Staycation on a Budget 2015: over 50 cities!

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Staycation on a Budget

If you want to plan a staycation or frugal vacation somewhere in the US, go no further.  I have shared STAYCATION NEW ENGLAND: Boston and Beyond and how you need to make sure you UNPLUG, PLAN and be CREATIVE!  Lucky for us over 50+ other bloggers who did the same for their part of the country and here they are.  What a fantastic resource!

Be sure to come back and let me know what great staycation ideas you have for YOUR home state.

A – D

Phoenix, Arizona — Saving For Someday
Fresno, California — Living A Frugal Life
Orange County, California — More With Less Today
San Diego, California — Southern Cali Saver
Denver, Colorado — Bargain Blessings
Washington, District of Columbia — Kidventurous

F – I

Disney World, Florida — The Happy Housewife
Jacksonville, Florida — Saving The Family Money
Orlando, Florida — Coupon Mamacita
St Augustine, Florida — Simply St. Augustine
Tallahasse, Florida — SwagGrabber
Tampa Bay, Florida —
Atlanta, Georgia — Pretty Frugal Diva
Dahlonega, Georgia — Kathys Cluttered Mind
Savannah, Georgia — This Mommy Saves Money
Aurora/Chicago, Illinois — A Savings WOW!
Chicago, Illinois — Entertaining Chicago
Indianapolis, Indiana — Chaos Is Bliss

K – P

Lexington, Kentucky — Homeschool Village
Louisville, Kentucky — The Kennedy Adventures
Northern Kentucky, Kentucky — Simply Sherryl
Carroll County, Maryland — Looking at life CreativLEI
Boston, Massachusetts — Maven of Savin
Battle Creek, Michigan — Pichea Place
Grand Rapids, Michigan — Give Me Neither
Metro Detroit, Michigan — Saving Dollars and Sense
Kansas City Area, Missouri/Kansas — Redefined Mom
Omaha, Nebraska — Family Fun in Omaha
Central, New Jersey — Our Good Life
Cincinnati, Ohio — Adventure Mom
Cleveland, Ohio — Kosher on a Budget
Columbus, Ohio — Cleverly Simple
Dayton, Ohio — Savings Lifestyle
Mansfield & Richland County, Ohio — The Traveling Praters
Miami County, Ohio — Something 2 Offer
Northeast, Ohio — Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring
Portland, Oregon — Frugal Living NW
Harrisburg/Central, PA — Family Balance Sheet
Erie, Pennsylvania — Growing Kids Ministry
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Moms Need To Know
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — The Coupon High

R – W

Arlington, Texas — Grocery Shop For FREE
Fort Worth, Texas — Coupons and Freebies Mom
Houston, Texas — Melissa’s Bargains
Katy, Texas — Moms Confession
San Antonio, Texas — How to Homeschool My Child
Tyler, Texas — iLoveMy5Kids
Charlottesville, Virgina — How to Have it All
Norfolk, Virgina — The Talking Suitcase
Richmond, Virgina — Vacation Maybe
Seattle, Washington — Thrifty NW Mom
Tacoma/South Puget Sound, Washington — Queen Bee Coupons
Oshkosh, Wisconsin — A Little Bit of This and That

What are your favorite STAYCATION ideas?

Andes 3-minute Chocolate Mint Mug Cake

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ANDES 3-minute Chocolate Mint Mug Cake

This Chocolate Mint Mug Cake is one of the easiest things to make and soooo YUMMY!!  How can you beat 4 ingredients, 3 minutes and no dirty pans to clean?

All you hard core bakers may poo poo using the microwave BUT when it is 9pm and you need a quick decadent snack – well there you have it.


You just melt the Andes Mints in the microwave, then add the other ingredients and mix until smooth.  Microwave for 1-2 minutes and you have CAKE!

The hardest part may be unwrapping the Andes candy and then deciding what to top it with.  Try chocolate sauce, frosting, crushed peppermints, Heath bar pieces and more!


