8 Foods I No Longer Buy at the Grocery Store

Fruit · Fruit · Garden Planning · Gardening Tips & How-to's · Herbs · Herbs · In the Garden · Spring Garden · Summer Garden · Tomatoes · Vegetables · Vegetables

Although having a fully functioning, self-sustaining homestead isn’t a possibility for us at this point, I am proud to say my gardening adventures have allowed me to eliminate a few items from my shopping list.

I achieved this fairly easily so I have no doubt that with a little effort you can cut these items from your shopping list, too!

8 items I no longer have to buy at the store thanks to my garden


Peppers are expensive at the grocery store! Yet they are so easy to grow and preserve. With 4-6 bell pepper plants, I am able to have enough red and green bell pepper plants all year. From July to November I pick them fresh. I also freeze them chopped, in strips, and in kabob-shaped squares.

Green Beans

Beans are the easiest vegetables to grow AND preserve. Although many people freeze green beans, I prefer to can them. By planting 40 feet of pole beans we grow enough beans to never buy Del Monte again.

Green Beans


Have you noticed how expensive fresh herbs are at the grocery store? But most of them are so easy to grow! Basil grows quickly and without much effort in my garden. I end up with more than I’ll ever use. From June through October I pick it for fresh eating, and I also make bulk batches of basil pesto to freeze for winter. One plant is plenty, though I plant more to attract beneficial insects to the garden.


With my four blueberry bushes, I picked enough blueberries to last us all year in their second year of production. They freeze well, and I mainly use them in blueberry pancakes and muffins.

Related Blog Post: Growing Blueberries? How to Avoid these 4 Beginner Mistakes

Black-eyed Peas

I began growing black-eyed peas because it seemed in Arkansas it was the thing to do. After canning them — which was as easy as canning green beans — I was hooked (though many people freeze them as well). It has become a staple side dish in our family. Especially when paired with…

Sweet Pickle Relish

Thanks to a delicious Ball Blue Book recipe for sweet pickle relish, I haven’t bought relish from the store in years. Cucumber vines are so prolific it’s easy to get enough cukes for this delish condiment from just a couple of plants. And if you grow peppers and onions like I do, all you have to buy is the vinegar and sugar, and a few spices!

Tomato Sauce & Tomato Paste

Homemade tomato sauce and tomato paste is easy, thanks to my Kitchen Aid mixer with the fruit/vegetable strainer  attached (affiliate link). I no longer have to blanch, peel, or de-seed the tomatoes. After the Kitchen Aid does its thing, all I have to do is cook down the sauce to the desired consistency. Without the mixer, making enough tomato sauce and paste is still possible; it will just take a little more time. Just a few Roma tomato plants yields enough for my family.

Here is how I use it:

(affiliate link)

Update! Now I can add an eighth item I no longer have to buy at the grocery store: 


With one 4×8 raised bed, I’m able to plant garlic to last me the whole season! I plant in November, harvest in June, cure until July, and it stores until the next harvest! Learn how to grow and store garlic here.

What do you grow, or hope to grow enough of, to last all year?

7 foods I no longer buy at the grocery store

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  1. I want to try garlic because it is coming from China now. Home-grown is not easy to find. I also want to try potatoes because Aldi’s potatoes go bad fast. I’m glad you shared your list.

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