One of the easiest and possibly relaxing ways of saving money is to start gardening. This is a method that will save you money for a good portion of the year. If you’ve read through some of my other posts, you will know that I’m big into watching things grow. Even as far as going to Flower and Garden Festival at Disney World. For me, gardening is a great hobby but we’ve been able to save money with gardening as well. Everyone thinks that you need to have a large garden to take advantage of this. However, it can be as big as a full garden or as small as a few potted plants around the yard, deck, or driveway. In past years, I’ve used several different methods, such as a medium-size garden and a few potted plants to save money. Much of the incentive from this had started with the Flower and Garden Festival.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally posted/published in July 2018 and has been updated/revamped for accuracy and comprehension.
Does it really save money?
Yes, it can but it does take time and patience, as well as some work. When starting out, you have to be wise in your approach. With everything that has happened over the past year, many people have jumped into becoming self-sufficient or at least a little more sufficient. Including starting to grow their own vegetable. It can be simple things such as make your own compost rather than buying fertilizer. Small changes can save you a bit of money in the long run. Planning out how the garden will be started will help to prevent overspending and keep more money in your pocket for other things. Here is a great article from Iowa State University that outlines it really well.
You can start them from seeds and save more money or buy them from a nursery for cheap towards the end of spring. We’ve picked up tomato and pepper plants for $1 each and have pots around the house. Usually, we can get at least a couple of pounds of produce per potted plant, if not more. So we can save over the course year at least $50 or more on groceries from a few dollar investments. Although it may not be much, it can make a difference in your budget. You don’t need to spend a lot of months of supplies either. I’ve used old bags of potting soil or picked them up for $3 at local Family Dollar. If you wait until the end of the season to pick up supplies for the next year, you may get potting soil as low as $1 at the end of the growing season.
Smaller can be better
Having a medium-size, or even small, garden can save you more money but requires more time for things like weeding and watering depending on the closest water source. If you like to cook and spend money on herbs, this would be something easy to start with. These can be started in smaller pots or window planter boxes and can continue to harvest year-round. The best part of growing herbs is that it doesn’t require a green thumb. Herbs won’t necessarily save you a lot of money but it will add up over time; plus what is better than using fresh herbs in your cooking. Whether you decide to go big on your growing endeavor or start with potted plants, you can save money in the long run but may take a little effort. I recommend starting small, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and for life to get in the way of taking care of the plants. You can always start to expand later on.
Fruit of your labor
For a long-term investment, if you have the land, you can start your own fruit trees or bushes. These will take at least 4-5 years to start producing fruit for the trees and at least 1 season usually for the bushes. Not a bad option but it does take some patience. These can be the hardest to grow and take a lot more effort to get money worth from them. But once they are established, it can save a lot of money. Luckily there are a lot of resources online, and many of them being free. Overall, you can save money with gardening but it does take time and effort.
Do you enjoy gardening? Let us know in the comments what your favorite thing to grow is!