There are many things to consider when planning a garden. While I’m not an expert there are things I know to consider from a frugal point of view.

What do you and your family like to eat?  Plant what you enjoy. Do not waste money and time on veg just because it looks pretty, although it is nice to try a new veg now and again. Be mindful though that sometimes it is cheaper and easier to buy certain things. For instance, I cannot grow carrots to save my life, just not the right type of soil here or I don’t want to spend the money to amend the soil to suit the carrots? I can find carrots for $.79 to $.99 most weeks, organic too, and they are not one of our absolute favorite veggies.

What do you have room to grow?  What do you have to work with? If you have a huge yard, great. You can also use raised beds in a smaller yard to increase the amount of crops you get or containers on a patio. There are many compact plant varieties available for the space-challenged gardener. You can grow herbs on a sunny windowsill or sprout your own seeds.

What is expensive to buy in your area?  The idea is to save money while feeding your family some awesome food. If you plant what is normally expensive then you are one step ahead. I’ll give you a for instance. Tomatoes are big on my list for this. During the season they are plentiful but even at farmer’s markets they are more than I would like to spend. If you have a nice sized yard you can grow all you need for fresh eating and have more than enough to process and have canned sauce and tomatoes to use until next season. Half of my dad’s garden is tomato plants. This year mine will be too. Yes indeedy.

What do you do to get started?  What if you didn’t grow up around a garden and know nothing or very little? I would recommend finding an experienced gardener to show you the ropes or head down to your local public library, take out some books for free and start doing a little reading here and there. Start small and with a little experience you’ll be eating cheaper but better, for you and for the environment.

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