In today’s world of rising grocery prices and economic uncertainty, many people are looking for ways to cut down on their expenses. One surprisingly effective way to save money on your grocery bills is by starting your own vegetable garden. By growing your own vegetables, it is not unimaginable to save hundreds or maybe even thousands on your grocery bill annually. It’s all about knowing what to plant, where to plant, when to plant, how to plant…and then getting started!

Stacks of quarters into a jar full of quarters each with a small plant on top.

Make Your Wish List

Plant what you eat! It may sound obvious but not everyone starts their planning this way. Start by looking at your grocery receipts to figure out what you regularly purchase and make a list of possible foods to plant. Do you use a lot of herbs in your recipes? Then a herb garden is a must, but which herbs do you use? Add the ones that you purchase most often to your list.

Does your family eat a lot of salads? What’s in your salads? Tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers? If so, add those to your list. Does your family have a favorite vegetable for a side dish? Potatoes? Green beans? Add to the list.

Though you probably will not be able to plant everything you eat, having a good list of options is a great way to start your planning. You will be surprised at how many foods that you purchase can be grown in your backyard.

Also, think about the food items that you have wanted to eat but have been out of your current grocery budget. Add these to your list. They may be an affordable option to add your garden!

Location, Location, Location

Decide what space you have available for growing. New growers are often shocked when they realize how much food can be grown in a small space, as well as where you can grow. Be creative in your planning.

Throughout the years, we at Grow Your Own Vegetables have seen it all from our students—growing in closets, under desks, in garages—you name it! As you can see, gardens are no longer just for the backyard. You can grow food in containers on decks and patios, on rooftops, in community gardens, at schools, at senior centers, and even in front yards for everyone to see. And don’t forget growing vertically! 

The amount of space that you have will determine how much and which crops you grow. 

To maximize your space, focus on planting high-yield crops such as tomatoes, herbs, and leaf lettuce. Also, look at crops that do not require a lot of space such as radishes and garlic. Thinking about space helps you to begin narrowing down your list of potential foods to grow.

Careful planning is essential for saving money in your garden. Knowing what to plant where allows you to maximize your garden harvest. To help you with this crucial step, Grow Your Own Vegetables offers a Beginning Crop Planning Microcourse, which you can get at half price through THIS LINK.

Know Your Area

You have your list of items that you eat and have narrowed it down by the amount of space that is available to use for growing. The next step is to look at the specific crops and decide what is feasible to grow in your specific area. Not all plants grow well in all areas. You will need to consider your growing season length, the amount of available sunlight, and your temperature ranges. You can find all the necessary information online for your area. However, wouldn’t it be nice to have it all packaged together in a single place? The Beginning Crop Planning Microcourse (mentioned in previous section) covers all this in one neat course package.

To Seed or Not To Seed

If you have the time and space, consider starting your plants from seeds indoors in late spring. Seeds are the most cost effective, and you usually get more than you can use. Consider starting a seed exchange in your community to spread the overall cost and help everyone to garden at a minimal cost. 

However, if you do not have the space to start seeds indoors, purchasing plants is still a cost savings over purchasing the final products from the grocery store. Compare the price of purchasing a single vegetable item at the grocery store to the price of purchasing a single plant of that vegetable and harvesting from that plant throughout the growing season and you will be able to see the cost savings.

A Little or A Lot

A smart gardener plans to grow more vegetables than can be eaten fresh. An even smarter gardener plans on a surplus that can be preserved for consumption during the winter months. Crops like carrots, potatoes, onions, and winter squash, require little to no processing for long-term storage.

There are numerous ways to preserve your vegetables and herbs for future use such as freezing, dehydrating, canning, and fermenting. If you’re interested in not only growing food to consume fresh but preserving it for the winter months as well, our Preserve the Harvest course covers all these methods and more. The full course is available through THIS LINK at a special price.

And There’s More

Beyond the financial benefits, gardening can be free entertainment. It’s a productive way to spend your time, get exercise, and relieve stress. It can also be an educational activity, especially if you involve your children. 

Growing your own vegetables is not only a rewarding and satisfying experience but also a practical way to save money on your grocery bills. Even if you have limited space, you can start saving money by growing herbs or small veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, or lettuce on a small patio or in a sunny window.

By starting your list of potential foods to grow and narrowing it down by considering your available space and growing season, you can start your own thrifty garden and enjoy the important financial benefits, while also savoring the taste of homegrown produce. Whether you have a small patio or a spacious backyard, there’s room for a cost-effective vegetable garden in your life.

We have even developed a course for the specific purpose of saving you money on your grocery bill. Our Fresh Food Essentials Course is about growing $400 worth of groceries in only 40 days. It’s available at a special savings through THIS LINK. And if you are interested in learning a bit of everything, we have a Prepare, Plant, and Preserve Bundle for a great price through THIS LINK.

Either way—whether you use our courses to get started or choose to do your own research—the important takeaway is saving money on your groceries by growing your own vegetables and herbs and providing fresh healthy foods for your family’s table!

Happy Gardening and Happy Saving!