For many of us, the cost of grocery shopping has hit an all-time high. We are all trying to eat more healthily, but we are being priced out. When a single fresh apple costs the same as a tray of donuts, it is easy to see why so few of us can get our five a day of fruit and vegetables. Sometimes all you can afford to do is go for the cheaper option. And it’s not just money that is tight. We all seem to be much busier these days. Finding time to shop carefully and cook full meals from scratch each night can be a big ask.
Of course, some of us persevere and strive forward in our commitments to eat well. There are some cheaper ways to get hold of good quality food though. You could try growing your own. Admittedly the produce from your efforts may only be seasonal for a month or two each year, but some fruits and veg can be frozen to use all year round in pies and other wholesome foods. Places like http://www.pomonafruits.co.uk/ sell fruit trees. It is possible to buy stock to see you through fruiting for most of the year.
Some people like to rent allotment or community garden space. This can be very time-consuming, but if you make it into a hobby, it can be incredibly rewarding. There are only two or three months of the year where nothing will grow. If you can afford a heated greenhouse, you may be able to extend your produce time. Of course, this costs money, and whether you will break even or be better off for your efforts depends on many factors. Sometimes it is cheaper to buy a cheap can of soup than all the veg it took to make it. When you include the cost of the gas to cook it on, you can understand why many of us prefer it ready-made.
There are few places and few types of home that allow us to be self-sufficient. You will always need to top up your produce with that from the supermarkets. There are foodstuffs you probably can’t grow where you live. Rice and wheat for bread and pasta take too much land and production to be possible to grow at home. Without these key cereals, your diet would be very lacking. Dairy and meat are also dietary essentials for most of us. Some people are allowed to keep hens for eggs that can fill many gaps in vegetarian diets.
Even if you can only grow a little produce in your own garden, the pleasure of seeing the plants there may be enough. Any crops you gain are often a bonus, and many people find they cannot eat everything that comes from their fruit trees anyway. Much is given away, or you can sell some at a market stall. While some fruit and veg can be frozen effectively, most works better fresh or may need to be cooked instead of eaten raw.