Growing Your Own Economy

WARNING: As with the previous post “Don’t like this Economy? Create Your Own“, I continue to veer off my “normal” business-related path.  Do not be alarmed, I shall return to it shortly.

In the previous post I went over a couple of ways that we create our own personal economy so we aren’t tossed around in the seas of economic unrest.  I promised you a few more ideas, so here they are.

Veggy Gardening: Full disclosure, we also garden Hostas and flowers, but while they are pretty to look at, they put nothing on the table.

Fresh greens from the garden topped with pickled beets from last year's garden.  Can you say, "MMMMMmmmmm!"

Fresh greens from the garden topped with pickled beets from last year’s garden. Can you say, “MMMMMmmmmm!”

Vegetables on the other hand…they provide fresh organic produce for us June-November and then transition into winter via canning and freezing.  We have our own home-grown food year around.  Not only does this mean fewer trips to the grocery store in the summer, but it also means we control the pesticides and other chemicals that we consume.

I’m not gonna lie, gardening can be hot, buggy and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be.  When we lived in a townhouse with a six-foot square patio, we still gardened successfully, we just did it in containers and rarely had enough left over to can or freeze.  Regardless, we still made an impact on our summer food bill and I discovered that pulling weeds, pruning plants and other garden chores were the perfect antidote to my stressful job.

Trade with Friends: Not at all like “Words with Friends”, this can apply to all sorts of things–children’s clothing, furniture or even services.  While I am lucky to be fairly competent in basic home repairs and my husband is even more so, not everyone has those skills.  So instead of hiring someone to do something like replace a door, consider asking around and seeing if you have a friend you could trade services with.  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  I have a friend who is an amazing cook.  I happen to know that my husband would jump through hoops to get her pan-seared scallops, so having him make a minor repair around her house is a win-win for both of them (and me, I like to provide supervision and moral support).  This can also extend to computer repairs and other items.  My husband spent an hour fixing a friend’s computer, but two weeks earlier that friend had stopped by and mowed our front yard while our mower was on the fritz.

Recycle:  I’m not just talking about hauling a bin out to the curb every week, although we found when we started seeing how much packaging we

I painted my patio chairs this fabulous retro color and it's like having a whole new set of furniture for the cost of four cans of spray paint (about $12)!

I painted my patio chairs this fabulous retro color and it’s like having a whole new set of furniture for the cost of four cans of spray paint (about $12)!

threw away each week, we became more careful about what we buy.  What I am actually talking about is thinking about how you can reuse items you already have instead of going out and buying new ones.  If you have patio furniture that you like, but hate the color, paint it!

If you want new pillows on your couch, can you swap out others from a different room or make new pillow covers from some leftover fabric?  I even swap out indoor and outdoor items, bringing inside plants stands (with a little new paint) and taking out wrought iron candle holders.  I like changing things up and it makes me feel good without spending a lot of money (although I do use a lot of paint!).

Obviously, not all of these ideas are a good fit for everyone, but if you even apply one, you are taking control of your own economy!

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