Keep in mind the only sugar is from the candy so it is not overly sweet.  I think the chocolate sauce is needed for sure – in my opinion.  Though powdered sugar is a nice, less sweet option.

NOTES: Your microwave may be trial and error – I have undermixed it and over cooked it making it taste like burned flour… but once you get the microwave and mixing down, it is super easy.  I may try adding chocolate chips next time!

This would also make a lovely gift.  Get a beautiful mug and fill it with the Andes Candies along with the dry ingredients in a bag along with instructions.  All they need to do is add milk and VOILA!

What are your favorite MUG recipes?

Holiday 2015 Shopping Strategies for Success!

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This is an updated version of past years post that I hope was helpful to you in planning your Christmas shopping.

You have all started to see HOT Holiday deals LIVE now BUT first things first… start the holiday season with some strategies to simplify Christmas and avoid paying WAY TOO MUCH during your holiday shopping this year.

REMEMBER to SHARE THIS because Friends don’t let Friends pay full price!

Don’t buy things you cannot afford

The first thing I cannot stress enough is Don’t Buy Stuff you Cannot Afford.  I know it seems obvious, but seriously – the holidays are about family, not about material goods.  I will be posting lots of deals, but that does not mean you need to buy them all.  A deal is not a deal if you cannot afford it.  You may save $100 on an item, but if you are charging them to credit cards with high interest rates, you may end up paying more in the end.  Do not use credit cards to finance your holidays – it is not worth it in the end.

BEWARE of shipping fees and Layaway

Watch out for crazy shipping fees.  I love FREE shipping and highly recommend Amazon Prime.  You can get a FREE 30 day trial you can use for holiday shopping.  Then it costs $97/year which you can SHARE with other family members (yes at different addresses) – totally worth it in my opinion.  Luckily other stores like Target and Walmart are also offering FREE shipping on top gifts as well.

Also, beware of Layaway as well – make sure you understand the terms and fees associated with it to determine if it is the right thing for you.  Sometimes the fees end up being more than the interest on a credit card.

Simplify and Cut Back… REALLY!!!

We have cut way back at our house in an effort to save money, but also teach out children the meaning of Christmas and the value of a gift.  Christmas’s of the past had so many gifts, some remained untouched for months after Christmas morning.  It was unnecessary and wasteful so we have moved to the WANT, NEED, WEAR, READ method and the kids really enjoy it.

Make a Budget and a List and Check it Twice

I highly suggest you budget and keep a list handy of the gifts you need.  Even if it is not specific, at least have the names handy so you can cross them off as you grab their gifts.

There are many tools out there, or create your own, just make sure you create some sort of PLAN.

How to get the BEST DEALS:

SUBSCRIBE for the daily newsletter —> enter your email in the upper right corner!

holiday-giftIn the coming weeks I will strive to bring you all the great deals on the must have holiday items – keep an eye out for this tree to mark if I think it is a good holiday gift idea, but please keep the following in mind:

  • Some deals are time sensitive and may not be available for long so make sure to check facebook and twitter for the most up to date information.  Prices can change by the minute.  Be sure to ask for facebook NOTIFICATIONS… or you can also join the Maven of Savin Deals GROUP on facebook – you see alerts more easily from groups sometimes.  I will only post HOT holiday deals there – not identical to the other FB feed.
  • I am an affiliate for a lot of stores (you will see my disclosure policy linked on the posts), but I will only post deals that I think are good.  I appreciate when you use my links as they support the up keep of this site, but please do not feel you need to.
  • If a deal is time sensitive and I do not know or have the time to research, I may post it but clearly state that I do not know if this is a great deal, so please use your own judgement.  I am human and I cannot possible know everything about everything.  So please let me know when you find a great deal or if what I posted is not a great deal – nicely please – LOL!


You will see the above button on my sidebar so you can click on it anytime to see all the latest Christmas deals as well as other helpful links.

