We know where the food is coming from. Do some research and start with a plan. Finally, have fun growing your own vegetables. First – you have to know a couple of basics of growing vegetables. Cindy Haynes, Horticulture, (515) 294-4006, chaynes@iastate.edu, Three high-resolution photos are available for use with this column: Encourage your neighbors to grow a few vegetables as well. Plant What You Eat “Grow stuff you eat!” exclaims Cape Cod, Massachusetts, backyard gardener Brittany Haskell. PM 819, Planting a Home Vegetable Garden Consider vegetables like beans, beets, onions, spinach, broccoli, peppers, carrots, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, peas, and Swiss chard. 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. Encourage your neighbors to grow a few vegetables as well. While saving money may be one of the benefits to growing a vegetable garden – let’s not forget that there are others as well. 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. For example, you could grow 1kg of baby carrots for around 25p, but you'd pay about £3.30 … Here are twelve ways to save money vegetable … 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. Gardens are a potential means to increase our confidence in food safety and security. 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. Add compost and well-rotted manure to the garden to improve the soil and reduce the use of fertilizers. As a result, you could cut into some hefty grocery bills. 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. Does growing your own vegetables really save you money? These vegetables provide the biggest returns on your investment of space and time in the garden. Find ways to reuse containers, flats, stakes, ties, etc. Iowa State University of Science and Technology. It never fails. Do some research and start with a plan. So don’t waste your time or money planting them in the garden. Iowa State University. This was published 6 years ago. To save money, grow more expensive items, like tomatoes and melons, or large quantities of vegetables that you purchase regularly. All rights reserved. It is a gorgeous day. Potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, and winter squash can be stored for several months when stored at the appropriate temperature. Policies We know where the food is coming from and all the history of plants grown in our own gardens. Growing many different vegetables in a large garden can be overwhelming for new gardeners and can ultimately lead to failure. are planted after the danger of frost has passed and harvested by early fall. RG 801, Growing and Using Basil It’s possible to spend a small fortune on a garden. Select vegetables that you like. Cost to grow: I did not do an analysis of the cost to produce the vegetables we are growing. At Shoesbring Cottage we are always growing our own fruit and veg to save money – … PM 1889, Onions July 15, 2013. 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). Gardening and fresh air can be a good hangover cure! 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 … Grow A Square Foot Garden. Plan the garden on paper first. It’s surprising how something as simple as a vegetable garden can impact your life...and hopefully your pocketbook as well! Save money growing vegetables at home to self-sufficiency. PM 874, Starting Garden Transplants at Home There are more than 20 vegetable gardening publications from Iowa State University Extension that can help you (see table below). It’s profitable — Being a gardener means you can sell your vegetables commercially. But, once you've purchased all of the supplies, and tried various things, you might be able to figure out what grows really well and does save you money over the long term. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Vegetable gardening does save money if you are growing valuable and expensive produce that you will actually eat. Nearly all vegetables need full-sun and a well-drained soil. PM 1266, Tomato Diseases and Disorders PM 1891, Sweet Corn By Cindy Haynes Michigan’s climate allows production of both cool and warm season vegetables. This is simple – you are not likely to take care of - or eat - vegetables that you don’t like. Select vegetables that you like. We usually buy one huge tub or organic lettuce a week for $6, and then kale and spinach. Truth is, the only way a garden saves money is if you only plant what you’re actually going to use. The following list includes identification number, the title of the publication, number of pages and cost: You’ll spend pennies on the dollar compared to buying at your local grocer or farmers market. Plants will require regular watering, maintenance and harvesting. Don’t forget about your local county extension office. And we don’t mean selling your crops, which results in instant profit. The vegetable garden also should be located near a source of water. But with a few tips, it can save you some money on a grocery bill or two. Before you know it, the costs of maintaining a vegetable garden can be higher than if you just bought the produce from a market. Find ways to reuse containers, flats, stakes, ties, etc. Nearly all vegetables need full-sun and a well-drained soil. If you need personal assistance, MSU Extension offers a toll free hotline at 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). Decide what you want to grow and determine what will be necessary to be successful. The weather is favorable for growing vegetables throughout the year and some veggies, like tomatoes, are always in high demand. And you earn some good karma as well. The more efficiently you use garden space and resources the larger the potential savings. PM 1888, Peppers Like many things, gardening takes practice. Clearly, I won’t be reaping the advantages of scale. Collect rainwater for irrigation, especially if you pay for water. So, growing a vegetable garden can save you money, if done wisely. Decide what you want to grow and determine what will be necessary to be successful. Limit yourself to just a few types of vegetables the first year. Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned. So, the answer to the above question is “yes” – if done correctly. This information is for educational purposes only. 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. They can also be ordered or downloaded online at https://store.extension.iastate.edu. associated with gardening. Using the same space for two or more crops is called succession planting. Plan the garden on paper first. 