We Need Your Gardening Tips!

frugal-gardening-tips

Do you love to garden? Over the years we’ve done a variety of different types of gardens with our kids. They love growing their own food and it’s been a great way to get them to try new things as well.

I’m always looking for new gardening ideas and tips. Do you have a great one you’d like to share? I’m working on an gardening ebook and I’d love to include your best gardening tip!

Anyone who submits a tip will receive a free copy of the ebook when it is finished. I’d love to learn from you and help encourage other readers to give gardening a try!

If you have a tip you can submit it below. If you have more than one tip just refresh this page and submit a new tip.

Gardening Ebook

  • Please leave a link to your website if you have one.
  • Please share your best gardening tip here.
  • If you would like to share a picture of your garden or gardening tip please upload it here.
  • If you would like to share a picture of your garden or gardening tip please upload it here.
  • If you would like to share a picture of your garden or gardening tip please upload it here.
    All images submitted are my own. I give TheHappyHousewife.com permission to republish this tip and images on the web and in print.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Cleaning with Baking Soda

By contributing writer Angie

Baking soda isn’t just for baking cookies and making science fair volcano experiments, even though both of those can be pretty fun. Cleaning with baking soda can be an inexpensive, safe, and green cleaning alternative, just like its science fair volcano friend, vinegar.

So, why not go get a big box of baking soda and try out some of these cleaning methods that you might not have tried before?

Cleaning with Baking Soda | The Happy Housewife

10 Ways to Start Cleaning with Baking Soda

1. Remove trash can odors. To help neutralize trash can smells, you can sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your trash can. If you have particularly bad trash can odors, you can even follow up that method by sprinkling some more baking soda inside the trash bag.

2. Kitchen drain cleaner. If you have a garbage disposal, then you might have had the experience of a stinky kitchen sink. To combat this smell, as well as do some cleaning, add a half cup of baking soda to your drain while running very hot water.

3. Clean tiled floors. By adding a half cup of baking soda to a bucket of warm water, you can clean your tiled floors. For particularly tough spots, you can make a paste for spot cleaning.

4. Use as a surface cleaner. Counter tops can be cleaned by sprinkling baking soda on the surface and then wiping it down with warm water.

5. Deodorize carpets. To give your carpet an extra cleaning the next time you vacuum, just sprinkle baking soda in carpeted areas and let it sit for 10 – 15 minutes. Once the time has passed, vacuum the carpet as you usually would.

6. Spot cleaning spills on carpets. You should first clean up as much of the spill as possible and dry the area. Then, you can spread the area with baking soda to help get rid of odors that might occur, especially if the spill was able to soak far into the carpet. After you’ve allowed the baking soda to sit for 10 – 15 minutes, vacuum that area of the carpet.

7. Get rid of refrigerator and freezer odors. This is, of course, a classic use for baking soda. In fact, they even sell boxes that are specially made to allow maximum air flow through the box in order to help them be more effective. Just remember to change the refrigerator and freezer baking soda boxes periodically. While there isn’t any harm in forgetting and leaving them there, they will become less effective.

8. Cleaning food stuck on pots and pans. If you have food stuck on pots and pans that just won’t budge, you can sprinkle on a decent amount of baking soda and then add hot water to the pan. Allow it to sit for several hours before trying to work on the stuck-on food again. It still may take some work to remove it, but the baking soda should help.

9. Boost your laundry’s cleaning power. By adding a half to a full cup of baking soda to your laundry, you can help brighten and clean your clothes.

10. Clean up grease spills. Baking soda can be poured on grease spills and then scrubbed to clean the greasy area.

Do you use baking soda as a cleaning agent in your home? If so, what is your favorite use?

More from The Happy Housewife

photo by Joel Kramer


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Prepare Your Vegetable Garden for Spring

By contributing writer Angie

The season for vegetable gardening is coming to an end in many parts of the country. After a long spring and summer of working on the garden, it can be tempting to just let the cold weather take over and pretend like you don’t remember that you still have a garden.

This is the perfect time, however, to prepare your vegetable garden for next year.

Prepare Your Vegetable Garden for Spring | The Happy Housewife

7 Ways to Prepare Your Vegetable Garden for Spring

Pull Out Dead and Dying Plants

After you’ve gathered the last of what you can from your vegetable garden, especially if you have an impending frost and no covers, it’s the perfect time to remove the last of any dead, dying, or diseased plants from your garden. If you have a compost pile or bin, it is best to not put any of your plants that have become diseased into it.

