Penny Pinching Tip – Find Free Garden Much and Fertilizer In Your Area

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tagro mix

There are so cities across the country offering free mulch, free wood chips, and treated bio-solid waste these days, that it almost seems silly to shell out $25 a yard for the stuff. Especially those of us with big gardens. A simple search of your local town {or nearest big city} and the words free mulch could save you big time.

Yesterday I stopped by TAGRO in Tacoma to pick up some FREE garden soil/fertilizer for my backyard garden plot. If you live in the Seattle/Tacoma area, this stuff rocks!

Tagro products are basically made from a blend of pasteurized wastewater byproducts called biosolids and other weed-free gardening components. Gross, I know, but would you believe vegetables and flowers grown in the TAGRO soil mix have earned more than 120 ribbons at the Puyallup Fair since 1992? Yes it smells {for a few weeks} and YES IT’S BEEN TREATED. LOL so the stuff is totally safe to add to your garden.

tagro mix

I first learned about Tagro about 12 years ago from my neighbor. She used it on her lawn instead of shelling out $30 a bag for fancy fertilizer at the big box store. When she first told me about it I was like no way, I’m not going to put that stuff on my lawn or in my vegetable garden… and then I tried it. And I’ve been hooked ever since.

When I had chickens, I used chicken fertilizer in my garden beds. But since we are without a feathered flock in our new neighborhood, I am back to using Tagro.

tagro potting soil

So if you live nearby, grab a few storage bins {or better yet, bring your pick-up} and go get yourself some free fertilizer. You can find the Tagro site at 2201 E. Portland Avenue Gate 6 Tacoma, WA.

Don’t live in the Seattle/Tacoma area? No worries. A simple Google search of your local town {or nearest big city} and the words free mulch should come up with something.

Have you ever taken advantage of a free mulch program in your area?

Mavis wants to know!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Everything You Need to Know About Pallet Gardening

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Everything You Need to Know About Pallet Gardening

If you are short on space or live in a rental, pallet gardens are a great way to start a little impermanent garden.  I love that once the roots take hold, you can keep them upright against the fence or house.  It adds a wall of green without taking up walking space.   Or, if you are in a housing situation where you can’t make permanent landscaping changes, you can just take out the dirt, pick the pallets up and move them at the end of the growing season.

heat treated wood pallet

To get started, you’ll need to select your pallets.  This is the important part–you want to make sure that the pallets are not made from treated wood.  Treated wood and edibles = nastiness in your food supply.  No bueno.  I always try to find heat treated pallets–they are the safest to grow from.

DIY-Wood-Pallet-Garden

Once you have your pallets, lay them flat {whether you plan to keep them vertical in the end or not–the roots have to take hold before you can stand them up}.  If you plan on going vertical with your pallets, you’ll want to get some landscape fabric and staple/nail it to the back, sides, and bottom of the pallet.  That way, you won’t lose your soil when you stand it upright.  If you are leaning it up against the house, you’ll also want to add a layer of plastic to the back to protect your siding from water.    {For detailed pictures on the landscaping fabric, go HERE.}

pallet-garden-DIY

Once you have created a barrier for the soil, go ahead and add potting soil to the pallet.  I typically dump it on there and then use a broom to sweep it into the spaces.  Water it in well, so that the dirt has a chance to settle.  You really want to pack the dirt in well, especially if you are going to stand it up.

DIY wood pallet garden

Now you are ready to plant.  Tons of plants do well in pallets lettuce, herbs, flowers, strawberries, etc.  It’s really whatever suits your fancy.  I love that the rows are already perfectly lined up for you when it’s time to plant.  It makes my gardening OCD giddy.  If you are staying flat with your pallets, just plant using gravity as your pal, the regular old fashioned way, roots straight down.  If you plan to stand the pallet up, you’ll need to plant at a slight angle, so again, when you stand it up, gravity won’t work against you.

wood pallet gardens

You’ll want to keep the pallet flat for the next 2-3 weeks while the roots take hold.  Continue to water it, just like a regular garden {I know, duh!  But, it’s in the name of being thorough.} After that, you can stand it up and lean it against some sort of support {the fence, the house, etc.}.

wood pallet garden

That’s basically it.  It’s really pretty simple.  Now all you have to do is send me pictures of YOUR pallet garden. :)

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Can Shopping at Costco Save You Money? Week 15 of 52

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costco shopping trip

Towards the end of last week I started to feel like my old self again.