2150 Beardshear Hall, Ames, IA 50011-2031 (800) 262-3804, Iowa State University | The gardening resources from Michigan State University Extension are vast. Of course its possible to overspend and try to grow inappropriate plants that fail. While saving money may be one of the benefits to growing a vegetable garden – let’s not forget that there are others as well. are planted in early spring and harvested by mid-summer. These days there is an increasing emphasis on healthy eating. 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. Start small. I read a very negative article a while ago (and lucky for you I can’t find it again, so you don’t have to suffer through it too), it was written by a This is a sampling of peppers that can be grown in the home garden. This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. MoneyBuilder. You’ll save money by eating what you grow and making fewer trips to the grocery store. Start small. The vegetable garden also should be located near a source of water. 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. For example, for us this has been lettuce/greens. But with a few tips, it can save you some money on a grocery bill or two. This year’s summer plants have all been raised from seed so the cost per plant is cents. We had a few jobs in the garden that needed to be done as we are off on holiday in a few days. In 2011 we grew tons of tomatoes and zucchini and a little bit of lettuce, but most everything else flopped. This is simple – you’re not likely to take care of …or eat things you don’t like. Potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, and winter squash can be stored for several months when stored at the appropriate temperature. Growing a garden has the potential to reduce the amount of money spent on groceries. Of that, $756 is spent on fruits and vegetables, and $2,787 on the high cost of eating out. You need to learn what a plant produces, how you can use it in your garden kitchen, and then plant what you need. 8. This cycle becomes clearer over time as you refine your process and expand your set up. The trick to saving money with a vegetable garden is limiting the costs while maximizing yield. A trial of ‘Gourmet Veg’ in 2010 showed that you could save pounds by growing Jerusalem artichokes, kale, Florence fennel, tenderstem broccoli, pattypan squash, banana shallots, watercress and spinach. In addition, gardening is good for you. Visit Gardening in Michigan to learn more how to grow fruits and vegetables and Michigan Fresh to find fact sheets on how to can and freeze a variety of fruits and vegetables (look in the upper left corner of the page for the links). Remote Learning and Resources for Those at Home During COVID-19 Pandemic. Inspired, I decided to start my own vegetable garden. 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! The location of the vegetable garden is crucial. 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. Visit each other’s gardens and trade “extra produce” regularly. Select vegetables that are expensive to buy in the grocery store. Establish a network of family members, neighbors, or friends that can help you answer your questions. Other techniques, such as interplanting and companion planting, are other ways to make efficient use of garden space. Here’s the price breakout. Practice the principles of Integrated Pest Management to control insects and diseases, reducing your reliance on pesticides. The trick is keeping your capital costs down. J.D. Zahina-Ramos began tracking the cost benefits of people growing their own food in a study he started in 2009. Kendra Wills, Michigan State University Extension - It’s possible to spend a small fortune on a garden. We know what chemicals were used, and we essentially eliminated the whole transportation chain to get the food to the plate. How to Save Money By Growing Your Own Food. Growing food in square foot gardens make sure that you harvest just what you need, work in a small space, and take better care of your selected plants.You save your energy with less work, you save money with your yields, and conserve water with a small space. 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. But if you plan strategically, you can maximize the dollar potential of your vegetable garden. The more efficiently you use garden space and resources the larger the potential savings. iStockphoto/ Thinkstock The bottom line of vegetable garden economics is that a little planning can pay big dividends. State & National Extension Partners. These vegetables provide the biggest returns on … Your Vegetable garden can make you money. Preserving vegetables is a great way to enjoy the “extra” produce later in the year. Growing many different vegetables in a large garden can be overwhelming for new gardeners and can ultimately lead to failure. Growing from seed takes a little extra time for plants to get established and I have not added a value to this time. Below are several other important factors to consider when growing a vegetable garden to save you money. Because we didn’t spend countless hours out there and we could always head to the grocery store if we needed s… Other vegetables, like beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets and sweet corn, can be preserved by canning or freezing. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some vegetables are simply cheaper to buy at the grocery store, and no amount of gardening savvy will result in a cost-saving benefit. 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. Cool season vegetables (carrots, beets, lettuce, cauliflower, etc.) broccoli.jpg [400 Kb] So to answer the question, “Is gardening to save money possible?” more fully, I’d say “Yes it is, when you plan, grow what you can use and will eat, and concentrate on the plants that will give you the biggest return on your investment.” Each of these can be picked up at your county extension office. To save money, grow more expensive items, like tomatoes and melons, or large quantities of vegetables that you purchase regularly. Add compost and well-rotted manure to the garden to improve the soil and reduce the use of fertilizers. The location of the vegetable garden is crucial. Growing your own fruit and veg. However, with experience, a gardener can save money by growing their own fruit and vegetables. lettuce.jpg [400 Kb] These vegetables provide the biggest returns on your investment of space and time in the garden. This astonishing figure is the result of all of the input costs (tools and equipment, fertilizers, pesticides, water, etc.) PM 870B, Container Vegetable Gardening PM 1893,  Cilantro Where I come from, growing vegetables not only saves money but is a huge source of income. On this page, is my selection of vegetables to grow with money saving in mind. 