A hard look at your budget can make you realize how much money goes to your local grocer. If our family bill is any indication, that guy is getting rich. Additionally, when it comes to produce, sometimes you have to buy it in a bunch and if you buy too much, you're just throwing money away as it wilts in the drawer.
Stop spending! Head out to your backyard or even your window box and start growing these yummy foods today for much less money (and even effort) than you would think.
One of the easiest herbs to grow no matter where you live, you can really get your money's worth from one small plant. Add fresh mint to your ice cream recipe, to your lemonade, and especially to your grilled meats for extra flavor that makes you seem like quite the gourmet chef. If you're super-handy and make your own soaps, mint is an amazing additive to your cleansing routine.
Tomatoes are another diverse menu item, and depending on the quantity, these can also be grown in a window box. Fresh tomatoes for salads or making grandma's sauce really can't be beat. Additionally, tomatoes can go bad after being picked, processed, and sitting in your grocery store, making their shelf-time at your house very limited.
In a pot or in the ground, you can grow your very own garlic with little effort. When I think of the amount of garlic we use in our house, this is the first food on my list that I would prefer to harvest myself.
Almost impossible to kill, a pumpkin patch is not only cute in the fall, you'll have your own supply of jack-o-lanterns and a healthy veggie for roasting and making soups with an autumnal flair. Other delicious squashes such as spaghetti squash and zucchini fare just as well.
Another pot or plot plant, strawberries are one of the most satisfying plants to grow because it's like you're growing dessert in your own backyard/windowsill! Just make sure they have a shady spot.
Stop buying the bags and taste the freshness of a home-grown carrot from your own backyard. This does require some deep seed planting, but once they're in, these sturdy root vegetables are hard to kill.
Have your own salad makings outside your door, or in an especially large pot. Spinach doesn't need to be planted very deeply, and as long as you keep the plot hydrated, you should be able to yield some healthy greens to eat fresh, freeze, or cook into an amazing souffle.
What foods do you have growing in your backyard?
Image via Cindy Andrie/Flickr