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 family project. My kids are just fascinated with our plant’s daily growth, likewise, they are also curious on how they taste!
All organic goodness
Now before I start, let me tell you that all veggies I used are either given by my amateur gardener friends, bought at the local weekend farmer’s market or at the nearest’ supermarket organic counter. I would rather not cook and consume plants and meat that are grown at the big farms. Conventionally grown greens off the shelf are chock-full of fertilizers, irradiated to the core and bathed continuously with pesticides.
You’ll be surprised that the people who handled your greens are dressed like there is an epidemic outbreak, just to handle these pesky chemicals. That is notwithstanding your probability to pick a Frankenstein GMO fruit or veggie off the shelf, which is also likely since they look fresh for longer amounts of time.
These are the fruits and veggies that I would rather handle with a ten-foot pole. I cannot stress this enough, just imagine all that chemicals and GMO in your mouth and gut. No good but just yuck! So the best thing to do for your health and budget is to plant a garden!
Common veggies that you can soak and regrow
- Cabbage, bok-choy, and lettuce
All it takes to regrow these crunchy greens is to cut its thick base and then to soak them in a glass or jar of water. Replace the water daily and put the plant in a window with ample sunlight. In a week or two, new leaves and stalks will slowly emerge. Transfer them to a pot when they are at least five inches tall.
When fully grown, just cut out some leaves and stalks for your salad and it will regrow again. This technique might not work on winter’s freezing temperature and less sunlight. You can still experiment at all seasons but as per my experience, their scraps can grow easier during summer and spring, and in some cases in autumn too.
- Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other root crops
These common root crops are the most likely to accumulate a large amount of pesticide. After hearing this fact, I decided to grow them on my own. When left at room temperature (do not refrigerate these roots) they tend to form some shoots or sprouts called “eyes”.
Just cut the potato in third or half, with each sprout equally distributed on each cut. They will later form the plant’s stem and leaves. Plant each of these cut potato in a pot rich with compost. You can also do the same with your ginger and turmeric.
Related: How to grow pot potatoes at home
- Leeks, celery, and lemongrass
When I buy them organic, they usually have some of their root intact. As long as there are at least two inches of that thick fleshy base, you can regrow them easily. Soak in a glass of water the thick base and root. Replace this water every day.
In a few days, you will see additional roots and greenish stem. When this happens, you can now transfer this to a pot and place it in a well-lit window. Once these plants form their flower and later some seeds, you can use them to replant and expand your edible garden.
- Onion and garlic
These two are always in my recipes and they didn’t come cheap. These bulbs are also loaded with harmful chemicals to make them last long at the store. Those are the reasons why planting them is a wise decision. To start, separate from the bulb each clove and immerse in a glass of water. Observe daily.
In just a few days, you will see some shoots forming. When this happens, it’s about time to transfer it to a pot of soil. They can survive even with less water so just spray some sparingly. Once they start to form shoots, you can cut some of this green stem to top your stews and salads.
This fragrant herb is the easiest to grow indoors. All it takes is to put the stem with leaves intact in a glass of water. The water line must reach just half of the stem, do not soak the leaves. Put them in a well-lit area at the window. Just replace the water daily and watch the roots grow. Once there are at least three inches of roots that have formed, you may now transfer them to some small pots or at a hanging vegetable bag.
It is also possible to grow your head of pineapple just by being selective in terms of cutting. Just leave out the thick core and crown and let it immerse in water. Even avocado can be grown by soaking half level of its seed into a bowl of water. As for tomatoes, instead of throwing the seeds to the trash, dry them instead. Plant the dried seeds on a fertile soil. Under the right conditions and some tender loving care, they will grow.
Herbs that you can grow even without soil, just water!
You can always buy a bottle of dried herbs, although they rarely come cheap; yet nothing beats the taste of fresh herbs off your plate. Now, this experiment of mine has already been going for a few months now. After learning from my apartment-dweller friend how he managed to grow some herbs even without soil, also tried it out. I called it my edible vase garden. It’s just as simple as soaking some them in a jar of water.
*Take note not to soak the leaves.
As usual, just replace the water regularly and let them capture some sunshine. The ones that had grown thick roots and had survived for months now on simply water are basil, oregano, spearmint, sage and lemon balm. I have yet to try out some tarragon, thyme and peppermint stem; yet based on these plants composition, the all-water habitat might also work for them.
Other tips on how to save money on your veggies
- Give and take with your friends
There are lots of perks with having friends who also grow their own food. If your friends, family, and neighbors are not yet into edible gardening, encourage them to try it for themselves. Giving out and exchanging our excess fresh harvest is one of the best ways to help our communities be sustainable.
- Be patient and tend to your garden
Pruning, weeding, dividing and composting for your plants takes time; yet this is the best way to expand your vegetable garden faster. If you have limited land space to plant, you can also try to make a vertical garden. Possibilities abound! All it takes is for you to research, replant and ask around.
