By Toni Salter
How much do you spend every month on fresh fruit and vegetables?
$200? $300? For some, it may be as much as $500 or $600. Each family is different and depending on how often they eat out and how often they cook at home, the expenditure could vary widely.
Certainly, a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is healthy for you and your family and organics are always the best choice, but every dollar counts, especially in our current economic climate.
If you grow your own fruits and vegetables at home, you could save yourself a lot of money on groceries. Perhaps you have considered a vegetable garden, but don't know where to begin.
Setting up a vegetable garden may cost initially, but this is an investment that can last a lifetime. Not only will you save money in the long run, you will also benefit by having the freshest, organic produce possible, right at your back door.
Vegetable seeds cost only a couple dollars per packet and are the least expensive way to grow your own vegetables. Buying non-hybrid seeds means that you can then collect the seeds from your harvest and use it for the next season. Then next season won't cost a thing.
Vegetable gardeners are often keen to swap seeds with each other, so if you have excess seeds of some varieties, you could join a community garden or permaculture group.
That way you can barter for the seeds that you might want. Cuttings of perennial herbs also don't cost a thing, except perhaps a smile and a friendly attitude towards sharing.
Gardening interest groups, such as The Veggie Club can provide a great experience in sharing, caring and growing together. Groups like this build a sense of community among gardeners and a richness in the soul that money cannot buy.
Growing your own vegetables can be really easy when you are given the right instructions initially. In that way you can avoid failures along the way that can oftentimes be discouraging. When you learn from a group of experienced gardeners you can save a lot of time, have more success and it's fun!
You can learn skills such as, how to establish a vegetable garden and how to sow your own seed. There are both experienced and novice gardeners to interact with and best of all, facebook groups like The Veggie Club are free.
 Permaculture is a low-maintenance, self-contained natural growing system that sustains a continuous cycle, with dead plants becoming mulch for new growth.
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