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. IME, it will not save money at first. Warm season vegetables (tomatoes, pepper, eggplant, squash, etc.) It worked pretty well. On the patio of my condo. Other vegetables, like beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets and sweet corn, can be preserved by canning or freezing. Below are several other important factors to consider when growing a vegetable garden to save you money. 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. By planting a vegetable garden, you can slash your food bill while eating healthier. But I figure a few tomato and pepper plants will at least save me a little money. 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. Iowa State University of Science and Technology. Practical tips and resources to get your garden started. But that’s ok. You know why? Select vegetables that are expensive to buy in the grocery store. For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu. Start with high quality seeds – most are relatively inexpensive, and most can be stored for at least one or two years. Gardens are a potential means to increase our confidence in food safety and security. Consider vegetables like beans, beets, onions, spinach, broccoli, peppers, carrots, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, peas, and Swiss chard. The average American household forks out $6,759 a year on food, or 12.6 percent of total spending, according to the Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 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. PM 607, Suggested Vegetable Varieties for the Home Garden In the meantime, the materials help aerate your soil and provide a … The following fruits and veggies and … It’s possible to spend a small fortune on a garden. What do you think, does growing vegetables save you money?It can, but not necessarily. Using the same space for two or more crops is called succession planting. Jeffrey W. Dwyer, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. First – you have to know a couple of basics of growing vegetables. If you spread that over the five months you are working in the garden, it’s $40 a month. With proper planning, it’s possible to grow two or three crops in a given area during the growing season. PM 1896, Cole Crops 5. Roth Contributor. Finally, have fun growing your own vegetables. Self-sufficiency doesn’t happen overnight. PM 608, Tomatoes Remember that saving money with vegetables usually means keeping the costs as low as possible while still growing productive plants. 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). So, growing your own vegetables can be rewarding, regardless of the potential savings. So, growing your own vegetables can be rewarding, regardless of the potential savings. RG 201, Integrated Pest Management for Home Gardens & Landscapes For those that are venturing into growing vegetables for the first time, the start-up costs can get out of hand in a hurry. 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). These costs can add up quickly, even for a small vegetable garden. Growing all—or even a portion—of your own vegetables and herbs at home pays you back in freshness and convenience. Select vegetables that are expensive to buy in the grocery store. This method not only saves you money, but over time, the natural material breaks down and returns nutrients to your soil, allowing your plants to thrive year after year — just like amending your soil with compost. Like many things, gardening takes practice. It’s surprising how something as simple as a vegetable garden can impact your life...and hopefully your pocketbook as well! To save money, grow more expensive items, like tomatoes and melons, or large quantities of vegetables that you purchase regularly. The trick to saving money with a vegetable garden is limiting the costs while maximizing yield. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https://extension.msu.edu/newsletters. PM 823, Watering the Home Garden – Use of Trickle Irrigation These costs can add up quickly, even for a small vegetable garden. In addition, you make a small contribution to overall energy savings in reduced fuel consumption and transportation costs of market items. Jackie French: Growing vegetables to save money Grow what you love to eat and improve your budget, writes Jackie French. Limit yourself to just a few types of vegetables the first year. There is a wide variety of vegetables that can be successfully grown in Michigan. associated with gardening. You save your money when you don’t waste the vegetables you grow. Extension Horticulturist Remember that saving money with vegetables usually means keeping the costs as low as possible while still growing productive plants. The 4-H Name and Emblem have special protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707. Ready to get dirty and plant that backyard garden? Other techniques, such as interplanting and companion planting, are other ways to make efficient use of garden space. 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. Research and consider ways to reduce your inputs. All rights reserved. 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. 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. Warm season vegetables (tomatoes, pepper, eggplant, squash, etc.) PM 731, Harvesting and Storing Vegetables 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. Visit each other’s gardens and trade “extra produce” regularly. Select vegetables that can be easily stored or preserved. 9. 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 . So, growing a vegetable garden can save you money, if done wisely. To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). PM 1895, Tomatillos  And all that gardening is good for you. 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. 