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Thread: Does Your Garden Save You Money?

  1. #21


    I had more Roma tomatoes and lettuce than we could eat, but it's done now. Did I save money? Probably not, by the time you factor in the cost of work it takes to grow them.

  2. #22


    I spent so much in my gardening. I have to buy this and that, to name a few - pots, fertilizers, mulches, gardening tools, etc.
    but all worth for every penny spent. Gardening for some ainít just a hobby but doing it to earn a living.

  3. #23


    Hi all,

    I am new to the forum, but not new to gardening. When I started, OGM had an article about "cardboard gardening" and that is what I started with. Well, the bermuda lawn had other ideas and actually invaded the 5 rows of compost on the cardboard, but I still grew enough corn to eat fresh 3x per week (family of 3) and put up enough to have corn on the cob each week in the winter. The tomatoes produced a bazillion between the slicers and the cherries. The peppers managed to outgrow the bermuda too, so we had awesome red and green bell peppers for cooking in the summer and I roasted and froze in oil enough to get through the winter using them 2-3x per week.

    At the end of that season, I sat down and started doing research on the internet and thought about what worked and what didn't and why it didn't. But, being the queen of cheap, there was no way I was going to spend money to have the garden I truely wanted. Making my own compost in some wire cages I made from recycled decorative wire fencing was the first step that I had taken the year before (that is where the compost for the cardboard came from LOL), but I realized I would need MORE, MORE, MORE compost than what I could generate from my property. That was the birth of my raids for grass clippings in the neighborhood

    So, now we are at the beginning of the next spring and I decided that garden weed barrier (the black plastic stuff with the white fuzzy back) would be an acceptable expense. <face palm> So, I bought a garden claw and got the spade shovel out and went to work on a 10'x10' garden bed ... many hours later of digging and pulling bermuda roots, I was ready to pull apart the compost piles and work that in to the new bed. There wasn't much color difference in the red clay soil after the compost, but there was plenty of organic matter and that was a great garden that year. My only problem was trying to lay the weed barrier on a day when the wind was blowing 30mph and not having enough bricks to form a line of bricks end-to-end around the edges of the plastic.

    So, not only do I scrounge the grass clippings in the summer, and fall leaves in the fall, I will not pass up a pile of brick or rocks ;D Drives the old man absolutely CRAZY LOL I also bring in cattle panels, fencing, and anything else metal or plastic that I think I can use. Once you start looking, you would be amazed at what folks will throw away! I also scored a bunch of old railroad ties that had been leached in the weather. And, a few years ago, a internet-buddy talked me into not using the garden plastic and using solarized grass clippings as mulch. OMG, the savings in water, the health of the plants, and the reduction of heat-stress on the plants when it is 100+ every day for a month solid with no rain!

    I now have the original bed at 12'x50' with chocolate brown soil (not the red clay I started out with!), another bed at 11'x40', and a third bed at 9'x21' all on my small little city lot. I have gone from opening a can or frozen bag 2x per week in the winter to opening at least one can or freezer bag of vegetable from my garden 4-5x per week. When I started in 1995, you could still find DelMonte cans on sale once a month 4/$1.00 or 6/$1.00 ... now you are lucky if you can find them for less than 75cents sale price. A gallon of milk back then was $1.25/gallon and now it is $4.00/gallon! Water each month back then was $30 when I watered the lawn each week and the garden 2x per day, now it is $65 per month with only watering the lawn once per month and mulching with grass and using soaker hoses.

    The biggest savings from my garden is the peace of mind I get as that is "MY TIME" and no one bothers me when I am out there watering or harvesting LOL The hours of therapy I didn't need! The hours I didn't need to spend at the gym.
    cheers - AnnClaire
    zone6b - NW OK

  4. #24
    New Users
    Join Date
    Aug 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by thebigtomato View Post
    Hey all, anyone here ever do the math to see how much you might be saving through your garden as opposed to if you purchased your items through the grocery store on a per week, per month or per year basic? I think that would be interesting feedback to hear.
    I think most gardeners are in the negative when growing their own, but is it just about the money?? What about the positive health benefits, sense of achievement, well being etc.?? My garden costs a small fortune, but it keeps me sane

  5. #25


    My garden doesn't save me money, but it's so therapeutic, maybe it does in the long run...keeps me healthy and sane. I love looking at seed and garden catalogs, and i could probably spend a million bucks on hydroponic and aquaponic setups and supplies if I didn't keep myself under control. It's my hobby. I always expected to lose money not make it! But my homegrown tomatoes are priceless!

