Savings: 5 Ways to Get Fruit Trees For Cheap!


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Here’s a collection of 9 fruit trees we purchased for less than $120 on Craigslist

We are always looking for opportunities to expand our orchard. We’ve got a few resources to share in helping you save money!

Here’s our top 5 best places to find cheap fruit trees:

5)  Your local newspaper classified ads –  Print newspaper is dying but people still use the classified ads. This is an easy way to find those with established nurseries and plants to move.

4) Nextdoor.com – Nextdoor.com is a social media site for neighbor. You can post a wanted ad for trees or you can check their classifieds section and see what you can find.

3) Local Garden Clubs – Garden clubs hosting frequent plant sales. A lot of the time they are cheaper and your contribution is tax-deductible which is a win – win.

2) Freecycle – This one is a long shot but when you find the right deal you’ll hit it big and for FREE!

And our number one BEST CHOICE for cheap fruit trees is Craigslist.org!

Ironically, we’ve had found Craigslist.org to be an incredible source for finding affordable one or year old fruit trees. There’s a lot of moving sale ads and that’s the number one reason people sell potted fruit trees. These trees are usually listed for $10-20 a piece which is half of nursery or store-bought prices. Plus these are usually much older and better established than the new store-bought fruit trees. So if you’re looking for your own trees, Craigslist is the best.

We purchased 9 fruit trees on Craigslist for $120! (See top image) That’s only $13.30 per tree! This included one olive, one pomegranate, one orange tree, two tangerine, one lemon, one apple, one mandarin tree and one thorn less blackberry bush. With the fresh fruit these beauties have already produced for us, they’ve already paid for themselves! Now that’s awesome and sustainable!

We will be selling some of the produce from them this year and save the profits for the next batch of cheap fruit trees! Invest and reinvest. Repeat!

Happy Hunting!

Liquid Laundry Soap – 34 Years Worth For Pennies!


Staying clean during the apocalypse has never been easier. If the zombies come, at least you will smell good and maybe even have something to barter with. Make 34 years worth of laundry soap for just pennies!

Supplies Needed:

  • 1/2 Cup of Your Powder Laundry Detergent

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE POWDER LAUNDRY DETERGENT

  • Large Pot
  • Water
  • Large Spoon or Paint Stick for stirring or hand electric mixer
  • 2 Gallon Bucket with Lid*
  • Liquid dispensing facet (Highly recommended but optional)**

*These frosting buckets are food grade and comes with an air tight seal-able lid. You can acquire them from any local bakery for FREE, just ask for them!

MAKE A LIQUID LAUNDRY SOAP DISPENSING BUCKET – SUPER EASY

I’ve been doing this for many years, and trust me while it may take up some storage space this is by far the best storage method and you will never have to waste time refilling small jars or remaking batches again!

Directions:

  1. Add 4 cups of water and 1/2 cup of powder laundry soap to a pot.
  2.  Put the heat on med-high, & stir until completely melted – (10 mins)  
  3. Fill up your 2 gallon bucket halfway with hot water.
  4. Pour in the melted detergent mixture.
  5. Add whatever essential oils you like, 5- 10 drops (optional)
  6. Fill bucket to the top with warm water and stir.
  7. Snap on the lid and let set for 24 hours to gel up. It will be solid.
  8. Stir to the consistency you desire. Use electric hand mixer if preferred. You may need to stir it again in a few days if it solidifies.
  9. If you using another dispensing container, pour into preferred containers and seal for storage.
  10. All done! Enjoy!

Note: Your liquid detergent once set will be completely solid. For a smoother consistency stir it to your liking or use an electric hand mixer. Once stirred your soap will be the consistency of a slime like gel.

Want your soap to go even farther? Some people prefer to dilute it even more at this step (therefor turning it into 5 gallons, if so you’ll need another bucket). They do this by filling the new bucket/container halfway with the gel & then the other half with water. Do the same for the other bucket, then stir. You can do this if you prefer, our family does not. We feel it provides a stronger clean to not dilute it any further.

