Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Tuesday tip: New veggies from scraps

Growing veggies from scraps is nothing new. Pinterest and Eco sites overflow with tips on what to do with your veggie scraps. But if, like me you've tried placing that onion or celery end in water, you would know that after a couple of days the bottom of the vegetable goes all yucky. Also you're told to change the water every day. Ain't no mummy got time for dat 😉

The solution is to soak up your solution (the water that is) and there are simple practical ways to do this like placing the scraps on an wet old sponge. However since there is nothing aestically pleasing about a manky old sponge, how about resting your scraps on some water beads. 

If you haven't heard about these pretty little things then here's a bit of background.

Water beads or Crystal Soil is a water absorbent polymer, which is able to absorb and hold 100-200 times its volume of water for a long time. 

Each 10 grams Crystal Soil will absorb at least 1 litre of water and can fill up about 1 litre vase. Each bead will expand to approximately 1.0 cm in size. They are also

  • Odor Free and Insect Free.
  • Biodegradable & Environmental Safe.
  • No poisonous ingredients, No pollution , & No fading.
So you don't really need much of the stuff to get started. 

At the moment I've got a leek and some bok choy growing on my window sil. And I've only used about half a pack for all of them. Best bit is that they are reusable so once these little guys go into the soil you can use the beads again for the next lot of kitchen scraps. Best part is that I haven't touched these guys since putting them on to grow. No water changing no refilling. 

And if there comes a day when you no longer need them just let them dry out back into their original size (about the size of a course grain of sand) or if they break and don't look as attractive anymore just pop them into the garden. They are fantastic for keeping your soil hydrated and plants healthy. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Tuesday tip: Economical activities

Sometimes, it actually works out better to outsource some of your activities. Yes that's right, it sometimes is more economical to pay someone else to do your jobs!

Let me explain. If you can find someone to do your ironing for say, $15 an hour and you need two hours worth of ironing done, isn't it worth it for your time and sanity (not to mention time that you could spend with the family) to outsource this task? Would you get more than $30 worth of happiness, sanity and down time from it? I know I would!!

Things to consider:

  • What is your hourly rate of pay? Could you earn more in two hours doing your own job vs doing the outsourcing task? If you could, it is better economy to outsource it!
  • Will you save time and sanity? Why do something you dislike intensely if you can outsource it and save the effort?
  • Does it free up some time that you could put to better use? Spending time with the kids/other half/pets or having some valuable personal time?
Jobs that you might consider outsourcing:
  • Cleaning
  • Ironing
  • Shopping
  • Gardening
  • Childcare
Head over to With a Fork to read about outsourcing food shopping with a food box delivery service. If it sounds like your kind of thing and you want to try it, there is a discount code for your first box!

Do you outsource tasks? What works for your household?