Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

April 28, 2013

Low-cost Mother’s Day ideas and gardening tips

Melinda Hester
The Independent

ASHLAND — Are frugal people cheap? I prefer to call them “upscale tightwads.” We save money on everything, from shopping thrift stores for high-end clothing to everything else in between.

Jeff Foxworthy wants to know: “How do you know if you’re a couponer? You might know if you post pictures of what you bought at the store on Facebook. Look, I got all of this for 17 cents. You’re a couponer!”

If your idea of a fun Tuesday night is shopping with your friends at CVS, you might be a couponer.

If you are thinking of giving your mother a basket of high-priced goodies for Mother’s Day that cost you pennies on the dollar, you might be a couponer. If you are on a tight budget, this might be a good idea. Think gift basket with tissue paper and a bow. Nice facial creams, body wash, fingernail polish. We take it all. Theme your basket. You may want to do a coffee basket. Use a coupon to buy coffee at a cheaper price, and put in a nice mug, biscotti and a coffee creamer. Or how about a bathing basket with Nivia Bodywash, a squishy net sponge from the Dollar Tree, expensive shampoo we were paid to take home and a name-brand lotion.

Free at the Dollar

Tree this week

Maybelline Hydra Time Lipstick: $1; use $2 for one or $1 for one; free. Also fun in a basket.

Nivia LipCare Strawberry: $1; use $1 for one; free

Rimmel London Eye Shadow: $1; use $1 for one; free

SoftSoap Bar Soap: $1; use $1 for one; free

Zicam Cold Remedy: $1; use $2 for one; free

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Using coupons is fun and easy. I practice ethical couponing, not extreme couponing. I also write about frugal-living topics, gardening and cooking. We are in the Ashland area, so the deals posted are for this area.

For maximum deals, follow blogs. They are free on the Internet and a great help in couponing. I always follow KrazyCouponLady, Hip 2 Save, Savings Lifestyle, Deal Seeking Mom and Common Sense With Money.

Gardening tips

Gardening time is here. It’s time to put lettuce, snow peas and kale in the ground. Read websites or watch YouTube for the best way to plant and to get free gardening tips. I’m already planning our tomato garden. Grow food you will use. We use a lot of tomatoes, and I love the heirloom varieties. I prefer tomato plants grown by the Amish. They have kept the older varieties going. Visit stores such as Ashland Milling for plants at a very fair price.

Herbs are one of the greatest savers. If you have priced fresh herbs in the deli, you’ll find them extremely costly. I love fresh mint for my iced tea. I keep a little section of three different kinds going. Pinterest on Facebook has taught us to cut fresh herbs and freeze them in ice cubes for later use. This maximizes using all of the herb you can from the plant. You know it didn’t have pesticide on it and where it was grown. Wash herbs in a vinegar water solution before using.

As for growing plants, you will excel at some and not do well with others. Experiment to find ones that do well. Learn from other gardeners. You’ll find gardening is a very productive hobby.

Spring cleaning

Here’s another recipe for a cleaner:

2 tsp. Borax

1 tsp. washing soda (not baking soda)

1⁄2 cup white vinegar

2 cups hot water

1⁄2 tsp. Dawn Blue Dish Liquid

Combine all ingredients, put in a spray bottle and shake it. This is a natural cleaner — great if you have asthma.

CVS

Dawn Dish Liquid: 99 cents; use 25- or 50-cent coupons

Free Hershey or Mars candy bar from the Coupon Machine; limit one

Clairol Nice and Easy Hair Color: $5.99; use buy one, get one Pantene free coupon. Buy two Pantene products and use a coupon for $3 off. This isn’t cheating; it’s just fun! Yes, it’s legal!

Crest Pro Health: $3.49 minus $1 ExtraBucks minus $1.50 coupon equals $1.99 with $1 ExtraBuck

Zyrtec: $6 coupon; $6 free five-count

Visit cvs.com for printable stackable coupons. Put your deals together at home. Use your calculator and have some fun.

NOTE: This is Procter & Gamble Sunday, so buy extra newspapers to last the entire month.