Articles, Blog

Cultivate Savings in the Garden | The Cheap Life with Jeff Yeager | AARP

December 4, 2019


Gardening is one of my favorite pastimes.
It’s cheapskate approved and a fine american tradition. It’s also a terrific way to get a
little exercise, enjoy the great outdoors and best of all save some money, by growing your own grub. Stay Cheap! Hey! I’m Jeff Yeager the ultimate cheapskate and host of the Cheap Life. I’ve got some great cheapskate secrets that will help you
get the most out of your garden. Real estate experts say that landscaping,
when done right, can increase the value of some home homes by tens of thousands of dollars and they say money
doesn’t grow on trees. LJ: Speaking of money leave your best cheapskate gardening tips in the comment section below for a chance to win a fifty dollar gift card. First try going flowers, vegetables and herbs from seeds rather than buying seedlings. Plants that start from seeds like these will cost about ninety five
percent less. And that’s no small potato. You can start seedlings in a wide
variety of repurposed containers like cardboard boxes, old toilet paper tubes, even newspaper, or half an egg shell an avocado shell and whatever you do don’t know that away! Plastic clam shell containers are great for making a miniature greenhouse. The perfect incubator for your seedlings. Growing your own food is one of the best ways to
cut down on your grocery bill, take herbs for example. A pack of store bought herbs can cost up to six bucks and only last a meal or two. But if you grow your own it’ll only cost
a couple of bucks and some TLC and you’ll have beautiful, delicious herbs throughout the year. And did you know that newspapers make terrific weedwhackers? Putting down several layers of newspaper before you mulch will help retain moisture and further prevent those pesky little fellers from popping up. Check with your local landfill and road crews for cheap and sometimes even free mulch. Cheapskate shoutout! Here’s a great tip from the daily grain
dot com. Sprinkle good old-fashioned rock salt on gravel driveways and
pathways; places where you definitely don’t want anything to grow in the spring time. It’ll keep weeds from taking root all season long. You know I like to stock up on discounted rock salt at the end of winter. And if there’s any left, its margarita time! Gardeners know the importance of PH
balance in healthy soil. Here’s a cheap and easy home soil test you can do
with just a few household items. Scoop some soil into an container and then add a half a cup of vinegar. If the soil bubbles or fizzes, its alkaline. If there’s no reaction at all scoop some fresh soil into another container and mix with a half a cup of water. Then add a half a cup of baking soda and
see if that soil bubbles and fizzes. If it does that means it’s highly
acidic and you should sprinkle wood ash, lime, coffee grounds or even eggshells on your dirt to help boost the PH level. For a soil that tests alkaline, try spreading pine needles, or sulfur around your yard. This will not only amend the health of your soil, it’ll make your darling flowers say Flower: ” Thank you Mr. Cheapskate” Jeff: Awww Your welcome little fella. I’m Jeff Yeager for the Cheap Life. Get growing and stay cheap! A big cheapskate congratulations to Kris Moore! Winner of a fifty dollar gift card for her romantically cheap Valentine’s day idea. Be sure to check out my other videos. And don’t forget to subscribe. It’s Free!

40 Comments

  • Reply ourrepurposedlives April 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    If you have a pet cat or dog, brush them often and spread the sheddings around any gardening areas that animals seem to be attracted to, especially deer! The loose hair will deter them! Planting marigolds around vegetable gardens will keep the deer away, just as mint will chase off spiders! Use egg shells to start your seeds in. Not only will it provide calcium, it can also be transplanted into the soil with the seedlings!

  • Reply Ben Myob April 30, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    this i don't think counts as saving money but more like making money, there is this plant knowned as a ramp and it is close to a onion except smaller and more garlicky. they can sell for a upwards of 15 dollars per pound. now that is some nice cash i would love to pocket. the only problem is they spread like wild fire so make sure they are away from somewhere were you don't want to have ramps at.

  • Reply 999manman April 30, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    We have tons of ramps growing on the river near me…every year in the ext county over there is a ramp festival where people can try their luck eating the most ramps…the winner gets a bottle of Scope! LOL! Had no idea I could be selling these things.

