A couple of weeks ago when we first ran one of these ‘Beyond the Kitchen: Save Time and Money with Kimmi‘ posts, we got a lot of great feedback, so today Kimmi has more for you, this time with tips for SPRING. Even though in Michigan, it seems we've skipped right into summer, yippee! 🙂
Just a reminder on how this pertains to the Kitchen Kop blog…
For Real Foodies at whatever stage you may be in on this journey, I'm sure you'd agree that there are two challenges that rise above the rest: finding time in the schedule to make cooking nutrient-dense meals a priority, and finding money in the budget to buy quality foods to feed your family.
You've probably heard what Joel Salatin says, “Pay now or pay later.” (Photo from Jo-Lynne.)
Of course there are many tricks for saving money on Real Food or saving time when preparing it.
Have you seen…
- Tips on Saving Time – Including the ‘our version of fast food' meal list, meal planning tips, batch cooking tips, etc.
- Tips on Saving Money – Ideas for different ways to use grassfed ground beef, the popular article “How to Eat Real Food Without Losing an Arm & a Leg”, frugal meal ideas for ONE, and a bunch more.
- The first ‘Beyond the Kitchen: Save time and money with Kimmi' post, where I tell about a few of the many ways she has helped me so much!
But what about beyond the kitchen?
What if saving time and money in other areas of your life freed up more time and money to spend on making Real Food a priority?
Today Kimmi, my friend who helps me here at the blog, is going to share some of her tips and tricks with you for Springtime!
Take it away, Kimmi!
Hello, I'm Kel's friend, Kim. Kelly did daycare for me when I was working out of the home and she has become a great friend over the years. I recently began doing a little work for her behind the scenes here on the blog…
A little about me…
I am married with two children. I worked in the marketing/advertising profession for 15 years before I became a stay at home mom about three years ago. I absolutely love being at home now. I tell people that it is the hardest job I've ever had because there is always work to be done – and a project to start. I think I'm harder on myself than any boss could ever be. Not earning a wage in the beginning was strange for me and I began to very actively try and save our household money by finding good deals for us. I figure any dollar saved was like a dollar I earned. Anyway, Kelly thinks that I might have some things to share that all of you might be interested in. I look forward to this opportunity and also can't wait to see what you can teach me, too!
(Someday I'll get Kimmi to let me show you a picture of her here…)
Here are a few of the ways I've discovered to save a buck or two, or more! Please respond with your own success stories or ideas on how to get what you want for less.
1. PATIO & OUTDOOR FURNITURE
Need some new patio furniture this year? Don't buy right now… if you can wait. Patience is a good virtue when it comes to saving $$$ especially for seasonal items like outdoor furniture.
Want some really great Patio Furniture – 50% or MORE off?
We moved into our new home last March. It has a great front porch, a nice deck off the kitchen and also a pool patio that needed some furniture that we didn't have. Luckily we were able to buy some of the previous owner's outdoor pool patio furniture that they didn't want to take with them, but we still needed something for the front porch and also for the back deck. I spied some really great chairs at Lowes but was hesitant to drop the $$$ so soon after buying the house, and I've noticed that kind of stuff usually goes on deep discount at the end of summer. I kept an eye on the chairs that I liked and either stopped in once in a while or just checked their website to see if pricing had changed. Currently the furniture that I bought last fall at 50% off is full price now in stores!!! Because I used a little patience, I was able to save myself a lot of money and got exactly what I wanted. I was really worried that when the clearance sales started, I wouldn't be able to get the items I wanted because they sell fast! I took my chances and lucked out. Lowes did have to check a few stores for me and found one set of the chairs I wanted in a store about 40 miles away, but it's right off the highway that my husband travels often. I called that store, paid for them, and they held them until he could stop in.
I bought a set of these 50% off for the front porch. GREEN is my favorite color!!!
And also 4 of these deck chairs for $200 total instead of $400!
I am not sure how the other retailers handle their sales of seasonal items. Does anyone have good info to share on their bargain seasonal or other buys??
Did you know that Lowes will honor their own expired coupons?
