Posts filed under ‘Frugal Living’

Seed Saving 101: 10 Things to Know If You Want to Start Saving Seeds

Image result for home seed saving

Beans. That’s right. If you want to start saving seeds, we recommend beans. Or peas. Why? Legumes are by far the easiest seeds to save, and among the easiest to germinate. You can’t go wrong. With that, let’s learn more about the basics of seed saving.

In order for a plant like lettuce to produce seed, you must wait for it to send up its gangly flower stalks, which eventually produce tiny seed pods. By this time. the lettuce leaves are becoming yellow, shriveled, and bitter. It’s the same with most crops—you don’t get to eat it and save the seed; it’s either one or the other. The good news is that a single plant produces many seeds. So you usually need to grow only a few extra for seed-saving purposes.

Read Seed Saving 101: 10 Things to Know If You Want to Start Saving Seeds by Modern Farmer.

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July 23, 2018 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

Why every house should be designed for multigenerational living

In many cultures, multi-generational households are pretty standard; your parents took care of you, and now you take care of them. In China, almost every apartment sold has three bedrooms: one for the parents, one for the kid, and one for grandma.

But in the United States, Canada and many European countries, the natural progression has been to get a job or get married and move out to set up your own household. And from the end of World War II to the low point around 1980, that was pretty much what happened.

However as of late, particularly since the Great Recession, the number of multigenerational households has increased dramatically.

Read Why every house should be designed for multigenerational living by Lloyd Alter at Treehugger.

May 2, 2018 at 10:51 am Leave a comment

Where do you fall on the personal finance spectrum?

Image result for 20 dollar bills  canada

Finance writer Trent Hamm divides people into categories based on their financial decisions.

The idea of a savings spectrum, as described by Hamm, intrigues me. It makes it easier to understand the differences between households and how one can save so much more than another, and how lifestyle choices affect that. Seeing an actual savings rate portrayed in percentages is helpful too; it makes it easier to see where I fit in, relative to where I want to be — and what I need to do in order to get there.

Hamm’s finance spectrum consists of seven categories. These are differentiated by colors.

RED are those people living paycheck to paycheck, with a savings rate of 0% to 2%. These people usually have nice things, expensive homes and new cars, take swanky vacations, and treat their possessions as disposable.

Read Where do you fall on the personal finance spectrum? by Katherine Martinko at Treehugger.

 

March 21, 2018 at 11:26 am Leave a comment

The Nursing Home That’s Also a Dorm

More retirement and nursing homes are asking college students to move in, an arrangement that benefits everyone.

On his way home from class, Jurriën Mentink takes a slight detour to pick up some fresh fillets from the fishmonger. His neighbor has an affinity for fish and, since he cycles by the market anyway, it’s really no trouble.

After paying, he hops back on his bike and heads home. He’ll visit his neighbor, have dinner, maybe do some studying or kick back to watch TV. Much like any other university student.

Except home is a nursing home. And his neighbor just turned 93.

Read The Nursing Home That’s Also a Dorm by Tiffany R. Jansen at City Lab.

February 7, 2018 at 11:42 am Leave a comment

TLTI thinking tiny (homes)

When it comes to new housing, the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands is thinking small.

Tiny, in fact.

Council members decided this week to embrace the tiny-house movement that has become the darling of environmental trend-setters in the United States and Europe.

They asked planning director Elaine Mallory to prepare a zoning bylaw amendment that would remove the minimum size requirements for new houses, and include tiny houses in the township’s definition of permissible dwellings.

The township’s building rules now say that new houses should be at least 807 square feet in size, although houses can go as small as 484 square feet in a mobile home park.

Tiny houses, on the other hand, can run as small as 223 square feet, plus a “wash closet” in the bachelor model.

Read TLTI thinking tiny (homes) by Wayne Lowrie at The Brockville Recorder and Times.

Hat tip to Transition Brockville for this post.

 

 

 

October 18, 2017 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

How Shared Housing Can Help Counter Social Isolation Among Seniors

senior-shared-housingThe term “elder orphan” describes a senior citizen who doesn’t have children, a spouse, or family nearby to help them out. Elder orphans are often socially isolated and at-risk of not having their basic needs met. As the Baby Boomer generation grows older, housing alternatives, such as senior villages, senior cohousing networks, and shared housing units, are emerging as community-focused solutions to the problem of isolation.

While shared housing may be thought of a something young people do, it offers seniors social connection, an informal support system, assistance with tasks, and an opportunity to save money. I spoke with Annamarie Pluhar, shared housing advocate and the author of “Sharing Housing: a Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates,” about the best ways for seniors to find and keep housemates and enjoy sharing their home with someone else.

Read How Shared Housing Can Help Counter Social Isolation Among Seniors by Cat Johnson at Shareable.

July 24, 2017 at 10:36 am Leave a comment

Make Your Own Off-the-Grid Yogurt in Large Jars

Water bath pot over pilot light method. Photo © Liesl Clark

I’m amazed at how hard it is to find yogurt in glass. Supermarket yogurt is all in plastic containers and if you’re trying to keep your family plastic-free, yogurt would have to be taken off your list. Unless you make your own.

The simple process of making yogurt in a pot, bowl or jars in the sun or by a fire should’ve stuck with me, but somehow I became complacent thinking I needed a yogurt maker to make the good stuff. Not so.

Today, I make yogurt in bulk — large quart mason jars of it so I can share starter with friends or barter it for other fresh produce or home-made goodies. I don’t need any electricity to make it so I call it off-the-grid yogurt, reminiscent of my teen days in France.

Read the full article: Make Your Own Off-the-Grid Yogurt in Large Jars by Leisel Clark at Trashbackwards.

July 10, 2017 at 10:16 am Leave a comment

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