Gardens: Save Money While Enjoying Delicious, Healthy Food

Planting a Garden: Save Money, Eat Healthy

The bleak winter months are coming to an end and spring is fast approaching.  As spring gets closer, the idea of planting a garden should be in the fore front of your mind.  Planting a garden is a good way to eat healthy vegetables and a great way to save money in the summer months.

Why Should You Consider Planting a Garden?

A garden isn’t just a way to help you save money on produce.  There are many other benefits from growing a garden.  Here are some from extension.org:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are higher in nutrients than those bought at the store. They don’t have to travel thousands of miles to make it to the supermarket shelf.
  • Working in your garden is a great form of physical exercise.
  • Teaching your children to garden and having them help can increase the chance that they will eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • The amount of pesticide is reduced making the produce healthier to you.

The benefits of planting a garden aren’t just nutritious, but also help foster a new appreciation for hard work and help teach your children about nature.  It also creates memories and bonding for your family.

Don’t Spend too Much Money Up Front

Since the most obvious benefit of gardening is saving money on your grocery bill, be aware when planning your garden that you don’t go overboard.  The costs of a garden can add up quick.  Horticulturist Cindy Haynes explains that when planting a garden you must find ways to limit the cost you put into your garden and maximize the yield produced.  Haynes suggests a variety of ways to help optimize your gardening experience.

  • Only plant vegetables you like to eat
  • Choose vegetables that can be easily stored or preserved
  • Plant vegetables that are expensive to buy at the store
  • Have a plan in mind before you start planting

If you aren’t careful, your tomatoes coming from your garden could end up costing you a fortune.  Start small, with what you can handle and watch for ways to increase your garden without the extra cost.

Anyone Can Have a Garden – No Matter The Space

You don’t have to have acres and acres of land to have a garden.  Anyone, in any situation, can have a garden if they want it bad enough.  Using containers to plant your garden is one way to enjoy fresh produce if space is limited.  The University of Maryland extension explains container gardening has its own benefits.  There is no tilling or digging, it is essentially weed free and it is inexpensive to get started.  Using containers to garden allows for any location to be used – from window boxes, balconies, concrete pads or any part of the yard.  Gardening in containers also allows you to be in better control of the elements.  If your backyard is too shady or too sunny, or the elements where you live are too dry or wet, using a container can help ensure you reap the benefits of your garden by moving the container around when needed.

Planting a Garden Is a Growing Trend

You are not alone if you want to plant a garden.  According to the Garden Writing Association, in 2014 there were among 75 million US households doing some type of gardening.  Of those households, 44% grew their edible plants in the ground, while another 15% used containers.  Another 32% of the households did both container gardening and ground gardening.  GWA forecasted that 58% of consumers plan to plant a garden in 2015.

There is a benefit of saving money on your grocery bill, but gardening is one way to ensure your food is less chemically enhanced and healthier for you and your family.  Planting a garden doesn’t have to be hard or a lot of work.  Make a plan of what type of garden works best for you and enjoy the benefits of fresh produce.

Taking Risks with Investing

Benefits of investing

How risky of a person are you?  Are you willing to join the group when they want to jump out of an airplane, or do you prefer the safety of golfing?  More importantly, how much risk are you willing to take when it comes to your finances?

Being risky with your hard earned money is a whole other matter.  It is hard to think that your money could be gone in one bad day in the stock market.  But if you take the risk, the reward could be far surpassing.

If you are trying to decide how to invest your money, here are four suggestions to help take the risk out of investing and hopefully allow you to see the reward.

Stay on the Bull for Longer than 8 seconds

Deciding to invest in stocks is something that shouldn’t be decided on a whim.  Investing in stocks can seem hard to swallow if you are looking for a quick return.  The drops in stocks can make you think you have lost all your money in one day.  That is why you have to be willing to put money into stocks and leave them there for years.

CNN Money says that stocks have shown to provide the highest returns–around 10% over the long term.  Even though the stocks have had bad days and even taken years to come back, CNN Money explains that so far, they have always come back.  That might not always be the case, but it is important to invest some money where it can earn the highest long-term returns.

Be Willing to Mountain Bike Extreme Trails

When it comes to investing your money, you have to be willing to take some amount of risk.  US News explains that in order to see a return on the money you invest, you have to be willing to take risk.  Great investors can look at a range of possible investments and select ones that have more ways for you to win than ways for you to lose.  Smart investors don’t just take on risk, but take on measured amounts of risk after studying the options and choosing the smartest investment.

Don’t Raft the Same River Each Run

One way to minimize the amount of risk involved in investing, but to still see a return on the money you invest is to put your money in different investment opportunities.  Bankrate.com says that diversifying your investments is one of the best ways to help mitigate your potential loss.

Financial planner, Wade Slome advises, “The types of things you want to be diversified across are asset classes like real estate, commodities, fixed income and stocks.”

Don’t be afraid to invest in different opportunities to get the greatest return on your money.

Make Sure the One Packing your Parachute Knows What They Are Doing

Deciding to give someone your money for investing is sometimes the riskiest part about investing.  Ponzi schemes and investors ripping off their clients can make it hard to trust anyone.  Gerri Walsh, vice president of Investor Education at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said, “The vast majority of investment professionals are hard-working individuals who look out for the interest of their clients and customers.”

With that being said, you should be wise when choosing who to invest your money with.  Here are a few suggestions from USA Today.

  • Do your research – don’t just assume that because someone says they are a good person that they are!
  • Don’t invest in investments that you don’t understand.
  • Have some goals in mind and shop around to find an adviser who understands your goals and can help you reach them.
  • Ask your financial advisers questions. Know their qualifications, licenses, experience, how they are compensated and if they will provide a written agreement detailing fees and services.

Being well informed about the adviser you are trusting your money with, will take some of the risk out of investing.

The Reward is Worth the Risk

When investing is done correctly, the reward far outweighs the risk.  If you have money available to invest, and are wondering what to do, talk with someone you trust. Find these investment opportunities that will grow your money more than traditional bank account interest rates.  The amount needed to actually enjoy the golden years of life keep getting larger and larger; be prepared to enjoy those years by reaping the rewards of your risks.