Healthy eating is easy on the wallet

Instead of buying cereals, which according to Blanchard are expensive, or boxes of rice, buy in bulk.

It's also possible to eat locally and "not spend a fortune," according to Blanchard.

The ultimate way to eat locally and save, she said, is to plant a garden.

"It's a lot cheaper. A packet of seeds doesn't cost much, and it's so rewarding to eat your own food," said Blanchard.

No backyard for a garden? No problem.

"If people don't have a backyard that they can grow in then they could get a plot from community gardens," said Blanchard.

There are seven community garden sites throughout Schenectady County. Through a program called Capital District Community Gardens, for a suggested seasonal donation of $15, anyone can have a plot of land. If someone can't afford the donation, Capital District Community Gardens is willing to work something out.

"We're a not-for-profit organization, and we build and manage neighborhood food gardens," said Amy Klein, executive director of Capital District Community Gardens. "We have 46 locations in the tri-county area, and we serve about 3,000 people in those locations."

Klein said they provide everything one needs to grow their own food.

"Even a novice gardener would be able to grow food for their family and harvest successfully," said Klein.

Besides a sense of satisfaction, she said, the savings that comes along with growing one's own food makes the labor worth it.

"We estimate that a gardener can grow about $1,500 worth of fresh produce on their plot in a season," said Klein.

For information on the Capital District Community Gardens visit www.cdcg.org.""

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