Save With Edible Landscaping

Fresh fruit and vegetables are a huge part of our diet and they can also be a big part of the budget since it isn’t typically easy to save on produce.  For this reason we always try to grow at least a few things in our garden each year that take a bit of our budget – like tomatoes and potatoes.  Corn is harder to grow for us, but it’s cheap and plentiful when in season and it freezes well so we buy instead of grow our own corn.

My favorite way to save from our own yard though is to strategically invest in fruit and nut trees that lend beauty to our yard and have the potential to pay us back by feeding the family and saving us money.  For example – since we moved to the woods about seven years ago we’ve planted 4 pecan trees, 2 plum trees, 3 apple trees, 2 lemon trees, 3 pomegranate trees and 10 satsuma trees.

Now, it takes about seven years for pecan trees to produce so we’re hopeful that this will be our year with those, but the pomegranate tree shown here in bloom is only two years old, and the satsuma tree (they’re small, really yummy oranges with thin skins) shown in the top two pictures was just planted a few months ago and is already loaded with blooms and tiny fruit.

Do some research and find out what types of fruit and nut trees grow well in your area.  Determine how long it takes for them to produce and make your purchase decisions based on which will give you the best return the quickest.  If you have a small yard you might consider using miniature varieties of fruit trees, you can even grow those in pots on your patio or porch if space is really limited.

We’d love to hear about your tips for growing your own food!  Please tell us about the things you like to grow in the comments below.

 

Menu Plan Monday ~ March 19th

I'm super excited about getting our garden started with all this beautiful weather we've been having!  The kids helped us plant several different types of tomato seeds (Early Girl, Better Boy, Cherry and Beefsteak) and they're just thrilled that they're coming up now.  I'm going to have to sneak in there quick and get them pruned when the kids aren't looking just to avoid any drama 😉  I know this looks like a lot of plants but they won't all make it and the kids can eat their weight in tomatoes, plus we love having extra to give away.  How have you been enjoying this early spring weather?

MondayChicken Fried Rice

TuesdayTyson Breakfast Bread Bowls (breakfast for supper)

Wednesday – Yoshida Chicken

Thursday – Crescent Wrapped Hot Dogs

FridayDate night – dinner out!

SaturdayChicken Rollatini

SundayChicken Nuggets

My meal plan is listed at OrgJunkie.com!

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Menu Plan Monday ~ March 12th

Only two of the tomato seeds that we planted with the kids a couple weeks ago have come up – we’re not sure if maybe they got planted too deep or if there was some issue with the soil we used from the farm next door.  We love fresh tomatoes so we’ve planted some more seeds this weekend hoping we’ll have better luck.  Usually we buy seedlings from the store but we were hoping that starting our own seeds would give us more plants this year and help save a few bucks at the same time.  I’ll let you know how this batch turns out!

Monday – Spaghetti & Meatballs

Tuesday – Tilapia Fish Sticks

Wednesday – Turkey & Mashed Potatoes

Thursday – Chicken & Pasta Bake

FridayDate night – dinner out!

Saturday – Pizza & Wings

Sunday – Soup & Sandwiches

My meal plan is listed at OrgJunkie.com!

 

Menu Plan Monday ~ March 4th

We’re participating in the Mom2Mom consignment sale and this is going to be a very busy week so I’m thrilled to have a whole bunch of homemade meals in the freezer ready to go!  We’ve been working on eating from our own freezer and stockpile since January and we still have so much stuff left in the freezer that we’re hoping to make it through April without having to make any more large meat purchases.  Of course the menu might get pretty boring before the end of April, but we’re super excited to be keeping our budget down by “shopping” our own freezer and pantry!

MondayBaked Honey Mustard Chicken

Tuesday – Beef Tacos

Wednesday – Lemon Pepper Chicken

Thursday – Sausage & Eggs (breakfast for supper)

FridayDate night – dinner out!

SaturdayBacon Wrapped Garlic Chicken

SundayChicken Nuggets

My meal plan is listed at OrgJunkie.com!

 

Menu Plan Monday ~ February 13th

According to an email that I got from Sprout Robot, it’s time to start planting tomato seeds this week in my area so I’m on a mission today to go buy some.  Although you can upgrade your account for a fee, I use the free service and really dig it.  You just put in your zip code so the Sprout Robot can figure out what grows in your area, then you check boxes of things you want to plant and they email you when it’s time with directions.  I’m using the last of our frozen green beans from last year’s garden for this One Skillet Chicken Dinner and I’m excited about getting a tiny little start on a new garden this week.

MondayLemon Chicken

Tuesday – Beef Tacos

WednesdayEasy One Skillet Chicken Dinner

Thursday – Crescent Wrapped Hot Dogs

FridayDate night – dinner out!

Saturday – Grilled Tilapia

Sunday – Sandwiches

My meal plan is listed at OrgJunkie.com!

 

Getting Started on Our Garden!

seedlings

Whew – it has been a really long winter and it feels like we’re getting such a late start on the garden, but I’m excited that it’s starting to warm up and look like spring again!  We’ve started a bunch of tomato seeds, probably half Better Boy and half Super Sweet 100s (the kids’ favorite cherry tomato), and we’ll plant a BUNCH of green bean seeds once my dad comes out and tills the garden (he’d be really bummered if he didn’t get to do it!).

I thought some of you might be interested to see how we recycle many of the extra newspapers that I buy for the inserts.  We save a bunch of money on pots by making our own out of newspaper using Vesey’s N. Viropotter – it’s a little pricey at $24.95 but it pays off if you use it a lot and we do.  We also use a TON of the remaining newspapers as a weed guard and mulch.  Once my dad is done tilling we’ll make our rows and then put layers of newspaper over them and throw a little dirt on top to weigh them down.  Next we’ll cut 3″ X’s down the row to plant the seedlings in and then water the whole thing after they’ve been planted.  The newspapers keep the weeds from becoming a problem and end up acting as a mulch as they break down over the season.  Reduce, re-use, recycle!

 

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