I've been considering how I could go about growing my own herbs for some time now, even before FLG suggested it. It wouldn't really be a move towards actual cost savings in the way not washing my hair would, since I don't currently buy fresh herbs very often. It would a kind of hypothetical cheapness, since I could be paying more if I were paying anything. Plus, I like projects, and basil.
The problem is two-fold, however. First, the garden needs to be indoors so that I can eat basil all year. Second, it needs to be cat-proof. I've considered two options in this direction:
1. I could grow it under artificial lights in my closet. The downside of this is that the LED lamps cost at least $50 (not thrifty), and also that I couldn't use my closet for more useful ends, like clothing storage. Plus, I'd have to constantly explain to people about the "herbs" I'm growing in there.
2. A chicken-wire covering for the plants so that the sun can reach them, but the cat's teeth can't. Chicken wire is only a few bucks, so the cost wouldn't be a huge issue, but it's possible that space constraints in my new apartment will be. How can I convince my roommates that the best use of half our living room floor is for a chicken-wire domed indoor farm?
On a related note, I was recently hunting for Amazon cart filler to get my order up to $25 and qualify for free shipping, and I realized this is always a bad idea to do at the last minute when you just need to stick something--anything--in there to avoid a shipping charge. I typically select ridiculous things like cat toys and muffin pan liners because I don't have time to take stock of all the little things I actually do need. So, to remedy this problem, I started a shopping list on Amazon dedicated specifically to cart filler items that I need generally but not urgently. Now, whenever I think, "Oh, I could really use an X at times like these," I add it to the list. So that next time I need to add $4.70 to my cart, I will remember to buy a tape measure or a flashlight or, now, chicken wire for my basil farm.