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Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 in Health & Beauty, Seasonal & Events | 7 comments

How to Grow Your Own Food to Save Money

grow your own foodLearn how to grow your own food to save money on your monthly grocery bill, even in the winter. You don’t need a big yard to grow a lot of plants. You can grow some plants in containers, and you can replace existing shrubs with fruit trees and berry bushes. If you plan your garden well in advance, it will only require a minimal investment, and you will reap the return on your investment for years to come.

Planning

Start planning your garden and plants several months before you need to plant. Decide how much space you have for a garden and if you have room for fruit trees or berry bushes.

Decide how much time you will have to devote to planting, weeding, picking and preserving your food. You don’t want to waste any food that you grow, so you don’t want to plant more than you can realistically care for.

Buy Supplies

You can save money on tools and supplies by shopping at discount stores and resale shops. Most home-improvement stores run sales and offer coupons on gardening tools in the spring, so try to shop when prices are low.

Buying Plants

Make a list of the fruits and vegetables that you buy often throughout the year. Decide which plants grow well in your area, and plan to grow them in your garden.

Starting plants from seeds is cheaper than buying plants, but you need to start the seeds weeks before you want to plant. If you want to plant fruit trees or berry bushes, keep in mind that they will not produce fruit for several years. Buying young trees can save you a lot of money in the long term, so plant them as soon as you can.

Preserving Food

In order to see cost savings throughout the year, you need to preserve your crops by canning or freezing excess food. Learn how to freeze and can so you can enjoy healthy fruits, vegetables and berries all year.

Freezing excess produce is the easiest method of preserving, but you will need to pay for electricity to keep the food safe. You may also need to purchase an extra freezer, which could make this method expensive.

Canning is less expensive after the initial investment, and your canned goods will last a year or more on the shelf. You will need a pressure canner, jars, rings, and lids the first time you can, but you will only need to purchase rings and lids in the following years because the pressure canner and jars are reusable.

Learning how to grow your own food can save you a substantial amount of money on your grocery bill each month. By planning in advance and buying tools and supplies when they are on sale, you can save even more money, and you will have healthy food to eat all year.

7 Comments

  1. This is perhaps one of the worst articles I have ever seen — highly misleading! It assumes that innocent people reading the article can follow your advice and reduce their grocery bills EVEN in WINTER! What nonsense!!! As a gardener of 50 years, I could fill in all you have left out. But the article was not written for people who have gardened for years! There was NOTHING in your article about how to prepare the yard, the soil or anything at all about how on earth a person could grow things in the winter! There was nothing about choosing what to plant, how to plant it, how to start seedlings, etc. This article was a COMPLETE waste of time for any novice reading it thinking it would help them grow food!! This is a disservice to your readers!

    • We strive to give our readers helpful, general tips to help them save money. It sounds like you could teach us a thing or two in regards to growing your own food. We’d love for you to share your gardening expertise with our readers! Please feel free to post a comment with your advice. Take care.

    • While I agree with some of your points, you’ve left out a huge detail in your other points that completely invalidates what you’ve said. Your geographic location makes a huge difference! I live in Southern California and WINTER is definitely a garden productive season for me! Lettuce, sugar snap peas, most of my citrus… ALL winter crops!

      As far as canning, a pressure cooker is NOT a requirement, unless you are canning certain foods. I’ve been canning for many years, just using a large pot for the boiling water bath method. No pressure cooker.

  2. Just a tip for folks just starting out –
    Think about not only those plants that provide fruits or vegetables that you use often, but also produce items that are relatively expensive to buy vs grow.
    For example, fresh herbs and different varieties of peppers can be pricey at the supermarket ($2-4/pkg) yet you can buy healthy plants at the home store for $3 each that will last you all season (and, yes, even through the winter as well if you container plant indoors near a sunny window). Easy to grow and require almost no effort.

    • What a great way to look at it. I love basil, but always have a hard time justifying the store cost (in the event I don’t have a coupon, of course). Thanks for the tip!

  3. Excellent participation!:)

  4. The lady above was talking about spices. You should have mentioned when you have an over abundance of parsley, basil, mint, etc, you can wash he herbs, cut them up and put them in extra ice cube trays. I always have a ready supply of herbs in my freezer. I’ll measure out 1/2 tsp. of them put them in the little section and cover with water and freezer. When completely frozen, I’ll pop them out and put them in a freezer bag,marking the name, date, etc. on the bag. I do the same thing with tomato paste. You never use the whole 6 oz can!

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