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Brilliant Frugal Living – Grow some serious savings in Springtime!
Regardless of the crazy chilly temperatures around the country, Springtime is right around the corner. Yes, my thermometer here in the Northeast USA says 35F degrees, but in the yard, I’ve got daffodils and cherry blossoms powering thru like they don’t have a care in the world. You’ve got to love that hopeful enthusiasm, Mother Nature always seems to have her eye just beyond the horizon. I can’t wait!
One of the best parts about Spring is that it not only brings us some beautiful, well-deserved warmer weather, it also delivers fantastic opportunities for huge money savings. I’m talking about a garden.
Hear me out – Dirt is pretty much free and produce prices are going thru the roof. Personally, I have no green thumb whatsoever, but my husband is a genius at gardening. Over the years he’s created a small garden with three small raised beds, and every year I’m astonished at how much produce we get out of it.
Six small tomato plants in the Spring end up about seven feet tall by August and yield hundreds of pounds of tomatoes over the summer. Considering the average cost of tomatoes is running $2/pound these days, those $10 in plants end up saving us about $500/year, and that’s just the tomatoes! Once we saw the tomato plants shooting into the sky each year, we tested out some other go-to veggies and they worked great too. Green and red peppers, beans, carrots, herbs (have you seen the cost of herbs in the supermarket? Crazy!), he’s grown it all. Honestly, once you plant those seeds and little plants, get some water on them, and let the sunshine go work on them, you’ll be astonished at how they take care of themselves. We tried corn once and it grew beautifully, unfortunately, the squirrels were even more impressed than we were – day and night we’d spot them climbing the stalks, grabbing an ear of corn that was as big as they were, and attempting to run off with it. It was hilarious. Also somewhat maddening. I’m still finding old corn cobs around the nearby trees! Do yourself a favor and learn from us – don’t grow corn in your garden. If you do anyway, set up a camera. If you’re new to gardening, take it slow. If you don’t have the space in your yard, think about getting some large pots and putting them in the sunniest spot on your patio or porch. Try some of your favorite veggies, flowers, and/or herbs, and prepare to be amazed. Huge cost savings aside, there’s something wildly appealing about planting seeds and watching them grow into delicious food you can feed yourself and your family…especially when it’s about 95% cheaper than the supermarket.
If you’re planning your first garden this year, a little research will tell you that a good number of vegetables grown prefer to start in cooler weather, which would mean planning them now and starting them in late March – early April at the latest.
Some of you will be totally comfortable starting with seeds, but if you’re more of a gardening newbie, head to the nursery and get a few veggie seedlings to start. The people there are always fabulous and happy to help with decision-making. Seedlings are very inexpensive and it takes a bit of the guesswork out of planting. Get those plants comfy in your yard, water them once in a while if the rain is stingy, then sit back and love the knowledge that you’re crushing a good part of your grocery bill, helping the environment, and perhaps getting yourself a bit more sunshine to boot (go Vitamin D!), and maybe even thrilling the local squirrels.
I host The Kristen Hagopian Show on 200+ Stations every week. My new book Brilliant Frugal Living 2.0 is available on Amazon, and you can find me online at www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com.
About the Author
Name: Kristen Hagopian
Professional Title: Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host & Journalist, Personal Finance Author
Bio: I’m a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host & Columnist, and a Personal Finance Author. I live in Chester County PA with my fabulously frugal husband and two fantastic kids. My Show airs on 200+ Stations each week & I have the pleasure of connecting with amazing people Coast to Coast each week, always to great reviews.
Social Media Handle: Facebook