12 Frugal Living Tips for Spring


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

Make the most of spring for the least amount of money with these 12 frugal living tips for spring. Enjoy the simple things in life this season! #frugaltips #frugallivingtips #savemoneyMake the most of spring for the least amount of money with these 12 frugal living tips for spring. Enjoy the simple things in life this season!

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Spring is the perfect time to get back on track with your finances and start living frugally again after a long winter. 

I don’t know about you, but despite our best efforts to live frugally in winter, it is by far the most expensive time of year. Between Christmas and other holidays, heating and electricity costs, higher food costs at the grocery store and spending to fight cabin-fever-induced boredom, we easily spend double, triple or even more in winter than we do at other times of the year.

Spring is always a welcome respite from winter for many obvious reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is because our bills and overall spending start to decrease and allow for a little breathing room. Heating costs go down, most of the expensive “holidays” like Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day are over for another year, and the better weather makes getting outdoors just to enjoy the fresh air an attractive pastime once again.

There are so many ways to cut spending and start living more frugally come springtime, and the best thing is, none of them make you feel like you’re being deprived or missing out on anything. So aside from the multitude of ways spring will save you money just by nature of not being winter, here are 12 more tips for living frugally this spring.

 

1. Spring Clean (with DIY Cleaners)

It really wouldn’t be spring without a little spring cleaning. Spring is the perfect time to open the windows, clear out the dust and deep clean your house after months spent indoors dirtying up the space.

Of course, you’ll want to steer clear of chemicals and store-bought cleaners if you’re going to be as frugal (and safe and healthy) as possible. Luckily making your own all-natural cleaners couldn’t be easier. All you need is a spray bottle with a little white vinegar and a rag to clean most surfaces.

Check out this post for all of my favourite spring cleaning recipes, all made with natural ingredients and essential oils. 

 

2. Purge

Just as important as actually cleaning your home, organizing and purging is a great way to clear out clutter, while away an afternoon or two and even make a few bucks off of unwanted items. And nothing is as frugal as making extra money!

Chances are everyone in your house got more than they needed for Christmas, or at least got something that they haven’t used since Boxing Day. Why not pass those items onto someone else who will actually use and enjoy them and free up space in your home for the things that bring you the most joy?

If you can, see if you can make a few dollars by selling some of your unwanted stuff. Post on places like Craigslist, Kijiji and local Buy & Sell Facebook pages. Or have a garage sale if the weather’s nice enough and you have enough to sell.

Anything you can’t sell, donate. Don’t second-guess it. If it doesn’t bring you joy and you haven’t used it in months, just get rid of it. I know this is easier said than done, but it’s the truth. The space and peace of mind you’ll gain from decluttering will be well worth getting rid of some stuff that you may or may not use someday.

 

3. Start Seeds/Plant a Garden

Spring is the perfect time to get your finances back on track and start living frugally again without feeling deprived. Here are 12 frugal living tips for spring that anyone, anywhere can use to save money this spring season. #frugalliving #frugalspringHands-down, one of the best, healthiest, most frugal things you can do is to start a garden and grow some of your own food. Whether you’re a seasoned homesteader or a total newbie, there’s no time like springtime to start some seeds and start growing some of your own food.

Even if you don’t have a lot of garden space, a balcony or even a window box is all you need to grow a little herb garden

Not only is gardening a fun and frugal activity (when you grow food from seeds anyway), but the savings on groceries and the return on investment when it comes time to harvest makes it literally feel like you’re growing your own money. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want that?

Check out the following posts to help you get started with your garden this spring:

 

4. Swap Seeds

If you’ve been gardening and seed-saving for any length of time, find a local seed bank or seed savers exchange and swap some of your own seeds with other people for free (or cheaper) instead of having to buy new seed varieties. Or if you live in a community where many people have gardens, talk to your neighbours and organize your own seed swap. 

You can swap seeds for free at a local level or you can buy them from other gardeners on The Seed Exchange website where you can also sell your own seeds and make a little profit off of the seeds you save.

If possible, I recommend getting your seeds locally (as they are best suited to your climate, soil conditions and gardening zone) and helping out your own community first, so if possible find or organize a seed exchange in your own community. But if you’re having trouble doing that or are looking for more selection, check out this Nation-wide Seed Savers Exchange. You can sign up for free and start buying, selling and swapping online right away!

