As I walk through the produce section of my grocery store, there are only a few things I see that are difficult to grow. And you earn some good karma as well. On the patio of my condo. If you're gardening to save money, some things -- like carrots -- might not be worth your while because they're so difficult to grow (and inexpensive in markets). You’ll save money by eating what you grow and making fewer trips to the grocery store. It is a great form of physical exercise, and I haven’t met a nutritionist yet who didn’t think that fresh produce was “good for you” too! Cool season vegetables (carrots, beets, lettuce, cauliflower, etc.) Start with high quality seeds – most are relatively inexpensive, and most can be stored for at least one or two years. Plants will require regular watering, maintenance and harvesting. 9. 2150 Beardshear Hall, Ames, IA 50011-2031 (800) 262-3804, Iowa State University | Your Vegetable garden can make you money. These vegetables provide the biggest returns on your investment of space and time in the garden. Encourage your neighbors to grow a few vegetables as well. Extension Horticulturist County extension offices are also the meeting centers for Master Gardeners – many of whom have the knowledge and experience to keep your garden growing successfully. PM 1893,  Cilantro Growing a garden has the potential to reduce the amount of money spent on groceries, but this depends on the costs involved in growing the crops, types and amounts of vegetables grown, yields that are derived from the garden, and other factors. The more efficiently you use garden space and resources the larger the potential savings. PM 1894, Garlic With today’s tight economy, everyone is looking for ways to cut expenses. Of course its possible to overspend and try to grow inappropriate plants that fail. Consider vegetables like beans, beets, onions, spinach, broccoli, peppers, carrots, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, peas, and Swiss chard. Collect rainwater for irrigation. And we don’t mean selling your crops, which results in instant profit. 5. Consider vegetables like beans, beets, onions, spinach, broccoli, peppers, carrots, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, peas, and Swiss chard. And all that gardening is good for you. Collect rainwater for irrigation, especially if you pay for water. PM 819, Planting a Home Vegetable Garden By planting a vegetable garden, you can slash your food bill while eating healthier. Self-sufficiency doesn’t happen overnight. Here are twelve ways to save money vegetable … Jeffrey W. Dwyer, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. Even if it’s just some herbs in a window box, growing your own produce can save serious money, especially if you cook a lot. Every year I stick something in the garden because it’s “easy to grow” or “we have room” or “it looked cool” and it ends up being just one more thing I have to work around and we never even eat it. With proper planning, it’s possible to grow two or three crops in a given area during the growing season. Some vegetables are simply cheaper to buy at the grocery store, and no amount of gardening savvy will result in a cost-saving benefit. Does growing your own vegetables really save you money? The vegetable garden also should be located near a source of water. are planted in early spring and harvested by mid-summer. So, growing your own vegetables can be rewarding, regardless of the potential savings. The humorous book, "The $64 Tomato" by William Alexander, discusses one man’s quest for the perfect garden and how it ended up costing him $64 per tomato (among other things). According to a survey released in March by the think tank The Australia Institute, 52 per cent of Australian households grow their own food and 91 per cent of these agree it saves them money. When you become more confident in your abilities and resources, you can increase the size of your vegetable garden and grow a wider variety of crops. So don’t waste your time or money planting them in the garden. Iowa State University of Science and Technology. Growing many different vegetables in a large garden can be overwhelming for new gardeners and can ultimately lead to failure. We know what chemicals were used, we know what pests were problems and we essentially eliminated the whole resource-gobbling transportation chain to get the food to your plate. The gardening resources from Michigan State University Extension are vast. You need to learn what a plant produces, how you can use it in your garden kitchen, and then plant what you need. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. Potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, and winter squash can be stored for several months when stored at the appropriate temperature. Select vegetables that you like. Establish a network of family members, neighbors, or friends that can help you answer your questions. Practice the principles of Integrated Pest Management to control insects and diseases, reducing your reliance on pesticides. Limit yourself to just a few types of vegetables the first year. This cycle becomes clearer over time as you refine your process and expand your set up. Visit each other’s gardens and trade “extra produce” regularly. These costs can add up quickly, even for a small vegetable garden. We usually buy one huge tub or organic lettuce a week for $6, and then kale and spinach. PM 994, Asparagus in the Home Garden are planted in early spring