Tips to Save Money and Eat Organic by Having Your Own Garden

We all know that money is tight and people are looking for ways to cut costs and yet still make healthy choices for their family. Eating organic, though always preferred and worth it, can greatly impact the grocery budget, so why not start an organic garden? A garden is an easy way to supplement your food supply and free up a portion of your budget. It also provides peace of mind knowing exactly where your food is coming from. For novice gardeners there are easy options available. Even if you're an Urbanite and do not have a yard in which to plant a garden, there are still some pretty cool ways to grow your own fresh produce. Here are a few suggestions and interesting finds:

Here are a couple of pictures of the raised garden bed we are building (find more details here):

Remember that flowering plants and food producers usually require at least 3 hours of direct/indirect sunlight a day, unless you own grow lights. Here's a great container garden watering tip courtesy Kate at HipGirlsHome. Once you have your own garden, organize an organic food swap with other gardeners, that way you can get a variety of produce without trying to grow everything you want yourself. Here are few ways to find or organize a food swap:
    • Organize a food swap on Meetup
    • Host a food swap party like at HipGirlsHome (also lists some swap sources)
If you find you are producing more than you can consume/trade don't let your food go to waste. There are plenty of people who can benefit from your food. Especially if you live in the following states Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina which according to (2009 stats) had the highest poverty rates in the US. You can donate extra fruits and vegetables to:
    • Neighbors, friends, and relatives
    • Food banks
    • Homeless shelters
    • Senior Centers
    • Girls/Boys Clubs
You can also give some of your produce away in a nice basket as gifts for holidays or as a hostess gift. You will find that a garden is not only an economical alternative but also a fun and relaxing hobby. Soon you might even find yourself thinking about making your own preserves and jarred food like our grandparents did.

Happy Gardening!