Gift Card Giveaway – Just in time for holiday shopping!

Today’s Budget is giving away three $10 giftcards one each for Target, Amazon.com and Borders.  Who doesn’t like a giveaway and free stuff?

There are two ways to enter and you can do both thus doubling your chances! The first is by leaving a comment in this post, telling me which card you would like to win. To enter a second time, post about this giveaway on your blog with a link, and let me know about it.

This contest will run from November 1, 2008 to noon November 26, 2008 (pacific time zone) and is open to global wanna-gift-card peeps.  The winner will be chosen at random. 

No-Spend Zone: Freebies on Craigslist

I’ve gone and done it.  I’ve hit ‘free’.   Yes, in one week – a free haircut, a lawnmower (not involved in said haircut) and plants for the front yard.

Why is ‘free’ good if you’re at a store, but from used or other sources is frowned upon?  In order to stay within my budget this week I went to a new extreme – Free on Craigslist.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m trying to landscape on a budget.   This week I wanted to get more plants in the ground and was trying to figure out how to get the lawn mowed.  

You have to love Craigslist for these tight financial times.  I searched for lawnmower every morning and today I hit the jackpot – FREE.  I called immediately and arranged the pickup.  It’s old and crusty and has seen better years… but since I’m not making it a centerpiece in my living room, who cares?  Best of all, it cut the grass just fine.

I’ve been searching for perennials, specific ground cover plants, herbs and shrubs.  I was having some success but finally created a Wanted listing with all of the different plants I was hoping to find. 

I am in need of perennials, shrubs and trees for my landscape on little budget. I’ll look at almost anything!

Ideally I would like to get:

Perennials – especially salvias, coral bells, lily of the valley
Privets
Carolina Laurels
Emerald Carpet Manzanita (or other varieties)
Trailing rosemary
Trumpet Vine or Honeysuckle Vine

Trees:
Italian Cypress

If you are in need of having your landscape thinned, I’m willing to dig these out and lend a hand in your landscape effort in exchange for the plants. If you have these to sell, I don’t have a lot but still want to hear from you on availability amd price.

Within a few hours I had four offers to come and take plants and shrubs.   Later that day I arrived home with roughly $60 worth of agapanthus and salvias – all for free.  They look great in the yard.  Slowly but surely I can get a front yard for very little.

This weekend I’m borrowing a weed whacker from a neighbor to clear our hillside.  The labor on this alone would have been a few hundred dollars.  The neighbor also has a chipper, so no fees to have debris hauled to the garden recycling center.   More money not going out the door.

Finally, I faced the reality that $70 haircuts (yes, that’s right) are way outside of the budget.  I love my stylist and she has cut my hair for over 13 years.  I feel a sense of betrayal but tough times call for tough measures.  I searched Craigslist for haircuts and there were a few in-training stylists in the area.  I called, went and came back with an OK cut.   On a scale of 1-10, I’d give it a 6.75.  I can live with that.

So the lawn is cut, my hair is cut, a few flowers are blooming… why do I still feel so glum?