  • Reply Jeff Yeager April 30, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    I love ramps, plus this time of year I'm livin' largely on fiddlehead ferns and bamboo shoots, both of which are sprouting up in our yard fast than I can eat 'em! That's my kind of gardening.

  • Reply Sarah Kranz April 30, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    I save money by saving seeds from my garden veggies each year and then planting them the next year rather than continually buying new ones. I also save the water I use cooking veggies or pasta, and once its cooled I use it to water my veggies. Or, if I don't want to wait for it to cool, boiling water will kill weeds immediately 🙂

  • Reply djwario619 May 1, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Love ur videos

  • Reply Jeff Yeager May 1, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Thanks! You're obviously a person extraordinary intelligence and good taste when it comes to theater-of-the-cheap.

  • Reply Jeff Yeager May 1, 2013 at 10:46 am

    That's a great idea. In fact, I'd love to do a whole episode on propogating plants, reusing seeds, hosting a plant-swap, etc.

  • Reply Adam Lucas May 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    You have an awesome production team! I get more impressed with every video.

  • Reply Jeff Yeager May 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    You got that right, allz28! We have the best production team money can buy, errrr….

  • Reply Pamela Pollock May 1, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    this season i started all of my tomato seedlings in toilet paper and paper towel rolls for extra deep pots inside of a tall plastic lettuce tub from costco that my husband purchases. all of the tomato plants germinated & grew side roots through the sides of the cardboard rolls. so i just replanted them all in larger pots until it is time to put outside & was able to leave the cardboard rolls in place inside of the new pots. it works great folks! i compost a lot of cardboard & old clothes too!

  • Reply Lisa Hochstetler May 2, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    we always start our seeds in our aerogarden.

  • Reply KristiChan1 May 3, 2013 at 7:10 am

    If you can get your hands on some heirloom seeds, you'll be a happy gardener! Most regular seeds may be cheaper, but they are fiddled with so that it's either difficult or impossible to harvest the next gen seeds for next season, forcing to buy new ones every time. Heirloom cost ranges from "not bad" to "OMG," but you can harvest their seeds countless times so you don't have to keep buying packets every year; you'll make that money back fairly quickly.

  • Reply The Cheap Life May 3, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Good points. Sometimes paying a bit more for quality at the outset will pay off.

  • Reply The Cheap Life May 3, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Another fan of toilet paper rolls…excellent!

  • Reply Jeff Yeager May 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    You take the 95% savings that I mentioned about starting plants from seeds and make it 100%! Now that's cheapskate approved!

  • Reply The Cheap Life May 6, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Egg cartons are egg-cellent seed-starters!

  • Reply The Cheap Life May 6, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Didn't know that about loose pet hair being a deer deterrent. Just thought it was good for bird's nests. Will have to do some more brushing!!

  • Reply The Cheap Life May 6, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Don't forget to share your favorite cheapskate garden tip here for a chance at the $50 gift card! So how was the gardening weather this weekend where you live? Were you able to get a lot done? Or just get outside and enjoy it?

  • Reply Dan Zito May 10, 2013 at 12:52 am

    This spring I "rescued" from the curb side approximately 150 bags of bagged leaves from my neighborhood. The leaves provide excellent mulch throughout my yard keeping weeds down and reducing the amount of work to keep plantings. They conserve water and kept the bagged leaves from landfill. I have an area in the front "leaf island". Seems like a win-win situation to me.

  • Reply lxmn88 May 12, 2013 at 5:04 am

    I found mario

  • Reply ourrepurposedlives May 14, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Some foods bought from the store can be replanted to produce more food, i.e. celery! Just cut off the bottom and place on top of jar where the water touches bottom of the celery. The celery will start to root and grow leaves from the center. Once it has long roots, plant it! Once it is ready to harvest, do not dig it up. Just cut off the stalks so it can produce more! Try onions, potatoes, rhubarb and more!

