Recession Gardening to Save Money

I recently discovered a practice that I’d never heard of before – recession gardening. Instead of heading to the grocery store for your veggies and herbs, you can head out to the back yard!

What is recession gardening?

This is the practice of growing fruit, veggies and herbs in your very own garden. This practice is becoming more and more in vogue, as people are trying to spend less, and are more conscious of how their produce is grown and distributed.

Recession Gardening Benefits

  • Delicious, fresh food
  • You know exactly what’s going into the food (organically grown, no pesticides, etc)
  • Helpful to the environment

Recession Gardening Disadvantages

  • Can be time-consuming
  • High start-up cost if you don’t yet have equipment and tools
  • You need to be green-fingered!

How to get started

To start your own home-grown produce garden, you can either start with seeds, seedlings, or fully grown plants. The latter will be the most expensive for an initial purchase, and seeds tend to be the cheapest. This makes sense, as you are the one going to be doing all the work on growing the plants, and they’re priced accordingly.

You’ll also need some tools (trowel, watering can, shears, fork), if you don’t already have them. A trowel, watering can, fork, or even hedge shears are all important to have in your own tool shed. You can pick up some basic gardening tools for a few dollars at your local hardware stores.

You may also need things like pots and containers, but that depends on what you’re going to be growing. Plus, you can always start out by growing seedlings in old yoghurt pots, plastic food containers, etc.

What to grow

What produce you can grow may depend on where you live, the climate, the soil type, etc. Do a bit of googling, or ask for advice at your local garden store. Some ideas of things to grow:

  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Green beans
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Parsley
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus

The list is almost endless, but those items above are a few of the most common items you may find in a home-grown garden.

Gardening tips

You recession garden may take a lot of care and attention. There are books and books dedicated to gardening tips, but here are a few pointers with the recession garden in mind:

  • Start out small if you’re new to gardening, learn as you go
  • Plan ahead – what goes where, especially if you’re short on space
  • Trade – if neighbours are also growing, specialise in certain crops and trade with friends


With this sustainable practice, you’ve got to take a long-term view. You’re not going to get a full crop and a wide range of veggies within the first year. It may take a few years to build up a good stock of produce, and you’ll also be learning as you go along. Costs may be higher in the first year, but over time you will be saving a lot of money, as you no longer have to buy many of these fresh items from the grocery store. Plus, there’s the added pride in being able to eat something delicious that you’ve grown yourself, with the power of your own two hands.

Do you grow your own veg? Got any more tips to share?

Today’s article written by Anna, owner of Bargainmoose.ca. Bargainmoose is a Canadian deals website where you can find the latest shopping bargains and online coupon codes, helping Canadians save lots of loonies every day!


22 thoughts on “Recession Gardening to Save Money

  1. I have been growing my own garden for three years now and I love it. We have been quite successful with our crop. I think besides the saving money aspect, I really enjoy the way things taste. It is just so much better fresh than when imported. I also like how I can control what is on my food like chemicals etc.

  2. I’ve done a mixture of alternative food acquisition. In addition to gardening, I also buy from local farm stands. I usually buy veggies that are either hard to grow or cheaper to buy. I’ve also done food co-ops, although those often become a battle for freezer real estate.

  3. I loved this post because I do this with my dad every year! My parents are Italian immigrants and every year regardless of how busy my father is with his business he always makes time to tend his ever growing garden. The great thing is that I can first hand attest to the savings – my mom still pulls out veggies from the freezer from last years yield. It saves money but there’s also kind of a zen-ness to it that helps emotionally clear me up when I’m so used to speeding from one project and appointment to the next. It’s almost time for that tiller – second least favorite thing after weeding.

  4. Hi Nunzio! My mom is the same – last week, she just gave me a batch of last year’s frozen raspberries, and I made a lovely raspberry and dark chocolate cheesecake :)

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