grocery game monthly challenge

How To Grow A Budget Vegetable Garden From A Homestead Expert : The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 #3-4 June 19- July 2

GARDENING HELPS KEEP YOUR FOOD COSTS DOWN WHILE INSPIRING IMAGINATION.   This year may be the year you decide to finally grow a vegetable garden in your front or back-yard. Gardening can be as inexpensive or costly as you’d like depending on how you approach it. My name is Karen from the blog Lil Suburban Homestead and I hope I can inspire you to get out and dig with our best kept secret vegetable garden tips. To start your vegetable garden you may feel a bit intimidated, don’t be. To ease your worries I’ll share with you our success and failures over the years. We’ve been through it all which has helped us become homestead experts for our family. Sometimes failure is only the beginning to your success.   Beginning to vegetable garden is about learning   When we started our vegetable garden let’s just say our first attempt turned into a failure but not without a learning experience. I was disheartened but not discouraged from continuing my quest to grow home-grown, delicious food!  I guess you could say it was in my DNA as when I grew up my parents always had a tiny garden but I always wanted […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How I Grow My Edible Garden Right inside Our Kitchen: The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #1 Nov 7-13

IT’S CHEAP, HEALTHY AND WISE   Why buy when you can plant an edible garden right inside your kitchen? Why toss your vegetable scraps into the trash bin when you can regrow them instead? This post is not about starting your own garden per se, but more about how to recycle and regrow your vegetable from discards.   Reaping what we sow from our edible garden   Before we started our edible garden, my family of four usually spent around $600-700 a month on groceries. Fruits, veggies (including those that are canned and frozen), rice and other perishable goods rarely come cheap so we usually spend around $70-90 for these items per every grocery trip. Now as our edible garden grows, we are saving around $20 per week on veggies based on their costs off the shelf. It might not be much now but having an accessible food supply 24/7 is so much worth it! Aside from saving a lot of money because I could dramatically reduce my trip to the veggie aisle, this practice is also something that had improved my family’s health. Growing veggies in the kitchen (and later transferring them to pots outdoors) has been a fun […]

Frugal Easter Traditions We’ve Started As A Family : The Saturday Weekend Review #165

EASTER FUN FOR EVERYONE WITHOUT DIGGING DEEP INTO YOUR WALLET   Creating Easter traditions with your family whether you have kids or not means you can plan ahead so you don’t go over-board with Easter expenses. Do we budget for Easter? Yes and No and here’s why. This is the first year that we’ve really invested any money into Easter for our son.  Now that we know how much we’ve spent on Easter this year we will be able to sort out a projected expense for the beginning of 2017 since this holiday has just passed. Related: What are projected expenses and why are they important? The Dollar store is fully loaded with Easter celebration materials and chocolates galore. When you are dealing with young kids remember that they don’t need an Easter basket filled with just chocolates. Some families buy far too much at Easter and end up with tonnes of chocolate they either give away or freeze. If your relatives want to give an Easter gift you can always suggest a small chocolate treat along with other Easter options for the kids. Having a treat once in a while is nice but we put the brakes on after […]

Margherita Pizza

ONE OF THE BEST PIZZAS YOU WILL MAKE   I haven’t met many people who say they aren’t fans of pizza and today I’m going to make your mouth water with what I call my Margherita Pizza. There isn’t a gathering that I’ve held or been to where I’ve made this pizza where friends and family are wanting the recipe. Now, they won’t have to ask as my secret Margherita recipe will be shared here today and available forever. What I love about making homemade pizza is that my family can get involved and we all enjoy creating a custom pizza that we will all enjoy. No one says a pizza has to be topped with just mozzarella and pepperoni. Don’t worry if you don’t have round pizza baking sheets or any mad dough throwing pizza skills either. I make my pizza in square pans and cut them into squares and you know what? They taste the same as if it were shaped like a round pizza pie.   Pizza any day   If I do say so myself nothing beats pizza whether it’s on a weekday or a Friday night and I’ve even had the pleasure to eat pizza […]

Why you should enjoy local produce or pay the price

KEEPING IT CLOSE TO HOME   If you open any refrigerator most people have some form of fresh produce readily available to prepare daily meals. Why? That’s easy because it’s part of a healthy diet. Have you been thinking about growing your own vegetable garden? If so, now may be a good time to start, here’s why…… If purchasing fresh produce is part of your weekly grocery budget be prepared to see the costs increase over the next few months. California is a major exporter of fresh produce including grapes, melons, peppers, tomatoes and avocados. They are currently experiencing the worst drought they have seen in a very long time. Canada currently imports approximately $5 billion worth of produce from California every year. The majority of the organic produce we see on the shelves of our grocery stores in Canada is imported and the bulk of it is shipped in from California. How could this impact us in Canada? While it is uncertain exactly how much of an impact it will have, paired with the declining value of the Canadian dollar the drought that has hit California hard this year. It is expected to increase the cost of purchasing fresh […]

How to build a rock garden with weed prevention

SAVE WITH ROCKS AND MULCH   A few years ago I travelled to England and my first comment when we arrived at our destination was where is all of the grass? Not one single house on the street had a lawn, rather they had a rock garden. I was informed that being in walking distance from the Irish Sea the drifting salt water made it difficult to have vegetation growing on their properties. Instead everyone had rock gardens. It looked great! Rock gardens   Rocks gardens can look nice in the beginning but that can change quickly especially if not prepared or maintained properly. It’s not too often that we see entire properties transformed into rock gardens in North America though many people do enjoy the style and natural touch they can add to their properties. Unfortunately, there are too many rock gardens that have been neglected or not installed well that are now overgrown and full of weeds, in some cases you are barely able to see the rocks or stones. Why would you consider building a rock garden? If a rock garden is properly prepared and installed, it can be a relatively low-maintenance required addition to your landscape […]

Could you chop your budget and live off of the grid?-PF Friday Grab a brew #55

GIVING IT UP TO LIVE ON LESS   I’m not sure if I am the type of person who could give up my convenient life to live off of the grid but many people do. When I read about 34-year-old Abe Connally who quit his full-time job to move his family of four to the middle of the desert in Southwest Texas to live off of the grid I felt a bit of a jolt go through my body. He closed the door on 40 hours of working a week to enjoy the 5-10 hours he works now to live a simple rural life. Imagine what you would do with an extra 30 hours per week. The family lives off of a budget of $800 a month which covers everything from groceries to feed for the animals. Quite impressive. I certainly know I could do all sorts of things including hobbies of mine that seem to be put on the back burner because there is no time left in my day. It makes me wonder if we work ourselves into the ground for nothing and over-think living without giving much thought to the obvious living off of the grid. I […]

The Saturday Weekend Review #33: Friends and family buy our kids too much stuff

It Looked So Cute We Couldn’t Help Buying It I openly admit that I talk too much sometimes, but these days I enjoy it even more because listening is how I am able to help others and learn from them. I mentioned on Facebook yesterday that my wife wanted to head out to garage sales this morning with her friend. I tagged along as the “hold this” guy not the driver this time so it was a fairly simple task for me. I’ll openly admit the most intriguing item I saw was a book called “How to make love and cook at the same time”. I thought maybe I might give that a try some time lol. Bad visual I know, sorry but the book really was an excellent cook book packed with laughter and good eats. We need a bit of humour in our lives every single day. Along the way I met a teacher who told me a story about a man who quit smoking and drinking heavily at age 40 and turned his life around and hiked across Canada. She wanted this man to speak to her students so he could motivate them to pursue their passions […]

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