Add an additional $500 or more into your savings account just by growing your own food.You do not need lots of space, I know many who use 5 gallon buckets in their house.
How Much Do You Spend Per Month On Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs?
We are a family of 7 with a rough estimate of $700 per month in fruits and vegetables. We do go to a local market that has the lowest prices where we are. If we were to shop at Walmart or either of the grocery stores, we would spend more.
I took a look at what we buy, how much we spend and decided we will plant some common things we buy often and use daily in an effort to reduce our spending. We can easily plant the herbs we use, peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, grapes, cucumbers, and a few other things.
Spring is the time to celebrate new life and new habits. Depending on where you live, you can also plant in the fall, I am in Florida, I get to plant in either season. We get through our New Years’ resolution by the end of February, so as March and April come around, it’s time to embrace change. Planting a garden doesn’t just have to do with planting pretty flowers to draw bees in to save them.
Planting a garden also has to do with the long term perks of growing organic vegetables and fruit to save money on having to purchase them. This also makes for a great side hustle when the plants start growing too much for your family to consume.
How does gardening save $600?
In the beginning the fruit will not payoff. By the second year, the tree will begin to grow fruit, and as the years progress the trees will produce more fruit each year as it becomes older
The more you plant, obviously the more you will eventually produce. By planting a variety of fruit and vegetable plants, you are able to use the produce in many different ways for meals, and snacks.
Many vegetable plants will give you a good harvest during the first year though.
Think of items you use in everyday cooking. Tomatoes, onions, and peppers are extremely common in my family. These are the items we need to plant the most in our garden because they do have the largest demand and they can be quite pricy.
Water for the plants can cost as little as $60 a year, and depending on the fertility of the ground, you may spend about $15 on the soil every year. If your state allows it, you can collect rainwater to use to water your garden, this means even less cost for you.
The start-up costs are very minimal for the amount of produce you can gain from it.
Remember seeds are only, what? $3 for 10 plants worth? If you are getting food stamps, you can use them to begin your garden. You can buy seeds as well as potted seedlings to transfer into your garden. My friend used $50 of her food stamps to buy tomatoes, peppers, various herbs, and a few other vegetable seedling plants which she placed into 10-gallon buckets for them to grow in.
The great part about gardening is that it can be a great hobby to get into, and compared to other hobbies, it is a very cheap one to have. Get the kids involved to help them learn about all kinds of things, including the financial gains the family will be blessed with.
The only costs after initial costs are water, occasionally soil, and the time you put into it.
You can’t just plant anything. Gardening is dependent on the area you live in. Different plants thrive in different environments, they do not adapt well to other environments.
You aren’t going to grow a cactus in Louisiana. It won’t survive. You also aren’t going to plant a banana tree in Arizona. It just doesn’t work. Finding the right produce for your environment is some of the most important information prior to planting. You don’t go fishing with a stick instead of a fishing rod. You go with the whole tackle box, with the right bait for the fish you are trying to catch.
Different patterns contribute to the ‘perfect’ environment. Between the humidity, dry heat, amount of sun, and rain necessary.
If you live in a cold environment then these veggies can be the best bet to surviving in the winter:
- Brussel Sprouts
Getting the best products to make your garden thrive among weather conditions being important, what you use to make your plants grow, is equally as important. Between the type of soil, fertilizer, and even the location of the plant (if it is in a pot, or in the ground).
Eggshells are great fertilizers, reducing your cost of buying extra fertilizer. Eggshells hold calcium, which is great for promoting chemical balance in the soil, as well as water penetration in the actual plant. The best form of the eggshells is to ground them up, and either mix them with the soil when transferring/planting or to stick the ground eggshells on top. Just be careful, you do not want to add them every day!
Just like how too much calcium is bad for us, they can also have the same effects on plants. This is why we have to keep a record of when we do give our plants this extra boost, so we don’t end up overdoing it in the long run.
Best time to plant your Veggie Garden! Spring is here! But spring isn’t really the only best time to plant veggies! The best time to really plant veggies is when it is cooler outside! That’s right! The tail end of winter is the actual best time to plant your garden!
Plants sprouting actually thrive in the 40-75 degree Fahrenheit. This temperature is typically 2-4 weeks before what is referred to as the ‘last winter frost’.
