Thursday 15 February 2018

Saving Money: Garden Update

One of my goals this year is to reduce the amount of money we spend on groceries. Sounds easy enough right? But trying to do this, whilst also tackling the issue of losing weight is proving to be more difficult than I thought.

Step 1 was sorting out a vege garden. You saw from my post last year that we got everything set up, and started. But what you didn’t see was how much of that ended up being a bit of a failure.

Our cabbages, beetroot, chinese cabbages, spring onions and broad beans boomed. But the rest didn’t really flourish as much as we’d hoped. In fact, a lot of our harvest ended up bolting to seed. It became obvious that much more research needed to be done in order to make this garden worthwhile.

After a good chat, my new garden-loving friend Orlene suggested I check out GardenGrow. GardenGrow allows you to select your climate (sub-tropical for us) and then alerts you to what should be planted this month. This has taken a lot of guesswork out of the equation. All of the books I’d read previously seemed to favour a temperate climate, which the Far North definitely is not.

Fast forward to last month, and we popped in some potatoes, pumpkins and a late crop of zucchinis. I honestly couldn’t be more excited! We still have some tomatoes hanging in there (most of those split, but were still salvageable) as well as the spring onions. Our strawberries are great if you manage to beat the ants and birds to them… definitely need to sort something out there! And did I mention that we successfully grew red onions?! They're pretty tiny, but I'm so proud!

Thankfully with the orchard we don’t have to worry about avocados at all, so we have all we can possibly consume there. Our banana trees also seem to be doing exceptionally well, so I’m looking forward to picking a bunch of them very soon.

Gardening at night means I'm often treated to this view!
This whole ordeal is trial and error. Yes, we’ve had a few more errors than we’d like and it’s not saving us much money yet - but we’re getting there. I think the potatoes may be a potential game changer, I can’t wait to see what the outcome there is.

As well as the garden, I’m slowly trying to adopt more methods to help us reduce our weekly grocery budget. We already shop the specials, and try to buy in season but there’s so much more that we can learn and incorporate into our life.

If you have any money saving tips, or are dabbling in a vegetable garden, we would absolutely love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below!

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