  6. #26
    New Users
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Central Coast, Australia


    Lower Your Food Bill

    Stop paying for fresh food when you can
    grow all you need for almost no effort.
    Stop eating fresh food that you don't know about: Pesticides? Bacteria? Genetically modfied?
    Start eating right and protect yourself and your family and put $5000 back in your pocket.

    Food. It's the most the most important thing to all of us. I bet you didn't realise just how much you could save on your food bill each year. We researched and calculated the average family spends around $5000 per year on fresh food. That is a huge amount of money considering the average family earns less than $100,000 per year. That is almost 5% of your income you could save on your food bill.

    Seriously. Control your food bill and you will get more control over your finances.

    Consider this. If I told you all you needed to do was take half a day - ok let's say one full day, (considering most people will procrastinate) and less than $100 and you will be well on your way to reducing your food bill by around $5000 per year! After your half day of work (or full day) you only need to spend another few hours during the year checking over your vegetable garden and picking food from it. Then each year after that, your garden seeds itself and starts growing more food all over again with little effort from you.

    If you're a seasoned gardener or you know one who has a vegetable garden I bet they'd tell you it takes a lot more work than that. Well I can confidently tell you, they have it all wrong. I know this fellow Jonathan White. Jonathan is a Horticulturalist and Environmental Scientist who has dedicated his life to working out how to produce food in the easiest possible way. This guy lives on a small farm and has a garden that produces all the food he, his wife and two kids need each year. Better still, he has proven his method has he has been doing this for years.

    Let me tell you another thing about why you really, really need to get your act together and start growing your own food. Pesticides, Imported food, genetically modified food and bacteria.

    Did you know they grow tomatoes in China, export them to Italy and then re-export them around the world as Italian tomatoes?

    Do you remember the outbreak of E.Coli a few years back? That was a breakout of bacteria in baby spinach.

    Are you aware that many foods sold are not clearly labelled as genetically modified? You'd never know. Some scientists say you have nothing to worry about and others say the process of life is so delicate and intricate that a small change in one part of the process can have dramatic changes in other areas and we might never know.

    Did you know that most fresh food travels long distance - mainly by road - before it gets to your supermarket? If oil skyrockets again - which the so called experts predict - what effect on prices do you think that will have on your food bill? It may not be $5000 you save but could be anywhere up to $6000, $7000 or even more.

    I highly recommend you get your hands on Jonathan's book and video package, Food4Wealth. It takes you through everything you need to know to get your own vegetable garden up and running successfully with the least amount of effort.

    Just having Jonathan's book and getting you in this mindset is insurance against the volatility this world is throwing at all of us. Get control of your food bill starting today. Stop putting it off. In a year you'll either be thankful for finding out about this invaluable ebook and video package or you'll be kicking yourself that you didn't start sooner.
    Cheers from Australia

  7. #27


    I realize this is a 3 month old thread, but it is something I have thought of often. No doubt knowing what chemicals or lack of chemicals is important, but its tough to ignore the cost going into the garden as well. As enjoyable it is to harvest my own produce, I have very poor soil that requires a lot of maintenance. Finding and planting things that grow well in your soil, while avoiding things that do not grow well can take a dent out of our pride, but may be the possibility of trading food with people you know. Always be on the lookout for deals at garage sales and craigs list for gardening tools, etc. If time that you spend in the garden is enjoyable and is not a factor, then that is great. Me on the other hand would rather find easier and quicker ways to grow and harvest food. Using plastic sheet material to warm the soil and suppress weeds is one of those ways. Finding cheap or free plastic material would be even better. All in all, its tough to put a value on the entire gardening thing, but I suppose its possible. Calculate the amount of tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, etc and the supermarket price of each one, minus the fertilizer, water, etc to get a rough idea. There will always be plant losses due to frost, heat, etc, but planting your own seeds in the house or greenhouse can help offset the cost. Best of luck to everybody. Mike's Plans.

  8. #28


    Will check later. My internet connection right now is so bad it takes forever to load the Youtube page.

  9. #29


    Gardening has just been a hobby for me and I wasnít really expecting it to have a significant impact on household expenses on food. Still, I think like any hobby itís bound to show some returns after some time. Right now all I'm after is that feeling of peace and contentment while I'm tending my plants.

  10. #30


    I agree with everyone here. If gardening is a hobby you will never save money! I learned this last year as I thought by gardening I would save my family money. But it turns out I was at the garden stores every other day. This year my goal is to spend only money on seeds. Im gonna try and save money this year. Fruit trees are a worthwhile investment that will pay you back 100 times what you put into them if you give them enough time!

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