If you were around last year you know how awesome the Amazon Lightning deals can be.  I will post more later but they go fast and furious so be sure to read all about How to get on the Amazon Lightning Deal waitlist.  You will be amazed the number of times you can get the deal you want if you do not give up.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have a plan and do not dig yourself in a financial hole this season.  You can still have a fulfilling holiday without a bunch of meaningless STUFF.

20 Gluten Free Slow Cooker Meals from Costco for $150 – recipes, shopping list and more!

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Affiliate-Disclosure Slow Cooker Freezer Pack Costco Plan - 20 Meals for $150 in Less Than 2 Hours |

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Meals

Back to School and all the after school activities will be here before you know it.  I know in my family it is tough getting dinner on the table while shuttling kids to and fro.

Erin from $ has come up with some super simple Slow Cooker Freezer Meals to help you put everything together in a snap.  They are all Gluten-FREE as well.  What are your favorite quick weeknight meals?

The plan includes 20 meals (double of 10 different recipes) that should cost about $150 at Costco (prices may vary by region – and I am sure you can do something similar at BJ’s), take under 2 hours to prepare and she even shows you in a step by step video.

  • Slow Cooker Chicken with Apples & Rosemary
  • Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Apples & Sweet Potatoes
  • Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chicken Curry
  • Slow Cooker Italian Chicken
  • Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken & Potatoes
  • Slow Cooker Sausage, Peppers, Onions
  • Slow Cooker Italian Stew Roast
  • Slow Cooker Beef Stew
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Slow Cooker Chicken & Sausage Stew

You can choose to get the recipes and shopping list printable (package 2) for only $1.49 OR get the inclusinve Package 1 that includes

  • Printable Assembly Instructions – step by step guide to pulling all these meals together and into the freezer
  • Printable Assembly Cards – so you don’t forget any ingredients in each bag
  • Printable Labels – you can print these out onto Avery #6874 label paper and stick them to your plastic baggies or containers.
  • Exclusive Access to the 3 Instructional Assembly Videos
  • Recipe List & Grocery List included as well!

Click here to view more details

Buy Now

Staycation on a Budget 2014: Over 60 Cities!

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Staycation on a Budget

If you want to plan a staycation or frugal vacation somewhere in the US, go no further.  Yesterday we talked about STAYCATION Massachusetts 2014: Frugal Fun in Boston & Beyond and how you need to make sure you UNPLUG, PLAN and be CREATIVE!  Lucky for us over 60+ other bloggers who did the same for their part of the country and here they are.  What a fantastic resource!

Be sure to come back and let me know what great staycation ideas you have for YOUR home state.

A – D

Phoenix-Metro, Arizona ~ Mom Endeavors
Scottsdale, Arizona ~ Saving For Someday
Tucson, Arizona ~ Desert Chica Ramblings
Bentonville, Arkansas ~ This Sweet Life
Fullerton, California ~ More with Less Today
San Diego, California ~ Southern Cali
Denver, Colorado ~ Bargain Blessings
Washington, District of Columbia ~ Kidventurous

F – I

Jacksonville, Florida ~ Saving The Family Money
Orlando, Florida ~ The Educators’ Spin On It
Tallahassee, Florida ~ SwagGrabber
Tampa, Florida ~ Not Consumed
Chicago (and suburbs), Illinois ~ A Savings WOW!
Chicago, Illinois ~ Entertaining Chicago
Fort Wayne, Indiana ~ Simplified Saving
Indianapolis, Indiana ~ Chaos Is Bliss
Des Moines, Iowa ~ Eat, Play, Love Des Moines