How Much to Use:

For HE front loading washers, use 1/2 cup for a large load. The same goes for regular top-loading washers. If it’s a SUPER dirty batch of clothes, you can use a full cup. You can use stain removers or oxi-clean with this too if you would like – just the same as you would use them with the detergent you buy in the store.

For easy dispensing,  attach a plastic adhesive hook on to the side of your bucket to hang your reusable laundry cup on it!

Labeling Buckets:

I prefer to label all my buckets with the printed instructions on how to make more. This way when the time comes I don’t have to go searching for the recipe to replace it. I do this for all my homemade cleaning supplies.

To do this, simply cut and paste directions and information into a word document. Print it out, cut to size and tape to the side or back of the bucket. I prefer to use packing tape and cover the entire page with tape. This will give a semi water proof element in case of the occasional splash or mess and won’t smear the ink.

Cost Breakdown & Usage:

If using 1/2 cup of liquid per load of this large batch recipe in liquid form it will render 80 loads of laundry! The powder form breakdowns to less than a penny per load or $.007 per load and this liquid recipe goes even farther than that!

For two of us, we average about 3 loads of laundry per week which means that this batch of liquid laundry soap (2 1/2 gallons) will last us a whooping 26 weeks or about 6 months! And that is using only 1/2 cup from our large batch of powder! If we made all of our powder laundry soap into liquid using this method, it would be 34 cups of powder which would will render 5,440 loads of laundry! At 3 loads per weeks, that’s an amazing 1,813 weeks or over 34 1/2 YEARS worth of laundry soap! Keep in mind that our initial investment was only less than $10 – $15 if you made a dispensing bucket! Now THAT is darn impressive!

I will be documenting our process and see how long it last! We are expecting our daughter in July of this year, so let’s see if I have enough laundry soap to last until she goes off to college or at least high school!!! Challenge Accepted!!

Homemade Laundry Soap – 10 Years Worth for $10!


Making your own homemade laundry soap is cheap, easy and long lasting! We’ve used this recipe for years and I can vouch to it’s potency! I garden and raise our flock of chickens and ducks. My husband is a rock crawling Jeeper that spends his free time fixing and modifying jeeps. Needless to say, we both get dirty… a lot. This soap definitely take care of all of our detergent needs and smells great!

One large batch (see recipe below) will last us YEARS! We then take 1 cup of our powdered detergent and turn it into 2 1/2 gallons of our liquid laundry soap which makes it go even farther.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR LIQUID LAUNDRY SOAP RECIPE

High Efficiency (HE), Septic Safe & Baby Approved

This detergent is high efficiency (HE) safe, because of it’s low suds. This is also the best laundry soap to use with septic tanks because it contains zero phosphates and zero fillers that cause commercial powder detergents to clog lines. It’s also completely non-toxic so it will not harm necessary septic bacteria like toxic detergents and antibacterial soaps. Since it is non toxic it can also be used for even the more sensitive laundry like baby clothes! Regardless of what type of washing machine you have, you can be sure that this laundry soap is great!

What You Will Need

Here’s a quick measurement note so you can figure out how much washing soda and borax you need to buy depending on which size recipe you use. Each box of Washing Soda holds 7 cups and each box of Borax holds 10.5 cups

Small Batch Ingredients (Small Container)

  • 2 cup (5 ounces) of shaved bar soap*
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • Essential Oils (Optional)

Medium Batch Ingredients (Gallon Container)

  • 22 1/2 cups of shredded soap or 4 bars of Zote (14.1 ounce) soap
  • 8 1/2 cups borax
  • 8 1/2 cups washing soda

Large Batch Ingredients (1 – 2  1/2 Gallon Bucket)

  • 56 1/2 cups of shredded soap or 10 bars of Zote (14.1 ounce) soap
  • 25 1/2 cups borax
  • 25 1/2 cups washing soda

Apocalypse Size Large Batch  (2 – 2  1/2 Gallon Buckets)

In emergency disaster some supplies may not be accessible. If you want to stockpile homemade laundry soap now or just don’t want to worry about doing it for a really, really, really long time. This extra large batch can last a couple of two easily 20 years or more. If converted into the liquid laundry soap it will last well into the apocalypse!

