How to Cut Your Grocery Bill by Gardening - Save Money!
Save Green by Going Green
In my life I am all about being practical. If a method works, do it, if something works better, do that instead. When it comes to monthly bills, one of the most prominent is the 'Grocery Bill'. This, is something that everyone needs to budget for, whether it is a family with 7 children in the Mid-West or a bachelor in Los Angeles. If you are looking to cut down on monthly costs, one good place to start is the grocery department.
Many families suffer from poor nutrition and poor health because they cannot afford high quality food. It is common that the healthier a food is, the costlier it is. This forces many people to purchase lower quality meals with higher contents of fat and unwanted calories. It is even more costly to eat fresh or organic foods.
Although fresh and healthy food is generally more expensive than canned and frozen foods, it doesn't have to be the case! You can find yourself eating a higher concentration of healthy foods than you ever have before without spending any money! How can you do this? Garden!
Vegetable gardening is one of the most universally achievable pastimes imaginable. This is because it is so extremely flexible. Young and old alike can garden as well as those who live in small apartments in New York, to large estates in Texas.
How to Save Money Gardening
First thing you should do is look at your monthly spending on groceries. What types of food do you buy? How much do you spend on fruits and vegetables? What unhealthy foods can you replace with something healthy from your garden?
Once you have a better idea of how you shop and what you (or your family) eats, look into what grows well in your area. There are many great websites for this, one of the best beingSunset Garden Zones. Just find your city on the map and you will find your zone. I personally live in 'Zone 7'. Once you figure this out, you can search on Sunset's page what grows best in your zone and how and when to plant.
This is where things get really fun, you can grow as much as you are able to, but try to be realistic. If you live in a small apartment, you can research some really great ways to grow in an apartment. I have written a hub on apartment gardening specifically. If you are planning on planting outside, do a little bit of research and find what the best location would be. Be sure to look for a place with good exposure to sun and good soil (don't get discouraged if you don't have a location like this, you can even garden without meeting these requirements, but you may have to get creative).
When you have your own garden, you will notice a huge difference in your life. You may find a sense of purpose or peace every-time you tend to your garden. You might find yourself sneaking a head of fresh broccoli (which tastes infinitely better than what you will buy from a store) or a half-dozen baby carrots when you are hungry instead of having a bag of chips. You might notice that you don't have to spend nearly as much money on your grocery bill. And you might just have a bit of fun while doing it (actually, I am sure you will)!
Some of you might be asking, "This is a nice way to save money for 1 season each year, but what about the rest of the year?" Great question! There are many different options. Research how to grow vegetables indoors under grow-lights in the winter seasons, grow enough to preserve for later months (there are many different ways to preserve fruits and vegetables, this can be a very fun experience in itself), or branch out even further and take to gathering in the winter months. On that note, I have added an Amazon link to a book that is specifically geared toward gathering edible foods during specific seasons. It is called "Gather Ye Wild Things" and it is an amazing, eye-opening book that may help you save some green in the winter months as well!