Fighting Inflation with Urban Gardens

in LeoFinance4 months ago (edited)

The way my family budget works means that it is often difficult to gauge when there is inflation hitting our pocket books,

And when my husband and I are leaping without looking where we are going to land. (800 × 480 px) (2).png

The current family challenge is my husband's retirement, which happened back in January

The cards still are still not laying where they will.

And unforeseen challenges, like me having less time now, which is counter intuitive, are still needing solutions.

My income pays our groceries, and I need time, to make money, so we can eat.

Fortunately for me, I am "lucky" and there are many places to cut spending.

One example is the milk.

My husband prefers to drink Organic, Trader Joe's Cream Top Milk. However, I showed up at Trader Joe's One Day and the milk was priced at $12.99 a gallon.

No Thanks.

Im more expensive than gasd.png

Preferences aside, we went to Costco where we purchased two gallons for $8.09

The coffee is not as delicious, but the kids don't drink coffee...

Organic Fruits and Vegetables make a difference too

Just last year, I would go to the local Mexican Market and pass right by the delicious nectarines and peaches because they were "conventionally grown."

Only the best for my kids!

I would then go to the "organic market" and pay 3.99 a pound for the fruit.

Here is some mom math

What is better, paying 3.99 for peaches, and then running out fast and having the kids snack on packaged stuff?

Or buying the "conventional" peaches and having the kids eat fruit all afternoon?

Mom says: Fruit.

Especially because mom cut out packaged snacks saying they had too much sugar and too much packaging, and knowing that the packaged sugar is what breaks a grocery trip $$$

By far though the most helpful thing has been our urban garden.

Last time I wrote about our Urban Garden, I was suggesting starting one as one of the many ways to prepare for a possible depression. As this was our first year living on this property, we went slow with the plants. I plan to start the next crop within the next few days.

Urban Tomatoes.png

We have a mandarin tree that gave us lots of fruit. The tree slowed down some, but while it was fruiting, we were eating.

The kids prefer "cuties" which are basically the seedless version of what we have. But hey, spit the seeds out and save your mom $12-$15 on fruit per week.

We also planted some greens

Arugula, rainbow chard, greens, purselane, and a plethora of baby lettuces.

Urban Tomatoes 1.png

Not organic because they aren't certified, but they sure are pesticide free!

This has saved about $35 a week from my weekly vegetable subscription box.

I used to get a box of produce once per week

This made me "have to" cook lots of veggies, because if not I was wasting them, and no one wants to throw away food.

Also, I was convinced that I was supporting local farmers by buying their wares.

Now we can go to the back yard and pick enough greens to go with our meals.

Guess what? If we don't pick them and eat them, they go bad. We are "forced" to eat organic produce, or compost it. Use it or lose it, just like the $35 a week subscription box.

Yesterday I went to the market to buy enough food for just one meal.

Its something I do often. Buying in bulk saves money in the long run. But buying smaller quantities of food makes it so that you don't waste any food.

Bulk items that end up with mold, are a waste of money.

I was able to buy: Birote, Steak, and Nectarines (the 99 cent a pound fruit).

I come home and make some tortas piled high with baby lettuce, with thick slices of heirloom tomatoes, and of course, the carne asada. It was delicious.

The kids liked the greens in the tortas so much that they did not miss the $2.99 avocado, or $4.99 for the round fresh cheese slice.

They don't know its an inflation thing, they just know that sometimes the tortas are filled with different ingredients.

Of course, I didn't have to pay for tomatoes or baby lettuce, because it is readily available.

I would say, because of the changes I made, I saved about $15 dollars on the meal.

Urban Tomatoes 2.png

It went from being: Carne Asada Tortas in all their glory, to a frugal meal which cost me about $8 to get on the table, at less than $2.00 per person.

I have mint too

And basil, and cilantro, and some peppers.

It doesn't save a ton of money, but no more paying $$$$$ for a bunch of cilantro when you only need a sprig or too.

And having jalapenos and cilantro available makes it so you can serve salsa instead of tomato slices (which are so delicious when they come from your yard).

The most exciting stuff is that I am having enough to trade

That purselane that is growing like a weed? My grandma wants some. She makes a pork dish out of them.

Guess who is going to be giving grandma bags full of weeds (hahahah) and getting a little bowl of pork dish in red sauce back?

That's right, those weeds are being even more profitable than buying cheap LBI!

I hope you enjoyed a bit of my #MomMath and how I have been making my changing income during inflation work.

I recognize the privilege I have. Am I am wondering about the families that were already buying the cheaper milk. The ones who weren't frivolously spending on vegetable subscription boxes, the ones who have to drive more than 4 miles to drop their kids off at school.

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Tough times but it's good to know you can save some money and still provide a healthy living for yourself and your family.

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Thank you! I am finding that stretching things out gets easier and easier the more you do it.

Your mom math is right on point lol. It just goes to show that you can always find ways to cut back. It does lead to the question of what those who are already cutting intensively will do to make ends meet.

The Carne Asada Torta sounds delicious!

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Thanks for stopping by.

My last paragraph mentioned those families, who were already cutting back. I sure do hope programs like the food banks will help them. I think harder might be accepting the help. When in need we tend to think of those who "need it more."

Those Carne Asada tortas sure were delicious, especially because all the lettuce we have is baby lettuce, and all the tomatoes are little sweet gems.

I'm not sure how this will impact cash flow because it depends on a piece of equipment you may (or not) need to buy, but would it make sense to have a dehydrator for fruits and vegetables?

I'm thinking that after a while the dehydrator pays for itself by letting you buy fruits and vegetables in greater quantities to dehydrate them so that they have longer shelf life and at the same time satisfy the sweet tooth. This would cut down on trips to the store and let you take advantage of today's prices before they rise.

Some fruits and vegetables are better than others in dehydrated form, and if things work out, you may even have surplus which can be used for trading or commerce.

I'm no expert on dehydrating fruits and vegetables, but I can say that dehydrated pineapple can replace gum drops, although eating dehydrated kiwi felt more like eating a soft leather belt (not what I expected).

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This seems like a great idea. I used to have a friend in the Bay Area who would dehydrate persimmons, and they really were like candy. I could really use a dehydrator right now for these cherry tomatoes.

Either today or tomorrow I'm gonna roast all those cherry tomatoes and freeze them up.

I didn't realize that with three tomato plants we would have more than we could consume.

Its a nice "problem" to have.

If you have to deal with "problems" like surplus, then you are blessed indeed.

Recently my mother had bought an air fryer with about 17 presets, and one of the presets is labeled dehydrate; this is what got the gears churning in my head. I need to buy sample amounts of oranges, lemons, limes, and strawberries to see how well they turn out in their dehydrated state. After some trial-and-error and I figure out what I'm doing, I can say "good-bye" to some snacking habits and say "hello" to others.

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I would just be careful about the shrinking that happens with the fruits and veggies, its easy to over-snack and over-indulge in sugar that way because you get all the sugar, but its so much smaller. Also it can get kinda expensive.

Still lots healthier than anything packaged.

Good luck, let's see some picture when you've done it.


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