K – P

Louisville, Kentucky – The Kennedy Adventures
Northern Kentucky (Boone, Kenton, Campbell Co) ~ Simply Sherryl
Annapolis, Maryland ~ The Happy Housewife
Boston, Massachusetts ~ Maven of Savin
Grand Rapids, Michigan ~ Give Me Neither
Metro Detroit, Michigan ~ Saving Dollars and Sense
Oakland County, Michigan ~ Everyday Savvy
South Haven, Michigan ~ Bargain Briana
Twin Cities, Minnesota ~ Creative Couponing
Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas ~ Kosher on a Budget
Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas ~ Kansas City Mamas
Southern Missouri ~ Getting Freedom
Omaha, Nebraska ~ Family Fun in Omaha
Reno (& Northern), Nevada ~ Premeditated Leftovers
Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York ~ Anns’ Entitled Life
Syracuse, New York ~ I am THAt Lady
Cincinnati, Ohio ~ Adventure mom
Columbus, Ohio ~ Cleverly Simple
Dayton, Ohio ~ Savings Lifestyle
Northeast Ohio ~ Raising Lifelong Learners
Northeast Ohio (Canton, Akron, Cleveland) ~ Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring
North Central Oklahoma ~ From this Kitchen Table
Portland, Oregon ~ Frugal Living NW
Erie, Pennsylvania ~ Growing Kids Ministry
Harrisburg/Central, Pennsylvania ~ Family Balance Sheet
Lancaster, Pennsylvania ~ Pandora’s Deals
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ~ The Coupon High
Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) ~ Bucktown Bargains

R – W

Providence, Rhode Island ~ Everyday Family Living
Beaufort, South Carolina ~ Kathys Cluttered Mind
Chattanooga, Tennessee ~ Living Chic on the Cheap
Nashville, Tennessee ~ The Hands-On Homeschooler
Arlington, Texas ~ Baby Boomer Rants
Bryan/College Station, Texas ~ How to Homeschool My Child
Dallas, Texas ~ Surviving The Stores
Fort Worth, Texas ~ Coupons and Freebies Mom
Houston, Texas ~ Melissa’s Bargains
Katy, Texas ~ Moms Confession
Rio Grande Valley (McAllen), Texas ~ iLoveMy5Kids
Salt Lake City, Utah ~ Teach Beside Me
Charlottesville, Virginia ~ How to Have it All
Richmond, Virginia ~ Vacation Maybe
Williamsburg, Virginia ~ The Talking Suitcase
Seattle, Washington ~ Thrifty NW Mom
Spokane, Washington – Susan’s Homeschool Blog
Oshkosh, Wisconsin ~ A Little Bit of This and That

What are your favorite STAYCATION ideas?

6 Garden Tools you MUST HAVE

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6 Garden Tool Must Haves

If you are thinking about planting a garden this year, there are some essential tools you will want to have on hand.  Whether you choose to plant vegetables, perennial herbs or are just weeding your landscaping, the correct tools will make your life so much easier and even – I dare say – enjoyable.

Of course you do not need to spend an arm and a leg for them.  Start with some basics and expand from there.  Take a look below at 5 garden tool must haves that you will want to snag for this growing season!

Basic Garden Tool Set

Everyone needs a basic garden tool set to get started. Sets typically include a trowel, cultivator, and transplanter and/or pruners.  Though I do like the idea of the weeder in this set or there is an added hoe in this 5-piece set.

Trug Tub

A trug tub is a flexible and lightweight tub that can be used to hold all of your garden waste. As you prune or weed you can place the clippings in the tub for disposable. The tub is waterproof, easy to clean, and easy to carry. You can find these for around $9-$15 depending on size.  Of course any container will do, but I am always looking for a way to collect my weeds.

Pocket Hose

Forget about lugging huge and heavy hoses around the garden. A pocket hose is a lightweight and collapsible hose that makes watering easier. You can find one for around $10 and they are built to last.

Landscaping Gloves

When choosing gloves, you want something tough and durable. These landscaping gloves by Garden Odyssey fit the bill for around $10. They protect the delicate wrist, are made of tough suede, and are built to last. Perfect for pruning or hauling branches, these gloves will keep you scratch free.  My wrists always get itchy so I love that these cover them.

