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I’ll confirm that it’s sometimes difficult to find good coupons for fresh produce.  I love Birds Eye Steamfresh vegetables and stock up when I find a great deal but nothing replaces fresh vegetables.  Most of the produce coupons I’ve found are from tear pads in the stores.  So how do I save money on fresh vegetables?  I have a small kitchen garden in my backyard.

I’ve grown vegetables in containers on the deck and I’ve seen people grow vegetables in shoe organizers before but I wanted something more.  I had to face the facts that I don’t live in the country and my soil is really not soil at all but clay.  We had shrubs around the deck that had been there since I bought the house almost ten years ago.  The soil was pretty okay so we pulled up the shrubs replanted those in other areas and started adding compost and mulch to the soil.  By Spring we had our plots ready for planting.

Mel Bartholomew wrote a book,  All New Square Foot Gardening, which gave me the idea on setting up my plots.   OH – did I mention I got it FREE?  I used my Swagbucks to get the Amazon gift cards which paid for my purchase in full, including shipping!!

I got most of my seeds from sales at the end of last season. If you store them in an airtight container in the dark they will be fine until planting time. I started my seeds indoors to get a head start on the season and have the ability to plant several harvests.

My bean trellis is an old iron bedframe that someone gave me.  We just screwed the headboard and footboard to an old broken fence picket.  Bamboo is a highly invasive plant here and readily available so I used a few pieces for extra support.  Murphy’s Oil Soap and cayenne pepper work well to keep the critters away as does our hair.  When I cut my husband’s hair I throw the clippings in the garden.  I also have left over chicken wire from another project as well as little pinwheels to deter the tree rats or squirrels as some people call them.

I haven’t lost many plants to wildlife but I’m worried about my sunflowers.  The birds have been eyeing them lately.  Somewhere I read that you can cut the leg out of an old piece of panty hose and place over the sunflower to protect your seeds.  I’ll try this when they are ready for harvest.

We had fresh squash for dinner last week.  I had some extra squash that I offered to my next door neighbor.  She had some extra ears of fresh corn so we made a trade.  I have to tell you that was the best corn I’d tasted in a long time.

Gardening takes a little effort but it’s well worth it if you like fresh vegetables and you don’t want to be forced to pay those increasing prices.  It’s a great addition to couponing and stockpiling.  The more I can put up on my own, the less I have to pay full price for.  Dear Hubby is even considering giving up more of his green yard for extra food plots.