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A note on the Frugal posts. I’m not going to do them on any special day. I’m going to share them as they are written. I’m always frustrated when I have a blog topic I’m interested in and have to wait a week between posts. Yes, I’m a wee bit impatient.
And now, My Absolute Best Money Saving Tip:
Grow your own food.
Yes, it’s that simple. Yes, I know you are busy. Yes, it may take some creativity. It is so worth it.
No, I do not expect you to grow it all.
Why should you grow your own food?Â Well, I’m glad you asked!
- Gas – Saves you extra trips to the store. Plus, when gas prices go up, food prices go up.
- Better for you – You pick from your garden when it is ripe (full of nutrients). Commercial growers pick under-ripe because ripe does not travel well. Also, most commercial produce has been bred for uniform look and to hold up during travel, usually to the expense of flavor.
- Costs WAY less than buying produce – Bell peppers go on sale in our area for 3 for $5, which is $1.67 per pepper.Â It costs $2.50 for a 4-pack of pepper plants at a local greenhouse.Â Four pepper plants will grow many more than the two peppers it would take to come out ahead here. You compare the price to organic produce (which is the best way to grow your garden) and you are saving even more.
- Organic is better – Put it this way, pesticides = bad, bad for your health, bad for bees and bad for the environment. And now, there appears to be a link to the drastic rise in celiacs, gluten-intolerance, and IBS.
- It is easier than you think – Trust me. A lot of plants grow well in containers on a sunny porch. Herbs and spices grow well in a sunny windowsill. A little water daily and they will reward you handsomely.
- Did I mention it will save you gas and money? – ‘Cause it will.
- Security – Having food to feed your family if/when things are tight = priceless.
Quick Gardening Basics
You need a sunny spot with good drainage with easy access to water. If deer or pets are a problem, be sure to fence off your garden.
What do I grow?
Well, what does your family eat? Obviously you can’t grow pizza, but you can grow tomatoes to make your own sauce, basil to season it, peppers and onions for toppings.
Easy Garden Plants
Easiest to grow:
corn(10/19/12 Update – Yeah, corn easily cross pollinates and if you have feed corn or GMO sweet corn growing nearby, it can ruin your corn. Also, we have only had success growing corn 1 year out of the 4 we tried. Start with something else.)
- zucchini and yellow squash
- peppers (these do really well in drier conditions)
- bush beans (for green beans)
If you can cultivate the ground 8-12 inches or have a raised bed, try carrots, beets, radishes and turnips. They are super easy.
Herbs and Spices to Try Growing
Herbs and spices to try:
Herbs and spices could be the best spot to start if you don’t want to do a full garden since they are often an expensive addition to the grocery list. It is easy to dry and store your own and no more little bottles that cost $3+. The bonus to the herbs and spices in your garden, they keep a lot of common garden pests away.
Next we will discuss if you should buy heirloom plants and seeds or hybrids. I’ll give you a hint, heirlooms are gonna win.
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Image credit for the money photo goes to 401(k) 2013 on Flickr.