I was well rested, made a boatload of food, tried out a few new recipes, and then their was the hope of possibly getting a fence installed. Maybe that was it. Maybe the idea of having a fence picked up my spirits. Let’s just hope I do get one. ;)

The puggle princess and I went on several long walks in the sunshine as well.
costco shopping trip

Have you tried Cliff Mojo Bars? Holy cats they are good. And at $11.99 for a case of 24 I practically threw those babies in my cart. In fact, I might go back for another. The big bag of Toll House chocolate chips are on sale for $7.79 if you need them.

chop salad

Alright, so what did I feed my tribe this week? Lot’s of salads for starters.

pasta

I made Monkey Boy’s spaghetti.
salad bowl

Taco bowls {without the taco}. Basically taco meat, brown rice, chopped tomatoes, lettuce, cheese and spoonful of sour cream. So yummy!

bbq chicken sliders

BBQ Chicken sliders on Hawaiian Rolls.
curry chicken

 Curry chicken and rice.

pie in oven

One of the new recipes I tried was a chicken quiche. It turned out FANTASTIC! {I’ll post the recipe this week} I also made 2 small blueberry pies.

chicken and rice soup

The HH caught the flu bug on Friday and basically hung out in bed all weekend. He went into work today {even though he’s still sick} but I suspect he’ll be home by noon.

Chicken soup and grilled cheese do a body good.
chocolate chip cookies

Homemade chocolate chip cookies. steel cut oats

Sunday breakfast in bed: Steel cut oats with a heaping spoonful of brown sugar.
chop salad with chicken

Chicken Salad and chicken and rice soup.

Not the most exciting meals on the planet, but homemade {and inexpensive} nonetheless.

How about YOU? Did you  make anything super fantastic this week?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $55.41
Total Spent Year to Date $450.44

Go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Free Kindle Books, Shari’s Berries, Work Boots, Bali Bras, Batteries, New Balance Sneakers and More

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omnipresent

Word of the Day: Omnipresent Definition: Present everywhere at once.  Used in a sentence: Judging from the assignments given some think we are omnipresent. 

Happy Monday everyone!

Well, everyone but the HH. :( Today is the 3rd day he’s been down with the flu bug. He insisted on going into work this morning for a few hours {BOO!} but hopefully he’ll be back by lunch time so I can make him some chicken soup and to get some rest. What is it with guys? If you are sick, STAY HOME! Sheesh!

Have a great day everyone,

Mavis

lexar-memory-cards

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Up to 70% Off Select Crucial and Lexar Memory Products

final fantasy xbox ps4

Amazon Bonus Deal of the Day - “Final Fantasy Type-0 HD” $39.99 shipped

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy! :)

amazon kindle paperwhite

For 2 days only  you can get the Kindle Paperwhite for just $99 shipped. {Save $20!}container-gardening-steel-drums1

This week it’s all about the container gardens! If you’ve never planted a container garden, get all the dirt {see what I did there?} on How to Plant a Container Garden HERE. Find more cool projects on my Container Gardening Pinterest Board.

bali bra

Amazon has the highly rated Bali Women’s Double-Support Spa Closure Wire-Free Bra on sale starting at just $12.68. There are lot’s of sizes and colors to choose from. This bra ships free with Amazon Prime.

sketchers work boots

Amazon currently has Men’s Skechers for Work Men’s SSR Grip MT Slip Resistant Work Boot in Brown or Black on sale starting at $29.99!

american flag

Amazon has the highly rated U.S. Nylon US Flag 3X5 ft on sale right now for $7.52.

Allure magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Allure Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire 4/14/15 at midnight EST.