So excuse me for now, as I’ve got to water my edible garden.
Thank you and hope I was able to help.
What indoor edible garden vegetables, fruits or herbs have you grown?
Post Contribution : Sarah Morgan. A sister, a daughter, a wife, but most especially a mother. Being a mother makes me realize that life is a great adventure. No day is always the same, which makes every day so much more exciting.
November Grocery Game Challenge
Join in the 2016 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are the rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the updated 2016 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule so it’s handy.
New monthly prize: $10 President’s Choice Gift Card for Canadian residents only BUT If you want to play from outside of Canada and have PayPal and you win I will pay you $10 Canadian. I use a random online generator to pick the winning ballot every month.
Congratulations goes to our October GGC Winner Ballot #17 Dee!!
If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up each week below for you so you don’t have to go looking for past GGC posts for the month. Alternatively, just click on the “Grocery Game Challenge” tab on the blog side-bar to see past posts.
November Grocery Game Posts
Free Money Saving Tools 2016
You WILL want to check this out!
I know I blast you every which way I can on this blog about my free money saving tools and that’s because I want you to take advantage of them being FREE. So many people pay for budgets and tools on the internet to help them save money and honestly you don’t need to. Even a paper and pen will do the trick.
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.
You can download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.
CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet. So many free resources at your fingertips.
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2016
The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing with new informative money-saving posts added every month.
Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.
Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.
The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
2016 Grocery Shop Results
Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2016: $2820
(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $226.62
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $194.07
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $65
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 365,000
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
- Shoppers Optimum: Just under 850,000 Optimum points (I will update this twice a year)
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Zweet to cash out : $18.25
- Checkout51 to cash out : $22.00
Our Grocery Shop This Week
- 1 x Sealtest Milk 2% $4.27
- 2 x 5pk avocado bags Sale 2/$5
- 2 x Cauliflower Sale 2/$5
- Bagged Spinach Sale $1.88
- Radishes $1.99 1lb
- 6 x Lactancia Cream Cheese Sale $1.99 each
- 4 x 500ml Whipping Cream Lactancia Sale $2.49 each
- Ranch Salad Dressing $1.99
- Schneiders Half Ham $5.97
- Romaine Lettuce $1.97
- Bananas $1.85
Total Out-of-Pocket $51.73
- Cavendish Potatoes Sale $1.50 5lbs
- 1lb Mushrooms Sale $2.99
- 2lbs tomatoes Sale $2.99
Total Out-Of-Pocket $7.48
- Salerno Mozzarella $20.00
- Calabrese Hot Salami $15.99
Total Out-Of-Pocket $36.00
- Total to spend this month : $235.00-$10.15 overage from October= $224.85
- Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
- Stockpile budget used this month: $0
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $15.36
- Total in-store discounts this week:$0
- Total in-store discounts to date: $503.74
- Total spent this week: $95.20
- Total spent so far this month: $95.20
- Total over/Under spend this shop: over
- Total over/Under spend for the month:
- Total left to spend for the month: $129.65
- Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $252.95 + Feb $249.46 + March $211.11 + April $248.11 + May $279.07 + June $231.96 + July $244.40 + Aug $201.30+ Sept $238.12+ October $236.77+ November $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
We’re off to a kickin-start for the month of November because of Costco but we needed to stock up on some cheese and salami and you can’t beat their prices for it. I’m hoping for a peanut butter sale so I can buy a couple since our son seems to love it so much. The wife is using more cream cheese and mozzarella these days over the cheddar so we’re sticking to that plan for now. I’m thinking about placing an order for her online to get some gluten-free almond flour and carb-quick. We still need to look at all the products to find out everything they have in stock. Prices seem to be reasonable too so that helps.
Coupons and Coupon Apps 2016
Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money. We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?
If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll get it added to the savings list below.
Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!
Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!
- Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
- Danone Coupons Get up to $25 in coupons
- Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
- Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
- MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
- Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
- Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
- Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from Save.ca, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.
Grocery Game Challenge 2016 FAQ’s
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. The rules have been updated for the 2016 challenge year.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
- What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $10 CDN via Paypal if they win. As more people join I will add more money to the gift card or I will split it up and offer 2 prizes every month.
- When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. If you choose to post monthly or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it altogether. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly our budget.
- Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
- Canadian Coupons:Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.
Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do. This is why the grocery game challenge was created back in 2012 and is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries in Canada.
If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning…
- Where you are spending money
- How much money you are spending
- How much money you are saving every month
If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!
If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email. If I use your topic I will put your name in a draw for a prize at the end of the year.
You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!
Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2016!
Please Note: Some of the links in the body of the blog post are affiliate links which means I may get paid if you buy something from Amazon. The items I’ve chosen are products we use at home or similar to.
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