I’m the last person you might expect to be writing about gardening – this week on my blog the Family CEO I couldn’t help but call myself “indoorsy.” But not even I am immune to the charms of spring, and I’ve found myself flipping through gardening magazines and eyeing nurseries as I drive by.
With the benefits of gardening – getting outside, sprucing up your front yard, trying a new hobby – come the drawbacks: the cost. I’ve been looking for ways to enjoy gardening without breaking the bank; here are three ways I’ve found to do just that:
Plant Seeds First
There are many places you can get plants to put in the ground. If you have a particularly green thumb, you can start with seeds and save the added cost of buying pre-planted bulbs. If you’d rather get plants when they’re a little more developed, farmer’s markets and charity plant sales more often than not have lower prices than retail nurseries or grocery/hardware stores.
Invest in Perennials
Perennials, such as tulips, irises, and daylilies come back year after year. Because they make repeat appearances, perennials are more cost effective than annuals, which die out at the end of a season and have to be bought and planted at the start of the following year.
Plant a Vegetable Garden
If you can scratch your gardening itch and shave money off your grocery bill at the same time, that’s a real win-win. If a full-fledged vegetable garden feels too ambitious, start slow. I plan on starting a small potted herb garden with a few tomato plants this year, hopefully adding more somewhere down the road. Not only will you cut back on your grocery budget, you’ll have the added benefit of knowing exactly where your food comes from.
Do you keep a garden at your home? If so, how do you do it while staying conscious of your budget? Type some advice with those green thumbs in our comments section below!
Julie Mayfield is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about everything having to do with personal finance. She shares money saving and debt reduction tips on her blog, The Family CEO. When she’s not reading or writing about money, you can usually find her hanging out with her friends and family and cheering on the Kansas Jayhawks.