Sesame-Garlic-BroccoliSesame Garlic Broccoli shouldn’t be this good for as simple as the recipe is. But it IS this good. AND this simple. Score! Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later. Find more recipes on my Vegetable Recipes Pinterest Board.

gymboree sale

For a limited time save 50% off Gymboree Shorts and Beach Essentials.

aa batteries

Get the 48 Pack of AmazonBasics AA Performance Alkaline Batteries for just $13.49.

shoe organizer

Amazon has the 5 Tier Pro-Mart DAZZ Smart Carousel Organizer on sale for $13.72 and it ships FREE with Amazon Prime. Perfect for keeping all your shoes in one compact space.

new balance 590

Joe’s New Balance Outlet has the Woman’s New Balance 590 on sale for $32.99 shipped {was $69.99}

MUK LUKS Scotty Sport Flip Flops

REI Outlet Deal of the Day – Men’s MUK LUKS Scotty Sport Flip-Flops $13.73 {was $28}

rei vest

REI Outlet also has the Woman’s REI Classic Fleece Vest on sale for $23.73 {was $60}

chocolate dipped strawberries

Perfect for Mother’s Day! Groupon has $15 for $30 Worth of Gourmet Dipped Strawberries and Treats from Shari’s Berries vouchers on sale right now. I LOVE THESE!!New to Groupon? Join Groupon Here! Then HERE for this Shari’s Berries Deal.

split vanilla beans

Did you grab the AWESOME deal on Vanilla Beans yet? Hurry before it’s too late!

hunter ceiling fan deals

The Home Depot Deal of the DayUP TO 44% OFF SELECT CEILING FANS

old orchard cranberry naturals

Check out these New Printable Coupons:

Find More Printable Coupons

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Butterfield | Backyard Garden Plot Pictures 4/12/15

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hosta plants front lamppost

The hosta plants I transplanted from the side yard to the front lamppost last month are coming up like gangbusters! And the packet of alyssum seeds I scattered all around the rest of the area? Well those are coming up too. The white alyssum are just at the tiny 2 leaf stage… but whoa Nelly, I think this front garden bed will look really nice this summer once the hosta and white alyssum plants are in bloom, don’t you?

reseeding grass

Even though it’s a wee bit early to plant grass seed… I did it anyway. :) Some years I get lucky planting grass seed in the middle of April and sometimes I don’t. After {secretly} rearranging the front flower bed, I noticed there was about a 12″ border of awkward space around the lamppost, so I’m going to fill it in with grass for a more finished look.

I was thinking about just buying 8 rolls of sod but I was able to buy an entire bag of grass seed for the same price as 2 rolls. I figure, but the end of June the space will be filled in and I will have saved myself about $20 bucks by going to the slow route.

carrot seedlings

The carrot seedlings are starting pop up in the {hidden} front garden bed.
day lilies

The daffodils are dying but the day lilies look great in their bed on the side yard.

cabbage plants

The strawberries, radish {they need to be thinned}, cabbage and lettuce seedlings are looking good for this time of year.
blueberry bushes

No blueberries yet but I’m confident my 9 little 1 gallon plants will turn into a nice edible hedge in a few years.

peas

Waiting for peas to latch on to the trellis makes me anxious.

growing lettuce in containers

This is one of 3 large containers of lettuce we have growing on the back patio.

pink flamingos in yard

Pinky the Flamingo and her crew are doing a fantastic job of staring down the nosey nellies.

naturalized Lilly of the valley

When I first saw all these waxy green leaves popping up I started freaking out.

lily of the valley

And then I realized I had a small naturalized lily of the valley forest growing between our house and the neighbors. How cool is that?

garden bench side of house

I am still of the hunt for the perfect potting bench. I think I’m going to pop by the Farmer’s Market today to see if they have anything and if not, maybe order one from Amazon. We’ll see.

I am seriously hoping we get approved to build a fence. It would be so nice to walk outside and garden in privacy again.

Fingers crossed!

