This is an update on a post I published over a month ago when I thought my plants were done producing. Guess what? They weren’t done! And I’ve saved more than I thought initially! I’ve updated all the prices to reflex my bumper crop 😉
Remember when I thought I couldn’t grow anything. Remember?! REMEMBER?! Well, I am beyond excited to report that my brown thumb has turned green, ya’ll. And today is your lucky day because I have a run down of the costs of my garden and, AND the cost if I simply went out and purchased the food. I am on fire.
|Price of Seeds||Cost at CSA* or Harris Teeter||Amount Produced||Price if purchased|
|Heirloom Tomatoes ($1.79) (unavailable at Home Depot, link to similar product)||$2.99 (for 2)*||53||$79.24|
|Squash ($1.35)||$2.99 (for 2)*||0||$0.00|
|Zucchini ($1.19)||$2.99 (for 2)*||16||$23.92|
|Bell Peppers ($1.59)||$1.99 (for 2)*||133||$132.34|
|Banana Peppers ($1.59)||$0.43||151||$64.93|
|Sunflowers ($1.35)||$2.29||7 (about 2 cups)||$2.29|
|Brussels Sprouts ($1.59)||$3.49||0||$0.00|
|Potting Soil (used sparingly to start seeds, previously purchased) $0.00|
|Gloves and a trowel (given as birthday gift) $0.00|
|Plow (borrowed) $0.00|
|Fencing to keep out critters ($34.97)|
|Garden Safe Insect Killer ($5.79)|
|Garden Safe Fungicide ($5.47)|
|Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Fruits and Vegetables Granules ($12.47)|
|A cucumber plant when my other cucumber plants died (gifted from my FIL) $0.00|
|Total Spent||Total Produced (plus tax)||Total Savings|
Garden Start Up Costs
I kept my start up costs very low. I didn’t create raised beds and my garden was by no means
“pretty.” I can’t keep up with Martha here. This isn’t rural New England!
Quite a few people around the blogosphere make a big deal about the start up costs of gardens. There’s very low start up costs if you keep it low. And yes, there is no guarantee that anything will sprout (just look at my squash!), but if you are successful, growing a garden can be a fun way to save on grocery costs.
I used my CSA’s veggie pricing when available because I think it more accurately reflects the pricing of local produce. When not available, I used the pricing of a local grocer, Harris Teeter. (Yes, I know veggies might be cheaper somewhere else, this is just a good estimate, ya’ll!)
I think it’s also important to note that I am totally a beginning gardener. This is my first time keeping anything alive– including houseplants! I know there will be bad years and good years, but I believe with experience my vegetable gains will increase, thus increasing my savings.
The time factor
Yes, growing a garden (even a small one, like mine) takes time. Most weekends I was out there pulling weeds. I watered the plants almost every day (unless it rained). P.S. We have well water, so there was no cost for the water. But growing something, ANYTHING, keeping it alive, then eating something I grew with my own two hands has been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. EVER! And that includes getting my Master’s degree.
Have you ever planted a garden? If so, were you successful? Do you think it saved you money? Did you make an insane chart like I did? Let me know in the comments!