Are you looking for creative ways to save some money—or even bring in extra cash—this summer? (Who isn’t?!)
Try your hand at gardening!
The financial benefits range far beyond just saving on your produce bill at the grocery store. Here, seven ways you can save some green this summer by gardening, according to U.S. News & World Report.
1. Boost your mood—for free. A 2012 study published in Extreme Physiology & Medicine found that getting outdoors causes “greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement.” Replace an expensive habit, like a daily frappuccino, with gardening—a cheaper and healthier alternative that’ll keep you smiling.
2. Get in a gym-free workout. According to a study by Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, doing housework and gardening is associated with lower risks of stroke and heart attack. At about 272 calories per hour, gardening provides more vigorous exercise than spending the same time walking around the block.
3. Sell your produce. If your community allows it, set up a stand on the side of the road and sell the fruits of your labor to your neighbors, or even to restaurants. Shopping local is a trend that can play to your favor here.
4. Or… barter with it. An alternative to selling for cash, try bartering your produce for other fruits and vegetables, eggs or even an hour’s access to your neighbor’s construction tools.
5. Bring in some rental income. Offer your garden as an event space for birthday parties or picnics, or put it up on a site like Airbnb as a camping spot.
6. Meet new people. Instead of hitting a bar or choosing an expensive hobby, try joining a community garden as a way to meet new friends. This is also a good option to consider if you don’t otherwise have enough space to grow a garden in your own backyard.
7. Save on groceries. Of course, gardening can save you cash at the supermarket. In order to maximize savings, be careful not to spend too much money on supplies, especially before you’re sure you enjoy growing your own food. Look up which plants will grow best in your climate to reap maximum rewards, and get free plant clippings from friends to start out.