Everything costs more these days -- gas, airplane tickets, Royal Wedding souvenirs (I know you've been pricing Will and Kate throw pillows -- I think they'll go on mega-sale April 30). Add to that list your family's groceries. Milk, eggs, and even tartar sauce are all a few cents more ... which adds up big time. If only you could do something to shave off a few dollars of that food bill -- wait! You can! You can become a farmer!
Okay, not like a farmer with a barn and livestock and bales of hay (psst, overalls are way overrated), but you can grow your own veggies on that little patch of grass by the patio. Some vegetables may not be worth it to grow on your own, but those more expensive, good-for-you salad fixings are perfect to plant ... and save moolah!
Asparagus -- I love asparagus in the summertime, hot off the grill, drizzled with some olive oil ... the mere thought is making me drool. But at $4.99 a bunch ($5.99 for organic), I have to think twice about putting them on the menu. If I grew my own, I could have them every night.
Baby zucchini -- Those cute little squashies have a big price tag at $3.99 per pack. A great garden choice, they grow fairly quickly and are perfect fillers for casseroles and lasagnas.
Tomatoes -- One of the most used veggies is one of the most expensive. We're talking $2.99 per pound and to-mah-toes ain't light, folks. With a few tomato plants of your own, you're saving almost $5 per dinner.
Artichokes -- At my store, they are $2.49 per head. If you are feeding a family of four, that adds up to almost $10 just for your side dish! Besides helping the wallet, artichokes are a really pretty plant. Think of a beautiful garden as an added bonus!
Herbs -- Rosemary, thyme, basil. You know them, you love them. They all are $1.99 a bunch ... and if you want organic, you have to pay a dollar more. If you're a home chef and use fresh herbs daily, it is a no-brainer to plant a few of your own. Easy for even the urban dweller to grow on a windowsill, herbs make your food taste yummy and your home smell delicious.
Red peppers -- I checked out my local grocery store and these veggies are clocking in at $4.99 a pound. They are so delicious, perfect for snacks and salads, but geez, that's pricey. If I had my own, I'd save enough to pay for a lovely bottle of Chardonnay. Cheers!
What do you grow in your garden?
Image via Jann Kuusisaari/Flickr