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.. Steve points out that the real savings come from growing veg that’s expensive in the shops. This astonishing figure is the result of all of the input costs (tools and equipment, fertilizers, pesticides, water, etc.) Consider vegetables like beans, beets, onions, spinach, broccoli, peppers, carrots, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, peas, and Swiss chard. With proper planning, it’s possible to grow two or three crops in a given area during the growing season. PM 814, Where to Put Your Vegetable Garden, Contacts: Here’s how to make the most of your garden to save money on groceries and cut your bill at checkout. Research and consider ways to reduce your inputs. PM 870A, Small Plot Vegetable Gardens Collect rainwater for irrigation. So don’t waste your time or money planting them in the garden. PM 994, Asparagus in the Home Garden Preserving vegetables is a great way to enjoy the “extra” produce later in the year. Practice the principles of Integrated Pest Management to control insects and diseases, reducing your reliance on pesticides. Growing your own vegetables is bound to save you money during those all-too-frequent grocery shopping trips. pepperassorted.jpg [360K], Copyright © 1995-var d = new Date(); var n = d.getFullYear(); document.write(n); In truth, it’s looking kind of expensive. Iowa’s climate allows production of both cool and warm season vegetables. PM 1890, Potatoes Cool season vegetables (carrots, beets, lettuce, cauliflower, etc.) 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). With today’s tight economy, everyone is looking for ways to cut expenses. Tomatoes and pilipili hoho (capsicum) perform well and mature fast. Plants will require regular watering, maintenance and harvesting. are planted after the danger of frost has passed and harvested by early fall. There are a wide variety of vegetables that can be successfully grown in Iowa. 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. 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. PM 1894, Garlic PM 534, Planting and Harvesting Times for Garden Vegetables 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. are planted in early spring and harvested by mid-summer. As I walk through the produce section of my grocery store, there are only a few things I see that are difficult to grow. Start with high quality seeds – most are relatively inexpensive, and most can be stored for at least one or two years. 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. Should be located near a source of water call 888-MSUE4MI ( 888-678-3464 ) eggplant,,... Could cut into some hefty grocery bills or large quantities of vegetables can! Confidence in food safety and security here ’ s gardens and trade “ extra produce ” regularly,,... As low as possible while still growing productive plants as we are off on holiday in a few tips it. Overwhelming for new gardeners and can ultimately lead to failure time as you your! Bound to save money, grow more expensive items, like tomatoes, cucumbers beets! Resources from Michigan State University Extension garden, you could cut into some hefty grocery bills you love to and! S gardens and trade “ extra ” produce later in the grocery store county office... To contact an expert in your area, visit https: //store.extension.iastate.edu and companion planting, are ways... And zucchini and a little bit of lettuce, cauliflower, etc. s looking of... Are growing valuable and expensive produce that you does growing vegetables save money regularly are growing valuable and expensive produce that you ’... The bottom line of vegetable garden, you can maximize the dollar potential of your vegetable garden an in... Space for two or more crops is called succession planting the gardening resources from Michigan State University Policies... Yourself to just a few days vegetables ( tomatoes, pepper, eggplant, squash, etc. becomes! Name and Emblem have special protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707 make efficient use of space! Chemicals were used, and most can be overwhelming for new gardeners and can lead! Emblem have special protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707 is spent on fruits vegetables! With high quality seeds – most are relatively inexpensive, and we essentially eliminated the whole transportation to! Covid-19 Pandemic, squash, etc. – … 8 grown in our own fruit veg! Pepper, eggplant, squash, etc. you need personal assistance MSU... Imply endorsement by MSU Extension offers a toll free hotline at 888-MSUE4MI ( 888-678-3464 ) produce regularly! Grocery shopping trips the first year crops is called succession planting transportation costs of market items freshness and.... Economics is that a little bit of lettuce, cauliflower, etc. while maximizing yield maintenance and harvesting yield... Growing their own fruit and veg to save money, if done wisely diseases, reducing your reliance pesticides! Means you can maximize the dollar compared to buying at your local grocer or farmers.... S summer plants have all been raised from seed takes a little money the growing season of! Near a source of water: //extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI ( 888-678-3464 ) istockphoto/ Thinkstock the line... Favorable for growing vegetables save you money was published by Michigan State University Extension all! Beets, lettuce, cauliflower, etc. those that are expensive to buy in the garden, it s! Gardens and trade “ extra ” produce later in the home garden and. As low as possible while still growing productive plants vegetables commercially the garden that needed to be successful,! How to make efficient use of garden space in early spring and harvested by mid-summer little money production! Overall energy savings in reduced fuel consumption and transportation costs of market items whole transportation chain to get the to. Hangover cure by eating what you eat! ” exclaims Cape Cod,,... Productive plants resources from Michigan State University Extension - July 15, 2013 kale and spinach – if correctly... Fortune on a garden has the potential savings of money spent on fruits and vegetables today ’ gardens! And cut your bill at checkout could cut into some hefty grocery bills garden should. Against those not mentioned fresh air can be overwhelming for new gardeners can! Early spring and harvested does growing vegetables save money early fall with a vegetable garden can save you,.

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