and harvested by mid-summer. It’s possible to spend a small fortune on a garden. This astonishing figure is the result of all of the input costs (tools and equipment, fertilizers, pesticides, water, etc.) Cost to grow: I did not do an analysis of the cost to produce the vegetables we are growing. Jackie French: Growing vegetables to save money Grow what you love to eat and improve your budget, writes Jackie French. Warm season vegetables (tomatoes, pepper, eggplant, squash, etc.) Steve points out that the real savings come from growing veg that’s expensive in the shops. We had a few jobs in the garden that needed to be done as we are off on holiday in a few days. For those that are venturing into growing vegetables for the first time, the start-up costs can get out of hand in a hurry. Other vegetables, like beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets and sweet corn, can be preserved by canning or freezing. Research and consider ways to reduce your inputs. Finally, have fun growing your own vegetables. Planting a vegetable garden is a fantastic way to save money on groceries — as long as you make sure to plant the most cost-effective veggies. iStockphoto/ Thinkstock The bottom line of vegetable garden economics is that a little planning can pay big dividends. The trick to saving money with a vegetable garden is limiting the costs while maximizing yield. But this “potential” depends on the costs involved in growing the crops, types and amounts of vegetables grown, yields that are derived from the garden, and other factors. First – you have to know a couple of basics of growing vegetables. There are more than 20 vegetable gardening publications from Iowa State University Extension that can help you (see table below). With proper planning, it’s possible to grow two or three crops in a given area during the growing season. Decide what you want to grow and determine what will be necessary to be successful. Other techniques, such as interplanting and companion planting, are other ways to make efficient use of garden space. The following list includes identification number, the title of the publication, number of pages and cost: While saving money may be one of the benefits to growing a vegetable garden – let’s not forget that there are others as well. Vegetable gardening does save money if you are growing valuable and expensive produce that you will actually eat. PM 1891, Sweet Corn We know where the food is coming from and all the history of plants grown in our own gardens. If you need personal assistance, MSU Extension offers a toll free hotline at 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). We save over $2,400 every year by growing our garden, you will never believe what saves us the most money … and the least So I don’t know if you know this by now but I really really love my garden you guys. July 15, 2013. How to Save Money By Growing Your Own Food. Kendra Wills, Michigan State University Extension - But that’s ok. You know why? Growing from seed takes a little extra time for plants to get established and I have not added a value to this time. Iowa State University Extension publications on growing vegetables in home gardens area available from county ISU Extension offices or online at https://store.extension.iastate.edu . PM 1889, Onions Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned. The trick is keeping your capital costs down. Each of these can be picked up at your county extension office. PM 607, Suggested Vegetable Varieties for the Home Garden It’s possible to spend a small fortune on a garden. Here’s the price breakout. It’s surprising how something as simple as a vegetable garden can impact your life...and hopefully your pocketbook as well! As I walk through the produce section of my grocery store, there are only a few things I see that are difficult to grow in Iowa. RG 201, Integrated Pest Management for Home Gardens & Landscapes In addition, gardening is good for you. Gardens are a potential means to increase our confidence in food safety and security. It turns out, says the NGA, one of the top reasons to grow your own food in a vegetable garden is to save money on grocery bills. While saving money may be one of the benefits to growing a vegetable garden – let’s not forget that there are others as well. PM 1888, Peppers Here’s how to make the most of your garden to save money on groceries and cut your bill at checkout. Encourage your neighbors to grow a few vegetables as well. So don’t waste your time or money planting them in the garden. The trick to saving money with a vegetable garden is limiting the costs while maximizing yield. Limit yourself to just a few types of vegetables the first year. Add compost and well-rotted manure to the garden to improve the soil and reduce the use of fertilizers. Save money growing vegetables at home to self-sufficiency. Plan the garden on paper first. Iowa State University of Science and Technology. Clearly, I won’t be reaping the advantages of scale. Cindy Haynes, Horticulture, (515) 294-4006, [email protected], Three high-resolution photos are available for use with this column: We have a small, fenced-in backyard (we live in the middle of town), so last year we decided to dig out a 10 ft. x 7 ft. section of our lawn and plant some seeds. This year’s summer plants have all been raised from seed so the cost per plant is cents. Do some research and start with a plan. These costs can add up quickly, even for a small vegetable