If you do not like those, check out these other gardening gloves.

Bucket Caddy

A bucket caddy is a great way to keep your tools organized and right by your side. This bucket caddy by Fiskars is perfect for keeping your tools safe and at your fingertips. Plus, it only costs around $11 which is a great price!

Garden Seat

Make gardening a little more fun and comfortable with a garden seat. A garden seat such as this one will protect your legs, knees, back, and bottom. For around $30, you can own one yourself and have a more comfortable gardening experience.

OK all you gardening professionals… what did I miss? 

Spring Cleaning: The Laundry Room only $0.99

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Spring Cleaning: The Laundry Room eBook - 7 Steps to Get Your Laundry Room Under Control!

Is Laundry your nemesis?

Before you can get it under control, you have to get your laundry room under control.  For a limited time you can get Spring Cleaning: The Laundry Room by my favorite laundry goddess Lauren Hill of Mama’s Laundry Talk for only $0.99.  You can also grab it on Kindle for the same price.

This e-guide leads readers through 7 steps to get their Laundry Rooms under control.  You know…those Laundry Rooms that you can hardly get to the washer because there is so much stuff on the floor (clothes, sports equipment, detergent bottles, etc.)  The guide is complete with a Laundry Room Checklist and a 7 Steps Cheat Sheet for easy reference.

Did you know you need to sanitize your washing machine every now and then?  I do it now and it makes a HUGE difference in the stinkies that can come out of your washer – especially front load ones.

Pick up Spring Cleaning: The Laundry Room and get yourself organized to be more productive in the laundry room.

Growing Vegetables That Reseed Themselves

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Growing Vegetables that ReSeed Themselves

We all know I am no gardener… and as I start, I am looking for every shortcut, lazy gardening method out there.

Experienced gardeners know about volunteer plants, random plants that have managed to reseed themselves and just start growing in the middle of the garden. While most gardeners are likely to allow flowers and herbs to reseed themselves and grow where they may, vegetables are not always allowed to grow, or even given the opportunity to reseed themselves.

Flower and herbs keep their seeds in the flowerheads, and the seeds drop when the flowers are through blooming. Vegetable seeds, on the other hand, are contained within the fruit of the plants, and since we grow vegetable to eat, the seeds are very rarely allowed to drop to the garden bed and reseed next spring.

With a little lazy gardening, or smart planning (as I like to call it – LOL!), you can get several vegetable plants to reseed themselves each year.

Tomato Plants

The number of tomato seeds available on a single plant is very high, enough to provide for an entire garden full of plants just from one fruit. However, we usually harvest all the tomatoes we grow and rarely do we collect the seeds. By leaving just one tomato fruit on the vine to ripen, fall and decompose itself in the soil, you can have tomato seedlings show up in the garden next spring. If you do not like the look of a dead tomato plant being left over the winter months in the garden. Pull the tomato from the vine, clean the garden and place the tomato back into the soil to spend the winter. You can do this with each variety of tomato you want to grow and then thin seedlings out when they begin to sprout.


Like tomato plants, peppers are stuffed with seeds that all have the potential to reseed themselves in your garden beds. Because peppers take so long to mature, there are often one or two vegetables that begin to grow well after the time they will need to reach their full size and mature. These late bloomers are great for re-seeding purposes when left on the vine to die and drop their seeds into the soil. If you noticed the seeds fall into the soil, lightly rake them into the soil for the winter which will give them the coverage they need and also provide the friction and pressure needed for germination to occur in the spring.


Large pumpkin vines and pumpkins make great reseeders in the vegetable garden. Pumpkin seeds are large, mixed in with all the flesh that you pull out when you carve a jack-o-lantern. Being that pumpkins are harvested late in the season, there is always one or two pumpkins that are so small they are just left behind on the vine or pulled for a table decoration. If you have one of these late to mature pumpkins, let it stay in the garden bed instead of removing it. If you harvest all your pumpkins, return some of the seeds to the garden bed where you want to see them grow next year. Most pumpkins are able to reseed with more seedlings that you have room to provide for so a good thinning out is necessary in the spring.