I had some coupons from our move and thought they were useless when the date passed. I asked someone at the store and they said no problem, and that they would honor it. Another little trick I use once in a while is to fill out a “I'm moving” form with Lowes.com and get a coupon emailed to me within a week when I have a project in mind that I might like to save 10% on. I bought some heavy duty shelving from Lowes last spring that was on sale at another store – Lowes was closer to home so I asked if they would match the price on their comparable shelving and it was no problem (also was able to use my 10% off moving coupon)! You know that saying, ‘older and wiser' just might be true? Thinking back now… I believe I was able to use a 10% coupon on the 50% discounted patio furniture for a grand total of 60% off!! 🙂
2. YOUR YARD + adding Perennials & more for FREE!
My mom has taught me a lot about plants and how to make something out “nothing” by splitting what you might already have – or something a friend, neighbor, or family member might have. If you notice a pretty hosta that someone you know has, chances are there is a “baby” hosta sprouting underneath the bigger leaves that you could dig out easily (make sure to get some roots) to take home to your yard. My mom and I have used this method for bushes too! My friend had some great holly bushes and we noticed little shoots underneath that could be removed easily without hurting the main bush. It took a few years, but now this holly is a very large bush! Sometimes people might hesitate to pull an entire plant out and split with you because of the time of year and how it affects that plant (hard on the plant and makes it look droopy like it's been thru the wringer) – but if you can just take a little “baby” from underneath – there's no harm done to the original plant. My mom and I have even duped ourselves the “perennial bandits” because we have taken a little baby or two like this while on a early evening walk in a couple of local places. 😉 Nothing was harmed and it was a little bit of fun.
Need some evergreen trees?
I've learned that early spring is a great time to get a deal on evergreen seedlings from your local suppliers. I've noticed that Lowes seems to get some really large evergreens early spring at great prices. I bought 4 white pines last year for $20 a piece and saw that same tree for at least double, if not more, later in the season. Also nurseries carry the very small seedling evergreens super cheap – like under$5 a piece in the spring. They seem so small to make a difference but some of them grow really quickly and actually have a better chance at surviving if bought when they were really small. I'm on the hunt for some more evergreens this spring in order to create a year long screen between my yard and a busy road!
3. LOVE THY NEIGHBOR… or SAVE WATER, SHOWER WITH A FRIEND (my Grandma actually has this sign on her shower, lol!) Read below and you'll get the idea.
A couple of years ago I had the great idea to get some mulch delivered, but cringed at the delivery charge. I asked a neighbor if he was going to need mulch that year – we get the same type and color. The company delivering did not mind charging us only once because we only lived a few houses away from each other.
Need Mulch for your yard this spring?! Get Delivery for Half the Price with a Neighbor!
Joining in with neighbors we were able to get a better contract price for snow plowing this way as well. We also wanted a 3rd stall garage opener installed and my neighbor wanted one as well – we were able to work out a deal with my door guy if he was able to do both jobs in one day. I think that Kelly's neighbors do the same sort of thing in the spring when they need their lawns aerated (it makes dog turd looking things on your lawn). They rent the machine to do their lawns and then they all share the rental cost.
Don't be afraid to ask someone you know what they might have in their yard to share with you for your yard. You might be surprised what people throw away each year because plants are getting too big or multiplying too much. I actually pulled out some hostas last year that I put on Craig's List for FREE for people to pick up because I didn't want to simply throw them away when someone could use them. A really thankful lady came and got all of the hostas that I would have hated to toss.
That's all for today!
I look forward to hearing ways to save from all of you – Kelly's readers!
Craigslist is great for getting or giving away plants, as is Freecycle.org. You have to join it (by email, it’s easy, and of course it’s free!), then join your local group. I got lots of tomato cages as well as tomato starts that way a few years ago. I should try that again…
Great tip on the patio furniture! We are moving into an apartment with a balcony in about a month and I wanted to get a couple of lounge chairs for outside. I was going to shop at Memorial Day, but it sounds like I’d be better off waiting until the fall. Thanks!
Thank-you for the tips, we are buying a home with a backyard that needs TLC so will keep some of these in mind!
Hey, this time of year watch craigslist as folk who have money to burn will buy new furniture and sell their older, but still good, furniture for a steal.
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Great tips! We purchased the furniture for our front patio 50% off by waiting until August last year – saved over $150!!! We also always split plants – I don’t think I purchased anything in the gardens on either side of the house. Works well for herbs and strawberries too – they grow so big anyway that it’s easy to share!