 

5. Find Free Plants and Garden Materials

If you want to up your frugal garden game, look to your local community to find free cuttings, seedlings, plants and garden materials. 

Often you can find free garden materials around this time of year on local buy, sell and swap sites and farm & garden groups (check Facebook for local groups) or under the “Garden” or “Free” section on Craigslist.

Sometimes people will offer up cuttings from plants they already have, extra seedlings, plants they have dug up and no longer want or any variety of other garden materials like plastic pots, compost or manure, soil, tarps or landscape fabric or even fencing materials for cheap or free if they have extra they don’t need. 

We started our strawberries with free cuttings from someone else’s garden and also got free horse manure to mix in with our soil. We recently found a couple dozen plastic gardening pots left out for free in front of our community centre and often see neighbours with boxes full of plants and seedlings left out on the street and marked “FREE.” Help them out by taking it off their hands, keeping these things out of the landfill and adding to your garden for free! Literally no downside here.

 

6. Review Your Goals

Spring is a good time to check on any goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Often we find ourselves spending money because we’re bored, and usually when we’re bored it’s because we’re feeling uninspired. Take a look at your list of goals and resolutions you set for yourself just a few months ago and get excited about them again!

January 1st is always seen as the day to start working toward new goals because it’s the first day of a new year, but there’s something about spring that’s so invigorating and refreshing; It’s the time of year when everything feels possible!

Take some time to check in with yourself and your goals, or write some down if you haven’t yet! Journal about where you see yourself one year, five years or 10 years from now. Then choose a goal on your list that doesn’t require any big financial investment and start working towards it. 

Maybe it’s going for a daily run or maybe it’s expanding your garden or learning how to bake sourdough bread or taking out a book from the library that’s been on your list to read.

If you’re stuck for ideas, here’s a list of 25 self-sufficiency goals to help get you started! 

 

7. Cancel Subscriptions

After you’ve reviewed your budget and figured out a few places where you can cut back on expenses, be ruthless and cancel some of those monthly subscriptions and unnecessary bills.

Maybe you have a gym membership you hardly use (time to get outside for a workout anyway!) or a magazine subscription that you could cancel (pick up free magazines at libraries and doctors offices or read online instead). Or maybe you’re ready to take the plunge and cancel cable, or maybe you have more than one streaming service that you don’t need.

Subscriptions can eat up a ton of cash each month, and can cost you even more if they charge your account when you’re low on cash and put you into your overdraft as that can incur extra fees. Be ruthless. Cut as many subscriptions and regular monthly payments as you can get away with and save yourself a good chunk of change.

 

8. Use Less Electricity

Spring is the perfect time to get your finances back on track and start living frugally again without feeling deprived. Here are 12 frugal living tips for spring that anyone, anywhere can use to save money this spring season. #frugalliving #frugalspringAs the weather warms up, now’s the perfect time to use less electricity and utilities in general as you turn down the heat and get outside more.

Reset your thermostat to reflect spring weather. Maybe you only really need it on in the early mornings and late evenings if you live somewhere fairly warm. Maybe you can simply turn it down a couple degrees or even turn it off manually when you head out of the house (which will probably happen more and more as the weather gets nicer).

Likewise, save on energy use by turning lights off as the days get longer, turning the television off as you spend more time outdoors or line dry your clothes instead of running the dryer.

If you’re in a position to invest a little money, you could even replace old bulbs with LEDs or replace old appliances with more energy efficient ones. Or maybe even invest in solar panels, wind turbines or some other form of off-grid power. It all depends on what you want and what you’re able to invest up front. Of course, if you’re already completely off-grid, you might be able to skip this step altogether:) 

 

9. Get Outside

While I’ve mentioned getting outside a few times already, it deserves a place of its own on this list. Not only does getting outside save you money on electricity costs for things you would be running if you were stuck indoors, it’s also a great way to have some frugal or even free fun as you can literally just go out and enjoy the fresh air without having to spend a penny.

There are so many free things to do outdoors this time of year. Garden, go for a walk or hike, take your kid(s) or dog(s) to the park, dine “al fresco,” have a fire or find a free outdoor event near you. When the sun is shining, the possibilities are endless!

 

10. Have a Picnic

Tired of eating at the same table day in and day out? Need a change of scenery but don’t want to fork over the money it costs to dine out? Why not go for a picnic instead? 

