Growing a veggie garden is a fun and rewarding project for any beginner gardener or homesteader. Save time, and money on gardening this year and your grocery bill with these frugal veggie gardening ideas.
Planting a vegetable garden is often our first hand experience of feeling like a real homesteader. Do you have a large garden plot, raised beds, or container planting? Even if you are planting a vegetable garden for the first time, these tips will help you save money on your grocery bill.
Here on the ranch, we have a large fenced in garden plot and use the lasagne method to keep our soil rich. By the end of the summer, our vegetable garden is over grown and our days are filled with harvesting, eating, selling and preserving our crops. Then we put the garden to bed for the winter. Here are some of the things we’ve learned to save money on our vegetable garden, I hope you find inspiration as you plan your vegetable garden this year.
Money saving gardening tips
Plant from seed
Seeds are a fraction of the cost as seedlings. Some vegetables plants that grow easy from seed are those you can just throw into the soil and get a return without having to transplant and “baby.”
I often have the most success with starting peas, lettuces, squash varieties, carrots, beets and corn from seeds
Plants like tomatoes, onions and peppers I find do better from seedlings.
Buy seeds in the fall or winter
This winter I snagged heirloom seeds for 75% off in December. Nurseries have to discount seeds from previous growing years because companies can no longer stand by the germination rates.
Determine what to grow and how much
We’ve found that growing vegetables that grow easily and quickly is your best bet to save money. Look at how much they are at the grocery store and determine if it’s worth the effort to grow.
Think about what your family currently eats a lot of that you could take off the grocery list by planting at home. There’s no point in growing rows of lettuce if you don’t often eat salad.
Plant Easy to Grow Veggies
Don’t waste your time growing vegetables that are hard to grow for beginners, especially if they are cheaper to buy at the grocery store than the time dedicated to growing them. You can save time and money by planting veggies that are easy to grow and also expensive to buy from the grocery store during growing seasons.
Start your seeds indoors as seedlings and sell the extras.
Often I’ve noticed in the spring a lot of people starting seeds indoors and selling the plants online or hosting their own plant sale in peak growing season. With the profit you’d make on your extra plants that you won’t need for your family you’ve more than made back your seed cost. Read here my how to guide for hosting a plant sale.
Use recycled materials
Use recycled materials for planting necessities. For seed trays try egg cartons, yogurt containers instead of all the expensive gimmicks you purchase from your local garden store. I’ve found I’ve spent way to much on seed trays and soil pucks. Also starting seeds in a larger pot then spreading them out into smaller pots once they’ve germinated can be one way of using less plastic to start seeds.
Purchase heirloom seeds
Saving seeds at the end of the growing season saves time and money for the next year. To ensure that you can save seeds at the end of the growing season, you’ll need to make sure they are heritage, heirloom non goo seeds.
You can even buy them in bulk and packages to really save. Check out this survival seed pack!
Some public libraries also have a seed exchange library where gardeners can access free seeds with the deal of returning more at the end of the year to the seed bank.
Either way you’ll end up spending less and most likely having excess vegetables than if you were to purchase your veggies from the grocery store all summer long.
Plant a No Till Garden Bed
There are a number of ways to plant a veggie garden, in pots, containers, raised bed and even hanging baskets. The most efficient and least expensive is a no till organic garden bed straight on the grass. Yes, planting right on the grass using the Lasagne Method or Back to Eden Garden bed method.
Read about how to build a lasagne garden bed here.
Good luck and and have fun eating more veggies- for free!