Cheap in Erie
By Dana Massing Erie Times-News staff blogger
I am a grandchild of the Great Depression and a survivor of more recent recessions. Through my grandparents and parents, I've learned to spend wisely and to save while still being able to live life well. I want to share my discoveries with you and hear yours.   Read more about this blog.
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Posted: June 16th, 2013
Plant perennials to trim your garden costs

There are a lot of pretty plants out there but the ones that have to be purchased and planted anew each year won’t be found in my yard. I opt to buy perennials, which come back year after year, rather than annuals, which you have to buy every year.

So each plant that I plant can be enjoyed for years to come at no additional cost.

Another way to get plants year after year is to harvest your own seeds.

I made a one-time investment in several packs of sunflower seeds last year. As the flowers bloomed, I picked and dried several of them and stored them in a secure spot. This year, I was able to use the seeds to plant two whole patches of sunflowers at no cost.

The seeds also came in handy at Christmas. I gave some as gifts to friends and family, along with inexpensive pots and bags of soil so they could grow their own flowers.

After I moved into my house, I went to my mother’s in the fall and picked some of her marigolds. I planted the seeds at my house the following spring. And that fall I picked some of my own marigolds and saved the seeds for the next spring. This is the eighth year I’ve done that and grown marigolds without paying a penny.

If you don’t have a mother with a patch full of them, you can always invest in seeds the first year. Just make sure to save some every fall for the following spring.

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