A massive money saver in my kitchen is having herbs on hand in my garden. I never buy herbs from the supermarket (unless very very desperate). For the price of a bunch of herbs from the local supermarket you can buy a herb seedling from the local nursery (or even cheaper- get an off cut from a friend, or a bit of a harder option- get a pack of seeds). My theory is, even if you are the worst green thumb you only need to use the herb once to break even and use it twice to be winning!
So why not give it a go?
I pretty much neglect my herbs at home and yet they thrive. They are planted in a full sun position (which is important), they get some water every now and again and they are pruned regularly because they are used in my cooking (this helps them bush up and grow). If they were in pots, they would need water more regularly and would need to be taken into the shade if it was going to be a very hot day (as the environment of the pot is much more harsh and they can burn).
These are the herbs I have in my garden (and that I recommend giving a go, starting with the herbs you love to cook with):
- Mint (plant in a pot as it can take over): I love using this in drinks!
- Parsley: I use this in lots of stews and casseroles to finish off and add more flavor. I also love tabbouleh!
- Rosemary (very hardy!): I use this on roast potatoes, and with lamb (sometimes crisping it up in a fry pan)
- Chives (These just keep going!): I love chives in muffins, zucchini slice, salads, fritata and on labneh
- Oregano : This is beautiful in your versatile tomato sauce, and on homemade pizza
- Thyme (very hardy): I use this in fritata!
- Stevia : I use this to make homemade stevia extract to use with my tea for a little bit of sweetness
- Perennial basil: I use this in tomato based dishes, pizzas and casseroles
- Lemongrass: I use my lemongrass to make lemongrass and ginger tea! Delicious!
- Lemon balm
Using Your Herbs: Tips for reducing herb waste!
- Growing your own means you can just cut off what you need!
- Dry your herbs: I tie a bunch of herbs with string and hang this on my window sill (or any warm place). Drying makes oregano amazing, but I also do this with rosemary and sage. You can then store it in a little glass jar
- Make herb butter: Chop up a mixture of herbs and mix this into butter. Roll in baking paper into a sausage shape and freeze. You can then cut off as you need and put on toast to make instant and delicious herb bread
- Freeze chopped herbs in olive oil. Then you can add this to cooking.
- Give a bunch of herbs to your friend instead of flowers! We have an abundance of rosemary at the moment and have been chopping it back and giving it away with a pretty ribbon on it