Posts filed under ‘Frugal Living’

Tips on Freezing the Harvest

It’s that time of year—the garden is bulging with fresh produce and you’re spending lots of time in a steaming kitchen preserving it all. I find freezing preferable to canning for a number of reasons.

For one, when it’s time to prepare a meal with my preserved garden goodness, frozen foods tend to be brighter, fresher, and all-around tastier. And relatively speaking, it’s fast and easy.

Over the years, I’ve come up with a few tips to make freezing even easier. Use these freezing hacks to help the environment, too.

Read Tips on Freezing the Harvest by Carole Coates at Mother Earth News.

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September 12, 2018 at 10:40 am Leave a comment

12 Ways to Stop Wasting Money and Take Control of Your Stuff

In my work as a consumer psychologist and author, I’ve read countless studies about consumer behavior, and I’ve conducted plenty of research on my own, interviewing hundreds of shoppers about how, when, and why they shop. Here’s what I’ve learned about how to avoid piling up too much stuff and how to stop making unnecessary, excessive, and ultimately unsatisfying purchases.

Read12 Ways to Stop Wasting Money and Take Control of Your Stuff by Kit Yarrow at Money.

August 13, 2018 at 10:05 am Leave a comment

10 overlooked low-tech ways of keeping your home cool

Summer is here and the air is full of the the sound of whining air conditioners, all seriously sucking kilowatts. Yet much of that air conditioning load could be reduced or the air conditioning season shortened if we did simple things, many of them common before air conditioning was common in North America. Here are some low-tech tips for keeping cool.

The best ideas are those that keep the heat out of your home in the first place, rather than paying to pump it out after it gets in.

Read 10 overlooked low-tech ways of keeping your home cool by Lloyd Alter at Treehugger.

August 1, 2018 at 10:14 am Leave a comment

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.

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

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

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