Grocery bills can be depressingly high for families trying to make it through economy downturns and other issues affecting our pocketbooks. Besides the money you’ll save on healthy food items such as vegetables, you’ll improve your health and well-being by cultivating a garden space.
If you don’t have a garden space or only have a patio or balcony, you can still grow some foods that will have an impact on your health – and your budget. If you have a large enough space and want to devote more time and effort, you can even freeze or can some foods to grace your table during winter months.
Gardening is fun and economical. It’s also good for the soul and the budget. You’ll need to first plan your garden according to size of the space (or containers), light, condition of soil, water and nutrient accessibility, temperature and add the factors of diseases and pests to the mix.
If you plan well, you can definitely save money by gardening. Add herbs to spice up bland meals rather than purchasing the blander and very expensive herbs in a jar. Peppers are easy to grow and easy to preserve for future sides.
It’s fun to open a jar or get a bag out of the freezer that you prepared during summer months. Also, be realistic about what you will eat and what will die on the vine. If you don’t like tomatoes, don’t grow them, even though they’re very easy growing and prolific plants.
If you and your family love strawberries and carrots, go for it. Grow what you’ll love and that will be eaten and not simply for how easy it is to grow. Don’t forget to consider your climate when choosing plants for your garden.
You may love lemons, but growing them in the cold, northeast states would be a futile attempt. Whatever you grow, figure out a way to preserve or freeze them for tasty treats during long winter months.
A lot of information exists online about how to preserve your bounty. It’s easy and you don’t have to purchase a great deal of expensive equipment. Keep in mind that any equipment for gardening or preserving your plants only needs to be purchased once.
After contemplating what you and your family will eat – and which might go untouched, consider which plants in the “eaten” group will give the most yield. Even though annuals provide a spring and summer full of great leafy greens and other veggies, also consider the long-term investment of nut trees, blackberry bushes and fruit trees as other investments that will pay off long-term.
Fruit trees pay off in the long term, but you must wait quite awhile for the trees to bear fruit. Pear and cherry trees are great additions to a long-term garden spot and can yield incredible crops after a few years.
Besides the savings you’ll realize by planning and cultivating your own garden, your body will reap the benefits of the exercise it demands and the great, fresh taste it brings to the table.
Kids have fun digging in the dirt and helping plant and harvest the returns on your investment. Keep them in the loop of all the aspects of planting and harvesting and the good memories will follow them throughout their lives.