What To Do with the Extra Produce from Your Garden

One of the best ways to enjoy fresh food is to grow a garden. There’s plenty of fresh food to enjoy during the summer, and it doesn’t cost very much when you grow it yourself.

But what happens when you have extra produce? You don’t want it to just rot. The good news is that you do have some options for making use of it. Here are some ideas for using the extra produce in your garden:

Give It Away

You don’t have to just try to get rid of squash; you can give away other produce as well. Your neighbors will appreciate peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, corn, and other produce. If you have a lot of extra produce, share it with the people you know. They will enjoy it, and you don’t have to see it go to waste.

Another option is to find out if the local soup kitchen accepts donations of fresh produce for what they make. The local food bank might accept it as well. Being able to provide a service for your community, as well as food for your own table, can be very satisfying.

Sell It

Of course, you don’t have to give it away. You could decide to sell it. If you have kids, this can be a great way for them to earn a little extra money. Have a “farm stand” set up so that they can sell your extra produce. You can also consider whether or not it makes sense to take the extra to a local farmer’s market. Some markets charge a hefty sum for participation, so it might not make sense if you don’t have a lot of produce. Consider your options, and figure out what makes sense for your family. Selling your extra yield could mean a little extra cash in your pocket.

Preserve It For the Winter

Just because you don’t eat it during the summer doesn’t mean that you can’t eat it some other time. You can preserve most fresh produce with the right processes. A number of fruits and vegetables can be bottled or frozen. You keep the nutrients and most of the flavor, and you can enjoy your garden even during the winter.

There are also ways to preserve your produce in other forms. When we have a lot of apples, we make applesauce and pie filling. It’s a fun way to preserve all those extra apples. You can also turn extra tomatoes into spaghetti sauce or salsa.

Dehydration is another good way to preserve some of your produce. Many fruits can be dehydrated and stored, or made into fruit leather. I like to dry my herbs and use them year-round. They are tasty, and it saves me having to go to the store when I want herbs.

There is no reason to throw out any of your produce. If you must, turn it into compost. But, really, you are better off giving it away, selling it, or preserving it for use later.

What do you do with extra produce from your garden?

Saving the Bottom Line with Credit Card Perks

If you’re a small business owner, you know that every penny counts when it comes to profit and loss. Whether you sell high-tech gadgets or casual clothing, you need a clever way to build benefits with your spending habits. The rapid rewards credit card showed up as one of the best on the comparison tool by MileCards.com allowing you to purchase critical items and services for your business while accumulating points for deep discounts in the future. Use your credit cards wisely to benefit the business and employees.

 

  • Traveling Employees: Many companies have several traveling employees, from trade show representatives to field salespeople. They must always have credit or cash on-hand to pay for gas, client lunches and other critical business interactions. Using one collective credit card account, pass out employee credit cards to your trusted workers. They’ll spend the money as they usually do, but they’ll earn points for each dollar purchase, depending on the card. Encourage them to use credit wherever they go to keep the benefits rolling in. It also reduces the threat of lost or stolen cash while on the road.

 

  • Move On In: Always read the fine print when you agree to a business credit card. There may be initial perks that expire quickly after the first few months. For example, there could be a lucrative balance transfer deal to gain points without charging new purchases. There is always a fee associated with a transfer, but the point totals may outweigh the fee cost. Consider your overall savings if you transfer a credit amount. An older card could have a smaller interest rate than the rewards card, but the earned points on the transfer could equal more income or discounts. Each business and owner has different goals for success.

 

  • Flying Perks: Because many rewards cards are supported by airlines, you’ll see the most benefits from flying purchases. Some cards even double the points for each dollar spent! However, you need to book flights directly with the airline. Avoid using travel agents bundling flights with third-party companies, for instance. It’s incredibly easy to book a flight online. Ask your employee to book their own business trip. They can select the flight time and layover cities. This freedom motivates employees to work hard because they have some control over their business traveling.

 

  • Pay Yourself Back: Every business owner has their own goals for accumulated points on their credit card. Try to use the points throughout the year on car rentals, for example. If you have several clients visiting from out of town, you could have discounted or even free rentals for everyone to drive around freely. You’ll look like the generous entrepreneur when you’re simply cashing in on points. Hand out gift cards to hard-working employees or pay for a hotel ballroom rental to reward everyone after a busy quarter. For most card point programs, you have a lot of flexibility during reimbursement.

 

  • Keeping Track: If you ignore the rewards portion of your credit card, you still have exceptional business benefits from an accounting point of view. Almost every credit card has online access, giving you a real-time view of charges. Group the charges into categories to see where the money is flowing. Analyze the information to cut down on expenses or to pinpoint great deals that should be explored further. Employees no longer need to fill out expense reports because the history is printed on the statement. Time savings and expense accuracy improve business efficiency greatly.

 

  • Those Extra Savings: Your employees will be thankful for traveling ease with their cards. For many programs, there’s priority boarding and free checked bags. Employees that travel most of the month don’t have to worry about fighting the crowds or paying even more for their luggage. Even change fees could be waived which is a huge perk for business travelers. If you miss a flight or have business plan changes, change fees add up with busy workers. Businesses stay on budget with extra travel savings.

 

  • On The Lookout For Bonuses: Applying and receiving your business cards isn’t the end of the savings. For many programs, bonuses pop up during the year. Creditors notify you by email or postal mail. Keep an eye out for any bonus offers. They are often short, but lucrative. You could plan a large purchase around this bonus to receive thousands of points that can be applied to the next large purchase. The key is to plan ahead and look at the big picture. Contemplating your business’s needs six or 12 months from the present date helps you budget all company needs.

 

The old saying states that you need to “spend money to make money.” This adage is entirely true, but you don’t have to use liquid assets to pay for all business needs. Build your credit and card point totals with a strategically chosen credit line. You’ll find that some services pay for themselves over time.