Can Growing your own vegetables save you money?
In this current economic climate everyone is looking for ways to save some money, in this article I have developed a five step approach that can be used to save money by growing your own fruit and veg. The steps are very simple to follow, the hard part is actually growing the fruit and vegetables and that is not difficult if you follow the instructions given with the seeds / plants.
Here are my five steps to growing fruit and veg to save money.
1. List every fruit and veg that you and your family like to eat, e.g. apples, swedes, peppers.
2. Then take that list and mark each item as either expensive, cheap or in between. For example in the United Kingdom, carrots are cheap but Chilli peppers are expensive.
3. Then take those that you have marked as expensive and look at their growing requirements and compare those to the space and climate etc. you have available. Also remember to include the amount of care that is needed. It is no use deciding to grow something yourself if you are away a lot of the time and this crop needs daily watering.
4. Once you have done this you can repeat 3 if you think you would have the room to grow more.
5. If you have no option but to grow the items on the list that are marked as cheap, then pick those that take up the least amount of space and are in the ground for the shortest period of time. Also wherever possible use sow in succession to extend the cropping period (i.e.sow some seeds one week and then wait two or three weeks and then sow some more).
In the United Kingdom fruit is generally more expensive than vegetables so try growing things like Blueberries and if you have space in a sunny location citrus fruits.
Always remember to pick up your windfall apples and use to make juice / puree which you can then freeze. Both eating and cooking apples can be used for this.
One other factor you may want to consider is the seasonal variation in supply and pricing. Generally speaking when a fruit or vegetable is in season it is cheap to buy, however out of season they can be much more expensive, especially if they have to be transported large distances. So if you have the room to grow a surplus and then store it, you could save more money when the item is more expensive in the shops.