Our Frugal Lifestyle

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Passionate about eco-frugality. I used to party hard, clubbing my way from pay-packet to pay-packet. Never getting ahead, just getting by. Then came our much wanted baby with no savings in the bank - only an old car. Changes were made to our lifestyle and we didn't turn back. In the past 6yrs we purchased a flat, found employment, lived below our means, built an emergency fund, purchased a reliable car and saw the financial benefits of our frugal lifestyle. Our only debt is our mortgage. Our aim is to manage our cash flow wisely, pay off our home quickly and eventually work for pleasure, not necessity. Join us on our journey, share insights, tips and tricks to help us and others to get ahead while having a good time.

Friday, July 1, 2011

We Got Down & Dirty and Sowed Some Seeds

Gardening has been my project this year to get my shopping costs down, be more sustainable and have local organic produce.

While I garden The Rambling Expat usually tinkers at home or goes fishing for pleasure and food. However on this day he donned his fishing clothes and joined me to get my bottom plot more fertile for planting while Dolly played in the gardens around us.

The Rambling Expat Serious as Always.
We started off with an extremely thick layer of wood chip which I had been watering everyday for 2 months to aid the breakdown. We covered this with a 5cm compost soil.
Original Wood Chip

Raking with Style
We watered the soil and added a thick layer of mulch and we watered some more.
We set up 2 tressels on each side of the plot. We planted a passionfruit plant at one side and 3 cucumber seedlings on the other. We also planted 3 capsicum seedlings, 1 chilli seedling and a lone pumpkin seed. Now I water and wait with impatience for the millimeter by millimeter growth.

A few days latter I went shopping at the dump shop... twice. The girl likes the shop if the product is good and the price is right :-)
Home Made Bike at the Dump Shop
Human Power Mowers at the Dump Shop.
I purchased a cage without a base ($2.50) to protect my pumpkin seed that has been growing beautifully. I purchased an old wooden clothes rack ($2.50) to protect the cucumbers and chillis. A lady came by and donated a few tomato seedlings for my garden plot. So I placed an old wooden table base ($5 - from the dump shop) to protect them from THIS. Those cheeky birds LOVE to dig up lovely rich garden beds and seedlings.
Your Trash = My Treasure
Once my seedlings are established and less vulnerable I will use the rack and base as tressels to allow my climbing plants to grow upwards. It's a slow work in progress as I learn the skill of gardening little step by little step.

And not long after Dolly and I made a lovely scarecrow to give our plot some extra girl power.

(I've been searching for a blog on a family in USA that decided to grow their own, buy local and become more sustainable. They wrote a book of their years experience. Do you know it? Can you point me in the right direction? I remember they showed their bountiful harvests in lovely photo's. I want to borrow the book at my library and I know they have 2 copies but because I can't remember the title I can't find it and neither can the staff. I think the family consisted of a mum, dad and 1 daughter.)

Thanks to Lisa's comment I found the book title I was after - and my public library has 2 copies!!! Can't wait to read it. Take a look. HERE. Have you read it? Did you find it informative, entertaining or not for you?


  1. Hi, I reached your blog while blog hopping and had a good read. I hope you enjoy eating everything that you grow. You are certainly putting in a lot of hard work.
    Love from Mum
    PS Sorry, we're not a US family. Just a UK one.

  2. There are several. Can you give me more clues? The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacycyzn ??? The Hillbilly Housewife?

  3. Haha had a smile at your last picture, it looks like you built an assault course. Your doing a great job there. Do you have the problem of slugs and snails in your gardens? I guess it's too dry in your country for them. They are a pain for the british gardener.

  4. Hi Mum, I enjoyed your blog too. Nice photos.

    Hi Practical, I edited my request a bit. It's none of the ones you mentioned. It was a family going greener.

    Hi Karen, No snails or slugs. Just lots of tropical diseases, scrub fowls and grasshoppers.

  5. Is it animal vegetable miracle? I love that book! Your garden is coming along great, your produce will taste great. I'm jealous though - planting chillies and cucumbers in winter! Lucky you!

  6. Lisa - Yes Yes Yes - You found it for me!!! Your a Gem!!! Can't wait to borrow from the library it and have a read.

  7. Oh good! I have borrowed that book so many times from my library that I feel like its mine! Have you read The 100 Mile Diet? That's a good one too.

  8. Yep, that would be Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I am re-reading it at the moment and falling in love with it all over again.


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