There are many benefits to commuting to work via foot. It's healthy, you don't need gasoline, etc. But have you ever considered what traveling on foot may allow you to spot...free stuff at the curb. Now this is a line some "frugal folks" won't cross, but not me. And last week as I sipped coffee and walked to my office I saw a house that had thrown out what appeared to be perfectly fine bird feeder / planter pole. Obviously not something I could pick up and carry to work, so out came the cell phone and I called my husband. And an hour or so later they took the same path, headed to a park, picked up the tossed gem, and had it waiting for me when I got home. In its second life, it is front and center of our new flower bed in the front yard.
Sunday the kids and I picked up some inexpensive feeders at Woodmans, which we have given a second chance (it's a mega grocery that can try ones nerves, especially when the one shopping has two little kids) because prices on dairy are quite good. Plus, I like spending my dollars locally when possible. Afterwards we were joined by my mom (Sunday was a day my husband spent working, having covered me all of Friday when I was writing) and we went to a garden center I discovered last year.
The Flower Factory in Stoughton is not frugal at first glance. Reaching it requires the car and a 20 minute drive into the country. But to me it is frugal, and here is why. One, they only sell perennials. Those are plants that should come back year after year, barring any munching by critters or excessive heat or rain. Two, they sell quality plants, emphasis on quality. Three, they have highly knowledgeable staff who can answer your questions. And fourth, they have a sand pile play area for kids! This is the deal breaker for me. I can shop, the kids can play as my mom watches over them. Then we trade roles while she makes a few selections. No whining children. No broken plants or containers. Bliss among the birds, woods, and other shoppers. Caution -- if you are shopping with young children and or seniors with health issues, avoid the hot afternoons of summer here....it can get blazing hot!
And as I made my selections (2 lavenders and 2 irises) I realized how expensive the plants in my yard are. Peonies sold for $22 a plant! Day Lilies and hostas are all over my yard.
So I will continue efforts to transplant whatever I can. Which will be needed to fill in the hole created in the front of our house when I had the 1980s style evergreens removed a few weeks ago. And here is the latest image of our frugal transformed front yard. So far the cost has been less than $100.