up your own garden for a very low cost, and in no time get growing! Once your garden is established, you will find that it is worth all of the start up costs and energy that goes into it. While there are many benefits to growing a garden, here are a few that make it especially well worth it!
Just one tomato plant can grow as many as 10 pounds of tomatoes. For your $1 investment, you can get easily $10+ worth of tomatoes (and the savings are even higher if you grow your plants organically).
Grow fresh herbs for pennies. When you buy fresh herbs at the store you will pay about $4 per small clamshell package. When you grow your own, you can grow handfuls for just $1 or so per plant or seed packet.
Eat fresh salads without the waste. When you grow your own leafy greens you pick them when you need them. No more rotting bags of lettuce forgotten about in the veggie crisper!
Enjoy less waste in general. You will pick produce as you need it which means less produce waste. Your garden can feed you all winter. You can also freeze, can, or dry whatever you can’t eat right away, saving yourself money in the winter months!
Get free exercise when you work in your garden. Forget the gym membership as your garden will keep you plenty busy.
Improve your mood by gardening. Whether it’s because of the exercise, sunlight, fresh air, peaceful natural surroundings, or the joy of nurturing living things, gardening is a great way to improve your mood. A 2009 study even found that gardening can help with depression!
As you can see, the benefits of growing your own garden far outweigh the costs associated with starting one up. Are you ready to get growing? Give a backyard garden a try and see if it isn’t something you find great value in! If you plan to grow veggies, my Basics of Planning a Vegetable Garden post will help you get started!
One of my favorite ways to decorate for any holiday is with a garland or banner! Sometimes I can find a cute garland for a low price in Target’s dollar spot, or in Hobby Lobby during after-holiday sales. But the rest of the time, if I want a garland/banner (and don’t want to spend a ton) I just make one myself! Making your own banner is actually really easy. Some of the ones below are just free printables that you cut out and hang up on string, and others take some basic crafting skills. Either way, you can create a nice piece of decor pretty quickly if you choose to make a DIY garland or DIY banner! To give you some ideas for fun Easter DIY decor, take a look at these 20 Festive DIY Easter Garlands and Banners!
I’ve been thinking a lot about DIY cleaning supplies lately. Probably because spring cleaning is coming up soon! I already have a lot of homemade cleaners, but one thing I hadn’t made was my own dryer sheets! I know most commercial dryer sheets are full of some really nasty chemicals, so I’ve been using a naturally derived brand. But they’re pretty pricey. I figured there had to be a way for me to DIY my own natural dryer sheets for a much lower cost, and I was right! Here is how I made my Reusable Homemade Dryer Sheets!
1. Cut your fabric into squares roughly 8 x 8” (there’s no need to be exact, or even particularly neat). I like to use felt or flannel because it doesn’t fray like other fabric blends do. This way I don’t need to worry about any frayed edges, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Cut enough to stuff your jar full.
Toss 3-6 damp DIY dryer sheets into the dryer with your clothes at the start of the load. Remove the dry cloths at the end of the cycle and toss them back in your jar in the bottom to re-absorb moisture.
Once your vinegar mixture is no longer soaking the cloths, just make another batch to pour over the dryer sheets.
My family loves wings! We don’t eat them all the time, since they’re not the healthiest or cheapest food out there, but when we do have them, I make them from scratch. I especially like to make them for sports game watching or other parties! But really, you don’t need any reason to whip up a batch of delicious wings. These Easy Taco Ranch Wings are quick to put together, are utterly delicious, and are great for dinner or watch parties!
2. In a large bowl add in wings and oil. Gently coat wings with oil.
4. Add chicken to a baking dish, bake for 45 minutes or until cooked and at desired level of crispiness.
Do you often make your own wings for big gatherings?
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