Have a great Sunday everyone,

~ Mavisbotanical interests

This years garden is being sponsored by the awesome folks at Botanical Interests Seed Company. You can check out their website HERE, order their new 2015 Garden Seed Catalogor see the seeds I’ll be growing in my garden this year HERE

Up for a tour? Read about our behind the scenes tour of Botanical Interests Seed Company.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

The $20/$20 Challenge: Vickie In Frozen Michigan Shows Us Her Pantry

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Vickies pantry1This $20/$20 Challenge is bringing out some amazing canners. I’m impressed with Vickie’s canning, farm fresh eggs and garden.  And her kind heart! Here’s her story:

Hi Mavis,Vickies pantry

I’m a fellow blogger at Vickie’s Kitchen and Garden and thought I would send in my pictures for your $20/20 Challenge. We have a rather large garden out back that of course is now snow and ice covered here in Michigan. The temperatures are hoovering around zero and below for the past couple of weeks. When we open a can of our vegetables that we’ve canned from the previous year it feels like it’s summer again. You just can’t get get any better than that. The jars are getting empty fast so we need Spring to get here soon!

Vickies pantry2We retired early (both of us in our fifties) so we live frugally. In my refrigerator photos you see farm fresh eggs -we buy from local people who sell eggs by the side of the road. I used to have chickens but after our record 101 inches of snow last winter I decided it was time to let go. There was this nice lady up north who owned a hobby farm (craigslist) and wanted more chickens. We had a wonderful drive to give them to her, we knew they would be happy. I know that sounds like a fairy tale but it’s true! We also keep leftovers handy -to reuse for another meal or to snack on.

Vickies pantry3I’ve been filling up my freezer lately with freezer meals to help us through the week when babysit our grandchildren. They keep us busy so we would probably eat out otherwise. This is a project I just started but you can see I’m starting to fill up the lower shelf in my freezer.

Vickies pantry4My dry goods pantry was made by my husband and neighbor -I love the deep drawers and how they pull out. Solved a lot of storage problems in my house.

Mavis if you accept my submission I would like my $20 to go to one of the local missions: Carriage Town Missions. They are taxed to the max with this cold weather we are having here.

Thanks for all you do. Have fun on your trip.

Vickie

pantry-pictures-ideasAre you getting your pantries camera ready? You can participate in the $20/$20 Challenge by simply sending in pictures of your pantry. Find out more about the $20/$20 Challenge: Show Your Pantry – Fill a Pantry!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 4/11/2015

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instagram mavis butterfield

Mavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I share some random goodness

spring flowers old blue canning jar

Garden Updates

Hearty Potato Soup w Leftover Ham

Recipes

vernal

Mornings with Mavis 

Everything You Need to Know About Square Foot Gardening

Tips and Tricks

book store 5

Weekly Shopping Trips and Other Stories

Videos

Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great weekend!

Mavis

Don’t forget, you can stay up to date with the latest news by following One Hundred Dollars a Month on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ as well.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Friday Night at the Movies – It’s Kind of a Funny Story

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Tonight I am checking out It’s Kind of a Funny Story.  It’s based on a book by the same name, and it’s about a boy who is suffering from depression and is checked into the psychiatric ward to be monitored for a couple of days.  He ends up finding a little more than he bargained for.  It gets great reviews, and is supposed to be kind of funny/charming/sad all wrapped up into one little movie.

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen it.

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

PicMonkey Collage

Looking for more movies?

Check out the full list of my Friday Night at the Movies Selections or click on over & look at all the movies on Amazon Instant Video. There are a ton of videos to choose from that will cost you absolutely nothing {nada, zilch, free-o} with Amazon Prime; like thousands of regular movies & TV shows & hundreds of documentaries {Wahoo!}. Get all the details HERE!

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

My Goals for This Year – Week 15 of 52

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white kitchen

1. Get Organized.

I’m hoping by the end of the month I’ll have the house back together. But right now, I’m enjoying being a slob. :) Who knew it could be so much fun?

2. Run, walk or crawl a Marathon, half marathon, 10k, and 5k race this year.

quartz master bathroom remodel

3. Remodel our Master Bathroom, Master Closet and Monkey Boy’s Bathroom.

According to Chino the Handyman the bathroom remodel should be all wrapped up by next Friday.

gently used couch

4. Finish Every Room in Our House.

I’ve been on the hunt for a good sofa set or sectional for the front room and I finally found one on Craigslist a few days ago. It was very CLEAN, 90% off what it’s currently selling for at the store {I checked} and I think it fits the space perfectly. Now all I need to do is install some curtains, throw some art up on the wall and find the appropriate sized coffee table and the room is FINISHED. Weeeeee!

craft room

5. Turn Spare Bedroom into a Cozy Home Office Space for myself.

Someday. ;)

patch of grass

6. Create a Vegetable Garden.

If we get approved for a fence… You can bet your pancakes I’ll be installing some secret garden boxes right off the patio.

