Apr 02 2012

Refunds and starting a little patio garden

On Saturday, I went on a whirlwind errand run:

Returned a mouth guard to Walgreens for a full refund. I bought it because I had been having dental pain, but I couldn’t adjust it enough to be comfortable. It triggered a gag reflex and I couldn’t sleep while wearing it. I’m glad the manufacturer offered a 30-day moneyback guarantee.

Next stop: Starbucks. I haven’t been there in so long, it took me a minute to look over the menu. I got…a free coffee. I purchased a pound of Starbucks coffee from the grocery awhile ago, and noticed some text on the bottom of the bag. It said I could take the empty bag (within 30 days of the best-by date) to a Starbucks for a free 12 oz. coffee. So I did.

Next stop: Kohl’s to return three shirts that didn’t fit my husband. Well…let me back up. Two shirts didn’t fit. The third shirt? It was the exact same shirt that I bought for him awhile back. Same pattern. Same everything. He likes the shirt well enough, but he doesn’t need two.

Last stop: Walmart. Bought some seeds in a seed-growing pack. I’m going to try tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, basil and cilantro. All organic. Woo! They’re hanging out on my window sill right now, and with a little bit of luck I’ll have some sprouts soon enough. I’ll transfer them into pots and keep them on my patio (except for the herbs — those I’ll keep in my kitchen). That way, if we have a frost advisory I can move ask my husband to put them in the garage.

Growing seeds on my window sill

Some seeds hopefully growing on my window sill. Yes, my kitchen is still obnoxious bright red. Working on it!

Pretty sure the kits + pots + potting soil (which I’ve yet to buy) are way more expensive than it would cost me to just buy the produce at the farmer’s market. I spent about $15 on the seed kits and probably $30 or so on the pots. I know I can reuse the pots next year so that helps. Then again, it isn’t that hard to spend a lot on local organic produce so maybe it will be a decent financial move.

I don’t know a single thing about gardening. I haven’t bothered to learn much, except for reading the package of the seed kits I bought. I’m just going to see what happens with it. I’m hopeful I’ll have stuff to make a nice salad, and if not, well, whatever.

I don’t intend to have a small garden to save money, though if it ends up giving me a big ol bumper crop of tomatoes I’ll be happy about that. I’m doing this with the hopes of having delicious, fresh organic produce available to me. Plus, I think my son will get a huge kick out of watching our seeds turn into tomatoes.

I wanna get a lot done this week:

  • Review my state & federal income taxes one more time before putting it in the mail. I can’t e-file this year. Bummer.
  • Figure my Bethel Park, PA municipality income taxes one final time. It’s been almost a year since we started the move-back-to-Indiana process. Can’t believe it.
  • Create my FLOP — financial life, one page document. My paperwork is just a disorganized mess and I need to create some order. I bought some more file folders and a fire-resistant¬†box for my important stuff, and I just want to get it done so I don’t have to waste mental energy on it anymore.
That’s plenty. How ’bout you? Are you gardening any this year?

7 Responses to “Refunds and starting a little patio garden”

  1. Before I got my braces in 2008, I grinded my teeth at night. I bought really cheap mouth guards from the sporting goods department at Walmart. They were just a couple of dollars each. I bought the child sized ones since I have a small mouth. I always cut the very back off on each side so that it didn’t make me gag. Then, you boil it in water and stick it in your mouth to shape it. They worked great for me!

  2. That’s great you’re getting into gardening. My dad is really into it and I’ve learned a lot from him. Since we rent right now it’s not possible to start a garden, but I hope that when we own a home that I have a little spot out back that I can experiment with!

  3. I grind my teeth as well. A good tip if you buy OTC mouth guards, is to make sure you run the mouth guard under really hot water and then mold to your teeth. Also, before you wear it to bed, do the same thing and put it under hot water – it molds better and you hopefully won’t gag again. If you break teeth because of the teeth grinding, make sure you get a new mouth guard and start over. It won’t fit right if you don’t.

    Another thing I am in the process of learning is starting seeds. For the past 3 years, I’ve been trying to start tomato seeds and have been a total flop. This year, I did even more research then before (try burpee gardens, etc), and my seeds are actually taking off. The tomato seedlings are about 5 inches tall now and my past failures were all because I watered too much. Once the sprouts sprout, you need to watch the soil. If it is light brown, water. If dark brown, it has enough water.

    Thank you for your blog – I read all the time, but don’t get to post since I have 3 young children.


  4. If my seeds turn out to be total duds, I still have time to go buy some pre-sprouted sprouts. Or whatever they’re called. Seedlings? idk.

    Thanks for the tip on how to know how much water I should do! And thanks so much for your kind words, it really means a lot to me!

  5. It’s pretty difficult to grow hardy plants from seed on a windowsill, but not impossible. Farmers either sow the seeds directly outdoors or use greenhouses with climate control. You need to strengthen the plants and grow strong stalks – so set those sprouts outdoors on sunny days to expose them to light wind and harden then off. Don’t put them outdoors on rainy days because yes, they’re very easy to overwater.

    Tomatoes are hard to grow from seed, but the rest should be easy. If the tomatoes don’t grow, you can get a six pack of hardened tomato plants for $2-5. Yes it’s more than seeds, but still a super bargain compared to the cost of the fruit! Good luck. :)

  6. I bet I will need to just buy some ready-to-go plants…but maybe these things will sprout something. I dunno. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with it!

  7. I tried keeping a house plant a few years ago and it was an utter disaster! I would love to try some herbs, but I got traumatized by my last failure. Good luck to you!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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