For most of us one of our largest expenses besides our mortgage each month is our food bill. It is possible to save some on your grocery bill by using coupons, shopping sales, using your store rewards cards, etc.
Fresh produce is always a tricky item to find savings. One great solution to this is to plant a garden. You can buy seeds and plants very cheaply for the amount of food that they will ultimately produce. Naturally, the big cost will be in your labor as gardening does take time. But if you are looking for ways to save on your food bill and are willing to put in a little work this can be a big saver.
Benefits of Gardening
First of all you get the obvious benefit of your home-grown produce. There is nothing you can buy in the store that can quite match the flavor of your freshly picked fruits and vegetables.
You get the benefit of knowing exactly how your produce was grown. No worries about what chemicals or fertilizers may have been used. That’s all under your control.
It can be a good family activity. If you have kids get them involved. It’s a good learning experience for them. You can use it to teach them the value of work and the importance of taking responsibility for something. Give them a section of the garden where they can plant anything they want. If they love strawberries for example let them have a little strawberry patch. Choose things that grow quickly so they see results from their work.
It’s good exercise and a chance to spend time outdoors.
You’ll be eating a much healthier diet.
You can freeze or can most vegetables and enjoy your healthy harvest all year-long.
What if you don’t have a good space to garden
I fully understand that for many folks, while they may want to have a garden, they just don’t have the opportunity. Perhaps you live in an apartment or have a very small lot or live in an area with heavy shade. What do you do then? These are legitimate problems and you may not have the opportunity to have a large garden due to the limitations of where you live, but here are some possibilities.
If you have even a small patio area you can try container gardening. There are many vegetables that lend themselves very nicely to containers.
Do you have a friend or a neighbor that has a good area for a garden? Offer to share a garden with them. If they’ll provide the land, you’ll provide some of the labor and then you can share the harvest. Just be willing to follow through with this. Your friend may not be too happy if their backyard is a large mess of weeds by August.
Many places have community gardens where you can work together with others from your community and share the results.
If you have the ability, give it a try!
I know gardening might not be for everyone. Some have a green thumb that looks pretty wilted. Gardening also takes time. There is no point in planting a large garden and finding it an overgrown pile of weeds in a couple of months because you just didn’t have time to take care of it.
If however you like to grow things and you have the space to do so, gardening can have many rewards. You’ll eat better, gets some exercise, enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, all while saving nicely on your grocery budget. Give it a try. You might find a new hobby and save some money along the way.