Cucumber plants are capable of returning a large harvest when all their needs are met and they get a lot of sunshine. They are also great vegetable plants for reseeding, with each cucumber holding anywhere from 50 to 100 seeds, depending on the variety. If you protect your cucumbers from rot and insects you can harvest every single one of them, but to allow for the plant to reseed itself, allow just one to remain on the vine. The longer the cucumber is able to stay on the vine through fall, dry out and drop its seeds, the better chance you have of it reseeding. Like pumpkins, cucumbers need a lot of growing space so make sure you thin out the smaller seedlings when spring arrives.

Of course some work will still need to be done, but hopefully less than planting fresh each year.

Do you allow any of your vegetables to reseed?

I will also be trying these 5 Perennial Herbs for Beginner Gardeners so I only have to plant once as well!

7 Kitchen Hacks to Save you Time and Aggravation

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7 Kitchen Hacks blog

7 Kitchen Hacks to Save you Time & Aggravation

Over a period of time in the kitchen, you eventually start to learn things that make your life easier.  Saving time allows you to enjoy time doing the other things in life that you love.

Some of these tips & tricks are referred to as “kitchen wins” or “kitchen hacks” and there is a seemingly endless flow of them out there. The ones that are best for us are really unique to each individual. What you cook and how often is a large determining factor.

That said, here are seven kitchen hacks that many already know (of course I did not – LOL), but ones that most can use on a regular basis.

Boil potatoes with skin on to peel them

Making mashed potatoes without the skin used to be a nightmare. Peeling all those potatoes – especially when honestly, I do not even like mashed potatoes – but with an Irish husband, well you know.

Did you know that you can boil potatoes with the skin on and when they are done, the skin will literally peel off? No more peeling potatoes folks.  After washing just score the potato around the middle with a paring knife (just through the skin).  Once they are boiled, drain off the hot water.  Be very careful to allow them to cool before using your hands, but then run under cold water and peel the skins right off with your fingers.

What are your favorite POTATO Tips & Tricks?

Shake hard-boiled eggs to peel them

Another irritating thing to try to do in the kitchen is to peel hard-boiled eggs.  Of course using older eggs to hard boil always helps, but you can also SHAKE the shells off.

Place them in a tupperware container (or you can actually try using the pan with a cover as well) filled 1/2 way with water and shake them around for several minutes. When you remove the lid, they will come right off.

I am also going to try this really cool “Blow the Egg Out Method” by Tim Ferris…

What are your favorite Hard Boiled Eggs Tips & Tricks?

Use Non-Stick cooking spray to speed up grating

I have asked a million people.  When you grate things – cheese, veggies, garlic, anything – how the heck do you get the stuff off the grater.  Especially when it is something small like garlic.  I loose the whole clove in the grater.

Who knew that a simple spray of non-stick cooking spray could eliminate that problem completely? I didn’t but I do now. This works like magic with cheese in particular.

Do you have other Grating Tips & Tricks?

Core your lettuce by hitting it on a hard surface

I love this one because I can always feel like I am smashing someones head (some days you just need that – LOL!).  Some restaurants need this lesson as well.  If I get one more salad that is mostly core I think I will scream.

Anyway you can just take the core of the lettuce and aim it down towards the surface. Bring the core firmly down on a cutting board or hard surface and you can then pull the core right out

Obviously this is for a head of lettuce, NOT romaine – LOL!

Keep your knives sharp by using flat side to scrape items off cutting board

I wonder how many people do this? When you are cutting or dicing on a cutting board, do you turn the knife when you scrape things to the side or into a bowl?

