Little Garden Big Savings

A home gardener can do a lot to lessen their supermarket food bill. Whether it be using containers, hot beds, cold frames or green houses. Home gardeners can produce a lot of fast growing healthy herbs, root and green producing foods all Fall and most if not all Winter as well. hay cold frame

You can grow many crops in containers and cold frames such as lettuces, chard, radishes, turnips, beet roots. There are many cold loving plants that will serve your food needs. Do it, plant a few seeds, the only thing you have to loose is a few seeds in your experimental containers or cold frame gardens.

A few pots and a south facing window and your in the container gardening business. Almost all herbs and many green and root crops can be successfully grown in larger pots.

The only limit to what and how much you can container grow is your imagination and willingness to give it a try.

Waste Not – Want Not

Studies in the U.S.A. and the UK have found that the average family sends up to 1/3 (33 percent) of their food budget to the land fill needlessly. The main cause is people in general don’t understand what that little Best used by date stamped on food packages really means.

Best if used by date Does Not mean that the food has gone bad and is unsafe to eat after that little ‘Best used by date. What it does mean is the Length of time food retains most of its original taste and nutrition.

Recent scientific studies on dehydrated food have shown that food stored properly can last for a much longer period of time than previously thought. This research determined the “life sustaining” shelf life to be the following:

Dry Food Item Shelf Life
Wheat, White Rice, and Corn 30 years or more
Pinto Beans, Apple Slices, Macaroni 30 years
Rolled Oats, and Potato Flakes 30 years
Powdered Milk 20 years

U.S. Army study. If a product is correctly processed, it should remain safe until opened or the seal is broken. The U.S. Army has found that canned meats, vegetables and jam were in “excellent states of preservation” after 46 years. However, long storage is not recommended. For high quality (versus safety), the broadest guideline given by the U.S.D.A. is to use high-acid canned food (fruits, tomatoes and pickled products) in 18 to 24 months, and low-acid (meats and vegetables) in two to five years.

It is important for you to keep food stored at as cool, dark as possible (below 75 degrees but not freezing). This is the best and most important thing individuals can do to keep their long term food viable. If done, your storage could last 20-30+ years, depending on the product and storage conditions.

Not from the USA Please leave me comment about your home town and country.

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Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)


7 responses to “Little Garden Big Savings

  1. Just caught up with this post – I never seem to have the time to read other people’s blogs these days, which is a shame, because there’s a lot of good sense out there. Your comments about “use by” dates are a case in point. I think we have just as big a problem with this in the UK as you have in the USA. Far too many people I know throw out stuff as soon as it reaches it’s use-by date – sometimes even before. Don’t ask me why!

    I won’t say I totally ignore use-by dates, but they need a healthy dose of common sense to interpret. For example, I eat small quantities of sunflower margarine – so small that a tub normally lasts three months or more. It’s invariably past it’s use-by date before I’ve used more than a quarter of it, but frankly I can’t taste the difference. I tend to use my nose to tell me whether food’s gone off – it hasn’t let me down yet!


    Liked by 1 person

    • John thanks for taking time to visit my tiny blog.
      Yes, yes, yes. A healthy dose of common sense goes a long ways. The smell and taste test is under used in determining when a product shouls go into the garbage or compost bin.
      Happy Gardening


  2. femalesformingsentences

    I’m starting to try and grow more & waste less, it’s such a learning curve! Food wastage is becoming more and more of an issue in the UK but I’m not sure how much headway is actually being made.

    Liked by 1 person

    • With so many in the work place shopping daily is not always an option. Where foods come prepackaged ie. 4 tomato’s or 12 carrots in a package when you really only need 1 tomato or carrot. How do you prevent the excess from spoiling until needed?
      Sad smile… I find that I have a lot of expensive compost materials or more often than not chicken feed.
      Happy Gardening


  3. Great information. Thanks!


  4. I hear you about those “Best By” dates… I helped out at a big food pantry in Canton, Ohio and the first thing they taught me was to how to properly sort through food donations and to NOT throw out certain food items just because the dates were past. A recent article I read was eye opening… I can’t remember the numbers, but some huge proportion of families in my county are getting SNAP or other food help. The very idea that this is necessary in a country that produces so much food, just about makes my mind overheat until the smoke comes out my ears…

    Thanks so much for posting this. Anything to stop some of the food waste and help people fill their plates.


  5. In good years I can practically live from my garden.

    Liked by 2 people

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