One green-thumbed Redditor has gone back to the basics of frugal living by growing their own fresh produce at home.
The r/Frugal subreddit is full of tips for saving a few dollars — advice that comes in handy during this time of massive inflation. But while there are many tips about food and inexpensive recipes, there don’t seem to be many gardening posts.
“I’m not sure this sub is that open to frugal gardening ideas,” the Redditor says in their post.
Nevertheless, the user was eager to share their experience. Starting off with a photo of fresh-cut mixed greens in a colorful basket, they say, “It’s what previous generations did, and many other cultures still do. There is freedom and joy in growing your own food! A mixed organic salad of this size would cost easily $15, whereas I get to enjoy it for the cost of seed and some hard work.”
While gardening can be an expensive hobby when heavy irrigation and fertilizer come into play, the Redditor clarifies that they’ve done everything the low-budget way.
“I sheet mulched my garden with free materials and homemade compost, amend with worm castings from my worm bin, and because of my PNW location don’t need to water for 8-9 months/year,” they write.
They even point to a local seed library as a free source of seeds and young plants. In another comment, they add, “Part of the fun of gardening for me is doing it frugally. If I just imported perfect soil, big seedlings, and three-year-old fruit trees, that would be playing on easy mode!”
When done strategically — choosing more expensive types of produce like greens and using plants suited to the local climate and soil — growing food at home can be cheaper than getting it from the store, as the Guardian reports. And as the original poster points out, “Time spent in the garden is good for the body and mind.”
Not only that, but growing food in backyards means less food needs to be shipped to supermarkets, which reduces the amount of heat-trapping gases produced by trucks and trains.
Some commenters were supportive and even had ideas to adapt the approach to apartment dwellers.
“If you don’t have the land to grow actual produce, specifically if you live in an apartment, you should try growing herbs. Chives, thyme, rosemary, etc. Easy to grow on a patio/windowsill, incredibly versatile, good value,” one user writes.
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