Gardener savings- small plants

for lower prices on pepper plants (bell, jalapeno, banana) go to your local farmer co-op & buy the ones that are in the plastic flats and the plant is in small squares of black dirt. Don’t go to other places and buy ones in white plastic cups.

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The perfect girlfriend gift- bar soap!

I started doing this recently.  Actually,  I was out of ideas for gifts for women friends.  For years, there was a deluge of “Bath and Body works” products– liquid soap, hand sanitizers (is this really a gift? Come on! It reeks of germs!), and buckets of body lotion.  And scented candles are great, but some folks who live alone and fear house fires don’t really appreciate these.  They give them away to other friends as soon as they receive them.  Then I hit on the idea of bar soap.  It is one of those gifts I don’t buy for myself, but love buying for friends.  Besides the usual places you would buy them, also check in organic grocery stores.  And they don’t clog up landfills like empty liquid bath soap bottles.

money saver tip for the day $$$$

Get dry haircuts.  My other post just disappeared.  My fault.  90% of beauticians  won’t do this.  Find the 10% who will.  You can change an $18 hair cut into a $10.  I just talked my husband into trying it today and he LOVED it.  I have been doing it every chance I get since 1996.  Ask the hairdresser first if she is agreeable to this.  Shampoo at home either the night before or the morning of the cut.  Don’t apply any “product.”

cutting dish soap costs in half

Have you noticed in recent years that cheap laundry soap & dish washing soaps have pretty much disappeared off store shelves?  Remember the days before HE (high efficiency) laundry soap, you could buy varieties of it in huge boxes?  And the same with laundry soaps.  Getting to the point:  I noticed a few years back I was always buying more dish soap.  Then I started buying refill jugs & saved quite a bit on that.  Finally I realized I was sometimes filling the sink with soapy water 6 times a day.  YES!  I got in the habit of washing utensils & pots while cooking a meal.  Then I’d let the water get cold while I watched a TV show or movie.  Then I let the water out, ran more hot water & washed the rest of the dishes.  One day (perhaps I had been boiling water for tea) I had a large amount of hot water I could have poured down the drain.  Instead, I added it to the soapy water in the sink.  Ta da, everything was great!  I know we have better grease-cutting soaps now (Dawn and Wal*Mart knockoff) so we can wash in cold water.  But my soap usage has dramatically gone down.  Save yourself about $20 per year.

do you like your greens dry–or–wet

Grocers are getting fancy nowadays.  Before this fancification began, your greens (kale, collards, radishes) were dry and dirty.  I liked them this way.  Now, many times, they have sprayers and sprinklers going.  The produce area is like a rain forest.  I have to pick up my selection and whip the water out of it.  Then I shove it in a bag, getting my hands & the buggy wet.  Usually I put them on the bottom shelf of the buggy.  It is probably the grubbiest area of the buggy, but I don’t want to get everything else wet.  Now I take it home and cook it within 24 hours or it starts to rot.  it is really gross.  I don’t go to the store every day & this can mean waste.  I understand they want their stuff to look fresh and glistening, but believe me, DRY & DIRTY is the most economical.  Think about it.

eek! germs on my buggy handle!

Wal*mart does try to keep things clean.  They have those handi-wipe things at the front door.  I noticed early in the morning (if you are an early bird shopper) these stands have disappeared.  I figured out some employee is restocking them in the back & they will re-appear.  AHA!  As you fill your buggy, spin by the sanitation stand in the meat area (see my last posting) and they usually have the wipes there.  I said ‘usually.’  One day I was there & all 3 stations were empty.  Also early bird shoppers DO find marked down meat at Wal*Mart.  I used to read this & now that I am retired I find it true many times.  Check them out, read the expiration dates & maybe save a bit of $$.