My tip for this week is to look into your local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Good value and good food through purchasing a share in your local farm.
Basically, you buy produce directly from your local farmers and in many cases, it's either organic or pesticide free. Programs vary, with participants paying for an annual, quarterly, monthly, or weekly share. I'm lucky that mine is weekly so it's very easy to work into our budget and I'm not required to participate every week so I don't have to pay for a week that we won't use because we're out of town, etc.
I started participating in my local CSA last year and couldn't believe how much I got for only $14 a week. A HUGE box, about 30"x24"x18" packed full of pesticide-free produce. My hubs is big on supporting local commerce so buying from a farmer just down the hill from us is a bonus too.
You may also find that your CSA offers some fun family activities. During the summer, we can pick our own berries and in the fall, the kids can go scratch their names into a pumpkin skin and then find their pumpkin in the patch when Halloween rolls around.
Looking for a creative Christmas gift for a friend or family member? I think purchasing a weekly or monthly share on their behalf would be really unique and useful. Hopefully they'll get hooked and will continue to support their local farmers (can you tell my Grandpa was a farmer?) while doing something really healthy for their family.
And another sort of bargain to share...
I'm giving away a zippered pouch to Gretchen who left a comment on my "fascinating" post that made me laugh out loud. Finally, someone who knows even less about sewing than I do:)
"Oooo, those are gorgeous!! I never knew they could sew buttons on, but I've really only used one like twice in my life. Is there a way to make it sew a straight line by itself, because I can't even do that!" - Gretchen