How to Save Money on Food
If you think that I’m going to divulge the best couponing strategies or reveal secrets about how to shop the sales at your local supermarket, well, you’re wrong. What I want to tell you about is how to save money on food…by growing your own.
And before you start moaning that you can’t because you have a “black thumb” or you haven’t any room to grow fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit I’m going to tell you how easy it is. All you need is a corner of your yard, or a balcony, or if you haven’t either of these rent a plot in a nearby community garden.
An amazing amount of food can be grown in a small space if you use intensive planting methods and that food will be tastier and fresher than anything you’ll buy from the store, and cost less too!
Of course if you lack knowledge about how to grow, or what crops can be grown where you live you should probably enlist some help. Ask questions at your local garden centre, they can advise you on local conditions. Companies like West Coast Seeds publish catalogues that are chock full of helpful information. But the best resource is a garden buddy, preferrably someone with decades of gardening experience who you can call (or email) with all your stupid questions who will patiently explain the arcane art of coaxing food from those tiny little specks or lumpy bumpy spheres inside of vegetable seed packages. Your Hortophile friend will happily tell you about the power of compost, which organic fertilizers you should invest in, and when to harvest your potatoes.
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A big part of growing food successfully depends upon your local climate; you need to know when the last (and first) frost dates are in an average year. And if you live somewhere that never sees frost, that’s important too! But the single most important requirement for a successful garden is attached to the bottoms of your legs – your feet! As an old gardener once told me, “The best fertilizer for a garden is the footsteps of the gardener”.