Handy Hand Tool Storage

Country Style Mailbox

Normally I don’t consider myself a very organized person. But, one thing that really frustrates me is when I go looking for my hand trowel or hand shovel in my usual storage spot and finding it NOT THERE. That really bugs me and the more I have to walk around the property looking for the needed tool, the more frustrated I get.

It doesn’t help that Graham and I both work in the garden and work with the same tools. So really when I need the hand trowel, who knows where the heck it is?

Here’s what I am going to do. I saw something like this on Pinterest and thought it was a fantastic idea! Just get a mailbox, attach it to a post in the garden and boom – automatic hand tool storage!

 

Country Style Mailbox

I could use any old mailbox, but I want a decorated one like this one – I love this country looking mailbox.

So, once it is put into place in the garden, it will just be a matter of both of us getting used to using a tool and then putting it back. Where. It. Belongs. In. The. Mailbox.

No more searching through the garden to find small hand tools. As long as we put things back where they belong, it should be easy (and less frustrating).

 

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5 Ways I Am Saving Money Right Now

Winter Day on the Homestead

We have been living quite “low to the ground” over the last several weeks and it is so nice to be able to do that. We’ve got heat, we’ve got food and we’ve got a list of things on the to do list. Whether we are reducing our expenses to save money or paying off debt, there is always a good reason for us to try to spend less and save more.

Here’s 5 ways we’re saving some good money each month:

1) Keep the woodstove stoked – We’re running the woodstove every day and most nights as well. The odd night if the weather is warm enough, we let the stove go out overnight and don’t stoke it before bed. This gives us a chance to clean out the ashes and lower box the next morning too. The ashes get sprinkled on our outside steps and walkways, saving us money on salt during the winter.

Don’t have a woodstove? Keep your heat at 68 especially at night. Too cool? Put a few layers on. Every morning at this time of year,  I wear a toque while I get the woodstove cranking. A person loses a lot of their body heat out their head, so having a hat on really helps. Why do you think people use to wear stocking caps to bed?

2) Eat out of the Cold Room – Food prices at the grocery store are at the highest levels of the year right now. Add to that all the weather related problems affecting crops still in the ground. Food prices are going to go higher yet. We’re eating 98% out of our cold room and freezer right now.

If you are not yet storing home grown and canned food, let this be the year you start. You will be amazed with lower grocery store bills and you will be eating healthier too. Plan to start or enlarge a garden this year. Do it!

3) Declutter and make some money – Finally, this year I have been forcing myself to spend time on Ebay every day. We still have lots of boxes downstairs full of stuff. Stuff we don’t need. It’s taking up a lot of room, so I am committed to getting things listed and gone. It’s putting a few dollars in the jeans which I can turn around and donate to local causes.

How much “stuff” do you have  laying around? Think again about whether you need it or not. No? Then sell it on Craigslist or Ebay. Put the money towards whatever you are saving for.

4) Stop using the dryer – We have a three story house and the woodstove is on the main floor. I bought a couple of these folding drying racks and I set them up when I need them.

I put them out of the way in our upstairs hallway. The heat from the woodstove dries the clothes for free.

I’ve also unplugged one of our freezers. After harvest time (of food and animals) we do need to run two freezers. I keep an eye on when I can combine the contents into one, so I can unplug the other one. This saves on our electric bill – you can check appliance costs per year here.

Pantry Full of Food

5) Stay home – This is a huge money saver for us. We live 20 minutes from the corner store and post office, so fuel costs and wear on vehicles become major savings for us. Even if you live in town, simply staying home more saves a lot of money. Unless you are the type of person who can go to town and not spend a single cent. I know I’m not that woman!

We’re doing grocery shopping once a week, travelling 40 minutes one way to do it. The bill is really low, but we do need things like coffee, sugar, milk. We combine it with a trip to the library (give me two books a week to read and I am a happy girl) and pick up whatever other supplies we need. Sometimes we enjoy a nice lunch in town, because treating ourselves is important too.

How do you save money? How do you reduce your monthly expenses?

(originally published February 2105)

 

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