  • 112 cups of shredded soap or 20 bars of Zote (14.1 ounce) soap
  • 51 cups borax
  • 51 cups washing soda

*Use whatever soap you prefer. Some suggested choices include a homemade laundry bar, Dr. Bronner’s, Kirk’s Castile Soap, Ivory, ZOTE  (white or pink), or Fels-Naptha. We are using white Zote soap for this batch and have had good luck using Fels-Naptha soap in the past. We usually go with whatever is cheapest.

Supplies Needed

  • Cheese grater (some use a food processor)
  • Large mixing bowl (for holding shredded soap)
  • Container or buckets with lids for finished detergent*
  • Stirring utensil or paint stick (for larger batches)

If planning on making a medium – extra large batch of liquid laundry soap consider making a dispensing bucket. Click link below for instructions.

MAKE A LIQUID LAUNDRY SOAP DISPENSING BUCKET – SUPER EASY

For medium to extra large batches of laundry detergent, we recommend storing the laundry soap in a two gallon 1/2 frosting bucket. If you are planning on making some of the powder into a liquid you will need one extra bucket to store the liquid laundry soap you intend to make.

*These frosting buckets are food grade and comes with an air tight seal-able lid. You can acquire them from any local bakery for FREE, just ask for them!

Directions

  1. Use a cheese grater to shred up bars of soap and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In your final storage container or bucket, mix one cup of each ingredient (soap, borax & washing soda) at a time and then repeat the process until the recipe is complete.
  3. Stir together thoroughly for several minutes.
  4. Store in a sealed container (with a small scoop if preferred)
  5. Enjoy your new laundry soap!
  6. Print out and tape recipe instructions to your container for both liquid & powder detergents (optional)

Use 1 Tsp per small load or 2 Tsp for large or heavily soiled loads. If you have really hard water, you may need to use more.

Lesson Learned: After turning on your washing machine, add laundry soap to the bottom of the washer. It will not dissolve properly if added to the top. You can also add it to your powder dispenser if you have one that pushes it out with water.

Cost Breakdown & Saving Money

One large batch (see recipe above) will last us YEARS! We make into a liquid detergent that makes it last 10 times longer than the powder form and the money saved speaks for itself!  Below is the total cost breakdown for the large batch recipe!

To make this the absolutely cheapest laundry soap available, contact all the manufacturers and ask for coupons. I contacted Borax and they sent me 3 coupons good for 3 free full size boxes! You should have no problem getting the coupons, I’ve written to them several times and they are always more than happy to send out some! You can also check online for coupons.

Here’s a breakdown of the money spent (for a medium batch):

  •  Zote Soap – Available at Dollar Store for $50 each. (4 Bars)
  • Borax – Reg. $3.49 – Totally Free! (3 Boxes)
  • Super Washing Soda – Reg. $3.49, $.50 off each. (3 Boxes)

Total Spent: $11.97 plus tax!

For comparison’s sake, a jumbo container of Tide at Amazon.com costs $28.99 for 96 loads, or a cost of $0.30 a load. Using the medium batch recipe, I will have some of the Borax & Washing Soda left over which is why it will be less than $10 for the entire recipe.

Cost Per Load Breakdown

If using 1 tsp per load of the concentrated powder form per load and use the entire medium batch recipe it will render 1,896 loads of laundry! That breakdowns to less than a penny per load or $.005 per load! For two of us, we average about 3 loads of laundry per week which means that this large batch of laundry soap in powder form will last us a whooping 632 weeks or 12 YEARS!

If that isn’t impressive enough, stay tuned for our recipe to turn 1 cup of our powdered laundry soap into 2 1/2 gallons of our liquid soap! At that rate you will definitely have enough to last well into the apocalypse and perhaps give you something necessary to barter with. Enjoy!

How to Attach a Faucet to a Bucket – Super Easy!


