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6 Ways to Have Your Veggies and Save Money, Too

By Sandy Schroeder

Every time I roll through the supermarket and reach for a pot of basil or rosemary, I wonder why I am not growing some on a windowsill in a planter box on the patio, or in over-sized flowerbeds.

Well, other people may be thinking the same thing because came up with a few plant suggestions to grow for more flavor and less cost.

Check the choices.

Low maintenance herbs – Rosemary, oregano or thyme plants just need a sunny spot and a little maintenance to provide year-round seasoning. A couple basil plants will deliver fresh leaves for pasta or salads through spring and summer. Basil can also be grown in a sunny windowsill.

Easy-to-grow spring lettuce – Ten lettuce plants can provide salad for the whole family for a week, replacing those costly little bags of supermarket greens. Put them in a small pot or planter boxes. Lettuce likes cool weather and fades in summer heat.

Flavor-rich tomatoes – Homegrown tomatoes are a world apart from supermarket ones in flavor. They can be grown in pots on a balcony or patio, or out in a garden plot. A growing season can produce 10 to 30 pounds of medium-sized tomatoes. When you figure out what that costs in the market, you may head off to the nursery. When you are there, check out all of the varieties from yellow and red cherry tomatoes to full-sized beauties that make great sauces for pizza or pasta.

Lots of choices in hot peppers – If you season everything with chili powder, chili oils or hot sauces, you may want to grow a variety of peppers. Some people grow all kinds, dry the peppers and then grind them into seasonings. They make wonderful gifts.

Zucchini or yellow squash – If you have a little space, summer squash will provide you with a ton of produce to use for zucchini breads, salads, soups and sidedishes. Cook yellow squash and shred to substitute for pasta, or turn into a savory soup.

Cucumbers and more cucumbers – Just like zucchini, cucumbers will continue to multiply. They can be grown vertically on a trellis, too. Grow cucumbers to slice or pickle. The sliced ones can be mixed with apple cider vinegar and onions to serve with dinner. The pickling cucumber plants are smaller and sometimes harder to find. If you love pickles, this could be a fun project: growing the pickles and creating your own bottles of gourmet pickles.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lakewood, Calif.

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