Fight inflation with creative ways to cut food costs

Fight inflation with creative ways to cut food costs

ROANOKE, Va. – We have all seen prices rise because of inflation. We pay more for everything, including gas and food. Our Solutionaries team finds unique ways to solve the problem – from transportation and beef prices, to affordable housing and the transportation crisis.

Here in Virginia at a local cattle farm, they save money on raising cattle, which means you save money on the meat you buy.

The Parziale family manages New London Farm in the forest. Ben Parziale saw the need to combat rising costs and found a unique way to save on fuel, fertilizer and feed costs by using hay rings that are moved around a field every few days. Parziale estimates the farm will save about $10,000 raising the cattle, which means that when you pay for the meat, the costs won’t increase for you.

“We regularly look for ways to make it more efficient,” Parziale said. “We’ve kind of seen some of the inflationary stuff just happen, there’s going to be changes in the farming community that the farming business or the farming team won’t be able to avoid.”

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He says a pound of New London Farm Ground Beef has only gone up about $0.50 over the past two years, but you see much bigger increases elsewhere.

In Roanoke, the LEAP Community Gardens are more popular than ever. Growing your own food well can mean saving money on produce and not having to depend on an unpredictable supply chain.

“I think a lot more people are into it because they want to secure that for their families with uncertain economic times,” said Community Gardens Manager Davey Rogner Stewards. “I don’t have to worry about the state of the national economy to make sure I’m putting food on my plate.”

Stewards said Roanoke invested $180,000 to add more space. He says there are a number of ways community gardens can work.

  • At one, you can rent a small piece of land for $30 per year. The organization that runs the garden can help provide compost, tools, donated seeds and more. You plant what you want, then you reap what you grow. But the space is small, so you are limited to what you can grow.

  • Another model grows as a community in a bigger space where you can grow more food. You could have fruit trees and nut trees and rows of traditional gardens.

Stewards says there are a variety of people who come to community gardens, retirees, young people who want to learn more about nature, immigrants and refugees who grew a lot of food where they lived and people who live in apartments.

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This story is part of a new program at WSLS 10, Solutionaries. Solutions offer hope and that’s the belief of Solutionaries, a show from our parent company, Graham Media Group, which focuses on those who are tackling some of our greatest challenges. Each episode focuses on effective responses to problems and offers viewers ways to join the effort for positive change.

We tackle one topic at a time, highlighting the problems many of us face and the solutions that exist. The solution could be in our backyard, or something else that works across the country.

You can check out our story on urban heat islands in Virginia and their deadly effects from February here.

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