We’re on a super tight budget these days, so we’re always looking for ways to save money. You can’t get much cheaper than free, so we’ve been on the lookout for all kinds of free food lately.

Our first source for “free” food is our garden. It’s not exactly free, since we paid for the seeds, and we’ve watered it once or twice. (Although the insane amount of rain we’ve had lately has taken care of that for awhile!) And of course, we’ve poured tons of labor into tilling, planting, and weeding. We’ve eaten a lot of fresh green beans recently, because it’s the only thing that’s producing so far. But man, are they ever good! Steamed green beans are Alice’s new favorite food, as long as they have plenty of parmesean cheese on them.

I can’t wait until the rest of our garden is producing! From the looks of things, it’s going to be fantastic.



Green Hot Chili Pepper

Of course, there are even free-er sources of food than the sweat and labor of your own garden. Like…the sweat and labor of someone else’s garden.  Our dinner last night included green beans from our own garden, and spinach greens from Ryan’s cousin’s garden. Two whole bags full of fresh spinach greens for free. Not bad!


Ryan spent an hour picking cherries for his grandma and brought home a nice size bag of fresh cherries. I spent an hour pitting them, and they are currently in the freezer, awaiting their fate as a cherry crisp. (Can’t make cherry crisp until I make it to the store for whipped cream. Who can eat crisp without whipped cream?)

Thanks to my awesome aunt’s awesome mom, we also get all the farm fresh eggs we can eat, and they’ve given us some (butchered) chickens. Delicious!

So despite our super tight budget, we’re eating better than ever. You really can’t beat organic, garden fresh food. My mother-in-law handed me a squash the other day, and I’m sure there would be more where that came from…if I knew what to do with it! She suggested that I chop it up and put it in stir fry, or fry it up, southern style. I’ll probably go with the latter, even though frying it probably negates any health-benefits of fresh squash!

In the fall we pick up pecans from my mom’s yard, and my stepdad has blackberry bushes on his farm that we may take advantage of this summer.

This is the great thing about living in a rural area.  Even if you don’t grow it yourself, you can usually find someone else who does. I’m going to have a ton of watermelon this year, and I hope I can find someone who would like to trade me for blueberries!