The beauty of a picnic is that you can change up the scenery over and over again and never have to pay a dime for enjoying the atmosphere! And picnics are super simple to throw together. 

Just grab a basket, a blanket and some portable dinnerware (if you don’t have these items, this gorgeous picnic basket set comes with everything you need for less than the cost of a cheap dinner out). Then, pack up a few easy-to-transport foods like sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes or just some cheese, charcuterie and condiments like pickles and spreads. 

Don’t forget something to drink! Homemade Iced Tea is a great option. Or if you’re looking to make it into a date-night, add a bottle of wine and bring a candle. Who said frugal has to mean boring?

 

11. Forage

Spring is the perfect time to get your finances back on track and start living frugally again without feeling deprived. Here are 12 frugal living tips for spring that anyone, anywhere can use to save money this spring season. #frugalliving #frugalspringSpring is the start of foraging season, which is like a homesteader’s version of an Easter Egg hunt;) Not only is it a fun, free pastime, but you get free food out of the deal too! Can I get a “woot woot”?

Depending on where you live, you might be able to find all sorts of wild edibles to forage. Spring is the perfect time to forage for wild greens and weeds like stinging nettles, fiddleheads, chickweed and dandelions.

Try this recipe for dandelion healing salve made with dandelions foraged from your own backyard! (Or someone else’s;)

Morel mushrooms are a great edible mushroom variety to forage in spring too. Pine tree tips (the fresh, soft, bright green growth on the end of pine trees) are also an excellent springtime wild edible to forage. They’re packed with vitamin c and have a citrusy flavour, so they make a nice tea or you can turn them into a delicious Tree Tip Syrup.

And of course if you live by the coast you might also be able to forage for seaweed and shellfish local to your area. Just be sure to check regulations and health warnings to make sure they are safe to forage and eat in your area at this time of year.

For a better idea and more comprehensive guide to foraging in your area, pick up a local field guide to wild edibles in your region.

 

12. Plan an Easter Potluck

While most of the expensive holidays have passed, there is one more annual celebration to be had, and that is Easter. Whether you celebrate for religious reasons, to honour spring or simply as a fun tradition, if you celebrate Easter you probably do so with a feast. 

Of course, if you are the one hosting, this can cost you if you need to buy a fair amount of food from the grocery store to feed extended family and friends. So why not make it a potluck instead?

Have everybody be responsible for at least one dish and keep Easter low-key and simple this year. Try this recipe for Homemade Hot Cross Buns and you’ll be everybody’s favourite person!

Bask in the company of good friends and family and enjoy what really matters most in life. After all, spending quality time with loved ones is the most enjoyable pastime of all, and it doesn’t cost a dime:)

 

 

 

P.S. Want more modern homesteading advice and inspiration? Subscribe for FREE to Modern Homesteading Magazine and get the latest issue delivered right to your inbox! Learn more here.

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CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
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2 Comments

  1. Jessie @ This Country Home

    What a great list! In my area we also go and cut wild asparagus, it grows along the roads in old ditches. It is the absolute best I’ve ever had!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Ooh, I wish we had that close by! Lucky you!

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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In the fall we pick our pumpkins. In the winter we pick our Christmas tree. In the spring we pick our seeds and our seedlings. And in the summer we pick berries!

June marks the official start of summer and of berry season, starting with strawberries. While we do grow our own, we don’t grow nearly enough to enjoy fresh and preserve for year-round eating, so we like to visit our local U-pick farms to pick enough strawberries to freeze, dry and of course, to turn into strawberry jam!!

One of our favourite family treats is homemade strawberry vanilla jam. It tastes like a strawberry sundae and it tastes just as good spooned over vanilla ice cream, or spread on toast, or slathered on pancakes or waffles or French toast, or eaten straight outta the jar with a spoon 😉

Strawberry jam is the clear favourite in our house as no matter how much we make, we always seem to be on our last jar by this time of year, which means it’s perfect time to stock back up!

It also makes a delicious homemade gift come Christmas time, so every year I tend to make just a little bit more. (Yup, I just mentioned Christmas… But the truth is, if you wanna gift homemade preserves for the holidays, NOW is the time to start planning!)

