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5 Luxury Services That Cost Nothing in the Wild


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Organic Food
Berries are one of the easiest foods to forage, and are often in accessible areas like parks and wooded trails Fuse/iStock/Thinkstock
Berries are one of the easiest foods to forage, and are often in accessible areas like parks and wooded trails Fuse/iStock/Thinkstock

Organic, locally sourced food is all the rage today. But it's often pricier than traditionally grown and obtained food. And if you go out to eat, prepare to pay a premium for items like handpicked microgreens, rare mushrooms and heirloom produce. Treat yourself to some of these tasty treats gratis by heading out to the woods -- or even your lawn -- and harvesting them yourself.

A surprising variety of food is available. Berries are one of the easiest to forage, and are often in accessible areas like parks and wooded trails. Look for blackberries, blueberries, huckleberries, raspberries and elderberries, among many others [source: Vivian]. Salad fixings are plentiful, from wild garlic and wild onion to dandelions and watercress. Morel mushrooms can easily run $50 or more per pound fresh; if you know when and where to look for them, all you have to spend is your time.

Don't forget about nuts; a wide variety can be harvested. And there's also the bounty of the sea -- seaweed, sea beets and sea kale. Just remember to get tips from experienced foragers before you go, so you don't mistake an inedible plant for one safe to prepare for dinner. And don't overharvest, as the survival of many birds and animals depends on the availability of some of these same foods [source: Moses].


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