One of the excuses many people have about eating healthily is that it simply costs too much compared to processed or packaged foods. Unfortunately, at least for myself, I’ve found that this is true unless I’m being very cautious about what I buy and where I buy the food from. One way I could drastically reduce the cost of food every week is to simply grow my own fruits and vegetables.
I haven’t been as attentive to my garden as I should have over the last few years, so I had been mostly sticking to easily-to-grow fruits like strawberries and tomatoes. I was also growing blueberries, pears, and apples, but they’re only going to start producing fruit this year.
The strawberries always produce a lot of fruit but I rarely got to eat many as my nephews and nieces would come over and eat everything At least they’re eating some fruit I suppose! 🙂 The tomato plants have also been producing well over the last few years, but we had two or three years where we lost everything due to disease.
I already know that growing food can save literally hundreds of pounds every year with minimal effort.
Research from the National Society of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners has found that allotment holders spend an average £202 growing vegetables and fruit every year that would sell for £1,564 in shops.
I have space in the garden to do it, and I have the time as well, so there’s no excuse really. But I’ve been looking at the cost of my shopping recently and realized just how much I was spending – about £70 a week just for myself.
When I first started my calorie restriction diet my shopping came to about £25 per and perhaps when I got a few luxuries like expensive balsamic vinegar, chocolate, and good-quality olive oil, it’d sometimes reach about £40 or so. This is still far less than what I regularly spend each week in 2019.
So, I thought I had to do something about it and took a look at my shopping list to see what I could start growing. It was obvious that the easiest things I could start with were to grow the food that I normally eat for breakfast.
Every morning I eat pretty much the same thing: Avocado, spring onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, Mexican bean burger, and wholemeal bread. I figured that I could grow five of these foods in my own garden and save quite a lot of money. You can see my post on what I eat for breakfast here.
So this will be my first update for my garden in 2019. Throughout the spring, summer, and autumn, I’ll be sharing my harvests and how much I’ve managed to save over the year! I’ll consider this a new start and begin a more serious effort to reduce the costs, produce better and healthier food for myself and my family, and also learn more skills.
In the big section above I’m growing two sweet million F1 hybrid cherry tomatoes (one of my favorites!) and two different varieties of bell peppers (I will have to move one of them somewhere else). In the smaller sections, I’m growing spinach and spring onions. And finally, in the far corner, there are two pots which contain blueberry plants.
In the photo above there are over 20 strawberry plants, some of which I will likely be transplanting into smaller pots and them running across the fence to the right. This will make room for other vegetables, instead of making it just a bed of strawberries.
I’ve also put up the little fence around each garden bed to stop my rabbit from eating my food! I do give her some of the strawberry leaves, though! 🙂
As you see in the photo, I have a lot of space at the back there, but it doesn’t get more than 6 hours of sunlight, it’s mostly in the shade.
A list of what I’m growing this year so far:
- Sweet million cherry tomatoes
- Bell peppers
- Spring onions (scallions)
Any suggests for what I should try growing this year in the UK?
I thought about removing that fence so I could plant some pots along there, I’d probably manage a good 5-6 hours of sunlight in that area, as long as they don’t go too far back.
Also, I’m hoping that I don’t get many slugs eating my food this year. The last few years have been pretty bad…
Anyway, I’d love to hear what you’re going this year! Tell me in the comments below!
And be sure to check back for progress on my garden! 🙂