Money Saving Vegetables
Growing Vegetables To Save Money?
If you are thinking of growing vegetables to save money, you may like to see this page first: does having an allotment save money? In summary, in the first few years, I think it is best to see allotmenting as an enjoyable hobby that is rewarding in many ways, but not necessarily financially.
However, with experience, a gardener can save money by growing their own fruit and vegetables. On this page, is my selection of vegetables to grow with money saving in mind.
Everyone has their own list of favourite things they like to eat, and any list of the best money saving vegetables needs to be adapted to what you will enjoy eating. I have learned that growing turnips does not put smiles on the faces of my family at dinner time!
Nevertheless, there are some vegetables that are inexpensive to purchase as seed, easy to grow, and capable of delivering a bumper harvest. My money saving list takes account of whether the vegetable can form the basis of a meal, and not simply add a flavour to it. The ability to store the vegetable is important too, allowing a bumper crop to be enjoyed over many months.
My Top 10 Money Saving Vegetables
Five pounds, or 2.5kg, of seed potatoes can easily turn into two or three sacks of potatoes that can be stored from autumn to the end of spring. If you inherit a healthy plot and practice good crop rotation, it’s likely you’ll find potatoes are relatively disease free. See my potato growing guide.
Easy to grow and very hardy, beetroot is also highly nutritious and full of vitamins. Apart from salads, beetroot makes excellent soups and can be baked, boiled, or roasted for a delicious sweet side dish. Also good for pickles and preserves. See my beetroot growing guide.
Onions are very reliable to grow if growing from onion sets rather than seed. Overwintering onions is possible (planting in October) but a very cold or wet winter can destroy the crop. I prefer to wait until spring. Onions can store very well for many months if dried properly and left in a cool (but not cold or damp) place. See my onion growing guide.
Whether for soups, oven bakes, or as an alternative to onions in many dishes, leeks can be a good bet. Best of all, leeks are very hardy and can grow over the winter. They are one of the few vegetables that can be harvested in the spring. That is actually the main reason I’ve included them on the list. See my leek growing guide.
Cabbages can be grown all year round and are highly nutritious. They are also easy to grow, but I have found on my plot it is vital to protect the young plants with a net to ward off bird attack, with many growers preferring to use a fine butterfly net to prevent caterpillars destroying the crop. Given the right protection, cabbages grow well and store especially well. I like to grow savoy types to leave on the plot through winter for picking when needed. See my cabbage growing guide.
Not everyone likes parsnips given their distinctive taste, but more people seem to love them for it. I’ve included them because of their ease of growing and storage. I leave my parsnips in the ground over winter to dig them up fresh for cooking. Frozen ground is said to improve their sweetness. Compared to carrots, parsnips are much more resistant to pest attack, and if they are scabbed, a little extra peeling is often all that is required. See my parsnip growing guide.
7. Broad Beans
Broad beans can be harvested from early summer. Germination is almost effortless – provided it’s attempted at the right time of year. Best of all, they can be washed, peeled, and frozen for use all year round. See my broad bean growing guide.
Squashes come in all shapes and sizes, and most importantly for money saving, there are many varieties capable of being stored throughout the winter. They are delicious baked or turned into soups. A super tasting large vegetable that is easy to grow, easy to store, and available in many more varieties than it is possible to buy in a supermarket. See my squash growing guide.
I have selected colourful chard as an alternative to traditional spinach, as is it much easier to grow and less likely to bolt. Chard leaves and stems can be cooked and enjoyed wilted, just like spinach, but it also adds a delicious flavour to soups. What is more, chard is hardier and can survive longer into the autumn, extending the growing season. See my chard growing guide.
10. Runner Beans
Runner beans are frost sensitive and are planted relatively late in the spring, but they are fast growing and, once established, are capable of setting pods over many weeks from July until the first frosts. Excellent when steamed or as ingredients in stir fries and casseroles, the beans can also be frozen and enjoyed throughout winter. See my runner bean growing guide.
And Not Forgettings Herbs!
I don’t think any money saving list would be complete without herbs. Many herbs are perennials, so any investment in a plant will enable you to add their delicious flavour to meals over many years. My favourite garden herbs are sage, rosemary, and thyme (and bay leaves from a small tree). From a care perspective, growing hardy herbs is very little work – the biggest commitment being an occasional prune.
You may also like to see my collection of allotment recipes. Wishing you every success in your growing!
Want more growing tips?
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