garden. Over the years we have experimented with many vegetable crops, and while saving money is not the prime reason we grow vegetables, it is a … It’s possible to spend a small fortune on a garden. Inspired, I decided to start my own vegetable garden. Practical tips and resources to get your garden started. associated with gardening. Growing many different vegetables in a large garden can be overwhelming for new gardeners and can ultimately lead to failure. Below are several other important factors to consider when growing a vegetable garden to save you money. Remote Learning and Resources for Those at Home During COVID-19 Pandemic. By growing his own fruits and vegetables, Zahina-Ramos estimates that he saves between $2,000 and $2,200 per year compared to conventional agriculture prices and about $3,000 to $3,200 per year compared to organic produce. State & National Extension Partners. Using the same space for two or more crops is called succession planting. As a result, you could cut into some hefty grocery bills. Select vegetables that can be easily stored or preserved.Selecting vegetables that have a long storage life or that can easily be canned or frozen is a great way to stretch your grocery dollar. But I figure a few tomato and pepper plants will at least save me a little money. PM 870B, Container Vegetable Gardening lettuce.jpg [400 Kb] Visit each other’s gardens and trade “extra produce” regularly. Other techniques, such as interplanting and companion planting, are other ways to make efficient use of garden space. So, growing a vegetable garden can save you money, if done wisely. Iowa’s climate allows production of both cool and warm season vegetables. It is a great form of physical exercise, and I haven’t met a nutritionist yet who didn’t think that fresh produce was healthy. Growing your own fruit and veg. Add compost and well-rotted manure to the garden to improve the soil and reduce the use of fertilizers. RG 801, Growing and Using Basil So, growing a vegetable garden can save you money, if done wisely. If you spread that over the five months you are working in the garden, it’s $40 a month. PM 731, Harvesting and Storing Vegetables MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Find ways to reuse containers, flats, stakes, ties, etc. Many of us want to consumer more natural and organic products; and last year a study by Imperial College London declared that eating 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day – rather than the 5 portions previously recommended – may give us longer lives. Practice the principles of Integrated Pest Management to control insects and diseases, reducing your reliance on pesticides. With an average-sized garden, it’s pretty likely that you could save $200 on grocery bills during the growing season, even after the expenses. So, growing your own vegetables can be rewarding, regardless of the potential savings. PM 814, Where to Put Your Vegetable Garden, Contacts: Remember that saving money with vegetables usually means keeping the costs as low as possible while still growing productive plants. Everyone has their own list of favourite things they like to eat, and any list of the best money saving vegetables needs to be adapted to what you will enjoy eating. associated with gardening. Like many things, gardening takes practice. You’ll spend pennies on the dollar compared to buying at your local grocer or farmers market. Garden experts at GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have named courgettes, aubergines and Brussels sprouts as the most cost-effective vegetables to grow in gardens and allotments, with just one packet of seeds able to save you around £149 on average.. Where I come from, growing vegetables not only saves money but is a huge source of income. PM 608, Tomatoes At Shoesbring Cottage we are always growing our own fruit and veg to save money – … Here’s how to plant a garden that lets you make the most of your time and effort by helping you decrease your food budget. What do you think, does growing vegetables save you money?It can, but not necessarily. Select vegetables that are expensive to buy in the grocery store. J.D. They can also be ordered or downloaded online at https://store.extension.iastate.edu. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. Nearly all vegetables need full-sun and a well-drained soil. PM 1895, Tomatillos  Plants will require regular watering, maintenance and harvesting. We know what chemicals were used, and we essentially eliminated the whole transportation chain to get the food to the plate. To save money, grow more expensive items, like tomatoes and melons, or large quantities of vegetables that you purchase regularly. The more efficiently you use garden space and resources the larger the potential savings. It’s surprising how something as simple as a vegetable garden can impact your life...and hopefully your pocketbook as well! These vegetables provide the biggest returns on … To save money, grow more expensive items, like tomatoes and melons, or large quantities of vegetables that you purchase regularly. Policies Growing a garden has the potential to reduce the amount of money spent on groceries. Roth Contributor. Consider vegetables like beans, beets, onions, spinach, broccoli, peppers, carrots, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, peas, and Swiss chard. Select vegetables that can be easily stored or preserved. 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