When money’s on your mind you’ll try a hundred and one different things to get your finances back on track. Strange money saving ideas have never been thin on the ground with people making new clothes out of curtains and even selling their faces as advertising space!
Of course, we’re not suggesting that you go quite that far! There are plenty of other ways to make your financial situation a little more bearable, and one of the nation’s favourites is to turn your thumbs green and get your hands dirty. That’s right, starting your own vegetable patch and growing your own food is a fantastic way to cut down on your weekly food shopping bill and have a little fun along the way.
Here at Pounds to Pocket we’re all for a bit of self-sufficiency, so we’ve put together 12 tips to help you sort out your finances with vegetables!
1. You won’t need acres; you can grow your own produce in something as small as a window box!
2. A four-foot-square patch is the perfect size, so don’t worry if you’re a little short on space.
3. Do your research about where best to prepare your vegetable patch. Putting it next to a fence or wall is great for climbing vegetables, but the soil there can be dry as it’s sheltered from the rain.
4. A slightly acidic soil is the best for growing vegetables, and it’s really easy to test what your soil is.
5. If your soil isn’t the right pH level for growing vegetables, pop to your local garden centre. There are plenty of ways to make your soil vegetable friendly, just ask.
6. Before going crazy in the seed aisle, find out the best types of vegetable to grow at the different points in the year.
7. Steer clear of vegetables that take a long time to grow and mature or your plates will be empty for quite a while!
8. Dwarf varieties are great for small vegetable patches; consider planting dwarf leeks or aubergines.
9. Start small. To make the most of your garden you should always be able to control it.
10. Don’t plant too much of the same vegetable. A lot of would-be vegetable growers have given up because they’ve planted the same vegetable countless times and found that they’ve become overrun with them.
11. Don’t plant what you don’t like. This seems worryingly obvious, but so many people plant vegetables because they grow quickly or because the seeds were the cheapest; if you won’t eat them anyway, you’re wasting money not saving it!
12. Don’t expect to never have to visit the vegetable aisle again. To begin with, your vegetable patch will be a great way to cut down on the number that you have to buy, and in time you can increase the amount to become more self-sufficient.
While we’re used to our bills increasing every month, growing your own vegetables means that you can start to see your shopping bills decreasing month by month instead. The benefit it can have to your finances will be great, but the real joy is when you taste the perfectly fresh, home grown vegetables for the first time. You’ll never go back to shop bought again!