How Growing Your Own Food Can Save You Money Amid Rising Interest Rates
The Impact of Rising Interest Rates on Your Wallet
As interest rates increase, so are your mortgage repayments. I wrote about this when comparing Australia versus Argentina. We are not like that yet; it will not take much. Mortgage payments can seriously strain your monthly budget, making it more challenging to cover essential expenses like groceries.
Growing your food can offset some of these costs and better manage your finances.
Planning Your Backyard Garden for Maximum Savings
Surprisingly, you can save a lot of money by growing even the smallest amount of food, either for dinner or adding that little extra to your meal. When planning your garden, it’s essential to consider the types of products that will yield the most significant savings.
For example, my daughter moved to Melbourne for Uni. She now grows snow peas on the verandah, three plants that climb up, little or no footprint and low maintenance. She is by herself, so there will be enough for a regular meal soon.
Here are a few tips to get you started in a garden:
- Choose high-yield crops: Some plants, like tomatoes, lettuce, and zucchini, are known for their high yield and short growing seasons. By focusing on these, you can maximise your harvest and save money.
- Consider companion planting: Planting compatible crops together can promote healthier growth, reducing the need for pesticides and fertilisers.
- Plant perennials: Perennial plants, like asparagus and rhubarb, come back year after year, providing a long-term return on your investment.
Reducing Your Grocery Bill by Preserving Your Harvest
To make the most of your garden, you’ll want to preserve your harvest to enjoy homegrown food throughout the year.
There are several methods to choose from:
- Canning: Preserve fruits and vegetables in jars for long-term storage. Which is my favourite; I am just getting started with canning, and beans are a success so far :-).
- Freezing: Store your produce in airtight containers or freezer bags to maintain freshness. I am moving away from this. The dependency on electricity is always in the back of my mind due to the rising cost.
- Dehydrating: Dry fruits, vegetables, and herbs to create shelf-stable snacks and seasonings. I dehydrate almost everything and grind it into powder using my Vitamix. It is so easy to add some flavour to food. Unfortunately, I had to sell it. Turning it into cash and splitting that through the middle makes it so much easier during a divorce than picking and choosing what each will take with them. I will get a new one, or make one when I am at my new place.
Embracing a More Sustainable and Self-Sufficient Lifestyle
Growing your food doesn’t just save you money; it also helps you become less reliant on supermarkets and supports a more sustainable way of living. By cultivating a garden, you can reduce your carbon footprint, cut back on plastic waste, and embrace a healthier, more self-sufficient lifestyle.
It is also relaxing. I love the early mornings’ plot around in the garden for a bit. You must watch out that you do not become a “slave to the garden”. I have the view if it grows, great. My veggie patch is not what you see on the ABC garden shows, it is way wilder than that LOL. I am a lazy gardener, and I do it for food and enjoyment, not for a living.
Taking Advantage of Community Resources
If you’re new to gardening or looking for additional support, consider tapping into local resources:
- Community gardens: Join a community garden to learn from experienced gardeners and share resources. I prefer the back yard setup but understand that some people prefer a team thing. It is just not me, but it has excellent benefits to join a community garden.
- Gardening workshops: Attend workshops or classes to improve your gardening skills and knowledge.
- Local seed and plant exchanges: Swap seeds and plants with other gardeners to expand your garden’s diversity and save money.
Growing your food can be a practical and fulfilling way to save money amid rising interest rates.
By planning your garden wisely and utilising community resources, you can cultivate a bountiful harvest that benefits your wallet and the environment. So why not give it a try and start your journey toward self-sufficiency today and beat the interest rate hikes permanently?