Posted: 20/06/2013 at 23:47
Freecycle is a great way of giving things away that you no longer need, and getting free stuff that you do need. I've given lots of baby things away, and been gifted a pair of car ramps and some laminate flooring (just enough to do my very small hallway). Have a look first and see if anyone is asking for paving slabs in your area, that saves you from being inundated with emails, some asking really random questions, others downright rude, and some very polite ones - I always offer it to the first polite responder, and if they don't turn up, offer it to someone else. If you advertise it, advise them it is collection only.
I'm on a budget of virtually zero, I buy lots of tools from Amazon, as I do surveys to earn Amazon vouchers (you can also 'spend' a few more points to get paypal payments, which you can transfer to your bank). The GW offers are usually good, if you have the patience to pot up the very small plug plants and know that they won't show this year, but will come into their own next year.
If you are interested, you can grow fruit & veg in containers, strawberries and tomatoes in hanging baskets, salad crops in trough-type planters and herbs in pots.
Aldi is really good for gardening stuff, very cheap and quality stuff there - got a huge clock to go on my garage wall for £20, watering lance for £7, big plastic pots for £3. If you buy plants, try to get them on the day they are on special offer, they don't tend to look after them very well.
Sign up to all of the seed company emails (Thompson & Morgan, Suttons, Mr Fothergill's, Kings Seeds), they will send special offers, some too good to refuse.
Don't try to do it all at once. If you do, your garden will look lovely for a couple of months a year, and be fairly bare for the rest of the year, try to visit the GC once every couple of months, and add things you like bit by bit, that way you will have some colour all year round, and can build on it year-by-year, what you like this year you might hate in a few years time. You will also learn what NOT to plant, which can be equally important. Gardeners cultivate patience along with their plants.