Will you save money by growing your own food? I think the answer is pretty obvious—YES! It’s like asking, “Is it less expensive to cook your own food at home or go out to dinner?” Well, unless you want cheaply made, over-processed, hormone-injected, pesticide-doused foods off the fast-food restaurant’s “Dollar Menu”, it’s much less expensive to cook your own food at home. The same goes for growing your own food at home. For your effort, you get nutritious food that you know is safe to eat and healthy for you.
Like any new endeavor, there is always capital involved in the beginning, and time, money, and energy must be spent before you will reap any benefits. But the benefits you will reap will make all the effort very worth it.
Statistics have shown that in 2009, nearly 8 million Americans grew fruits and vegetables at home for the first time. Out of approximately 370 million Americans, surveys now show that 40 million of us grow our own fruits and vegetables at home. That is phenomenal. But it is not enough; more of us need to do it. More of us need to learn how to provide for ourselves and our families-especially during times like these where money is scarce and good food is even more scarce.
A few examples:
I used to buy at least one head of green leaf lettuce per week from the grocery store (until I started growing my own). At right around $2.99 per head of lettuce (organic), I was spending nearly $ 156.00 a year on lettuce. Now, I understand there is some overhead cost involved in starting to grow your own food, but in the long-run, the money you will spend to grow one head of lettuce a week at home is much less than $156.00 a year!
Another vegetable I really enjoy and eat at least one of each week are red onions. At the grocery store, a shopper can expect to spend at least $1.99 per pound (organic). By growing my own at home, the $104.00 I was spending on onions at the grocery store can now be spent on something else.
Tomatoes are a fruit I began growing at home many years ago. I don’t recall what I used to spend on them, but if I were to buy organic tomatoes today at my local grocery store (average two per week), I would be spending $2.99 a pound! With each tomato weighing right around 1 pound, and me eating 2 a week, that’s $312.00 a year! On tomatoes!
So, let’s add it all up:
Lettuce, red onion, and tomatoes combined, if I did not grow them myself at home, I would be spending $572.00 a year collectively at the grocery store! Unbelievable! How can anyone say that buying your fruits and vegetables at that store is less expensive than growing your own?!
Heirloom seeds are a little pricier than hybrid seeds, but your fruits and vegetables will taste better and come back year after year. Organic soil, enriched with nutrients beneficial to your plants, is usually more expensive and a bit harder to find, but it is healthier for you and your produce. Organic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides are becoming much easier to find and purchase, and by using them, you know exactly what was used on your food—no surprises!
I spend less than $100.00 per year to grow enough lettuce, onions, and tomatoes to feed me (and my neighbors and friends because there’s always too much for me!). So you tell me, am I saving money?