In some states, you can even get away with planting crops in the fall, because the weather doesn’t get cold in the winter. These are the states that typically have 110+ degree weather in the summer.
This is extremely beneficial because, in the summer, it is extremely hard to get water to plants before they evaporate causing the sprinklers to run very early in the morning and late at night to avoid the hottest parts of the day.
This is also beneficial so the sun doesn’t burn your barely grown plants.
It would be a shame to see little sprouts being killed because weather patterns are so intense.
This brings me back to the point to do research on where you live to find out what you can do to make your crops as successful as possible. Whether you need to put them in a shaded area to stay away from the heat, or if you should keep them in the sun to give it the warmth and UV rays they oh-so desperately need.
Most importantly, have fun! This is an amazing opportunity to find a hobby, that not only, you see the results from, but also have a sustainable way to find your fresh veggies free of pesticides, and chemicals.
Gardening is a very rewarding hobby. The only thing that can come close to it, is couponing. But you get to contribute to a healthier more clean environment, and a healthier, happier family.
Cost Of Starting a Garden
The first thing to do is make a list of the more expensive items you buy and how often they are used. For my family, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, onions, peppers, and garlic are used daily.
If you have a small amount of room and can only do some bucket plants, that is ok. Walmart sells 5-gallon buckets for $3. Determine how many you will need and buy that many buckets. Start off with 1 bucket per plant type and later on, if you need more then add as you need. According to my personal list above, I would need six buckets to start with, the sixth bucket will have herbs and garlic planted together.
- Six Buckets = $19.26
- Soil = $32.10
- Seedling Plants = $32.10
To get started, you would need roughly $84, however, if you can buy your seeds and seedling plants with food stamps, it will help you a great deal. For under $100, you will have started your garden and the savings would be more than triple that.
Knowing how much each plant can produce will help you determine how much you need. A tomato plant can give you anywhere between 10 pounds to 50 pounds of tomatoes! So, if you paid only $12 for all the supplies needed for your tomato plant and you harvested 25 pounds, which would have cost you $60 in the store, then you will have saved $48 just from that one plant.
Ways to Save Money When Gardening
Compost: You can save money by making your own compost. It does take time but it will save money and you know exactly what is in it. Zero chemicals and all-natural to fertilize your garden. Use things like scraps from fruits and veggies, skin, core, pulp, used coffee grounds, used tea leaves, even eggshells.
Seeds not plants: If you have the time and want to start from scratch, seeds are way cheaper than seedlings. Seed packets can cost anywhere from $1 to $3 compared to seedling plants that can cost between $3 and $6.
Yard sales: Go to some yard sales, you may find gardening items for less than what you would pay for in the store.
Balance garden ecosystem: Plant herbs and flowers that attract good insects and repel bad ones. If you have space, create a way to allow the garden to self water if possible. Use citrus peels to help repel harmful insects.
Split costs with a friend: If you are doing a smaller garden, you may have left over soil, mulch and seeds. Split the costs with a friend to help reduce any initial costs. Another idea is if one of you has more space than the other, gardening together will not only help save money, but create fun memories, bonding, less work and other benefits.
Start seeds in egg cartons, they are ok to plant into the ground once it is time to transfer a seedling into a bigger space.
Grow potatoes in burlap sacks.
Collect rain water to use for watering. Use mulch on top to help prevent too much water loss and keep the sun from burning the roots if you live in very hot climates.
Before you plant anything into the ground, lay down some cardboard boxes, all tape and stickers removed. Wet slightly then add mulch, rocks and soil. this helps reduce weeds that will ruin your garden.
If you have boiled eggs or vegetables, do not waste that water. Let it cool down and use to water your garden. It will nourish those plants with organic food.
Use veggie, fruit, and herb scraps to begin your garden. Foods such as potatoes, onions, leeks, celery, lettuce, ginger, bok choy, and many others can be started from scraps collected from your meal prepping.
Use vinegar to get rid of pesky weeds, ants, rodents and other garden pests. For plants that like a more acid like environment, add a little vinegar to give them that boost. Vinegar also helps clean rust from your garden items. You can keep certain fungi away using a mixture that includes vinegar. For some seeds, a drop or two added to water with the seeds soaked overnight will help germinate them. Also, for those of us in climates where snakes can be a pest, vinegar will do the trick to deter them away.