Food shopping has gone up and up in price since the recession. In fact, if you compared the price of an average weekly shop now to the price it used to be 5 or 6 years ago, you’d probably be really surprised (and pretty gutted too!). Unfortunately, we probably didn’t appreciate how low the cost of food was back then, but we certainly appreciate a cheap food shop now, which is why it’s important to save money wherever we can. When you add the rising cost of food to the rising cost of everything else, you can see why shaving a few pounds off the cost of a food shop is so needed for some families.
Although it takes a little time and effort, growing your own fruit and vegetables can be extremely rewarding and could save you plenty of money in the long term. Although this won’t pay off straight away, it could be worth doing if you have the space, as not only will it shave money from your food bill, but it will also mean you have tastier food on your plate. Here’s how to make the most of growing your own:
Mix foraging with home-grown
Many people are happy to eat what they’ve grown themselves in their own gardens, window boxes or allotments, but they fail to realise that there’s a wealth of free food out there growing wild. From pennywort in hedgerows to wild garlic in the woods, to apples and pears in the autumn – there are a huge variety of foods just waiting to be discovered in the great outdoors. Many people forage for mushrooms, berries and nuts in the late summer/autumn and if you want to do this then you must be able to identify what you can and can’t eat for safety reasons.
Grow what you eat most of
When growing your own veg, it can be tempting to go for seeds which will create the most colourful and exciting results. While this can be fun, it can also be wasteful if you’re not going to eat everything you grow. Think about what you eat the most and what you spend the most money on in the fruit and veg aisle at the supermarket. If you’re able to make a variety of meals from it and you know that you and your family will eat it, then grow it. Of course, some areas of the country will have soils which lend themselves to certain fruit and veg varieties better than others, so do your research.
Attend fresh food swaps for variety
Look up different events in your area (these are sometimes part of farmer’s markets) where you can take your produce along and swap it for something different that someone else has grown. This trade and barter way of doing business is an old fashioned one, but it can help you to save a huge amount of money while still enjoying a wide variety of delicious foods.
This article has been written by guest author Coral PM. If you’d like to read more of her work visit http://nofeeloannews.blogspot.com