7. Build a Path into the Hillside for Easy Access to the Upper Garden.

costco curro

8. Limit my personal spending to $100 a month.

So far this month I’ve spent $1.00 from my personal spending money fund. And you know what? The Costco churro I bought was totally dry and disappointing. I should have taken it back it was that bad. Goodbye dollar.  :(

cast of teeth

Oh, and guess what? For the first time in what seems like forever… I have a full mouth of teeth! Wahooooo! Getting my teeth fixed was on my goal last year… but hey, better late than never, right?

  • In March I spent $42.44.
  • In February I Spent $32.52 
  • In January I Spent $84.33

hats

9. Purge… Weekly. Find 10 things each week to donate to the thrift store.

It was kind of sad to purge my costume box but I did it. :(

the forgotten seamstress

10. Read 1 book a week. – My goal is to read 52 books this year. 

Last week I finished 2 books {on the airplane!} I read The Forgotten Seamstress on the way there and Wild on the way back. I read both books front to back in about 6 hours. THEY WERE THAT GOOD!

Please, I’m begging you… get your hands on these books. They were totally worth 12 hours of my life. :) Sooooo good.

primitive hooked rug

11. Slow Down.

I’m getting there! Hoping to have this primitive hooked rug finished by the end of the year.

12. Canning .

I haven’t canned anything in a few weeks but I do have some new recipes I’d like to try out just as soon as all this construction is over with.

Did you set any goals for this year? If so, how are they coming along?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis vs the HOA Part 4

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lucy the puggle dog

A few days ago the HH and I were talking about how awful it is that Lucy can’t run around the backyard like she used to and how my desire to garden here at this property has really gone downhill the last few months. And especially how the whole situation is making me really, really, REALLY crabby.

I need dirt. I need privacy. I need my sweet little companion helping me dig and playing freely by my side as I dawdle around the backyard in the privacy of my own backyard.
white kitchen cabinets

If I don’t find a happy medium soon, I’m going to weigh like 424 million pounds.

A few days ago the HH suggested we get a fence. {He likes it here, the neighborhood is nice, the house is really coming together and he just wants his {perpetually} restless wife to be happy. I get it. I really do.

master bathroom remodel

Fast forward to yesterday … Noon.

The doorbell rang. It was a man from the Stepford Snoopervising committee. Cameron the carpenter and John Voight were here again working inside on the master bathroom. So when the 5 committee {yes 5!} members arrived, I told Cameron and John Voight to stay inside and keep the {paper} shade on the window down…. so the committee couldn’t peek in.

chop saw garage remodel

They laughed… and remained hidden. Because HELLO… why attract attention to projects I didn’t get approval for. Right?

Oddly enough, not a single committee member commented about the fact that there were 50+ bright pink flamingos planted in my backyard. Or the fact that I had planted a side vegetable garden. {The HH said one of them must read my blog and doesn’t want to give me the satisfaction of acknowledging the plastic bird situation.}

Instead the committee was more concerned about if I had talked to my neighbors about installing a fence {on my property} “It would be a courtesy you know.”  or if we were approved for a fence, would I ”plant something alongside the side property to soften the look of the fence. Because we do have a certified botanist on the committee if you would like some ideas.” 

Ummm…. Let me guess. He’d suggest I plant rhododendrons? Ya. I’ll be sure and get some free gardening advice. You bet. Sign me up. Blah Blah Blah, smile, wave yada, yada, yada.

Just approve me for a freakin’ fence so I can get back to playing in the dirt already.

master closet lucy

So now we wait.

Will Lucy get to run around a play outside like dogs all over the world do every single day? Will Mavis get to plant something in the privacy of her own FENCED backyard without passerby’s asking questions?

Tune in next week for Mavis vs the HOA Part 5

The saga continues…

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel