Dollar Diet: Week 22 – aberrations

Tots in Tawhero

Okay, so this week was not the best in terms of expenditure and frugal living.  We were very spendy over the long weekend, as that extra day off gave us more opportunity to get into the garden.

D tried to borrow a chainsaw to do maintenance around our property for about a year, but chainsaws are the sort of equipment that people aren’t keen to lend out.  Everyone with a chainsaw attests to the temperamental nature of their own machine.  A builder friend of ours offered to come over and do some chainsawing for us, but as he is a busy guy with a family it just didn’t happen.

We have several large trees that are in serious need of trimming, and some trees that need to be removed because they are too close to power lines or they were planted in rather odd locations.   Along with a slightly derelict chicken coop, we also inherited a shed full of wood – which is brilliant as we have a wood-burner, but the pieces of wood were too large to fit into said wood-burner!

Normally I recommend trying to borrow items like these, but we caved in and bought a chainsaw after seeing one for an excellent price at one of our local hardware stores (D had trouble assembling it and took it back to the store where it was discovered the chainsaw was defective, so D got the next, more expensive model up for the same price as the original.  Score).  The chainsaw has almost paid for itself in terms of firewood that we don’t have to buy this winter, now that we can chop up the wood in our shed into useable pieces.

D also bought a water blaster as it was half price, but I am not so sold on the ‘need’ for it.  Oh well, we will at least be able to lend it to our neighbours.

I spent about $40 at one of our local garden centres buying plants for a part of our garden that has been a nightmare to maintain.  I still cringe when I see this strip of garden that runs up the side of our house (which we almost never use) as much of it is still in dire need of weeding.  Again, this garden was um, strangely planted, with almost no covering plants so there is considerable room for weeds to grow quite comfortably.  There are several lovely rose bushes up against a fence, but it is almost impossible to weed by them due to a reasonably high box hedge planted right in front.

A strip of bricks was also put down between the fence and the path, and was also a weed-friendly zone.  While I love, love, love bricks in the garden, these beauties served absolutely no purpose (it wasn’t a wide enough strip of bricks to walk or sit on) so D and I took them out.  I replaced them with several groundcovering plants, so at least this section of garden will be easier to maintain.

Deciding where to put my plants

Deciding where to put my plants

It is very tricky to garden with my 10 month old in tow as he tries to eat everything in sight, but when I get a chance, I will be looking to give the rest of this side garden a similar treatment.  Even though I balked at spending that much money for such a small strip of garden, I truly believe the new plants are a good investment as I won’t have to spend hours and hours weeding that area any more.

I have plans to recycle our lovely red clay bricks, which are a slice of Whanganui history as they are quite old and possibly put in the garden several owners ago.  I haven’t quite decided on what I will do with them, but I like this idea, or this fun idea, and this one too.  I have plenty of bricks to do all of them when time permits.Another thing we did was not meal plan before we went shopping, something we’ve not done in years.  We managed to come in under budget, but several things were forgotten and neccesitated further shopping trips.  Admittedly our first non-meal plan trip happened accidentally.  As it was a long weekend we popped in to grab a few things the day before I’d normally shop and ended up just going ‘what the heck, let’s just do a big shop now’.  I can’t even remember shopping this way in the past, without a meal plan in mind, but I did prior to getting married.   I certainly won’t be doing that again!

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