10 of the Best Frugal Gardening Tips to Save Money

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Can you really save money by growing your own garden? The answer to this question depends on the steps that you take before sowing that first seed. Planning & prepping really is a big chunk of the battle. Today I have invited Amelia Robinson of RobinsonLovePlants.com to share her best frugal gardening tips with you!


Frugal Gardening Tips

Gardening is a basic homestead skill & a great pastime that uplifts your mood and helps you destress after a hectic day at work. As many gardeners will tell you, gardening can also save you a few pennies on your food budget. In this article, we have identified ways in which gardeners can save money.

*Tips 1-5

#1 Plant a crop that you like

When selecting the best plant for your garden, check your grocery list and see the type of vegetables you buy most often. If your family consumes a fair share of kale and lettuce, consider planting them in your backyard. It is a simple logic; you eat what you like. Planting your favorite crops increases the chances that you will end up eating it.How much money can you save by gardening?

#2 Do your homework

Starting a vegetable garden is not as simple as buying seedlings and planting them. You need to give this investment a careful thought by investigating on the best crops that grow in your area. Speak to experienced gardeners and get information on what crops do well and which plants do not thrive in your geographical location. Taking the time to learn will save you from making mistakes that will prove costly in the long run.

#3 Draft a budget

You can’t start on your frugal gardening journey without making a clear budget.

Make a comprehensive list of all vegetables and fruits that you purchase each time you go to the food market. Note the quantities of each type of vegetable and fruit and record the corresponding cost. You will be surprised to find out how much money you spend on groceries per week! Those small items that you keep adding to the grocery cart only to forget to eat them and have to throw out with the trash.How much money can you save by gardening?

A spreadsheet of your food budget will put things into perspective and focus your gardening efforts. Instead of growing food to save money as most gardeners will say, your goal will be more refined, and you will know exactly how much money you can save by planting a garden. Narrow your list down to the types of foods that cost a bundle and decide to grow them yourself.

#4 Choose easy plants to grow

When selecting plants to grow in the yard, avoid crops that need too much attention regarding maintenance. Remember, each plant you choose will require some form of capital right from the planting stage through harvesting. Labor intensive crops may require you to hire additional help to grow then while you report to your day job. If the cost of hiring additional help cancels out the amount you stand to save, then it is pointless (financially) to grow this crop.

Do not let ambition distract you; try regular vegetables like kale, lettuce, cabbage, and spinach and find out the most effective ways of raising them without breaking the bank.

#5 Start small

This might be the most important of the frugal gardening tips because if you jump in too far too fast, you risk losing everything.

After identifying the possible crops to grow in your garden, narrow the list further and pick the most plausible options. If you are new to gardening, planting a broad range of crops can prove overwhelming as each crop has its unique maintenance procedures and there is so much to learn! Having too many plants demanding your attention with little time to learn is likely to lead to neglect of some varieties. On the other hand, starting with a small patch of just two or three crops gives you some breathing room to handle each crop and learn the best practices that will maximize their yield.How much money can you save by gardening?

Gauging how much money you can save by planting a garden is the first step in the gardening process. Back this up with detailed research on the best starter crops and experiment with different ideas until you settle for the plants that serve you best.

Frugal Gardening Tips 6-10

Amelia gave us an excellent list of frugal gardening tips & I have just a few extra to throw in as well…

#6 Repurpose 

You can reuse and repurpose household & farm items for your garden. For example–> Use an empty milk jug as a planting container or a 5 gallon bucket as a compost bin.

#7 Start Plants from Seed

When you purchase transplants, you pay around $4/plant. If you purchase a seed pack, you get multiple (sometimes hundreds or thousands) potential plants for a fraction of the cost of one transplant.



#8 Save Seeds

Saving seeds is one of the easiest ways to save money on your garden. If you learn how to properly store your seeds, you shouldn’t have to purchase seeds again (unless you want a new variety that you haven’t saved from). 

>>Use these free seed pack labels to organize your seed bank!<<

#9 Make Your Own Compost

Save kitchen scraps, grass clippings, cardboard, and other compostable items for next season’s garden. You can buy a ready made compost bin for this or you can make your own!

#10 Source FREE Resources

One of my favorite frugal gardening tips is to find free resources!

If you use the Back to Eden gardening method, you will use a lot of wood chips. You can save money by sourcing your wood chips from a local lumber tree trimming company. Just be sure that they can tell you the type of wood that you are getting as some wood types can cause the pH of the soil to change more than your plants would like.

You can also purchase, rent, or borrow a wood chipper to make your own wood chips. I would only suggest purchasing a wood chipper if you plan to use it for other projects or if you plant to use the Back to Eden method long-term.

Newspapers also make a great biodegradable weed barrier to go under the wood chips. You can find plenty of free or cheap newspapers at your local printing press.

>>More Gardening Resources<<

The Homestead Garden Planner | Faithful Farmwife


Amelia Robinson is a lover of plants and gardens, as well as an educator on this topic. It’s her goal to make sure that you get the chance to learn what you need to about gardening to succeed with your own home garden at the blog RobinsonLovePlants.com. You’re not going to find just a collection of basic articles about gardening here. Instead, she wants to answer the difficult questions for you. She tweets at @robinsonplants.

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13 Comments

  1. Love this, Jess.

    Indeed, since I started gardening, my expenses seriously went down.

    However, this is just one of the perks of gardening. What’s more, I find that I have more time to spend with my family, which allows us to have some incredible moments together:)

    Hooray for gardening.

  2. I love gardening and also helps me to reduce my costs!!!
    At the moment im teaching my kids how to grow herbs and veggies its a great time to spend time with them outdoors.
    Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Hi, Jess and Amelia,
    This is great! Homegrown veggies are a practical way to lessen the cost of living. Repurposing and Back to Eden Gardening Method are definitely the tips that I like most. I had a great time reading it.

    Thank you.
    Nigel William
    Toolazine

  4. This year I really want to have a great garden that will produce a lot of vegetables. So, I liked that you pointed out that it would be smart to use wood chips in your garden. I didn’t realize that they can be really helpful when it comes to managing the pH levels of the soil. It would be nice to get a huge truck full of wood chips that you didn’t have to make yourself for your garden.

  5. Huh, I never knew that one can get wood chips for their garden through a tree trimming company. Aside from that, they should also consider calling them for tree pruning. Doing this will help keep them and the rest of the garden healthy to last for years worth of seasons.

  6. This is a double win for everyone. We always end up with lots of tree mulch and would be happy to give it away for free, but people are always calling and asking to buy it!. Outstanding post.

  7. Establishing plants from seeds has been a great saving tip for me. I, however, had to learn how to be patient and wait for the seeds to germinate. As well as plan and plant the seeds early so that seedlings are ready for transplanting time.

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