Grow your own herbs! This is my third year for having my own little herb garden, and it's gotten better every year. The first year, I was really ambitious and thought I'd start my herb garden from seeds. Forget it. I had ZERO luck with that. Last year, I went to Thieneman's Herbs and Perennials in Louisville and had much better luck. They had pretty much any herb that you could think of (and several that you would never think of!). Last year was also my first year for my multi-tiered self-watering pot that I got from my in-laws (it came from The Red Barn in Bradenton, Florida, which is a super-cool place in its own right...they have an amazing farmer's market!). The combination worked great! I loved having fresh herbs all summer long. It was so nice to just walk out my back door and snip off some basil or rosemary! This year, I couldn't wait to get my herb garden out. I didn't know when I'd get to Thieneman's again, so I had to settle for Lowe's and Wal-Mart. This year, I bought three basil plants, because I use it the most. I'm hoping to have big, hardy basil plants this year, because Chet and I have big plans to make lots of pesto! YUM! I got two rosemary plants and two flat-leaf parsley plants (correction...I bought one rosemary plant...my in-laws bought me a rosemary plant for my birthday, as well). I love rosemary with chicken, and of course, parsley's good in anything! To round out my herb garden, I chose a sage and oregano (because that's really all they had at Lowe's and Wal-Mart). I wish I had a thyme plant, and I've got to rustle up some chives somewhere. I love chives. I tried to grow cilantro last year...no luck. I gave up on it this year.
So why is this thrifty? My local grocery stores (Wal-Mart and Kroger) don't really carry a wide variety of herbs. I can buy big bunches of cilantro for 98 cents, but stuff like basil and rosemary? A tiny little package costs about $2.00. I have about $20 in herbs in the pot you see above. I figure I'll get my money's worth out of it! If I just use them 10 times (oh, but I'll use them much, much more!), I'll have broken even. Very thrifty, indeed!