When I was about 10 years old, my parents decided to escape suburban life and move to the country. We lived on several acres, had loads of animals (eventually) and my mom always had a huge garden. She would plant gobs of tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, squash, berries, fruit trees and pretty much anything else you can think of. In the winter, she’d continue to garden by swapping out the beds with crops that could withstand the cold like lettuce, kale and garlic (to name a few). My siblings and I loved to sit in the garden and eat fruits and veggies right off the vine. The gardens were a great way for my parents to feed four kids and save a little bit of money, all while creating special memories.
Last year, armed with a shovel and a bit of nostalgia, I attempted a garden of my own. My backyard already had two decently sized raised planter beds that I filled with tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, squash, zucchini and a couple different types of peppers. The tomatoes went crazy as did the zucchini and the squash, the peppers didn’t do as good, but I was able to get a couple of items from each plant. It was so nice to be able to reach for organic homegrown vegetables and not have to pay outrageous prices. All it took was the starting money to buy the fertilizer and the plants plus a little elbow grease. This year, I want to make the garden even better and make the process cheaper too. I’m going to use the same two beds as last year, but this year I’m also going to dig up a planter bed on my side yard that I grew dahlias and daisies in last year. To save money, I am going to start my plants from seeds earlier in the year instead of buying plants. This will take a bit more work, but I think in the long run will be much more satisfying. Who knows, maybe I can grow extra plants and give them away!
This resolution is about becoming more sustainable overall when it comes to food in general. Not only do I hope to grow more of my own food, I hope to make more of it as well. I’ve already been learning to make my own breads, the next thing I’d like to start learning is sauces, pasta, and other items I can make ahead of time instead of purchasing from the store. I’d also like to get back into meal prepping lunches and breakfasts and being better at making dinners at home rather than ordering in. Lastly, I need to get better about physically going to the store to get my groceries instead of ordering online for pickup and delivery. Every once in a great while would be fine to use it, but the amount of money I waste on having things delivered is really adding up. This resolution shouldn’t be too challenging overall, and I’m excited to see what I can learn and accomplish while working through it.
Do you follow any of these rules regularly? How do you live a more sustainable life through your food?
As I said in my last post, I LOVE thrifting – “love” may not even be appropriate as I have recently become addicted to the idea (and action) of buying everything in my life secondhand at a fraction of the amount I’d normally spend. But there’s another shopping method that shares thrifting’s spot at the top of my love list – online shopping. All of the online services such as Amazon, Prime Now, E-Cart (Raley’s) and more make it so easy to order everything your heart desires without having to get dressed or leave your house (with E-Cart you do have to pick up your order, but you don’t actually have to go into the store). I use all of these pretty often to buy everything from body wash to bluetooth speakers – seriously, I ordered a bluetooth speaker on Prime Now this weekend and had it within two hours – SO COOL. Most recently though, I found that my two loves had been combined by someone who must be one of the smartest people on the planet – allow me to introduce you to ThredUp – the Largest Online Thrift Store – otherwise known as heaven. I had not heard of them until I watched this video by Youtube vlogger thataylaa, where she shows all the items she bought and did a try-on video. What-the-what!? You can get super cute, cheap clothes online without having to put on any clothes!? I said to myself with a squeal of joy – I HAD to try it. And try it I did, and I gotta say, I’m impressed. Keep reading to see what I got, how it showed up and to get yourself $10 off on your order.
Love thrifting? I know I do! But some people are still turned off by the idea of buying items that were once used by others. I get it – you imagine someone sweating all over a shirt – it’s wet, stinky and so not okay – you couldn’t possibly wear it after all that. BUT what if that shirt was an Anthropology blouse valued at $65, and you get swoop it up for a mere $4.99, throw it in the wash and have a new-to-you top – would you reconsider? Think about this, when you stay in a hotel room – and I would think most of us have – you are sleeping on sheets that hundreds, maybe even thousands (ick!), of other people have slept in. And sleep is not all that’s happening on these sheets, people – I’ll let your imagination do the wandering. However, these sheets are stripped from countless numbers of beds to be washed and reused by the next poor soul – and the cycle continues. Sorry – did I just ruin hotels for you? This strange example is how I convinced my husband to at least take a peek at the men’s clothes at our local Goodwill – and what do you know, he went home with a J. Crew t-shirt (so PROUD!), a summer tank and a very nice patterned button-up shirt for work, all for around $15 – #winning! (is that still a thing?). The same goes for dishes, utensils, rugs, blankets and pretty much everything else – I draw the line at intimates and bathing suits… just… no. Not only does a thrifty lifestyle save you a bunch of time and money (I say time because you can usually get all goods at one thrift store *cue angelic choir*), but you are also helping to lessen your footprint on our Mother Earth. So many items are manufactured and sold every day only to later be tossed aside or, in the best cases, donated to your local thrift stores. You are literally helping to save the Earth one thrift trip at a time – it doesn’t get better than that!
AND SO – for my first post, I am going to give you my top 5 items to purchase at a thrift store and why. For those of you that are also located in Sacramento, I’ll even include where I think some of the best thrift stores are for specific items AND throw in some note-worthy sale info. Keep reading to learn how you too can get the best for less, while also earning a grown-up sustainability badge that can make anyone feel better about buying more stuff.