Whether you want to make a small batch just for yourself, a large batch to share with your family all year long, or an extra large batch to gift to loved ones come the holiday season (or any time of year), you can get my full recipe and canning instructions via the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead, or go to
https://thehouseandhomestead.com/vintage-vanilla-strawberry-jam/
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Sad story: I went a full 26 years of my life without ever having tasted garlic scapes. In fact, I had never even heard of garlic scapes! After all, I’d never grown garlic before we left the city in my late twenties, and garlic scapes aren’t typically something you’re gonna find at a supermarket.

I was first introduced to them at a farmers market and I was hooked right away! Then when we started growing our own garlic, suddenly we had bunches of our own homegrown garlic scapes to use up every year.

If you’re wondering what they are, garlic scapes on the flower stem of the garlic plant. They shoot up from the middle of each plant about a month before the garlic is ready to harvest. They’re long and sort of curly at the tip, similar to the consistency of green pole beans but with a garlicky flavour.

Not only are they edible and delicious, it’s actually best for your garlic harvest if you cut off the scapes before they flower as the flower draws energy away from the garlic bulb, and you want your plants putting all of their energy into growing large garlic bulbs, especially during this final push as they’re almost ready to harvest!

As far as using garlic scapes, they’re almost as versatile as garlic cloves. Last night I chopped some up and used them in place of garlic in a pasta dish. They’re also great sliced and added to stir fries, chopped up and sprinkled over pizza, or even pickled (sort of like pickled beans). And they freeze really well too, so we just chop them into one-inch pieces and pop them in the freezer to use all year! The tougher flower heads go into our veggie scrap freezer bag and add flavour to homemade stocks and broths.

But one of my favourite ways to enjoy garlic scapes is to turn them into pesto and then use it as a sauce on pastas and pizzas. 🤤 Salivating just thinking about it!

If you wanna learn more about growing, harvesting and using garlic scapes and get my recipe for garlic scape pesto, click the link in my bio or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/garlic-scape-pesto/

And if you’re not growing your own garlic, be sure to hit up your local farmers market and pick up some scapes before it’s too late!
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We hear the terms “food security” and “self-sufficiency” a lot in the modern homesteading world, but “food sovereignty” and “food justice” are equally important.

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It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally getting around to tackling this task and it’s about to make our work (and our lives) A LOT easier.

While I’m a huge proponent of investing time and money up front to do things the right way and make life easier right off the bat, the reality is that it’s not always feasible or affordable to do all of the things you want to do right away. This is true for homesteading and for life in general; You just have to do what you can with what you’ve got and chip away at your goals little by little.

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This is so important to remember, no matter where you are on your journey. Always take time to celebrate your accomplishments and don’t dwell on all of the things you still need to do. Just focus on the next thing and little by little it will start to come together. Take things one step, one day and one cardboard box at a time, and eventually you too will look back and say “holy crap, look how far I’ve come.”
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(1/5) The past few weeks have been some of the most difficult to date in my occupation as a homesteader and a blogger.

I've had to do a lot of soul-searching to really, truly, deeply ask myself why?

Why have I chosen this path, and why is it important to me to share it with the world??

The truth is, I've talked about my "why" before. I don't homestead and grow food and cook and preserve and preach about sustainability and self-reliance and self-determination simply because I think homegrown tomatoes are healthier and taste better than store-bought tomatoes. Sure, this is part of it, but it's not the part that drives me to put in the long hours and hard work that goes into the line of work I've chosen.

What drives me to do what I do and to share my passion for homesteading and self-sufficiency with the world comes from a place deep inside me that sees the wrongs in our system, and wants to do whatever I can to challenge them and make them right.

I've talked many, many times about the flaws with our modern, industrialized food system, and about how homesteading is a way to take back some control over our food supply and buck this system. (Yes, that's buck, with a "b" ;)

I talk all the time about the importance of supporting small farmers and local businesses instead of big corporations, and about the importance of voting with your dollars.

And I preach the importance of community, and why it's so important to support each other and find support in your community, whether in your local community or online. Because self-sufficiency is about more than each individual person or family; It's about empowering entire communities of people to rise up and take control of their own food supply and basic needs, and break free from the cycle of dependency on the system that most of us are born into.

To me, homesteading is about so much more than the act of growing and preparing food, or DIY-ing your own soap or candles or toothpaste. Quite honestly, it's a way for everyday people to take back control over their own lives and throw a proverbial middle finger to "the system" and the status quo.

