Grow or Buy – Can I Save Money Buying My Food?

by Mike on November 29, 2013

Grow or Buy - Can I Save Money Buying My Food?

This is part two of our grow or buy your own food and can save with either read here for Part1 of can I save money growing my food.

I am tempted to say ‘Yes’ right away to saving money buying food because it is obvious that those who grow food for sale have managed to bring their unit costs down, otherwise they would not be in business. With manageable unit costs then, they are able to offer the food for sale at competitive prices. But lets dig a little deeper into whether we can truly save when buying our food.

6 simple reasons you can save money buying your food

  1. Surely you cannot be a jack of all trades and a master of all; you cannot manage to grow all the food you need even if you could afford it and if where you lived supported year round food growth with weather. So inevitably you’ve got to buy some of your weekly diet.
  2. When you decide to buy your food you tend to do your daily or weekly shopping as need be and include the variety of foods that you usually consume like cereals, vegetables, fruits and so on.  If on the other hand you decided to grow all that, it is incomprehensible how you would divide your farm to accommodate everything and have it ready when you need it.
  3. Can you imagine yourself growing lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, baby corn, onions, pumpkins, parsley, celery, rosemary, and all those other foods that your family eats at varying times in that same garden of yours even if you had the space?
  4. There are some foods that do well in one state but will not do well in another state. So buying the food remains the only option if you are in a place where the food does not flourish. And seriously if you are in Alaska or such other place with extreme weather, you have no choice but to buy most foods as you cannot rely on greenhouses for all crops.
  5. Again, look at it from the perspective that most foods are seasonal. Say you opted to grow your own food — what then would you do when certain foods are off season? Certainly, you would have to visit the grocery store and make your food purchases.
  6. Sometimes you may think that you can do with irrigation just to avoid buying food in the dry season but what is the cost with watering and growing all that food compared to buying it?

What makes buying food sometimes an unattractive option?

  • First of all I want to be in control of my destiny and the fact that you can use DDT on your commercial food and take it to the supermarket for me to buy is discouraging. And even if you are not using DDT, being a prohibited pesticide, but by using a range of other acceptable chemicals still makes me feel sort of vulnerable. Some of these chemicals have been known to trigger ailments that end up costing the family thousands of dollars to cure or just manage.
  • Another thing that makes the supermarket and other shops unappealing to me when it comes to buying food is that some of them do not make it clear if the food is genetically modified or not. Some do not even separate the organic from the inorganic foods and for those that do, they make you pay for the organic ones through the nose.
  • Whenever I am down on finances, I begin to envy those who are growing their own food because their eating habits do not change even when they are broke.
  • Pros and Cons of Buying your FoodIf you have a family member on special diet that needs very close control you can often only ensure that you have a steady supply by growing your own food or paying through the nose for specialized dietary needs. Without that you risk breaking the doctor’s rules and jeopardizing the life of your dear one.
  • I feel uncomfortable when I spend money buying food from stores only to realize that the ex-farm price for the same is negligible. Take the example of onions that Wal-Mart has for many years bought from farmers at less than 20 cents for half a kilogram, and which you and I end up buying off the shop trays at almost $2 for the same amount. If you do your math you’ll surely want to grow your own.
  • And the freshness? Certainly no supermarket will ever supply you foods as fresh as those from your own garden and that, of course, relates directly to the level of nutrients and hence health benefits.


So do you buy or grow your food and what do you feel saves you the most money? Leave us a comment and dont forget to share!

***Photos thanks to Hans and flyupmike of Pixabay***

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