After extensively researching the Victory Garden movement of yore, and the current garden-to-table movement, The Drunk Millionaire household has fully embraced the Green Revolution. We started a grocery killing garden!
You’ve probably noticed that some of the most expensive items in the grocery store include both fruits and vegetables. That’s not surprising considering many of these items are imported from overseas, and are labor intensive to cultivate. The diet of many people (especially Americans) suffers as a result of the cost prohibition.
Buying seeds is relatively inexpensive, as is both water and sunlight. The major challenge is finding arable land. Luckily for us, we just bought a house that came with about 2.5 acres! We were able to till up a portion of this land to create a decently sized garden.
We are starting all of our seedlings inside, under a grow-light, and will transplant them to the garden after it warms up mid-April.
We started tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, pie pumpkins, onions, potatoes, and cilantro plants. We will plant additional veggies directly into the garden. In addition to veggies, we also planted 10 fruit trees to add to the 10 already established on the property. The previous house owners claim they harvested up to 10 gallons worth of peaches last year- YUM!
Our goal is to produce enough fresh food to cut our grocery budget in half throughout the summer. The additional benefit comes in the form of high nutritional value provided by fresh-off-the-plant food, which is priceless!
To get specific on numbers, we typically spend about $500 per month on groceries (for 2 people). Our goal is to cut that number down to $250 per month for about 4 months. If everything goes as planned – big IF – we should be on track to save ~$1000 this year while greatly increasing the nutritional value of our diets.
If we have success this year, we will scale this process next year to extend those benefits throughout the year. A year’s worth of grocery slashing could save up to $3,000!!!!
Of course gardening comes with a lot of labor, but this provides another financial/physical benefit: exercise. Not only will we be eating healthier, but we will also stay in better shape. Win, win!
What if you don’t have space for a garden?
Most readers probably live within city limits. The good news is that you don’t need a huge plot of land to grow healthy, expense-saving food. Many plants will still produce a ton of food if planted in pots. Also, many communities offer garden spaces, which are small plots of land that can be rented out to plant a garden.
If you need agronomic help or advice to grow a successful garden, reach out to your local University Extension Office. These experts often provide trainings to help grow food!
The Roots of This Effort
The art of gardening obviously has its roots (pun intended) in antiquity. In fact, as recently as 100 years ago, the vast majority of people ate what they grew. As society and industry evolved, there was huge population shift from rural homesteads to cities.
During WWI and WWII, America had a revival of gardening called The Victory Garden Movement. As resources were stretched thin, and many people wanted to “do their part” to help the war effort, people started 20 million gardens in 1943!
In fact, during WWII, the food produced in these gardens provided about 41 percent of the food consumed in the nation! -City Bountiful: A Century of Community Gardening in America, Laura Lawson
If you are cutting costs to pay down debt or to build wealth to become financially independent like we are at The Drunk Millionaire, you may want to take a second look at growing your own food this summer!
Are you planning to have a garden this year? Share in the comments below!