Is gardening worth it financially? This is a question that has been in my home for the past couple of years now. The answer will vary from person to person but my answer is YES!
I truly believe that growing my own fruits and vegetables is not only worth my time and money financially but also physically and emotionally.
I have been growing my own vegetable garden in my backyard for a couple of years now. It is not very big but it provides my family with fresh produce throughout the growing season and even through the winter because I freeze everything that we don’t eat right away.
Is Gardening Worth it Financially?
When you first start your own garden there will be costs. There are some frugal ways you can save when you are preparing your garden though.
When I started I had to buy wood to build my garden bed, soil, compost, tomato cages, netting ( to keep the birds out), and the plants. As far as the plants went, I tried bell peppers, jalapenos, onions, and potatoes.
My grand total was probably between $100-150. I already had bought gardening tools the year before when they were on clearance, so I didn’t have to worry about those.
This may sound like a lot but for the next year I only had to buy new plants and compost. So the most you will pay out of pocket will be when you first get started.
This year I only paid $38 for some compost, 8 plants, another tomato cage, and organic fertilizer.
Does Gardening Really Save Money?
You will go through trial and error to find out what works for you but I found that you get more bang for your buck if you try to grow produce that is the most expensive at the grocery stores. This is the way that gardening will save you money.
This will vary depending on what region you live in but they are usually things like berries, avocados, eggplant, peppers, cauliflower, etc. You can find the most cost effective produce to grow using this list.
I found that growing things like garlic, carrots, potatoes, and onions just weren’t cost effective as these types of things are usually pretty inexpensive anyway.
This year I am planning on growing green peppers and jalapenos because I always have success with those. I am also trying tomatoes, zucchini, and strawberries.
Last year, I had so many green peppers that I had to give some away to my extended family. I grew enough green peppers and jalapenos that would have easily cost me around $100 to buy at the store.
I didn’t have to buy any during the fall and winter months because I had plenty in my freezer. My fiancé was happy because he was able to eat jalapenos with every meal (he loves them)!
I also grew some okra which grew from seeds so I only paid about $1 for a pack of seeds and it yielded about $50 worth of okra. I still have bags of it in my freezer.
Saving Money with a Garden
If you keep gardening year after year, you will really see that gardening is worth it financially. If you just grow things for one year, then it may not be worth your time or money to set up a garden.
I do think that growing a garden is great for your body and mind, not just your wallet. It gets you outside and you get moderate exercise. For me it is calming and it gives me a sense of accomplishment. I grew what is on our dinner table!!
It also gets you and your family to eat healthier. If you have kids, they will love to eat their veggies once they see where they come from and that they helped grow them.
Plus, now that you have more produce to eat, it gets your creativity flowing in the kitchen. I can’t wait to try new recipes and new ways to prepare all of the things that I grow.
The best part about growing your own fruits and vegetables is that you don’t have to run to the store when you run out of an ingredient. Just go in your back yard and start picking.
Nothing beats the taste or freshness of a just picked vegetable. That taste is something that you can’t get from a store bought piece of produce. Even if you buy at the Farmer’s Market, there are still a few days from the time it gets picked until it ends up on your table.
I hope this helps you get excited about starting your own garden no matter how much space you have to work with. I believe that it is worth it in so many ways.
Let us know your success or failures with gardening. Did gardening save you money?