Besides the cost of gas, the rising cost of food has to be the next biggest challenge for people today. It doesn’t matter if you are a family of one or a family of twenty-one, the cost of food is definitely affecting everyone’s budget.
One obvious way to save money in that area is to stay home and cook meals for yourself rather than eating fast food every night. But that tip is not a new one and is not what I want to talk about today. I want to take the discussion to the next level.
I would like to encourage all of you to try your hand at growing your own food, at least some of it. Many of us live in very rural parts of the state and probably are already knee-deep in our garden or farm. Good for you!
I also know that there are many folks who haven’t yet given this a try. I am by no means an expert in this area. It wasn’t until recently that I actually started taking an active part in the growing and caring of our vegetable garden and (ssshhhh… don’t tell my husband this) I think I might actually enjoy it.
Besides the fact that weeding and planting usually buys me just a little child-free time, there really is something about getting down and dirty in the garden and knowing that what you are doing is going to put food on your family’s table. It’s fun and rewarding!
That is all well and good but Fridays here at The Zone are not called “Fun Fridays” are they? We are here on “Frugal Friday” so let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk finances.
If you are new to the garden game and want to just get your feet wet then I suggest you start small. You can certainly go all out and dig up half of your yard, start all of your plants from seed and plant a “garden” that will hopefully produce enough veggies that you will can, freeze and pickle so that it lasts you all year long. The problem here is that this method can get over-whelming and you are likely to suffer from garden burn-out very quickly.
If you want to grow some veggies purely to help save money at the grocery check-out then I suggest you go for a few of the high-dollar items; think tomatoes and peppers. You can find young plants at almost any local garden store and plant them right in the ground or in large containers on a deck or patio. They are pretty low maintenance – add sun & water and watch them grow. Once you get comfortable with your new green-thumb, you can add more herbs and veggies to the mix and before you know it you will be cutting your produce bill in half. Who said money doesn’t grow on trees?
If you are one of those folks that just looks at a plant and it starts to wilt or maybe you feel you just don’t have the time or interest in growing your own food then my next recommendation is to shop the local farmer’s markets.
We are so lucky to live in an area surrounded by an abundance of farms and markets offering high quality, healthy and delicious fruits, veggies, herbs and other outstanding products. Support your neighbors and community by shopping locally. It’s all good!
For excellent tips and information about starting and caring for your garden of any size, visit our friends at Grow it. Eat it. Or, click here for more information about farmer’s markets in your area.
I have tried a variety of money-saving ideas over the years, some that work and some that I didn’t feel were worth the time and effort. I hope that you will come back each Friday to learn my tips and tactics for hanging on to your hard-earned dollar. I also hope that you will share some of your tips with me by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.