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One of my favourite ways to use rhubarb in the spring is to turn it into a delicious rhubarb juice concentrate to mix with soda water, juice or cocktails for a refreshing bevvies all summer long.

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So this is 34...

(1/3) When I look back on my 34 tours around the sun, all I can say is WOW! How incredibly blessed I’ve been.

In my younger years, I had the privilege of travelling around the world and living abroad 3 times, long before borders closed and travelling became more of a nightmare than a dream.

When I returned home to my roots, I completed my second degree in education (my first degree is in journalism) and I married the love of my life. During these years of schooling and settling into domestic life in Vancouver, we started learning more about where our food comes from and how reconnecting with nature could help relieve much of the crippling anxiety that I felt living in the city, so we set a goal to move to Vancouver Island where we could afford more land and start farming and gardening once we were married and I was done school. With laser focus and intention placed on this goal, the stars aligned and we made our move 6 years ago now. We’ve never looked back.

While our initial move brought heartache when we had a major accident on the way to our new home and lost a beloved family pet, I was soon comforted when I learned I was pregnant with our first child.

I also stumbled into the perfect teaching job at a beautiful little school with an ocean view, where I worked until I gave birth. But I didn’t feel truly fulfilled as a teacher. I’ve always wanted to write and create content to share with the world, but I didn’t know exactly how I would do this or what form it would take.

Then, while on maternity leave, I learned about the world of blogging, and that there were many people who have made a very lucrative career out of creating and sharing online content with the world. The lightbulb went off and I knew immediately that this was my calling. I also knew exactly what I wanted to write about and share: I wanted to share my passion for growing, cooking and preserving real food, and living a more sustainable life. I wanted to teach and inspire others to pursue their own homesteading dreams like we had, and show them that if we could do it, so could they.

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I don’t like radishes. But I love to grow them, which has created quite a dilemma in the past. That is, until I discovered ROASTED RADISHES!

Talk about a game changer! Roasting radishes completely takes the bite out of radishes (ya know, that spiciness that fresh radishes are known for). Plus, the addition of honey butter elevates even the most boring side dish of radishes to a dish you’re gonna wanna lick clean! Not that I’ve done that or anything 😳

My favourite radishes to grow are an heirloom variety called French Breakfast radishes (pictured here). They’re long and cylindrical rather than round and they’re an absolute beauty in the garden and on a plate!

But any radishes will work for this recipe. And if you’ve got some fresh thyme growing in your herb garden, toss in a few sprigs to compliment the flavours in this dish.

I’ve gone from disliking radishes to literally salivating over this dish, so much so that I had to share the recipe!

Whether or not you love radishes fresh, these roasted radishes are a total game changer and a sure crowd pleaser. But don’t take my word for it. Do yourself a favour and try ‘em for yourself:)

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🕷 There was a time in my life when finding a nest of spiders on my garden gate, VERY close to the handle, would have easily been considered one of my worst nightmares.

Seriously... Growing up I HATED spiders and was so terrified of them. One time there was a single spider on my grandma’s car window and I said “look Nanny, it’s Arachnophobia!” Anybody remember that movie? Let’s just say that it haunted me for many years of my life!

But when I started gardening and reconnecting with nature, suddenly spiders went from being something I was afraid of to something I welcomed on our property.

In the spring, I love seeing the garden spiders (I have no clue what they’re actually called) running around close to my fingers as I plant out seeds, many of them carrying large egg sacs on their back.

In the fall I love watching orb spiders spin their webs that capture the last of the summer rays and the first of the fall raindrops on their silky threads.

Even in the bathroom (why do spiders gravitate to the bathroom??) I always try not to kill the spiders that I find, but relocate them to the garden instead. A healthy garden is teeming with spiders and worms and butterflies and bees. A healthy garden is full of healthy life, and just like good bacteria helps ward off bad bacteria in our bodies, so too do the “good bugs” help to control the bad bugs in the garden, and spiders are one of the most beneficial bugs when it comes to that!

It’s amazing how much living close to the land changes you and gives you a greater respect for all life. As much as I’m still not ready to put my hands out and hold a spider (I literally passed out when I was a kid and tried to hold someone’s pet tarantula), I am learning to coexist with all things, and appreciate the unique purpose that every living thing serves here on Earth.

As much as it may seem like we have nothing in common, if you take a moment to just observe nature or sit in stillness by your garden gate, you’re sure to realize we all have more in common than most people might think.
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