September 5, 2015

How to save money on groceries AND eat organic

Organic Dinner
Organic Dinner, Home grown, Home Raised
With today's food choices in the grocery store, it's hard to eat healthy.  If you want to avoid GMO foods and eat vegetables without herbicides and pesticides and grown with synthetic fertilizers it seems you need to shop organic and buy many things in specialized health food stores.  This is definitely not a thrifty approach to grocery shopping.  But I know how you can make at least one third of your diet non-GMO and organic for less than you pay in the grocery store.

Grow your own vegetables and raise chickens for eggs.  This summer my vegetable garden is finally large enough that I haven't bought vegetables from the grocery store for two months.  And I haven't bought eggs in about six months.  This significantly lowers my grocery bill.  It's expensive to buy organic eggs and organic vegetables.

heirloom tomatoes
Heirloom Tomatoes
You can have a pretty big variety of vegetables to eat from your own garden and can even eat a little bit of a many kinds of vegetables in one meal.  You don't have to eat a huge head of broccoli, you can eat broccoli side sprouts, a couple of beets, a small salad of lettuce, tomato and cucumber, potato salad, mashed potatoes.  Another day you can steam kale and carrots.  These are all vegetables that I grow without any herbicides, pesticides or store bought fertilizers.

If you're wondering how this is possible here's what I've been doing.  I feed the chickens loads of kitchen scraps which then turns into nice chicken coop deposits.  I then compost these directly over the garden in winter and in a compost bin during the summer.  I don't till the garden beds so all the micro organisms in the soil remain healthy.  I do a bug check on the garden every day or so and pick off any leaves where bugs are laying eggs and pick off any caterpillars and give them to the chickens.

For fruit in early summer we pick wild strawberries and wild raspberries.  I have planted some berry plants in the garden but these aren't mature enough to produce very much fruit yet.