I am beyond excited to feature this fantastic money saving tip from my college roommate and bestie for the restie! Whitney is a Licensed Professional Counseler, currently rocking the stay at home mom gig and still finds time to run a popular craft biz! You can join her Facebook group, Whitscraft, for the most adorable handmade gifts, tees, and home decor. Today, she is sharing how her family saves money by growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs in their own backyard. I am loving this money saving tip, and am inspired to start my own garden after reading this! Thank you Whitney!
I have never considered myself to have a green thumb. I’m more like a hopeful yellow thumb, but historically I’ve ended up more in the “dead red” category.
So, when I told my husband three years ago that I’d like to start a small square foot garden on the sunny side of our house, I’m certain he thought I was crazy (Yes, he said it out loud).
To be honest, I thought I might be a little crazy too, but I was hopeful and the dream of having a lush garden full of beautiful fruits and vegetables was so appealing.
But mostly, I was looking for a way to trim our grocery bill, and have a (mostly) free, educational activity for my two young sons and I to do together.
Related: 50 cheap or free summer activities with kids
Three years later we are still at it, and have all learned so much along the way.
Your garden does not have to be large.
This year my garden is just a few pots off my back porch full of a variety of peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and salad greens. We also have a now massive blackberry box, and a small blueberry bush off the side of our house.
Start small and expand as you feel comfortable.
You can start with seeds or start with established plants.
My boys love physically putting the seeds in the ground in early Spring and to watch the seemingly magical growth that happens in just a few short weeks.
This year we got a late start, so we started with established plants that we bought at Lowe’s, during their Spring Black Friday Event.
We have also learned a number of ways to prevent and care for certain plant diseases and pests.
Just last summer my then 3 and 5 year old spent wild amounts of time smashing squash beetles off of our zucchini plant in an effort to save the poor thing from its ultimate doom.
Yes, the plant did die, but my sons were outdoors and this momma got a solid few minutes a day enjoying the sun in peace.
Despite the loss of our zucchini plant last summer, we were able to grow plentiful amounts of tomatoes, peppers, okra, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
Start a garden to save money on your favorite recipes.
In addition to our fruits and vegetables, I started a small herb garden in a planter pot off our back porch last year.
And guess what—we’re still using the herbs and fruit from last season’s garden!
I learned how to dry herbs to use in recipes year round from this YouTube video.
We are able to make a variety of salsas from the vegetables we’ve grown, and I freeze our berries to use through the winter in homemade muffins and cobblers, or defrost for simple snacks.
Related Post: Easy, frugal meal series
Use dried herbs as budget friendly homemade gifts.
We have even gifted some of our dried herbs as part of gifts for others.
This not only really helped with our budget (hello that one year that we had SIX teacher’s to gift, Mother’s Day, and two family birthdays in a matter of two weeks!), but for me nothing is better than a homemade gift. I just love those gifts from the heart!
Related Post: Budget Categories You’re Probably Forgetting!
Gardening not only has lowered our grocery bill, but has created so much free entertainment for my family and me.
We all love to go out and check the our garden daily, and my boys and I enjoy making various salsas in the kitchen.
It may be all in my head, but food straight from the garden just tastes better, and NOTHING beats the feeling of serving a meal to your family which consists of something you grew yourself!
I cannot wait to see all the fruits of our labor this summer, and enjoy the deliciousness that is soon to land on our plates!
—Are you inspired to start a garden of your own this summer?! I know I am! Thank you so much Whitney for sharing this amazing frugal living hack with us!
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