21607B Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, CA 95014

Jen Oh

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Food Frugal

Food expenses are some of the most daunting areas to try to save. We eat ONLY organic. Even from the farmers market, etc – due to residual pesticides that can be in the soil, we have chosen to go only certified organic because of the extensive soil testing that occurs when farms are certified. Due to our choices, food expenses could be extremely high, but we have been able to keep our expenses low (at approx. $150 for a family of 3 -and a 1 yr old)

Most of us do not pre-plan meals or come up with extensive shopping lists before heading to the store. It takes extra planning at first, but once you get a system going – the amount you can save is significant.

Food Not Lawns

This year, we decided to get rid of our ugly front lawn. This was partly a response to the fact that we hate to mow. For the common homeowner – lawns often waste fuel for power mowers and toxic emissions, fertilizers and pesticides, water consumption and your weekend time!  We may have used a push mower and are pesticide free, but the wasted water and time made me just hate our front yard. So out with the lawn and in with the veggies!

We are following the square foot garden method (which for newbies like us is working awesome!) Essentially, it is a raised bed concept, where you mark off every square foot. This enables you to separate different plants easily and plant more per square foot. I got the book for Christmas and it is very easy to understand, has great pictures, and is very step by step (both with quick guides and in depth explanations).

We put in 4 raised beds. 3 of them are 4′ wide x 8′ long by 6″ tall and 1 of them is 4′ wide x 8′ long by 8″ tall (for root veggies). Though it is much more expensive, we used redwood …