Dull knives can really slow things down in the kitchen – as well as frustrate the cook.  Using the sharp side to drag things back and forth will dull them quickly. Flip it over and use the flat side of the knife for that.  If you have a knife block be sure to store them flat side down as well.

How do you keep your Knives Sharp?

Store Ice Cream in a Ziploc bag

After you open a gallon of ice cream store it in a ziploc bag.  This will keep it SOFT and fresh so you do not break your wrist or bend your spoon when you go for a scoop.

Put your most commonly used utensils right by the stove

This sounds obvious, but how many times are you digging through a drawer for what you need?  Pick the five things you use the most (tongs, wooden spoon, etc) and place them in a container directly beside the stove. Why not have the most common things you use handy, right? A mason jar, vase or even a cookie jar can make a cute option for this.

Wait until you see my solution for storing my new Elevate Utensil set (pictures coming this weekend – I hope).

These kitchen hacks are far from the only ones out there and may be obvious to you but not everyone knows.

What kitchen hacks, tips or tricks are you using on a daily basis that you can share?

I would love to post regularly on this topic, so send me your tips!

5 Perennial Herbs for the Beginner Gardener

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5 Perennial Herbs For Beginner Gardeners

At the end of summer every gardener is busy harvesting and preparing plants before the first frost hits.  Since everyone who knows me KNOWS this is obviously NOT going to happen with me, I would need to plant a garden with plants that can be put to bed over the winter months, when they will return again in the spring.

Saying I do not have a GREEN THUMB is an understatement.  Many find comfort, relaxation and a calm sereneness with gardening, I do not.

I WANT to like it, I LOVE how it looks, I WANT to eat healthier and WANT to enjoy it, but alas I do not.

That is why it is important for garden-phobic folks or beginners like myself to have stuff that comes back year after year.  If we invest the time and money in a garden or landscaping, you know it is only happening once!

I have a crappy patch of land between the garage and driveway that might be perfect for an herb garden.  Luckily there are so many herbs available to us as perennials it is easy to plan, design and invest in a garden once and know that the end of summer does not mean the end of your garden.

Use this guide to determine which of your herbs will return to the garden next year. If you are interested in a budget friendly plan, or something that you can just plant once and enjoy every year, be sure to add as many of these herbs to your garden as possible.


Thyme is a perennial herb that is able to withstand cold winters and doubles in size each and every year. A low growing groundcover, thyme comes in several different varieties that can be chosen for the color of their foliage, flower or scent. For gardeners that are in the colder hardiness zones, lemon and English thyme are better able to handle very cold winters, and newer decorative varieties tend to be less hardy and unable to handle the cold winter months.


Lavender is very hardy and most plants are able to make it through cold, long winters and bloom again in the spring. Ensuring that your lavender plant is able to survive through the winter does take a little work on your part, and this needs to be done when you are planting and not when fall comes around. Planting your lavender in a protected area, away from high wind and adding it to slightly rocky or poor soil giving lavender roots a better and deeper grip is best. Pruning back the plant at the end of the growing season also helps to ensure that all the energy of the plant goes into survival.


Sage plants are often planted as annuals, but if placed in a dedicated spot in the garden and the if the ground is not frozen for a longer than normal period, it can survive and return. Plants will be very tender and small, not returning to their former size like lavender and thyme do, but you get the joy of growing a plant to maturity again.


Mint is perhaps one of the most common herbs in gardens because so many people add a single plant to a bed without realizing how resilient the herb is and how fast it can spread. Spearmint and Peppermint are two of the most popular and easiest to grow, adding one plant is great, but try to add it to its own bed or container where it will fill out entirely year after year. Other varieties to plant include citrus mints and the newer tropical scented varieties.


Chives are some of springs first plants, filling in their corner of the garden before most gardeners have even had the chance to clear the beds of garden debris. Any variety of chives can be expected to make it through the cold winter months and they are so low maintenance and useful in the kitchen that they are definitely a smart investment.

What herbs do you have in your garden?