Category Archives: Food and cooking

Tomatoes showing seeds

Six Simple Ways to Get Vegetable Seeds For Free

So now you’ve made the decision to ‘grow-your-own’ food, and you’re ready to get started. But you might be in for a bit of a shock! If you head to the garden centre and buy a handful of seed packets, you’ll probably wince when see the total at the check-out. Although it’s an easy way to get started, it’s certainly not the cheapest. So here are six simple ways to get seeds and plants, either for free or at a very low cost, which will help any budget-conscious gardener.

1. Share seed packets with friends

Packet usually contain quite a lot of seeds, sometimes too much for the average family, especially if you’re short of space. With some crops, such as salad leaves, lettuces or radishes, you can save seeds for sowing later (known as ‘succession sowing’ so you have an ongoing supply of your crop), but often there’s just too many to use. So why not get together with some friends and share the cost of your seeds. You could even agree to take on growing a couple of vegetables each and then swap plants when they’ve grown a bit. And it’s always good to work with others for a little moral support.



Growing Your Own Food Made Easy

Do you love the idea of growing your own fruit and vegetables but don’t know where to start? Maybe you’re on a tight budget, so you think you can’t afford to ‘grow your own’? Or are your kids not keen to eat anything that hints of a vegetable? We all know we should be eating plenty of fruit and vegetables but buying them can be expensive, so my posts for the next few weeks will be about growing fruit and vegetables on a budget.

It’s surprisingly easy to grow your own food, even if you’ve only got a very small space or cash is limited. With a little ingenuity, you can find lots of ways to find seeds and plants for free (or very little!), avoid spending a fortune on pots and seed trays, and spending hours each day digging and weeding. And kids really love the idea of ‘growing your own’, which means it’s more likely they’ll try eating something new – which has to be good news, doesn’t it?


Fabulous families child carrying cucumbers

Helping Your Child Grow Food for Packed Lunches

Children love gardening, so there’s no better way to harness this love than to help them to grow food for their packed lunches. They are far more likely to eat what’s in their lunchbox if they’ve had a hand in nurturing it, so growing fruit and vegetables together will be a real winner.

Do I need a garden?

You don’t need acres of space to grow food for a healthy packed lunch. Even if you only have a windowsill, you can still grow your own food. Sprouting seeds, such as mung beans, can be ‘grown’ in a glass jar. Or add a fun touch by growing traditional mustard and cress in decorated egg shells or little containers. You can grow delicious items in pots or Grow-bags on a small balcony, but if you are lucky enough to have a garden or allotment, you have an even greater choice.


Fabulous families easy packed lunch

‘Pick Up and Go’ Ideas for Tasty Packed Lunches

Mornings are always a frantic time so it really helps to have lunchbox items than you can simply ‘pick up and go’. Taking a little time to make items ahead of time, especially those you can freeze or store in the fridge for a few days, can make all the difference to enjoying a healthy packed lunch without spending hours each morning preparing.


Fabulous families child's packed lunch

How to Make Irresistible Packed Lunches for Children

There’s nothing more frustrating than opening your child’s packed lunch box at the end of the day, only to discover that most of their packed lunch is still inside it! How can you create healthy lunches that your child will love and avoid having a box full of left-overs?

Don’t overestimate what your child can eat

Research has shown that a child’s stomach is roughly the size of their fist. Take a moment to think about their fist and you’ll see it takes up less space than you think. So make sure the lunch you prepare doesn’t look too overwhelming for a small child. Lots of smaller items look more attractive than a couple of large sandwiches and a huge apple.