Fresh fruits, crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes – if you are anything like me, these foods are almost delicacies. As anyone who is trying to save some money knows, the produce section of the grocery store is one of the worst places to shop.
Sure, it’s stocked with delicious fruits and veggies – enough to make your mouth water – but the prices are so high only those doing well financially can afford them and even then it can be a challenge.
We also know that growing our own food can be a lot of work and a costly investment. You need to buy the seeds, the soil, etc., right?
Well, I’ll admit that you may need some startup equipment, but what if I told you that you could grow your own food from the table scraps you normally throw away?
It’s true! My wife and I decided to try out growing our own food when we completed our first No Spend Challenge. We decided not to buy food for an entire month (or anything else). We saved over $2,000, but by the middle of the month, we were craving produce, so we decided to try growing our own food in our home.
Let’s remember that this was January so the plants had to be done inside the house. No problem for us! We set to work and a few months later had a full garden in our dining room – tomatoes, onions (white and green), potatoes, celery, and even a little avocado tree!
If we can do it, anyone can do it, believe me.
Why You Should Grow Your Own Food
Growing your own food is better for you, better for the planet, and better for your wallet, but it is a pretty big commitment. If you aren’t ready to take the time to do it right, this may not be the right path for you. However, if you commit to spending time with your garden – even just a little bit every week – you can live a fuller, healthier, and cheaper life.
Growing your own food means that you know exactly what you are putting into your body – and the bodies of your kiddos. You know that the produce you eat won’t be covered in chemicals and horrible tasting because you grew it yourself. Right?
Not only that, but housing the plants in your home means more oxygen for you and your family to enjoy. With more oxygen and greenery around, your family will be happier – it’s scientifically proven!
Finally, don’t forget about your wallet. Unless you have awesome coupon-ing skills (and a ton of time to devote to that, which I don’t), you probably are paying a ton of money for produce right now. However, by growing it yourself, you are keeping all of that money in your pocket for other uses – did someone say ice cream?
If you want a more extensive idea of why you should grow your own food, check out my post: Are You Ready to Learn How to Grow Your Own Food?
How to Grow Your Own Food From Scraps
Now that you are sure you want to grow your own food, you have to figure out what you want to grow and how, right? That’s the hard part.
It’s really up to you to decide. Many foods are easy to grow – probably easier than you think, but here are a few of my favorite foods that can be grown from scraps to get you started.
Tomatoes – Tomatoes require a little bit of startup. Let’s say you’re making a tomato salad. You slice open the tomato, squeeze out the gunk inside, and use the hard outer layer, right? Pour the gunk into a bowl of water and let it sit. How long? Well, keep it there for at least a week, maybe two. Once the water starts to get a little moldy, pour it into the dirt, cover it, water it, and wait to be surprised. It sounds gross, but I promise it works to make delicious tomatoes that will continue to produce.
Green Onions – Green onions are pretty easy. Cut off the white tip that you normally throw away. Instead of throwing it away, put it in a bowl of water and let it sit. Soon it will begin to sprout a baby green onion from the top. When it’s tall enough, clip it and eat. It will continue growing forever!
Celery – Celery is my favorite to grow, simply because it’s so fun to watch. Cut the end of a celery bushel off – the whole end that you would normally throw away when you are cutting apart the stalks. Stick it in a cup of water so that the top is left uncovered. Moisten the top (the part you cut) often, but don’t cover it with water. Soon you’ll see a new celery begin to sprout from the center. Continue to water it and watch it until either the new celery reaches 3 inches tall or the outer layer of the celery “core” turns brown. Then, stick it in some dirt and let it grow! When it’s grown, you can cut the top stalks off and start over again.
Enjoying Your Garden!
Growing foods is one of my new favorite tasks now that I have embraced my minimalist frugal living lifestyle. It provides endless produce for my wife and I to enjoy and we save a ton of money while we do.
Now, I know that this is not a year-round solution, but don’t forget about the wonders of canning. If you are worried about the costs of produce as we enter the winter months, get out the old pressure cooker and set about canning some of your delicious produce!
The most important thing to remember, though, is to enjoy your task. If it feels like work to you and you can’t stand to do it, then perhaps it’s worth spending the extra money to purchase the produce from the grocery store.
However, if you truly enjoy getting your hands dirty, knowing what’s going into your body, and saving some money, this is a fun way to reap those benefits.
What are your favorite ways to save money and live a healthier, happier life?
DIY Jahn began to help Cassie to stick to her plan to aggressively pay off her student loans, in hopes to inspire others to do the same. Find tips on saving money, paying off debt, earning money online, yummy recipes, and DIY projects at: DIYJahn.com
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