There’s many reason useful reasons to install a dispensing faucet on a bucket! You can make a rain barrel or compost teas for the garden, or in our case a laundry soap dispensing bucket. The faucet allows you to drain liquids without lighting the bucket and a bucket will hopefully save you time in not refilling your supply so often.

What You Will Need

  • Drill
  • Uni Bit drill or a step bit (for making a 3/4 inch hole)
  • 3/4 Inch Faucet – We used a Tomlinson 1018851 Plastic Faucet. It includes two angled washers and a jam nut.

  • Bucket – any size*

For our project of making a liquid laundry soap dispenser, we are using a 2 1/2 gallon food grade frosting bucket (with lid) which can be acquired from any local bakery for FREE! They are more than happy to give them away and are very useful in other projects as well. Plus they come with a handle.

Directions

    1. Set the bucket on a work surface and find a drill site about 1 inch from the bottom where you want the faucet to sit. Make sure the area is smooth and avoid the curved bottom rim.

 

    1. Install the bit onto a drill and turn the drill on. Press it against the chosen location to create a hole in the bucket for the faucet. Turn the drill off and remove.

 

  1. Insert the faucet from the outside of the bucket to make sure it will fit and remove. Then thread a washer angled side towards the bucket on to the faucet. Insert the faucet on the outside of the bucket and place the other angled washer on the inside. Make sure the angled side of the washers are making contact with each side of the bucket.
  2. Pick up the 3/4-inch jam nut and screw the it on the threaded tube end of the faucet until it is tightly positioned against the washer.
  3. Fill bucket with water just past the faucet, set out for an hour or two and watch for leaking. We tested our seal this way and had no leaks.
  4. (Optional) We did not need to do this for our project but you can reenforce your seal using super glue to attach your washers. You can also use a tube of clear, silicone caulk or liquid nails and apply a thin bead around the entire outside of the faucet where it meets the bucket. Make sure to allow the caulk to dry for the amount of time instructed then use the bucket as desired.

Get Pounds of Homegrown Tomatoes For Pennies!


Extreme couponing isn’t only for toiletries and frozen pizzas, it can also be apply to the gardening world! Unlike most processed foods; it’s very rare to find coupons for fresh, healthy produce. By applying extreme couponing methods to food producing plants; you can save tons of money on pounds and pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to feed your family.

For example, last year I acquired 6 –  6 packs of strawberry plants totally FREE just for signing up to our local garden store newsletter. Each plant produced approximately 2 lbs of strawberries which I was able to make into jars jars of delicious homemade strawberry jam. With a little love and a lot of water, I’m hoping these tomato plants will produce lots of ripe, delicious tomatoes that I can turn into homemade pasta, marinara and pizza sauces. When combined with canning techniques; these sauces can be canned and will last us all year long! Win – win!

Here’s the math:

First, I signed up for a Kmart – Shop Your Way account and received $5 in points just for signing up! Their tomato plants were on sale for $1.79 per container. While looking for the largest and healthiest looking plants, I noticed quite a few had two plants per container. So even tho I only purchased two containers, I brought home four individual tomato plants.

As you can see, I chose to redeem some of my shop your way points, which took off $2.75 from the transaction total. This made my out of pocket expense for four – one foot tall tomato plants $0.61! Plus I gave one plant to my mom so for the 3 I planted, I only paid $0.45.

Since I already had the planters and the soil I won’t be calculating that into the equation. Craigslist.org has been as wonderful resource to find free and cheap gardening supplies, planters and even plants! The heavy duty colored tomato cages (pictured above) that retail for $9.99 each at Kmart, I picked up on Craigslist for FREE last year. That’s a $30 savings right there!

My grand total out of pocket expense for these 3 tomato plants & set up was only $0.45! That’s $.15 per plant! Love & water not included. When it’s time to harvest, I will weigh out what I collect and compare prices to similar store bought tomatoes and see how much I actually got for my tiny investment!

I LOVE extreme couponing and saving money! Stay tuned for more articles on Gardening on the Cheap, Budgeting for Groceries & How to Get Fantastic Freebies.