I’ve heard lots of people say you can’t save money growing your own food. To them I say ‘HA.’ You can absolutely save money growing your own, along with your health.
But seeds are expensive and gardening is time consuming, they say…. ‘So is grocery shopping’, I respond.
One way you can save money gardening, is growing enough food for winter storage. Some foods that we typically use regularly keep incredibly well through the winter! Frugality at its finest. I’ll hand it over to Annie at Country Living in a Cariboo Valley to get you started!
Great Vegetables to Grow for Winter Storage
If you want to get started with food gardening, there are lots of different ways you can start to grow. But it’s important not to “bite off more than you can chew”, as they say and I agree with that!
If you make your new food garden too big, it is much easier to get overwhelmed. And no one needs to be overwhelmed! Gardening is supposed to be fun, even relaxing. It’s pretty difficult to have fun when all you seem to be doing is putting hours into the garden every day.
When it comes to working in your garden, spending a half hour a day running a hoe down the rows is all you should need to do. Then once a week, spend another half hour and weed right around the plants if that is needed. Then go do something fun or sit in the shade and read a book. Keeping your garden small and only growing what your family will eat will help make sure you always love to garden. You don’t want to end up feeling chained to garden work!
During the summer months, fruits and vegetables are more economical, because they are in season. It’s the winter and very early spring when you will see grocery store prices go way up, because produce isn’t in season at that point. Because of that, stores can get away with charging a lot more.
This is a good thing to keep in mind when you plan your garden. If you grow a half row of lettuce and a half row of spinach, you will have lots for fresh eating. These are almost impossible to preserve unless you dehydrate them.
Think about growing root crops and storing them over the winter. As long as you have a room (or garage) in your house where you can keep the temperature between 34-40F you should be able to store potatoes, carrots and beets.
Onions and garlic should be stored at warmer temperatures. Braid them and hang them in the kitchen or keep in brown paper bags in a kitchen cupboard.
So think about planting potatoes, beets, carrots, garlic and onions. All of these get so much more expensive during the winter. For the price of seeds, you can grow them, enjoy them during the summer and store the rest for use over winter! Think of the money that can be saved!
Your family will be eating great healthy food for a lot less money!
Annie writes about gardening and all things country over at Country Living in a Cariboo Valley. Living in BC, Annie and Graham grow about 85% of what they eat, including their meat. Grab a cup of tea, pull up a chair and read about their daily adventures in the bush.