  • Reply DIY Life May 15, 2013 at 3:13 am

    When inside is too cold for warm loving plants like watermelons or cucumbers to sprout, I use garage sale bought heating pad with low setting under my seedlings growing in yogurt containers. They are much cheaper than special grow mats even in the stores.

  • Reply Jeff Yeager May 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    nah, I'm just cheap. 🙂

  • Reply brett934 May 20, 2013 at 5:52 am

    I came for the guy who looked like Mario and stayed for the great advice!! Thanks!!

  • Reply CamLof21 June 6, 2013 at 6:13 am

    I should hope you were just kidding about using rock salt for margaritas. Rock salt is poisonous and should NEVER be used in food. It contains chemicals that helps melt ice and snow. FYI

  • Reply MakinLifeEasier June 12, 2013 at 3:11 am

    To save on my groceries, this year I have started a kitchen garden in my yard. I was using a fabricated door as a work bench but I have had such a rainey season that my work bench was falling apart. I used those pieces of pressed wood as mulch around my plants, which seems to be saving my vegtables.

  • Reply The Cheap Life August 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Apply these tips and #staycheap while you garden.

    http://bit.ly/17AmmIU

  • Reply Beverly Bryant October 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I have 2 bunnies and a garden to provide them with fresh greens. I save all their litter and poop and use it to fertilize the garden. With bunny poop, no composting is necessary. Bunnies really know how to recycle themselves!

  • Reply Dee Krasnansky March 4, 2014 at 2:50 am

    My yard had no worms when I moved in and of course, this was really disconcerting. I put down burlap, newspapers and cardboard in the garden area (hardly any flowers there) and on the lawn (which was really just weeds), covered with old rugs left for trash and rug samples from the rug store to depress weeds. Worms chomped away at the food, leaving tunnels and fertilizer that has broken up the hard clay. Now the soil is rich and dark and absorbs water much better. The rugs are no more. Now I put out newspapers and cardboard with mulch on top each spring. Had gotten mulch from the county landfill (advertised as cut up Christmas trees) but heard too many stories about how the noxious weeds in yard waste got in there too and ruined yards. Now I buy the mulch which is still inexpensive. No more lawn so no mowing and healthier for the environment.

  • Reply PlaylistHQ April 1, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Make your own mulch and compost!

  • Reply Barry Nelson May 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Love it!

  • Reply Louis Miller November 22, 2014 at 3:04 am

    Would you consider doing a show on air freshening on the cheap, as a topic? Like opening up a window, essential oils vs. chemical smelling stuff. Reed diffusers and scented candles. A lot of scented candles I can smell in the store, but when I get them home and light them, they don't smell as strong when they are burning, so I feel like I got ripped off. Or have you already mentioned this topic?

  • Reply Austin Lucas January 31, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Huh, I didn't think of containers like those before. Thanks.

  • Reply Marilyn Weaver January 31, 2015 at 9:44 am

    I grow a garden every year saves on groceries keeps me stress free and the food is better for me.

  • Reply Cindy Jones January 12, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Love your tips on seedling starters! Sometimes, stuff ordered online comes in heavy-duty non-seethrough bags. Poke a few holes in them, fill them with compost and they're great little planters.

  • Reply Jesus junkie November 24, 2018 at 12:28 am

    When your growing season is over bury compost through the garden for a soil ready to plant.

  • Reply Mary Richardson June 11, 2019 at 8:03 am

    dandelions are edible some store sell the green, Save your seeds.

  • Reply eddie moore June 11, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    Get heirloom seeds and you won’t have to buy seeds every year. Hybrid seeds won’t produce seeds after first year of use.
    If you don’t have a lot of space, grow whatever you can in buckets and other containers. Tomato’s do better in 5 gallon buckets. Green beans do ok in 4 gallon containers or bigger. Just a few plants in containers will suprise you how much you can grow.
    Ask restaurants around where you live for buckets. A lot of times they will just give them to you. Also remember, dumpsters have plenty of opportunities for them. Just make sure you get food grade only.

  • Reply MegaMiir November 14, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Raise veggies to eat, give extras to snails, feed snails to chicken, use entire chicken.

  • Leave a Reply