Is gardening an expensive hobby? Well, if you sit down and think about how much it can cost to get started gardening… buying tools and equipment, dirt, seeds, plants, etc. it can sound pretty expensive.
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But have you ever stopped to think about how much money growing your own food is saving you? I like to track my harvests every summer for fun, but this year I took it a step further. I decided to go to the grocery store and see how much money I would spend if I bought all of this fresh produce.
I got some funny looks at the store as I was weighing the produce, and writing down how much everything cost. Plus, my grocery store only carried about 1/2 of what I grew in my garden. So, I this is only a small portion of what I grew. But, here’s the list of the produce I was able to find, my total harvest amounts, plus the grocery store price for each item… (These numbers are – the weight of what I harvested * grocery store price = total cost)
- Acorn Squash: 2lbs, 3oz * $.89/lb = $1.94
- Basil – sweet: 12oz * $3.33/oz = $39.96
- Bell peppers – green: 8lbs, 9oz * 1.19/lb = $10.19
- Bell peppers – red: 5oz * 3.58/lb = $1.19
- Bell peppers – yellow: 2lbs, 11.5oz * 3.58/lb = $9.73
- Bell peppers – orange: 4.5oz * 3.58/lb = $1.01
- Broccoli: 3lbs, 4.5oz * $2.68/lb = $8.71
- Chives: 8oz * $5.16/oz = $41.28
- Crookneck squash: 7 lbs, 5oz * $.89/lb = $6.51
- Cucumbers: 46 lbs, 6.5oz * $.78/lb = $36.20
- Delicata squash: 4lbs, 12oz * $.89/lb = $4.23
- Ghost Pepper: 1lb .5oz * $6.99/ 5oz = $22.37
- Green beans: 26 lbs, 15oz * 1.29/lb = $34.75
- Habenaro Pepper: 4oz * $5.99/lb = $1.50
- Jalapenos: 3 lbs, 9.5oz * $1.69/lb = $6.07
- Kohlrabi: 6lbs, 3oz * $2.99/lb = $18.50
- Okra: 14oz * $3.49/lb = $3.05
- Peas: 1 lb, 11oz * $4.99/lb = $8.42
- Pumpkin: 7 lbs, 12oz * $1.16/lb = $8.99
- Squash: 7lbs, 15oz * $.89/lb = $7.06
- Tomatoes: 21 lbs, 4.5oz * $2.69/lb = $57.25
- Tomato – cherry: 1 lb, 3.5oz * $2.40/lb = $2.93
- Tomatillo: 4 lbs, 12.5oz * 1.49/lb = $7.12
- Zucchini: 1lb * $1.59/lb = $1.59
The grand total I saved by growing my own food in the garden is $346.56 Wow!!
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Remember, this is probably only 1/2 of what I actually grew this summer. Plus, these prices are for regular produce, not organic (and the food I grow is chemical free). The cost for buying all of this produce in the organic section at the grocery store or a specialty store would have been much higher. I wish I could have put a price on all the food I grew, I’d love to know how much I’m saving every year by growing my own food.
So, if you know anyone who thinks gardening is too expensive, just show them how much money you’re saving. This was a time consuming exercise, but it’s really fun to see the results. I’m going to keep tracking my harvests and try this again next year.
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How much food do you grow every year? Do you keep track, tell me about it in the comments section below.