Plant a Cover Crop

There are a variety of crops that are suitable for planting in your garden after you’ve pulled out your vegetable plants. One example, which is a hearty choice for cold weather, is winter wheat.

Cover crops can help add nutrients back into the soil, especially if you are growing many of the same types of vegetables in your garden each year. A cover crop can also help fight back weeds and minimize soil erosion. Once your growing season comes around again in the spring, just plow under the winter cover crop.

Take Advantage of Falling Leaves

There is no reason to bag up your fallen leaves this year. Rake them up into a large pile, and use a mulching mower several times to mulch them into the perfect cover and compost for your garden. Even if you don’t have a vegetable garden, you can put these mulched leaves around other plants in your yard for a little extra winter warmth.

Plant Hearty Winter Plants

If you live in a climate where winter is still a viable growing season, your preparations in the fall are even more important. Get your winter crops ready by getting them planted. If your winter weather is mild, it may still be a good idea to have row covers ready, just in case.

Bring the Garden Inside

While you can’t bring your whole vegetable garden inside, it can brighten up the cold winter days to have a kitchen garden box full of fresh herbs. Find a nice sunny spot, and enjoy your grocery store savings over the course of the winter as you use the fresh herbs readily growing in your kitchen.

Look for End of Season Deals

As stores make room for fall and winter holiday merchandise, they put outdoor and garden supplies on clearance. This can be a great time to save money while picking up something that you’ve had your eye on all summer.

Add Nutrients Back into the Soil

Have your garden soil tested to see if it is lacking some important nutrients. While you still may need to add more of the lacking nutrients in the spring, adding them now will help get your soil a little closer to ready for spring planting.

Do you garden? What are you doing in your garden at this time of year?

photo by Southern Foodways Alliance

More posts from Angie


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Six Ways to Use Newspaper

Six Ways to Repurpose Old Newspapers

by contributing writer Angie

If you regularly receive newspapers, you know how they can pile up after they’ve been read.  Hopefully you’re making sure to recycle these newspapers.  However, recycling isn’t your only option for old newspapers.  Here are six ways to use newspaper around your home.

Compost

Composting is the ultimate recycle around our house.  We love knowing that the things that we’ve put in are going to eventually become rich soil for our garden.  Newspaper is a perfect addition to your composting efforts, or even to layer right into a garden before planting.  Newspaper can be an especially great thing to add to your composting bin if you find yourself adding a lot of vegetable, or “green,” matter.

Gift Wrap

This is a classic use for old newspaper.  Of course, it’s a classic for a reason.  With the price of wrapping paper rising all the time, why not go green and wrap gifts with newspapers that you’ve already read, especially something fun like the comics.  While you probably won’t want to go this route for a wedding gift, it is fun and appropriate for many less formal occasions. See more Frugal Gift Wrap Ideas here!

Glass Cleaner

For years, I used various glass cleaners for the windows and mirrors in my home.  It was only after my Grandmother passed away that I thought nostalgically on her washing all of those things with a vinegar and water mix and old newspaper as a “cloth.”  I thought it seemed like such a crazy thought to try to wash something like mirrors and windows with newspapers.  However, since trying it, my mirrors and windows have never been cleaner.  See 15 Ways to Use Vinegar to Clean your Home here.

Art Projects

Keeping a stack of old newspapers with art supplies for kids is a perfect way to attempt to save surfaces that might otherwise get marked up with paint and markers from your child’s latest art project.  Newspaper mats aren’t just for kids though, as I often lay them out when I am creating a painting as well.  Not only does it keep my work area neat and speed clean up, but I can also doodle or test colors on it.

Packing Material

If you’ve ever packed up your household and moved, you know what a life saver old newspapers can be for packing up delicate items.  While the newsprint means that you might need to wash items after you’ve unpacked them, hopefully you’ll just be pleased that your breakables have made it to their new home in one piece.

Vegetable Crisper Helper

A vegetable crisper drawer in the refrigerator can have the problem of too much moisture.  Adding in some old newspaper can absorb both moisture and some odors.

What are some other ways that you use newspaper?

photo by Erich Ferdinand

More posts from Angie


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.