Second-Hand Mulch

Free Mulch

We’ve gotten many things second-hand over the years, but I never though mulch would be one of them. Here’s the story that goes along with our latest find:

Our daughters are in separate schools this year. We pick up our youngest daughter, and then 40 minutes later, we pick up our oldest daughter. Since that doesn’t really leave enough time to go home again, we’ve just been sitting in a shady pavilion at the church across the street from the school. My husband and daughter bring a card game or a board game to play, and I read. It’s been a nice use of the time.


Well, when we got there yesterday, there was a landscaper working on the playground next to the pavilion. We talked with him for a few minutes, and he explained that he was having to dig up, and haul off, all the mulch around the playground because the ground didn’t drain properly (they’d put the mulch on top of a bed of sand). Now, we’re talking about a big playground with six-inch deep or better mulch. I can’t even begin to guess how many yards of mulch were there, and it was all beautiful, dark, partially-composted mulch.

So, you know what I did next, right? I asked him what he was going to do with it. And happy day, he responded by asking if we wanted some. In fact, he even offered to deliver it. We only live a mile from the church, so our house was the perfect drop spot for him, and he was happy to see it go to good use.

He’s dropped off two truck loads so far, and he still has one more to go. That’ll make a total of nine yards of mulch, and all he wanted was $40 to cover the delivery. We tried to give him $60, and he wouldn’t take it. After insisting that he take $50, he announced that the load of horse manure he’d offered to bring me will now be free. So, for $50 we’ll end up with nine yards of mulch and three yards of manure. That’s one heck of a deal.

I called our local garden center to see what they were charging for mulch, and it’s $30 a yard. That means it would have cost us $270, plus tax and delivery. And that’s not even counting the value of the manure.

Freshly Mulched Front Yard

Now comes the fun of spreading nine yards of mulch. Maybe free mulch is lighter? Hey, a girl can hope.

2015 World’s Longest Yard Sale Finds

We went to the World’s Longest Yard Sale this past weekend (it’s kind of a tradition for us), and although we didn’t think it was quite as good as it’s been in years past, we still found some things to take home with us. Here’s what made the cut:

Countertop Dishwasher

A countertop dishwasher. This little appliance wonder was waiting for us at the last sale we stopped at, and we paid $45 for it (the current model sells for $219 on Amazon). We plan to use it at the cabin, once we get our running water hooked up.

Inside of Countertop Dishwasher

It’s designed to hold six place settings. I’m envisioning throwing our dishes in there after meals, and getting on to other things. Because, really, who wants to spend time washing dishes when you can hike, fish or porch sit? The fact that we haven’t stocked our pond or built a porch yet … those are just minor details in this plan of mine. We’ll get there. [Read more…]

Spring Curb Shopping Highlights

Spring curb shopping is the best. People get busy decluttering, and we get busy picking up things we need for free. Here are some of the things that we’ve picked up so far:

Trunk Full of Irises

An entire trunkload of irises. I gave my mother-in-law half of them, and kept the rest for myself. They’re deep purple.

I also rescued a copy paper box full of irises from another pile (not sure what color they are yet) and a pot of pink hyacinth bulbs from still another pile. It’s amazing how many plants I’ve gotten from curb piles over the years (sure beats paying for them). [Read more…]

Our Bread-Themed Weekend

Free Bread Haul

We stopped by our local Salvation Army thrift store yesterday afternoon, and they had free bread again! We got hooked on this awesome freebie last year. Then, it went away, and we sure missed it. Hopefully this means it’s back to stay. I plan to use some of the flatbreads to make flatbread pizzas for dinner tonight. Yum! We’ll keep some of the sliced bread out for sandwiches this week, and stick the rest in the freezer to enjoy later.

Bread Racks

But wait … the bread-related freebies don’t stop there because, we also scored all of these bread racks in a curb pile today.

Brown Bread Racks

There are around 150 of them! What am I going to do with them you ask?

I plan to use a tall tower of them to store our root/winter vegetables in the basement – potatoes, onions, garlic, butternut squash etc. I’ll also use them to haul merchandise to consignment sales and craft shows (we’ll be doing our first craft show in May), and I’m sure I’ll find lots more uses for them when we reorganize the basement next month. As soon as we get all the cabin stuff out of the basement (I’m hoping we’ll be able to move stuff into the cabin in two weeks), I’m going on a major decluttering/organizing spree. I’ll be sure to share pictures of how we use the racks when we get to that point.

And since 150 racks is admittedly a lot of racks, I’ll probably also share some with our farmer friends. They use them to haul produce to the farmer’s markets, and I’m sure they’d be thrilled to have more. I love how curb shopping allows us to do nice things for our friends and family. Some have even started giving us their wish lists at the start of curb shopping season. Ha!