With food costs seeming to rise all the time, your weekly trip to the supermarket can take a big chunk out of your budget. If you’re sick of paying over the odds, think about producing your own fruit and vegetables. Not convinced? Here are five reasons why you should think seriously consider it.
- Save money on food costs
Rising grocery costs have encouraged more people to grow their own food. It’s not completely free – especially in the early days as there will be some initial outlay to meet – but going back to basics is a whole lot cheaper than buying the fruit and vegetables at the supermarket.
- It’s a sustainable food source
The growing population is putting an increasing amount of pressure on food sources and environmental factors such as soil degradation, water shortages (e.g. drought) and the rising cost of oil can also play a part. Producing your own food is a sustainable food source thanks to the fact that you would still be able to feed yourself even if fruits and vegetables were unable to make their way into the shops.
- It’s fresher and healthier
Where possible, health experts suggest that you should aim to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. That’s not to say that canned and frozen options should be avoided altogether but there’s no substitute for the fresh variety, especially where taste is concerned.
As long as you eat them soon after picking them, home grown fruit and vegetables are much tastier and have better flavour than their shop-bought counterparts, which tend to be picked some time before they’re intended to be eaten. Add in the fact that most shops import food from hundreds or even thousands of miles away and it’s little wonder that most of the nutrients and taste are gone by the time it gets to your table. If you want to be sure that you’re getting the important vitamins and minerals from your fruit and vegetables, growing your own is definitely the way to go.
As well as being fresher, home grown fruit and vegetables are also healthier. More often than not, supermarket food that isn’t organic will be loaded with pesticides, some of which have been suggested as being cancer-causing. This is obviously a worrying concern for most of us but you can ease your fears by having complete control over what happens to your food before it gets to you.
- You’ve got more variety over what you eat
There are a lot more varieties of fruit and vegetables than you can buy in the average supermarket and if you choose to grow your own food, you can enjoy a much wider range of options. You’ve got the freedom to choose the types of food that you eat, which is always a good thing, and you can experiment with varieties that aren’t readily available in the supermarkets.
- It’s better for the environment
Because your food isn’t being shipped halfway across the world, you don’t have to worry that you’re racking up a huge carbon footprint just to get your food to you. If you’re growing your food organically, there won’t be harmful pesticides and fertilizers making their way into the local environment so you can lessen the impact on wildlife living in the area. For those of us who are keen to do our bit for the environment where we can, it’s great to know that you can be green while also improving your health and finances.
Now that you’re clued-up on the benefits, why not start growing your own fruit and vegetables at home? Not only will it save you money on your food costs but it will also be fresher, healthier, free from pesticides and better for the environment. It’s the ultimate in sustainable finance!
And if you are still not convinced, check out my harvest report from last year which shows just how successful you can be.
So, do you grow your own fruits and vegetables? What made you start?
In our best intentions we fully planned to start a garden in our new (old) house this past summer. However, the amount of work we’ve done on the house we simply hit a time crunch where we could no longer fit in the building of the vegetable planters and getting everything started properly. Next year we hope to have 4-6 4’x4′ planters fully of veg (and a bit of fruit).
@SPF. Don’t beat yourself up too much. There is only so much time in a day. Might I suggest using pots instead of permanent planters. It is great to have the flexibility to be able to move things out of the heat, our of hail, or when it rains too much. I have found that being able to do this has saved my crops from one year to the next.
We started a garden because of the price of food and we down sized to a home with an arce of land so we stared with a 50 by 50 square and put 12 by 12 areas so far we have one going and another started. Hot here is AZ so can’t wait to see what comes up. We too wanted to have beds but decided to start in the ground to save money this year.
@Norma. Wow a whole acre. That must be awesome. I am glad you have made gardening a part of your life. I need to use containers since my yard is not that big but I must say it still works fine. Thanks for stopping by and checking out the site too.
I have a black thumb so I gave up growing my own, but I’m a regular Farmer’s market gal. Prices at the farmers markets have gotten a lot more reasonable with more of them popping up and it feels good supporting local farms. -Sydney
@Untemplater. That’s great to hear. I love farmers markets. You’re right- they are more common than they used to be which then makes it more affordable. I like supporting local businesses and I also like getting a superior product. I don’t mind paying a bit more for food that is better for me. Thanks for doing your part.
I have often considered growing some of my own produce.
How many times per year will your plants turn out fruits or vegetables?
@Jacob. Well I live in the northern hemisphere so I growing season is shorter. I do only usually get one round of crops with my garden. However I do have an LED grow light that my hubby got me last year that I use in the winter for some herbs and things inside the house. It could be used for some other veggies if I really wanted. Regardless of how many times you get a crop, you can usually do well in just one season. For example, last year I had over 400 tomatoes alone which lasted us well into this season.