Most Homesteaders are finding ways to live with greater simplicity, focusing on improving their quality of life in a way that makes sense financially. Growing food takes time, money, and patience. While growing from seed is a very frugal way to begin a garden, one Homesteading Tip will still allow you to quadruple your investment in just a few months.
This season, my vegetable seedling trays were destroyed. I lost all my onions, broccoli, cauliflower, red and green cabbages, plus a tray of herbs. Although I replanted some herbs, I needed more time to replant the vegetables. Ultimately, I found replacements by purchasing vegetable seedlings at the store. I highly recommend doing this if you are short on time and patience or just starting growing vegetables.
Why do Store Bought Seedlings work?
- Your store-bought seedlings should be healthy and ready to plant when you buy them. That saves you considerable time and effort to grow your own from seeds.
- You don’t have to invest in seed-starting supplies like containers, soil, grow lights, or a Greenhouse.
- You can buy exactly the amount you wish to grow with little waste.
- They are cost-effective, even on a slightly larger scale.
What do you mean by “quadruple your money”?
If you take $20 and invest it today, what will it be worth in 3-6 months? Generally, if it were worth $25, a 25% return in 6 months, it would be considered a fantastic return on your investment. Consider, then, what if it was worth $120? A $20 investment in vegetable and herb starts could be worth $120 in just a few months.
How do the financials stack up?
We are assuming that you already have a space to grow your vegetables. I am using a recent purchase of vegetable seedlings I made and today’s current prices for those same vegetables at our local Walmart (non-organic pricing because it’s more accessible). In addition, we are assuming that all your plants will grow to harvest. There is no guarantee this will happen, as we all know, as no investment is 100% guaranteed.
|Vegetable||# of plants||Cost|
|Value at Walmart|
|Parsley||4||$1.99||$0.89 (bunch)||$13.35 (15 bunches)|
|Basil||4||$1.99||$1.98 (0.5oz box)||$23.76 (12 boxes)|
These particular vegetables are not expensive to purchase, so if you try tomatoes or peppers, your investment return jumps significantly.
Why is this a Fantastic Homesteading Tip?
Many people ask me why we do this. Isn’t it easier to buy vegetables at the store? Does growing food save you money?
Of course, buying vegetables grown by someone else at the store is much easier. However, making my food-buying dollar go 4 to 5 times further on healthy, fresh food makes more sense. Growing our own accomplishes that.
It doesn’t save us money; it expands what our money can do for us. For example, we couldn’t afford to buy all the fresh herbs necessary to make a chimichurri sauce once a week. But, when we grow our herbs, we make this delicious sauce whenever possible 9seriously, try it). Consequently, the money I don’t spend on vegetables or herbs gets spent on grass-fed beef, organic grains, and other things I don’t grow or raise. This way, we get better quality food and a greater variety.
Although growing some of your food is a lot of work, buying vegetable seedlings at the store is a great shortcut. It enables you to work less, grow more, and come out ahead.
Many Homesteaders grow from seed; some even save their seed yearly, which is the most affordable way to grow your food. It’s just not the only affordable way to grow fresh, healthy food for you and your family, and I can promise you, the big secret is that almost EVERY Homesteader I know has bought seedlings from the store at some point. Indeed, I buy them when I want one or two plants or when seasons get away from us, or we have an unfortunate event, such as a cat digging through our seedling trays.
Consider using this fantastic homesteading tip. Take $30, buy some seedlings and a packet or two of carrots seed, and see what happens. See what you can turn that investment into by Fall. Just don’t keep it between us.