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Grow a Garden to Save Money

By Tim Rakeman

When it comes to saving money on groceries, unfortunately that usually means eating a lot of processed crap. Anyone who has been in a grocery store knows the cost of a calorie is a lot cheaper in the form of a frozen pizza than it is in an apple. Understandably, many families on a budget turn to these processed foods to save money. And, not surprisingly, our country is facing a huge health care crisis in which obesity and preventable disease rates are at startling highs.

So while it's not cheap to eat healthy foods, there is one time-tested way to have your cake and eat it too. Grow a garden. By growing a small garden in your backyard, you can enjoy delicious fruits and vegetables for little more than the cost of a package of seeds and some loving manual labor. What you can grow in your garden depends on what region you live in. Do a Google search to determine what plants might thrive in your backyard garden. Ask neighbors who maintain a garden to give you some tips and pointers on how to start your own garden.

The benefits of growing and maintaining a small garden extend beyond helping reduce a budget. Gardens can be used as a tool to teach children the importance of personal responsibility, financial savings, and hard work. Unfortunately, "food" has turned into something our kids view as the thing that is passed out of a window into their car or taken from a freezer and placed in a microwave. The modern food industry has allowed our youth to become disconnected from what hundreds of generations of humanity have known as second-nature: where does food come from?

By growing a garden, you can remind your children (and yourself!) that all of our sources of food originate in the ground and to remember the importance of respecting and nurturing Mother Earth. You can also teach them that the foods from your garden are what humans were meant to eat, not frozen, processed, combinations of chemicals and government subsidized crops that we find in every aisle of our grocery store.

Teach your kids the wonders of growing and eating delicious foods from a garden while you still have a chance to influence them. The lessons they learn from cultivating their own food will not only impact the duration of their lives, but save you quite a bit of money as well.

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