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Gardening can be a great way to save on food costs, and it’s a great way to get food without pesticides and preservatives.
Contrary to popular belief, gardening doesn’t have to be an expensive project. Many people go to far more effort than they need to when it comes to their gardens. Unless you’re planning on setting out a huge garden plot and growing most of your own food, you can make a garden with little expense and not a lot of work.
The first thing you need to do is decide is where you’re going to have your garden, and prepare the area. You can have a garden in your yard if you have space, or you can buy planters to put on your porch. If you don’t have a yard or porch, herbs can grow indoors in pots, and some vegetables can be grown indoors by a sunny window.
Once you have your garden area figured out and your ground or planters prepared think about what you want to grow. Tomatoes, lettuce and peppers are good for beginners. Corn, Potatoes and other veggies can take more work. Herbs are a great starter for the newbie gardener. All that’s left now is planting and caring for your new food plants. (If you’re gardening outdoors, check with friends and family to see if you can borrow garden implements before you go out and buy them.)
Believe it or not, if you do a lot of cooking, herbs are a great money-saver. A $1.00 packet of seeds can grow enough herbs to equal several bottle of store-bought spice. You can either harvest as you need the herbs, or harvest on a regular basis and either hang-dry or freeze the herbs for later use. Just be sure to label everything clearly when you store it. You can buy a wide variety of seeds at places like Wal*Mart, and you can even use your EBT/SNAP card to purchase them in many states.
You can also use your EBT card to purchase food plants. You can get things like tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, corn, squash and many others. Just be sure you know ahead of time whether they can grow in pots or need to be in the ground before you buy. Once you have these plants, the food they produce will be well worth the price. Many starter plants are only $3.00-5.00, and will produce far more food value come harvest time.
If you want to start a garden to save money on food costs, take a look around your local grocery stores and super-centers to see what seeds and plants they carry. Then go online and look up the needs of those plants. Once you have the information, start gardening, and enjoy your fresh and affordable foods.