Go Green and Save Money: Interview with The Frugal Farmer

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“People depend way too much on the convenience of the grocery and other stores. It’s caused us to lose sight of our ability to provide for ourselves.” – Laurie at The Frugal Farmer

Laurie started her blog, The Frugal Farmer, in January of 2013 as a way to help her and her husband pay off their debt. They wanted to encourage others to become debt free by telling their story of how they were making changes towards living a simpler, more self-sustainable lifestyle. It turns out DIY living is not only good for the environment but it’s also a great way to save money.

Save money on food with these three tips from The Frugal Farmer:

Plan your menu.

According to Laurie there are three reasons why people over eat and over spend on food: a lack of menu planning, giving in to cravings and laziness. If meals aren’t planned  it’s possible you may not have all the ingredients in your home that you need for the recipe and then it’s easy to justify eating out. This is a very unhealthy and expensive habit says Laurie.

“People give in too much to their cravings” she says about the second reason why people spend too much money on food every month. The third reason why people over spend on food is because they don’t enjoy cooking. Preparing a meal can be both fun and rewarding if you do it right. “Even rice and refried beans can make a fantastic, cheap meal if you know how to spice it up” says Laurie. “Add some homemade guacamole and pico de gallo, and suddenly your rice and beans have a little extra kick.”

Grow your own veggies.

When they moved to the country Laurie and her husband started a large vegetable garden and although it’s a lot of work it’s very rewarding. “Part of the reason we chose to become more self-sustaining was for the money-saving aspect: vegetables grown in your garden are super cheap.”

Growing their own veggies is a long term commitment that Laurie and her husband took on together.  Although they’ve been at it for a while Laurie admits she still has a lot to learn. “It’s been nearly two years and we’re still adjusting on some levels” says Laurie about her green thumb.

If country living is not your cup of tea you can still go green in an apartment. “Living in an urban apartment does make self-sustainability a little more difficult, but it can be done” according to The Frugal Farmer. City dwellers can grow tomato or pea plants in pots on a patio or balcony. Laurie’s advice for newbies is to start small and see where it goes “Just start out with some basil in a small pot.”

Say bye-bye to the big city.  

“Choosing to move from the suburbs to the country has been a big adjustment in many ways” says Laure.  She admits that she loves her fresh air and open space of living in the country, but she does miss the convenience of city living. “You can’t necessarily just hop on down to the grocery store when it’s 15 miles away and there’s a huge snowstorm”.

The one thing that Laurie and her husband adjusted to very well was the privacy of living in the country. “(We are) learning to live without people all around and to be satisfied with not constantly being busy” says Laurie.  “We’ve learned to enjoy peace, quiet and relaxation.”

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