Written by Janine Rogan
Wednesday, June 13th, 2018
My husband and I are avid cooks, and while we're by no means professionals, you can catch us keeping up with cooking shows on a weekly basis. We find cooking a great way to connect, spend time together, and stay healthy.
One of the biggest things we try to accomplish is to cook all of our meals at home. It's a great way to stay healthy as well as keeping our budget in check. During the summer months, we tend to use as much fresh produce and herbs as we can. Not only does it taste better, it's better for us!
This year we made the decision to plant an herb garden. We wanted to have a fresh supply available to us, but we also wanted to figure out whether or not it was more cost-effective to grow our own herbs.
Here are all the different aspects of growing our own herbs that we had to consider compared to buying at the grocery store.
Purchasing Herbs at the Grocery Store
It's safe to say we use fresh herbs in our dinner dishes 2-3 times per week. The average cost of fresh herbs from our grocery store is $2, which would mean spending about $6 per week on herbs. If we're doing this for the months of May through to September, that means we're looking at 22 weeks: which would set us back $132 on herbs.
The Basics of a DIY Herb Garden
To grow your own herbs at home, you need pots, soil, as well as a seedling or seeds if you're growing from the beginning.
- Pot - Many greenhouses sell pots, however if you're being frugal, discount stores will sell a basic clay pot for about $1
- Soil - Enough soil to get five medium-sized potted plants will likely set you back about $10
- Seedling - On average you're probably going to pay $5-$6 for a seedling that has already been started for you. Seeds will cost you even less, but you'll likely need to start these earlier in the year so they can start growing. So plan ahead depending on what time of year it is
By growing five different herbs for the summer, we're looking at an initial investment of about $45.
Just by comparing these two numbers, we discovered that investing in an herb garden could save us almost $100 over the summer season. Now it's just a matter of getting started and taking care of our little plants, but it's something we're looking forward to.
In addition to this, we'll have far less waste as we'll only need to cut off and use what we need from our garden instead of having to throw out half-used herb containers that have gone bad.
Do You Have the Time?
At the end of the day, if you're willing to invest in a garden and show it some tender loving care, you'll find yourself in a better position financially and you'll also feel good about doing something sustainable. For us, it feels like a win-win!