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Eat Healthy and Save Money in 2012: How Gardening Can Do Both

January 5th, 2012

If you’re like the millions of people making New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, eating healthy and saving money may be at the top of your list.  Sadly, we now live in a world where it’s inexpensive to buy processed foods, and costly to purchase healthy foods; making many believe that eating healthfully while saving money is an oxymoron. Yet, many are discovering that a simple garden is quite the financial stimulus during these dark economic times, while providing plenty of fruits and vegetables for the whole family. What could you do with the extra money saved from your garden?

Planting your own home garden is as trendy as ever, especially when we see Michelle Obama planting her own family garden at the White House, and seed sales increasing by upwards 20% this year. Luckily this means that there are plenty of resources out there that can help you build a successful garden.  Below are our top 5 reasons to ditch the grocery store and instead, plant a simple garden and bulk up your wallet.

The Top 5 Reasons A Garden Can Save You Money

1. Bruce Butterfield, a researcher at the National Gardening Association claims that one well maintained garden is able to return (on average) $1 and ½ pound of vegetables per square foot.  You can increase your savings even further by cutting down on capital costs.  This means that forgoing fencing, fertilizer and preventing weeds by planting closer together may increase your returns.

2. A study at the University of Arizona found that 40-50% of American food goes to waste, while each family throws away almost $600 a year on groceries. Gardening allows you to customize exactly what and how much you would like to grow, reducing unnecessary food waste.

3. According to W. Atlee Burpee Co., every $1 you spend on seeds is able produce at least $25 in fruits and vegetables.  This means that investing $50 in seeds could eventually yield $1,250 in groceries – wow!

4. MSN claims that fruit trees, lettuce, herbs, vine vegetables and bell peppers are less costly if grown in your own backyard.  If you can resist expensive gardening gadgets and unnecessary expenses, these vegetables will give you the most bang for your buck.

5. Freezing, canning and drying vegetables grown in your garden can increase the cost-benefit ration even higher.  Plus, saving leftover vegetables means you can eat healthy all year, with no additives or chemicals normally used in preserving. There are countless online resources that give detailed instructions on this process.

 Do you grow your own fruits, vegetables and herbs? How much are your estimated savings a year?

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