Garden: the easiest way your family can save money, eat healthier, help the environment

basket of fresh garden vegetables like carrots, lettuce, cabbage in a basket sitting in a garden

(photo compliments of wayetlighting.wordpress.com)

If you have a yard, start a garden. The financial benefits of gardening are extensive, the health benefits are obvious, and the environmental benefits are substantial. You don’t need a huge garden, and your family can help out and bond through the care of it.

Here’s a list of ways to maximize the benefits of gardening in your life:

  1. Make your own fertilizer. Get in the habit of composting your vegetable and garden scraps. You will do something nice for the planet, put less into the waste stream, and get free fertilizer for your garden in the process! You can find information on building your own compost bin at www.bluegrassgardens.com.
  2. Plant a money garden. With an eye towards increased interest in vegetable gardening, the Burpee Seed Company has developed a “Money Garden” seed packet. Six different kinds of vegetables are included for $10. The company says the plants will produce $650 dollars worth of produce. Continue reading
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Nineteen tips for how to save money by cooking up these simple, natural, healthy, quick recipes for the family

round loaf of fresh bread on a wooden cutting board, a bread knife laying to the left

(photo compliments of artisanbreadinfive.com)

Alright, while reading 573 Ways to Save Money by Peter Sander and Jennifer Sander, I found a few super simple recipes I really liked. They use a few real ingredients, and are cheaper than their pre-made or packaged counterparts at the supermarket with mystery chemicals and preservatives. Save money, cook with healthier ingredients and get creative in the kitchen? This is great.

  1. Make your own smoothies. Get out of the habit of expensive fruit juice smoothies and get into the habit of making them yourself at home. Bananas, berries, ice, yogurt, juice, and a blender are all you need. Visit www.smoothieweb.com for a great selection of smoothie recipes.
  2. Stuff baked potatoes. An inexpensive and filling way to feed a family is with stuffed baked potatoes. Bake them, scoop out the insides, and mash with a bit of milk, butter, and sour cream, then add in chopped and spiced meat or cheese or vegetables.
  3. Simple pasta is the best. This inexpensive pasta meal is perfect–plain pasta, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Add salad or a loaf of bread you’ve made yourself, and you have a budget gourmet meal. Continue reading

Television: the new parent for our children.

Bar graph illustrating the increase in the number of televisions per household from 1975 to 2010. In 1970, almost all households had one television. In 2010, a strong majority of households have 3 or more televisions.

(photo compliments of marketingprofs.com)

While lounging on the beach at Ocean City, MD, a woman vacationing with her family mentioned she had been on the beach every day while her husband and two sons spent the time inside the water-front hotel room on the boardwalk (a premium location) playing video games and sleeping.

Anyone else find that odd?

You pay for a room for a week in a city with dozens upon dozens of awesome outdoor activities, and the family stays inside, absorbed in screens?

On a similar note, does anyone find it the slightest bit odd that living/family rooms are designed around the television?

What happened?

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