Back in March, I shared with you about saving on your grocery budget by planting a garden. How much can you save? Here’s an update on what we have saved so far:
When we moved here five years ago, we brought a few strawberry plants with us. The plants have spread exponentially to the point that we have given away about two dozen plants to friends and family. Even so, we have already harvested close to three gallons of strawberries, with more coming every day.
At $2.99 a pint for organic strawberries, we have saved close to $100. The best part, though, is the taste. Home-grown strawberries are much sweeter than most that you purchase in the store because we can wait until they are fully ripe to pick them. YUM!
Like the strawberries, we brought the asparagus roots with us when we moved here. They, too, have spread. I even found a new asparagus plant mixed in with my daffodils this spring. With the hot weather, the asparagus plants are not producing much anymore. However, when they were producing, we were able to eat asparagus almost every night. At up to $3 per pound, we saved at least $80.
In the blog in March, I talked about chives being the plant that gives and gives. This year, we could put chives in every meal if we chose to. The chive flowers also add a colorful addition to our garden. A recent sales flyer advertised organic herbs for $1.79 per .75 ounce. At that price, we have saved at least $25. If we used chives for more meals, it would be much more.
Late last fall, I potted my parsley plant and kept it in the house all winter. Now, it’s back in the garden and doing very well. Using the same price for the parsley as for the chives, through the course of the winter and now in the spring and early summer, we have saved at least $75.
I had some lettuce that I planted late last summer hoping for a fall harvest. However, the first frost came earlier than I expected and the lettuce didn’t make it. What a surprise I had this spring when I noticed I had lettuce growing. It hasn’t been a lot but we have enjoyed about six servings of “volunteer” lettuce. Considering that organic lettuce sells for $3.99 for two servings, we’ve saved close to $12.
We also brought the rhubarb with us when we moved. In fact, the rhubarb didn’t cost us anything because the roots were given to us years ago. We have enjoyed rhubarb pie, strawberry-rhubarb pie, and rhubarb crisp. We already have four quarts of rhubarb in the freezer with much more ready to process. At $3.50 per pound for organic rhubarb, we have saved over $40 so far.
Adding up all our savings, we have saved over $330! We will continue to enjoy free produce from our strawberries, rhubarb, parsley, and chives through the coming months.
The fun part about these savings is we had no out-of-pocket expense for any of this produce, except for some netting we purchased to keep the birds from eating our yummy strawberries. We have, however, spent about $70 on seeds, seed potatoes, and onion sets. So, overall, we have already saved $260.
Yet, in the coming weeks, we will be harvesting sugar snap peas, pole beans, lettuce, spinach, beets and beet greens, celery, basil, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and squash. For fruits, we will have peaches, apples, aronia berries, and grapes.
I love summer!Judith Ackland has more than 26 years of experience in accountancy and financial planning, including seventeen years as a CFO of a diverse business. She started Crystal Financial in 2010 to help a wide array of individuals, families, and business owners better understand their finances and how good financial management could help them achieve their goals. Judith has an MA in Professional Accountancy from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as well as a Certified Public Accountant Certificate and a Certified Financial Planner designation.